Archive for December, 2013

2014 – the next chapter

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2013 by runmyssierun

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The last few years have been incredibly difficult for me. Lessons have been everywhere for me and up until recently , I honestly thought I was a quick learner… But it seems I have a hard time learning these lessons.

So take the time to write your story right… Because the hard part is not in writing it… It’s the editing of it.

Please be good to me 2014.

My wish remains the same.

Rainy day reflections

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by runmyssierun

Resolution Road cometh early:
* I will not take my self so seriously I forget to live, laugh, and love
* I will continue to push for my health and my family’s
* I will make as many resolutions and goals and list need to achieve success rather than accept defeat or failure
* I will lead by positive example whenever possible: I will follow positive examples whenever given
* I will do more to remember than forgetting ( except when it comes to spelling and cheesecake)
* I may or may not consider myself crazy for this years fitness goals but if I do? Well that’s okay because they are still getting not just done but DONE RIGHT!!!

Thank you to Cheryl who shared these thoughts with me and my run group. She said it better than I ever could have.

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Certain things are likely

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by runmyssierun

1554534_10153676217425068_1042486816_nIt was the last weekend of 2011 and I had recently finished my first 5k (at the Fiesta marathon) and right between Christmas and New Years… the perfect time to give up on your fitness routine because of all the parties and temptation and seriously… resolutions start AFTER December 31st, right???

Wrong

This resolution was to be life changing for me at that time and even though I didn’t know anyone running that morning at Bill Schupp park, I knew I owed it to myself and to Sissy to get in as many training races as possible… so I did it.

And I ran it.

And ran it again the last weekend in 2012.

And ran it again this last weekend in 2013… today. But this time it was with my two boys. THAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY YEAR!!! To know that I’ve made so many sacrifices these last two years, so many lifestyle changes and so many positive impacts by staying true to myself and my running fitness goals that it impacted the lives of my sons… by their choice.

You have no idea how gratifying it is so see this come full circle.

Sissy certainly knew what she was doing. Three years ago, had you told me that my boys and I would be running races for “fun”… I would have laughed hysterically in your face!!!

I do love the new “me” that I’ve fought to become again… again? Yes, again. I am slowly becoming the woman I was a long time ago and was reminded of that just last night when my old friends from high school all came together to celebrate Billy’s wedding.  If you are familiar with 80’s movies, you know who Molly Ringwald is. Well, there was a part of me in every character that Molly played. I refer back to Molly a lot because in high school, my friends were the real breakfast club. And I was Molly.

Of all the characters that she played, I was probably most like Andie Walsh.

I still love the classic Karmann Ghia, shop at thrift stores, sketch designs and am surrounded by music (although not a music store in my real life unless you consider iTunes as the modern day music store) and I’m least like Claire Standish because although I did win my city’s local crown, I was hardly a princess. I don’t think I could do the lipstick trick (I never tried) but I could do the cherry stem trick 😉 and I still swoon over the dark haired bad boy. What is probably MOST predictable is that I married a guy who honestly really did look like Jake Ryan. I’ve been coloring my hair for so long that you’d never even know that my real hair color is copper red!!!

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I’m rambling

So anyways as my old Breakfast Club reunited (sans a few members) the talk and the realization of who I used to be and who I was becoming were quite similar. THANK GOD!

In my teens and early twenties, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to. I conquered all! There were no limits. In my late twenties, thirties and early forties, I felt like I could do nothing right.

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Each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

My Breakfast Club friends – life long friends – helped make me feel like I could do anything. And I hope that I don’t diminish how special they are to me by saying this next part because NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY BE AS WONDERFUL FRIENDS AS THEY WERE TO ME AT THAT TIME but now I feel like through all these run groups, team in training, Maniacs, cyclepaths, etc….  is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

When the original Breakfast Club was together, we were unstoppable. We could change the world if we wanted to in 72 hours. We never realized what we had at the time.

Now, I have a new Breakfast Club. The members are all so very different from each other. Some of us still tear each other apart with misunderstandings and gossip. (Not like my original Breakfast Club) But some of us… some of us are pretty dang awesome. And I’ll bet if given the chance, they could change the world in 72 hours if they wanted to.

I am so glad that I am part of this motley gang of misfit fitness fanatics. I am so glad that I have the family that I do. I am so glad that I was raised by the family that I had. I am so glad that my Breakfast Club reunited and remembered who I was and who Sissy wanted me to be again.

The great thing about Andie, Samantha and Claire is that all those characters went through some crazy drama, she had a few trusteds that she vented with (Yes, I have a “Duckie”, too), but with the help of her friends and the love of her family and a little bit of creativity… she gave up something that was dear to her and gave it to the handsome bad boy

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she transformed the humble gifts that were given to her and creatively combined them all so that she could show the world that they did not break her, and she showed up to the big event and showed them..

In the end, Molly always got the kiss and the storybook happily ever after ending… and that’s where I hope I am now. Sometimes I feel like my whole life has been written by John Hughes. Sometimes, I wish it was.

2014… it’s time to get it right. I know my goals. I know how to get them. It’s not going to be the trite “New year/New me” lingo here… I want the old me back again. So here we go!!! With the help of my friends and family…

WHAT’S HAPPENING HOT STUFF?????

Don't you forget about me. (*Rodney Perez)

Don’t you forget about me. (*Rodney Perez)

To my Duckie…

Taking it back old school so that I can move forward.

Merry Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized on December 26, 2013 by runmyssierun

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May all your miles be merry!!!

Chestnuts roasting, Christmas wishes and resolutions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2013 by runmyssierun

I spent the majority of this week frantically doing last minute shopping, taking care of my sick boys and dad and fighting the same fight over and over again day after day. I’m exhausted. I’ve run only two miles since the half marathon last week. I haven’t ridden my bike in weeks! And it’s been seriously way too long since I’ve swum a lane. This time last year, the holidays hardly made a dent in my training.

This year… it’s a different story. But it’s also way more complicated, too.

Regardless, I need to get back to a sensible balance where I can do everything I need to do. Stop eating those dang goodies and stop sitting on the couch and watching “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” all day long.

Funny thing about “balance” though. The great ones don’t balance their life… they focus on goals and everything else gets put on a back burner. If you are a great one, those who support you offer help where they can because they genuinely want you to achieve success, those who envy begin to chatter about your back burner items because they desperately wish they could do the things you do. If you are a balanced one, you usually aren’t extraordinary enough to be chattered about… and you don’t get offered help because people think you have everything under control. As I sit back and look at this and wonder which one I am… I’m a bit discouraged either way. Bummer.

However, if you’ve been following me for a while, you KNOW how I escape all that drama. (*hint: it’s MUSIC)

Santa did good this year. He got me some new wireless ear buds!! This year my resolutions need to be epic but followed up with a plan to make them attainable. So, I do foresee some pretty wild playlists being created to be used on some new races being added to my local agenda so I can use these great new ear buds!!! I’ve always been fascinated by learning new things so as I review each of my prior years resolutions, I’ve learned that they’ve all been about learning new activities or ways of life. The only resolution that I keep placing on my to-do list year after year and have yet to get accomplished is learning conversational Spanish fluently.  So just to keep tradition, I’ll place it on my list again this year. The other promise that I didn’t keep to myself this year was to complete a pull up. A REAL pull up.

Thank goodness, I received a note from an old friend of mine who I hope will help me achieve this feat soon with a new type of workout. This new workout is really good for developing upper body strength, core, balance and flexibility… all needed to become a better swimmer and cyclist. Pole fitness will enter my New Year’s resolution!!! (Stop it! I hear you laughing!!!)

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I’ve been working on a book for a few months now and after a conversation with my publisher, decided to reformat and redesign once again. I will become an author next year.

After all I witnessed this last week, I need to become a bigger part of my Dad’s world at least for the sake of his health (and my sanity). I will officially activate my Real Estate license and become a partner with him this year.  (I’ve been procrastinating a bit on this for several reasons. Time to move on.)

I have focused a lot of my energy to bring awareness for cancer these last two years and my fight is not nearly over, however, my focus will change as my eldest son goes to college.  Time is precious. Don’t let it slip away from you. I will not stop. I’ll just tone it down a bit. Maybe I’ll help coach? Who knows. 🙂

Now that I’ve discovered the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, I must take steps to incorporate it into the lifestyle of my family. It brought me such great joy to have them run with me at a few of the local 5ks here and to have my son teach me how to swim. Doing all these activities together bonds us and I need to make sure that it’s not just a phase but a daily habit for them to teach their children and grandchildren.

And as weird as this may sound, I have never been able to participate in an ACTS retreat because I always had a little one in the house and never had the heart to send him to Grandma’s house for the weekend in her condition to watch him. Now that he’s older, he’s a bit more self-sufficient and needs little supervision – or at least less than as an infant, I feel I need a whole lot more of God in my life and now is my chance. I think this would make my mother proud and I think it is the hole in my life that I need filled.

I also need to take the time to find and keep joy in my life. It seems that there will always be conflict, anger and disappointment every day no matter what so I need to find a better way to deal. I love painting, photography, dancing and music so making sure that I have healthy, artistic enriched outlets on a regular basis is critical for my well being… and understanding supportive friendships to share them all with. (*that may include some wine and/or bubbles with these activities)

And lastly, I may end up taking this one back but I’ll try it for a while….

Everyone asks me “What are you doing next?”

Someone quite special told me that he rarely tells people what events he’s doing and responds by saying “I’m training for Hog Dash!” (for you non-locals, Hog Dash is a 5k mud run – and he tells people this because he feels that it’s none of anyone’s business what he’s training for). As I reflect back on his advice, I think everything he’s told me has been spot on. So aside from this weekend’s Resolution Run (an annual tradition) and CapTex in May, I hereby publicly announce that I’m training for Hog Dash!!!!

So that’s it… These are my resolutions. Aside from the usual eating better, losing weight and shaving time off my PRs… I’m pretty content with my decisions.

I get to end this year with a Christmas that was nothing like what my Momma organized every year, attend a wedding where I get to witness one of my oldest lifelong friends give his heart away, teach my youngest son how to ride a bike and run with the women who started it all at the race that made running my lifestyle.

This year was rough. Each year becomes tougher. It would be really reckless of me to expect otherwise. Every hardship has taught me a lesson but hasn’t calloused me enough to make me bitter. I think it’s actually made me softer and more forgiving in many ways. I pray that this will make for an interesting year ahead, one that I hope to share with you in all my wild and crazy adventures to fulfill a promise.

My Christmas wish did not come true – but it was  a pretty big one so I’m ok with Santa not making it happen. My Christmas was still pretty awesome. Hope yours was, too. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

Did you get your Christmas wish? What was it?

What are YOUR New Years resolutions?

RWC Christmas party

My “RUNSPIRATIONS” = the women of Run Walk or Crawl running group
I would have given up on myself and running had it not been for these amazing women of immense support. They all came together and brought over food when my mother passed away and they helped gather donations for my Team in Training cancer fund and some even joined me in running a few marathons for TNT. They are relentless!!!

A Super-sized McMarathon

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by runmyssierun

I ran my first street block in October of 2011 in the quiet darkness of the Bicentennial trail.  I was 41 years old with no history of athletic skills whatsoever. (However I did do videos of Gilad and Jane Fonda aerobics in the 80’s)

Bicentennial trail at night

I ran my first mile in November of 2011.

I ran my first 5k in December of 2011. It was the Fiesta Marathon’s 5k. I finished in just under 45 minutes. I ran like Phoebe in the TV sitcom Friends.

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I ran my first 10k one month later, January 2012 at the Port Isabel Longest Causeway race.

My first 10k - The Longest Causeway run

I ran my first Half marathon the next month, February 2012 on the Birthday of my baby brother, Donny, who had just passed away less than a year before that.

Tears for Donny

We lost my mother to cancer shortly after in April of 2012. I took all the sadness, anger and every pent up emotion that I had stuffed inside of me and used it to run my first full marathon seven weeks after her death.

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I recuperated for a couple of months after that but realized quickly how healing Team in Training was for me.

I went on to do several more half marathons with TNT: one each month until December of 2012 when I decided to revisit my first race… the Fiesta Marathon. But instead of doing the 5k, I challenged myself to do the full 26.2 miles.

It was too much too soon for me. After the 172 Campaign for Vannie Cook Children’s Cancer Center half (September 2012), the Nike Women’s half in San Francisco (October 2012) and the San Antonio Rock & Roll half (November 2012), I ended up injuring myself seriously in the first 6 miles of the Fiesta Marathon (December 2012).

Not wanting to admit to myself that I was seriously hurt, I went on to do the Herothon half in San Antonio in January 2013.  It was clear to me that something needed to change.

Running with Team in Training allowed me to take my feelings out on the pavement. It gave me permission to vent. It gave me pleasure to know that I was helping someone else who had gone through what I went through. It gave me hope to know that I was running alongside survivors. I DIDN’T WANT TO STOP. If I stopped…. I was scared that my sadness and anger would end up exploding and hurting those I loved.

So I found an alternative. TRIATHLON!!!

I gave my achilles the chance to heal for a few months while I learned to swim and ride a bike. 10 weeks after I learned to swim, I completed my first triathlon.

Stanley's Triathlon

And a couple of months after that… I completed the Capital of Texas Triathlon.

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And then became the first in our region to win the LLS Triple Crown by completing a 100-mile century ride in the mountains of Nevada at Viva Bike Vegas.

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Scattered in between all these events are several other QUALITY local races, duathlons and triathlons that I used for experience and training… but when it came down to the marathon in December… my blood boiled.

I wanted so badly to avenge myself for the mistakes I made last year. I wanted so badly to do well.

Sadly, for as much as I wanted it and planned for it and prepared for it… I think God had other plans. The reasons that I wanted to do well in it didn’t match the reasons that I joined Team in Training in the first place. The reasons I wanted to do well were ego based. I’m glad now that I recognized it and chose to do the half instead for all the right reasons.

The Fiesta Marathon of prior years was moved to Edinburg and upped in date. It was replaced by the Inaugural McAllen Marathon on the same weekend in December. It was bitter cold and on a route that I had never run before but I was surrounded by my TNT team mates, Maniacs, RWC girls and Cyclepaths all along the course.

I started out the race with a dear friend that I missed so very much. She lost her mother as well. Stephanie and I have lived mirrored lives for so long. Running in the city of my home alongside an old friend felt unusually natural. Unlike other races where nerves kick in… this one had no nervousness. Just pure excitement. I ran alongside the women who took me under their wings while training for my triathlons. Three fierce women who had just completed a half ironman a short while earlier and they weren’t even breaking a sweat. Karen Watt jokingly blurted out “It can’t be good when you get passed by a Christmas tree!” A runner dressed up as a Christmas tree had just run past us.

As I got warmed up, I began to peel off layers of clothing and wrapped the sleeves of my jacket around my waist. My pace slowed down while I did this when a man running behind me a few paces sped up to tell me that I was his inspiration. Caught by surprise and still a bit uneasy with compliments, I think I blushed and admitted that I didn’t think I’d be anyone’s inspiration that day. I was going to take it easy and enjoy the run. He ended up sticking along with me throughout the entire race. Gotta admit, his unexpected compliment made me feel really good.

I could not believe how many friends were there cheering!!! Sooooooo many Team in Training team mates, soooo many RWC and VRC fellow runners and their families all yelling their lungs out with cowbells and posters and hugs and hand signs!!! Seeing their faces light up when they saw me… it was like the sparkle in my Momma’s eyes through theirs. It invigorated me.

I chose 2:19 as my finish goal. This is the birthday of my baby brother, Donny. I figured that if I run the first three miles at a 9-and-something-minute mile pace, I can easily finish the rest of the race at a comfortable 11-and-something-minute mile pace and enjoy my hometown marathon event. All went well as planned until towards the middle of mile ten, I had just passed my run gurus high five cheer (German Medrazo) at the Valley Running Cheer stop when BOTH my legs cramped up with charlie horses. I was at a complete stop. I seriously could not move any further.

I got so scared that I took a look back to make sure that no one was about to run into me. I was about a half a block away from German and thought maybe I should shout out to him… but then what??? I simply stretched and stretched and stretched my calves out. I can’t honestly say that I stretched them out to the point where I was pain free but that stubborn ego inside of me knew the finish line was just a 5k away and I had already wasted my perfectly paced time on this stretching. I impatiently got up from the curb and hobbled on. I dropped down to a 12-minute pace. I knew at that time I lost my goal but kept on. What else was I gonna do? My car was over there. I couldn’t go home by snapping my fingers.

I hobbled on and hobbled on until a big black truck drove close by me with a Kenyan chasing it. THAT’S THE FIRST MARATHON FINISHER!! How cool is that to cross the finish line WITH A KENYAN!!!

I am stoked! I am beyond stoked! Can you imagine the stories I tell my friends about this???

“Ya… here’s my finisher photo with my crazy fast Kenyan run buddy… We finished at the same time. Well, he finished just a few seconds before me so technically he won the race and got the check.” — Oh man!!! I could milk this like the biggest fish story ever!!!

Nope!

Cramps again. There goes that awesome story. I stop for a while and stretch again because I simply cannot move my right leg at all.

“SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! The freakin finish line is two itty bitty blocks away!” – my inner voice yells at me… AGAIN.

So, I hobble on. I finished with a smile on my face in the most amazing sunshine ever.

Best of all… I finished for ME. I didn’t half-ass it. I did the absolute best that I could. It might not be as good as YOU are but guess what…. I’m not you. And I am soooooo very happy for that because I don’t think you’ll ever see or feel what I did that day.

What makes my dream any less than your dream? We are all different. We all want different things in life. And I can change MY dreams any time I want and I can even get new dreams. How ’bout them apples?

Health and Happiness… my dream has never changed. The path to it, however, sure has.

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I am the invisible woman

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by runmyssierun

When my mother learned that she had cancer, she quickly assessed what was a priority in her life and dealt with it accordingly. Her faith in God, her church, her sisters in Christ, her religion and her family were always, always, always at the top.

My mother sent this video to me in December of 2009 because she saw that I was hurt one very special day. After I saw it, I told her that when I was young, I couldn’t see the things she did for me but now that I had become a mother, it was so very visible. Years later, many statements said in this video are even clearer. It took over 100 years to build a cathedral by master builders who did not live to see their work or get recognition for it. But He saw.

Many people do not see our hard work. Many of us are invisible. I am one. I am invisible. My Momma was also invisible. But she knew He saw. Her hard work was done not for anyone here but for One above us. She was always so confident of that.

I’ve always had to have reminders about this. My faith has never been as strong as hers.

I am building a cathedral. Carefully laying each brick just as she did. Many cannot see this. Many will never see it. And that’s ok. It hurts me that they don’t see it but maybe they aren’t meant to see. Maybe it is the finished construction that they need to see for them to receive their faith.

Do you see what I am building?

Are you building something, too? I’ll bet you are. Who are you building it for?

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