Archive for March, 2014

Suddenly I see

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by runmyssierun

What a week!!!!

I’ll start off with the biggest news ever… oh wait… IT’S ALL THE BIGGEST NEWS EVER!!!

The Inaugural RGV CAP5k (CAP is an abbreviation for Colonoscopy Assistance Program – we provide financial aid to those high risk patients who reside in the Rio Grande Valley and cannot afford to pay for a colonoscopy) was a GRAND success!!! When our little committee of Laura, myself, Alex, Adriee and Maritza all got together for coffee to plan this 5k fundraiser, we nonchalantly said “expect about 50-100 race participants”. With all the community support and sponsors, we had over 300 race participants!!!  We’re still tallying total funds and can’t wait to begin disbursing them to those who need it.

RGV CAP5k

The Health Nut’s promotion of “The Myssie Shake” was fun and viral!! It got people out there to drink a healthy shake instead of a Whatasized #2. Some people had never had a shake and it was refreshingly comical to witness their reactions. We probably didn’t raise millions of dollars from this promotion but it got people to start making healthier choices that to their surprise actually tasted pretty good!!!

While at the CAP5k packet pick up, I got a gazillion urgent messages from the LLS office. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society asked if I would lobby and testify for cancer research funding in Washington DC for them!!!! What an honor!!! I still need more details but to be honest, even if it helps just ONE PERSON… I’m all in!!!

Training this weekend was a complete flop for me. I had the race on Saturday morning and a few personal issues that stopped me from attending my practices and scheduled workouts and I have a feeling that the remainder of this season will be a number of stumbling blocks before each one. I’m going to have to be creative and adamant about sticking to my plan of attack for CAPTEX.

Remember, if you want to participate in the Capital of Texas Triathlon the last weekend of May, use the code CAPTEX1402 in your registration and you’ll get 10% off the cost of registration. You’re welcome! And thank you!

Best part of this weekend? Walking the CAP5k course before sunrise and feeling the awesome cool winds from my weather angels and following the “orange signs”.  I knew in my heart at that very moment… Momma would have been happy. 

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MARTIN MEDINA

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by runmyssierun

I’m going to do something different for today’s entry. I’m not entitling this post with the name of a song. I’m not going to gracefully dance around the severity of a taboo topic. I’m gonna slug you in the gut with the story of an incredibly amazing person and hopefully move you and this whole community into action… because the worse thing you can do is absolutely nothing.

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A few years ago, I worked for a studio with several different television and radio stations. I loved my job mostly because I was given the ability to befriend so many incredible clients who entrusted me with their business and event marketing/promotions. One morning my co-worker had announced that she was going to sign up AHSTI as a client. However, that afternoon I received a phone call from a soft spoken nice gentleman asking to meet with me to plan out a promotion for his event – the same organization that my co-worker said she would sign up. Now, the way that my office worked was that if you called out your possible client that morning… it was the equivalent of calling “shot gun” for the front seat. She called dibs.

I met with him and went over a few ideas and he quickly blurted out “We wanted to work with you because you are trusted and don’t BS anyone.”  I’ll never forget that. He could tell I had great ideas and he could tell I was worried about something.

I admitted that I had just received some worrisome news about my mother who was at MD Anderson at the time. He let me vent and then we planned one of the most successful events that AHSTI ever had together.

I had never fought for a client before. I’m so glad I did.

So that’s my side of the story and how this friendship began.

Here’s his.

http://www.themonitor.com/life/valley_life/palmview-resident-turns-cancer-diagnosis-into-plan-for-nonprofit/article_218773e2-1417-11e3-9ba9-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=jqm

Martin grew up poor and knew the challenges that this area had to overcome to attain a home, an education and a good life. He dedicated himself to helping the poor get homes through the local Affordable Homes program. And he was really good at it!!!

And then one day, out of the blue, I got a phone call. I was in a meeting so I couldn’t answer it but I did see the caller ID and was a bit puzzled when I saw his name. About two hours later, I was able to listen to his message.

I dropped the phone and my heart sank. He told me that he was diagnosed with Stage III Colon cancer, was weak, needed help and wanted to partner up with me on some ideas that he had and to call him back. He knew I understood what he was feeling. He knew I understood how expensive this disease is. He knew I understood.

I held the phone in my hand for a good thirty minutes. I couldn’t call him back. I knew that if I spoke to him, I’d break down in tears and that’s not what he needed from me. He needed positive reinforcement. He needed someone strong. He needed someone I could not be at that time. I was so distraught. He was so young! How does this happen? Why does cancer strike the good ones? Why him? He has so much to offer with his good heart and his youth and his ambition and his… (the list went on and on)

Long story short.. I never had the guts to call him back. I didn’t trust myself. I cried.

Truth is, he never needed me or my support. He dug in his heels, went through treatment and continued with his plan.

Now, if any of you have gone through surgery, radiation and chemo… you KNOW how that knocks you down. This guy did it, got knocked down and used that down time to create a non-profit for others who are going through the same thing to receive a revolving loan to pay for expenses related to dealing with cancer treatment.

Seriously, who does that? Who creates a revolving loan fund for OTHER people to utilize when undergoing cancer treatment, after they’ve lost their job, their income and still have mortgages to pay, utility bills, travel expenses, children’s expenses, car payments, insurance, yada yada yada????

MARTIN MEDINA DOES that’s who.

So when you come home and complain about having a hard day at work and plop down on your couch in your home with a roof over your head and a big screen TV and dinner in front of you with the air condition/heater blasting, able to put in your crossfit workout or daily jog and a warm shower to ease you… think about what you did today and count your blessings. Ask yourself… WHAT DID YOU DO YOU HELP THE WORLD TODAY?

Were you inactive? Were you indifferent? Were you silent?

What excuse are you mustering up in your head to give me? I’m not going to buy it anyway. Wake up. Do something. If you can’t think of something to do, to say, to be… then help Martin Medina.

This is his facebook page. Become his friend and offer your help, your talent, your voice, your anything… just whatever you do, don’t do NOTHING.

 

No matter what life tosses our way, there are always those individuals who will take their given situation and turn it into something positive. Martin is one of those individuals. Despite his battle against cancer, he took time this weekend to introduce his friends to each other in efforts to create a foundation to help people in need at a local level. Thank you Martin for your inspiration, our world can use more people like you. We love you dearly and are here to support you any which way we can. We pray that you continue to recuperate and return stronger than ever. Si se puede!

“No matter what life tosses our way, there are always those individuals who will take their given situation and turn it into something positive. Martin is one of those individuals. Despite his battle against cancer, he took time this weekend to introduce his friends to each other in efforts to create a foundation to help people in need at a local level. Thank you Martin for your inspiration, our world can use more people like you. We love you dearly and are here to support you any which way we can. We pray that you continue to recuperate and return stronger than ever. Si se puede!” –Lori Michelle Ruiz

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This is Martin Medina surrounded by his friends who contacted me. Together, we'll be organizing a RAVE RUN, concert and dinner to help him with HIS expenses and establish his revolving loan fund and nonprofit to help others.

This is Martin Medina surrounded by his friends who contacted me. Together, we’ll be organizing a RAVE RUN, concert and dinner to help him with HIS expenses and establish his revolving loan fund and nonprofit to help others.

THANK YOU LONESTAR NATIONAL BANK FOR SETTING UP AN ACCOUNT FOR MARTIN SO THAT ANONYMOUS DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO HIM!!!! *I’ll set up a link here shortly so that people can donate here online from my blog to him.

 

God Bless you Martin!

 

With a little help from my friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by runmyssierun

They say it takes a village to raise a child… and without any offense to my Momma and my family – in fact I am quite certain that she would agree – I am living proof because this community sure has picked me up to a place where I never ever thought I could be!

Officially changing the spelling to The "Myssie"!!!

Officially changing the spelling to The “Myssie”!!!

The Health Nut (a local chain of stores independently owned and operated) that makes healthy shakes and smoothies has a shake that is labeled “a local favorite” named “The Missy Shake” and I swear it really is the best tasting healthy shake EVER!!! Well, when I walked in on Friday… they (brother and sister Michael and Sara) coyly reached into the drawer and pulled out a label spelled “Myssie” to replace the original lettering!!! This coming weekend, they will be offering “The Myssie” at a discount and donating that discount to my Mimi’s Miles fund!!!

Click on the photo to get WINdetergent to launder your own sports gear and finally get that funky smell out!

Click on the photo to get WINdetergent to launder your own sports gear and finally get that funky smell out!

Windetergent is also donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of orders from this link: http://tnt.windetergent.com/myssie

*If you haven’t tried WINdetergent, YOU NEED TO!!! No more stinky bike shorts and drifit running jerseys and sports bras for me!!!

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I’ve had jewelry (necklaces and bracelets) custom designed to symbolize the love between my mother and I with our now famous hand sign made by the former Miss Corpus Christi (*True story – I was asked to be “the other woman” in Selena’s last video but I couldn’t make it and suggested Miss Corpus Christi as a replacement. She was stunning. There’s no way I could have done a better job. Here’s her video) She made about 100 necklaces and bracelets with her own hands and donated all her labor.

I’m still in need of a corporate sponsor this season. And I am sure this company is going to run into me when I least expect it. Maybe this is the wrong way of doing things but so far… all my “signs” have led me to so many awesome people. I’m hoping my signs stay true and lead me to the company who understands how important this cause is… not just for me…but also for the community, the nation, the world… but more personally, for it’s employees and their loved ones.

It is with this frame of mind that I am so honored that Life Time Triathlon chose me as their ambassador this year! I’m still in shock!

Use the code #CAPTEX1402 to get 10% off your CapTexTri registration

Use the code #CAPTEX1402 to get 10% off your CapTexTri registration

Spread this around and make it viral! If you are a triathlete or know one or have been on the fence about becoming one… use this code #CAPTEX1402 when you register for the Capital of Texas Triathlon on May 26, 2014, in Austin, Texas, and you receive 10% off your registration fee and you’ll be using that discount to help fight blood cancers via #Mimismiles all in memory of my Momma!!!

And now I’ve been asked to participate in so many other cancer events!!! I now sit on the Board for the CAP5k (Colonoscopy Assistance Program) which fundraises via 5k race events – among other events – and the proceeds go to fund local Rio Grande Valleyites that are high risk for colon cancer and need assistance paying for their colonoscopies. The 5k is this coming weekend and you can register through active.com or this link right here:

http://www.active.com/mcallen-tx/running/races/rgv-cap-5k-run-walk-2014?int=72-3-A4

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I was also asked to be part of Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance’s Colon Cancer Awareness Walk with the Doc tonight. “The Doc” is Dr. Belinda Jordan who happened to be my very first TNT Mentor!!! I got a text from Annabell and a reminder from Gaby and they even got me a t-shirt for the event! I love how there is a great sudden move to push people from the uncomfortable taboo subject of people’s “privates” and making it a bit more socially acceptable and comfortable to talk/ask about Colorectal Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. If you are around here locally and would like to join me tonight, please please please do so! #bottomsup

Walk with the Doc

And speaking of Ovarian Cancer… I was invited to attend a little intimate discussion about Ovarian Cancer and the Sprint for Like 5k with staff from MD Anderson at the home of Rosalie Weisfeld. I had no idea that there wasn’t a test for “Gyn Cancers”. I honestly thought that my CA-125 was all that I needed and since I was ok on that test, I was off the hook! I think I was wrong!!! I honestly learn something new on the subject of Cancer every day! But the best part about that afternoon was listening to Heather Marks talk about her experience. Her journey began just two months before my Momma’s. I am so very happy that her story had a happy ending. I do still believe in hope even after all we have been through. 

Sharing their stories about ovarian cancer and the Sprint for Life 5k Run/Walk and the Sprint for Sprouts Kids Run! All benefitting research and awareness for the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Thank you Rosalie Weisfeld for hosting this discussion!

Sharing their stories about ovarian cancer and the Sprint for Life 5k Run/Walk and the Sprint for Sprouts Kids Run! All benefitting research and awareness for the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Thank you Rosalie Weisfeld for hosting this discussion!

And now for my training update!!! My tummy has been giving me lots of issues this week. It’s gone so long now that I will probably go visit the doctor about it. (it’s been almost a week like this!)

I wasn’t able to attend the group swim practice this week but did get to make it up plus an extra swim workout the following day. My bike ride on Tuesday morning was torture on my legs but after the first few miles, I was able to get back into my groove. I wasn’t able to make the Thursday ride since I was saving my legs for the Team McAllen Time Trial on Sunday. But was able to easily get coaxed by my fellow San Francisco TNT alumni and CAP Board Member, Laura, as she blurted out to me that she wanted to become a triathlete, too! So we went swimming!!!

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And of course… as we were hanging over the ledge of the pool chit chatting… we naturally go into the discussion of cycling. Wouldn’t you know it.. the following day, she comes back with a beauty of a bike from my bike guru, Wally Alaniz at Wally’s Bicycles!

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I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or her, about her new adventure in triathlon!

Saturday morning was our TNT TriTeam’s first real long ride. It was about 27 miles. I arranged for two of us to SAG because I predicted the group breaking off into two. I was right! One of my fellow cyclepaths was eagerly  volunteered into the SAG position 😉 And I rode in the next car with all my safety gear.

Sure enough, on the second loop of the great city of Granjeno, Gio gets a flat. I quickly jump out of my car with pump and tube in hand. Flip the bike over and carefully give her instructions while helping her put the wheel on and off and replacing the busted out tube. HOWEVER… in my haste I think I may have punctured the tube by pinching it on the side with the tool and knew that the rest of the group would be at the third loop by that time. In frustration, I packed up the bike and found the group at the corner convenience store along with many of the 5am’ers and TMC cyclists. With my tail between my legs, I handed over the bike to Coach W where she began the tire changing lesson as if it was as easy as boiling water.

Lesson: I still need more practice changing tires! I can’t afford to have this happen again!

On a happy note, the group did awesome! There were about 4 PRs that morning!

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Nothing can stop this group now! #renlentless

And then Sunday morning came around… the Team McAllen Time Trials!! This would be my third time trial but my first on the Cervelo! I arrived LATE because of my diarrhea I had been having all week long but more so that night before and that morning!!! I was dehydrated but stubborn. I needed to see that I was improving.

It was sooooo worth it! I shaved two minutes off my time from just last month!

TT 3 2014

Remembering WHY I am here doing what I am doing.

I went back through my blog to this week two years ago and re-read this entry. I cried to myself and vividly remember and felt every emotion just as if I were right back there. So, to the person who wrote me last night about her mother that recently passed away, know that your emotions are valid and it really does take more than a week of grieving to heal… but it does get better and you do get stronger and the grace that your mother had finds its way into your heart some way some how.

Here’s the entry from two years ago:

March 21, 2012

quit (verb) – to stop trying, struggling, or the like; accept or acknowledge defeat.

These past two weeks were emotionally difficult for me. I saw my usually vivacious, super-power infused mother weak, frail and suffering. What ever was in this last treatment knocked everything out of her. I could get my thumb and touch it with my index finger and her leg could fit right through it. Her hair has now fallen off and her normally wrinkle free olive skin has an odd grayish/yellow tint to it.

I was worried – really worried – for the first time ever. So I spent the weekend with her and then called her main doctor at MD Anderson. After questioning me about her symptoms, we agreed that it was best for her to return to Houston for a week so he could monitor her better under medical staff care. I was not comforted by his concern.

She grabbed my hand and squeezed it with all her might and looked me straight in the eyes and said “I’m worried about Myssie. She has so much on her plate right now. Can you keep an eye on her and help out?”

We had been warned that her memory functions may be lost as a result of her last radiation treatment. I don’t know who she thought I was at the time but I was glad that I had the strength and courage not to have the shock and sadness show in my reaction to her as I replied with “I will Momma, I will. Don’t you worry. I’ll take good care of her.”

That was Sunday about noon time. They drove to MD Anderson on Sunday afternoon and met with her doctor on Monday morning.

I was sitting at my desk working on a proposal for a client of mine just shortly before lunch. I had a ton of meetings scheduled and needed tons more to make my quota. The stress was insane. That’s when I got the phone call from Dad.

“Myssie, can you talk?”

“Yes Daddy. What did the doctor say?”

“It’s not good. There’s nothing more that they can do. We’re coming home…. right now. They’ve released her to hospice. We’ll be home about 6:30.”

There must have been at least a year of silence after that. I was crushed.

Why?

I was asked just days ago by my Team in Training coach why I was running. Why I was putting my body through this? What was I doing this for?

As silly as it may sound, part of me was hoping that God would see how hard I was trying. That He would see that I was willing to take the pain away from her and volunteer it onto me in order to not have her suffer any more. I wanted that pain and suffering to quit. I wanted cancer to quit. Because I wasn’t going to allow myself to quit. I would never quit.

Well, that was until I heard those words from my dad.

I did want to quit. I wanted so badly to throw in the towel and give up. Why should I run? Really, why should I? It’s not like running a marathon will produce a cure for my mom as I cross the finish line. What am I doing? I should just quit.

I thought long and hard about how to tell friends and family about the news. I wanted to be angry and blame everything from preservatives to toxic land for her suffering. But I am so glad I didn’t. I took a deep breath and took a step back and told myself now is how I must example the way she brought me up.

The following is what I posted to friends and family on my facebook wall:

Science and medicine has done all that it possibly can. Momma has shown incredible strength and faith through these tough 6-plus years. The choice to discontinue treatment does not mean that she has quit. It means that she is strong enough to accept God’s will and live the remainder of her life with her family and friends at home instead of hotel rooms and hospitals. I am so very proud of her bravery, so very thankful to her miraculous team of doctors and so very grateful for everyone’s prayers, kind gestures and help. Keep them coming.

See, my mother is not a quitter. Cancer will likely beat her body. But it won’t beat her. She’ll never quit. Her legacy will live on and continue to teach us, to love us and to give unto others. She never quit. And neither will I.

Giving almost %100

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by runmyssierun

Last night was the deadline for recommitment to Team In Training. This is the time when you question your ability to fulfill your training and fundraising capabilities and ask yourself… “Can I really do this?”

If you really don’t think you can… You back out and remove yourself from the team.

If you think you can… You give your recommitment promise to the team, the coaches, the cause, the organization… And those currently fighting cancer right now.

From the very FIRST day of practice at Valley Running Company…. All but ONE person stayed and now the inaugural Rio Grande Valley Team in Training Triathlon Team is officially in place. Almost %100.

I couldn’t be more proud to be a part if this brave and courageous group of passion filled athletes!!! I think Momma would be proud, too.

And to top yesterday off… I received word that Life Time TRI chose me to be their Ambassador for this year!!! Watch out CapTex!!! Here we come!!!

P.S. If you are planning to participate in this year’s Capital of Texas Triathlon in Austin, Texas, I humbly ask that you help support me and my promise to my Momma by using the code #CAPTEX1402 in your registration. It won’t cost you anything but in turn, Life Time TRI will make a monetary donation for each registration that uses this code!!! I’m super thrilled!!!!

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Things you should NOT do before a triathlon

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by runmyssierun

HELP! I STILL HAVEN’T REACHED MY GOAL! Please help donate: Click Here

All this week I was getting texts and facebook notes from my fellow Team in Training team mates who had never participated in a triathlon. Everything from “butter” to trisuit fittings and everything in between. Our Coach W went far and beyond her scope of duties and hosted a round table question and answer session at Starbucks on Friday to literally get everything out on the table. No subject was off limits.

I think many are a bit confused as to why I would have questions to ask at this point. Truth is, it really doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks… what matters is what I think. And I’m not that pompous as to think that just because I’ve done a few tris that I know everything and anything about them. Clearly I am NOT the best at this sport and there is still much to learn about it and about myself.

So I was the first to ask… “I know it’s not a good thing to use something new on the day of a triathlon, but I was thinking about not using my “Mimi” and riding the Cervelo instead.”

Now, I need to preface that Coach W has known me for a year now – longer than she’s known the rest of the team and has ridden and trained with me, participated in triathlons with me and witnessed my capabilities – so this was a personal nod of approval for me as she understood that drive for me to improve. *Note that this should not be common practice for others to do in triathlons… don’t use something you aren’t used to. Practice with what you will be using on game day.

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Normally, triathletes and marathoners have a tapering period the week (or at least a few days) before their big event. You should take it down a few notches so that your body is fully recovered from the multiple weeks of tough training. But oh no…. not me and my teammates…

We actually sucker punched ourselves and did the normally assigned Saturday morning brick the day before Stanley’s Triathlon!!! We each swam 1000m and ran a two mile brick. And we – for the most part – did it balls out! I have been doing about a 1:40 100m swim pace but took it down to 2:40 that day. And for the run, I kept thinking there was something wrong with my Garmin because I kept seeing a 9:50 pace! *Take notes about these times – it shows something interesting to me on game day.

Part of our TNT practice is something called “Mission Moment”. That Saturday morning, Janie – my Mentor, spoke. We normally speak about why we are there and/or what brought us to volunteer ourselves to Team in Training. But she went a bit further… in fact, a whole lot further! I’m not going to quote her or say everything she did that morning… but what I will say is that everything she said punched us all in the gut. This season was TNT2.0 and there was no room for complaining or giving up.

And with that… we did ALL that was demanded of us and gathered together at the end for a gazillion silly pictures!!! No one complained. We all had smiles. We all knew this was not for us but for someone else who probably wasn’t smiling and having to deal with something else much more painful and exhausting.

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A day or two before a triathlon (or marathon) most athletes indulge in a carb0loading feast. Not me… I’ll admit I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago and ate all those things I shouldn’t have eaten. I celebrated my birthday too many times and drank the “demon fluid” on more than just an occasion (granted I never finished a bottle of beer but attempted more times over these last few weeks than I’ve had over the last year!). The day before the tri, I had a half of a nutella sandwich and an apple/chicken salad. Not exactly the ideal nutrition for a triathlete the day before her event.

I did get some good rest later that day. Thank goodness I’ve been supported by WINdetergent because my TNT trisuit reeked from that morning!!! I did my laundry, attached my bib number to my race belt, pinned Sissy’s medalion right next to my bib, laced my new Sauconys with the Yankz that were still in the box from weeks before and set up my morning “zombie” transition area in the kitchen close to the coffee maker.

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I stayed up way too late (midnight) and woke up at 4:00a.m.

STANLEY’S IS HERE!

I’m not gonna lie… I hit snooze.

But I got up, went to the kitchen and began my zombie makeover. Made myself a slice of bread with some peanut butter and folded it up like a taco – Mexican style. 🙂

Everything was set out the night before. So I grabbed it all and chunked it into the backseat of my car. I felt like a two-timing cheater when I grabbed “Neo” and strapped him onto my car’s bike rack. “Mimi” saw the whole thing. I know she felt betrayed. It was all sorts of wrong. A few of you understand what I’m saying.

So I hit the highway to La Joya. I’m not sure what it was… but something made me look at the rearview mirror…. something was wrong and I couldn’t place it. Something was wrong.

I pulled into the entry of Stanley’s course and was met by Joey Williams – my RPM instructor at Gold’s Gym. He wished me well as he oogled my new bike and led me to the parking area. Duran Duran was booming on my speakers… not my normal race day jam but I was adamant about keeping this day a fun, learning experience so it seemed like an appropriately fun jam to open with. As I removed Neo from the bike rack, I leaned him up against the side of my car and it hit me… my saddle sack is GONE!!! It must have fallen off on the drive over! Oh crap! What do I do? Isn’t having a tire repair kit mandatory? I’m not going to be allowed to compete today! Oh God! Oh God! What do I do?

I felt cardiac arrest coming on!

And then all of a sudden I remembered my big box of goodies. I had extras of EVERYTHING in my box…. except a saddle sack. So I grabbed my old marathon fuel belt and stuffed an extra tire tube, inflator and cartridge into it and hoped that this would be sufficient. I took a deep breath and calmed myself down and made my way to get checked in and body marked.

There’s always drama in La Joya for me.

While in line, I checked with the head honchos on whether or not it was allowed to compete without a saddle sack and told them that I would wear my fuel belt with the tire changing kit inside of it. Whew! They were decaffeinated enough to allow me through.

And that’s how my day began.

George, Wally’s master mechanic took one look at Neo’s front tire and snatched him away from me. Attached his tire pump and worked his magic and filled it up with his new and improved super fast tire air.

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I made my way to the edge of the VERY LAST bike rack. (When I’m ready to podium, I’ll get the edge of the first rack closest to the entry – but this one isn’t my race) I set up my transition area carefully. I remembered everything I learned from Coach Sandy and before I knew it, the rookies around me all came by to take note. That’s when it hit me.. I wasn’t nervous.

Yet.

As I turned over my shoulder, I see my fellow team mates hook up their bikes to the rack next to mine. Jeanice gathers us all into a close little circle and leads us in prayer… and ends with “Today we run for Mimi”… and the waterworks begin.

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We go as a group to the pool to check out the scene and the temperature of the water. I was quite surprised to feel that the water was actually very warm! Like almost hot tub warm! Cha-ching! I watched Billy skim through the water as if he was teasing Michael Phelps. It was that easy for him. I didn’t want to ruin my lack of nervousness by jumping in for my warm up and finding something else to worry about so I didn’t do my warm up swim. *Big mistake for anyone else – ALWAYS do a warm up swim if the opportunity is granted.

I escaped into solitary and sat on a bench in the adjacent park. I remembered WHY I was there. Over the last few months, I was taken aback by some people who had shown me their true colors and had accused me of lying about my distances, times and workouts and had further gone so far as to say that my involvement with Team in Training was nothing more than an ego filing journey and was full of myself. So when someone out of the blue told me that he didn’t believe what they were saying and almost apologized for their actions, it was enough for me to know that those who matter know the truth about me and about them and I was right in not wasting my time defending myself. Those people will always talk about others behind their backs. I won’t ever be able to change that about them. I need to worry about what I CAN change. Myself. 🙂

I listened to Donny’s voicemail. I listened to Momma’s. I shed my tears and wiped them away, took a deep breath and did what I needed to do.

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We all got up and gathered around the pool for last minute announcements from Casey (one of the event organizers) and a blessing from Big John. And then we all lined up to begin our swim!!!

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Our swim was based on an honor system of our swim pace but most people just starting out had never timed themselves on a 100m swim so many of them guessed. The problem with that is those who guess themselves to be too slow and are actually faster than what they gave themselves credit for end up slowing themselves down because it expends so much energy to pass a slow swimmer in front of you. Same thing goes for the slow swimmers that go to the front of the line thinking that they’re just that much closer to the finish line. They end up hurting the faster swimmers who have to pass them and they hurt themselves because it hurts their spirit each time another swimmer passes them.

The tough thing for me was that the day before, I swam 1000m at a 2:40 pace. So I lined myself up at a 2:40 pace. I ended up swimming about a 1:40 pace… 20 seconds slower than the woman who won my AG. DOH! Had I placed myself closer to the beginning of the line and not spent so much energy passing other swimmers, I may have had a better time.

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Flashing back to the year before, I remembered and mastered the run from the pool to the transition area. I flipped off my swim cap and goggles like a pro but stumbled TWICE trying to get my flip flops on!!! I’ll never use flip flops again! I spent about 10-15 additional seconds fumbling over my right foot flip flop. The additional comfort along the few feet of asphalt on my feet was NOT worth it especially when you analyze the timings at the end of the race.

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My transition time was already hurt with the flip flop incident so I purposely zoomed through to my bike and with lightening speed got all my gear on for my bike (remember I had to put my running fuel belt on, too, because of the tire changing kit in it!) and slipped my wet feet into my cycling clips and ran to the mount line.

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“Hmmm funny. Last few times I did this, I remember having to make sure I slowed down so I wouldn’t fall because of my clips,” I thought to myself. I passed the mount line and because it was a new bike to me, went off to the side and carefully mounted Neo but couldn’t get my feet clipped in.

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“Oh crap!” and the crowd giggles… they knew it before I did!!! I left my clip covers on my shoes!!!! No wonder!!!

Mr. Wallace comes to my rescue and quickly takes them off and as I shove the covers into my jersey pocket I hear Wally scream out to me “Don’t worry Myssie!!! I won’t tell anyone!!!” I could tell he was dying of laughter. Pinche Wally!

“It’s always an adventure!” I yell back at him and zoom off.

Okay. Okay. I make that first left turn and here we go… wow! It’s like “Neo” (my Cervelo) has a mind of his own and he’ll have nothing to do with that sarcastic voice in my head. We rode this exact same course just a few days prior for the first time ever and he knew exactly what to do and when to do it. It was as if I was just an accessory to him. Going North against the wind was papitas. Going South on Jarachinas with the wind against my back seemed almost like cheating. There was one point where we were on the toughest gear and he wanted to go even faster… but there were no more gears to go to!!! I got so scared of him that I stopped pedaling for a few seconds!!! We were going too fast for me!!!

All of a sudden I remembered the man who was riding a Cervelo at CapTexTri alongside me and cut the corner too fast and never got up again. My freak out session was officially in full blast and just as I arrived on the peak of the last hill I saw it… a crowd of ambulances, police cars and a white van against the fence that kept the wild brush away from the street.

Oh my God! A car must have hit one of the cyclists!

I quickly went over all the competitors that meant so much to me in my head. It seemed like the cars and crowd had already been there for a few minutes… could it have been Billy? He’s so fast and I had seen him go neck to neck with another cyclist (which was an odd occurrence because of his surreal speed). Could the competition have been so tough and their speed have been so fast that they couldn’t slow down in time for that van to avoid them??? Oh God! Please no!!! I immediately slowed down and looped over to see if I could find evidence of a wrecked bike. I recognize people’s bikes faster than I can recognize them in bike gear! Alas, there was no sign of his bike. After a few minutes of rubbernecking and the police shewing me away from the scene I rode on and asked the cross guard at the next corner if someone was hit.

“No, it was a van full of illegals,” he said. (Here’s the story that KRGV did on it. If you watch the video, you can see the cyclists riding in the background http://www.krgv.com/news/2-women-recovering-in-hospital-after-border-patrol-chase/)

“OH THANK GOD!!!” I yelled out.

Last year at Stanley’s Tri, I was almost clipped by a white SUV that picked up about a dozen illegals but there were no cops that interfered with the transport. It was the drama that seemed to always follow me around my adventures in La Joya!

With that, I looked over my shoulder for safe clearance to make the left turn to the high school. Bah! Nothing there.. I took the turn and gathered a little bit of composure again. All that time I spent rubbernecking messed up my time. I have no idea how much time I lost. My head hung as the realization came over me. I saw Javi Cavazos at one of the last corners yelling me on and snapping a pic. I usually smile for my pics… but I was already down and felt it.

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“Ok, what’s done is done. Speed it up Myssie and lets get ready for your run,” my inner voice was in rare form. She was actually a bit nice that day!

Just then Eric zooms by on his bike. Wha???? Where did he come from? There was NO ONE behind me!!!! “It was a lot easier coming back!” he exclaims. And off he went. Just like that.

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George was planted at the last corner waving me down, “Slow down! Slow down!” he yelled. Crap! I forgot to note where the dismount line was… last year, this was the point where I fell! That was my ONE big goal – not to fall especially in front of the crowd there at the finish line!! So I slowed down.. probably too much too soon but I wanted to be careful. I was already unclipped yards before it was necessary. But I didn’t fall. Whew! I made it!!!

And I was super thirsty!!!

I chunked my clips on my transition mat that was autographed by all my TNT teammates in San Antonio/Austin. And in frustration, through away my socks and jammed my bare wet feet again into my Sauconys, ripped off my running fuel belt and snapped my race belt and bib on and took off. Wait! Retreat!!! I need water!!! I’m so so so thirsty!!!

I took a swig from my water bottle on my bike, swished it around my mouth, swallowed a bit and spit out the rest… and off I go!!! Here we go!!!! Run! Run! Run!… ahem… run now. Come on. Run. Not jog. Let’s go.

My legs felt like cement going through three feet of mud. I had spent all my energy on the swim, passing other swimmers, going faster than I had planned and zooming on my bike (until I saw the police) and completely forgot to get water and Gu…  I was spent. I believe the term is BONKED.

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I knew what was going on. I tried my best to keep going but felt my body slowing quickly. I immediately began to pray the rosary for strength. I heard the whole crowd begin to yell my name out to me cheering me on and then it happened… the song that was missing in the morning on the drive over was blaring now… THUNDER… THUNDER… ACDC’s Thunderstruck hit it right as I passed by!!! This is the song that pumps me up more than any other song out there.

So there I went. I turned the corner and my legs were like bricks.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The winds picked up… tremendously. I kept going. I was at a turtle’s pace. It was humiliating!!! I looked at my Garmin. 11:00 minute mile pace!!! Oh you have GOT to be kidding me!!! I was doing 9:50 yesterday without trying!!! Just then the rain came. Seriously!!! Can this get any worse???

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Yes, it could.  The rain was stinging my bare skin. Wait… that was not just rain! That was tiny HAIL!!! I threw my arms out in disbelief and just had to laugh. There was no way I could recover from this torture!!! I think my reaction caused the volunteers to worry about me so one of them ran up to me with a cup full of water. I giggled and thanked them and decided that I simply needed to get it done.  God wanted me to have fun with this and had placed comic relief throughout the entire course for me to be reminded that no matter how hard you plan, no matter how hard you train… always expect the unexpected and never give up.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

I said a full rosary before I hit the finish line.

In need of more comedy? My race bib number was 10. Let me tell you.. I was NO BO DEREK running gracefully on the beach sand that morning!!! I am no perfect TEN. I still have a long ways to go.

But I can guarantee you that those people who cheered me on and waited for me at the finish line won’t leave my side until I’m at least an 8!!!

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And I won’t stop until there is a cure that is affordable and accessible to everyone who has cancer.

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Oh!!! How did I do compared to how I did at last year’s Stanley’s Triathlon?

Here’s what I posted on Facebook shortly afterwards:

Feeling great about Stanley’s! Shaved one full minute and one second from my swim. Shaved ten full minutes from my bike! Added FIVE seconds to my run… wah wah wahhhhh All in all, I went from 1:36:03 last year to 1:25:52 this year. Eleven minutes!!!! Pretty dang proud! Big high fives to all my Team in Training teammates, Maniacs, Cyclepaths and RWC girls that participated in their first TRI, the triathletes who challenged themselves again and all who volunteered and cheered!!! This is what it’s all about.  Today was a great day! And it’s just the beginning!!!

http://youtu.be/-oYYO_nULRY

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You’re not good enough

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2014 by runmyssierun

Sooooo I had an interesting conversation the other day with an extremely experienced super athlete. Honest to God, I truly tried to hold my temper and sarcasm but I know it didn’t take long for my squeaky high pitched voice to mimic that of Karen Walker’s.

“Face it Myssie, you aren’t getting any younger. Your times are not going to get better. If my …. times can’t get better, then yours won’t either.” – I’ll leave their name out of it.

Ok… so maybe I am old. OK… so maybe I’m not a naturally gifted athlete. OK… so maybe my times will never get better.

What in the world makes someone think that it’s ok to squish the hope of someone else just because THEY can’t do it themselves? Their light will not shine any brighter by trying to dim someone else’s. I would NEVER tell someone that they can’t climb a mountain just because I haven’t climbed a mountain.

People like this drive me nuts! Now, I’d like to think that I’m a pretty positive and strong person but if people like this go about their day ranting to anyone gullible enough to believe just one ounce of this shhhhiii….tttuuuffffff, well then no wonder we have so many emotionally damaged people around us!!! Seriously, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all! I really don’t care if it’s true or not. I love the Rotary 4-way test:

1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Taste your words before they leave your lips.

Whether you believe it’s coincidence or another sign from my guardian angels around me.. this was the very first article that was on my Klout (p.s. have you added me as your “influencer” on the subject of triathlon and/or cancer on Klout? – please do) feed this morning when I logged in:

http://games.crossfit.com/article/keeping-fit-69-mirlene-oconnell

She’s older than I am. However, just like me… she signed up for a triathlon before even knowing how to swim! AND SHE DID IT! And so did I! And we’re OLD! She finished last in her age group last year and hopes to improve. I finished 3rd to the last in my age group and I hope to improve.

I’m going to be real… I know I will not podium this Sunday at Stanley’s Triathlon. The age group that I am in have some incredibly seasoned triathletes with surreal times. In fact, the woman who won the entire women’s category was in my age group. I believe in my heart of hearts that my time WILL improve but still will likely not be enough to medal. And, trust me, I’m ok with that. Here’s why…

For the first time in my Team in Training history, I will not be using my “Mimi” – my custom Felt bike. I rode “Neo” – the Cervelo that was donated to me recently – for the first time a few days ago and felt very fast. I rode the course on both bikes and actually felt better in Neo. I will practice mounting and dismounting the bike tomorrow afternoon but even with the practice, let’s be honest… every athlete knows better than to use ANYTHING new right before a race. This is a gamble for me. But I’m also in the mindset that I am using Stanley’s Triathlon as a practice tri for CapTexTri in May. If ever there was an opportunity to see if I can handle Neo under fire, it’s on Sunday.

I am officially one of the "gang" now, eh?  Honored but I'll always prefer the BRC. ;)

I am officially one of the “gang” now, eh? Honored but I’ll always prefer the BRC. 😉

IF I do well, I can guarantee it will be because of the time made up on the bike, the experience and training all this year, and the amazing positive encouragement from my fellow peers who will likely be cheering me on along the streets of the course. IF I don’t do well… it’s because the jerk was right. I’m too old and my time won’t ever get better. I’m not getting any younger afterall.

Ahhhhh but here’s the reality of it all… regardless of the outcome, I will continue to TRY to make myself better. Because what TRULY matters is NOT whether or not I make it onto that podium and it is NOT even about my time getting better, or keeping cadence king or having proper swim form or running chi… it’s about someone who is scared to death right this moment because they just received the news that they have cancer.

I don’t give a damn how old I am… I’m gonna fight for them.

Sarah doesn't care how old I am. She just wants to live a cancer-free life.

Sarah doesn’t care how old I am. She just wants to live a cancer-free life.

These are the Cyclepaths exactly one year ago at our very first triathlon. Only 2 of us in that photo did not participate in that triathlon because we did our first triathlon the very next day. One year later, all but 3 of us pictured there have completed at least a Half-Ironman. We are all one year older... and all their times got better.

These are the Cyclepaths exactly one year ago at our very first triathlon. Only 2 of us in that photo did not participate in that triathlon because we did our first triathlon the very next day. One year later, all but 3 of us pictured here have completed at least a Half-Ironman. We are all one year older… and all their times got better.

Swim test

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2014 by runmyssierun

The test wasn’t in the water… It was in my head. Once again, too much stuff going on in my head. Worrying about things out of my control and things I know I shouldn’t worry about… But I do.

Our regular pool was closed and my sponsor GOLDS GYM was kind enough to let us use their pool for today. Sad to see a fellow triathlete (who was not part of TNT) give me the cold shoulder as a result of team taking up their lanes during their training time.

I actually got up out of my lane and offered it to them so they could swim, and I shared a lane with another teammate and then they LEFT. They left the lane, the pool, their workout…

That’s when it hit me… A text sent to me earlier, moments before my swim by an old friend about how he trains for life… And this was exactly what he meant.

No matter how well I try to better myself, no matter how nice I am and no matter what I offer to do for others… Some people are just mad. Always mad and it has nothing to do with me although they may take it out on me… It’s not me that they’re angry at. I need to train my mind and heart to not get hurt when they do that to me.

So anyway… My swim was ok. I still feel like I’m sinking especially when doing one arm drills. I know this is my weak point. I need to spend more time on this so I can do better.

But cycling is so much more FUN!!!!

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