Archive for the health & fitness Category

How long does it take for you to get ready for a special event?

Posted in before and after, diet, fashion, health & fitness, training for my first half ironman, weightloss with tags on March 28, 2019 by runmyssierun

When you wake up in the morning and you get dressed for school or work, how long does it take for you to get ready? 5 minutes? 10-20 minutes? An hour? More?

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When you get ready for a special event, do you take a little longer? If so, how much more time?

On a regular day, it takes me about 12 minutes to get ready. But this special day I’m writing about today was an exception. I took a really long time. I mean a REALLY long time… six months and 40 minutes. It took 40 minutes to do my make up and hair… six months for the rest of this stuff …

My life seems to be a series of befores and afters. If you think about it, yours probably is, too! Life before Duran Duran. Life after. Life before your first kiss. Life after. Life before marriage and life after. Life before kiddos… and yeah, well, you get the point… so my crazy journey has taken me through life before running marathons and life after… what I can say about the after is that it sure is stressful, lonely, and makes you pay really close attention to how much you appreciate stretchy pants when you stop working out like a beast!!!

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There’s no nice way to say it so I’ll just put it out there.. I got fat. I got out of shape fast. I got humiliated, intimidated and ate my emotions in carbs. I got busy in my work and got to spend my time tending to the things I hadn’t been able to focus on while training (which wasn’t a bad thing). But let’s be honest, there’s a LOT of judgmental people out there that don’t see what goes on in real life and love to gossip about any little thing they can… and I made it easy for them with my weight gain. *Dont worry, I’m totally ok about it. Spoiler alert: I end up on the good side of the happy ending of this story.

Myssie Cardenas-Barajas at heaviest weight

Me at my heaviest. I weighed more here than when I was pregnant with my 2nd son and more than my husband’s heaviest weight. I know it’s a loose fitting dress but I admit I used one of those photoshop tools to knock off a few inches from the side and still you can tell I’m more than just big boned. I hid behind fashion, used high heels to give the illusion of length and always cropped or stood behind someone (or something) in photos. This one is probably the most revealing and it was because someone not knowing what my insecurities were posted it on social media before I could knock it down.

Soooo long story longer… my eldest son joined the Navy, served, deployed and came back with news that he was marrying his high school sweetheart. He gave me notice but not an actual date for a while because well, the military tends to complicate any plans that a civilian likes to make with a handsome soldier. But he did hint that it would likely be Spring of 2019.

So I took a really good honest look at myself… and asked that dreaded question: “Will I embarrass him and my new daughter in law?”

I took out my wedding album and looked at my mom. She was elegant and understated. Like in the play/movie “Steel Magnolias”, my colors were blush and bashful and my bridesmaids wore design replicas of the famous Audrey Hepburn black gown but in pink silk but my mother wore a tea length dusty rose chemise sheath with cap sleeves and mother of pearl beading at the top. It was an off the rack dress she found at Dillard’s and she embellished the top by hand beading the pearls from her grandmother’s wedding dress onto hers. In hindsight, she must have taken a lot of thought, effort and time to be considerate of how she wanted to appear, be meaningful and still be herself, the mother of the bride. I say this a lot… she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She could have easily upstaged the bride that day and every day.

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So I thought long and hard about what to wear and how to create my look with the same respect and tradition that my mother gave me on my day.

One year out: Get information on wedding theme and ask which color the bride would like me to wear. It was FIESTA themed!!! Love it!! And y’all clearly know how I feel about ORANGE which totally fits into the color theme!!! I was a former Duchess of Orange for Queen Citrianna and remember how my coronation gown stood out on stage… and how difficult it was to find elegant orange colored accessories to create the gown. It is such an uncommon color to use for a formal occasion and, therefor, an even larger rarity to find on the rack. Her sister (Maid of Honor) was wearing blue and her mother was wearing pink and her bridesmaids were in a purple… leaving me with yellow or green. So, green it is!

Six months out:  After taking an honest look at my body and realizing how much weight I had gained, I need to find a design that would hide my flaws, accentuate my assets, be elegant, timeless, understated and affordable. My experience in pageantry in the 80’s was in large part a result of my desire to become a designer. Believe it or not, I was actually pretty good at it. The moment I saw my dress, I knew that was it. Unfortunately, when I saw it at the store, I had been between properties cleaning them up and getting them ready for a weekend showing (this Realtor does it all, including maid services!) and consequently made an appearance that didn’t quite fit the stereotypical high end evening gown customer. So when I asked if the gown could be special ordered in green by March of 2019, the store clerk “Pretty Womaned” me…

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I picked up my pride and packed on my determination and found a seamstress who could make it for me exactly the way I wanted it. It had no beading or lace, didn’t plunge for attention to flaunt cleavage, covered my flabby arms with slimming three quarter sleeves, had a full skirt to hide my hips that were way out of control and best of all, it had pockets!!!! Because, well, pockets are just awesome!!! It was an elegant and understated shirt dress that Carolina Herrera was notorious for wearing herself at galas.

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Jackie O inspired Carolina Herrera and both of these classy women inspire me. They are my ultimate style icons.

But if I could do anything about my weight, I realized it would have to take a long time because there was a lot — no a whole hell of a lot – of work to be done and one month of dieting wouldn’t have made a difference. I needed to get serious… not just for vanity sake but because my health habits were spiraling out of control and quickly becoming serious issues. I joined our local Medi Weightloss clinic and got myself on a program designed just for me and my goals. BEST DECISION EVER!!!  So, let’s back up here… six months before a March 2019 wedding places me in November. That’s Thanksgiving! How in the world does someone DIET during Thanksgiving?!?!? Whoa! And then Christmas??? And New Years??? And went to Disney, too?!?!? Are you kidding me??? Most people binge during the holidays and won’t even consider thinking about weight-loss at this time. Ahhhhhh but you already know I am not like most people. I was so proud of my son and wanted him to be proud of me, too. The last thing I wanted to do was to ruin his wedding pictures with a flabbalanch mom in wedding pictures that would be looked at for years, decades, forever to come!!! I was determined. Not just for me, but for everyone and my health and all of our futures together. This was huge.

I still have a very active pageant girl inside of me. Along with making the decision to lose weight, I also made the decision to grow out my hair, take care of my skin and let my nails breathe. My very first half marathon running mentor with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program was Dr. Belinda Jordan. Although neither of us were training for any marathons these last few months, we continued to meet with each other for business reasons. She opened up her own medical clinic that included Botox services. Now, I’m not one to Botox. Let’s be honest, cutting bangs and snapchat filters are so much cheaper and hide those pesky wrinkles just as well and that extra money can help buy triathlon gear!!! But I think this event would be an exception. I didn’t say a peep to anyone about it until now. I got Botox… just between the eyes to get rid of my “elevens”. Good move, I think. Not sure if I’ll keep it up because I’m so pinche and I’m eager to get back into triathlon. I grew out my bangs and side swept them and my top layers all grew out to the length of my bottom layers and then chopped everything off for a fresh healthy styling three days before the wedding after a good long late night counseling session with my old pageant coach and stylist, Albert Alaniz (who used to style several Miss Texas USAs, Miss USAs and Miss Universe!)  Four days prior to the wedding, I showed the ultimate judge my ideas for my hair that Albert and I discussed and had my husband decide which style to wear. He said,”Wear your hair the way you did on our wedding day. That way is my favorite.” (Insert big sigh and the audience AWWWWWW!)  And I constantly flipped through Pinterest late at night going through nail styles… also looking for something elegant and with the intention that if Jackie O wouldn’t wear those nails, I wouldn’t either. I decided on an Hombre French manicure, classic with a modern twist.

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So on the big day, My plan was set. I had lost 36 pounds and 5 inches from my waist. I had the perfect dress. I had practiced doing my hair and make up days before and had my nails done the day before. It took me 40 minutes to get it all done. Six months and 40 minutes, a bunch of determination and a whole lot of planning to get dressed for my son’s wedding.

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It took me six months to go from never running a mile to completing my first marathon.

It took me six months to go from marathons to triathlon, including learning how to swim.

My point is no matter where you are in life, if you see a challenge but envision a result that lights a fire within you… give yourself the opportunity and determination to get it. Six months can do it. Depending on the challenge/goal, you may not realistically achieve it but I’ll guarantee you that it will definitely get you into the right mindset, pathway and further than you probably ever imagined. Plan it and make the decision and don’t ever take NO as an answer… especially from yourself. Where will you be in six months?

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Although the before photo was taken way before the 6 month example, I must tell you that THIS was not even close to how large I was in October/November of 2018. Also, in this “after” picture, it was the last meeting of the day and I was swimming in my size 8 suit and was wearing Monica’s flats because my feet were blistered up from the heels I was wearing all day and resulted in my pants bunching up and looking wider here. But the real difference is that I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER NOW. 🙂 

Buy this! Do that! Subscribe here! Don’t eat that! And other expensive extreme stuff that doesn’t work…

Posted in come back, health & fitness, Mom, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2018 by runmyssierun

“You need to eat low carb and high protein. Lots of meat!”

“No, you need to stop killing animals. Go vegan. Eat fruits and berries and vegetables and you’ll be fit naturally.”

“No, all you need is this meal replacement shake that you can buy from me.”

Everywhere I turn, there seems to be people who tell me how I’m supposed to be doing things… and yet, here I am… still.

I remember growing up watching my mom drinking tab and being on the grapefruit diet. I’m guilty of buying a Shake Weight, thigh master and some ridiculous balance thingamajig that a couple of fellow Realtors® convinced me to get with them – and never used.

I remember my husband’s grandmother eating a full box of chocolate exlax every other night and being surrounded by a bunch of beauty queens with other notorious eating disorders that seemed oddly ordinary at the time. In my house, there was a full set of Gilad, Jane Fonda, Buns of Steel and Cindy Crawford on betamax tapes.

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I pay an $80 monthly membership for my husband’s jujitsu gym that he went to a couple of time about 7 months ago. Also pay for a monthly membership for us to go to another gym and now pay extra for spin classes that I can get free with my monthly gym membership at the other place. I’ve paid for medical weightloss programs like HCG and tried every diet known to mankind like keto, adkins, paleo, bone broth, vegan, vegetarian, fasting, juicing, eating five servings of air a day, etc…. only to find that my triglycerides go through the roof, extremities swell up like the elephant man and end up gaining more weight than when I started the silly diet! I’ve tried to melt off pounds with saunas, hot yoga and trashbag looking sweat suits and even tried to freeze off love handles with cryotherapy (although cryo is really good for other things and muscle recoop that I love and saunas for simple peace) and continue to remain the flabalanche that I am.  I’ve hesitantly bought into programs where if I just drink this shake, I can magically melt off the pounds…. really just look at these before and after pictures of one of their clients yada yada yada. And have now had the horrible thought go through my head where I’ve reduced myself to giving up and thinking if I just go get a mommy make over now, could I possibly have enough time to recover and be perfect for my son’s wedding pictures? Every possible option has been entertained, hesitantly entered, jumped in head first 100% and still failed miserably.

Thousands of dollars spent and hundreds of pounds lost and gained and lost again and gained back… I’ve come to the conclusion that health and fitness is NOT a one size fits all solution. Until I did things the old fashioned way – the hard way – the long way – and even then, got hurt and have found myself starting over.

Each one of our bodies are different from the other and so are our genetics, our good habits, bad habits, every day physical behaviors, customs and beliefs. To get sucker punched hard enough to think that there is one magic pill, shake or exercise and diet program that can conquer this multifaceted dilemma is seriously far fetched.

What I write about in this blog is what my own personal family history, upbringing, genetics and experiences have brought me. It may NOT fit you. If you have just started reading this blog, go to the search box and type in “How it all started” and read the entries in chronological order, How It All Started I, How It All Started II and How It All Started III.

I’ve learned through the course of all this time, expense and great lessons is simple:

  1. Make better food choices: If God didn’t make it naturally, don’t eat it. If you ate something you aren’t supposed to and/or too much of it, just get up and get yourself back onto the band wagon and start over. We all fall down some time.
  2. Move: do something you like to do so it’s not such a downer chore. Gardening, Zumba, Soccer, Marathons, Triathlons, Hiking, Roller Blading, Walking, Crossfit, nigh club dancing… whatevs… just do something and do it consistently.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others or yourself from way back when: I have ONE nemesis, 22 year old Myssie.   You remember that girl, the one who ate pizza and nachos and cheese puffs and still had the body to die for? Ugh! I hate that girl!!!!

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Simple huh?

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Yeah right. I’m still and will always be a work in progress. Always seeking out something fun to keep me active, and open to new ideas… yeah, even a shake weight. I do good on the food choices… MOST of the time and other times, eh, not so good.

I work – a lot. It’s not an excuse. It’s my personal priority at this moment. Yes, there IS a difference. I am a mom. It’s not an excuse. It’s a priority and although I’m not having to deal with changing diapers and lack of sleep like a new mom, I do deal with the stress of having a son being deployed, not knowing where he is, what he’s doing, if he’s healthy, hurt, etc… and another son who is a teenager in that stage where he is going through some of life’s most difficult challenges. I’m still a mom. It is my priority. I am also a wife. It’s not an excuse. It is a priority. His job is dangerous – like REALLY dangerous. I stress out about that, too. And equally dangerous is the temptation of countless other women who throw themselves at him in hopes that he gives them the life they see us have. It’s an endless, daily struggle balancing, prioritizing, executing, conquering, failing and doing it all over again day after day. I’m a stress eater… see where I’m going with this???

Get to know yourself, what sets you off, what is the root cause of your unhealthy behaviors and find solutions that work for you to chip away little by little to make yourself better each day.

If I sound like you… a working woman, midlife, tons of stress seeking ways to live a longer, healthier, happier life, follow/join me. Let’s try to help each other out. No subscription, no monthly payment, no book to buy, no club to join, no magic powder to put in your meal replacement shake. This is me. Just me. Wanting to help you. All of you. In hopes that in the end, we just all help each other help each other.

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How Marathons & Triathlons helped me in business

Posted in cycling, half ironman, health & fitness, ironman, Running, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2018 by runmyssierun

 

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  1. Stay in your lane: It doesn’t matter what the person next to you is doing. Focus on what YOU are doing. Your goal is different from theirs. Your journey to that goal is different from theirs. Focus on your goal. Stay in your lane.
  2. The hard work you put in on weekends shows: It also shows if you DON’T put in your hard work. In marathon training, this is when you schedule your “long run” and in triathlon training, this is when you schedule your “long ride”. In business, as a new entrepreneur, this is when you do most of your hard work. Yes, it’s hard. Suck it up buttercup. The finish line isn’t during training. If you finish during training… it’s called quitting. Winners don’t quit. And if you’re reading this… you’re no quitter.
  3. We all have our own reasons to be in the race: Our reasons are usually all extremely personal and not one of us has the right to judge the other on why we chose to enter the race (or the rat race of business), why we want to be there and why we chose our goal. Bottom line is that we’re all in this race together. Like it or not, some of us will DNF, some will finish, some will meet our goals, some will not, some will get the award and still feel unfulfilled and some won’t get the award and still feel accomplished. We’re all in this together.
  4. Pace yourself: There’s nothing more defeating than burn out.
  5. Nutrition and rest: A healthy mind, spirit and body is essential to any high functioning human being with a grand goal. Feed your body and mind with nothing but the good stuff. Show it respect for all the hard work it is producing. And let yourself rest correctly – that means no distractions. Meditation, prayer, sleep, all of it. REGULARLY.
  6. Surround yourself with experienced successful people: It is a known fact that humans become like the 5 people they are most around. Success breeds success because we pick up the good habits, mentality and determination from those around us. If we surround ourselves with those who complain and gossip a lot, then we tend to complain and gossip a lot. But it we surround our selves with people who continuously succeed, encourage and mentor, then we become like them, too.
  7. Surround yourself with newbies: Its very easy to take your journey towards success for granted so it’s important to keep humility a priority. Never let pride and ego take control. There is a force much larger than any of us that will quickly knock you to your knees. Never forget why you started. Share your experience and mentor those at the starting block and never forget that feeling of excitement, fear and joy as the newbie in this journey of yours!
  8. Listen to your coach: Just do what they tell you to do. You can have reasons (excuses) or results. The choice is yours. I recommend from the get go, just do what your coach tells you to do. If you question your coach, question it from an educational standpoint and not one of rebellion because you think you know better.
  9. There’s always another finish line in the midst: If you are an athlete or an entrepreneur or both, then you’ll understand that even when you reach one goal, there’s always another bigger, better goal shortly after that one. If you’re in sales and you get awarded for most sales in the quarter, I’ll bet your manager will raise that goal by x% next year and if you meet it, it’ll get raised again even higher. If you finished a 5k this past Spring at a sub :25, you’re probably making a going to shoot for a sub :20 next time or shoot for 10k in the Fall. There’s always always always a bigger goal and another finish line.
  10. Be grateful: This is probably the most important lesson because if you look around you, you’ll quickly understand that there are a lot of people who wish they could do what you do, have the opportunities that you have, have the determination you do. You are blessed. Don’t ever take that for granted.

It’s not easy. There will always be obstacles. Trust in your training. Now, get to work.

Body, Mind & Soul…the REAL Triathlon workout

Posted in ACTS, cancer, half ironman, health & fitness, ironman, Mom, rgv, rio grande valley, Running, team in training, texas, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2017 by runmyssierun

I started this blog to share candid experiences of my personal journey with cancer and how I used marathons and triathlons as my soap box for awareness and a toolbox for fundraising. What I didn’t expect coming was the impact both would have inside of me… my soul.

So let’s talk first about FAILURE. Sure I entered my first marathon thinking that if I could show God how much I was sacrificing and how hard I was pushing myself to run TWENTY SIX POINT TWO miles that He would spare my Momma’s life and cure her cancer and all would be back to normal. Well, that didn’t work out the way I planned, huh?

Three full marathons, seven half marathons, thirteen triathlons, lost count of all the 5ks and 10ks and still… three DNFs

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I was made fun of. I could have stayed quiet about it all and avoided the whole thing and the humiliation that came with it but I gave myself rules from the beginning and I did my best to stick to them:

No complaining. I had no right since I knew Momma had gone through so much – cancer treatment, surgeries, expenses, the loss of her sister and the loss of her only son. I had no right to complain.

Momma and her crown before her surgery

Be vulnerable and honest. If I was going to put it out there, I was going to go all out so that others could connect, understand, share, help and get the conversation and ultimately the movement of human compassion started.

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Never ever give up. This was the most difficult. Since I was never an athlete, it was hard for me to gauge the difference between soreness and injury. Not allowing myself to heal correctly and pushing myself because of my determination was the perfect combination for muscle injury.  When all the progress I made was thrown out the window because of my stubborn stupidity, it was humiliating and humbling to find myself right back at square one… overweight and out of shape.

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Oh but not all was failure. I did something pretty amazing. I did something that so many people never thought I could do… including myself. I accomplished physical feats that few attempt because of fear of failure. I accomplished getting a community to give of themselves for others so that a dollar here and a thousand dollars there could help someone in need… and we never even had to know who that person was. It was only important that they got a chance to live longer, happier, and healthier even if just for a moment. I accomplished a conversation that continues today… and important one. One that changed the way we treat, cure and charge for those services. I was a part of it. I did not sit on the sidelines of life. I was a part of this movement. It was just a little bit but it was MY bit and although it may not have been much, it gave me purpose, helped others and showed my children the example that my mother showed me.

 

The entire journey, I referenced God and angels and miracles and “signs” on a daily basis but something was missing. A connection was still missing… no no no… correction…

The connection was always there… I was just too blind to see it.

I knew what I needed to do. I always knew. I think all of you did, too. So this weekend it happened.

I attended the same retreat that my mother attended that set her soul on fire and strengthened her faith like no other I’ve ever met. That hand sign I throw at races was the hand sign she threw at me when she returned from her retreat. It means “I love you” in American sign language. It was an ACTS retreat and although I didn’t not attend it at the Shrine the way she did, I was able to attend it at my home church with the Priest that raised me and 71 other women whom were all strangely and purposefully meant to be with me this weekend.

Crossing the finish line of my first full marathon, witnessing my son graduate and choose to serve his country, giving birth, marrying the love of my life, winning my first crown, experiencing my first kiss… these life moments now have a new addition to my collection of favorite life memories. ACTS is officially a part of this collection.

The journey that this blog is based on began in 2011. But this week marks my true beginning. I now have all three “sports” in my line up and fully intend to workout each – MIND BODY & SOUL – to become the ultimate triathlete, the one He always intended for me to become.

And now, most importantly of all… I have mentioned “I” a whole bunch in this post. None of it was done alone by just “I”.  From the very, very beginning there was my FAMILY, there was our team of DOCTORS AND MEDICAL STAFF, there was TEAM IN TRAINING and THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY and THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, there was the incredibly long list of SPONSORS, DONORS and VOLUNTEERS, there were numerous RUN GROUPS, COACHES, and TEAMMATES, CO-WORKERS, and seriously freaking awesome FRIENDS who joined me, there were my SONS and my HUSBAND and my FATHER who joined me in training or 5ks or followed me at my 2nd full marathon or helped throw orange paint at the Color Dash, and then there were 71 SISTERS IN CHRIST and HIM who never left my side… ever.

I’ve said it from the beginning… this was never just about me. This has always been about something much bigger… way bigger than just me.

As each phase in this journey has evolved, peaked and molded my life, I have seen the world of cancer change, my personal health change and that of my community, too, and ultimately the love of my family, friends and yes, my spirituality change immensely.

And for all of this… I thank you. So here I go again…a little quieter, a bit more purposeful and a whole lot stronger.  I invite you to join me if you are also ready to get over that fear, too.

 

 

Unqualified Criticisms

Posted in health & fitness, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2017 by runmyssierun

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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

The above was posted by a friend who had endured personal defeat. Along with that, they endured immediate criticism, both constructive and destructive. From the novice eye, the two types of criticisms seemed similar in nature, however, the intent was worlds apart and could be understood by those few who could truly see.

If you find yourself in a similar situation… and many of you readers are success seekers and with great success come a great number of failures… you may likely encounter the unqualified criticisms from those who have no clue what you’ve been through and what it takes to get to where you want to be. I hope you learn a lesson from my friend who posted this above and I hope you learn it sooner than the forty plus years it took for me to learn!

Learn from those who have been there and done that before you. It is likely that they made similar mistakes along the way to their own success. Humbly accept their advice.

Ignore the squawks from the others who have never treaded near the journey you have. The envy they have of how far you have come is indicative of how quickly they gave up on their own journey.

CapTexTri Ambassador

Posted in austin, health & fitness, team in training, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training, triflare, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2017 by runmyssierun

Are you planning to compete at CapTexTri??? Me, too!!! It’s become one of my favorite triathlons of the year. Although lately the weather seems to have played games with the annual event held every Memorial day weekend (May 29, 2017) – the last weekend in May in Austin, it’s still where the most fascinating triathletes of the nation and world meet to have fun and enjoy the tri-sport.

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This is my third year being chosen as an ambassador of the organization and it is one of the most humbling and honorable titles I could ever imagine holding. Ten years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you were to tell me this honor would be bestowed upon me. But swimming, cycling and running changed my life… it SAVED my life. And I hope it changes and saves countless others, too.

Cryotherapy is so hot!!!

Posted in half ironman, health & fitness, ironman, rio grande valley, training for my first half ironman, triathlon training with tags , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2017 by runmyssierun

In my adventure towards finding a way to keep challenging my body physically and mentally via marathons and triathlons while staying healthy, I was introduced to cryotherapy. Not going to lie… I like my hot tropical South Texas and was scared about the thought of standing in an ice cold chamber with temperatures of -145 degrees!!! FOR THREE MINUTES!!!

But I did… and it was freaking awesome!!!

My husband is training for his first ultra run: a twenty-two hour weighted ruck “walk”. He’s specatated at one of my marathons and one of my sprint tris. He’s never even done a 5k with me!! And he decides to do an Ultra for his first event!!! Do I doubt his abilities? Absolutely not!!! That man is a beast and can do anything he sets his mind to.

So when our friends decided to open up a cryotherapy business, they asked us to check it out and see what we thought about it. I eagerly watched my hubby to see what his reaction would be…

I was first to enter the chamber. They asked what music I wanted to hear while freezing; “Rage Against the Machine please”, I said. My small group of friends sort of didn’t expect that and it showed on their faces… and I think they also expected me to turn into a whacked out ice cube.

I did ok.

Hubby went in twice!!!

He had just finished a long run the day before so his body was perfectly worn out for cryotherapy. Add to this, he has always had serious problems trying to get solid sleep. What I witnessed was a husband who became a completely different person.

He’s gone back every day since!!!

I used to dunk myself in a tub of ice cubes after a tough workout. I don’t think I’ll be doing that any more 😀


And y’all know that I believe if someone else says it better than I do, I just let them say it. These are the words from one of my other girl friends that did this with me that night just so you know it’s not just me saying it.

Let me just start by saying that the subzero -145° experience isn’t as scary as you would think!!! I’m naturally prone to being cold… ALL THE TIME. I have a space heater in my office which I use regularly to get my office to 78°. I’m happiest when HOT, what can I say. So when our friends invited us to try their new machine, I was honestly terrified.
But thanks to them, McAllen now has the very best, top-of-the-line cryotherapy unit. You may have seen those pods that you stick your body in and the head is exposed. Those use a mixture of nitrogen/oxygen. The mix must be perfect or you can pass out from lack of oxygen. THIS ONE DOESN’T HAVE NITROGEN IN THE CHAMBER!!! The reason they chose this system? It’s safer. Safer is better!
So what can you expect? The cooling chamber is about the size of a walk-in shower. You walk in. The glass door isn’t locked. You can walk out anytime you want, but the idea is to persevere thru 2 min to 3 min in -145°. How long really depends on your body. The goal is to drop your surface temperature by a certain amount. They will start most people on 2:30. They’ll measure your temperature before and after and will adjust future sessions as needed. You can safely get one session per day.
After your temperature is taken you put on a cozy hat and/or ear muffs (I used both… once again, I no like cold). They provide warm wool mittens and long socks (but I recommend you take you own socks, perhaps a couple pair). Warm fuzzy slippers and a surgical mask are also provided. The machine works regardless of clothing, but light fabric is recommended. I had a light short sleeve sport shirt and workout yoga pants. The more skin that is exposed the faster it works. Obviously you’re going to want to cover certain parts. I’m sure the staff is very professional, but I don’t expect they need to see your nakedness.
The next step is critical! PAY ATTENTION!! There are speakers in the chamber which play YOUR music. Three minutes goes by A LOT faster if you have good music to dance to. Pick your song ahead of time and they’ll plug in your phone!!!
So once everything is ready you walk in while a trained attendant supervises. The door opens and a blast of cold air comes out. Immediately, the chamber fogs up and the temperature raises to about -115°. After you close the door the temperature re-stabilizes and will quickly drop. Until then you’re in a fog and it’s hard to see out (just think of the freezer department at HEB when you go grab your popsicles and how the glass fogs up… only it’s about three times colder and YOU are on the other side). But your music is blasting thru and in no time you’re in the zone!!
I had them set my time for 2:30 and I have to say it went by in a flash. Not once did I feel like time was dragging, but the music really made the difference I’m sure. Strangely, I didn’t shiver like I thought I would. I do recommend you breath in/out of your nose though. Humidity will escape your mouth faster and will create snowflakes in the air. Ultimately, you WILL have snowflakes on your eyelashes, hair, clothes. They’ll disappear the instant you walk out.
Upon exit is when your body is at its peak to burn calories. A recumbent bike and stretching bars are currently available (more machines to come) to help get your heart rate up and take advantage of the boost within your core to warm up the body. Now, I’m not prone to sweating. I’m guessing it has to do with the fact that I like it hot and since sweat is the body’s reaction to cool you off, my body doesn’t feel the need to cool me off most of the time. But after 4 minutes on the recumbent bike I was breaking a sweat. After 7 minutes beads were rolling down my back.
In all, allot about 15 minutes for the entire session. 2-3 minutes getting prepped. 2-3 minutes in the chamber. 8-10 minutes of exercise.
Athletes have long since known of the vast benefits of cold therapy. I’m not going to go into them all but it helps reduce inflammation, promotes cell regeneration, helps with sore muscles and muscle recovery, improves skin tone, alleviates chronic pain, oh and they say your body burns 500-800 calories (if you take advantage of post-session cardio). Plus it’s a beast of an adrenaline rush!
I’m so very excited for this new venture for Rosendo and Dora Almaraz, and Steven and Summer Barrera Garcia. Steven and Summer have long since been involved in the local fitness industry and are dedicated and knowledgeable in helping people on the road to having healthier and stronger bodies. They have a long way to go with me, but I’ll get there one day. Rosendo is a local attorney, and he and Dora have traveled the world searching for remedies for his chronic back pain. His cryotherapy sessions allow him to sleep in comfort. I always say a business will thrive when the owners have their heart and soul in it. This isn’t about making money for them. They’re successful business men and women already. This is about fulfilling a need and I wholehearted support their endeavor. Godspeed Cold-Fit! – Irene Thompson

#coldfit #cryotherapy #justtryit

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