Archive for erica womeldorf

Don’t Stop Believing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by runmyssierun

So remember that busy week I was telling you about a few posts ago??? Yep, it happened!

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Fabulous fixie with orange wheels donated by Wally's Bike Shop for our auction!!!

Fabulous fixie with orange wheels donated by Wally’s Bike Shop for our auction!!!

We hosted a fabulous mixer at Cimarron Country Club last Thursday. Auctioned off a wicked awesome fixie donated by my trusty and generous bicycle guru, Wally’s Bike Shop, and some ticket concerts to a great show coming up and honored a great local gastro doctor who jumped on board to help with the cause.  RGV CAP board members even jumped in on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!!!

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Friday was packet pick up.

And Saturday was our RGV CAP 10k race!!!

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Monies generated from these events go to Rio Grande Valley residents who are at high risk of colon cancer and are unable to afford a colonoscopy. Since colon cancer is one of the MOST curable cancers if found in it’s early stages, many understand and empathize with the passion we have to this cause and supported it with all that they could. I’m so grateful for the amount of support we have received!!!!

Oh how I wish Momma would have found her cancer in an earlier stage.

But I know.. I know..

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This was peak week for my training and I’m pretty pleased. I’ve swam more than I ever have and feel very comfortable at the pace that I’m at and my form seems to be improving each time I practice – thanks to Coach W’s drills every Wednesday.  I still wish I didn’t have my crazy reactions in the ocean water but am reassured that Town Lake in Austin won’t make me swell up like that with the ictchies or wheezies. My running was probably the sport that I needed the MOST improvement in. It sure is humbling to see me go from where I was to where I am now. But again, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. So long as I am moving forward, I know I’ll get there. I’m feeling healthy and strong and mentally… I’ve put that sarcastic, doubting voice in my head securely in place… with some duct tape 😉

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I sure miss riding my bike as often as I did. But I had to work on my weaknesses. Cycling to me is FUN so I know that on game day, I won’t be riding with my legs, I’ll be riding with my heart. As I should be.

Getting over my personal disappointment on my swim at CapTexTri will be an adventure. But I’m confident I’ll beat my demons. Lets watch and see!!! My story is yet unwritten and only me and my coach have my goals.

Self improvement has lessons every day and on various subjects.

I am a forever student.

I am still quite a distance from my finish line.

 

 

 

Namaste

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2014 by runmyssierun

For two and a half years, I have been under the guidance of several different coaches. Each of them unique in their teachings but all similar in their connection with me and my goal. Another similarity was that every week, they always sent me an email of the week’s workout and a short snippit of advice on how to keep myself centered and focused while my workouts and life tend to wreak havoc on everything I had planned.

Another similarity? Every single one of my coaches have referenced the use of yoga as a foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

I had a good little history of yoga and incorporate many of the poses and stretches into my workouts. I first started practicing yoga when I was desperately trying to keep my miracle baby. I completely changed my lifestyle, my eating habits and my mental state. However, there have been many years since then and I haven’t done a good job of keep up with my yoga until just recently.

Many people don’t know this about me but I had five miscarriages in between the birth of my first born and my second child. There are seven years between them. And a lot of tears, self blame and heart break.

It was during my last pregnancy – through desperation – that I went completely vegan and incorporated yoga into my life. And I had a very healthy, happy, handsome baby boy. 🙂  In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that because I was able to focus my positive energies on my pregnancy and keep myself clear of worry that I was able to reduce the stress that had harmed me before.

For this reason, I felt an immediate connection with this last week’s email from Coach W and her reference to an “ocean of Love and Mercy” while using visualization techniques in yoga.

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I’m not quite sure why but there are still a lot of people who think yoga is religious… ok ok… I’ll just come out and say it.. some people that are very good friends of mine believe that yoga is anti-Catholic (There is a difference between spiritualism and religion but I dare not go there with them). For that reason, I understand why some other people around me are a bit skiddish to tout about the benefits of yoga.

What yoga does for me:

Stretching – the deep stretches that I get from yoga are far beyond what I saw on Jane Fonda’s exercise video tapes in the 80’s or Olivia Newton John’s music video.  Because of my cycling and leaning over into aero position for long periods of time, I tend to favor this pose…

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It’s also super great to do about 3:00 in the afternoon when you’ve been at your desk all day with a tough assignment.

Focus – yoga requires me to be in tune with my breathing and the way that my body reacts to each pose. I must pay attention to every single detail. I tend to keep my eyes closed during many of the poses and when my eyes close… I dream… BIG. And that’s usually when the big picture comes back to me.

Strength – When I was pregnant with my miracle baby, I guess I coerced hubby into doing yoga with me thinking that it would be a bonding moment for us. I underestimated his competitive spirit when I saw that he had to reach farther, stretch further, bow lower, etc than I was. He ended up having surgery as a result of the injury he gave himself for that. *This is part of my reasoning for distancing myself from uber competitive people.  I’ve never considered myself strong with a six pack… but when I do yoga, I immediately feel my core engaged, my posture is better… I feel taller, stronger, confident.

Peace – every now and then, I get too wrapped up in the drama of the world around me. Worrying is such wasted energy. An hour of yoga with meditation is honestly all it takes to rejuvenate my inner spirit.

so with that… I’ll share her wisdom with you now

Just like ocean waves come and go; you are releasing yourself from the situation in hopes that if it comes back around again, hopefully you can see another side to it and grow from it

Want to know more about Coach W? Click here to see her videos and follow her blog. We are mid season into her Triathlon training group but if you ask now, you may be lucky enough to get into her next class. https://www.facebook.com/fitfreakslikeyou

And remember that I have had another great coach, too!!! She’s a maniac 😉

Here’s some info about Coach Sandy’s triathlon training team. http://www.lifestyle-fitness.org/

Both have facebook’s and websites with more information.

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As someone who is dealing with cancer, a caretaker of a loved one dealing with cancer, an athlete trying to find balance between training and civilian life… or just any ordinary extraordinary human being, yoga teaches us to be still and listen to our body and what it’s telling us. It is so easy to be consumed by worry, stress, problems, bills, our job, our “what ifs”. We forget to live in the now and see the gifts that we have in the palm of our hands right now, this very moment. And if we don’t watch it, we’ll take those gifts for granted and they’ll vanish without much notice. Taking a few minutes out of your day to develop a yoga habit will not only make you develop flexibility, strength and agility… it also allows you to find inner peace and happiness and gratitude.

 

 

Play by play of BISD’s Everyone Can TRI

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by runmyssierun

You don’t just wake up one morning and tell yourself… “ehhhh I think I’m going to do a triathlon today.” You are either inspired to do one by watching the phenomenal results of someone you admire, are injured from another sport and through cross-training have decided to do one, are coerced, double dog dared or bullied into doing one, used to be an athlete at one time and have challenged yourself into becoming that person again, never have been an athlete and are now working on your bucket list, thought that this would be an interesting way to lose weight and get in shape or realized that this is connected to a cause that you are personally passionate about.

Clearly I have chosen the latter and least used… well, up until now.

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Yesterday, 15 members and even our coach of the Team in Training RGV TriTeam competed in the BISD’s Everyone Can Tri as a practice event to better ready us for the Capital of Texas Triathlon the last weekend in May. This would be my 5th triathlon in 13 months but for my teammates, it would for many of them be their first or second.

We all showed up early and set up our transition areas as close to each other as possible. A few of the girls had asked me to french braid their long hair like mine so that we can go from event to event without having to worry about ponytails whipping around or buns falling. Lucky for me and my cupid nature, I had fixed up my bike guru with my fellow Nike Women’s marathoner and CAP5k founder and convinced one to enter so the other followed. While I was inside the aquatic center french braiding her hair, he examined my bike and found that it had a flat back tire!!! Honestly, I don’t know how that could have happened. It was fine in the morning in the garage when I loaded it onto my car. It was fine when I arrived in Brownsville when I unloaded it from the car and into transition area. Again, lucky for me he was there because I would have never known and DNF’d at the first transition! Superstar triathlete Casey donated his tire tube to “Mimi’s” rescue. Together, those two boys were like my own personal NASCAR pit crew!!!

Lesson learned: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR GEAR and bring extra of everything and keep it in your car nearby. And make sure you pick your transition area near the nice experienced triathletes incase something like this happens again.

* Transition area – hang bike on rack, lay transition mat or towel under wheel of tire, place bike helmet with sunglasses nearest you with clips nearby (or already attached to bike), place running shoes behind them and on top of race belt with bib attached to it so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind. All other necessities should be in your transition bag placed furthest away from you on the mat just in case.

Knowing that each event for me is done to keep a promise to my mom, I become quite emotional at the start. So, I went for my private time and sat along the resaca’s edge to pray, remember and talk to Momma, Sissy and Donny. This week is afterall Momma’s and Donny’s death anniversary so it meant a lot to me. After I wiped away the tears, I rejoined the TNT group and found Jeanice. We gathered around in a circle as she led us in prayer and finished with an “Amen” and a loud “Go Team!”

After a few silly “before” team pictures, we all ventured into the aquatic center. We were sorted by sex, age group and swim pace and sat in the bleachers until it was our turn to enter the water. When my number was called out, I got really nervous. I was the ONLY female in that group.

“There must be something wrong. I’m the only girl here,” I said aloud unintentionally. The man by me looked me over in agreement and asked me “Do you swim every day?” I could tell what he meant by that and my inner voice (ya, you remember her) came out “No, not every day” and began to do my stretching exercises by the pools edge. But then Karen walked up and filled the space right before me… and that’s when it hit me… oh ya… something is definitely wrong if they’ve place my swim just under Karen “Ironman” Watt!!!! She nonchalantly giggled over her shoulder to me, “Sorry, I had to go to the ladies room.”

I am officially freaking out now. I am NOT this fast!!! I am placed in the wrong line up. I just know it! Please God! Please don’t let me look like a fool and hinder others from doing their best!!!

I tell the next person behind me “I think I’ve been placed in the wrong pace bracket so if you need to pass me, just tap my feet and I’ll move over so you don’t have to waste energy. I’ll let you pass.”

They must have thought I was the biggest goober ever!!!!

So there I was, heart racing a million miles a minute and jumping into the first lane with Karen right next to me. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!?

“Don’t you dare chicken out Myssie!” sarcastic inner voice is back and after me big time! “You’ve done this before a gazillion times in practice!”

“Ready and go!” the timer exclaims with her stop watch.

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!… and I swim and swim and swim…breathe… swim swim swim breathe… touch the edge… dunk under the lane line… WOW! That’s deep!… come up.. deep breath… sight myself… swim swim swim breathe… pass one guy… oh he’s struggling bad… poor fella… swim swim swim breathe… swim swim.. pass another.. sight. WHOA! this is shallow! Can I touch the bottom of the pool??? Focus you dingbat!!! Touch the edge of the pool and go under the lane line again, deep breath and swim… I end up passing about five swimmers total and passed only once. Yes!!!!! That’s what I’m talking about!!!!

I exit the pool up the ladder and know there is no way I’m looking like Pheobe Cates!!! I whip off my swim cap and favorite orange goggles, feeling confident and run to transition. I hear Vero yell out “GO MYSSIE GO!!!” and I know I’ve got a huge smile on my face. Just behind me is Wally, my bike guru. How did he do that??? He was like three swim groups after me!!! Phenomenal! I slam my helmet on my head with my sunglasses and slip my clips onto my still wet feet. I try my best to get out of transition as fast as possible and I’m right behind Wally. He mounts his bike at the line with ease and grace… I on the other hand have to stop, get my balance, carefully lift my leg… whoa.. whoooaaaa… ok, got it… and place it on the pedal, clip in and now go… ya, Wallito is long gone now. I yell out to my bike “Come on Momma, lets go!!!” and mash it hard. I barely see Wally on the horizon. BUT I can see him and so long as I can keep him in view that means I’m making really good time! So I give it all I got!!!

It feels great to be able to pass up cyclists now! My confidence in myself and my training is growing and is certainly reflected on my time. I don’t even want to lift up my hand to check what Garmin is recording. I mash it harder and harder. The course is a simple circle with all right hand turns so there’s little interaction with traffic however there still ARE a few idiot drivers that take the bike lane and use it as a right hand turning lane. I catch my breath as I see a car almost clip the cyclist before me. Thank goodness nothing happened!!! Wait… where’s Wally???? I don’t see him anymo….

Slumped over on the side of the road with his head bowing in defeat, I see him and his bike laying next to him. “What happened?” I yell out.

“I got a flat,” he responds.

Poor guy… he fixed my flat and then got one himself. I have the feeling someone gave me “ojo” and then went to him for fixing it. My pace goes down. But don’t worry… sarcastic inner voice takes good care of that and my pace comes right back up again. I pass a few more cyclists but one stood out. “Careful! I’m on your right!” I scream out to her. As I pass, she says “That’s a really cool bike you have! I love the orange! My husband’s bomb truck is that same color of orange.”

“Thank you!” I reply as best I can without sounding out of breath. “I race in orange in memory of my mother. It was her favorite color.” The look on her face was identical in respect as mine was when she told me of her husband’s truck.

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This. Is. Awesome.

The bike is my favorite part of the triathlon. There is something so exhilarating about it. The wind, the speed, the control, the freeness of it all… becoming one with a machine that cannot run without you being the engine that runs it… and I am finally comfortably speedy in it. I’m not as fast as I hope to be but I’m getting there and pushing myself more and more each chance I get.

And it’s over way too soon! Off I go and dismount at the line. I’m off to T2 now and I hear the cheers galore!!! The crowd calls my name out and without looking at anyone I hear Wally’s voice scream out “Go Myssie!!!” Seriously??? Again??? How does he do that? He shows up ahead of me at every single part of this race as if he’s been there for hours already and I never once see him pass me!!! He had a freakin flat!!! He must have a space/time continuum transfunctioner in his pocket!!

My feet are still wet and my tri suit is still dripping from the swim but because of time, I choose to slosh my wet feet once again into my Sauconys without socks knowing full well that I will get blisters by the time I enter mile three of the run. I carefully and slowly exit T2 to begin my run with brick legs. I remembered Stanley’s Tri just a month ago and how my legs just wouldn’t move so I was careful to get my bearing straight and do this one right.

Ok, ok… my legs are doing ok. My thighs are hurting a bit but not to the point where they’d stop me because of too much pain. I convince myself that I can push through this. And I do… but something happens in the first tunnel… it’s dark… I can’t see. Where am I going? Am I going to step in a hole and twist my ankle? Am I going to fall? Am I going to run into someone? Is someone going to run into me? Oh look! LIGHT!!! Whew! I’m through the tunnel now! And just as I exit the tunnel I see Ben as he yells out to me “Go Myssie!” and then tries desperately to yell out to Penny who is right behind me “Go Pe…. ” but that’s all the comes out of his mouth. Laura is just behind Ben and I hear her yell out a cheer to me as well. Unfortunately, I’m not as composed as they are and cannot return the cheer…

I. am. out. of. breath…. gotta stop. stop now.

seriously myss… just stop. walk. please. walk..

Now, in hindsight… as I type this out.. I can honestly tell myself that I was not in pain. My body could have continued to run. It was not hurt. I was simply out of energy. I lost my WILL. I lost my ganas in that tunnel. I stopped. I gave up.

Penny passed me. Cat passed me. I gave up on myself and I had no good reason to do so.

I could feel the blisters forming on both my feet but even then, the pain of the blisters weren’t enough to stop me. It was me… my core self that stopped me. I allowed my negative self to defeat all my hard work.

I knew Karen was ahead of me because she’s super fast and was ahead of me in line up. I knew Laura had passed me in the swim and was the only one that had passed me. No one in my age group passed me on the bike. I was in third place up to this point and I gave up. How could I do this to myself?

This is what I need to conquer quickly before CapTex. I need to find out why I let myself down and never allow that to happen again.

It was at the water stop that I gathered my senses again but by then it was too late. I grabbed two paper cups. I drank one and poured the other over me. BOOM! There! That’s what I needed. A wake up call!!!

In the anger of my self defeat, my feet challenged my head and heart and took matters into their own toes.  They led the way and never stopped after that moment. Once I passed under the bridge and heard the crowd, my feet would NOT allow me to stop no matter what. In fact, they went faster and faster and faster. I turned the last corner and hear Vero yell out one last time “Go Myssie Go!!!” and soon after that the crowd ensued with deafening cheers. You have nooooo idea how much I needed this and it pumped me up just the way I needed it. I finished but knew I had let myself and my training down.

Coach W came over and put her arms around me and asked “How’d you do?”

“I did well. I felt strong in my swim and in my bike but I’m disappointed in my run.” Without any elaboration, the look on her face showed me she understood. My face has a way of showing all my emotion behind it in every wrinkle. She must have known I was beating myself up about it already and she wasn’t going to add fuel to the fire. She gave me a hug.

It was right about then that Alex, my triathlon buddy all this last year had come over to me with the most enormous glow of pride on her face. She reflected on how just a year ago she and I had finished OUR first triathlon (Stanley’s Tri) and this entire group around us that had been cheering us on then had today successfully finished their first triathlon. The both of us stood there with huge smiles on our faces and so proud of the newbie triathletes we inspired.

Some didn’t know how to swim. Some hadn’t ever ridden a bike. But NOTHING stopped them. Not even their fear. 10 weeks later… they are now TRIATHLETES!!!

And then I stood there as the awards were handed out and I knew I missed out on the closest opportunity I had to finally podium… and looked at my teammates of new triathletes and it hit me… courage. They all had courage.

Somewhere along the way… I lost my courage. I must find it.

Tuesday is Momma’s death anniversary. Friday is Donny’s. If any time was the right time to find courage to continue… it’s now and for them.

I was asked a good question yesterday.

“Do you want to do this for cancer and just finish or do you want to do better?”

My response is: Why should it be one or the other? Why can’t I aspire to do both? Do this for cancer AND do better!!!

 

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The Warrior inside her

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by runmyssierun

The very first Team in Training Triathlon Team practice happened on Saturday. We ran just a couple of miles. I don’t really like this about me at all anymore but I’ll be honest. I didn’t really think that was a workout for me. I run a mile as a warm up and another mile as a cool down regularly.

Isn’t that amazing???? I feel so pretentious, proud and guilty at the same time for this!!! Whodathought a few years ago that I, the middle-aged overweight anti-gym bunny sweat is icky girl, could run a whole mile without stopping?!?!?!?

And then Monday came around… it was dark, cold and drizzling rain. I wasn’t really prepared for the wetness so I wore all the wrong stuff. Thank goodness I carry extra gear in my trunk and had my trusty orange wind and water resistant jacket from German!!! It made all the difference in the world.

Coach “W” called out our workout to the group, “Lets go 4 to 5 times over the hill. That should be about 2 miles.”

Ugh! 2 miles again!!! *ya, that’s my attitude that needed some spanking

Off we went! I was, as always, the last to run up. I’m ok with that. I couldn’t hear my music and the rain was accumulating all over me… especially in my hair!!! It made the run more uncomfortable than I expected. But wait… oh… oh no… it’s not the rain that made this uncomfortable for me… it’s my… oh … oh noooooo!!!

Boom! I sprinted across that hill and luckily yelled out to Sarah’s mom who was cheering me on and trying desperately to take a photo of me – I couldn’t smile. “Tell Coach that I need to go to the bathroom! I’m going to Embassy Suuuuuuiiiiiites!!!!”

Whew!!! I made it just in the nick of time. TMI?

Sorry. I’m candid and tell it like it is. Sometimes when you run… pee happens. That’s the truth.

I returned back to the gang and continued my run and obviously the last one to run in because of my kidney explosion.

We gathered back together in a circle to stretch. Coach “W” then said something that snapped me back into reality…

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She said that along with coaching us through these next few months of physical training, she would also incorporate some mental training. “W” clenched her fists and pounded her heart as she said “When I speak of ‘spirit’, I don’t mean religion… I mean the inner spirit in all of us. I have a warrior in me.”

Our coach is a cancer survivor. She told us of a childhood memory she had of her being a warrior and how she ran around in her backyard from one side of the fence to the other as her dogs followed her and she imagined them being wolves. She giggled for a while as she reminisced. “We all have a warrior inside of us.”

“We need to remember WHY we are doing this.”

BLAM!!!

2 miles is 2 miles… and it actually ended up being 3! I must never scoff at that ever again. It wasn’t that long ago that I could go only one block. It wasn’t that long ago that it dawned on me that my Momma would never be able to run a mile… ever. That’s when it came back to me. Remember WHY I’m doing this.

So on today, World Cancer Day, I remember. I will likely need reminders again as I am human and get wrapped up in the nothingness of my life. It takes me a while to recognize these little signs but when I do… wow. It’s pretty powerful.

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