Archive for ironman

Defining Moments of Life

Posted in cancer, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2016 by runmyssierun

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I have been taking a pretty profound 8-week class for work. I’m about half way through it. Today, my instructor told us that as a young boy, his dad would tell him that if he just made all “B’s” in school that he’d be so very proud of him. So what was he conditioned to do? He made all B’s. And all was well.

As a young girl, I remember being in the car with some family members. We were driving South on Sugar road in my home town and as we passed the home of the President of the University – a massively landscaped mansion to me back in the day – I remember blurting out to them that one day I would live there. I was quickly hushed, corrected and told,”You’re too pretty to be smart.  The smartest man in town lives there. Your brother may have a chance though.” He was smart. Boys were supposed to be smart. Girls were supposed to be pretty and delicate and dumbed down so that others around can feel superior, stronger and smarter. That’s how the world was supposed to be as it was shown to me.

I was conditioned to be pretty. So what did I do? I was never exceptional in school and I entered pageants because I was supposed to be pretty… where I was eventually told I wasn’t pretty enough to continue. So I was never smart enough and never pretty enough… and grew up always thinking I was just never ENOUGH.

For whatever reason, at any given point of my life, I was always surrounded by people who seemed to be nice and friendly and care for me… but never really encouraged or pushed me to see what I was really made of and what I could really do with all that I was. All it took was a handful of people to make the needed difference in me. Now, don’t get me wrong – I still struggle daily with the whole “enough” battle in my head – but I win a few of the fights in the end.

I do not believe that my story is rare. I think a lot of us, too many of us, were told by influential others what our defining limits were presumed to be. Maybe, just maybe, you were one, too.

But what I also believe is that just as I had a defining moment in my life that forced me to push myself beyond what I thought I could accomplish, you and many others have had or will have defining moments that will do the same. And guess what… I also believe that every day of life gives us all a moment to redefine us all again, too.

Experiences like this have taught me great lessons. Some in my own self and some of those lessons have been for me to learn to recognize the type of person who still tries to define me with their own self doubt, limitations, envy or other insecurity. I see you. It’s ok. I smile and nod my head to all you tell me… but I don’t believe a thing you say to me anymore.  The beauty of rock bottom is the wisdom that comes from it when you rise.  Yes, I do better when I have an encouraging cheering section but I have learned the hard way, too, to believe in myself and become everything you were not prepared to experience… my absolute best.

Who will you allow yourself to become? Are you ready for your defining moment?

Triflare Tribe

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2016 by runmyssierun

Triflare is an incredibly amazing company that designs colorful stylish workout gear that not only looks like it could take over the cat walks of Milan but can also accellerate  performance levels to place you on a podium! So when they surprised me with a feature on their blog…  I was BEYOND honored!!! Here it is 🙂

triflare-blog

 

http://triflare.com/blogs/news/triflare-tribe-member-myssie-cardenas-barajas

Triflare Tribe Member Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

September 20 2016

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http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0447/1533/files/missie1_large.jpg?v=1474397103

Meet Myssie Cardenas-Barajas Triflare ambassador from the great state of Texas!

Myssie first got involved in athletics because of loss in her life. In 2011, Myssie lost three family members to cancer. It was during this painful time that she found comfort in running with Team in Training. She needed a way to work through her grief, while at the same time desiring to raise money for cancer organizations. She not only found comfort by surrounding herself with those who had survived, but she found her love of swimming, biking and running.

She bought her very first pair of running shoes and ran her very first block in 2011. By the end of 2012, she had run 2 full marathons, 6 half-marathons, and countless 5k and 10k’s. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), she injured herself during her second marathon. It was this injury that propelled her into the world of triathlon. Because she was limited in running, her coach recommended swimming and cycling. Of course, she needed to overcome one obstacle – she didn’t know how to swim! With the help of her son, she learned and 10 weeks later, completed her first triathlon!

One of Myssie’s favorite ways to stay motivated when training gets a bit mundane is to create powerful playlists. She loves music and finds that creating a playlist that matches the course elevation helps prepare her for race day. She knows by the songs when a hill is approaching or when she needs to pick up or slow down her pace.

Myssie’s favorite race thus far is not a well-known race. In fact, if you aren’t from Texas, you have likely never heard of it. It’s called “The Hell of the South: HOTS.” And here is why – it’s a 56-mile road bike race along the fence of Texas/Mexico border. The trail consists of asphalt, caliche gravel, sand pits and dirt! But, that’s not even the worst of it! The race is held on July 4 – the hottest time of the year in South Texas. Myssie said, “It was special to me because when I raced it, I was the only female that did this event among many other local and state elite men.”

Myssie hopes to continue inspiring people to get involved in sports. Her advice to newbies is powerful. She said, “I know you’re scared. I know you don’t think you can do it. I also know you’re wrong and you have yet to experience making the impossible possible. You are stronger than you know. Join a team, get a coach, sign up for a bucket list event and just go out an amaze yourself.” She also believes that growth happens when you are pushed out of your comfort zone so, she recommends training with people who are more experienced and better than yourself.

Before each race, Myssie jams out to the Foo Fighters and replays voice messages from her mother and brother. She credits them, Sissy and triathlon for saving her life when she was struggling with grief.

We are so thrilled to have Myssie on our team. She has been through many hard times, and yet she still finds ways to inspire those around her. She definitely inspires us!

What you focus on expands

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2016 by runmyssierun

So here’s the great thing about open water swim training… swimming with sharks doesn’t only happen in salt water. Facing my fear of swimming, in open water, with sharks, alligators, heebeegeebees, red tide, murky, dark water with no visibility and no idea of what is one inch in front of you… and worst of all… vicious seaweed has forced me to become stronger, confident and able to go toe to toe with any and all aggressors that challenge me. When times get tough, I no longer throw my hands up in the air and give up so easily. I’ve been through tough times, many of them more challenging than most others have been able to survive or even attempt to accomplish. I now know I can do more than I initially thought I could possibly do.

So with that, even though I fail… over and over again.. I rise. Each and every single time. I rise. No matter what.

Swimming with sharks doesn’t happen in just water. Sharks are everywhere. They are the challenges in life, fears you cower from, bullies at school, family or work. Everyone has sharks in their lives. I’ve just been lucky enough to learn how to train myself to continue on through them… albeit slowly but surely.

On that note, I’d like to share with you something profound and uplifting by a teammate of mine who posted this on our team board. He’s an amazing athlete with an equally astounding outlook on life and competition.

TOO MUCH TIME TO THINK ABOUT TIME.

I wanted to make a comment for you to be mindful and think about you’re best not the time.
Stop and think about your best not a deadline. You’re not going to Ironman races just to finish and you are not shooting for for a certain time. You going to show yourself your very best and leave it on the line.
We ask “what time are you shooting for?” Or we say “I’m shooting for sub 12 hours” or “I’m just looking to finish” and then we focus too much on that number.
STOP. You’re not looking to just finish. You’re looking to do what the fastest guys on the planet are looking to do and that is finish it as fast as you can. Maybe that isn’t fast maybe it does hit the deadline time but that shouldn’t be your focus. It should be to push yourself to be the best version of yourself on that day and in that moment.
Don’t train and walk into this or any race shooting for the minimum. You’re better than that and you deserve to see what you have in you. Falling short of goals is normal. There are too many variables that you are not able to factor in. You are picking times in perfect weather, perfect wind, perfect nutrition, no bike malfunctions and everything else to be perfect when making up your times. Nothing is ever gonna be perfect and it is too much stress to put on yourself.
What I say is is that I’m going to throw down the fastest time I have for that day. That is what I have always done and that is what we all do.
I lost the first 19 bike races before I won my first one. I lost many tris before I won one.
Statistically speaking I’m a much bigger looser than I am winner but that is based on numbers and as I just said… Numbers don’t matter. What You believe about yourself does.
You can all finish the race but will you throw down and dig deep to bring out the best version of yourself? That should be your goal.
I used to be the slowest guy on the course. I just knew I wasn’t meant to stay there.

~~Jason Reinhardt

At my workplace, we have a saying “What you focus on expands”

It was brought to my attention that my most recent posts over this last year has focused on my negative nemesis. My lack of strength, injuries, lack of support, and negative nancy comment after negative nancy comment…

So here goes… I’m focusing on my best. Keep me accountable. Because deep down inside me… I know I can do it. I know I can. Now I just need to prove it to myself.

The TRIFLARE Tribe announcement!!! 

Posted in cancer, half ironman, ironman, rio grande valley, team in training, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by runmyssierun

Seriously, one of the coolest things ever to be a part of the TriFlare Tribe!!! Pro triathlete Alicia Kaye shares my story! I’m on the seventh wave!!! triflare-alicia-kaye_1024x1024-thumb-580x447-5168

Things triathletes never think to ask until it’s too late

Posted in cycling, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2015 by runmyssierun

Every single triathlete has been there. Ever single triathlete in history has been a rookie at least once. And many of these questions have crossed our minds. Now, whether all of us had the courage to vocalize any of the following questions is not documented but I can personally guarantee you that at least one of these questions have crossed all our minds at one point or another.

How do you pee when you have your wetsuit on? What???? You pee IN your wetsuit while you’re in it???

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Or hold it until you get on your bike? Are you kidding me?

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But I’m a GIRL!!!! I can’t just pull it out like that plus how do you do that in bibshorts?!?!?!

Click here to read how a girl can pee during her bike ride of a triathlon

Runner’s trots? What’s that?

Even the best of the best (Paula Radcliffe) gets runner's trots.

Even the best of the best (Paula Radcliffe) gets runner’s trots.

Snot rocket… seriously? Please, no. Please don’t tell me what that is. I already don’t want to know.

Many runners and cyclists encounter the need to rid a snot rocket especially when running or cycling outdoors.

Many runners and cyclists encounter the need to rid a snot rocket especially when running or cycling outdoors.

Does everyone go out for hot and heavy makeout sessions during open water swim? Everyone comes back with hickeys after practice! What’s a wetsuit hickey?

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Many times wetsuits chaffe around the neck area especially when swimming for long periods of time or if not fitted correctly. Try using Body Glide before your better half accuses you of cheating on them.

Why do my workout clothes reek AFTER I wash them???

Workout gear is made from synthetic fibers that require special detergent for the proteins excreted during vigorous exercise. Even if you double wash your clothes, the smell remains and seems to smell "spoiled" and tends to gets worse.  Win Detergent is a bit pricey but gets the stench out of a workout.

Workout gear is made from synthetic fibers that require special detergent for the proteins excreted during vigorous exercise. Even if you double wash your clothes, the smell remains and seems to smell “spoiled” and tends to gets worse. Win Detergent is a bit pricey but gets the stench out of a workout.

BLISTERS and toe nails that fall off?? Oh God! That’s nauseating!!!

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I have fallen in love with Balega socks. Matched with proper, well fitting running shoes and little swipe of glide between your toes, you’ll avoid growing painful blisters and losing toenails during training with these sweat wicking socks.

What the heck are saddle sores?

If you haven't been on a bike since you were 12 or you're attempting a century ride - or ANY ride for that matter - do yourself the favor of buying the biggest tube of  chamois butt'r around and apply liberally to your private area. Seriously, every single spot, crack and crevice.

If you haven’t been on a bike since you were 12 or you’re attempting a century ride – or ANY ride for that matter – do yourself the favor of buying the biggest tube of chamois butt’r around and apply liberally to your private area. Seriously, every single spot, crack and crevice.

Hey! This lake is missing lane line markers!!! How are we supposed to swim straight without crashing into everyone around me?

Yaaaa well, I’m not gonna sugar coat this… You’re gonna get swum over. You’re gonna get hit, scratched, punched, kicked and you’re going to panic and get upset. But you’re still going to get to T1. And at the end of the race, you’re gonna wanna do it all over again!!!

What triathlon ickies have you encountered and what tips do you have to give?

Listen to your heart… rate

Posted in triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2015 by runmyssierun

Be the weed that grows between the cracks of the concrete. The weed grows because it does not know it isn’t supposed to be there among the strong concrete. It struggles but survives and looks for the sunshine every single day. The weed never really belonged where it was and even when others tried to pluck it out, it knows it must continue or it will die.

I see no shame any more from being a weed anymore in a world where I never really quite belonged. I find strength in it now.  

What a week!!! I’ve made a major effort to minimize my caffeine intake down to normal human being levels… and no one has been murdered yet by my hands. (Whew! That’s a good sign.)

I can walk into or go to drive thru at my local Starbucks and they have my “regular” (Venti hot caramel macchiato skinny and upside down with a straw) ready for me AND call me Angelina Jolie to make my day. Yes, I know.. they spoil me! And I love it!

“Hello Angelina Jolie! Would you like your regular today? Or your Venti caramel skinny latte with two splendas?” asks Starbucks barista Alex in the morning 🙂

So when I made the move to decaf after ten years of the same drink order… I think a memo may have gone out to all the Starbucks employees – and our local PD may be on high alert to watch out for me. I dunno… what do you think?

Can you read the label? I think they're afraid it may the first sign of the apocalypse.

Can you read the label? I think they’re afraid it may the first sign of the apocalypse.

It seems that my coffee addiction is wreaking havoc on my heart rate training. In an effort to do my best to continue this crazy promise, I need to put a curb to my addiction to Joe and begin my affair with Zone 2. I find it odd that it’s difficult for me to train in this manner.  These last few years, all I’ve ever heard from people who I train with is “you can push harder”, “No pain – No gain”, “train insane or remain the same” so I’ve become used to pushing my limits and going hard – as hard as I possibly can – during my trainings.

I have an incredible new coach this season with Team in Training. I’ve known her for a while and admired her drive and accomplishments so when she agreed to coach the team this season, I was thrilled!!!

THIS IS COACH LORI

THAT'S MY COACH! LORI TIJERINA... and yes, that's her finishing time!!!

THAT’S MY COACH! LORI TIJERINA… and yes, that’s her finishing time!!!

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She’s a beast and she knows what she’s doing, how to do it and how I need to adjust to do it, too. Keeping my workout routines but instead of focusing on speed and distance, she has me focusing on my heart rate zones.

Do you know what your zone are??? Here, try it out yourself.

http://www.digifit.com/heartratezones/training-zones.asp

Did you plug in your digits? Did you see where you are supposed to be at Zone 2? Ok, good. Now get that heart rate monitor and go run some intervals and try to keep it at Zone 2 and your regular run pace consistent. Or try doing a long run, say 8 miles and see how long it takes you to complete if you never go over your Zone 2 max number.

NOT SO EASY EH????

I don’t take pre-workouts. I don’t take any of that Advocare, Zeal, Plexus, IDlife, Herbalife, etc. or any other medication that messes with your heart rate and blood pressure. But I do drink an average of two pots of coffee a day. I know… I know.

So now, I’m on week three of extremely limited caffeine intake – not gonna tell you how much because I still have issues and I may go postal from admitting how bad I am and it’s none of your beeswax anyway. And there haven’t been any fatalities… yet. (Heavy emphasis on the YET) Can you feel my pain???

To date, so far I’ve gone from 135/89 in May to 128/78 in June to 120/73 this past Thursday. Baby steps in the right direction.

I’ve been consistent in my workouts and finally felt a difference yesterday in my swim. My breathing was very controlled. I get myself really worked up I guess because I see so many awesome athletes by me doing phenomenal things and I want to do them, too, forgetting that I don’t have the athletic experience and foundation that they have. These things take time and I have to constantly remind myself of that. sigh

I have also taken advantage of the network of doctors that I work around closely with. Adding Dr. Joel Solis and Dr. Joey Cadena has been reassuring to me this week as well. I should get some results from their findings later next week.

While some of my trainings have been under the radar, I’ve had some fun posting my anxiety filled musings on social media. Here’s some of them…

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Oh! By the way… it’s that time again to begin looking for sponsors this season. Would you like to sponsor me and/or the Team? See that donation box? No??? Oh… ok.. I’ll just post it here for your convenience. Feel free to drop in $20 or $200 or $2000. However, if you would like recognition – and I’m all about sponsor recognition – contact me to see how we can partner up to beat cancer.

And the link is here, too: https://donate.lls.org/tnt/donate?programGroupName=TNT&fundraiserPageID=2068254&participantFirstName=Myssie&participantLastName=Cardenas-Barajas&displayName=Myssie%20Cardenas-Barajas&fundraiserPageURL=http://pages.teamintraining.org/sctx/yourway16/mcardenasb

Cancer strikes us again

Posted in cancer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by runmyssierun

This was THE most perfect sun-shiney-cool-breezey-no-more-Texas-flood-rainey-three-day-4th of July-Independence Day weekend to be out training for a half ironman!!! And I cooked, cleaned and did laundry. Big boo.

This is so not working out the way I had hoped it would. 😦

The ride I had planned for Saturday morning didn’t pan out and got moved to Sunday morning. And now under Dr. Cadena’s rule in addition to Dr. Martin’s recommendation, I was NOT to run with the team until further testing this upcoming week.

(although I did so some elliptical, treadmill jogging, swimming and zwift cycling on my trainer)

Alas, things happen for a reason.

A few months ago, my family was hit once again by cancer. This time it is breast cancer. It hit my sister in law, Dalila. Thankfully, she is covered by a fabulous insurance plan and a couple of years ago, purchased an additional cancer protection plan on top of that. (although they STILL haven’t paid her and she’s not looking forward to hassling them for her money!) A smile graced her face when she told me that her insurance company even sent her a Chicken Soup for the Soul Cancer book. “They didn’t have to do that. It was really nice of them… but I did go through all the pages hoping that maybe they placed my check in there somewhere!” she joked.

So while I sat in my living room this weekend with the sun sparkling through the windows and tempting me to lace up my shoes or squeeze into my swim suit or jump onto my bike… I sat there with a Michelob Ultra on the couch and listened to Dalila tell me how at first she was so scared and cried while reading all the pamphlets that were given to her.

“I didn’t know anything about chemo or what it was or what it was supposed to do to you or radiation or a mastectomy or surgery.” Her eyes got big as her hands waved in the air when she spoke. “It was all bad. All of it! I cried and cried.” She sought comfort from her best friend as she finally opened up and confided in her and I immediately saw her expression change.

“Everyone’s different she told me. We don’t all react to cancer and treatment the same way,” she said. “I was afraid to let anyone know I had cancer and that was the WORST thing I could have done.” She said that sharing her experience is healing, comforting and not only helps her but helps others. (*Dalila is a VERY quiet person who rarely shares personal experiences like this) She told me of a co-worker of hers who had shared her own personal story of a double mastectomy with her shortly before Dalila had hers done. “Mine wasn’t a double but just hearing her tell me helped me. It helps when I know what to expect.”

Surrounded in prayer and by people who want to help, I know in my heart that Dalila is going to do some major butt kicking. And she’s not alone. Now that she has opened up to the world about her Breast cancer fight, I hope you all include her in your prayers of healing, happiness and well being. We love you Dalila!!!

Hey there Dalila :) Dalila and I a few years ago at my son's birthday pizza party.

Hey there Dalila 🙂
Dalila and I a few years ago at my son’s birthday pizza party.

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