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Heart rate zone training getting better now

Posted in cancer, cycling, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2015 by runmyssierun

This is the first week I’ve finally started to feel pain free and strong during my workouts but still dealing with the headaches of a caffeine-poor body. Unfortunately, I can also feel the additional weight I’ve put on for all these last few months I haven’t been able to do what I had done before. I share the stress and anxiety of my fellow triathlete friend and blogger LoriLynn (You can follow her blog here).

Putting aside the mental need to LOOK a certain way and WEIGH a certain amount and BE a certain size has always been a constant struggle for me. After all, I am that washed up beauty queen that let herself go… (that’s sarcasm). But in all seriousness, that time of my life really did mess with my head about my body image. I’m not going to blame pageantry for that because I think many women endure body image challenges and realizations at that age – and THIS age for that matter! It’s probably even worse at this age (I am 45 by the way). I won the swimsuit portion of the Miss Texas Scholarship pageant at the Miss Rio Grande Valley preliminaries in 1990 and I was even one of the very first Bud Girls swimsuit model. The 90’s was the decade of the waif super model. It was IN to have big Cindy Crawford Guess model hair, smoke cigarettes, never eat and do step aerobics with slouch socks and high top white Kaepas.  20 years and 20 pounds later with two children, this same era of women that endured that decade must now endure either the ridicule of “mom pants” or the embarrassment of “muffin top” with the more hip low-rise jean. Long gone are the days of “Little in the middle but she got much back”. The struggle is real but, thankfully, so is my outlook on myself now. Do I WANT to look like my twenty year old self? Oh hell ya! Will I do what I did back then to get where I was? Oh hell no.

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It’s not rocket science to understand where the weight gain has come from:

  1. A drastic decrease in intense and consistent physical activity over a period of about 6 months

  2. A drastic decrease in heart rate due to the removal of highly caffeinated beverages (i.e. coffee) over a period of 4 weeks

  3. A tremendous desire to NOT fall back into the unhealthy, restrictive eating disorders of my pageant days because now I know the cardiac dangers of being “skinny fat”.

Clearly I've collected a few tires around my belly. Unable to run like I used to and being restricted from core strengthening exercises due to the hip and herniated disk issues, it has become quite embarrassing to show off this bag of flab around town in the most unforgiving  spandex lycra known to mankind.

Clearly I’ve collected a few tires around my belly. Unable to run like I used to and being restricted from core strengthening exercises due to the hip and herniated disk issues, it has become quite embarrassing to show off this bag of flab around town in the most unforgiving spandex lycra known to mankind.

A zoomed up version of my point of view over the entire run. They quickly became colorful dots on the horizon.

A zoomed up version of my point of view over the entire run. They quickly became colorful dots on the horizon.

I’ve been gradually trying to increase my running endurance and mileage to catch up to Maritza, Ronnie, Cat and Alex. On Saturday, it was difficult to see them easily jog out a full mile and a half ahead of me while I struggled to remain in my zone 2 and cuss vile words as I was reminded of my pace by my Nike Run app voice from hell. I had purposely removed the pace from the window of my Garmin watch so that I could focus only on distance, heart rate and heart zone. I completely forgot to mute that wicked woman from my Nike App. Oh well, at least I learned what to do the next time I go on my long run and, honestly, it is good to know my pace at that zone so that I can prepare myself for time during practices and race day. It just hurts the ego because all I’ve ever heard up until this point is that you should push yourself to your max and beyond your known limits. It’s supposed to be hard to do these workouts. You should run a mile in less than 10 minutes and even better if you can do less that 8 minutes and then you can run the with VRC regulars once you hit the 6 minute mile level.

My concern now, after learning about heart rate zone training, if after completing so many half marathons and full marathons that took several hours to complete - assuming I was at levels that should have been no more than a few minutes in length, have I done permanent damage to my cardiovascular system?

My concern now, after learning about heart rate zone training, if after completing so many half marathons and full marathons that took several hours to complete – assuming I was at levels that should have been no more than a few minutes in length, have I done permanent damage to my cardiovascular system?

At my zone 2 rate, currently, my one mile times were hitting 13 minutes. *I know, laugh all you want. I wouldn’t put it out for ridicule and comparison if I wasn’t already prepared for the backlash.

So here’s the point I’m trying to make (after all this backstory)… at the end of my eight mile Zone 2 pathetic run, Coach Lori twisted her ankle and slowed down to finish my miles with me.

Coach Lori had to twist her ankle in order for her to slow down enough to keep up with my zone 2 pace.

Coach Lori had to twist her ankle in order for her to slow down enough to keep up with my zone 2 pace.

She kept me in check and had me constantly check my heart rate.  Every single time she told me to check, I was over my zone 2 level. She was in tune with her body and I still wasn’t. She could read when her heart rate was going up and could tell that if I was running alongside her, that mine was obviously up as well. I still need to hone in on that skill so that I don’t exhaust my body before the finish line. This is important and something I have never learned to do! Just as you should push to make yourself fast, you should also strive to calm your heart rate down for empowered endurance.

While on that last mile, she said something that pierced me to the core. “It’s more important for women to understand and regulate our hearts because heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined. We, as women, tend to take care of everyone else but ourselves and it’s our hearts that give out. I lost my mom to heart disease because she was sedentary.” (click here for stats about heart disease that validates what Coach Lori said)

See, the thing is that I really did feel strong in my run. *Granted I did start feeling a little pain in the hip at about mile 4 but it subsided after a while. I also had the best swim in ages just days later. I didn’t feel winded. My breathing is now in control, There is more power in my stroke. My hips are rocking in the water just as I am supposed to be. I’m still slow as molasses but now, with this new little attitude… who cares? And if you care about my pace… you need to ask yourself why you care so much about MY numbers. Worry about yourself. I worry enough about myself. Ok? I had a great swim. I’m not bragging. I’m relieved!!!!

I started running because my Aunt Sissy asked me to run for her after she saw that I was becoming unhealthy. In my mind, I was running to fight cancer for her. In her mind, she wanted me to run to become healthier so I wouldn’t die a premature death like my baby Brother did after dealing with the stress of cancer on top of every day life stress.

But here’s the reality – I run because I don’t think I can do much of anything else to fight cancer and I still have some anger issues with cancer. After all, it stole some of my favorite people in my life. I run because while in Team in Training, Run Walk or Crawl, Running 101, Sandy Overly’s Just Tri Its and Maniacs, Erica’s Super TriLife, and all the other running groups I was/am in… I’ve found a great sense of emotional healing, confidence, camaraderie and support that I do not get in any other part of my life.  I run because my doctors have monitored me and showed me evidence of me becoming a healthier person. I run because I really like the way I was looking. Running made me feel and look younger and more vibrant. Running makes me feel like I can contribute to not just my well being but also help someone else either by inspiring them to also begin a healthy lifestyle or by raising money through Team in Training and using it for cancer research to identify the source of cancer, find a treatment for cancer and make sure that it is affordable and accessible for all those who want it. Add swimming and cycling to this and, goodness, triple all the benefits stated here.

I’ve gone through so many phases of running (and triathlon) and I do not want to change or edit any of my prior posts that document it because I think it’s important and indicative of the way I’ve learned and matured through each sport. I can go back to posts where I saw I was focused on speed, or focused on weight or focused on distance… I ‘mean really.. go walk through any gym, watch any TV commercial, scroll through Pinterest, Youtube or Tumblr running inspirations and you’re going to find so many mixed messages out there. I listened to them and got mixed up myself.

We all have different reasons to workout (or NOT “workout” per se but simply be more active in our lives) . We all have various motivations. After three years of jumping into the health and fitness world of marathons and triathlon, I’ve witnessed my reasons and motivations morph. Each season and every coach has taught me something new about myself that I wanted to improve upon. I hope that never changes. I hope I always want to improve myself. I hope I’m always learning something new about myself. I hope I’m never so pompous as to think that I know it all or better than anyone else out there struggling just like me. I hope I’m never so insecure that I feel the need to constantly compare myself to others and form a hatred stemmed solely from envy. I hope I never lose the joy I have found in this life style and in the people who surround me with encouragement and support.

At this moment, I am not looking at my pace.

At this moment, I am not looking at my scale.

At this moment, I am focusing on my heart health, endurance and form.

At this moment, I am only concerned with being better than I was before and beating one thing and one thing only… CANCER.

I didn't run to beat your timeI ran to

Why do you workout? Do you run? Zumba? Crossfit? Bike? Spartan? Roller Blade? Body Build? Surf? Skate? Walk? Swim? Dance? What do you do and why do you do it? Do you WANT to do something but too scared to start? If so, what is it that you want to do?

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Viva Bike Vegas – the Triple Crown

Posted in cancer, cycling, Mom, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2015 by runmyssierun

My vicious, super duper mean spin cycling RPM instructor from Gold’s Gym posted on my facebook wall today that he removed all the coveted finisher award shirts from the gym members today… except mine.

Joey Williams took a picture of my shirt in his cycling studio and posted it on my wall... this... this meant sooo much to me. Thank you Joey! Thank you Gold's Gym!!!

Joey Williams took a picture of my shirt in his cycling studio and posted it on my wall… this… this meant sooo much to me. Thank you Joey! Thank you Gold’s Gym!!!

That shirt… wow. That shirt is so treasured. It symbolizes EVERYTHING I had done. All the blood, sweat and tears to keep my promise to Momma & Sissy. The 40-plus some non-athletic anti-gym rat with absolutely NO experience took on THE toughest 100-mile bike in America and I was able to do so with Joey pushing me harder and harder every dang morning at that class… making me stay longer, turning my gears two to three times more than anyone elses so that he could make sure my legs were ready for those mountains. The triple crown is significant because it symbolizes to me and to everyone around me in this journey that nothing is impossible so long as you have passion and support. I was way out of my league in EVERY single event I attempted but I didn’t give up. I trained right for all that I did and was surrounded by countless experiences supporters that believed in what I was doing. Together, we did it. That shirt is not mine. That crown is not mine. Those awards, donations, treatments, lives saved are not mine… they belong to all of us. Re-reading the blog post for Viva Bike Vegas and watching the video of the three sisters on the Silverman trail… I still can’t believe that I did that. Wow!

Just the first few minutes of this video, you hear from the greats themselves how difficult this is!!!

https://youtu.be/AZlbjOo-2yk

RunMyssieRun

You have to be brave with your life
So that others can be brave with theirs

The moment was here. I boarded the plane knowing that quitting was NOT an option.

“Fasten your seatbelts. The captain just said he was going to try something new.” – Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant and part-time comedian. He kept my nerves at bay with his comedy act over the loud speaker.

After a few delayed hours of flight, I went straight to Las Vegas Cyclery to pick up my “Mimi”. To the person who has never ridden an awesome road bike before, the relationship between me and my custom built Felt bike is probably perceived as a bit coo-coo. And to those people I have to say “so what?”. “Mimi” was beautifully reassembled and rolled out to me with unanimous comments from the bike store staff gasping “Your bike is wicked!” – yes, I…

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I remember you

Posted in cancer, Mom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2015 by runmyssierun

It’s still very awkward for me on holidays. Especially Mother’s Day without my mom and Sissy (who helped raise me)  and the only other person in this world who would know what I feel… my baby brother.

I was watching GMA (Good Morning America) yesterday and saw Garth Brooks surprise an unsuspecting mom with a personal appearance and sang a song to her that touched my heart..

I know I question a lot of what God puts me into… and I know I shouldn’t because God sure put me into the arms of the most perfect mother ever. He knows what He’s doing. I hope I’ve become the mom that she was to me for my boys.

My son and I at the very first Little Heroes Prom held by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the Rio Grande Valley at IMAS.

My son and I at the very first Little Heroes Prom held by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the Rio Grande Valley at IMAS.

Last night, I was able to get dressed up and share an evening with my youngest son at the Little Heroes Prom held at the International Museum of Arts & Sciences. And although the event was designed for the children in the area who have or have had cancer, you couldn’t help but see the mothers of each child there beam with pride as their beautiful/handsome child danced to Pharrell’s Happy or Taylor Swift’s Shake it off.

And as I looked beside me and gazed upon the child I helped create, I couldn’t help but get a little choked up realizing that this was the first Mother’s Day that I would be without my eldest child and simply stayed quiet as the women around me at the table asked each other how they would be celebrating their weekend as moms.

I won’t be doing anything “special”. But I’ll be feeling special.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who helped mold a child to become a better person.

My Momma and I celebrating me becoming a mother.

My Momma and I celebrating me becoming a mother.

The Heart of the Matter

Posted in cancer, Mom, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2015 by runmyssierun

I’ve been feeling like a broken record these last few months when it comes to stress. It’s been punching me from all sides.

I spent Saturday with Dad working on his website for his Real Estate business and finally got some good opportunities to be a daughter again. Things have been a bit awkward lately.

He took me out for lunch afterwards and we got to talking… and before I knew it, I was just spilling out my guts to him like I hadn’t ever before of how I was desperately trying to keep everything together, calm, cool and collected. I’m not pompous enough to say that the pressure I deal with is more than the pressure anyone else deals with but I was lucky enough to have found a healthy outlet to allow me to peacefully escape from pressure and find serenity in my life where I can calmly find solutions to problems or accept those problems and move on… all on two wheels.

And that’s when he stopped me… “Your neck is breaking out in a rash again.” I had been talking about all that had been stressing me out how I was trying not to make matters worse but I just didn’t know… I don’t know how to be like Momma. She would have known how to deal. She would know. She would have been able to stop things before they go to this level.

My Momma’s neck would break out in hives when she had high blood pressure and got excited, angry, scared, etc.

I had indigestion at night for weeks. I was gaining weight. I wasn’t working out like I had the year before. My close friends and family and breakfast club that I had leaned on for years were gone or scattered all over the globe with problems of their own. I was surrounded by people who insist on keeping troubles to yourself. And so I did.

And it’s backfired.

KABOOM

When I went running last week, I felt myself compensating on my right side. That night, I couldn’t sleep because my hip would send shock waves from my toes to my head. My indigestion was making me nauseous and I was thirsty, so thirsty! And so tired but couldn’t sleep. I’d go to the bathroom and just a trickle of dark urine would escape and I was so constipated and bloated that laying any which way on the bed would be agonizingly uncomfortable. My ankles were always swollen and this sounds funny… but I actually feel the water under my skin all over my body! And my headaches… oh my headaches made me so dizzy that I didn’t even want to read books or skim through pinterest, watch TV or keep my eyes open!

Those are a lot of symptoms!!!

After squirming on the couch, it was suggested that I see a chiropractor and that may be the reason I was compensating on my run. Hmmmm

Made sense.  I guess I better start checking these symptoms off and see a doc about them.

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So I went to Dr. Martin Chiropractors – just ONE of the doctors I made appointments to visit. I did NOT expect what happened to happen. You know the first thing you do when you go into a Docs office, right? They give you tons of paper work, weigh you and get your blood pressure.

My blood pressure was through the roof!!!! The look that the nurse gave me was all the instruction I needed. I am normally a person with very LOW blood pressure – which is not healthy either but to be this high was extremely unlike me. SOMETHING’S WRONG.SOMETHING’S VERY VERY WRONG.

I took tons of exams and x rays while I was there and Doc comes in with the results and discusses options for continuing my goal towards Ironman.

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I have two curvatures in my spine that had been creating these problems in my stride. I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure again. With all that I had been doing… my doomed body returned bigger and badder than ever.

Here we go now!!! Adding another team of doctors to my list of guardian angels.

You can eat all the right things. You can do all the right things. And sometimes genes and heredity still give you a good fight. Now, let me be clear about this… I’m not saying give up, we all die anyway… I’m saying do it right – live life the best way possible – because everyone dies but only those of us lucky enough for it to click get to really live life to it’s fullest. I can smile as I look back on all I have done, all I have learned, all I have met, all I have befriended, all I have inspired and all that is yet to come.

The nurse didn't believe that I had squiggly veins. After a few tries she was able to capture a few vials of my fatty blood.

The nurse didn’t believe that I had squiggly veins. After a few tries she was able to capture a few vials of my fatty blood.

And then the thought flutters through my mind… if I had not started exercising and eating better, how far back ago would high cholesterol and high blood pressure have taken my life? I look back at the Myssie of 2011 and how horrible she felt inside and out. There’s no way that Myssie experienced the happiness that Myssie of 2012-2014 felt.

I suddenly felt like the world came to a screeching halt. But my world doesn’t stop for me. It stops for my family and my loved ones.

I got two phone calls… one that said my uncle was at the hospital. He had a stroke. The other phone call was that another dear friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

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My heart is broken. My arteries are clogged. My mind is scrambling. My muscles are strained. And my back is bent.. but not broken.  The fight to be healthy and cancer free keeps punching the lights outta me. God, I don’t know what you’re trying to do and don’t know where you’re leading me but I’m not sure I’m strong enough to do this again.

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“You suck!” and other constructive criticism that is always offered

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by runmyssierun

FIRST OFF, I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE THAT I HAVE EVER HURT IN MY LIFE INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY. People change and have a bad habit of not telling each other that we’ve changed. I am not perfect and I know I’ve hurt some people before. I do try very hard not to but I am human and mess up from time to time. So, if I’ve hurt you and apologized for it, know that I am genuine. If I’ve hurt you and didn’t realize I did, I am so very sorry. If I apologized, and you never forgave me… I’m still sorry. No need to come back into my life if you feel it is unnecessary/uncomfortable. Maybe God meant for us to go different directions.

This entry is rather long and has been in draft mode since about the middle of 2014… I took a lot of time with this one. It has little to do with ridding the world of cancer or how to run a marathon or train for a triathlon… but it has the most critical ingredient for doing everything in your life to the best of your ability.


I remember Momma telling me that she was grateful for some of the things that cancer made her aware of. She said it taught her what was really important in life. It taught her how to say “NO” to the things that were not priority. It taught her about faith, family and friends. It taught her about the importance of forgiveness.

Not too long ago, I did a little experiment in forgiveness. Remembering her words, I asked for forgiveness from those whom I thought I had wronged for one reason or another. I’ll be honest, many of the times, I had no clue what it was that I did that made them hate me so much but I thought it was the right thing to do in this journey of mine in order to continue forward.

The responses from them were shocking but I had prepared myself for anything so I knew whatever it was that came back to me, I would take to heart and use it to make myself better. Just like in pageants, I went into it knowing I was giving these people the opportunity to judge me and hoping that I could use their feedback to make me a better person.

I straight up asked for forgiveness for anything that I had done wrong to them and asked them to tell me what it was that I did so that I could correct it.  Weird thing was that… NOT ONE of them said I had done anything wrong to them. They said they just didn’t like me any more. They liked me when I was sad and when things in my life were falling apart but once I found happiness and conquered my struggles, they no longer saw a reason to befriend me.

I was listening to satellite radio not too long ago… it was the morning mash up on Sirius with Taylor Swift. What she said was brilliant about the masses criticizing her. They had asked her if she took all the criticism that was given to her seriously. Taylor responded in the exact same way that  I did. If the criticism came from someone credible with valuable critiques, she did her best to make those suggested changes. However she noticed that some of the criticizers said things mostly because they saw something in her that scared them, intimidated them or came from an angry foundation within that person.

Swift knows that she can’t please everyone, no matter how many records she sells or awards she wins.

“When you do what I do, which is you put yourself out there for a lot of people to say whatever they want, there’s a million different opinions,” she told E! News. “I get that, no matter what, you’re going to be criticized for something.”

But, according to Swift, there’s a difference between criticism and hate.

“But I also get that there are different kinds of ways to criticize someone. There’s constructive criticism, there’s professional criticism — and then there’s just being mean” she said. “And there’s a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person.”

Very true, Taylor!

As I searched on for ways to deal with this type of behavior, I kept finding that silence is the best way to handle it. “You can’t change people who don’t think what they’re doing is wrong,” I was told.

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People don’t come with warning labels tattooed on their foreheads that tell you they are currently struggling with anger issues, or are in their manic stage of being bipolar or are in the deep ruins of depression, addiction or… whatever it is that they are dealing with. Humans are strange beings and complicated. We have a tendency to think that all other beings think the way we do individually and many times – most of the time – it really isn’t the case.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that people who have even the slightest bit of a chemical imbalance or mental instability can be easily knocked into a place of anxiety, irritability, anger and other mood swings simply by taking wrong dosages of prescribed drugs, self medicating, too much pre-workout shakes or coffee. I happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when someone who was tackling this problem went through their swing.

Although it hurt tremendously when I was a recipient of the anger outlash, I also know that their actions came from a deep place that I was never a part of and I simply unintentionally ignited a trigger for them to react the way they did. They will never apologize to me because in their mind, they think they have done nothing wrong or behaved inappropriately. Examining my own behavior, I try to ask/answer to myself if I was in a state of unhealthy emotion and maybe taken their behavior to a completely exaggerated level because I was sad, agitated, sleepy, exhausted, etc. and this could be something that was all concocted in my head. Saying hateful things to another when in a state of anger is no excuse but realizing that when at least one of the parties involved was a little bit off that day, it makes it easier for me to deal with and forgive… and offer even more friendship.

I get hate mail occasionally and can now take a step back and recognize that the people who are saying these things – the really bad things (granted some of my haters have reason to dislike me and I respect that) have had quite a bit of history with their temper and saying some pretty nasty things without apology.

So when I saw a friend of mine torn to shreds by cyber bullies, I picked her up with some pretty vicious quotes that were offered to me as to give her some perspective on how cyber bullies work. I think she appreciated it and giggled when I told her, “My haters are the coolest haters in the world! We must have yours meet up with mine so they can have coffee and discuss further.”

I also mentioned that my haters had a habit of “unfriending” me on facebook but follow me on other social media…

*now, I don’t talk about my day job here – I’m an interwebby nerd aka Social Media Manager, a PR and Marketing manager that specializes in internet technology – so I can see a lot of stuff that most cannot on the net on a regular day to day basis. It’s my job to do so.

So I can see that they view all the stuff I post on other sites. I am pretty active on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. and this blog. If you’re a follower or friend, It’s pretty easy to see what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, how my training is coming along, etc. because I’m pretty candid.  But there are also certain sites that I use for my work clients in addition to my personal stuff  (i.e. for their visual graphics, quotes, gifs and other cool stuff that I repost on client sites).

I shared with my beat up cyberbullied friend that when my haters become unmanageable, I will jump onto pinterest or another frequented site and start posting about Jeffery Dahmer. They seem to settle down after that and keep a distance. Heh! Wouldn’t you??? (Ok, that’s a joke and I really don’t do that – but am guilty of posting some pretty funny tongue in cheek stuff that they would understand and get them embarrassed enough to stop their gossiping)

My point being is that if you know someone is being unreasonable and going over the line with gossip about you, it’s ok for you to feel hurt but don’t let it keep you down. Some people are mean. That’s it. They’re just plain ol’ mean. Some people are mean all the time. Some people are mean when they’re triggered by certain memories, certain foods, certain chemicals… but most of the time, their meanness has nothing to do with the person they take it out on.

If you find yourself being a target of people like this, please know that their behavior is rarely because of you as a person. But take care of yourself, shelter yourself and your emotions and don’t let their hate make you like them.

It was then that I saw Cassey Ho stand up for herself against the hate remarks. She wasn’t silent and she did it in an awesome way!!!

That’s when I knew I had to do the same… not just for me but for anyone else who has been told

YOU SUCK

You’re too fat to run a marathon

You’re too slow

Why do you even bother to run a marathon if you can’t finish in “x” hours?

You aren’t embarrassed when people see you like that in spandex? I would be!

Honey, you need to do more squats.

You should work on your core more.

Don’t you think you’re too old for this?

If you collected all the money you spent on races and triathlons, you could have paid a plastic surgeon to do a hell of a better job on you.

You’re just in a midlife crisis looking for attention.

After all those races that you do, you should be in better shape.

and then there’s the gossip said behind my back…

She’s so fake

She lies about her pace time

(and then there’s the gossip too mean to even post here… because I’d hate for my children to find out about that and shame on those gossipers who never thought about that or worse… don’t really care about how their words affect people other than just me)

When people say things like this about my body and me – personally, it hurts me. And honestly, I think they intend to do that. But what takes me over the edge completely is when they talk about the reason I do this.

One of THE most hurtful hate mails I have ever received. It was hurtful because she made me feel like all I've done, all that my teammates have done, all that the survivors that have been by my side all along, doesn't matter. And worse, that they don't care to get better.

One of THE most hurtful hate mails I have ever received. It was hurtful because she made me feel like all I’ve done, all that my teammates have done, all that the survivors that have been by my side all along, doesn’t matter. And worse, that they don’t care to get better.

Making a mockery of the money that I have raised, the events I’ve participated in, the organizations I’ve supported is low enough… but saying that these people “don’t really want to fight cancer” is preposterous.

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My TNT Super Heros!!! Christa Emig and Eric Cooper (*I tweeted this pic to MK who I later sneaked up on the next day)

My TNT Super Heros!!! Christa Emig and Eric Cooper (*I tweeted this pic to MK who I later sneaked up on the next day)

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David Mendez, 52, beloved son, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend entered into eternal rest on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at his residence in Arroyo City, Texas, surrounded by his loving family after a valiant battle against lymphoma.  A native and lifetime resident of Brownsville, David was well-known not only in Brownsville but across the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas due to his talents as an architect. David was a partner with Gomez, Mendez, and Saenz, a distinguished architectural firm known throughout the Valley and State. David’s name can be found all across the Valley and State on the countless schools and buildings that he worked on. David was proud to have served as the President of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. David’s accomplishments and community involvement are too numerous to mention as he was quite active not only in Brownsville but throughout Cameron County serving on different boards. In his spare time, David was an avid outdoorsman whose passion was fishing, which is why he drove in from Arroyo City where he lived every day. That passion for fishing, led him to establish the Hooked for Life Kids Gone Fishing Foundation several years ago. David strongly believed in the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  David was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed not only by his family and friends but by all those who were fortunate to have known him. David was preceded in death by his loving mother, Esperanza Hinojosa Mendez; a brother, Roberto Mendez, Jr.; and a nephew, Nicolas “Nico” Benavides. Left behind to eternally treasure their memories of him is his father, Roberto C. Mendez; the daughters that were his pride and joy, Erica (Jamie Figueroa) Mendez and Ashley (Andres Guerrero) Mendez; the granddaughter that was the apple of his eye, Natalie Hope Guerrero; his sisters and brother, Margie (Felipe) Beltran, Yvette (Juan) Rey, Monica (Rudy) Buitureira, Cesar (Nancy) Mendez, and Yolanda (Rafael) Leal. David will also be missed by his nieces and nephews, Bobby Beltran, Miguel Rey, Rico (Amy) Benavidez, Vanessa Beltran, Monique Rey, Alejandra Mendez, Brianna Buitureira, Carolina Mendez, Bianca Buitureira, and Cesar Daniel Mendez; two great-nephews, Brandon Rico and Bradley Benavidez; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. today, Wednesday, January 22, 2014, and continue through 4:00 p.m. Visitation will resume at 5:00 p.m. and continue through 9:00 p.m. with the recitation of the holy rosary scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 555 West St. Francis St., Brownsville. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at St. Joseph’s. All services will conclude after the Mass and in accordance with David’s wishes, cremation will follow. David’s favorite color was yellow. The family respectfully requests that you wear something in any shade of yellow to the services.  Rene Capistran, Rudy Gomez, Joey Lopez, Dr. Ruben M. Torres Jr., M.D., Joe Touchet, and Manny Vasquez are honored to be serving as David’s pallbearers. David’s brother, Cesar; his brothers-in-law, Felipe, Juan, and Rudy along with Roan Gomez, Isaac Ochoa, Rolando Borrayo, Johnny Rodriguez, Dr. Nolan Perez, Manny Vela, and the Hooked for Life Executive and Advisory Boards will serve as honorary pallbearers.  In lieu of flowers and in keeping with David’s passion for fishing, memorial gifts in David’s name may be made to the foundation he started: Hooked for Life, 1800 E. Van Buren Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520.

David Mendez, 52, beloved son, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend entered into eternal rest on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at his residence in Arroyo City, Texas, surrounded by his loving family after a valiant battle against lymphoma.
A native and lifetime resident of Brownsville, David was well-known not only in Brownsville but across the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas due to his talents as an architect. David was a partner with Gomez, Mendez, and Saenz, a distinguished architectural firm known throughout the Valley and State. David’s name can be found all across the Valley and State on the countless schools and buildings that he worked on. David was proud to have served as the President of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
David’s accomplishments and community involvement are too numerous to mention as he was quite active not only in Brownsville but throughout Cameron County serving on different boards. In his spare time, David was an avid outdoorsman whose passion was fishing, which is why he drove in from Arroyo City where he lived every day. That passion for fishing, led him to establish the Hooked for Life Kids Gone Fishing Foundation several years ago. David strongly believed in the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
David was deeply loved and will be profoundly missed not only by his family and friends but by all those who were fortunate to have known him.
David was preceded in death by his loving mother, Esperanza Hinojosa Mendez; a brother, Roberto Mendez, Jr.; and a nephew, Nicolas “Nico” Benavides.
Left behind to eternally treasure their memories of him is his father, Roberto C. Mendez; the daughters that were his pride and joy, Erica (Jamie Figueroa) Mendez and Ashley (Andres Guerrero) Mendez; the granddaughter that was the apple of his eye, Natalie Hope Guerrero; his sisters and brother, Margie (Felipe) Beltran, Yvette (Juan) Rey, Monica (Rudy) Buitureira, Cesar (Nancy) Mendez, and Yolanda (Rafael) Leal. David will also be missed by his nieces and nephews, Bobby Beltran, Miguel Rey, Rico (Amy) Benavidez, Vanessa Beltran, Monique Rey, Alejandra Mendez, Brianna Buitureira, Carolina Mendez, Bianca Buitureira, and Cesar Daniel Mendez; two great-nephews, Brandon Rico and Bradley Benavidez; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.
Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. today, Wednesday, January 22, 2014, and continue through 4:00 p.m. Visitation will resume at 5:00 p.m. and continue through 9:00 p.m. with the recitation of the holy rosary scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 555 West St. Francis St., Brownsville. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at St. Joseph’s. All services will conclude after the Mass and in accordance with David’s wishes, cremation will follow. David’s favorite color was yellow. The family respectfully requests that you wear something in any shade of yellow to the services.
Rene Capistran, Rudy Gomez, Joey Lopez, Dr. Ruben M. Torres Jr., M.D., Joe Touchet, and Manny Vasquez are honored to be serving as David’s pallbearers. David’s brother, Cesar; his brothers-in-law, Felipe, Juan, and Rudy along with Roan Gomez, Isaac Ochoa, Rolando Borrayo, Johnny Rodriguez, Dr. Nolan Perez, Manny Vela, and the Hooked for Life Executive and Advisory Boards will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers and in keeping with David’s passion for fishing, memorial gifts in David’s name may be made to the foundation he started: Hooked for Life, 1800 E. Van Buren Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520.

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Sissy

Sissy

Yes, that hurts. I’ve gotten to know each of these and many many, too many others who are also “fighting cancer” and I can tell you from the deepest part of my heart… they aren’t faking it. They’re fighting it … or they fought it with all they had.

After asking these people who hurt me, why they did the things they did… one REALLY surprised me saying that if I’m willing to put myself out there, I’m automatically giving the public permission to judge me. (*in a way, I get this, but what I don’t get is the next thing she said) She considered herself a really good friend of mine because by telling me that she and a few others had been talking behind my back and  mocking me, that I should not let it bother me because eventually it would make me a better person.

What the…???? Ya, now you see.

So when this same group of people continue to speak non-sense of me with ill intent and others come to me to let me know, I have a hard time saying in a nice way that some of these people are a bit off their rocker. I am better able to cope with gossipers, haters, bullies and word vomit from the peanut gallery. But it still hurts.

I enter as many events that I possibly can. Yes, there have been a lot of them. More than most people do for a cause. I do events and fundraise/participate in global, national, state, regional, community, local organizations and non-profits and individual fundraisers for friends of mine or family members/friends of friends.

I do this because I want to help with the things that my mother identified gaps in: helping local people who have a need and are coping with cancer, helping the caretakers of those people, making sure that everyone has access to affordable treatment, finding a cure and finding the cause.

I help local AND national/worldwide funds because, lets face it… there are no medical or science labs that are located in the Valley that can find the cure or find the cause.

The majority of my participation in events has been with LLS because it was Sissy’s last request for me to run for her. She had a blood cancer, the type of cancer that LLS specializes in. I’ve also participated and helped with many, many others.

Now, I know what I’ve done and why I do this. Clearly, this bully didn’t and she has her own perception of me. I was told a long time ago to just not defend myself or try to reason with her because

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So now, today, I am in awe of the way that Cassey Ho gracefully made her point. She changed herself to fit what the haters wanted but then SHE wasn’t happy inside. If I change myself to become what my haters tell me to become like, then I won’t be fulfilling the promise that I made in the first place. And we all know, it won’t make them happy. They’ll just find something else or someone else to be complaining about. Happy people just don’t say things like this at all.

Oh… and P.S. I don’t post and blog for attention. I’m in MARKETING, PR AND ADVERTISING. This is my field of occupation. I know better than to think I’ll get my story heard by those who need it if I just keep my head down and mouth shut. I’m not spilling my guts about my races to brag or compete against YOU. It’s to share my experiences so that I keep it from eating me up inside, start the conversation so that we all learn together from each other, grow as a healthy population towards a world without cancer.

Oh.. and another P.S. the next time that girl with acrylic nails, frosted highlights and three feet of mac lip stick and a maxed out credit card filled with botox tells you that I’m “fake”, just smile at her and remember the picture posted above.

Ok… the last P.S…. don’t let the haters get the best of you either. Ok? You’re better than that.

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Late night prayers on the Jogging trail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2015 by runmyssierun

I’ve talked before about dog runners and cat runners… (dog runners run in packs and cat runners run solo and independently) Since, leaving the Team in Training triathlon team in February, I haven’t had any organized group workouts. Finding the motivation to go out there and do the scheduled workout has been a personal struggle. I don’t get those encouraging, motivating texts to get my butt out of my warm spot I’ve snuggled into at 3:45 a.m. anymore. Its so much harder doing this solo.

And now it seems that my morning workouts will change to evening workouts because of hubby’s crossfit class at 5:30am.  The struggle to be consistent is always challenged by the struggle to be adaptable to any and all situations.  In March, I had noted all the morning classes around and group runs/rides that I could join. I even got super excited because there’s a new SURFING class at 5:30 that would help me focus on my core and upper body so that I can empower my weak swim stroke.

My first #surfset class  at Contempo Fitness Studio - LOVED IT

My first #surfset class at Contempo Fitness Studio – LOVED IT

I found myself quickly scrambling to adjust my calendar of workouts to see who was doing what in the evenings… checking open pool times, costs, memberships, group rides, distances, speeds, sags, etc…. and then it happened. My freak out session came. I cracked. That thought again…

WHY AM I DOING THIS???? It’s too much. Just quit it all. Do something that doesn’t take so much time. Do something that’s not so hard. There’s tons of other stuff you can do to help. Besides, you need to be here for (son) when he does his homework and to do laundry, sweep up the dog fur, take the dogs out, (insert a million other excuses that will clearly make the world come to a screeching halt because I didn’t do this or that… and that lasts for about three hours of conversation in my head while I desperately try to convince myself that it was ok to quit)

uh oh…

You read that last word in parenthesis, right? Yep, that’s all it took to wake up that mean voice in my head.

Have you ever felt someone roll their eyes at you? Have you ever felt someone snicker and sneer at you even they knew you knew they were doing it? Has that other person ever been your inner you? I swear the Inner Myssie is so sick and tired of me now. Her patience is wearing thin.

Anyways… long story longer…

I had it out with myself – again – as always – and got out there to do anything… anything… just to get out and move and get clarity back where it needed to be the first chance that life gave me…. later that night. Much later.

I love how a simple little jog takes my mind to where my heart is. I had a pretty messed up month and as each week passed, things seemed to be getting worse. It was as if this big dark cloud was following me around CONSTANTLY!!!

It was late. 9:30p.m. I usually don’t run in the dark at night here in this border town that has been infiltrated with illegal activity for a while now (and some pretty scary stuff happening on the running trails to women on this trail). This evening, though, I was determined – almost in a rebellious driven determination – to get a run in. No head lamp. No reflective or light vest. No mace. No gun. No taser. No garmin. No runkeeper. No NikeRun. Nothing but me and my iPhone with none of my playlists that took years to build (in my bad luck, my iPhone died… taking all my running playlists with it – my songs got backed up but not the playlists).

*DO NOT EVER DO THIS!!! NEVER EVER EVER RUN LIKE I DID. I LUCKED OUT BECAUSE I HAVE AWESOME GUARDIAN ANGELS…. ok, proceed onto the rest of the story…

So there I was in the dim shadows of the Bicentennial Street Running Trail right smack in the middle of my pity party about about a mile and a half into my run when I see him…. the first split second is a freak-out session… He’s sitting down about 200 yards ahead of me on a bench by one of the metal planet informational sculptures along the trail, his head in this hands, elbows propped on his knees and looking down and I’m running towards him… but this wasn’t what I first focused in on… the first thing I focused on from the distance were his shoes. They were brand spanking new blinged out Clorox white leather court shoes… like for tennis.

*Runners don’t wear court shoes on a running trail.

Clearly this young man – approximately mid-20’s – was not a runner. Immediately the runner snob in me takes a mental note: this man does not belong here. And then the Myssie that I like about me pops out…

“He’s here for clarity. The same clarity you are seeking.” I said to myself.

“Look at him. Can’t you see? He’s praying. He’s asking for guidance, seeking answers, wanting help.”

I ran to the northernmost trail and looped my way back South again. I’ll bet a good 20-30 minutes had passed. There he was still. On the bench, hands clasped holding his head against his knees… praying.

Yes, yes, I could see that now. This trail is not just for people running marathons. This trail is the path that all people take to seek clarity, answers and the way to their own happiness. Some of us run this trail. Some of us walk this trail. Some of us ride this trail.

But we all are here in search of that thing that makes us happy, whole, productive, appreciated and loved.

We all have our reasons. They may all be different but none more important than any other. We all have our reasons.

I prayed for him that night for the rest of my run.

This month is tough for a lot of us. It marks the anniversary of the death of my Mother, my baby brother and the one year hit-and-run death of Eddie Arguelles.  Friends and family organized a petition to establish an alert system similar to the current Amber Alert but designed for hit and run drivers. The news media has promoted it and we need just a few more signatures to make this possible. Please help us with your signature and share amongst your friends so that they can share and be more aware and unafraid of calling in any suspicious cars with fresh dents or witness a hit and run.

Sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/sergio-munoz-juan-hinojosa-texas-hit-and-run-alert-system?recruiter=268720761&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default

Killing cancer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2015 by runmyssierun

http://killingcancer.vice.com/

“My life, like most people’s, has been negatively affected by cancer, and the thought of my young children living in an age where this is no longer humanity’s No. 1 health fear was simply overpowering.”
Shane Smith

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