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The Journey to Healing

Posted in cancer, training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2019 by runmyssierun

IMG_3603Eight years ago yesterday, I began my journey healing from the after effects of cancer by running and strengthening my relationship with God. Many have followed my candid documentary of it through my blog (www.runmyssierun.com), social media posts and/or joined me on the jogging trail or in the church at mass, Catholic Daughters, or ACTs. I remember someone telling me when Donny died that time heals. They said it again six months later when Sissy died. And again six months after that when Momma died. Although I understand, appreciate and am grateful for them trying to console me but I’m still not sure it’s TIME that has helped heal me. What I do know is that what helped ME was a phenomenal group of genuine, loving people who care surrounded me and encouraged me to find healthy outlets for my emotions. I took up running to heal my body (not to become a professional athlete – I have to make that clear for a certain group of people who follow). I felt it was better to take out my anger on the pavement than on the loved ones closest to me. I sought out the light of God in all that I did and if I did not see Him there, I dropped it from my life. By doing both, my eyes and heart were exposed to things I had not seen before: how cancer affects so many of us, too many of us, how God is there always and too many times it’s us that are not, and when you go through things that you don’t understand and are truly horrific, its because He is having you connect the dots, become stronger and wiser so that when they ARE connected, you KNOW and BLAM! – it hits you and it all makes sense. Eight years of this and the dots are finally connecting for me. I’ve met so many wonderful people, learned so much about cancer, how far science and medicine has come, how many gaps are still left to bridge and how possible we can make the impossible happen if we all work together for a greater cause. Thank you Lord for the hardships that you carried me through, thank you Momma for the prayers you devoted to me, thank you Sissy for saving my life with your last wish, thank you to my running coaches, mentors, teams, sponsors and fellow runners who encouraged me to not quit and push harder, thank you to my family, my sons and my husband for supporting me through those heart shattering moments that lasted years and in some ways still continue, thank you to my sisters in Christ who continuously pray for me and everyone who has been and will be touched by cancer, thank you to my fellow Realtors® who have now stepped up and in to this next phase of mine, just as my Momma did – still not ready to fill her shoes but certainly am ready to follow the footsteps she proudly trekked.

So with that, a few weeks ago, a fellow Realtor and cycling amigo rounded up a few of us who run and ride and a challenge was set forth: we were all to run 1000 mile (collectively) during the month of October and some of the businesses that we work with in the industry would match $1 per mile that we run and donate the money to the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer & Hematology Clinic. We created a facebook group and a Strava group to encourage/motivate each other and log our miles together. As of today, 4 days into October, we already have approximately 350 miles in to our goal! As Realtors®, we stereo typically lead very unhealthy, high stress lives. Most of us spend too much time in our cars driving rather than walking, running or cycling. We eat whatever is convenient and cheap so highly processed, high calorie fast food is the norm or skipping meals and binge eating/drinking late in the day is common. It didn’t take long for our little group to explode and offer hope and encouragement to our other members. We have 5ks on our calendar every weekend in October. Tomorrow’s Chacha Run in Edinburg will be our first.

But I had a dilemma. All these years, I was known for running in ORANGE because it was my Momma’s favorite color. The Chacha run and most October Breast Cancer awareness runs use the color PINK to signify and bring awareness to the issue. Long story short – I have nothing in pink to run in and wear tomorrow.

TODAY one of my best friends surprised me with THIS and all I could give her back were a flood of happy tears and big bear hugs. She took the time, effort and creativity to design and create this and have it made custom for me in time for this race tomorrow. ISN’T SHE AWESOME!?!?!? I know I am blessed not because I’m feeling all high and mighty but just the opposite – I’m humbled and unworthy of all the greatness bestowed upon me. I am blessed because through all of this loss, hardship, heartbreak, family destruction and cracks in the foundation of what I thought was me was God’s light shining through and connecting these dots, these moments, experiences and strangers who quickly became solid life long best friends is the healing. Thank you Irene Becerra Thompson and every one at Pescador Fishing Apparel! Y’all caught me by surprise today and love you all so much for it! I will proudly wear pink tomorrow for #mimismiles and to those who run beside me, I hope you feel the breeze from the wings of the angels around me. I hope that in the steps we all take tomorrow, today, this month, we are able to make a difference in the lives of the children fighting cancer in our community. My heart is smiling today!!!

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La Fea Mas Bella Con Ganas

Posted in team in training, training for my first half ironman, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2016 by runmyssierun

Well it seems that even celebrity Emmy winners have that little evil, sarcastic, self-defeating, annoying voice in their heads, too. I’d be lying if I told you that I have mastered and conquered the evil voice in my head. However, I have learned to become quite successful at giving her a run for her money and beating her a few times over these last few years. I know I will always struggle with the voice of doubt in my head but I gotta admit, I am much better now than I was before October 2011.

I missed my alarm this morning and missed my morning workout. It set the tone for the rest of the day for me. I was a super busy day at work and couldn’t seem to catch up on the workload. My phone is by me at all times and is set to alert me when particular subjects trend on social media. Clearly triathlon is one of those subjects.

So when I was in the middle of blasting through three piles of paperwork, three conference calls, two interviews, sixteen follow up calls and my 4th venti coffee refill… America Ferrera popped up on my phone. It was her recap of her first Olympic triathlon… and it was probably one of the most verbatim real to life posts that not only depict her experience but mine as well… and probably many others, too. It was automatically set to post on one of my social media sites but I hadn’t had the time to read it… until now.

Here’s the link to the New York Times article I’m referencing: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/arts/television/how-a-triathlon-helped-america-ferrera-defy-her-inner-critic.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-3&action=click&contentCollection=Television&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article&_r=1

How a Triathlon Helped America Ferrera Defy Her Inner Critic

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

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0447/1533/files/missie2_large.jpg?v=1474397154

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!

Shark Bait Who-Ha-Ha

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2016 by runmyssierun

Promo Ad

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Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 19282014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc.

 

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.

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???

no_need_to_pee_in_your_wetsuit_but_jimmy_is_just_used_to_it

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?

Tell me again why you can’t do it?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2015 by runmyssierun
This is the image that pops into my mind every time someone tells me they have bad knees and can't run.

This is the image that pops into my mind every time someone tells me they have bad knees and can’t run.

“You should come run with me,” I say.

“I wish I could but…(insert your excuse here)”

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