Archive for running

How Marathons & Triathlons helped me in business

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

 

Marathons & Triathlons (1)

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

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

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Body, Mind & Soul…the REAL Triathlon workout

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

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

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

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

FAILURE

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

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

Momma and her crown before her surgery

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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 🙂

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

Triflare Tribe Member Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

September 20 2016

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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.

Why? Because…I won’t give up

Posted in half ironman, ironman, rgv, rio grande valley, Running, texas, training for my first half ironman, triathlon, triathlon training, triflare, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2016 by runmyssierun

Confession: While in my late teens and early twenties, I stuffed my bras, wore push up bras and mastered the art of duct tape under a swim suit in order to win the swimsuit division in the pageants that I entered.

Now in present day, I struggle trying to keep the girls squished down enough so I can fit into my wet suit! Super duper powerful sports bras laugh in my face when shown the challenge I must endure. I have now accepted the doomed fate of side boobage for the time being. The Big Guy upstairs has a wicked sense of humor. I know… I know… that’s what I get.

We always want what we can’t have.

Exactly four weekends from this one, I will be at the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 in Galveston, Texas. I am, once again, out of my league at this race. So why do it?

Because I said I would.

Because I know if I convince myself that if I wait until I get better, faster, leaner, etc… I can still continue to tell myself that I can get better, faster, leaner, etc… and I’ll be waiting forever. Honestly, that’s called procrastination.

Because I know that if I surround myself with people who do things better than I do, I’ll learn from them how to do things better and I’ll become a better person for it.

Because I no longer care what the nay-sayers say. This is MY goal. This is MY promise. Not theirs.

Because I don’t care how fast or slow I go or what I look like.

Because I know that if I go out there and do the best that I possibly can do, I will know I did my best regardless of whether or not I finished first or finished last or anywhere in between or DNF’d… I wasn’t that spectator wondering if I could do it, or do it better than that other person or do it better than the last time I did this… I would know because I went and did it. And if I end up DNFing, I’ll just get up and do it again until I get where I want to be.

Because I won’t give up that easily.

What I DO know is that IF I finish, I will do so with very little time to spare. One month away, I will admit that my endurance and my time is not near what I would like myself to be at. Work, family, stress and duties of life have all taken priority over my workouts. Life still hasn’t given me a break and I need to realize that it never will. My schedule is so erratic that 90% of my workouts are by myself and I’m not exactly my own best motivator. Because I’ve been trying to lose weight, I’ve found that my nutrition hasn’t been at it’s optimum and have found myself questioning whether my choice to be a natural, organic athlete is the best choice at this point. I can now see why so many top athletes eat nothing but powered, “all natural” chemicals for breakfast, lunch and supper.

I knew this would be difficult. I knew it. And I made the choice to do it anyway. I CANNOT GIVE UP.

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I’m down almost twenty pounds. I’m also down almost a full minute on my swim pace from this time last year. I received a new long sleeved Team in Training wet suit and tried it out for the first time last weekend with some very experienced Ironman finishers out in the waters of South Padre Island. I struggled even with the first 500 meters. I’m not very gifted with upper body strength so pulling through the choppy waves with long sleeves got to me quickly. Just to be safe and not have to worry about this additional pressure, I believe I’m going to revert back to my old wetsuit that is sleeveless… just in case.

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My long runs have been inconsistent with equal parts great runs and horrible attempts. My cycling is still a mystery. I had planned on joining Team McAllen’s “Stations of the Cross” ride today at the San Juan Basilica and take my long ride with them along Military Highway and then jump off to do another few loops but storms rolled in and I was reduced back to my trainer. Fortunately, a new, extremely challenging course was introduced on Zwift (my virtual cycling training program) and it kicked my patootie!!! I swear I was pushing 2 mph up the mountain for about 45 minutes!!! Longest miles ever!!! But cycling down the mountain at my top speed of 60 mph was electrifying!!

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I did notice on my ride today that I need to be refitted. I bought a replacement saddle a while back ago and tried to install it myself. I don’t think I did a good job. My knees are bent too much through the entire rotation and I can’t seem to feel balanced in any other position other than aero. And even in aero position, I feel like I’m too far away from my bars to be completely in proper aero position.

To prepare for my run, I went back to Valley Running Company to see if I could entertain going back to Saucony since they have this season’s kicks in orange! To no avail, my run stance still has not been corrected and I immediately felt my hip trigger just during the sampling of the shoes. The pains that I feel now during my run are scary and heartbreaking. I feel like a drug addict desperately trying to get the feeling back from that first awesome run a few years ago. I don’t mind the pain of exhaustion. But I am now quite frightful of the pain of permanent injury. I pray I never lose control of my pride and ego long enough to endanger the ability to be active for the rest of my life.

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Tomorrow, I will not be participating in Stanley’s triathlon. This is the first sprint tri of the season here in South Texas. This is the event that started me off in the sport of triathlon. Stanley’s triathlon was created by my bike guru who also cherishes his mother and honors a charity near to both of their hearts, Guiding Eyes For The Blind. Part of what is raised at this event goes to fund seeing eye dogs for people who have lost their eyesight. I think this is something that isn’t talked about or recognized enough…the REASON why we TRI are many times for people other than ourselves. This is what makes triathletes so awesome. To have the dedication to endure so much pain during training and events must mean that the passion that fuels this is from the adoration of another.

My son taught me how to swim a mere 10 weeks before the event and Coach Sandy Overly continued to steer me in all the right directions for the entire year afterwards. I’ve competed in this annual event every year since 2012… except this one. I will be volunteering though. I will be at the finish line awarding the medals to all the phenomenal local triathletes, new and experienced.

And I can’t wait to see the smiles on their faces after their grand accomplishment!!

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Disc-Ohhhhh Dancing

Posted in cycling, Running, triathlon, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2015 by runmyssierun

Yesterday I went in for my MRI after a few weeks of chiropractic treatments at the Martin Chiropractic Clinic for my hip pain that I had been dealing with. Over the last few weeks, each of the Dr. Martins (there are 5 of them!) had all treated me and became very involved in my healing process. Over the last few weeks, I’ve discovered how very little I know about my own body and how it works.

I walked into the MRI clinic a little bit uneasy. It’s hard to explain. I knew there was nothing to be afraid of but I was afraid. I didn’t tell anyone that I was having an MRI done because I didn’t want to worry anyone and because I didn’t want to worry anyone, I couldn’t ask anyone about all that an MRI entails. The technician walked in about 20 minutes late for my appointment but quickly instructed me to disrobe and put on a faded, blue hospital gown. He then had me lay down on the bench in the middle of the cold, sterile, white room.  After he propped up my knees and tucked me in, the room hummed louder than an 80’s hair band rock concert and the bench I was laying on rolled into a coffin-like cocoon that almost burst my eardrums with an endless series of clicking sounds. Twenty minutes passed and the whole thing was over.

“A copy of your CD is available up at the front desk for you and the evaluation will be sent to Dr. Martin tomorrow morning,” he said.

Yes, I immediately grabbed the CD and threw it into my computer the first chance I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the software installed to be able to view anything on there.

Today, Doc Martin sat down with me and discussed in full detail all of my results:

No evidence of fracture, dislocation, bone bruise or bone contusion. No evidence of solid or cystic bone lesions. there is straightening of the lumbar spine mostly related to muscle spasm and pain.

L1-L2: No evidence of bulge or herniation.

L2-L3: No evidence of bulge or herniation. There is bilateral facet synovitis.

L3-L4: No evidence of bulge or herniation. There is bilateral facet synovitis.

L4-L5: There is a 2 mm posterior disc bulge with some impingement on the thecal sac. There is bilateral facet synovitis, right more than left.

L5-S1: there is partial desiccation of this disc space. there is a 4 mm posterior and central disc herniation with impingement on the central aspect of the thecal sac and minimal impingement on the right neural exit focamen.

What a pain in the butt!

What a pain in the butt!

After a cram session of anatomy, Dr. Martin led me to a back room, buckled me tightly onto a bed, programmed some numbers into a computer and slowly began pulling my spine. At first I felt like nothing was going on except for my shoulders being pulled up and boobs popping out but then just like he said… I felt the spine gently elongating. It wasn’t painful. But it was odd. *Secretly, I hope this adds at least a few inches to my height!

decompression-table

One of his assistants then led be to a back massage chair where she “beamed me up” with a cold laser. “It activates the mitochondria to facilitate healing” – ok, I haven’t heard the word “mitochondria” since Sophomore year of high school. Just because that term was used… I’ll buy into it.

*anyone who can incorporate mitochondria, onomatopoeia and any random algebraic formula into my everyday life will redeem three wasted years of high school for me.

“Make sure to ice your back and I’ll see you tomorrow.” he said.

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So long story short… I didn’t make run practice tonight with the TEAM. But I feel stronger and more united with support than ever before. Those who truly want me to succeed are beginning to show themselves. And I am so very blessed to have them with me!!!

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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