Archive for sctx team in training

On the Seventh Wave

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

Much time has passed since my last blog update. Much more has happened… good and bad and many decisions as a result of them.

Today is the first day of March. March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and I would be remissed if I went without asking everyone I knew if they knew what was up their butt. So, What’s up YOUR butt???

Unfortunately, as I checked my facebook feed this morning, I found that my Fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa Big Brother, Joey Soto, has rectal cancer. This is proof that cancer IS prejudice. It picks the best people on Earth. See, in college, Joey was this handsome, gentle, funny, debonair, green-eyed cowboy that all the girls swooned over on campus. I was president of Delta Zeta Sorority and my college boyfriend was a Phi Sig. Joey was his big brother and because it was in his nature to go the extra mile, he looked after me as part of his duty, as well. I never got into trouble and no one messed with me. I think a lot of that had to do with people knowing never to mess with a cowboy from Central Texas.

That's Joey. The one with the green eyes and dangerous guns!!! These guys showed up at all our DZ events, protected us and always  infused an overdose of fun and giggles into everything we did together.

That’s Joey. The one with the green eyes and dangerous guns!!! These guys showed up at all our DZ events, protected us and always infused an overdose of fun and giggles into everything we did together.

How he shared his news to the world via facebook was one of the most incredible posts I’ve ever read. I’ll share just a little part of it (I hope he doesn’t mind):

So I was talking to God last night. Yes, we talk often… Most of the times, it is about you guys. We have a good laugh and then move on to other topics, but he started telling me last night some things that he wanted me to share with you. He also told me to remind you that I am sick right now so you HAVE to Listen.
He said:
1. Take time every once in a while for those you love. Maybe, once a week, do something they really want to do. Whether that be go walking down the Riverwalk on a Saturday afternoon? Or go to a Plant Nursery? Just let the world stop every once in a while and smile. You will realize how beautiful it is sometimes.
2. Take care of your health. He told me that I am very lucky that he has given me the OPPORTUNITY to fight this and not just be gone one day. For that I have been given a chance to fight. AND I promised him I WILL FIGHT !!!!!!!
3. Talk to him. Yes, he is the Big Boss, the CEO, and all that, but his door is always open. He said he even had the door removed from his office so it is always open and he is ready to listen.
That is all he really told me last night. That OOHH and also not too worry at all. He’s got this for me and I will be ok.


I celebrated my 45th birthday this week. OMG!!! Did I just say my real age… out loud for the whole world to see and scrutinize and judge???? YES! YES I SURE DID!!! There was a time, not long ago, that made me cringe each time my birthday came around. Now, today, I no longer take my birthday for granted nor can I afford to ignore the blessing of another birthday… because the alternative is just something that I nor my family can handle right now. I am FORTY FIVE and am more blessed now than I have ever been before and I thank GOD and the world for allowing my silly age issues to annoy them this long. Won’t happen again. A lot of people don’t get to live this long. A lot of people who do live this long haven’t lived as well as I have. I honestly feel better now than I did at 25 and 100x better than I did at 35!!!!

My birthday wish was for people to donate $10 to #TEAMSARAH and the blood cancer treatment grant that our local LLS chapter is hoping to have named after her instead of posting a facebook birthday online for me. I had almost 1,000 social media birthday wishes and raised just over $500 in birthday wish donations from it. BEST GIFT EVER!!!! Thank you!!! Most people don’t have 1000 facebook friends so for me to have this many people send so many good vibes on my special day AND donate was validation to me of how awesomely I am blessed. Words can never thank everyone enough. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

I was also contacted by the American Cancer Society this last week. They told me that they wanted to honor my mother, Mimi Cardenas, my family and what I have done in her memory by naming me their honoree at Cattle Baron’s Ball this year.

Geez!!! Does this get any better????

Yes, but I’ll leave this for another post.

And now the bad stuff but with the silver lining… because that’s how I do things.

About a month ago, shortly after my last post, three of my teammates were cycling and were hit by a drunk driver. Two are recovering well and the third suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken back and a tough struggle to come back to a normal life again. This was the morning that we were all supposed to go ride in memory of Eddie Arguelles who was also hit by a drunk driver almost a year ago now.

The silver lining? It’s this: I wish you could have seen the waiting room at the hospital that morning with all our teammates there. Holding hands in prayer, we became more bonded and unified for Christina and for our cause that we are so passionate about.

However, I did make the personal choice – after much discussion with my family – that I would step away from Team in Training this season. I will NOT be participating in Ironman Victoria this June. I WILL CONTINUE TO FUNDRAISE AND I WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT LLS, TEAM IN TRAINING AND ALL THINGS THAT SUPPORT CANCER AWARENESS AND THE DREAM I HAVE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT CANCER. And yes, I’ll post more about this later in another blog post.

In the mean time… the training continues. And the support is overwhelming!!! If you are planning on participating in the Capital of Texas Triathlon #captextri, or Oceanside Tri, I ask that you please pick me as your Ambassador when asked how you found out about the event in the registration form. LifeTime Triathlon will make a donation for each registration that chooses me in support of helping me live in a world without cancer. Come on! Give it a TRI!

Choose Myssie Cardenas-Barajas as your ambassador and LifeTime Triathlon will make a donation to help #TEAMSARAH and support me in my journey to live in a world without cancer.

Choose Myssie Cardenas-Barajas as your ambassador and LifeTime Triathlon will make a donation to help #TEAMSARAH and support me in my journey to live in a world without cancer.

 

Until then… find me on the seventh wave.

Play by play of BISD’s Everyone Can TRI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I got a flat,” he responds.

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

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

click click

This. Is. Awesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was asked a good question yesterday.

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

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

 

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