Archive for tx

The Ghost in the Spokes

Posted in cycling, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2015 by runmyssierun

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That white bike you see by the road fastened to a light pole or sign signifies that the life of a cyclist was taken during a bike ride. Many times, if you get the chance to speak to a cyclist, you’ll begin to understand that the bond between the cyclist and their steed is unlike any other relationship between a human and an inanimate object. It is almost like the two become one. Neither can do what they were designed to do without the other. The white bike is a ghost bike waiting patiently for it’s owner to return to it so that they can finish the ride they started.

Weird thing about ghost bikes is that way back before I was even running, I worked at a television station and one of my projects was an awareness campaign with a 15 year old boy, Jake Ramon, who produced an award winning documentary about bicycle safety in the Rio Grande Valley after the tragic loss of Roy Carlson on Trenton road in McAllen. Jake’s mother is a cyclist with Team McAllen. Jake’s father is the big brother of one of my best friends when we were in elementary school. God seemed to have planted the seeds earlier and I just never quite saw the signs to what I was about to embark on.

Prior to becoming a cyclist, I drove my car with my phone texting all the time. I saw the white bikes by the road but never really paid much mind to them.

When you know better, you do better.

And that’s why I’m so vocal. I want all of us to know better so we can be better. And I know I’m not alone in this.

I’ll see you at the Ride of Silence tomorrow.

The CRAZY cycle

Posted in Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2015 by runmyssierun

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I signed up for this book club but it’s also sort of a bible study thingy. The group was assigned to review a Christian oriented book based on the foundation of love and respect as per scripture in the bible.  On page 5, I knew I was already sold on the teachings because it had an illustration of the “crazy cycle” and I immediately correlated it with my crazy cycling!!!

And although I’ve already missed the first two meetings and can tell I’ll be missing the third as well, it’s plain as day what the book is trying to tell us about the differences between boys and girls but I can also use it to tell me a bit more about how I view the world and how the world views me and how differently we all see each other.

PERCEPTION

This was my key vocabulary word for the year.

For Christmas this last year, Santa got me a GoPro. I knew immediately that I was now not only going to be able to share my words with you but also my POV and clarify perception. I was going to attach that camera to my bike, my head, my hands my belly and/or any where I could attach it to so that you – the audience – could witness with your own eyes what I see in my trainings and events. Unfortch, I’ve only had one event this year and haven’t been able to use my GoPro much at all. And even though I’m pretty well known for my selfies, it is rare that I actually take a selfie with just me in it. Most of my “selfies” are with groups of people that I workout with and are posted during or after trainings and events. So naturally, training on my own has been out of most public eye.

Funny how perception works. Because I’m no longer publicly posting my workouts for the world to see, it seems like I’m not working out at all. True, I haven’t participated in events but my workouts have been consistent and tough enough for Dr. Martin to say “You’re pretty banged up now. This is not an injury to take lightly. If you continue this way, you’re likely to end up sitting out for a long period of time.”

Now on my second week with the Martin family chiropractors, I’ve been kneaded, twisted, turned, popped, cracked, ART’d and Graston’d by three of the four Martin family doctors. Never having any experience at a chiropractor’s office (other than a car wreck from about 15 years ago), I was both scared and skeptical. The thought of someone telling me to relax while they yank my head off my shoulders as echoes off crackling bones bounce around inside the confines of my head is not cool. I kept imagining my head being popped off with a snap and then how is my headless self supposed to get to the front office to tend to my co-pay and pick up my son at school afterwards?

I’m trusting that their time line with me is spot on because I’d like to push myself harder. My injury is odd in that I feel fine, stronger than ever, rested, my cardio is okay, and my weight is about 11 pounds heavier than last year but that’s from the kidney infection that I’m fighting already and the additional muscle mass since I had not been doing strength and weight training before.  The only time I actually FEEL my injury is when I do that aka ballet turnout. It’s not my hip flexor but my hip rotator that is aggravated. This is frustrating because I FEEL like I can do a good workout but Doc says no running and no strength training until we get the spine aligned properly so it reduces the stretch in my hip and equalizes.

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A few days ago, I did a really awesome bike ride on Zwift, my new indoor bike training program. 30 miles at about 20 miles per hour. Two days later, I couldn’t settle into my saddle. My hip felt like it had popped out and did only 16 miles at about 15 miles per hour. What happened from one day to the next?

Doc says that I irritated it and inflamed it too much. I didn’t give it enough rest with my trainings and therapy all week. Well, that’s what I get for feeling better, eh? It’s very frustrating!! But ok, ok… I’ll listen and behave.

I had wanted to do the 100 mile ride this morning for CADD = Cyclists Against Drunk Drivers. I didn’t though. I behaved and I have the big picture in my mind. This was a ride that I really wanted to be a part of. It had meaning. It was our community taking a stand against the all too common bad behavior that had been stealing and hurting the lives of my cycling friends.

The event was organized by Bicycle World and had asked Eddie Arguelles’s wife, Monette, to say a few words. She posted this:

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I’m telling you… she’s honestly one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.

The winds were really strong this morning so deep in my heart I know I did the right thing for myself to stay in. Cycling is tough enough at the distance and speed that I wanted to be at now. Add in 20-some mile per hour wind gusts and it can become dangerous, really dangerous for my recovery.. but I really did want to be there even if just in support.

I woke up this morning at 3am with lots on my mind. By 6:30 a.m., I had figured out all the solutions to mankind’s problems. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had my coffee so I forgot all those solutions already. So all I really figured out was my schedule and my list of things to do this week. I know, everybody else meal preps on weekends… I schedule prep. Ya, it’s that crazy.

By chance, the owner of the gym that I had gone to surfing classes at contacted me after reading on an earlier post on facebook that I was hurt. She offered to change me to another class, TRX and Rowing, both classes have upper body focus on strengthening so that I could rest my hip area and not have to give up my workouts. Ever so thankful, I naively jumped head first into TRX and as expected, my weakness was blatantly visible. I was shaking more on those dang ropes than Elvis’ hips in the 1960s! I survived the class blushing, out of breath, exhausted and with noodle arms. I was beyond pathetic. No seriously, I was.

Don’t know what TRX is? Here’s a video of what we did.

So combining the TRX and rowing class with the Surfset..

And my Zwift Cycling… I think I’m doing pretty damn good for being injured.

In fact, I’ve been winning some pretty awesome jerseys on a consistent basis. Not meaning to sound like a braggart about it but just trying to keep myself accountable to my past coaches and teammates that the promise to continue is still alive and well in me and although the thought has entered my head to quit, I’m still here.

On Wednesday, the community will gather again to remember those we’ve lost on two wheels. The annual ghost bike ride will definitely be one that I CANNOT MISS OUT ON.

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I apologize if it’s bad to end on such a sour note, but after all the tremendous progress we’ve made as a community towards health and fitness and sharing the road … I was disheartened to learn that Mr. Garza’s case STILL HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED CORRECTLY. Must every horrific cycling death in the Rio Grande Valley need an entourage of concerned cyclists and news reporters to flood the courtrooms to address their cases properly?

Last year, road construction on North 281 prohibited the ghost ride course from including Mr. Garza’s bicycle on the route. this year, we have a similar issue. However, I’d like to ask that prayers be sent to the Garza family as a year has already come and gone and very very few have heard of how Mr. Israel Garza was hit and killed while riding his commuter bike by an intoxicated driver. If you don’t know about this story, maybe we all need to start asking about that white ghost bike on the West side of 281 north of Edinburg by Red Gate.  As per my last conversation with the Garza family, the driver still had not even been arraigned.

Israel Garza was killed while he was riding his commuter bike on North 281 (I-69) by an intoxicated driver.

Israel Garza was killed while he was riding his commuter bike on North 281 (I-69) by an intoxicated driver.

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Certain things are likely

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by runmyssierun

1554534_10153676217425068_1042486816_nIt was the last weekend of 2011 and I had recently finished my first 5k (at the Fiesta marathon) and right between Christmas and New Years… the perfect time to give up on your fitness routine because of all the parties and temptation and seriously… resolutions start AFTER December 31st, right???

Wrong

This resolution was to be life changing for me at that time and even though I didn’t know anyone running that morning at Bill Schupp park, I knew I owed it to myself and to Sissy to get in as many training races as possible… so I did it.

And I ran it.

And ran it again the last weekend in 2012.

And ran it again this last weekend in 2013… today. But this time it was with my two boys. THAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY YEAR!!! To know that I’ve made so many sacrifices these last two years, so many lifestyle changes and so many positive impacts by staying true to myself and my running fitness goals that it impacted the lives of my sons… by their choice.

You have no idea how gratifying it is so see this come full circle.

Sissy certainly knew what she was doing. Three years ago, had you told me that my boys and I would be running races for “fun”… I would have laughed hysterically in your face!!!

I do love the new “me” that I’ve fought to become again… again? Yes, again. I am slowly becoming the woman I was a long time ago and was reminded of that just last night when my old friends from high school all came together to celebrate Billy’s wedding.  If you are familiar with 80’s movies, you know who Molly Ringwald is. Well, there was a part of me in every character that Molly played. I refer back to Molly a lot because in high school, my friends were the real breakfast club. And I was Molly.

Of all the characters that she played, I was probably most like Andie Walsh.

I still love the classic Karmann Ghia, shop at thrift stores, sketch designs and am surrounded by music (although not a music store in my real life unless you consider iTunes as the modern day music store) and I’m least like Claire Standish because although I did win my city’s local crown, I was hardly a princess. I don’t think I could do the lipstick trick (I never tried) but I could do the cherry stem trick 😉 and I still swoon over the dark haired bad boy. What is probably MOST predictable is that I married a guy who honestly really did look like Jake Ryan. I’ve been coloring my hair for so long that you’d never even know that my real hair color is copper red!!!

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I’m rambling

So anyways as my old Breakfast Club reunited (sans a few members) the talk and the realization of who I used to be and who I was becoming were quite similar. THANK GOD!

In my teens and early twenties, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to. I conquered all! There were no limits. In my late twenties, thirties and early forties, I felt like I could do nothing right.

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Each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

My Breakfast Club friends – life long friends – helped make me feel like I could do anything. And I hope that I don’t diminish how special they are to me by saying this next part because NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY BE AS WONDERFUL FRIENDS AS THEY WERE TO ME AT THAT TIME but now I feel like through all these run groups, team in training, Maniacs, cyclepaths, etc….  is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

When the original Breakfast Club was together, we were unstoppable. We could change the world if we wanted to in 72 hours. We never realized what we had at the time.

Now, I have a new Breakfast Club. The members are all so very different from each other. Some of us still tear each other apart with misunderstandings and gossip. (Not like my original Breakfast Club) But some of us… some of us are pretty dang awesome. And I’ll bet if given the chance, they could change the world in 72 hours if they wanted to.

I am so glad that I am part of this motley gang of misfit fitness fanatics. I am so glad that I have the family that I do. I am so glad that I was raised by the family that I had. I am so glad that my Breakfast Club reunited and remembered who I was and who Sissy wanted me to be again.

The great thing about Andie, Samantha and Claire is that all those characters went through some crazy drama, she had a few trusteds that she vented with (Yes, I have a “Duckie”, too), but with the help of her friends and the love of her family and a little bit of creativity… she gave up something that was dear to her and gave it to the handsome bad boy

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she transformed the humble gifts that were given to her and creatively combined them all so that she could show the world that they did not break her, and she showed up to the big event and showed them..

In the end, Molly always got the kiss and the storybook happily ever after ending… and that’s where I hope I am now. Sometimes I feel like my whole life has been written by John Hughes. Sometimes, I wish it was.

2014… it’s time to get it right. I know my goals. I know how to get them. It’s not going to be the trite “New year/New me” lingo here… I want the old me back again. So here we go!!! With the help of my friends and family…

WHAT’S HAPPENING HOT STUFF?????

Don't you forget about me. (*Rodney Perez)

Don’t you forget about me. (*Rodney Perez)

To my Duckie…

Taking it back old school so that I can move forward.

CLARITY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by runmyssierun

It’s a moment in time when all of a sudden the light bulb shines brightly in your head…

The “Ah ha” Moment!

As I near the end of my TRIPLE CROWN journey, I wanted to take a look back over all the people who stood by me, those who encouraged, those who said it couldn’t be done, those who benefitted, those who joined with me, those who mocked me, those who gave, those who took, those who I lost… and those precious, dear new friends I gained.

Those of you who follow my facebook, twitter, instagram and other sm accounts know that I rarely use names in my posts. I have nick names for family members and simply don’t talk about people I don’t like. *I learned that from Bambi* http://youtu.be/I71cY9Ysy5U

So, if I haven’t talked about you and you want to see your name here, want acknowledgment of some sort and are upset because you feel I’ve left you out… think again. Ask yourself, “Is she protecting my privacy or is she upset because I hurt her?” Regardless of the answer, know that you certainly have NOT been forgotten.

The ones that deserve more recognition than I have given… I’m going to continue on with my kudos and their nick names:

Dolly Gas – I was 18 years old when I first met her. Even back then I -and everyone else- knew this woman was soon to be the pulse of the Valley. She has a gift unlike any other, that of kindness and generosity unmatched. It is always when I least expect her to be by me to lift me up that she is there. She has been one of my biggest supporters, largest donors, most encouraging fan and dearest friend. For over two decades, this woman has shown me by her example all that I hope to be.

Butterfly Angel – This woman is so incredible! When I first met her, she didn’t know who I was and started talking about me to me. When I got to know her story, it was so similar to my own, I felt from the get go that we were true sisters. We both knew the torment that cancer causes and the torment of running a marathon… together. She has also been one of my biggest supporters, largest donors, most encouraging fan and has quickly become a dear friend. From bike jerseys that have turtles to orange bike gloves to hiring an artist to paint my first running shoe… this woman thinks of everything!!!

Les is More – This woman was one of my baby brothers dearest friends. She was accused of untruths and blamed for things that she did not do. She still had the grace to keep her head high, crush the lies and still do the right thing by killing the accusers with kindness. When those things happen to me, I look to her for guidance as her example has led me through way too many situations that flooded my eyes with tears and brought me to my knees… from those same people who tried to take her down. She has not only donated to EVERY Leukemia & Lymphoma event I’ve been in but she has also been a fabulous mastermind to several fundraisers for me as well.

My Breakfast Roll Club, PNO, and the “Family” – If laughter, love and encouragement had a dollar value… with all that they have given me, I’d be a gazillionaire. Honestly, I did the math.

Because the above have given so much, I keep their identities sacred so that others do not attack them for donations. Unfortunately, our world revolves around money and the people above have worked very hard for the money that they have and are always being hit up. People see their deep pockets and not their overflowing hearts. I’ve been the lucky one to be a recipient of their overflowing hearts.

Coach – I know… I call so many people “coach” because I have so many (running, triathlon, tnt, flex, vrc, etc). I often boast that the world is my coach because of all the lessons I’ve learned these past couple of years. But my close circle of friends/fellow athletes know who my “coach” is. While she has not made a donation, it is the skill, motivation and experience that she has shared with me that trumps any dollar amount. How can you put a monetary value on self-esteem?

Xman, Skittles and Little Skittles – I could not do my long runs on Saturdays, open water swims on Sundays or 80-mile bike rides in the hill country without these boys “taking up the slack” at home. They’ve waited for hours for me to finish marathons with cowbell and posters. They ran 5ks with me for training. They shaved their heads in solidarity. They gave me swimming lessons, took the dogs out, folded laundry, swept fur off the floor, quietly watched TV in the other room while I recovered and even followed me around on one marathon with ice chests full of ice, water, gatorade and fuel for me and all the other runners around. How can you put a monetary value on sanity? There’s no way I could train the way I do without this kind of support at home.

And now to “those”

To the mothers (especially) and families of Sarah, Ben, Baby E and Dezma… thank you for allowing me to befriend the grandest treasure of your life. Thank you for having the courage to tell the world of your struggles and your triumphs. Through your grace I have found my resolve. Thank you.

To the fellow runner who accused me behind my back of lying about my mile times. Thank you for getting me angry enough to run even faster than what I had stated and was smart enough to have proof the next time on my Garmin. YOU made me faster. Thank you.

To the jealous gym bunnies, false friends and former co-workers who made my life miserable with gossip, flirting, accusations and making fun of the hand sign that my mother and I treasured so deeply… I hope one day you’ll be able to experience the self esteem and confidence that I gained. You probably need it more than I ever did.

To those hundreds of people who wrote to me with questions on how to get started on your own journey, please know that you ARE worthy enough to make yourself the same promise I made to myself. DO NOT GIVE UP. Not on yourself. Value yourself more. Trust me, I struggle with the same issues you do. Many of us do. NEGU

To that stranger who ran a marathon for my mother and my aunt Sissy without ever knowing who they were… THANK YOU. Thank you for giving us six more treasured years together. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication and training and fundraising and sacrifice and anonymous grace. I will probably never know who you are but I hope that I honor you for what you have done by doing the same for someone else in the same circumstance.

To my sponsors… WOW! It is honestly overwhelming to attempt to even try to name them all here (some are at the top right corner of the screen if you’re on a computer or at the very bottom if you scroll down on your phone screen). To think that a business owner saw enough potential in me to give a portion of their hard earned money and donate it to some crazy person doing an extreme physical event so that someone they or she would never know could get their cancer treatment, transportation, housing or possibly a cure just fills my heart with hope for our world. God really does work through us all. In all our deeds and thoughts, He is in us. How else can you explain this?

To my donors… Each one gave as much as they possibly could in honor or in memory of a loved one touched with cancer. So many gave me names, photos and stories of those they gave for. Each one touched me to the core. I knew many and felt like I knew the rest after hearing the stories. From $5 to $2000, the donations kept coming in. I did my best to tell their stories to any who would listen. I did even better remembering them when I wanted to quit running, swimming or cycling. Because what I was going through couldn’t be nearly as hard or as painful as what they went through. Thank you donors. Your money is going to someone as special as my mom was to me.

To my Team in Training teammates, fellow Maniacs, Cyclepaths, VRC running class, RWC girls, 5am wake up riders and RPM classmates, thank you for pushing me and encouraging me. I always felt guilty as I was the last to come in (always) and knowing that each of you sat and waited for me to finish each practice and event. You did so with cheers and smiles and no complaints. I am honored to have had each of you by my side. YOU WOULD NOT LET ME QUIT. Thank you for that.

To my family – Thank you for sitting in the hot sun and the bottom of heartbreak hill with posters and cheers before I even knew what heartbreak hill was! Thank you for homemade banana nut bread for recovery… yes, bananas ARE supposed to be eaten to help with lost potassium. We’ve gone through so much together, I am so thankful that the silver lining for us is a much closer, loving family than ever before.

To my friends – Homemade pasta carb-loading dinners pre-race night, custom wet-suits by design, dinners in San Diego, floor seats to the Spurs before race day… the extravagance of their generosity is amazeballs!!! I am one of those lucky people who has lifelong friendships that count. They never EVER forget me and the bonds are unbreakable. Clearly. They know that what I am doing is completely different from what I have done all my life… I’m a professional princess 😉 And they still treat me as the legend in my own mind. I really do have the best friends ever.

To my brother – I know you are still with me. EVERY SINGLE EVENT I have done has had a Foo Fighters song blaring out at me at one point or another. I know you are still with me. Now stop laughing at how slow I still am!!! You weren’t fast either!

To my Sissy – Thank you for pushing me into this journey. Thank you for knowing that this would be the perfect opportunity to meet your biological family. Thank you for planning my journey back to self-esteem and health. Thank you for NOT picking zumba (as I first joked to you about).

To my Momma – Thank you for the courage and strength you showed all your life but especially while you were being attacked by cancer. Thank you for being the roll model I still struggle trying to portray. THANK YOU FOR EVERY SINGLE CHOICE YOU MADE. Thank you for telling me every chance you got that I could do anything I set my mind to. You were always right.

Thank you world.
I see what I must do.

Roar!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by runmyssierun

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