Archive for VRC

Run this way – beginner basics

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2014 by runmyssierun

The new year has begun and now I have lots of friends who told me a couple of years ago “You look great! And HAPPY!”, “You are such an inspiration. I could never run like you do”, “I’ve never been able to run,”…. and guess what… ya, you know what… they’re starting to run!!!

Including my own son!!!!

For those of you who follow me and don’t know me personally, let me sum it up for you… I’m probably one of the most over protective moms that ever lived. There. Period.

This last month, my son blurted out “Wake me up early so I can go run with you tomorrow morning”.  It was the equivalent of Heaven’s gates opening and a chorus of angels singing. YAY!!!!

For those of you who do know me personally and remember me saying that I’d never talk about my family on this blog… ok, I retract my statement. My son is joining me on my running journey!!!! He will now become a part of it and let me tell you, watching so many of my running team mates have their families run with them or man water stations or hold up silly posters wearing purple wigs and clanging cow bells at races was the bomb!!!! Many times, it was those families that made me feel like I was a part of their family. I’ve never been someone to push or bully someone into doing anything against their will, so I’ve been quite passive about this but secretly, just between me, you and this computer screen… I so wanted my family to be a part of it.

Ok, a quick run down (pun intended)

My son is an asthmatic so we went to his doctor yesterday to get him checked out. She was elated to hear that he would be running!
“It’ll teach him to open up his lungs at a different level.” She knew he was an incredible swimmer so developing his lungs over all the years of swimming would help with this next step. After a detailed check up and a couple of tests, she loaded him up with advice, monthly visits, samples and a huge smile!

We went to visit my run gurus at Valley Running Company. He got fitted for his shoes. They took their time with him and asked a lot of questions, had him walk this way and run that way and after about two hours… he left with the same shoes I have. Blame genetics. He’s got my crazy feet, same arch and duck walk. Saucony is going to be very happy with this family.

Signed him up for Running 101 – our local run class. Yes, this may sound a little crazy to some of you but our local run shop hosts run classes to TEACH US HOW TO RUN. There is a coach to give us weekly run drills, stretches, correct our form and we do it in a group atmosphere so that we all learn from each other, encourage each other and become accountable to each other. Plus there is safety in numbers when running in the evening.

So, let me review some of the basics, the important basics that every one should do when starting a new running routine:

1. See your doctor and tell him/her about your new running activity and ask if they have any concerns about it.

2. Get a custom fit shoe by a qualified run shoe store expert.

3. Find a running group to join with an experienced coach to teach you correct form and run safely in a group on a regular basis.

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Starbucks baristas served about 70 runners from the Running 101 Class at Valley Running Company midway through their social 6-mile run last night.

After my sons’s first run class last night, Coach Hector asked to meet with him today on a one to one evaluation. He went over a few stretches and strength exercises for his ankle that seemed to have been giving him some problem. He also went over some biomechanics and form correction with his stride.

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Running is one of our most basic and instinctive exercises but two years into this and I see it is such a complex sport. I learn something new about it every day. It’s easy and it’s complicated. Strange huh? What’s even stranger is the love/hate relationship that you develop with it!!!

I’m so excited about my son running with me. I truly hope he enjoys this.

Wow!!! Sissy… you really outdid yourself this time!

Click Click Boom

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2013 by runmyssierun

I haven’t seemed to find my focus these last few months… in fact, probably since Viva Bike Vegas. My head hasn’t been in the game for a while. Distracted with emotion, stress and chaos has veered my energies elsewhere. Unfortunately, it veered off into a place where I had no control. I know better than to worry about things that are not within my control… but I did. And it played it’s dirty little games with me.

Serenity Prayer

About a month ago, I went “back to basics”. I’m re-learning how to run. I’m riding and running garminless. I’ve put the fun back into my workouts. Maybe this kind of attitude doesn’t work for everyone but it allowed me to take a step back and evaluate my performance, get to know – really get to know and appreciate – the fellow athletes who have kindly taken me under their wings. This is my off season and I felt I should take the time to thank those who supported me, emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually and I loved every minute of it and every one of them. I smile when I run. I sing when I ride. I still freak out a bit when I swim. Eh… what’d you expect?

But the entire time I was feeling really good about myself, there were a couple of people who just couldn’t get what I was doing. The words “lazy” and “selfish” echoed with no end on a daily basis over these last few months. Sadly, I am still human. When someone is told they are something routinely (whether positive or negative) every day, they tend to believe that they are (positive or negative) eventually. So, I began to believe it. I am still struggling with that.

Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.

I’ve said many times over and over again to my close friends, confidants, team mates, coaches, and in this blog that being mentally strong is critical to participating in these endurance events. I have learned that my body can now do ANYTHING I prepare it to do. However, my head can quickly – without notice – put an end to all that hard work and physical capabilities with one simple little whisper.

YOU CAN’T

So when my doubting attitude starts to befriend those who call me lazy, selfish, childish, immature, not dedicated enough, not athletic enough, a spotlight hogger, etc… the dark side rises. It seems to be a never ending battle of wits but with a double edged sword.

The challenge is an enigma. I do well, I get criticized by some and praised by others. I do poorly, I get criticized by some and encouraged by others.  So, when I do an event and figure out that it doesn’t really matter if I do well or bad, I just do it to keep some sanity in my life, I still get criticized by some and then, surprisingly…  silence from the others.

I will likely step down after this season as my son will be leaving for college and my focus will be directed elsewhere once again. I made a promise. I will not stop. However, I am going to take it easy for a little bit now and stay right where I am… And where am I exactly you ask? I’m at the first line of Sissy’s Tree picture… just where she wanted me. I understand so much better now than I did a year ago, two years ago. I have found happiness and healing. I have done all that the tree picture said to do. I savored each instruction and lived it well. I strayed from it for a short while but now I’m back.

Life in not a race but indeed a journey

Tomorrow I’m running the McAllen Marathon for fun at an easy pace with some really good supportive friends that I’ve made along the way.  Originally, I was hoping to avenge myself after last years marathon disaster but after stepping back and thinking about things with a clearer head and peaceful heart, I’m gonna do the half with a fun playlist and smile the whole way through. So take that!!

I’ll close with an excerpt from my Momma’s diary in hopes that I not only fulfill her dreams of doing everything possible to help those touched with cancer but also what she hoped for her family – my family.

Statistically, I will be dead within 2 or 3 years. I have asked the Lord and His mother, the Virgin Mary, to give me a  couple of years more so I can see Michael graduate from high school. That would make me so happy. …. I ask the Lord to give me patience and I still continue to pray for his intercession. I hope and pray that I have the strength to get through this.” — Mimi Cardenas

 

if I ever feel better

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2013 by runmyssierun

The last few days have surprisingly been the darkest days of my life. Maybe it’s the time of the year and the significance of the anniversary dates… maybe it’s the post marathon blues… maybe it’s just that someone told me I should not be having this much “fun”. They feel I should be sad more. Their wish came true. I’ve found myself turning into quite the hermit and boiling in my own fears and anxiety.

As a result, I’ve questioned the next event that I’m doing (SPI Triathlon) and my ability to do it.

All of my prior events were done to raise money, awareness and in memory or in honor of someone other that just me.

ahhhhh key words…  “just me”

This will be the first time that I have done something like this for “just me”. Maybe I feel that I’m not worth doing this? Are my inner demons winning now? Is this the ultimate competition that Sissy knew I’d have to confront? Is this what she had me training for? (thinking out loud – and quite candidly, sorry – I probably shouldn’t be writing all this down for public scrutiny)

So in my despair, I reached out to those who I had gone to help before in search of guidance and advice.

German’s words were genuine and struck a chord with me. “Myssie, this isn’t your first 5k that that we pat you on the back and say good job. This is what you need to do to accomplish your big dream for you. You’ve always done everything for everyone else. Isn’t it time you did something for you? You are an athlete now.”

My immense fear of the bay’s salt water is overwhelming every time I enter it. And I don’t know why. I wheeze like I’m having an asthma attack. It burns and stings my throat and nose. It affects my bike and run afterwards. My heart races as a result. I panic. It fuels my inner demons and convinces me that I’m a failure. Quitting is all I think about. It becomes my only option.

“The salt water in the bay is the same salt water in Kona,” German said. “Conquer it now so we can do Kona in two years. Beat it now or it will kill you. It will kill you inside.”

My focus these last few months has been the bike because of my 104-mile ride in the Nevada mountains. As a result, my run pace has decreased by an embarrassing number of minutes. My swim has always been slow but I know I can go the distance, it’s just dealing with the wheezing and sting. My bike is my only reprieve.

He then went to the other side of the shop and came back with orange Balega socks. “Happy 2nd Birthday,” he smiled.

Luci and German with me at Valley Running Company

It was two years ago that I had walked into his shop to buy my very first pair of running shoes from his wife, Luci. That night two years ago, I ran my first block on the Bicentennial jogging trail. A month later, I ran the very first mile of my life. EVER. Two months later, in December, I ran my very first 5k. A month after that, in January, I ran my first 10k. A month after that, in February, I ran my first half marathon. Six half marathons and two full marathons, one duathlon, two triathlons, and one century ride later…. he still inspires me to do Kona with him.

But first… SPI Tri.

South Padre Island Triathlon

 

How It All Started (Part III)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by runmyssierun

Or maybe this should be titled: How YOU can get started

Ok, so horizontal running doesn’t count!!

So the first step is making the decision (not the wishy washy one that includes some sort of “if”  or “but”) to run/walk/jog/be active in whatever activity and keeping that promise to yourself. Step two is surrounding yourself with the right people with positive attitudes and experience with a willingness to teach you and setting incremental goals that continue to push you throughout your journey. And step three… its getting the right the “schtuff” – the gear, the goods.

Listen here. Got a pen? Write this down.

If you can walk from your front door to your bedroom, you can run. I don’t wanna hear all this nonsense about you having some bum knee from when you were in school or you have weak ankles or get shin splints or (insert any other ridiculous excuse here), you can run. Seriously! You can!

But you have to WANT to do it, you have to LEARN to do it right and you HAVE TO HAVE THE RIGHT SHOE FOR YOUR… YOUR FOOT…. NOT ANYONE ELSES… NOT YOUR FRIENDS… NOT YOUR BROTHER/SISTER/CO-WORKER/STRANGER etc FOOT. You have to be fitted correctly to have the shoe match your foot and your stride. This cannot be done at a Big-Box athletic gear store. You MUST go to a small personalized running shoe store to get this kind of attention and guidance.

Next thing… especially if you are a GIRL, just keep your eyes closed. DO NOT PICK A SHOE BY ITS COLOR. DO NOT PICK A SHOE BY ITS LABEL. Pick the shoe that was recommended to you by the run shop at the fitting. It may cost you a few bucks more but once you ask WHY that shoe is best for you and your goals at that time, you’ll receive advice that is priceless.

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These were my first pair of running shoes. They are the Saucony Cortanas. They fit my feet. The pink ones with a really cute flower on the side of the shoe that were right by my Sauconys on the rack were much prettier. But I trusted German Medrazo (owner of Valley Running Company) with his recommendation for me and was right in doing so. I immediately saw the difference in my next run with them… and never wore my old shoes again.  I change out my shoes about every few months because of the number of miles I put on them and how quickly I wear out the soles. German now knows that I trust him and his sales staff there and now makes an effort to order me schtuff in my signature color (orange).

*I highly recommend discussing your running plans/goals with the shop owners that you frequent. They are usually experts in their field and have immense experience in running and race events. In my case, I feel very comfortable now asking any of them at Valley Running Company silly stupid beginner questions like “Why does my nose always run when I run outside?” “What in the world is a fartlek?” “What is pose running? What is Chi running? What am I running?!?!”

A unique kind of friendship has formed as a result. They all cheer me on and support me out on the trails and in the races.

With no offense to the sales person at Academy, the level of assistance I have received from VRC has been unparalleled. The big department stores are not built to service customers like us in this stage of the journey. Had I begun to run with pretty shoes on sale, I know deep down in my heart that I would have developed shin splints, hurt myself in my first few runs… and given up on running all together.

And that happens a lot to a lot of people!!! They give up thinking its because they think they just cannot run when its actually a wrong shoe choice.

More little side notes: choose a good sock.

I personally will not run in any sock other than Balega. Cotton socks worn for long distance runs will give me blisters. They are a bit more expensive than your regular cotton socks and you need to learn to wash and dry them correctly so that they don’t go out of shape or wear out but you won’t get blisters with them. And in my book, that’s sooooo worth $5 more!!! You can shop around and see if you find others that you like better… but it’ll cost you!

Compression socks: got shin splints? These help. I could NOT have finished my second full marathon without them.

Got thick thighs? Don’t learn what chaffing is. Just trust me on this… start off wearing compression shorts when you run until you feel you could be the stunt double for a Baywatch lifeguard. With all the new pains you’ll be dealing with during the initial part of running, the last thing you need to deal with is a painful rash between your thighs.

For the love of all that is holy!!!! PLEASE WEAR A FIRM FITTING SPORTS BRA. Like shoes, each body is different and all bras are made differently. Take the time to find the right one for you. I lucked out. The Victoria Secrets sports bra was just awful on me. Wal-Marts bras were 1/25 of the price and I can even use them under my triathlon suit and swim in it!!! cha-ching! I can use that savings on my shoes!!!

Don’t run in cotton shirts. When you sweat, they get heavy and weigh you down on the trail. Tech tees wick sweat away and are everywhere. They’re also quite expensive so I’ll share with you some advice… It costs on average about $10-30 to run in a local 5k. Most of the 5ks in my area will give you a finisher shirt. Yep, you guessed it! A tech tee shirt! One that doesn’t cost you $45 (See! I’m your own personal coupon resource now) Run your local 5ks, get a shirt, help a local organization/cause and you also get a great Saturday morning sprint workout!!! What a bargain! Start your run shirt collection ASAP.

Get yourself a good foam roller, tennis ball and golf ball. You’ll learn to love these EVERY night! Get some KT Tape and youtube instructions on how to use it on whatever particular pain/strain you have.  Body glide is also something you’ll eventually need if you refuse to wear compression shorts and want to wear those tiny little crossfit shorts all by themselves.  You should also know that if you buy those cheap popsicle tubes and freeze them but DON’T tear them apart and eat them, they fit PERFECTLY around your calves if you keep them attached together and frozen. This was probably one of my fave tid bits when I first encountered shin splints as I increased my mileage.

Now go back to your running shop that you’ve begun to go to for advice and ask them if they know of any run clubs or classes that you can go to. Classes and clubs help keep you on a schedule.

What?!?!? You’re telling me that you just came back from your local run store and found out that there are NO running clubs or classes in your neighborhood? Well then, click here for information on how to join Team in Training. It’s fool proof so long as you stick to the plan and put in your workouts.

You’ll quickly befriend other newbies that feel just as nervous as you do and buddy up. You’ll get lots of encouragement from the experienced and newbies… it makes all the difference in the world especially on those days when you really don’t want to go run!!!

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Spark of Inspiration Spreads for the New Year | KRGV.com | CHANNEL 5 NEWS | Breaking News Breaking Stories

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 26, 2012 by runmyssierun

Spark of Inspiration Spreads for the New Year | KRGV.com | CHANNEL 5 NEWS | Breaking News Breaking Stories.

These are my All-Stars! These two are a couple of reasons why I cannot quit. If you surround yourself with positive people like this… nothing is impossible!!!

 

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