Archive for wally’s bicycles

My third Stanley’s Triathlon

Posted in Mom, triathlon, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by runmyssierun
The Real Stanley

The Real Stanley

So before I do my recap of today’s triathlon, let me tell you a little bit about WHY this event means so much to me. See, I’m a daughter who loved her mother and I do lots of crazy stuff in her memory and honor so that others don’t have to experience this pain that she went through with cancer. When children do incredible things for their parents, it tells me that those parents did something right. They showed real love to these children, the kind that garners life-long respect and admiration. Something that I thought every child received is actually a rarity now.

A little over three years ago, I met a young, kind, and generous man by chance while posing for a photo shoot by Mid-Valley Events Athlete of the Week story at his bike shop.  It didn’t take long for this guy to take me from marathons to triathlons. I was hurt anyway from the marathon that I had done and was using triathlon to continue my training while my feet were healing. I borrowed my husband’s bike and took it to him to get fitted and I guess he either felt sorry for me or he knew I was way in over my head or it was a combination of the two… but he took me under his wing for probably the same reason I admire him… we both love our mothers and do these crazy things for them in their honor.

Stanley, the namesake of this triathlon, is a seeing eye dog. He was his mother’s seeing eye dog. Stanley is no longer here but lives on through this sport of triathlon in La Joya, Texas.

Proceeds from this triathlon go towards the organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Because Wally supports me in all my crazy adventures, I’m going to make sure I make Stanley’s triathlon an annual event on my calendar and support him as much as I can. Because we both have extraordinary moms and that’s just what good kids do.

Want to know more about this? Here’s the link: Guidingeyes.org


And my recap…

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Ok, it’s no secret that my training has been a tad bit wacky and unconventional lately so I was a bit worried about how I would perform today. Nerves were hacking their way through me as I drove in… no coffee, tired (the last couple of days I’ve been living on just a few hours of continuously disrupted sleep) worried that I had forgotten something really important. I unloaded, asked Nesta (who had parked near me) to zip me up (told you I was tired) and made my way to body marking and bike check at transition. I was happy to see Alex eagerly waiting for me to remove my jacket so she could body mark me and then –again — purposely picked the very last bike rack to set up shop.

I carefully placed everything in the order that Coach Sandy taught me, got my earbuds, picked out my playlist and immediately began warming up with a stretch and a short, casual jog and then found a quiet place to sit and listen to my saved voicemails from Donny and Momma. This – this right here – keeps me grounded and focused on my WHY.

I’m surrounded by extremely gifted athletes that train very, very hard. There’s a few newbies, too. Scared and nervous and wondering what they got themselves into… I remember that feeling. And this is when I remind myself to do the absolute best I can do today and that, yes, I will hurt and yes, I will be out of my comfort zone for a while… but I am no quitter and I am not here to compete and I am not here to injure myself, either. I know how to listen to my body now. I know when to push my limits. And I know when to bring it down now. These are great things to know!

There’s something quite extraordinary about triathlon training. You get to know a lot about yourself – things you never really thought you needed to know. I think I’m a better person now because of this. No… correction. I KNOW I’m a better person now because of this.

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I jump into the pool and within seconds I can gather that just a few swimmers ahead of me there’s a person struggling and they’re going to back up all the other swimmers because no one wants to pass them. I scan my way over to the other side of the pool and there are families cheering their participants on and quickly pan over to the opposite side and I see German examining each swimmer, locking in on form, speed and safety.

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Number 9 GO!

I push off from the ledge like a torpedo and don’t come back up for air until I’m half way into the pool. My stroke was conservative and on point. As I entered the third lap, I felt my breathing accelerate and caught myself in time to calm myself down. This was also about the time when I caught up to the struggling swimmer. I tapped their foot and passed them. Went forward a few more and saw Maritza holding her nose at the ledge of the pool.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“He kicked my nose!” she shrieked.

Boom! I took off, passed him and thought about doing the same to him… but didn’t. The thought was evil enough for my revenge. Eh, I’m sure he just got freaked out a bit with all the crowd in a lane and just hit her by accident.

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I exited the pool and in one graceful swoop took off my swim cap and goggles while jogging barefoot to transition in what I was hoping was a Bo Derek moment… but let’s be serious.. even I know I was moving like a walrus.

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Transition was a blur – literally. I felt like I was going to faint. I guess I just stopped too soon or something but when I leaned over to slip my shoes on… the world kinda did a little twirl around me. I grabbed onto the bike rack and got my bearings, snapped my helmet in place and took “Mimi” off her rack.

Here we go… my favorite part!

Click click click click my shoes went and I trotted through transition to the mount line. Remembering my little dizzy spell, I went to the side so that others wouldn’t rear end my clumsy butt and carefully leaned over to begin my ride. It had rained pretty hard the day and night before and it left puddles of uncertainty all over the road, especially around the first corner but let me tell you after I got out of the event area… I booked it like there was no tomorrow. Off the seat I went.

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click click

I went into the hard gears and savored that wind against my face!!! Man oh man that felt awesome! It wasn’t like the wind at the Jalapeno 100 a couple of weeks ago… this was different. It was a welcoming, friendly, how you doing kinda breeze. It’s a little deceiving, too, because you start dancing with those sneaky rolling hills on Jarachinas Road!! You don’t see them coming really but you feel them in your legs and before you know it… boom! Elevation!!! Change gears!!!

The sun was up, fellow triathletes are all cheering me on and delicate periwinkle colored flowers were blooming along the fenceline… it was so so so very pretty!!! Oh my gosh! Wait… where’s the drama? Every single time I am in La Joya… something really crazy happens.

The first time I did Stanley’s, an SUV filled with illegal aliens almost clipped me as they tried to escape into the brush nearby and then I fell off my bike at the dismount line going into T2. The second time I did Stanley’s, my saddle sack with the required flat repair kit fell off on the drive over to the race that morning! I ended up riding my bike with my running fuel belt on and an extra tire kit packed inside!

I should have known something crazy was going to happen.

Just when I thought I was going to have a drama free event, Maritza passes me and seconds later she wails out in agony and plop goes her bike into the grass. From my point of view, it looked like her leg popped out and was only still by her side because her shoe was clipped in to her bike!! Screaming from a patch of grass and her bike on top of her, I jumped off my bike to help. Two other cyclists did the same. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head as she exclaimed,”Your times!! I’m ruining your times!” Silly girl thought that being on a podium was more important than her. Thank goodness it was just a cramp. She got back up after a few minutes, stretched her leg out and finished the race.

I know the rules. I’m not supposed to help other racers. I risked disqualification but there’s a point where the real Myssie pops out and punches the pseudo competitor facade and takes over. This is Maritza. She is a friend. You cannot leave her. No race is worth that. I’m sorry. It’s just not how Momma raised me. I really though she had broken her leg and if I had left her like that, she would have been in serious agony for God only knows how long. I thought I had it all on my gopro… but I hit the wrong button… again. 😦 Bummer.

I saw Sandy about a quarter mile ahead of me. Nah, I’m not going to speed up and take it away from her. This was her first triathlon. That was third place right there in my age group and I was letting it go. And I smiled and felt absolutely wonderful knowing that she was going to feel on top of the world in just about an hour. I rode the rest of way back about three bike lengths away from Maritza just to make sure she was ok and wouldn’t cramp up again. I’m glad I did that. I would have felt awful if it did happen again and no one was there to help her.

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T2 zoomed by and off I went a-running.. er a-jogging… er I was moving in the direction of the course. My feet felt like concrete. They were so heavy and I was honestly very disappointed because I had had a fabulous run earlier this week. But to be fair, I hadn’t had a good solid “brick” training and I was angry at myself. I deserved this. Regardless, I trotted on. It was a short two mile stretch and although I was slow, I was on a consistent pace with no signs of stopping. Good!

As I reach a little over half way, I see Coach Chavez beginning her run and I notice the struggle in her face. I haven’t known her for very long but I can pick up on body language and knew her enough to note that she needed some pushing. So I cross the street and decide to do the run portion over again so I can make sure she’s not struggling alone. I think she panicked for a while and didn’t understand what I was doing at first and when it sunk in, she said, “You don’t have to go this slow. You can go ten steps for…”

I stopped her there. “Don’t you worry about me. I’m fine.” I said curtly so that I wouldn’t get any other arguments. Plus it was probably my only chance to not get an argument from her since she was out of breath. I had the advantage in this conversation hehehehe

She said a few curse words… mostly the “F” word but that’s her style and it’s what works for her and I pushed her as best I could with encouragement. Between the vulgar language, she blurted,”I just wanted to finish this… (this part was inaudible) to be last.”

“You’re going to finish. You’re not going to be last. I’ll be last.” I said very matter-of-factly.

So as we were about a half block away from the finish line, she said,”Don’t be last. Finish this with me.”

And that was the smile I carried into the finish line.

The best Last Place finish to date. It is in journeys like these that you finally figure out what really matters in life. Kindness, encouragement and finishing what you started are just some of the lessons I've learned.  I've crossed many finish lines but I'm far from finished. :)

The best Last Place finish to date. It is in journeys like these that you finally figure out what really matters in life. Kindness, encouragement and finishing what you started are just some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve crossed many finish lines but I’m far from finished. 🙂

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Thank you to those Dos Guys, all the sponsors and volunteers for yet another extremely well organized and produced event.

Don’t Stop Believing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by runmyssierun

So remember that busy week I was telling you about a few posts ago??? Yep, it happened!

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Fabulous fixie with orange wheels donated by Wally's Bike Shop for our auction!!!

Fabulous fixie with orange wheels donated by Wally’s Bike Shop for our auction!!!

We hosted a fabulous mixer at Cimarron Country Club last Thursday. Auctioned off a wicked awesome fixie donated by my trusty and generous bicycle guru, Wally’s Bike Shop, and some ticket concerts to a great show coming up and honored a great local gastro doctor who jumped on board to help with the cause.  RGV CAP board members even jumped in on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!!!

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Friday was packet pick up.

And Saturday was our RGV CAP 10k race!!!

http://pics.mvevents.com/

Monies generated from these events go to Rio Grande Valley residents who are at high risk of colon cancer and are unable to afford a colonoscopy. Since colon cancer is one of the MOST curable cancers if found in it’s early stages, many understand and empathize with the passion we have to this cause and supported it with all that they could. I’m so grateful for the amount of support we have received!!!!

Oh how I wish Momma would have found her cancer in an earlier stage.

But I know.. I know..

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This was peak week for my training and I’m pretty pleased. I’ve swam more than I ever have and feel very comfortable at the pace that I’m at and my form seems to be improving each time I practice – thanks to Coach W’s drills every Wednesday.  I still wish I didn’t have my crazy reactions in the ocean water but am reassured that Town Lake in Austin won’t make me swell up like that with the ictchies or wheezies. My running was probably the sport that I needed the MOST improvement in. It sure is humbling to see me go from where I was to where I am now. But again, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. So long as I am moving forward, I know I’ll get there. I’m feeling healthy and strong and mentally… I’ve put that sarcastic, doubting voice in my head securely in place… with some duct tape 😉

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I sure miss riding my bike as often as I did. But I had to work on my weaknesses. Cycling to me is FUN so I know that on game day, I won’t be riding with my legs, I’ll be riding with my heart. As I should be.

Getting over my personal disappointment on my swim at CapTexTri will be an adventure. But I’m confident I’ll beat my demons. Lets watch and see!!! My story is yet unwritten and only me and my coach have my goals.

Self improvement has lessons every day and on various subjects.

I am a forever student.

I am still quite a distance from my finish line.

 

 

 

Things you should NOT do before a triathlon

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by runmyssierun

HELP! I STILL HAVEN’T REACHED MY GOAL! Please help donate: Click Here

All this week I was getting texts and facebook notes from my fellow Team in Training team mates who had never participated in a triathlon. Everything from “butter” to trisuit fittings and everything in between. Our Coach W went far and beyond her scope of duties and hosted a round table question and answer session at Starbucks on Friday to literally get everything out on the table. No subject was off limits.

I think many are a bit confused as to why I would have questions to ask at this point. Truth is, it really doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks… what matters is what I think. And I’m not that pompous as to think that just because I’ve done a few tris that I know everything and anything about them. Clearly I am NOT the best at this sport and there is still much to learn about it and about myself.

So I was the first to ask… “I know it’s not a good thing to use something new on the day of a triathlon, but I was thinking about not using my “Mimi” and riding the Cervelo instead.”

Now, I need to preface that Coach W has known me for a year now – longer than she’s known the rest of the team and has ridden and trained with me, participated in triathlons with me and witnessed my capabilities – so this was a personal nod of approval for me as she understood that drive for me to improve. *Note that this should not be common practice for others to do in triathlons… don’t use something you aren’t used to. Practice with what you will be using on game day.

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Normally, triathletes and marathoners have a tapering period the week (or at least a few days) before their big event. You should take it down a few notches so that your body is fully recovered from the multiple weeks of tough training. But oh no…. not me and my teammates…

We actually sucker punched ourselves and did the normally assigned Saturday morning brick the day before Stanley’s Triathlon!!! We each swam 1000m and ran a two mile brick. And we – for the most part – did it balls out! I have been doing about a 1:40 100m swim pace but took it down to 2:40 that day. And for the run, I kept thinking there was something wrong with my Garmin because I kept seeing a 9:50 pace! *Take notes about these times – it shows something interesting to me on game day.

Part of our TNT practice is something called “Mission Moment”. That Saturday morning, Janie – my Mentor, spoke. We normally speak about why we are there and/or what brought us to volunteer ourselves to Team in Training. But she went a bit further… in fact, a whole lot further! I’m not going to quote her or say everything she did that morning… but what I will say is that everything she said punched us all in the gut. This season was TNT2.0 and there was no room for complaining or giving up.

And with that… we did ALL that was demanded of us and gathered together at the end for a gazillion silly pictures!!! No one complained. We all had smiles. We all knew this was not for us but for someone else who probably wasn’t smiling and having to deal with something else much more painful and exhausting.

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A day or two before a triathlon (or marathon) most athletes indulge in a carb0loading feast. Not me… I’ll admit I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago and ate all those things I shouldn’t have eaten. I celebrated my birthday too many times and drank the “demon fluid” on more than just an occasion (granted I never finished a bottle of beer but attempted more times over these last few weeks than I’ve had over the last year!). The day before the tri, I had a half of a nutella sandwich and an apple/chicken salad. Not exactly the ideal nutrition for a triathlete the day before her event.

I did get some good rest later that day. Thank goodness I’ve been supported by WINdetergent because my TNT trisuit reeked from that morning!!! I did my laundry, attached my bib number to my race belt, pinned Sissy’s medalion right next to my bib, laced my new Sauconys with the Yankz that were still in the box from weeks before and set up my morning “zombie” transition area in the kitchen close to the coffee maker.

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I stayed up way too late (midnight) and woke up at 4:00a.m.

STANLEY’S IS HERE!

I’m not gonna lie… I hit snooze.

But I got up, went to the kitchen and began my zombie makeover. Made myself a slice of bread with some peanut butter and folded it up like a taco – Mexican style. 🙂

Everything was set out the night before. So I grabbed it all and chunked it into the backseat of my car. I felt like a two-timing cheater when I grabbed “Neo” and strapped him onto my car’s bike rack. “Mimi” saw the whole thing. I know she felt betrayed. It was all sorts of wrong. A few of you understand what I’m saying.

So I hit the highway to La Joya. I’m not sure what it was… but something made me look at the rearview mirror…. something was wrong and I couldn’t place it. Something was wrong.

I pulled into the entry of Stanley’s course and was met by Joey Williams – my RPM instructor at Gold’s Gym. He wished me well as he oogled my new bike and led me to the parking area. Duran Duran was booming on my speakers… not my normal race day jam but I was adamant about keeping this day a fun, learning experience so it seemed like an appropriately fun jam to open with. As I removed Neo from the bike rack, I leaned him up against the side of my car and it hit me… my saddle sack is GONE!!! It must have fallen off on the drive over! Oh crap! What do I do? Isn’t having a tire repair kit mandatory? I’m not going to be allowed to compete today! Oh God! Oh God! What do I do?

I felt cardiac arrest coming on!

And then all of a sudden I remembered my big box of goodies. I had extras of EVERYTHING in my box…. except a saddle sack. So I grabbed my old marathon fuel belt and stuffed an extra tire tube, inflator and cartridge into it and hoped that this would be sufficient. I took a deep breath and calmed myself down and made my way to get checked in and body marked.

There’s always drama in La Joya for me.

While in line, I checked with the head honchos on whether or not it was allowed to compete without a saddle sack and told them that I would wear my fuel belt with the tire changing kit inside of it. Whew! They were decaffeinated enough to allow me through.

And that’s how my day began.

George, Wally’s master mechanic took one look at Neo’s front tire and snatched him away from me. Attached his tire pump and worked his magic and filled it up with his new and improved super fast tire air.

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I made my way to the edge of the VERY LAST bike rack. (When I’m ready to podium, I’ll get the edge of the first rack closest to the entry – but this one isn’t my race) I set up my transition area carefully. I remembered everything I learned from Coach Sandy and before I knew it, the rookies around me all came by to take note. That’s when it hit me.. I wasn’t nervous.

Yet.

As I turned over my shoulder, I see my fellow team mates hook up their bikes to the rack next to mine. Jeanice gathers us all into a close little circle and leads us in prayer… and ends with “Today we run for Mimi”… and the waterworks begin.

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We go as a group to the pool to check out the scene and the temperature of the water. I was quite surprised to feel that the water was actually very warm! Like almost hot tub warm! Cha-ching! I watched Billy skim through the water as if he was teasing Michael Phelps. It was that easy for him. I didn’t want to ruin my lack of nervousness by jumping in for my warm up and finding something else to worry about so I didn’t do my warm up swim. *Big mistake for anyone else – ALWAYS do a warm up swim if the opportunity is granted.

I escaped into solitary and sat on a bench in the adjacent park. I remembered WHY I was there. Over the last few months, I was taken aback by some people who had shown me their true colors and had accused me of lying about my distances, times and workouts and had further gone so far as to say that my involvement with Team in Training was nothing more than an ego filing journey and was full of myself. So when someone out of the blue told me that he didn’t believe what they were saying and almost apologized for their actions, it was enough for me to know that those who matter know the truth about me and about them and I was right in not wasting my time defending myself. Those people will always talk about others behind their backs. I won’t ever be able to change that about them. I need to worry about what I CAN change. Myself. 🙂

I listened to Donny’s voicemail. I listened to Momma’s. I shed my tears and wiped them away, took a deep breath and did what I needed to do.

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We all got up and gathered around the pool for last minute announcements from Casey (one of the event organizers) and a blessing from Big John. And then we all lined up to begin our swim!!!

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Our swim was based on an honor system of our swim pace but most people just starting out had never timed themselves on a 100m swim so many of them guessed. The problem with that is those who guess themselves to be too slow and are actually faster than what they gave themselves credit for end up slowing themselves down because it expends so much energy to pass a slow swimmer in front of you. Same thing goes for the slow swimmers that go to the front of the line thinking that they’re just that much closer to the finish line. They end up hurting the faster swimmers who have to pass them and they hurt themselves because it hurts their spirit each time another swimmer passes them.

The tough thing for me was that the day before, I swam 1000m at a 2:40 pace. So I lined myself up at a 2:40 pace. I ended up swimming about a 1:40 pace… 20 seconds slower than the woman who won my AG. DOH! Had I placed myself closer to the beginning of the line and not spent so much energy passing other swimmers, I may have had a better time.

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Flashing back to the year before, I remembered and mastered the run from the pool to the transition area. I flipped off my swim cap and goggles like a pro but stumbled TWICE trying to get my flip flops on!!! I’ll never use flip flops again! I spent about 10-15 additional seconds fumbling over my right foot flip flop. The additional comfort along the few feet of asphalt on my feet was NOT worth it especially when you analyze the timings at the end of the race.

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My transition time was already hurt with the flip flop incident so I purposely zoomed through to my bike and with lightening speed got all my gear on for my bike (remember I had to put my running fuel belt on, too, because of the tire changing kit in it!) and slipped my wet feet into my cycling clips and ran to the mount line.

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“Hmmm funny. Last few times I did this, I remember having to make sure I slowed down so I wouldn’t fall because of my clips,” I thought to myself. I passed the mount line and because it was a new bike to me, went off to the side and carefully mounted Neo but couldn’t get my feet clipped in.

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“Oh crap!” and the crowd giggles… they knew it before I did!!! I left my clip covers on my shoes!!!! No wonder!!!

Mr. Wallace comes to my rescue and quickly takes them off and as I shove the covers into my jersey pocket I hear Wally scream out to me “Don’t worry Myssie!!! I won’t tell anyone!!!” I could tell he was dying of laughter. Pinche Wally!

“It’s always an adventure!” I yell back at him and zoom off.

Okay. Okay. I make that first left turn and here we go… wow! It’s like “Neo” (my Cervelo) has a mind of his own and he’ll have nothing to do with that sarcastic voice in my head. We rode this exact same course just a few days prior for the first time ever and he knew exactly what to do and when to do it. It was as if I was just an accessory to him. Going North against the wind was papitas. Going South on Jarachinas with the wind against my back seemed almost like cheating. There was one point where we were on the toughest gear and he wanted to go even faster… but there were no more gears to go to!!! I got so scared of him that I stopped pedaling for a few seconds!!! We were going too fast for me!!!

All of a sudden I remembered the man who was riding a Cervelo at CapTexTri alongside me and cut the corner too fast and never got up again. My freak out session was officially in full blast and just as I arrived on the peak of the last hill I saw it… a crowd of ambulances, police cars and a white van against the fence that kept the wild brush away from the street.

Oh my God! A car must have hit one of the cyclists!

I quickly went over all the competitors that meant so much to me in my head. It seemed like the cars and crowd had already been there for a few minutes… could it have been Billy? He’s so fast and I had seen him go neck to neck with another cyclist (which was an odd occurrence because of his surreal speed). Could the competition have been so tough and their speed have been so fast that they couldn’t slow down in time for that van to avoid them??? Oh God! Please no!!! I immediately slowed down and looped over to see if I could find evidence of a wrecked bike. I recognize people’s bikes faster than I can recognize them in bike gear! Alas, there was no sign of his bike. After a few minutes of rubbernecking and the police shewing me away from the scene I rode on and asked the cross guard at the next corner if someone was hit.

“No, it was a van full of illegals,” he said. (Here’s the story that KRGV did on it. If you watch the video, you can see the cyclists riding in the background http://www.krgv.com/news/2-women-recovering-in-hospital-after-border-patrol-chase/)

“OH THANK GOD!!!” I yelled out.

Last year at Stanley’s Tri, I was almost clipped by a white SUV that picked up about a dozen illegals but there were no cops that interfered with the transport. It was the drama that seemed to always follow me around my adventures in La Joya!

With that, I looked over my shoulder for safe clearance to make the left turn to the high school. Bah! Nothing there.. I took the turn and gathered a little bit of composure again. All that time I spent rubbernecking messed up my time. I have no idea how much time I lost. My head hung as the realization came over me. I saw Javi Cavazos at one of the last corners yelling me on and snapping a pic. I usually smile for my pics… but I was already down and felt it.

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“Ok, what’s done is done. Speed it up Myssie and lets get ready for your run,” my inner voice was in rare form. She was actually a bit nice that day!

Just then Eric zooms by on his bike. Wha???? Where did he come from? There was NO ONE behind me!!!! “It was a lot easier coming back!” he exclaims. And off he went. Just like that.

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George was planted at the last corner waving me down, “Slow down! Slow down!” he yelled. Crap! I forgot to note where the dismount line was… last year, this was the point where I fell! That was my ONE big goal – not to fall especially in front of the crowd there at the finish line!! So I slowed down.. probably too much too soon but I wanted to be careful. I was already unclipped yards before it was necessary. But I didn’t fall. Whew! I made it!!!

And I was super thirsty!!!

I chunked my clips on my transition mat that was autographed by all my TNT teammates in San Antonio/Austin. And in frustration, through away my socks and jammed my bare wet feet again into my Sauconys, ripped off my running fuel belt and snapped my race belt and bib on and took off. Wait! Retreat!!! I need water!!! I’m so so so thirsty!!!

I took a swig from my water bottle on my bike, swished it around my mouth, swallowed a bit and spit out the rest… and off I go!!! Here we go!!!! Run! Run! Run!… ahem… run now. Come on. Run. Not jog. Let’s go.

My legs felt like cement going through three feet of mud. I had spent all my energy on the swim, passing other swimmers, going faster than I had planned and zooming on my bike (until I saw the police) and completely forgot to get water and Gu…  I was spent. I believe the term is BONKED.

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I knew what was going on. I tried my best to keep going but felt my body slowing quickly. I immediately began to pray the rosary for strength. I heard the whole crowd begin to yell my name out to me cheering me on and then it happened… the song that was missing in the morning on the drive over was blaring now… THUNDER… THUNDER… ACDC’s Thunderstruck hit it right as I passed by!!! This is the song that pumps me up more than any other song out there.

So there I went. I turned the corner and my legs were like bricks.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The winds picked up… tremendously. I kept going. I was at a turtle’s pace. It was humiliating!!! I looked at my Garmin. 11:00 minute mile pace!!! Oh you have GOT to be kidding me!!! I was doing 9:50 yesterday without trying!!! Just then the rain came. Seriously!!! Can this get any worse???

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Yes, it could.  The rain was stinging my bare skin. Wait… that was not just rain! That was tiny HAIL!!! I threw my arms out in disbelief and just had to laugh. There was no way I could recover from this torture!!! I think my reaction caused the volunteers to worry about me so one of them ran up to me with a cup full of water. I giggled and thanked them and decided that I simply needed to get it done.  God wanted me to have fun with this and had placed comic relief throughout the entire course for me to be reminded that no matter how hard you plan, no matter how hard you train… always expect the unexpected and never give up.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

I said a full rosary before I hit the finish line.

In need of more comedy? My race bib number was 10. Let me tell you.. I was NO BO DEREK running gracefully on the beach sand that morning!!! I am no perfect TEN. I still have a long ways to go.

But I can guarantee you that those people who cheered me on and waited for me at the finish line won’t leave my side until I’m at least an 8!!!

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And I won’t stop until there is a cure that is affordable and accessible to everyone who has cancer.

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Oh!!! How did I do compared to how I did at last year’s Stanley’s Triathlon?

Here’s what I posted on Facebook shortly afterwards:

Feeling great about Stanley’s! Shaved one full minute and one second from my swim. Shaved ten full minutes from my bike! Added FIVE seconds to my run… wah wah wahhhhh All in all, I went from 1:36:03 last year to 1:25:52 this year. Eleven minutes!!!! Pretty dang proud! Big high fives to all my Team in Training teammates, Maniacs, Cyclepaths and RWC girls that participated in their first TRI, the triathletes who challenged themselves again and all who volunteered and cheered!!! This is what it’s all about.  Today was a great day! And it’s just the beginning!!!

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My cancer results came in

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2014 by runmyssierun

RRRRRRRrrrrrrrrring RRRRRRRrrrrrrring RRRRRRRrrrrrrring

I pick up the phone and see on the caller ID that it’s my doctor’s office. Oh God! They have my results from the mammogram and my cancer screening blood counts. If I let it ring and they’re forced to leave a message, then I’ll know, right? I’ll just listen to the message… 

No. I have to know NOW. I pick up the phone just in time.

It’s the nurse. Whew! The moment I heard her voice and didn’t hear her say I needed to come in to see Doc ASAP… I had a feeling.

“Your results came in. You’re normal,” she said. 

I think I may have screamed a little and that may have been what caused her to laugh a bit. 

I admit, I am one of the lucky chosen few who did not receive the phone call with dreaded news, news that would make you drop to your knees, news that would suck out all your tears, news that would empty your soul of all your dreams and leave you empty of dreams and afraid of time.

My good news was kept to myself and ignited a fire within me to continue my path for those who got that other phone call. 

Because the truth is that from the moment you clicked open this blog to read what happened in my day… someone else just got that awful phone call. In fact, every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. 

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Today was our Triathlon team’s first bike practice. We held a bike rodeo at the Convention Center parking lot and was taught how to change a flat tire, clean and degrease our chains, what tools to have handy, etc. by my bike guru, Wally. He had set up a little tent to shield us from the freezing mist. Poor thing had to speak up because it was hard to hear above the chattering teeth and shivering bodies of my team mates. It was then that even in that dreaded dreary cold weather that I saw the faces of my fellow teammates and how eager they were to learn about how to take care of their bikes (or borrowed bikes) so that they could do well at their first triathlon for TnT. They truly wanted to do well….

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Why?

Gosh, I’m really learning to love that question… why.. why?

Just before we got started, Cindy gave us her mission moment. Her honored hero had just lost his battle with leukemia a few days ago. She was quite choked up about it but tried with all her might to be strong and upbeat and positive. 

Katherine posted this on our facebook page: 

So, today was cold. Today was miserable. If we asked ourselves, deep down, did we want to be at practice today or snugly warm in bed? But we got up and showed up, this is what makes us TNT…. We are like postal workers: neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, etc…. we deliver! Cause Cynthia gave us all a sobering reminder as why we have to keep fighting. Why this dreadful disease needs to be stopped…..

We all have our own reasons for being a part of Team. No one reason is greater than the other. Bottom line, we’re all in this together. I feel Cynthia’s pain. It is still very fresh in my heart. 

My prayers go to the Rodriguez family and especially his wife and two very young children.

It is this very instance that breaks my heart as I remember my two nephews. I haven’t seen them in over a year. Sadly, since the death of my baby brother, it will likely be years before I am ever able to see them again.

Cancer and death does horrific things to a family.

If you’re the praying type, keep families like the Rodriguez’s and mine in your heart as you pray. I’d appreciate it.

Thanks. 

Oh! And don’t forget… I’m fundraising again. Please give what you can. Top right corner icon if you’re reading this on a PC. Scroll just below if you’re reading this on a phone.

~much love

Falling Slowly

Posted in cycling with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by runmyssierun

My big ride this week was an 80-miler scheduled for early Saturday morning. Funny how I had planned all week going over route after route and getting advice from all the local experienced bicyclists… and I ended up not doing any of the discussed routes!!! But everything worked out in the end.

Here’s how it went:
3:45 alarm blares. I smash it into snooze oblivion.
3:50 alarm blares again. Ok Ok!!! I’m up! I’m up!
4:10 I’m all dressed, teeth are brushed and hair is braided back. I grab my garmin and the two lights charging in my office. I get my water bottles out of the kitchen. I make my coffee and bagel and say a cuss word when I see that someone ate all the peanut butter!! (I’m not nice in the morning)
4:30 I put air in the tires, attach the lights, pack my chomps, gu and check the brakes. Slip on my clips, take a spin around the block to make sure all is well and zoom off the parking lot to wait for the rest of the gang.
4:45… the gang no shows
5:00 Wheels down. I head North. I had spoken to all the other bicycles gangs in the area and took note of their departure times and routes so within a few minutes, I had already hooked up with a new gang that I had never met around Edinburg. Their pace was a bit slower than mine so it was easy to have that familiar discussion… “Hey, your bike! That’s the orange bike! Are you Myssie?”

It was early and I still had a long ways to go so I did the “click click” after a short while and jumped onto the next group along the familiar 5am Wake up ride route going South on Jackson. While it was surprisingly cooler than expected, it was still quite humid. I was going through water pretty fast.

7:00 I see the 2nd street overpass and tell myself to attack it with all I have. I set my gears in place, I fire up my quads and mash it with all my might. I did it!! One gear and seated!! The runners along the trail whoop and holler and my arm shoots up with proud fists. As I descend the hill, I see the Team in Training group… AND THE WATER STATION!!! I zoom by for a free refill and snap some goofy shots of us together and I’m on my way again.

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Once I hit Military Road, I feel like Switzerland. My mind goes back to a conversation about bicycle gangs and how it was expected to be a part of one or be shunned by all. I smile, relieved that all the groups that had congregated along the road over the next few hours all waved at me and welcomed me to join in with them along their rides. All up and down from Edinburg to Pharr to McAllen to Mission to Granjeno to Penitas and back, every single bike group welcomed me… or was it that they welcomed the “orange bike”??? I have to admit, my bike is quite famous now.

At my midway point, I stop for fuel and to check my stats at the corner convenience store on the corner of Shary Road. It is where most of the cyclists meet for the same reasons. While I’m there, several bikers surround me to check in and see how I’m doing. A few ask about a close friend of mine who also cycles and triathlons (is that a verb?) with me. Maritza had lost her brother just two days before while he was on his bike in a tragic tractor trailer accident shortly after he returned from his tour of duty. The news had begun to spread quickly and left us all with heavy hearts.

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The group made sure I was ok and I was off to meet up with another group at the Butterfly park. However, it was this short little time when I was alone that my worst nightmare came true.

I had traveled the road a hundred times. I knew how to go over rail road tracks correctly and did so each time. But this one time… when I was alone… it all went awry.

In a split second, the tracks seems to catch my tire perfectly. I was thrown, attached to my bike with my clips, into the middle lane and right in front of oncoming traffic. I remember it in slow motion… Falling slowly…I had to have flown at least ten feet into the air and onto the next lane. My head hit the street and then my elbow and then I hear the crash of my bike. “Don’t get up Myssie. Don’t get up. The 18-wheeler is going to run over you right now. You’re going to die. You’re going to die now.”

I turn my head slowly under and to my left. The 18-wheeler had stopped just in time. I was not going to die.

A kind stranger, Joel Sanchez, saw the whole thing unfold before him. He stopped. He drove an Aggie maroon colored hunting truck with camouflage upholstery and picked me up from the street. He swooped up my bike into the bed of his angel guided vehicle. This wonderful man took me to the same corner store to help clean my scrapes and put my chain back onto my bike. And just as he appeared from nowhere… he escaped to nowhere once again.

Just as I was about to throw in the towel and call someone to pick me up… the next group of angels arrived. He was a preacher and he had with him a child, a 15-year old bicycle prodigy trying to escape a life of gangs and drugs via the world of bikes. God speaks to me. Some times quite loudly.

We went on for another 20 plus miles after that. They even escorted me home to make sure I made it safely.

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A few blocks from home I asked myself how I really felt. I was surprised that I felt like I could easily go another 20 more miles… easy. Granted, not FAST… but easy. I could do it. I feel really good about my training. I had a good scare. I am lucky. But I feel my calling now more than ever before. There must be a reason I am here doing what I’m doing. Someone really important is going to benefit from my fundraising. I may never meet this person but I know deep in my heart, this person is just as important as my mom was to me.

Saddle Sore

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by runmyssierun

I woke up early this morning ready to meet up with the 5 a.m. Wake up ride group when I noticed that my bike saddle was crooked. I got my hand and popped it back into place and sat down… went a few pedals… and I looked like I needed a V8. I quickly pulled over and inspected my seat.

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Part of my seat was missing!! And the worst part about this was that today is TUESDAY!!! The one day of the week my bike guru is closed. 😦

I sent him a note anyway hoping that when he woke up would guide me through the process of learning to fix it myself.

His response? “Cheen-gow Myssie! Where’s the rest of your seat post?”

I could almost feel his eyes roll from miles away!!! After a feeble attempt of trying to figure out a solution, I quickly gave up and was able to make it to RPM class at Gold’s Gym.

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RPM class is led by Joey Williams… the toughest meanest roughest most incredible wonderful experienced triathlete spin instructor (who I know doubles as a DJ some nights) in the gym. He is WICKED AWESOME! His class is like a night club… but at 5:30 a.m.

He immediately singled me out. It had been a while since I was able to attend his class. I think he was going to make sure I knew he had been counting the days and wanted to have me make up for them… in one hour. And boy oh boy did he!!!

I have never had that much sweat on me EVER in my life!!!

I am so very grateful for his advice and guidance and that of the rest of the class – including the Cyclepaths –  of bike experts who had just come back from other bike ventures similar to Viva Bike Vegas.

To make the day even better… German and Luci (owners of Valley Running Company) presented me with the brand spanking new Saucony Cortana 3s in yep… you guessed it… ORANGE!!! 🙂

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Today was awesome. Thank you.

 

 

What does a DATE mean?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2013 by runmyssierun

What does a date mean? I could go back to my pageant days and remember that famous on stage question:

“Describe your perfect date.”

“Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25 because it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold.  All you need is a light jacket.”

We all thought this was funny because of the way that the word “date” was used. And she was actually right. April 25 really is a very nice day.

It has meaning.

Dates to me have meaning. I see signs in everything. I choose to see them.

In late September of 2011, Sissy lost her life to cancer. But not before she was able to push me into a healthy lifestyle and start running.

In late September of 2012, MidValley Events chose me to be their Athlete of the Week. They sent me to a little bike shop for a photo shoot because the shop had an orange wall that could be used as a back drop. I had come a long way in one year from Sissy’s challenge to the athlete of the week. That day changed my life once again. I went from running to cycling (and triathlon) when I was introduced to Wally’s Bike Shop.

In late September of 2013, I will have completed the Triple Crown. A challenge instigated by Sissy, supported by my community, guided by Wally… all exactly one year apart.

What does a date mean? If that date is September 21, it means a lot.

 

 

 

 

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