Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Asthma and India

Namaste from India!

This tip is a quick one- Delhi is "foggy". That's what they say at the airport if your flight is delayed and what all the locals call it. It is not fog.

In 2009, ECA International ranked New Delhi as the worst city in the WORLD for air pollution. It is estimated that about 3,000 metric tons of air pollutants are emitted everyday in Delhi. Bring your inhalers. Bring a mask (even though it won't be sexy). Bring eye drops. Bring nasal spray. And lastly- talk to your physician BEFORE you come to Delhi.

Other than the "fog", India has been a beautiful place full of warm people. I recommend coming, as long as you come prepared.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flying with Meds

Happy Christmas from London!

As I sit in the airport for the 3rd time this holiday season, preparing to board a plane from the UK to India, I feel pretty well averse in the ways of airport security. So a few minor tips to help you on your own journey.

1. Remember that epi-pens and inhalers rarely have a prescription sticker on the container. While inhalers don't pose a huge problem, your epi-pen might. Pharmacies in the US will reprint an extra label for your prescriptions that you can affix to the case. Check TSA regulations for the US and with your local airports. Some locations prefer that you declare the pen prior to going through security since there is a needle involved.

2. Bring an extra. Whatever it is that you need and whether you are traveling abroad or stateside, pack one inhaler in your carry on and an extra in your checked bag. Refills can be difficult when you aren't at home or aren't familiar with the area.

3. Pack all essentials in your carry on bag. Don't trust that your checked bag will arrive at the same time and place as you. If you need it, keep it with you.

4. When traveling internationally, get to the airport early on return flights. Don't take it personally, you will be in a foreign country and sometimes security can be a mess if you don't have a local address.

Happy travels and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 2: I Feel Like I'm in AA

Hi. My name is Lacey and I'm addicted to carbs.

I'm on my second day without soda. I resisted the urge by consuming 24 ounces of coffee... ummm... Don't do that. Results may vary, but you will have to pee. A lot. I successfully went into the convenient store this morning and bypassed the donuts/danishes/muffins/etc for an apple (and the aforementioned coffee). I patted myself on the back and made the commute to school.

I parked half a mile away from class. That guarantees that my lazy legs will have to at least carry me a mile. I also have a meeting on the west side of campus... another half a mile? Probably not, but enough to help me ramp up into a better place.

So, I went to class. I only had one teary moment (over something inconsequential like Bose speakers or something) and have carried on about my business. The gym plan for yesterday was bust. Today? Perhaps...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 1: The Rebirth

Ooooo... It's all so dramatic. Not really. After such a long post to kick this off, I thought I would update you all on the day thus far...

I walked .5 miles. Not 5 miles... 0.5 miles. Then I needed my inhaler.

I. Am. Really. Out. Of. Shape.

But, I'll be fine. I weighed first thing this morning. I counted my calories at breakfast. And as of today? NO MORE SODA (diet or otherwise). What a bunch of wasted space/calories/time/energy...

I plan on going to the gym this afternoon... but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

We'll see, I'll let you know.

I Ought to Change This Blog to AsthmaLazyBum

I know, I know. A little over a month ago I made a decree about making time for yourself and getting back into the fitness routine. But then...

My mom passed away on October 28th. Just a week after they finally made a diagnosis, she was unable to continue to fight. I've slipped into a bit a of a hole. Something small like the Mariana Trench. And man, is it dark down here.

One month and one day. Still... I am not exercising; I am not eating right; I am lacking motivation and heart.

So today, with the knowledge of my current (shockingly painful) weight under my belt (just below the muffin top that I would be sporting if I were wearing pants that fit properly, I will pull it together.

I keep reminding myself, "No good can come of where you are right now. Dig yourself out."

What better way to start the comeback than with a blog, some Google info, and a request for some teamwork?

Blog? Check. Once the first few sentences are in, I'm good to go.

Google info? I love Google. I love it so much that when I accidentally search with Yahoo!, I go to Google to search again without even considering the Yahoo! results. It's true. Ahhh... Google. Google brought me to an interesting list of "Nine Sure-Fire Ways to Gain Fat". Well, I'm curious. Did I at least get fat to the best of my ability?
1. Eating then sleeping will make you gain fat: Check.
2. Skipping meals or not eating for long periods of time will make you gain fat: Check.
3. Drinking soft drinks (even diet drinks) with fatty foods will make you gain fat: Check.
4. Constantly snacking on energy foods will make you gain fat: Nope.
5. Stress without physical exertion will make you gain fat: CHECK.
6. Toxic substances in your food will make you gain fat: Mmm... preservatives... Check.
7. Losing muscle mass will make you gain fat: Check.
8. Over consumption of fructose will make you gain fat: Check.
9. Drinking alcohol frequently will make you gain fat: Check.

Eight out of nine.

I am a true overachiever. If only I had some energy foods to snack on right now...

But back to Google.

Jillian Michaels... Ummm... does she even know what it's like to be out of shape? Oh well. You can get a free fitness/weight loss plan on her site... or can you? Nope. They say you can and lure you through the all the hoops only to ask you for your credit card number.

iPhone applications- happily, there are a number of free aps that track your exercise and calories. Score.

Okay, Last But Not Least: Teamwork

Be brave, Lacey.

I need to lose... ummm... brace yourself... just say it... ugh... 25 pounds... AT A MINIMUM.

Now it's out there in Internet land. It only takes 4 months to gain 25 pounds and become a completely sedentary being. Living proof: Lacey.

Where does the teamwork come in? I will keep regular updates at well, then; my blog; facebook; and twitter. Workout, eat right, and comment! Tell me what you are doing to get healthy (during the worst time of year to try to get healthy) and I will tell you what I'm doing. So simple.

See you out there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make Time to Focus on You

Over the last 67 days, my mother has been in the hospital with an undiagnosed condition. As most people would in this situation, I have lost myself in the shuffle. I travel daily from school, where I'm working on my MBA, about 40 miles to the hospital, where I'm working on keeping my mom's hope intact. It's no easy schedule, but it's nothing heroic. It's just how family works.

The problem? I've stopped working out. I've stopped bike commuting. I've stopped cooking meals at home. And... I've stopped regulating my asthma.

The detrimental effect didn't happen instantly. The delayed effects made my laziness easier to justify. "I still feel pretty good," I would tell myself. No dice. I'm run down and simple tasks like walking a few blocks to my car seem to make me wheeze. Ugh. I ran a marathon this year. What is my problem?

Yesterday in an interview I was asked how I would maintain a work/life balance in a consulting career. Without any hesitation I responded, "I just would. You have to draw the line. This time is mine; that time is everyone else's." It seems so simple. If that is how I feel about work, why is it not how I feel about what is happening now?

This morning, I took my own advice.

Inhalers? Check.

Nasal spray? Check.

Allergy meds? Check.

Eye drops? Check.

Rescue inhaler in my purse? Check.

Swimsuit? Check.

Yes, swimsuit. Living the best life possible with asthma is not just about managing medications, it's about exercise. So in the midst of mid terms, meetings with my mom's doctors, class, commuting from place to place, and spending time with my mom, I took the time to focus on me. I hit the pool for a two mile, mind clearing swim. I stuck it out and breathed easy.

Now, I'm sitting beside my mom's hospital bed, having just taken my nighttime meds, feeling renewed for the first time in 67 days.

My advice for today... don't just take time for yourself, MAKE time for yourself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hello, Beautiful!

The end result actually makes up for the rocky path to taking the finished bike home.

After much design/redesign, I finally decided on the general look I wanted for my fixed gear bicycle of love. I decided to maximize the rainbow... purple frame, yellow handlebar tape, blue front tire, green back tire, pink front rim, blue back rim, white seat, black crank set. I could not have been more excited.

Then life started getting bumpy. Very bumpy. School was in full swing, projects were due, reading was adding up. Family issues were getting out of hand, sleep was getting harder to come by, there was no end to the mess in sight.

But, life was good. I had the makings of a beautiful bike in my hands. The frame showed up scratched, but I decided to look past it. I was still thrilled. I loaded up the frame on the car and headed toward Bicycles Plus.

Somewhere along the way, the right crank arm fell off. Seriously. Just fell off. I am seriously unimpressed.

No worries though. After a minor (Skinny Jeans would likely tell you it was major) meltdown, I stopped in at BP. Ginger and I picked out new crank arms and pedals, the dream killer found a bottle cage, Skinny Jeans gave me the smile and hug I needed, and all was right with the world.

The result? Today I picked up the purple framed, blue/pink rimmed, green/blue tired, yellow handlebarred, PINK bottle caged, METALLIC GREEN crank armed, ORANGE pedaled bike. (I hear 5 Second Fix was behind the majority of the work)

Jealous? I would be surprised if you weren't.

I want to send a special thank you to Bicycles Plus in Coppell. They really pulled this together for me and each of then had a part in it.

So... In the last 9 hours, I have already ridden my bike in the BP parking lot, my neighborhood, and my living room (if you're single and hesitant to buy a house, this is one of the perks). This bike is just the thing I needed for a moment of calm joy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Update on the Bike Commute

It's stinking hot. Sooooooo stinking hot. Ugh. Sweaty. Hot. Not in a good way.

I do have an awesome rack/pannier bag combo thanks to the guys at... wait for it... Bicycles Plus in Coppell. Shocking right? You thought I might switch things up now that I spend most of my waking hours in Funky Town. No dice. It's worth mentioning though that they did revamp their website and have a slight staffing changeroo. I'll miss Gabe.

One super positive note? I'm getting more comfortable with the snarky looks I get from other commuters on the TRE. Dang, could people frown at a bike any harder. It's like I have a dead bunny taped to my handle bars some mornings. Trust me, I'm not the worst part about DFW's public transportation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bike Commute

Do you know who wants to sit by you in class after you commute 13 miles in 100 degree heat?

No one.

But tomorrow, that is the plan regardless. At 6:30am I will head out. Hopefully my bike will support pannier bags. We'll see after class when I go to the bike shop. Road bike with panier bags? Classy, but not very aerodynamic.

Here's to being green... and stinky.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Okay Dream Killer, I Have a New Dream


Back in May, I was a girl full of hope and joy. Excitement over the bike refurb that I was starting spilled forth like rays of sunshine. I took the 1976 10-speed apart with care and loaded up the frame to go to Bicycles Plus. On the drive over, I felt as though I was skipping through a rainbow colored field of candy flowers on may way to dance with my prince charming on a bed of marshmallows.

I walked into BP ready to share the love that was growing inside my heart. These guys... sigh... they're amazing...

AMAZING AT KILLING DREAMS!!!!!!!!

Now I won't name names, but someone, is a dream killer. I said then that it would be unfair to have his first mention in the blog result in the name Dream Killer, but here I am, two and half months later, and I still refer to him as Dream Killer. Even my mother knows he's a Dream Killer. She hasn't looked at a man in my life with such disdain since the heartbreak of 1993. Oh, Jeff. My 13 year old heart couldn't take your dashing good looks and toilet paper war.

There is a silver lining though. I do still like Dream Killer. He suggested the bike become art... and it finally has.

Above the fireplace in the living room (not to be confused with the early 80s adult film fireplace that I have in the bedroom- no joke). The piece is gold, cream, maroon, black, and grey. It weighs a ton, as most bikes from the 70s do. But it is fabulous!

Feel free to come over and check it out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Donuts in My Belly = Donut Around My Waist

So our new VP at work is buying my love with donuts. It's working. But it reminds me of two very different things from my past (neither of which have anything to do with triathlon or asthma... but I feel like anything concerning my dietary habits can break in to this blog).

1. Voltron
2. Cherry Fried Pie

I'm sure everyone around my age remembers Voltron. If you didn't have a Voltron toy, you probably knew someone who did. My brother had one. It was awesome. Seriously. Awesome. There were all these pieces that came together to make some bigger toy. Like a robot/superhero/magic puzzle. I kinda wish I had one. Not had one then... had one now.

Well, that's what the donuts are doing to my body. Little carbs are coming together into the fat that is coming together into the "is she pregnant?" belly that I have although I am certainly not pregnant. I have got to lay off the donuts.

Cherry Fried Pie on the other hand... well... those have a lot of history. Much like my VP is trying to buy my love with donuts, my high school boyfirend tried to buy his way into the private club with cherry fried pie. Sounds crazy, right?

Well, let me break it down for you. One day over a cherry fried pie (Mrs. Bairds in case you were wondering), I made a comment that a man who gave me flowers and cherry fried pie could likely get anything from me in return.

Anything.

I learned in 1997 that "anything" meant something very different to a 17 year old girl on a sugar rush and a 17 boy... Oops.

So for V-Day that fateful year, I got flowers and cherry fried pies. He did not however get in the club.

Which brings me to... does my VP somehow know that sugary bread products are my weakness? Does she know my now tatted up high school beau? Does fat like me so much that it flocks to me longing to be near or does it hate me so it's launching an offensive?

My guess is that this train of thought is not what was intended when we were given moral boosting donuts. However, it not only happened, but sucked my mind off work long enough to type up this garbage post.

Just call me the donut eating employee of the week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The White Speedo* Caper

(MUSIC THEME)

NARRATOR:
Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

(MUSIC UP)

NARRATOR:
You're a Triathlete. You're assigned to swim workout. You get a call that lane one has been terrorized by a bandit who wears a white Speedo. Your job - Find him.

(MUSIC UP)

ANNOUNCER:
Trinet -- the documented drama of an actual crime against swimming. For the next three minutes, in cooperation with the AsthmaAthlete and All Tri, you will travel step by step on the side of the law through an actual event transcribe from unofficial files. From beginning to end. From crime to punishment. Trinet is the story of your blogger in action.

(MUSIC FADE)

TUESDAY:
It was Tuesday May 11. It was cool in Richardson. We were waiting to work out at TI before the night watch. My partner's Steven Hooser. The boss is All Tri Coach, Sean Gassman. My name's Lacey. We had just left the office and it was 7: 06pm when we got to the corner of TI Boulevard and Drive K. The TI Activities Center Pool.

Okay- Seriously...

There was totally an older gentleman chilling in the pool in a white, brief style, not-as-thick-as-one-would-have-hoped swimsuit. Ugh. I feel like this sight is worse than the knowledge that people pee in there. I mean... I can't see pee... I can clearly see this guy's personal business. And personal business should be kept confidential.

To make matters worse...

You know how when something smells bad, you immediately offer it to your friends with a cheerful, "smell this!"? Or when you are going through your tri gear after an event and you feel compelled to check out how wet everything still is... and not from the swim? You know how even though you are bothered after you look, you can't help but stare at the dead animal on the highway as you speed by at 70mph? Well, first I pointed it out to Steven (because what heterosexual guy in his mid 20s doesn't want to see a 50+ year old man in a white, wet, speedo?). Then I kept looking. I was drawn to it.

Unfortunately for all of you, I did not take a photo. It seemed like the kind of thing that would land me on a government list of some sort.


*I feel like I should apologize to Speedo. I'm certain the man's swimsuit was not a Speedo. The company I've loved for so long would not forsake our relationship by creating this monstrosity.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

MS 150?

More like MSAROUND50.

I know I should have been more excited about doing this. My company was behind the event. They even provided us with cycling jerseys (really it was just for the PR- they don't fool me).

I considered staying in bed. That is how little I wanted to bust out a ride 6 days after my marathon. My legs were still hurting. My chest was still hurting. My attitude was still really hurting. Unfortunately, someone called me and work me up well before dawn and cheerfully asked if I was on my way. I rolled over in bed and lied.

"Yes, I'm in the car."

Ten minutes later... I was. Yawn.

It was really cold. Unpleasant. I'm sure for a lot of folks, the weather was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. I however was wearing a fleece jacket. No big deal, I'll warm up on the course.

I took a few pictures of the team and then realized I ought to use the restroom before setting off. Something about cycling makes me have to pee.

Ahhh... a row of port-o-potties that have been used by about 2500 people already this morning. I really wish I still had keys to the Tornado office. I really, really wish I had zero sense of smell. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wish I had toilet paper.

God heard my prayer and sent and angel. Apparently he saw the look of fear on my face and handed me a starbucks napkin. What a dear.

Now, where did my team go?

Not a clue.

So I set off mostly alone. I got in a pleasant little draft line with a guy who had a bear on his jersey, a guy with a Guinness jersey, and a girl with pigtails. Luckily for me, they pushed the pace and didn't stop much.

I rode for a bit. A couple hours. Decided I didn't want to pay for a shuttle back to my car. Took the numbers off my bike and helmet. Turned my back to the course. And went rogue. I'm a maverick. Not to be confused with a maverick.

Back at my car, I finished up the morning like coach wanted, with a run. Brick. Ugh.

All told, I think it was a pretty pleasant day. If nothing else, I realized that I'm only doing these things to make myself happy. 150 miles or not- this was on my terms.

Tomorrow- Warrior Dash.


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Warrior Dash



Slowest. Run. Ever. Yep.

Okay, so I walked for the most part. And slid. And had a wet muddy feeling in the seat of my pants.

But...

I saw a super tasty fellow in a loincloth. I didn't have an asthma attack in the giant wind tunnel. I was the cleanest person in my group. We had awesome matching outfits. And the wet muddy feeling in the seat of my pants? Well, happily, it was just pond water and actual mud in the seat of my pants. The fire/barbed wire/warriors didn't literally scare the... never mind.

This event was great! It was well organized, fun, fairly safe, full of variety, affordable, and memorable.

The obstacle recap:

Tornado Alley- I'm from Oklahoma. The only thing that scares me about Tornadoes is the dirt they kick up and the possibility of needing my epipen. Nobody wants a Macauley Culkin incident on the first obstacle. Vada Sultenfuss can't take another loss like that. It was surprisingly winding.

Walk the Plank- This was not nearly as exciting as the image I will always associate with walking the plank. Nor was it as romantic. But it was caked in mud and a fair bit wobbly. Oooo... it's getting scary.

Mud Slide- There was no way to avoid super dirty bottom. Best part about the mud "slide"... the mud was more of the sticky consistency, so people weren't sliding so much as they were dragging their pants through the muck, trying to stand up and falling. Awesome. Have I mentioned I like it when other people fall?

Rio Run- Ummm... brrr... This was greatness. Clumsy people falling all over the place. I am a water rat though, so kudos to me for not falling and staying pretty flippin' dry.

Mud Climb- If you were still clean when you got here, it wasn't going to last long. once you had soaked clothes from the creek bed, getting up the incline was no easy task. Even if you could find a spot that wasn't too slick, as soon as you put your foot down to step, water would squeeze out and send you back down into the poor fellow behind ya.

Hay Fever- Ever been in a hay maze? No. Then you might be impressed. But it's doubtful.

Breathless Bog- As I've mentioned, I'm generally a water lover. Wearing knee length spandex pants, a tshirt, knee high socks, and 10 year old running shoes does not a fun swim make. I had trouble getting over the log, bumped my knees to crap, and drank water from a feed the children commercial. Too harsh? Sally Struthers is fair game, but contaminated drinking water in an impoverished nation isn't really your style? Sorry. I'll make a note. Anywho, I was all wet and sliding around on a huge piece of wood.

Splintering Spools- Another piece of easy. Thanks, after the swim, I need to regain my confidence.

Cargo Climb- Easy.

Warrior Roast- Okay, sad news. The flames were maybe a foot high. Sadder news. I'm so clumsy that I was legitimately afraid of hurting myself by falling on my face in a pile of coals. Saddest news. The event photographer caught my fear with his amazing skills. My face is forever emblazoned on a proof somewhere showing the expressionof the biggest wuss ever.

Muddy Mayhem- I was so clean. Michel intentionally got mud in my face. That's was big bothers, I mean brothers, are for.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marathon- The Actual Event


Dang I'm sore. Not sore like I was after Disney (mostly because they gave me so much medication, painkiller, and IV fluid at the hospital after that little excursion that certainly some of the soreness was squashed). Not sore like I was after the Rock N Roll Half (because who can really be sore after a leisurely 13.1 mile stroll?) Sore like someone hit me with a truck at high speed… and possibly backed up to run over me again just to make sure I wouldn’t get up to chase them down.

Admittedly, I couldn’t chase a person down, much less a truck… or possibly even a toddler. I’m slow, but happy.

At the start I buddied up with Orgazmo (whose bib said Choda Boy) and Poncho. Orgazmo (who swears if I see the movie, I will understand him entirely) lives in DC, but is from the city originally. He has done ultra marathons, off-road triathlons, and a whole mess of other fun sounding things. He had flown down from DC, to run with his friend from OSU, Poncho. Poncho was originally from Wichita but has lived in OKC for a handful of years. He was wearing… a poncho. Was it raining? Nope. But he was cold, so he threw on a poncho for heat. Who am I to argue with warmth in any form? Besides, there's no telling what he had on under that poncho.

As we meandered for the first few miles, never breaking a 15 mile walk, I wondered why I was so compelled to stay with them. I guess it was because I was lonely and it was dark. I missed the goddess. She’s my event buddy and her absence was taking a toll. No worries though, at only mile 6, Poncho announces that he is having “tummy trouble”. Wow… pretty early to be having these sorts of issues. I bid them farewell and picked up the pace.

Things are going well. I’ve broken one of the course rules (although I’m guessing it was more of a suggestion) and I’m listening to my iPod. Whoa black Betty… bam-a-lam.

I make a new friend and stick with her for a bit. It’s her first long event ever. Her husband is still in bed, but the kids are with their grandparents getting ready for the kids’ run. She’s fun but I realize she’s piddling along at a 16.5 minute mile. I thank her for the company, put my headphones back in, and skip along. Ain’t no tellin’ where the wind might blow, free and easy down the road I go.

Mile 14. Brrr… Dang you Lake Hefner. Why are you always spitting off cold air with the force of a tornado? No worries. I feel good. I launch a preemptive strike on my lungs and the non-welcome party they are considering throwing for all the cold air and trees around the lake. *puff* *puff* Now with the wind at my back, I’m actually… wait for it… wait for it… running. Shocking to everyone who knows me. I’m pretty sure I am reincarnated from an 80 year old mall walker. But as I said earlier… I'm slow, but happy. With so much drama in the l-b-c, it’s kinda hard being an asthmatic athlete.

Well, hello fat man in the track suit! What brings you to the lake today? Just watching the runners go by? Encouraging them as they go by? No? Oh! I see you came to insult us. Gee. Glad you could make it out. It’s always nice to see a man with a 42 inch waist muffining out of a 30 inch track suit bottom. Classy.

Mile 20= half way, because 6.2 seems like an eternity. I’m pretty sure at this point that I have a blister growing with such enthusiasm that it’s going to burst from all its excitement later tonight. There is no way I’m stopping to take off my shoe though. We all know that I have issues with feet and wouldn’t likely put my shoe back on once removed to reveal whatever was causing me pain. My style is di bom digi bom di deng di deng digigi…

Mile 20.1… am I there yet? No? Bummer.

Mile 20.2… am I there yet? Still no? Bummer.

Mile 20.3… am I there yet? Really? Not even 23? Bummer.

Mile 20.4… am I there yet? You must be joking…

Mile 20.5… am I there yet? Mind if I sit down with you for a bit? No thanks, I don’t think my stomach could take any food right now. Yep, those people are running fast. I’m impressed too.

Somewhere along the next few miles I actually settle in to spot of dead air. No thoughts are entering or exiting my information station. White noise perhaps, but nothing of consequence. I feel great. I’m ignoring the horrible pain in foot. I couldn’t be happier with how- HOLYCRAPIDOODLEBEEFEATERMONKEYFACE!

Anyone ever popped a quarter-sized blister on the ball of their foot while running? It feels awesome… like love in your shoe. Sweet sweet love… wrapped in a pink bow… from Satan.

While hobbling across the finish line nearly 4 miles later, all I could think about was buying new shoes because this pair was soaking in whatever juicy goodness comes of a blister. No way can I wear these again. Besides, they clearly need replaced or I wouldn’t have the blister. New shoes? Totally justified.

Medical tent? Yes, but just for a Band-Aid.

Finishers medal? Heck yes!

Green finisher tech shirt? Double heck yes!

Cheese covered pasta and bread for lunch? I’ll race you to it.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Memorial... 4am




I arrive at the Memorial well before sunrise. Fifteen years after the blast set of car alarms throughout the parking lot of my high school nearly 15 miles away and my stomach still turns a bit at the events of that day so long ago.

The chairs are glowing with warm yellow light and the water in the reflection pool moves almost silently through the early morning. The light barely illuminates the bronze gates. I stand alone beneath the wall of glowing metal and take a deep breath. The cold air stings my lungs, but it tastes of spring. 9:01am.

I walk along the granite pool. The shimmering blackness invites me to drop any worries or fears as I pass. The water offers to take my burdens and prepare my heart for the day.

I look to my right and count.

168 chairs. 168 people. Only 26.2 miles.

To my left, stands an old elm tree that has seen far too much in its life. The survivor tree... I never would have guessed in the days following April 19, 1995 that the tree would ever make it. Today it is breath taking. Green and full, towering above the water. It is impossible to look upon its shape, so clearly affected by the blast and the days after, and not feel the love of time and humanity healing a city.

Again I stand beneath a wall of glowing bronze. 9:03am. Before turning to step back into reality and out onto the street, I plead with my body. Let me do this. Cooperate with me today. Tomorrow means nothing. Please. Let me do this.


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Friday, April 23, 2010

I Could Happily Live at the Bike Shop, They're So Nice

.... And nice to look at...

At lunch today I ran over to Bicycles Plus in Coppell to have my bike inspected (DON’T FORGET TO HAVE YOUR BIKE INSPECTED BEFORE THE MS 150!!) for the MS 150 and to drop off Elisabeth’s bike… Sir Velo. Yep, he has a name… and gender specific characteristics. Telling Ginger, the new guy, the whole story made me realize I’m not as awkward turtle as I sometimes feel when I go in. I think it’s because Skinny Jeans and 5 Second Fix make me feel slightly less cool by comparison no matter what I’m doing in there. Mmmm… bike shop boys. :)

Skinny Jeans has the inside track on the new “cheese” at Spiral Diner and recommends it. Apparently I’ve already had it on a quasi philly cheese steak and I do give it two thumbs up. 5 Second Fix wandered in during the bike inspection (which someone told me on the phone yesterday would be a 7 second ordeal) with an arm load of Taco Bueno. This was taking longer than expected, but I attribute that to 5 Second Fix and Skinny Jeans letting the newbie do it. Now that I think about it… should I have let Ginger touch my bike so close to a major ride?

As per the Bicycles Plus standard, everything today was quick, painless, and friendly. They took off the crappy plastic bit on the back wheel so it will quick shaking about, did a little tightening, a little loosing, a little tweaking, and I was on my way out the door.

Thanks as always! You guys are awesome!

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The End of My Imaginary Love Story

So I had to wait to post this. Weeks later and I am still ashamed of what I am about to write. Please, please don't shun me.

I had my last appointment with the ENT back on April 21st. Never again will I gaze at his nerdy-white-coat-doctor-self while he looks up my nose to inspect my stitches and shiny new septum.

Sigh.

I'll miss the fantasy of growing old with him in our allergen free house and raising our pale, asthmatic children (who would certainly have had my hair and his love of biology).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shake Your Groove Thing


Shake your groove thing-yeah-yeah! Show 'em how we do it now!

What a bunch of good sports my teammates are! Check out the different charities they are supporting and the love they have for their causes.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Don't Know if You Heard...





















To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Holy Open Water!

It's free!

But it's cold...

Find a happy place, find a happy place, your feet are bare and in the mud, find a happy place... I'm going to be sick. Ugh.

Brrr... at least my feet are clean again...

Oooo! I'm fast!

Oh... my... God... what did I just swim through!?!

R & B Sports out of Austin put on a fabulously organized, super friendly, small open water swim event at Lake Travis today. Best part? It was free. Yep. Only hidden cost is the park entrance fee of $10 at Pace Bend (cash only). 750m, 1500m, and 1.2mi courses were offered (at separate times so you could do as many as you wanted) which is well worth $10 and the drive down from DFW, though I could have done without the snarky attitude from the park employee working the entrance gate.

Turned out I wasn’t the only swimmer from Austin’s Northern neighbor. There were a handful of people down from the Big D. Even though they swim for DAM and I’m currently as unattached as a USMS swimmer can get, they didn’t shun me. Very nice of them.

One man in particular, Shoulders, is destined to be my new swimming BFF. He has done some of my dream swims which instantly made him super dreamy.

Shoulders has done 12.5 miles in beautiful, clear, warm water around Key West… *sigh*… could life get any better?

Forgiving the fact that their site has one too many men in old school Speedos, Shoulders has done some of the NYC Swim events.

Shoulders has swam in Hawaii with the DAM Maui Channel Swim which has to be one of the greatest ways to vacation ever. Perfect temperature, beautiful water, and a crazy group of swimmers.

He’s done Alcatraz. Though wasn’t brave enough to go sans suit like yours truly. We’ll forgive for that. Some people enjoy keeping their body heat and I can’t blame them.

Oh Shoulders, why did you not sense that we should be besties?

No big. It was still a perfect day. Swimming only. No hassling with bike gear or fumbling my way through a run like the awkward toddler runner that I am.

Swimming… mmmmm…


To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inspiration


I L-O-V-E love Coach Sean's talks. He gets on a point and does everything to make sure we are all on the same page... be that page a romantic scene with a beach, a sunset, some wine, and a sexy man or a page filled with murderous clowns.

Check out the latest inspiration gems here.


To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

If I Want and Extra Layer of Thickness I'll Eat More Ice Cream

Oh my goodness.

You all know how I feel about covering myself head to toe in spandex and other stretchy fabrics. Well, all the bike shorts and sports bras in the world could not have prepared me for what I currently look like in a wetsuit. Dolphin? Nope. Sea lion? Still no. Walrus? Sadly… yes.

So as I rub glide onto all my parts that “bend, twist, or rub” and try to shimmy myself into the neoprene sausage casing, I wonder, what happened to manning up and just wearing a swimsuit? And not the I’m-too-modest-to-show-my-thighs-jammers, but a Speedo. Old school. Quit your crying. Rub some lanolin on yourself and get in the water.

(yes- even as a vegetarian, I’m down with rubbing a greasy yellow substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of domestic sheep all over myself if it means I don’t have to look like walrus sausage…)

It was time to quit stalling and get this thing on. I put aside my germaphobia. I told myself the wetsuit was free of manmade liquid heat. I inhaled though my nose. I exhaled through my mouth. I stepped in with the first foot. I pulled. I hopped. I held my breath. I tugged. I tucked. I shook one leg. Then the other. I considered having someone sit on me like an overstuffed suitcase. I considered more glide. I considered astroglide. I bent. I stretched. I reached. And somehow, after an eternity of doing this awkward little dance, I found the strength to get the wetsuit mostly where it went. Ta-daaaa! Walrus.

After squeezing myself into the wetsuit while missing the comfort of a one piece swimsuit, I stood looking at my neoprene clad brethren. Were they as uncomfortable as I was? How were they managing to suck in for minutes at a time? Why are they all laughing? Is it because I look like I’m wearing a tutu under my wetsuit?

This experience has killed my genius idea for full body spanx. Now I know the fat has to go somewhere. In my case it’s worked its way into a fluffy mess about my middle and pushed itself up near my chest and neck choking me whilst all the little fat cells laugh. Go ahead and laugh for now, little fat cells. I’m killing you off. Bastards.

If the wetsuit was this hard to get on, how will I ever get it off. I am the walrus. Coo coo ca choo...

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What Does Asthma Feel Like?

On Saturday, I watched as someone very dear to me had his first experience with my asthma. While the assumption is that sick people are focused on themselves, that is rarely the case. I was more upset by his reaction than by the attack. I knew it was fairly mild and would improve quickly once I was able to get some medication. All he knew was that I was in bad shape ta that exact moment and he couldn't fix it.

People always try to explain to others how something feels, but I've decided it's nearly impossible to communicate a specific feeling. If you've never had a severe asthma attack, you will never truely know what it feels like... but you can get an idea.

Next time you are working out, put one end of a straw in your mouth and close your lips tightly around it. Next, totally clamp off your nose with your fingers. Now breathe. but don't stop working out. If you're me, you might be swimming between Alcatraz and Crissy Field, on a long bike ride alone, or at the Disney Marathon. Tough right? Now try keeping it up for several hours. Maybe add in some interval training. Whay not try to go to sleep like this.

So why don't I stop?

Well, much to my mother's displeasure, I can't stop. I don't have the capacity to quit doing the things that I love.

So until I am 100% physically unable to move, I will deal with the narrow, inflamed, mucus overloaded airways. And to end on a completely disgusting note, my snot is dark brown/black today from a mixture of septoplasty blood and sinus drainage. I will refrain from posting photos... unless you're interested.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fuji Bike Raffle


Win this $1,389
Fuji Roubaix 1.0 bicycle
...and support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation!

Raffle drawing will be held May 15

Any available size (see specs). Comes without pedals. If winner is located outside the Dallas/Fort Worth area, they will be responsible to pay for shipping from D/FW.
Generously donated by The Bike Shop and All Tri board member James R. Shaw.

Raffle tickets/chances are $10 each and tax-deductible.
Please indicate below how many raffle tickets you would like have, select the Lacey Hammons/ AAFA, and then make a secure purchase with a credit card. Your purchase will count toward my fundraising goal of $2900.

All Tri is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Download a copy of our certification letter.

Contributions to All Tri are deductible. Federal ID is 26-3227185.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

All Tri

24 triathletes

22 causes

$95,000 fundraising goal

All Tri is a non-profit charity that trains participants to complete a triathlon or marathon and then coaches them to use their fitness program to raise money for whatever cause stirs their passion. This spring, 24 participants will raise over $95,000 for 22 different charities while training to complete a triathlon in either Austin or San Francisco.

Interested in joining the All Tri Tribe, making new friends, training to complete a triathlon or marathon this fall, and raising money for the cause of your choice? Check out All Tri's fall and winter events:

Toyota US Open Triathlon in Dallas, TX
Race date is October 10, 2010
Training will begin on June 19, 2010
Launch party at REI on June 13, 2010 at 2pm

70.3 Ironman Longhorn Triathlon in Austin, TX
Race date is October 17, 2010
Training will begin on June 19, 2010
Launch party at REI on June 13, 2010 at 2pm

White Rock Marathon in Dallas, TX
Race date is early December, 2010
Training will begin on August 21, 2010
Launch party at REI on August 15, 2010 at 2pm


To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

No More Dropping Things on the Trail

Twice now I've lost inhalers while on the bike. Somehow, I can manage to keep a couple bananas or a few packages of shot bloks, even a bagel on occassion, in the pockets on the back of my cycling jersey, so why the inhalers?

Well, happily for anyone who has ever been around during a mess (Cy, Elisabeth, George, Ginny), I have a new toy.



I stopped by Run On! off Mockingbird after the brief trip to the ER to grab a run belt. They were incredibly helpful and set me up with a SPIbelt. The belt fits snuggly around my waist. It is the perfect place to secure race numbers without poking holes in all my tech shirts. But most importantly, it has a tiny pocket that expands to the size of Big Gulp. It's crazy stretchy and still goes back to it's original size when you take things out of it.

So now, securly zippered in, I will always have my inhaler, epipen, cell phone, etc close at hand.

Who's excited!?! ME!

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm just so excited...



Check out my Post Surgery video here.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

There is Nothing Zen Like About Last Night

I ate bugs. Little tiny ones. I'm guessing they were gnats, but since I'm not a bug connoisseur, I really couldn't say.

Back tracking. I left the office at 5:06pm and drove through what can only be described as a cloud of exhaust fumes and angry drivers. I’m not sure how people commute in this every day without losing it and shooting one of their fellow drivers. It took me an hour and half to go the twenty miles to my cycling destination. This was to be the first group ride outdoors- hooray for ditching the trainers (I really don’t enjoy looking down at a puddle of my own sweat in the back warehouse of REI… I’m sure REI doesn't appreciate it either).

I parked my car and did an amazing deck change. Out of the skirt, sweater, and heels from work and into bike shorts, a cycling jersey, and my super cute cycling shoes. All standing beside my car. Yes. It’s just as classy as it sounds. But it is a skill I perfected as a swimmer by age 15, so I’ve had quite a bit of practice. You should see me change pants while I’m driving. Very impressive.

I began to ride the three miles to teepee hill where my partners in crime had set off from. The wind was unbearable. I leaned into it, shifted, hunched down, and sweat. By the time I reached TeePee Hill, the other group had turned back, so I rode forward to meet them. Another mile or so in I ran into them and u-turned back into the wind that I had just escaped.

Back to teepee hill. But, wait... it looks like people are packing up to go home. Really. That's it. they didn'teven ride 6 miles.

Well, anyone can prety much talk Cy into anything that involves his bike, so I get him to head back toward Mockingbird and around to my car. I'm sure we were only going 1 mile an hour in the wind. At least that's how it felt. But dusk was upon us and we had to keep going. Do you know what happens at dusk? Yes, people start driving all crazy and ignoring the cyclists more than usual... but more frightening than that are the bug clouds. Ugh. Disgusting. There is plenty of air for their crazy bug parties, but they seem to like being at face level right in the middle of the path.

My suspicion is that they are like suicide bombers. They know their fate is not going to be a good one, but they take up the cause to ruin your day as well.

At least three of them were successful. I know because I would feel them hit the back of my throat in certain death. Yum.

Can I even still call myself a vegetarian now?

I may be broke, but that's no excuse for eating bugs...

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunny with a chance of Epinephrine

I was googling epinephrine yesterday to see if there was some was correlation I could make to the events of the day and my need for fundraising dollars. Instead I stumbled across a t-shirt touting that serotonin + epinephrine + dopamine = LOVE… Find me the cheesy nerd that came up with that and yes, it might lead to love. Mmmm… nerdy boys. Yum.

But back to what brought on the need to talk about epinephrine…

Yesterday was amazing! The weather here was the picture of perfection. Sunny, light breeze, warm (but not hot). Chirping birds, barking dogs, green grass, flowers, budding trees… I’m sure the problem is becoming apparent.

I headed over to see Dr. R about my nose. Septum straight. Looks like it’s healing nicely. We have a brief chat about training, how things are going, what events are coming up (so many I can’t keep track!), and making sure I continue to take care of myself and my new nose.

Things were still going extremely well when I got to Dr. L’s for my allergy injections. No beta blockers, no problems with my allergies today, no problems with my last set of shots, yes I am Lacey 1-5-80, right arm first.

The nurse starts to inject my arm with what feels like a flaming needle and blood backs up into the serum. She tosses the needle and starts again. I am almost certain that if I look down my skin will be falling off like I’ve been dowsed with acid. The left arm is perfectly painless in comparison.

So I take a seat as far away as possible from the kid bouncing the ball on the floor (while his mother sits like a beat down zombie nearby… not asking him to stop, or sit down, or be quiet… just looking defeated). I’m next to the most adorable little girl and her dad practicing spelling.

“Bury”

“Daaa-aaaad! You have to use it in a sentence.”

“We had to bury the dog.”

“Yucky.”

“Marry”

“Sen-tence da-ad!”

“I married your… umm… marry… marry… Will you marry me?”

This elicited so much giggling from such a little person. I couldn’t help but laugh myself. And then wheeze. Surely that’s not me. I opened my mouth wider and inhaled again. Yep, that’s me. So I ignored it through “berry”, “threw”, and “principal”. The spelling test suddenly stopped so I looked up to see what was wrong. The dad was staring me. Not in a good way. Clearly my breathing is audible and distracting.

I went up to the counter to let them know I might be having a little reaction. They took one look at me and took me to the back. Red skin, beginnings of hives, itchy hands, a lot of wheezing, hard to swallow.

Like a magic wand, Tiffany pulled out another needle, and hit me with an epinephrine shot. Ahhh… sweet release.

Then, the shaking begins. The combination of albuterol and epi make for a high level calorie burning full body shake. This is not as much fun as Tobey and I had predicted. And now that I’ve actually had to use it, it’s not so funny either. Boo on bad things. They are only funny before they happen.

But alas, I am fine and back to my normal red instead of the intense red. My hands don’t itch. And my skin is as smooth as can be expected for a thirty year old with sun damage.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Lost All My Snarky Writing Energy

The horrible soul sucking cramp running through my foot and pulling my 2nd and 3rd toes into a pike position while ripping the muscle from my bones has consumed what little energy I had remaining. Because of the surgery and doctors orders to stay out of teh pool for 10-14 days, which I was clearly disregarding for the second time this week, I decided to kick it out. Just a girl, her Sweedish goggles, a Speedo Kickboard, and Zoomers.

Well... Joe Stocker would not likely be impressed. I barely swam 1000 and cramped up just a few laps in. Pretty sure this not the best way to honor his memory.

Joe is one of my "big three". If my life has a most influential category outside of my mother, Joe would not just be in the running, he would be contending for the title. Most people who swam for him would likely say the same thing. Joe was my club coach in Oklahoma City so many years ago it's stomach churning to say aloud.

Coach Sean, brace yourself for these credentials. You'll be impressed that a swimmer found such a well rounded coach back then. Joe was a Level 4 ASCA certified coach with nearly 35 years of experience coaching novice to Olympic Trial competition. He coached both high school and USA club swimming. He swam for the University of Nebraska and was a NCAA qualifier in 1962 in breaststroke. In 1973, Joe placed in the top 6 at the Masters World Championships. He was appointed to the Governor's Council on Physical Education for the State of Oklahoma in 1986 and charged with the responsibility to revise the physical education program for 9th graders. He has written and published articles in The Research Journal for Physical Education, Health and Recreation. His article titled "Performance Ladder", a program approach to teaching water skills to all levels was presented at the state convention for Physical Education. He won national triathlon titles (Trifed) in 1987, 88 and 89 and was 6th at Leon's in 1990 in the US National Amateur Trials to determine the US Team that was to compete in the World Championships. He has won 4 USTS titles and was a triathlete All-American.

Any of the other die hard tri guys impressed? I always was.

Coaching each individual swimmer to achieve their personal best was Joe's passion. But to the untrained eye, Joe was as unforgiving and tough as any coach could be. I remember well after I tore my ACL and MCL, Joe pushed me to kick full workouts. He knew if I didn't push it, I would be at the level we both knew I wanted to be. He would walk along less than a foot from the edge of the pool, urging me to push it harder with each kick. "You're not pushing it." "Give me more." "Work through it." "UP! UP! UP!" I would smile at him while forcing away the urge to vomit, but I always managed to give him more effort when he demanded it. He knew I had it in me and I trusted him. He gave me so much personal attention through my years with him. Even with what I thought was more attention than my mother was paying for (unless he worked cheap), he always found time to focus that much individual attention on each of his swimmers. It was almost like he created time.

So, am I disappointed in my work out? Yes. Was I happy to be in the pool regardless? Sure. Will I give it 100% when I swim tomorrow morning? You bet. All I've been able to think about since yesterday is Joe and that I didn't give that workout full effort. Full effort was the only way Joe did anything.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare Bill and Surgery

After spending Sunday glued to C-SPAN, wondering how my own health care would be affected by the bill (it was a regular day at the theatre... I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I booed, I wondered why so many of the players wore ties that looked like a drug induced hallucination when shown on the television), I awoke Monday to the reality that regardless of what the state of health care did or did not look like this morning, I was having surgery.

Having forked over a copay last week for the surgery of just under $300, I was told I only needed to bring my driver's license and my insurance card with me to the surgery. Lucky for me (and the people looking to get paid) I brought along my wallet. I owed another $500 prior to the surgery... SURPRISE! It's like a birthday present, but not for me.

Perhaps things will change down the line. Or perhaps I am too middle class to be affected by the changes in legislation. We will see. Until then, an video of the pre-surgery excitement and a plea for support for the Asthama and Allergy Foundation of America...

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'll Bring the Spandex!


I just keep telling myself, "black is slimming... black is slimming... black is slimming... black is slimming..." But honestly, how slimming could these pants be? Anything that clings to my skin with such conviction can't have and regard for my pride at all.

I wear crazy tight pants to bike. I wear crazy tight pants to run. The only time I get to step away from the shame of crazy tight pants is when I swim... which leaves me with no pants at all, just pale skin and a Speedo. Triathlons are not for the self-conscious.

But, it gets worse. It's not just that I know I'm wearing spandex, it's that other people know I'm wearing spandex. And they can see it. Up close. In person.

I try to forget what I must look like, but the universe just won't allow it. This past weekend as I walked along Keller Springs with a perfectly slender man, I began to fear my shadow. Maybe the entire universe wasn't against me... but the sun certainly was. With each step my shadow revealed the parts or me that jiggle. Thanks shadow. It exposed the odd flat part of my butt that gets flatter when I extend my leg. Thanks again shadow. It taunted me by walking beside the thin man shadow for easy comparison. Wow, shadow, you're really going out of your way to make me feel awesome.

There is silver lining... for you. I'll keep wearing the spandex so you don't have to if you help the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Just $5 will make a difference. Or you can donate $38 in honor of what my last new pair of slimming, black, running pants cost.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mark Austry

Back on March 15th, just one day after the Rock n Roll Half in Dallas, I started a blog about Mark Austry. Mark was a physician recruiter who got his start in the same company as me. I kept waiting to finish the blog, editing, deleting, rewriting, waiting for answers. How could a really healthy, 32 year old man die at a half marathon... Weeks later and still no answers, just that he had high levels of potassium in his blood.

Wow. Shades of the Disney Marathon for me, only I checked out of the hospital against medical advice because I figured it was just my asthma acting up as usual. The look Elaine gave me when I announced we were leaving makes more sense now. But that day I signed countless papers saying that I understood that my kidneys looked like they were shutting down, my heart could stop at any moment, I had already had more than four breathing treatments and still had a tight wheeze... check, check, check, sign, taxi.

I wonder now how foolish I was really being. The stubborn part of my brain (the part we all have left over from being 18 and certain that we would never die or get older) says I'm clearly fine so I made the right choice. The overly sensitive part of my brain (the part that wants me to have a better reason for being vegetarian than not really liking meat and wishes I were more zen like) says I'll be more careful in the future because life is a gift and my decisions affect more than just me. The brutally honest part of my brain (the part that had to give my tri coach my height and weight for a new wetsuit) knows I won't be. I'll continue to push it to the max, sweat it out, dance when I pass bands - marching or otherwise- wheeze and keep walking, only quit when an ambulance is imminent.

For more information on an amazing man visit the Star-Telegram.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lacey: 1 - Asthma: 0



The score isn't quite Lacey: 1 - Asthma: 0, but I've decided to wipe the slate clean as of yesterday. I'm like a kindergartner and asthma is the parent. I get to make up rules in order to win every now and then. After Tucson and Orlando, a fresh start is exactly what I needed. Possibly more eventful in the morning than most regular weekends.

2am-
The magic of daylight savings time and the ideas of a crazy bug collector cause 2am to become 3am and a very busy day to become busier. 23 hours instead of 24... ack.

5am-
My body is certain that it's 4am and not happy about being up. As I stumble around my room in the darkness, stubbing my toe on the bed frame, I consider going back to sleep.

5:45am-
Time to get going. A quick run through of the necessities. Bib? Check. Shoes? Check. Road ID? Check. Inhaler? Check.

6:15am-
Tweeting on the highway. Feeling a little nervous, but relaxed. Today isn't about time, it's about fun and finishers medals.

7am-
Standing in line for a shuttle with one of the elite athletes. He's quite thin... and yummy. I really must find a way to lure one of these pale runners into my web.

7:01am-
Changing my mind about luring a runner into my web. The conversations being had on the shuttle are making me long for the muddled echos of swimming. In the pool you don't have to listen to people talk about weight loss, times, or... wait for it... how a couple middle aged men think it's a good idea to remake Ferris Bueller's Day Off with Matthew Broderick still playing Ferris but now he skips work and his son skips school and they run into each other. Oh the hilarity. Shoot me now.

8am-
The race starts! Well... not for everyone.

8:20am-
Finally it's start time for the corral I snuck in to. Yes, I am a corral crasher.

13.1 miles, multiple bands, a firefighter piggyback ride, and a few port-o-pottys later, I earned my finishers medal... and some orange slices.


Some people were out on the course looking for a personal best. Some people were looking to complete the longest distance of their lives. Some people were out there just looking for fun. I was out there proving to myself and my lungs that we could make it without the inhaler. Mission accomplished.

Why stop there. I headed over to TI for a short 3000 yard swim and then to White Rock where I barely completed one lap. I officially know my body's limit... walk/jog= okay, swim= sure, bike= eff you, I'm tired.


To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Abby's Story


Born on May 29, 2007, Abby is a ray of sunshine. She embodies all the characteristics of a happy little girl. She is joyful, loving, precocious, and inquisitive. She loves to dance and even plays a mean air guitar.

Shortly after Abby was born, her parents sensed that something was wrong. Like all babies, Abby cried…but she seemed to cry a lot more than other babies. Abby’s parents took her to a pediatrician when her appetite began to wane and her crying became more and more frequent. As she grew, she developed a severe skin irritation. She would scratch and rub her skin and was unable to sleep soundly from the discomfort. At only a few months old, Abby was beginning a very long journey that would prove challenging for her, her parents, and numerous physicians.

Abby and her parents visited doctor after doctor, traveling to several states and seeing several specialists. No one seemed to have an explanation for her condition. She was not responding to antibiotics, antihistamines, or any of the other treatments the different doctors tried. Over two and a half years, Abby’s parents had taken her to nearly twenty physicians including pediatricians, internists, immunologists, neurologists, dermatologists, allergists, and Eastern philiosophy practitioners with no answers and no improvement.

A few months ago, Abby began seeing an allergist who specializes in both Eastern and Western medicine, combing the two techniques. Abby’s tiny body was finally responding to treatment.

It is through research from organizations like the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America that innovative treatments for children like Abby have been made possible.

Though Abby and her family still struggle daily with the debilitating effects of her allergies, Abby is a very happy and active little girl who is making great strides in managing her condition. With her third birthday quickly approaching, her family sees improvements daily.

Abby is a beautiful little girl and a fighter.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Allergy Injections


Happy birthday to me.

This year, on my birthday, I had my first appointment with Dr. L. The website clearly stated that they don't do allergy testing on your first visit, so I had nothing to worry about. Three hours later however, the visit had turned into a welt covered mess. Dr. L discussed my options with me. We decided on allergy injections and immediately scheduled my rush/rapid desensitization. Rush is a variation of the traditional treatment. Rather than increasing doses of allergens every few days or weeks, the doses are increased every few hours during the course of one day. Those 8 hours of rush cut down my initial phase of the allergy injections from 1-2 years to 4-8 months.

Now, twice a week, I visit the doctors office to watch cartoons, hang out in the waiting area for thirty minutes, stare at random strangers, read magazines, oh- and get the allergy injections. That's one shot in each arm twice a week... 4 shots. Good times.

I love the staff. I hardly notice the shots since the needle must be the world's smallest. But sometimes after I get them, I get sexy arm. Yes, sexy arm. It's hot. It's red. Hot and red. Generally two things one might consider sexy... whatever, let me have my moment.

The staff does not agree with the title sexy arm and knock me down a few rungs on my ego ladder by backing off the dose when I have a reaction to the previous shot. As I move forward in the process (especially as we enter killer allergy season), I will keep you posted on my progress. I may even have a celebratory cake in April if I don't have a mind numbing sinus infection between now and then. Celebrate small victories.

As with any of the information I share regarding my treatment, I can only speak for myself and suggest that you speak with your own physician if you have questions about your own challenges with allergies or asthma.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Day of Feet



Everyone who knows me well knows that I have a serious aversion to feet. I feel about feet the way Pompey felt about Caesar, the way Sooners feel about Longhorns, the way Hiroshima feels about uranium… okay maybe the feelings aren’t quite that strong. However, the fact remains, I really don’t like feet.

One of the unfortunate effects of sports is the jacked up things that make feet even more unpleasant than I already find them. Imagine a food you really dislike. Now add a liver puree on top… and heavy whipping cream… and perhaps a squirt of lemon juice to make sure your cream is thick. Now eat it. No? Not interested? Neither I am.

Running

Calluses... Heels, toes, balls of the feet- oh my! Calluses are a buildup of dead skin in response to pressure or fiction. Apparently it’s not so much a skin issue, but a foot mechanics/shoe fit/bone problem. Sounds great! Could it get any better? Of course. The calluses can be thick, dry, scaly, yellow, red, tender, and flakey. Oh- and you can develop painful blisters under the calluses. Bring out the liver puree, because this is making me hungry.

Blisters. Small, fluid filled, skin bubbles. Much like calluses, blisters are caused by friction. Things can get worse if you have excessive moisture in your shoe (wet shoes from transitions, wet weather, or just plain old sweaty feet).

Toenail loss. Watch out, Matt! I’m throwing you under the bus! For years I was sheltered from the horror that is black toenails that eventually fall off. Then I met Matt. After long stints of running, Matt's feet are a total train wreck. You want to look away, but you can’t. Interestingly, he always knows when he’s going to lose a toenail. As though it’s as common as changing his oil, he will declare flatly, “I think my toenail is going to fall off.” Black toenails are caused by constant rubbing of the toes against the front of the shoe. You are basically creating an unbreakable blood blister under your toenail.

Swimming

Athletes Foot. Not all athletes wear shoes. But they should. You know something is bad when it is also called ringworm of the foot and has the potential to spread to the groin. Chlorinated pool areas do not have magical powers that make the deck a nice place to put your bare feet. I cannot stress this enough. When I go to the pool and when I’m in locker rooms the average number of people wearing some sort of shoe? One. Me. Ya’ll are sick. All I can say is keep your flip flops on and practice the good hygiene your momma taught ya!

Plantar warts. Get your barf bag ready. These noncancerous skin growths are caused by HPV. The virus enters through breaks in your skin, often beneath the pressure points in your feet. Ummm… pretty sure I already told you that these are the same places you are blisters and calluses… so umm… right… remember the shoe thing… yep…

Dry skin. This isn’t caused by chlorine, so don’t think you’re immune if you stick to open water. Your dry, itchy skin is a result of being in water for extended periods of time. Say adios to your skin’s natural oils. No big deal. Moisturize. Enjoy a moisturizing soak in the tub with some nice bath oil. You’ll be fine. And you’ll smell better. All this training is making you funky.

Cycling

Loss of skin. I’m leaving this to seasoned triathletes with their crazy horror stories. I’m not talking about a little flaking or a tiny blister sized loss. I’m talking about large sheet like pieces. Ugh.

More Calluses and Blisters… I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Ugh.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is right up my alley. What better for a girl who’s not a fan of feet? Something to cover them…

Shoes

Running Shoes: Proper shoe fit is one of the most important factors for your feet. Before Carie took me shoe shopping for my Disney marathon shoes, I had constantly bloody ankles. I know, there was an obvious problem and it should have tipped me off. In all fairness, I’ve ALWAYS had bloody ankles from running. I was getting used to it. It was like a badge of honor. A war wound. My way of telling the world, “yes, I worked out and here’s the crimson proof.” Then I fell in love with Earl at Run On! Dallas.

There are some ugly truths about buying running shoes. These will be harder to swallow for women than for men.
1. Feet get larger with age. So do your ears and nose. Won’t you be pretty.
2. Running shoes should be larger than your regular shoes. This gives men at triathlons and running events a chance to lie… until they are forced to drop the track pants and you see them in all their spandex glory.
3. Your left and right foot may differ by as much as a full size… if you are a freak. Are you?
4. Women’s feet may become a half size larger or more during pregnancy. This information would be better birth control for teens than those baby boot camps you see on Maury.
5. Feet swell during the day... whether you are running long distances or not.
6. Socks make a huge difference, get ready to lay out more money for one pair than your grandmother spent on that pack of crew socks she gave you for Christmas

I recommend a shoe fitting. There are a ton of places, but if you are here in the DFW area, I recommend Run On! and Luke’s Locker.

Cycling Shoes: Before we get into this, an important note- the clipless pedal is one in which your shoe is clipped in. Way to make that easy to decifer.

Clipless pedal systems offer you more bang for your energy buck. Because you are attached to the pedal in a stiff-soled shoe, you can pull more efficiently on your upstroke. This is great if you are in shape and enjoy that extra oomph. Some days I wish I wasn’t clipped in so that my burning thighs could enjoy taking it easy on the ride back up to the top of the circle.

Toe clips allow the foot to bend. You remember toe clips? Our parents’ 10 speeds from 1985 probably had them. Great if you need to stretch, save money, avoid maintenance, take your 5 and 7 year old on a bike ride to McDonald’s for pancakes. Bad if you don’t like losing energy.

Cycling shoes are a veritable smorgasbord. Mountain bike, road bike, triathlon, straps, laces, Velcro, colors, clips, widths, materials, country of origin… But here are some basics:
1. Bike shoes should have a snug fit (not tight, snug).
2. Different brands have different dimensions and will fit you differently. Try a bunch!
3. Not all shoes are compatible with all pedal systems.
4. Your feet should not hurt when you take your shoes off.
5. You get what you pay for.

Buying the right cycling shoes, much like my running shoes, required trained help. In the DFW area, there are a lot of options including Bicycles Plus and Richardson Bike Mart.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Bearded Lady, The Werewolf Boy, The Sword Swallower, and Me

I am a freak show. Though my otolaryngologist did say today, “it’s not like we could take you to the fair and sell tickets.” So, I guess the Siamese Twins will stand together blocking my entrance into their side show society.

This morning was a barrel of fun… diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis booster, allergy injections (making progress, moved to a higher concentration today!), and a visit with the ENT.

It’s never good when a doctor asks whether you have drainage, you say no, and he looks in your throat and corrects you with a “yep, drainage.” But what is worse is when he checks out your CT scan and says there is something he needs to talk to you about… or, more accurately, multiple somethings.

1. Deviated septum. We knew that already. Maybe I was born with it, maybe it is the fault of the 1994 knee to the face swim team incident (thanks John), either way, it needs fixed.

2. Concha bullosa. Apparently it’s an abnormal pneumatization of the middle turbinate (strange little flaps in your nose) which is interfering with my breathing and my sinuses. Also needs fixed.

3. Middle Turbinate. As I mentioned before the concha bullosa is defined as being in your middle turbinate. In order to have a “middle” turbinate, you would need an odd number (three being normal). I have an extra. Four. Freakish. Like having an extra toe or a tail. Fixing this too.

4. Maxillary Sinuses. The exit is too small for the occupancy. It’s like the crowd from the Super Bowl exiting through one turnstile. And one more fix.

It can all be handled by a few doctors in a matter of a couple hours. Just some breaking, scraping, cutting, inserting, injecting and then I’ll be a whole new Lacey… still with virtually no sense of smell. I am nervous, but couldn’t be more excited for the results!

Added bonus? I’ll only be out of dry training for a week or so and out of the pool for two weeks.

To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Head Case

Last week an acquaintance said that only crazy people do triathlons and my being in less than stellar health and still doing this made me a complete head case. With that, I figure now is as good a time as any to show you all what's really inside my head... and what an interesting mess of swirls it is.

Now, I would love to tell you all about what you are looking at, but all I am really certain of is that the hip bone's connected to the back bone, the back bone's connected to the neck bone, the neck bone's connected to the head bone... now shake dem skeleton bones! If you happened to be in medical school, residency or medical practice, you should probably only use that information as a loose guide.

I have been referred to an otolaryngologist (ENT) to get a closer look and also to use words to describe the images in something other than grey-black-white-swirly-mucus-are-those-my-eyeballs terms. So Thursday we will know for sure whether or not they will be cutting on the inside of my nose through my nostrils. If they have to, I say we go ahead with a little elective reshaping while we're at it. What harm could it do?


To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Donation by the Numbers

Some people have asked how they can help and what they should donate. Here are some options to help with an amount. If you would like to donate, follow the link in the right hand menu bar or click here.

$1- Donate because asthma is the #1 cause of school absenteeism among children

$3- Donate because asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization for children

$4- Donate one dollar for each of the sports I regularly participate in despite my asthma

$6- Donate one dollar for every medication I need to take daily

$8- Donate one dollar for each day that a child misses school on average per year due to asthma

$9- Donate one dollar for every mile I swim on average per week

$10- Donate one dollar for every one million outpatient visits attributed to asthma each year

$11- Donate one dollar for every life lost in one day due to asthma

$12- Donate one dollar for average number of times I visit a doctors office each month

$14- Donate one dollar for every one million missed days of school per year due to asthma

$15- Donate one dollar for every one million missed days of work per year due to asthma

$17- Donate one dollar for every 100,000 Hispanic Americans living with asthma

$18- Donate one dollar every one billion dollars of the estimated cost of asthma per year

$20- Donate for the estimated twenty percent of swimmers with asthma

$22- Donate one dollar for every shot I get in March

$25- Donate for the 25% of Americans with asthma and allergies

$30- Donate one dollar for every 1000 Americans who had an asthma attack today

$30- Donate ten dollars for each day in an average hospitalization due to asthma

$40- Donate one dollar for every 1000 Americans who missed work or school today due to asthma

$44- Donate for the 44% of asthma hospitalizations that are children

$50- Donate one dollar for every 100 Americans who visited an ER today due to asthma

$52- Donate one dollar for each of the 52° Fahrenheit of my coldest open water swim without a wetsuit

$55- Donate the average cost of a rescue inhaler

$60- Donate one dollar for every one million people in the US with chronic allergies and asthma

$65- Donate for the 65% of asthma deaths attributed to women

$80- Donate for the 80% increase in the asthma death rate for children in my lifetime

$100- Donate one dollar for every 10 Americans admitted to the hospital today due to asthma

$180- Donate one dollar for every minute I spend spinning in an average week

$150- Donate a one dollar for each puff of an inhaler I take on average per month

$200- Donate one dollar for every minute I spend running in an average week

$1000- Donate a quarter for each of the over 4000 deaths in the US due to asthma each year

$7000- Donate for the nearly 7000 additional deaths each year in which asthma was a contributing factor


To help support the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Donate here.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

One Week

Eye drops, inhalers, nasal sprays, vitamins, prescription pills, allergy shots, nebulizer, peak flow, swimming, biking, running, and of course brushing my teeth to avoid thrush from the inhalers. All in a week's time, just a small glipse into what it takes to mainain my health and get ready for CapTex. video

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