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.

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Critical Mass for the Minimalist

Tonight, Chelsea and I headed to downtown Dallas for Critical Mass. Critical Mass is a ride that brings public awareness of bicyclists to Dallas. The ride is for all cyclists, and all are welcome. They group is lead by one of the major players in the local bicycle advocacy scene, Colin Clarke. The ride is a very slow pace so that everyone can stay together.

We met up at Main and Market around 7:30pm and headed out shortly after 8pm. Due to the weather, the group was very small (nothing near a critical mass), more of a minimalist version of mass if there was one. Some of the regulars said the group was around 100 in the summer months. We made our way toward fair park where we stopped in at Pizza Lounge. They have great specials including a Pabst, a shot of Tequila and a slice of cheese pizza for only $6. Crazy.

After a short stop at the Pizza Lounge we made our way over to the home of the Phoenix Project. Phoenix Project Collective is an Unincorporated Non-Profit Association aiming to serve Dallas' progressive art and music scene, as well as promote health/well-being, solidarity, and education to the community. It is the home of musicians, artists, and- more importantly for this post- The Phoenix Project Bicycle Co-Op.

Anther stop at the Double Wide for the group, but this is when I went on with just the company of Chelsea. It was after 10pm and we all know I'm getting too old to stay out late and still be up in the morning for training :)

The ride was nice and slow, the company was fabulous, and the route was urban scenic. I fully recommend that anyone in the DFW area who has even a little love for the bike they've been keeping hidden away since last summer comes out for the next CM ride.

Last Friday of every month- 7:30pm- Main and Market.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Sit Bones and Saddles

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Back in the Saddle

I stopped by Bicycles Plus in Coppell before spin class last night at REI to get a new saddle for my bike. Those of you that know me know how much I love the guys at Bicycles Plus and not just because most of them are sexy in that skinny-jeans-granola-cycling sort of way, but because they are responsible for so many great things about my cycling bubble (cute shoes, red lollipop pedals, matching water bottle cages, a new stem, a trainer, bike rack, lights, computer, Road ID, eye candy… well you get the point). Of everything though, the eye candy- no- the saddle is the best thing to come from Bicycles Plus.

After sitting on a stool with what looked to be a bag of royal icing on the top so that the width of my back side could be determined, I had a very “that’s what she said” conversation regarding the benefit to having the right saddle (video coming this evening!) with Gabe. Apparently, the sit bones (butt bones, ischial tuberosity) are the part of the pelvic girdle you feel when you sit up straight on a firm surface. Well, whatever they are called, mine hurt like being the first girl kicked off the Flavor of Love. *tear*

I ended up with an amazing Bontrager women’s specific saddle that was sized to fit the specific width and curvatures of my business zone. The seat has a contour relief zone that fits “lady business” without causing hot spots. To up the excitement factor, Bontrager offers an unconditional comfort guarantee giving you thirty days to try out your saddle. I won’t be needing the guarantee though. Last night at spin class my sit bones finally stopped shrieking in horror and pain and I enjoyed a nice workout.


Be it the weather, the sinus infection, allergens, or the activity, I definitely had an asthma attack toward the end of spin. With arms raised above my head, sitting on the floor beside my bike, inhaler grasped firmly, I wheezed… and wheezed... and coughed… and wheezed. But, I was able to get things under control. I didn’t give in to the nebulizer that was calling my name. I got back on the bike and finished the workout.

Part of what makes training different for people with severe asthma is that moment when you have to make a decision. First- will your head let you finish? Second- will your body? I can control my mind and that is the most important part. With the help of a great pulmonologist, shots, inhalers, pills, and sprays, hopefully in the future, the second question won’t be an issue.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Run, Lacey, Run!

Or mostly walk.... whatever.

So I went to the gym at lunch today because I was a complete slack job last night. Forty minutes and 3.1 miles later, I was only focused on two unfortunate realities.

But let's back up a bit.

There I am on the treadmill trotting along when I see a ghost beside me. ACK! No wait, I'm on the treadmill closest to the mirror and I am pale... Almost freakishly so. This doesn't affect my training of course, it just makes me look silly in comparison the darker skinned gym goers. It's the concept of wearing dark colors to look slimmer. I wear a full body suit of white (also known as makes-you-appear-bigger-glow). No big deal. But… now I’ve seen myself in the mirror and it’s like a train wreck.








It’s not just my pale legs. It’s my form (both physical and running). I lean forward for no reason. And I kinda look like I ate a bean bag. If I don’t quit running like this, I know what I’m going to be for Halloween.

Reality #1: I currently run and look like an overweight toddler made of vanilla ice cream and mashed potatoes.

I try to shrug off the sinking feeling in my stomach. I remind myself that I have an okay personality. My hair is pretty. I can work on my running. I will lose weight. They make full length black spandex pants. I’m doing this for a good cause.

I refocus my attention on the television in front of me. Men’s Olympic hockey recaps. How could this not improve my mood?

Does this television have smellevision? It smells like a locker room. A men's locker room. A men's locker room filled with hockey gear. My eyes are watering as the pungent smell reaches the depth of my being and permeates my olfactory system and my soul. Is that me? Surely not. I’m taking a shower before I go back to work anyway. I packed my flips flops and my hair brush and my anti-white-girl-afro-spray and my shampoo and my conditioner and my to-


Reality #2: I did not bring a bath towel.

Again, I try to shrug off the sinking feeling in my stomach. I remind myself that I still have an okay personality. My hair is still pretty. I do have a hand towel to dry off with. Maybe no one will notice me strolling from the shower to my locker wearing only a hand towel. I’m so white I’m practically invisible anyway. I’m still doing this for a good cause.

Clearly, things worked out. I’m sitting, freshly showered, at my desk. I didn’t die from embarrassment and I got in a few miles. Now I just need to take control of my own reality. #2 is easy- don’t forget your towel. #1? Well that is going to take time, dedication, and a little help from my friends.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feel at Home for the First Time

Ahhh... the pool! Could there be a more glorious place in the entire world than an indoor, stuffy, chroline smelling, 25 yard pool? No. Sure the description doesn't get everyone's heart fluttering as it does mine, but the smell coupled with the black stripe beckoning me is the simplest pleasure I know.

This could be the only place that I won't be feeling humilation throughout triathlon training, well, unless I have a Flavia Zoccari situation. Then I may have to hang up my swedish goggles for good.

Coach Sean did a great job of giving everyone an overview on body position, stroke efficiency, and popular swim drills. There was more resting than I'm sure he will allow us to have at future practices, but for the first time in the pool as a group, it was great.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ninja Skills

As a permanent addition to my outdoor workout attire, I have recently aquired a ninja mask. I'm going to be frank with you. I look so good in it, I'm not sure how anyone is going to be able to keep their hands off of me.

This morning, I had my first running shoe clad experience in the ninja mask. Leaving from REI I stealthily made my way across LBJ and headed due south. The workout turned into 10% jog and 90% ninja power walk. I'm not entirely certain that ninjas powerwalk, but if they grew up as swimmers with lower bone density and little regard for gravitational pull they do.

Carie came along to witness the greatness that is my lack of running skills, but I've done some Googling on how to be a ninja and despite my poor running skills, my ninja skills are sure to improve.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spin It to Win It

But what exactly I'll be winning is beyond me.

Tonight was the first spin class with All Tri and I feel as though I've been paddled like a awkward freshman fraternity pledge. One might suspect that given the amount of cycling I have done over the years, one day my back side would toughen up, but the super-flat-white-girl-swimmer bottom I'm sporting doesn't leave much between the saddle and my aching parts.

As I attempted (and failed miserably) to lift off the saddle without shaking my bike or having dead spots in my pedaling, I realized, "wow Hammons... you are wearing padded spandex pants and a very unflattering shirt, both of which are covered in sweat, in front of a handful of virtual strangers, a smokin' hot guy, and a man wielding a digital camera."

What was I thinking getting myself into this!?!

I was thinking about the 40,000 people in the United States who missed work today because of asthma.

I was thinking about the 7 million children in the United States with asthma.

I was thinking that a little soreness because of a bicycle is nothing compared with not being able to breathe.

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Introduction to All Tri and My Cause

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Helping Others Breathe a Little Easier

Through All Tri, a 501(c)(3) public charity, I am training to complete the 2010 CapTex Triathlon and using that program as incentive to raise money for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) provides the resources necessary to help millions of Americans effectively manage their asthma. Asthma is incurable but is controllable; we now know more than ever before how to properly manage it. Inadequate management of asthma is largely responsible for the high levels of mortality and morbidity in the United States due to this disease.

Even well managed asthma can sometimes stop a person in their tracks. But with your support, the AAFA can continue to help asthma and allergy sufferers to successfully manage and control their diseases through education, information, training and referrals.

You can help me reach my fundraising goal and help me cross the finish line with a secure, online contribution by credit card in any amount here.

Please help asthma sufferers breathe easier by contributing to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.