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.


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

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.