Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Training: Exercise as a cure for depression

The Runner's High
Got the blues? Here's how running can boost your mood

by Jennifer Pirtle

The days when you feel the least like running are the days you need it the most, says Andrea Dunn, Ph.D., a research scientist and the lead author of a recent study on exercise and mood published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. "If you're stressed out, you probably have some of the symptoms of depression, even if you don't meet the clinical standard," says Dunn. "People who exercise regularly have less anxiety and have improved well-being."

The good news: It doesn't require much effort to reap the rewards of exercise. While the American College of Sports Medicine recommends working out three to five days a week for 30 to 45 minutes to ensure good physical health, studies show that shorter bursts of activity can positively impact your emotional state. In fact, just 10 minutes of pedaling at a moderate pace on a stationary bike is enough to boost mood, according to research from the Centers for the Advancement of Health at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

But runners get an even bigger payoff: Sustained high-intensity exercise, specifically running, appears to have extra benefits, especially where stress and anxiety are concerned. A team of researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia measured anxiety levels of female runners, ages 18 to 20 and 35 to 45, before and after 33 minutes of moderate or high-intensity exercise. The women who ran at 80 percent of maximum aerobic capacity (a slightly faster pace than would allow you to carry on a conversation with your running partner) were found to have experienced the sharpest decline in anxiety. What's more, the anxiety relief continued at least 90 minutes after they had stopped exercising.

To keep the positive effects coming, you've got to keep running. If you think you can bank the mood-boosting benefits of the sport, you'll be disappointed. Researchers at the University of California-San Diego followed 944 residents who exercised at least three times a week in the 1980s then became sedentary during the following decade. They found that the lapsed exercisers had mood scores similar to individuals who had never exercised at all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Training: Bad outfit for me, great view

A view of the Teton Range from Horseshoe Canyon. Allison is the model.

Allison and I hit the snowmobile trail yesterday. It was soft from the "warmer" temperatures and spring sun which made it challenging to run on because we kept postholing (sometimes you punch through the harder snow up to your knee, sometimes up to your crotch, usually results in falling comically on one's face). As usual, we got great views and had fun.

Fantastic outfit! I forgot my running clothes and ended up wearing what I had on when I went to town. Cammo pants, blue running shoes, a red windbreaker, pink "Princess" hat and leopard print gloves! Do I have fashion sense or what? Or what! I get it from my mother.

Some geeky GPS stuff.
FOR EMERGENCIES/EXTREME STRESS SITUATIONS (TO AVOID OR CORRECT ADDISONIAN CRISIS) Conditions which must be treated immediately: • severe injury of any type • blood loss • fluid and/or electrolyte loss • infection • severe vomiting • diarrhea. Treatment protocol prior to Emergency Room arrival: • Give Hydrocortisone 100 mg. IM (intramuscularly) in thigh or gluteus muscle. • Patient then should be immediately admitted to the nearest Emergency Room, where adrenal crisis treatment should begin promptly. • If transportation to emergency medical facility is impossible, treat patient on site as listed below. Protocol for treatment of adrenal crisis in emergency room: 1.) I.V. hydrocortisone. 2.) Administer I.V. isotonic saline. 3.) Continue I.V. hydrocortisone until oral medication is tolerated. For further details, call Dr._______________________________________ Specialty:___________________________ Office Phone:______________________ Emergency Pager or Exchange #:_____________________________ Address_______________________________________________________ City____________________________ State________ Zip______________ Patient Name________________________Home Phone:_________________ Address_________________________________________________________ City_______________________________State____________Zip___________ MEDICAL CONDITIONS MEDICATION DOSAGES Emergency contact #1:_____________________Relationship to patient:______________ Home phone:______________ Work:______________ Cell:_______________ Emergency contact #2:_____________________Relationship to patient:______________ Home phone:______________ Work:______________ Cell:_______________ For more information, contact: National Adrenal Diseases Foundation, 505 Northern Blvd., Great Neck, NY 11021 Phone: (516) 487-4992 E-mail: Website:
April 9, 2008

Dear Medical Director,

My name is Justine Hardman and I will be participating in the Desert RATS 50 on April 19, 2008. I have Addison’s disease. If I become unconscious or unresponsive, I will need immediate treatment. Attached is my emergency protocol.

I will an injection kit and emergency protocol in the outside pocket of my running backpack. I wear a medic alert bracelet on my right wrist at all times during the race and keep a medic alert card with my injection kit.

Although I do not anticipate any problems, I would like for you and your personnel to be informed of my protocol should the need arise.

Please contact me if you need more information or if you need me to check in with the medical personnel prior to the race.

Justine Hardman

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Addison's and Training: Planning for a 50 with Addison's Disease

"To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble through as well as we can." Sidney Smith

Training, doing the activity you're going to do in your ultimate goal activity persistently and consistently, is the most difficult part of doing the event. This is the time where you see how your body responds to stresses and you make adjustments to food, hydration and medications.

For the Desert RATS, I've come up with a race plan. Although it might seem like common sense to eat, drink and take meds regularly, when you're in the middle of it, it's not common sense for me. I think common sense occasionally goes out the window when the starting gun sounds! In the link, you'll find a tiny map of the course, the spread sheet that I put together for the race and the specifics of the course (copied from the Desert RATS website). Dusty's Fruita 2008 race plan

Here's a letter that I always submit to the medical director prior to the race. Here's a text version of the Emergency Care instructions. It's imperative that you assume no one understands what Addison's Disease is and how Addison's crisis is treated treated because most medical personnel have no understanding of treating an Addisonian crisis. In most states, ambulances don't carry injectable hydrocortisone. Check with your local EMTs for their protocol. You'll be surprised that you won't get the right treatment until you make it to the hospital if you don't carry your own injectable hydrocortisone and instructions on how to use it.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Training: 10 days 10 hours until I go 50 miles

Allison, enthusiastic running partner and excellent photography subject. Grand Tetons in background.

A vital part of doing any exercise program entails having fun. If you spend any time exercising outside, you should carry a trash bag (rain jacket, wind breaker, for picking up sloppy people's trash).

When fun and trash bags meet, this is what you get!

In case you're wondering, I'm doing well with my running -Consistent and Persistent. I'm doing the miles I should and trying hard to not let the continuing low temperatures, snow and slush get me down. Luckily I've got Allison and Paul to keep me company and keep me motivated. We're (Paul, Dolly and I) leaving for Fruita, a 9 hour drive, on April 16th. We're staying at a hotel this year! I will very much enjoy NOT CAMPING the night before and the night after my race.

What will you do 50 of on Saturday, April 19th?? Will you take 50 pictures? Write 50 words of a poem? Touch your toes 50 times? Come on Mom, if you're reading this, tell me what you'll do 50 of!

Below are pictures from Sunday and today.

Look, Spring is coming, I can see the top of a 4 foot tall sign in Horseshoe Canyon!

My handsome husband accompanied Allison and I on Sunday to Horseshoe Canyon.

Me in front of the big snow pile on the way up to Targhee today.