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.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Only in Idaho and Wyoming

Yep, it's just what you think it is.  Why?  I don't know.

A townie bike with telemark ski boots slung over the handle bars.  I don't know if I'm more impressed by the boots being hung on the bike or the tenacity of the guy riding a bike through Jackson, Wyoming in the winter.

This sign is at my new gym.  Do east coast gyms have to tell people not to chew in the gym?

At the same time, these guys were blocking the road and using the snow banks to get their snow machines in their trucks.  See below for a close up.

It's only December and there is enough snow DRIVE a snow mobile into the back of a full size pick up.

On a different day, same trail head, trucks as far as the eye can see with the snow machine trailers.

This truck with a horse buggy (bike tires on the buggy??) was parked at the High School.

I'm not sure if this car is Only In Idaho quality but it sure is unusual.

Beautiful Teton Valley sunset.  I named this one, "Sky on Fire"

A clear day with a perfect view of the Tetons.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carpe Diem

My journey to the grave won't be with a well preserved body. I'll skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand & wine in the other, totally worn out & screaming, "WOOHOO! WHAT A RIDE!"
This is the quote on my friend Alyssa's Facebook page.  She died on Thursday in a car accident leaving three kids without their mom.  She was a rock climber, Search and Rescue volunteer, ultrarunner, super mom and friend to so many.  I never actually met Alyssa face to face but had an extensive email friendship with Alyssa a couple of years ago.  I have a Facebook message in my inbox right now from her that I didn't get a chance to reply to.  She was always willing to help others and give solid advice when asked. 

Alyssa's untimely death at age 40 has made me think.  I wonder if I am doing enough, am I trying hard enough, do I spend enough time with my son, husband and friends, do I keep my house too clean and miss out on other more important things?  Do I exercise too much, not enough?  Spend too much time on my forum or not enough?

It's time to plan 2011.  Races, goals, work, things that need to be accomplished.  I will look at this planning differently this year.  Thank you Alyssa for making me want to do more and be a better person.  You will be missed by so many, especially your kids.  Thank you for touching my life.

Seize the day.  Do something for someone else.  Be a good person.  Set your goals high.  Laugh.  Skip.  Play.  Make someone smile.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Antelope Island & State Your Intentions

Sunrise on the west shore of Antelope Island

Scroll down if you just want to look at pictures.

The first weekend of November I spent the last warm day of the fall on Antelope Island. It was an awesome, well run, low key race. 41 of us started out at 6 am, it was so warm that I only wore short sleeves and a skirt. No jacket! 33 of us did two laps around the island. I finished second to last, just within the time limits. I didn't get nauseous until 40 miles and felt great right up until 40 miles. The last 22 miles were a little bit of a struggle but I did it. No puking. Running on the island at night was magic! I was swooped by an owl, heard coyotes and ran past a heard of buffalo. I could hear the buffalo moving in the grass when I turned my headlamp to the sound, I could see their eyes shining. Very cool!

Last weekend, I did State Your Intentions 24 hour (see post below for details). I did a 50 K over the course of the day. I mostly walked. Dolly, my dog, did 2 laps with me, my husband did 2 laps with me, Milissa did one lap with me. I only did one lap entirely by myself. In other parts of the country, Texas, Colorado and North Dakota, Z, Linda and Jason each did some miles (35 total). I'm donating $100 to our local food bank, one dollar for every mile we all did.

What now? Two weeks off running for me. I need to regroup and create a program that makes me faster during training. I'm so, pathetically slow. Because I'm tired of making my workout routines, I've started doing yoga and I'm making a commitment to start doing cross fit (free, yay!!!) at the local high school. I'm at day 282 of my one mile a day streak.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Mountains reflecting off the water in the Great Salt Lake right after sunrise

Old 4wd rode on the west side of the island

Looking back from the top of the hill

Oh, that wasn't the top of the hill, it keeps going up!

My favorite picture from the ones I took

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

State Your Intentions Twenty Four Hour, Nov. 13th 2010

Hey friends, I'm participating in SYI 24 hour on Saturday, November 13th (see below or click on the link for complete information).  I encourage you, no matter what your fitness level, to participate as well.  Set a walking or running goal over the 24 hour period.  It can be walking out to the mailbox 4 times in this 24 hour period, walking around your house a few times, a number of minutes or hours on a treadmill, running around a track a certain number of times or running/hiking a trail during the 24 hours.

Let me know what your goal is by putting the info into the comments section or emailing me.  I will donate food or money to my local food bank (whatever they prefer) on behalf of your participation.  I will also tally your participation and submit it to the Race Director.  You will be participating unofficially because I didn't get you the info early enough so that you could sign up with the RD officially.

I'm walking a loop around my neighborhood in Victor, Idaho.  Contact me if you'd like to join me.  I'll be doing the 4.5 mile loop at 6 am Saturday morning and at various times throughout the day and evening.

State Your Intentions Twenty Four Hour, Nov. 13th 2010

This is going to be laid out as simple as possible, cause' it's a simple event.
State Your Intentions Twenty Four Hour Story
I was recently exiled to Northwest Arkansas for work (from Burlington, VT)
I rented a home atop a 'mountain' - they call hills mountains in this area for some reason
My home is on a road (go figure) that goes around the top of the 'mountain' - 1.1 miles around
The road is fairly flat with a few bumps along the way
I ran it one evening
It was boring as hell
I know people do this 'loopy loop' thing for hours and sometimes days on end and enjoy it 
I need to know WHY people enjoy it
I decided to create an event and invite some friends

The Deal

  1. Fees: NONE...except we suggest that people commit to a can of food per 5 miles run - donated to a local shelter for Thanksgiving (for example: 100 miles run is 20 cans of food). This is a 'suggestion' and not a requirement, can be more, can be less, can be a dollar donation of any amount, clothing...whatever you can do.
  2. Location: anywhere in the world (we have an military base in Qatar participating)
  3. Start Time: 7am Central - we will all start and end at the same moment in time (for example, 8am start eastern, 5am pacific). The run ends after 24 hours.
  4. Course: I don't really care - a neighborhood mile loop is perfect but so is a track or trail
  5. No mileage after 24hrs count, so it's up to the discretion of your location and course how to manage when to let someone start another loop and figure out the mileage if they don't complete it. Also, if someone cannot run for 24 hours, no big deal, they can still participate - just go as far as you can or want.
  6. Why is it called 'State Your Intentions'? All participants must STATE THEIR INTENTION for how many miles they'll cover in 24 hours. This is your goal, this is the distance you'll need to cover for your intention to be fulfilled and count towards the standings. Anything less doesn't count, anything more is gravy and doesn't count toward the competition (though you're welcome to run as much as you want). So, be honest with yourself, challenge yourself, challenge others, but think hard about what you intend to commit. For example; I could state I'll run 135 miles and be listed as top dog...but, if on race day I only deliver 110 - I get no credit. But, if I have the largest 'bid/goal/intention' going into the run and I accomplish it, I'm guaranteed victory.
  7. Important: Please review the registration page - the deadline to register is Nov 1st, 8pm Central. After this date/time no additional registrants will be accepted for the race. After you register, you can change your mileage intention as much as you like - just send me an email and I'll make the adjustment. Final, final, final intentions are due to me by Nov 8th, 8pm Central, and will be posted that evening. There will be no changes allowed after this; so choose your intention wisely! Important Change - registration extended to 11/8.
  8. Pacing - I couldn't care less
  9. Every race venue should be respectful of the surrounding community; this means NO TRASH, please be peaceful, ask permission if necessary and tell them we're doing a food drive fun run for Thanksgiving, and please recycle and minimize waste as much as possible.
  10. Integrity and honor is the overarching rule - this relates to food donations (not asking much here), distance results, etc.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thinking about visiting Teton Valley, Idaho?

Last call for visiting us here in Idaho!  We are moving when my son graduates in May of 2012.  Seems like a long way off but if you like to sightsee or spend time outside in relative warmth, your window is very small.  July and August are the only reliably nice weather months.  Additionally, July and August are PACKED with community activities and fun stuff going on in Teton Valley.  Yellowstone and Grand Teton can be a day trip from here and are awesome to visit.  May, June, September and October are unreliable weather months here in Teton Valley.  They might be nice but then again, they might be what you experience in the middle of winter.  In close proximity, we've got trails to hike, golf, blue ribbon fly fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, etc.  Jackson Hole is 20 miles from here.

If you like snow and cold and you want to visit, you've got plenty of time!  Want to ski?  Some of the best powder in the country is  25 miles away at Grand Targhee.
If you're interested in coming to visit during the summer months, make your reservations soon.  Our house is very small.  The one spare bed will be offered on a first come, first serve basis!

Want to visit and sleep in a bed?  Want a tour guide?  Give us all call or email and let us know soon!  We've already got a few things on our Summer of 2011 schedule.

We're looking forward to your visit!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mike of Project America Run has completed his TransAmerica run and tribute to fallen US soldiers!

From his website:
"On May 1st 2010, Mike Ehredt, a retired Postal Clerk and Army Veteran, touched the wheel of his jogger stroller in the Pacific Ocean in Astoria, OR and began an epic 4514 mile journey across the country to Honor and Remember Service Members lost in Iraq. He placed flags that hold a yellow ribbon bearing the Name, Rank, Service, Age and Hometown of those whose dreams and ambitions were taken so quickly from us. The flags were placed each mile along the roads he traveled in reverse chronological order by date of death, till the very last flag he placed on the shores of the Atlantic in Rockland, Maine on October 15th, 2010."

This was a personal tribute, a silent memorial for those who have served with dignity and honor and whose sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Mike's blog is full of touching, wonderful stories about his amazing journey.  I can guarantee you that some of his stories will bring you to tears.


Monday, October 18, 2010

It's been so long!

A veiw of the Tetons from Fogg Hill

It's been so long and it's amazing that I have so little to say!  I felt the need to post an update before posting a bunch of rants.

This has been an amazing and spectacular fall.  Usually we've had a lot of snow by now.  This year we're able to enjoy the fall colors without snow ruining the experience.
Fall colors in the Tetons.  Near Hunt's Corral

Near Fogg Hill

Henderson Canyon

I've been running a lot in preparation for a 100K that I'm doing with Elise.  It's the Antelope Island 100K.  Antelope Island is in the Great Salt Lake.  I've done the spring 50 miler down there (check out the buffalo video clip at the end).  It's a beautiful place and I'm looking forward to going down there again.  Best of all, Elise is coming down from Kalispell, Montana to run it too!!  Yay!!!

Because I needed a change of pace with exercise, I tried a 5 day Beginner yoga class.  Surprisingly, I LOVED it!!!!  Since I have decent balance and some strength, I can attempt some hard moves too.  I like that the yoga I'm doing is slow so I don't need to be coordinated.  I think doing yoga will help my general fitness a lot.  Besides, I'm sick and tired of lifting weights in my cold garage all alone.

The Addison's Support Forum has been busy, busy, busy with questions and wisdom.  Thanks to all who ask questions and contribute answers.

True to form, once things have slowed down, swimming lessons are over, clients are probably not coming back until the snow flies, I have picked up another job.  I am incredibly excited about this opportunity!  I will be assisting with the administrative details of the US, Canadian, NZ and AUS entrants for the Marathon des Sable.  One of the perks of doing this work is that I will be a participant in the 26th Marathon des Sable.  It's a race across 150 miles (or so) of the Sahara Desert.  It is a stage race which means the mileage will be spread out over 6 days of running.  The dates are April 1 - April 11, 2011.  I am so looking forward to doing this classic race across the Moroccan desert!!!

Blood on the trail!  Hunters everywhere!!  PU old blood stinks!

Look at the handy rifle holder on the 4 wheeler.  This is why I carry bear spray!!  Hunters with guns, their dogs and Great Pyrenees protecting their sheep.  The bears RUN away when they see (smell?!) me.  The dogs and hunters, not so much!!!  Pole Canyon Saddle
The lower saddle of this ridge was my goal last Sunday.  I didn't even make it close.  It was such a nice day, I didn't care!!!  From Game Creek, looking up at the Teton Crest Trail.

Yay, it's warm!  Note the brightly colored shirt to avoid being shot at.  Game Creek

cool, Henderson Canyon

This ridge looked so cool, I had to take a picture.  Big Holes, near Henderson Canyon
I'm totally obsessed with these mini Herefords.  They are about 3.5 feet tall at the shoulder!!!  So cute!!

I embarrass my 16 year old son at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and am hastily herded out of the children's section by said 16 year old.

The 16 year old allows me to take a picture of him.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A brief break from the rants

Because I'm back to running/waddling/hiking, it's time to share the beauty of Idaho and a couple of funny pictures.
Aspen Trail

Fall foliage on Aspen Trail

Aspens on Aspen Trail

Fall harvest

Tetons in the background, harvest in the foreground

Only in Idaho do you have a horse drawn carriage on the side of the highway!

Dolly takes an unusual and tipsy seat when we go for a ride

This is a fish feeder at another client's ranch (not the one I previously mentioned where 3 bears were trapped), it's being raided by bears.  Here's my attempt to slow the bear's consumption of fish food.  That's a ratchet strap around a railroad tie that's bolted to the deck.  I'll post pictures next week of the aftermath!
Yesterday was one of the top ten days of 2010 in Eastern Idaho.  I took a panoramic view from my back deck.  If you listen carefully, you will hear Sandhill Cranes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Lucky", yet another rant about Quality of Life and Addison's

What I really wanted to do was post my goals and stuff.  Self centered, I know.  You're saved from that with yet another rant.

I read other Addison's forums in addition to my own forum. This morning I saw a post on another forum accusing a high functioning, non-martyr Addison's person (Jim) of being "lucky" with his health.  Jim is really active, takes his meds 6X a day and has a great quality of life.  He's also not afraid to speak his mind about Addison's facts and treatment.  I wish more people would emulate Jim and try his techniques instead of whining that taking meds that often is too much work.

From my experience with Addison's, luck has NOTHING to do with quality of life.  Those of us who have good Quality of Life work damned hard to get to where we are.

Common denominators in us "lucky" people with good quality of life:

  1. We research our conditions
  2. We proactively work with doctors instead of following doctors blindly when it comes to our treatment
  3. We replace hormones that are missing 
  4. Almost everyone I know who has a good quality of life is on less steroid than they need on a regular basis (Lymes peeps included) and consistently underestimates their needs, we rarely over replace
  5. Speaking entirely for myself on this one.  Instead of relying on HC sometimes to keep me going so I can do more, I take the opportunity to use it to rest my body
  6. We take our bioidentical meds physiologically.  If our doctor has given us different instructions, we tend to keep that in the back of our mind and experiment with amounts and timing
  7. I think everyone I know who has a good quality of life is on HC as opposed to a long acting steroid (if you are the exception, that's awesome but for the most part HC is the thing for people with good QoL)
  8. We don't drink diet soda or regular soda for that matter
  9. We sleep enough and regularly
  10. We eat well and regularly with more protein and salt in our diets than the usual person
  11. We get exercise regularly or get activity during the day like walking 5 dogs at once (for you L xo)
  12. If we're not feeling well, we take a look at all factors and don't blame the Addison's first

Yes, there are people who do all of this and their QoL still sucks.  Guess what?  They are usually the most educated and spend an incredible amount of time on 1 & 2.  Eventually, they will feel like their Quality of Life matches the effort they are putting into their health.  These people are, by no means, "lucky."

As you can see, much of QoL is not "luck," it's hard work, lots of research and a healthy lifestyle. Secondly, it's taking bioidentical meds (particularly HC) in a physiologic manner.  Yes, it's hard work to go to bed when everyone else is watching movies, it's hard to set up pills for a month, it's hard to make sure there's good, healthy food on hand at all times, it's hard to get regular exercise (especially with chronic medical conditions) and it's hard to take meds multiple times a day.  Give it a try and see if your Quality of Life improves.

Hard work does NOT equal luck.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Additional thanks

I don't know how I forgot the following awesome friends in my post where I thanked people...Heather, Ashley and Linda.

My brain is short circuited.  I probably forgot others too...THANKS TO YOU ALL that I did and didn't mention!

Really, how hard is it? (An Addison's rant)

Really, how hard is it to split your doses of hydrocortisone in a physiologic manner?  Not very is my answer.  There are some people who want to be on longer lasting steroids because it's "too hard" to take hydrocortisone in split doses.

Yes, there are exceptions to this.  People with other diseases (Lyme, lupus, colitis) tend to do better with some or all long acting steroids.

Most people with Addison's will have a better quality of life with split dosing of hydrocortisone (look up the studies on Google Scholar, PubMed or Medscape using the key words "Quality of life, Addison's".  Split dosing means taking 2/3 of the dosing before noon in two doses and 1/3 after noon.  One example of this might be:
10 mg HC upon waking
5 mg HC at 11 am
5 mg HC at 3 pm

"It's too hard..."
PLEASE, SPARE ME!!!  It takes 3 easy steps...

#1  Buy a pill organizer and fill it ONCE A MONTH

Yes, it's a pain in the butt to get everything out and fill 124 little compartments.  It's worth it.
Once it's all completed, it's easy for the rest of the month!  I keep track of major med changes in the little red notebook.

#2 Set your alarm
Here's a cell phone with the alarm set.  Do it once and you won't have to do it again until you change your dosing schedule.

#3  Put your daily pill holder somewhere you will find it.
I start out by putting my before bed meds in one little cup and my first thing in the morning pills in another.  I promptly take the pill holder and ...
Put it in my pants pocket or my purse. Work at a desk, keep it in your desk drawer  When my alarm goes off (you can set yours to vibrate if you're self conscious), I take the pills.  Sometimes I hit snooze and take the pills 10 or 20 minutes later.  In recent years, my alarm has gone off, I have taken my pills by snapping open the lid and throwing back the pills no matter who I am in front of.  PEOPLE NEVER COMMENT OR EVEN SEEM TO NOTICE.  All that bullshit about, "people will discriminate against me so I can't let people know I am taking pills" is just that, bullshit.  People only care about themselves, not you. 

Just in case I manage to not have my pills with me, I keep a small stash in my wallet.  In this stash, I keep a couple thyroid pills, florinef, lots of HC, a migraine pill, a Zofran and some ibuprofen.  Yes, all that in something 1/2 inch thick and the size of a quarter.

Take care of your body, use bioidentical medications when possible.  Take your meds in a physiologic way.

It's not hard to take meds multiple times throughout the day.  If you feel bad and take a steroid other than hydrocortisone, take your meds once or only twice a day, try this.