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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Addison's Rant: Denial, stop talking and start doing

The definition of denial according to the Free Medical Dictionary is

n."An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings."

Do you have a constant, niggling problem or something large wrong with you?  Think about it, have you been complaining about it for YEARS?  If so, this post is for you because you are probably in denial.  This post is NOT directed at people who have taken action over and over again to correct a problem.  This post IS directed at you if you constantly or consistently complain about a problem and do NOTHING about it.

On  a piece of paper, write down what is wrong with you that is causing you problems.  Under that, write down what you've done to fix it.  If complaining is the only thing you've written down, complaining won't fix a thing.  Action could fix your problems.  Stop talking about your problems and start doing.

1.  Do some research into your problems.
2.  Write down all possible solutions.
3.  Find a group of people where you live or online who have the same problem and are actively looking for or have found solutions.
4.  Get medical guidance if your problem requires it.
5.  Start with the easiest and most benign solution.  START DOING IT IF IT DOES NOT REQUIRE MEDICAL GUIDANCE. (Probiotics?  Taking a multivitamin?  Walking to the mailbox daily?  Journaling?  Meditating?  Showing gratitude 5 times a day?)
6.  Start doing the things you are medically guided to do when you have supervision.

The key here is to STOP telling people that you CAN'T do it and start trying solutions.  If the problem is that you WON'T try any and all solutions starting with the most benign, STOP talking about it.  Accept that you ENJOY your problem and you LIKE living the way you do.  

Here's an example, you've got gut problems.  For years, you've complained about X regarding your gut.  Complain, complain, complain.  For years, someone has been suggesting probiotics.  You say you can't try them because once you tried one and it turned you purple.  You've never tried a different brand, you have no evidence that you turned purple from that one pill yet you WON'T try probiotics again to see if they help your gut. 

 Accept it, you LIKE having gut problems and you LIKE complaining.  

I've got news for you, 
no one wants to hear about your gut problems.  
Everyone would rather hear a success story about what you've done to fix it.

Pull yourself together, try simple solutions, get expert help, keep trying.  No one wants to hear you complaining about something you're not willing to fix.  If you've got a problem that you know instinctively that there IS something wrong and you can't find a doctor who will help you, find like minded people who have had the same problem AND SOLVED IT (don't go to people who are still plagued with the problem!).  The people who have solved the problem can probably help you find an expert who can help you SOLVE your problem.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ancient Oaks 2011

Start/Finish line

Ancient Oaks was fantastic!  The course through the Enchanted Forest was beautiful and challenging.  Many of the participants were legends in the ultra world and were happy and willing to talk to me.  The front runners were a pleasure to watch.  Because this course is a loop, the front runners passed me over and over again and they didn't wear shirts.  Thanks guys!  My running was really great considering I have not trained much since August.  I completed more than 50 miles with only one stretch of about 1 mile where I felt icky.  There was no crying.  I loved every minute I was out there.  Next year, I'd like to come back and complete the race.  A big thank you to Mike Melton who put the race on and to Stu Gleman who started the race years ago! 

I felt really good the majority of the time.  My new tact with my HC is to take my normal morning dose, supplement with salt through out the day and take HC when I started feeling like I needed it.  I think for 50+ miles, I ended up taking about 70 mg of HC.  No extra florinef, just the usual .05.

Running 16 laps at Ancient Oaks has me charged up for the 2012 running season.  More on that eventually!

4 minutes until start time.  Everyone was as far away from the start line as I've ever seen.

Video of the start.  It's kind of funny.

The only hill on the course.  Slightly steeper than in looks.  The bridge crossed the Addison Canal.

Looking down into the Addison Canal

I think you can click on the picture to make it bigger, if you want to read the sign.

So much sand!

The parking lot where we crewed ourselves out of our own cars.

Tiara and a boa, I might not have skills but I have flair!  At night, I wore battery powered lights.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Fat Ass on the horizon

Sounds nasty, huh?

It's not!  A Fat Ass is a race where you're responsible for you.  You might get a race number (might not), you might get water (you might have to bring your own), no frills and no extras.  "No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps".  It's always free too.

I applied to get into Ancient Oaks 100 in August, when I didn't hear back from the RD, I naively assumed that I was not invited.  At the end of October, right before we started packing and driving cross country to our new home, I got my invite!  Ancient Oaks is in Titusville, Florida near Cape Canaveral National Seashore.  The race will be this Saturday and Sunday (12/3&12/4) through the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary.

My "training" has been absolutely, positively pathetic.  I have continued my one mile a day of walking or running.  I'm on day 653 of the streak!  I have added some longer runs, I was peer pressured into a 50 miler in October and I've lifted weights a little bit.  I have absolutely NO ILLUSIONS about this one.  I will, most likely, not complete it.  I will have my car outfitted for a night of sleep, which is most likely what will occur after a day of running and walking. Besides, I have no physical gifts when it comes to endurance exercise.  My enthusiasm takes me to places I don't belong.  Addison's can be a detriment for endurance exercise too.  I know I stink at endurance running/walking/crawling & crying.  Actually, I'm really good at crawling & crying.  I'm not kidding.

Yet again, I will wear a tiara, possibly a Wonder Woman costume, glow sticks and bring pom-poms to cheer others on.  I will have fun, fun, fun no matter how poorly I perform.

If you want to follow my patheticness, I believe the website will be updating progress every two hours or so after 7 am on December 3, 2011.  As you have guessed, I will post pictures after the race.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why I'm thankful

Thanksgiving is over and I'm sitting here thinking about what I am thankful for.  I thought I would share my thankfulness list with all of you.

I'm thankful for:

  • a son who loves me and misses me terribly
  • a husband who supports me, loves me and doesn't get between me and my crazy ideas
  • a new home.  It's warm here!  I love warmth and sunshine.
  • new friends who included us in their family Thanksgiving.  Everyone was so nice and there was no drama!  What a great way to spend the evening!
  • my Addison's community.  You are wonderful and thoughtful and supportive.  I am so grateful for all of you.  I'm constantly stunned at the generosity and kindness that you show me.  It's often totally unexpected and always makes my day!  You are the very best part of Addison's.  Without this disease, I would have never met any of you.  Thank you Addison's!
  • friends in Idaho and around the world (you know who you are).  Thank you for being there for me, loving me and being like a nice family to me.  I hope that you all know that you are amazing and I miss you so much.  You are the family that supports me, loves me and takes care of me
  • the Internet for keeping me connected with the people who love me and care about me
  • salt.  Cause I love salt and I'm thankful for it!  Salt is the second best part of Addison's for me
  • Dolly, our dog.  Cause she's cute, sweet and only wants to be near us
  • my Life.  It's good and I'm thankful for that
To those of you to whom I owe an email or letter, I'm getting there!  I am trying to respond to emails today and tomorrow and the next day.  Do me a favor, don't email me back too quickly!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bye-bye Idaho, Hello Florida!

Oh Aspen Trail, I will miss you!

It's happened, we've moved. It was a quiet and uneventful deal.  Zane is living with his Dad and is oh so close to graduating from high school in Idaho.  Paul did all of the driving for the 2,500 miles, I can't pay attention enough to drive a 26' truck that's towing a car. We drove from Friday afternoon to Wednesday evening.  The dog is completely traumatized and doesn't know what's going on still.

I really like it here, it's warm!!! I'm having some trouble getting into a routine.  Without routine, everything seems so overwhelming.  I am trying to get exercise, chip away at what needs to be done and make future plans.  I'm not sure what I want to do when I grow up.

More hydrocortisone is needed for me on a daily basis.  I've been running again in preparation for Ancient Oaks 100 on December 3rd in Titusville, FL.  I have NO illusions about this one.  I will probably not finish. Invitations to this race were sent out a little later than I had expected and I didn't think I was in so I continued my "resting".  I'm in the race, I'm happy about it.  I will see new parts of Florida and meet some legends of the ultraworld.  It will be fun regardless of my performance!!

I got a little side tracked above, I probably need more HC on a daily basis with the running, yoga, moving stress, and some stomach problems I've been having.  I just started taking more today.  I probably should have been taking more starting a couple of weeks ago.  I've been barely staying awake until bed time.  One night I fell asleep after 8 pm.  I can only sleep for 7 or 8 hours before I wake up so I was wide awake at 4 am!!!  No good!!

I'm glad we are here.  I have so much to do, so many details to take care of.  It will all get done much more slowly than I think it will!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Idaho house packed up

Moving truck packed as can be

Sunset in Missouri, as seen from a moving truck.

New back yard!  New view!  Yes, I've already rigged up a system for pool running.

Our neighbor, an endangered Gopher Tortise


Sunday, October 23, 2011


I haven't posted anything since the depressing Wasatch post because life has been a whirlwind.  I've traveled, met people, had a house guest, met lots of Addisonian's, lost some family and attended (unexpectedly!) the Caribbean Autoimmune Disease Summit in Trinidad (like Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad!).  Pictures and some captions if you're interested in reading my blathering.  My life of the last 17 years is going to change radically.
September 21, 2011.  I fly off to our home in Florida to see the house for the first time, clean it and paint it.  Hoping like hell that I like Florida since we are moving there at the end of the week.
September 21, 2011 Heather greets me at the Tampa airport wearing a tiara and carrying a sign.  Heather has Addison's too and we've been corresponding since 2007.  This is our first face to face meeting!  Heather came to my house in Florida and helped me with painting, countertop refinishing, morale boosting and blind cleaning.  For two people with Addison's, we were a freaking force to be reckoned with.  We also like bacon and eggs for breakfast at an ungodly hour!

October 6 - 9, 2011  Allison flew to Florida from Boise, Idaho to help with the house.  She worked tirelessly to make improvements!!  She was amazing and selfless.  We didn't go anywhere or do anything, just painted and redid the cabinets!  She was hard at work while I was sleeping.  She's amazing and must have been completely exhausted when she got home.  Allison is the best kind of friend to have, generous, hard working and all around wonderful.
October 1 - 3, 2011 I unexpectedly got an invitation to the Caribbean Autoimmune Disease Summit in Trinidad (off the coast of Venezuela). It was amazing to be surrounded by people who know stuff.  My focus has also been very, very narrow.  This conference opened up my eyes to the wide world of autoimmunity.  I will do a separate post on the conference.  I was honored to be a special guest and be invited to the conference.  It was cool being "behind the scenes" with doctors and organizers!
October 2, 2011 Speakers and organizers of the Caribbean Autoimmune Disease Summit.
October 2, 2011 Addisonian's unite!!

Back at the Florida house after the conference, I was cleaning up something in the garage.    I found a dead tarantula.  My world is so crazy different.  I didn't know if I should be horrified or fascinated.  I decided fascinated would be the better option.

The water is the canal across the street.  Look closely you'll see an alligator!  I saw this out my front window.  Very cool!
October 12, 2011  The same day I few back from Florida, Katherine flew in from the UK to do a race here.  She did the 100 mile Running with the Buffaloes.  Katherine's raced through the Arctic, run through African deserts (we met at Marathon des Sables in Morocco) and been stung by a scorpion.  She makes me look utterly and completely sane and reasonable in my pursuits.  I was only going to crew her but peer pressure had me walking the 50 miler a couple of days later...
October 13, 2011 My sweet boy gets his driver's license and buys a "new" truck.  A 1981 Chevy LUV.  It can do 50 miles an hour.  We're not sure she'll make it over Teton Pass.  He's so proud of his truck and I'm proud of him.  Zane just lost his wonderful Grandma two days before this picture was taken.  I'm so sad for him and his Dad's whole family.  His Grandma was a wonderful, wonderful woman.  She will be missed by everyone who knew her.
October 15, 2011 Running with the Buffaloes 50 miler.  I got peer pressured into doing this race on little to no training at all.  I walked the vast majority of it.  It was dumb to do a 50 mile race right off the couch.  BUT I was not terribly sore the next day, nor did I feel bad.  As a matter of fact, I spent much of the next day helping out a few of the 100 mile racers.  I did not learn any lessons.  I finished the race more slowly than any other 50 I've done and I came in second to last.  It was a great way to say goodbye to Teton Valley.
Great view from the race course.
I accidentally went off course during the race and saw this sign.  Funny.  The race was nice and small, it was very much like a small, crazy family on a bizarre vacation.  It was great.
October 20, 2011 one of my last beautiful Teton sunrises.
My new view of the sun rising.

October 23, 2011 We got an offer on our Idaho house late last night.  It's much lower than we had hoped BUT we were not expecting to get one for a while.

Oh boy, my life's changing so radically.  My son will stay here with his dad, I will have no job, I don't know the area, I've got lots of house stuff to do.  Wow!  The only thing I do know is that I will be warm and I'm doing Ancient Oaks 100 on December 3-4, 2011 and Everglades Ultra 50 miler on January 21, 2011.  The rest of my life, come Saturday, October 29th, is a huge mystery.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yet another failure. Wasatch.

Jeff, Dennis, me, Tony

The start

Yes, yet another DNF and ridiculously early in the race as well.  Here's what happened...This is probably the best I've been prepared race wise as far as knowing what to expect, what I had packed, realistic pacing chart and medicine preparation.  I got to SLC a day early so I was not rushed, confused and tired.  My running preparation was nice, nothing too spectacular or hardcore.  I had a good summer with some incredible trail runs.  I found running sneakers that I love and with Drymax socks, not a blister all summer. The race started and I walked and trotted with Jeff for the first 13.5 miles.  At 13.5 miles, yes, the stomach started going despite or perhaps because of the medicine preparations I had made.  I ran for two minutes, walked for one for as long as I could and that wasn't long.  I took Zofran like it was going out of style.  The nausea was overwhelming.  I dropped at 28.5.

Regardless, I enjoyed everything but the nausea.  Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always AWESOME!  The third of the course that I saw was gorgeous.  The volunteers were incredible.  As a matter of fact, I was given a great "you did great and quitting was the right choice" speech from a really good looking former second place finisher of Wasatch.  It was great to catch up with Jeff during the time we spent together on the trail.  At the end Niels, was so, so kind to me and my sorry ass.  He walked down the trail with me, rubbed my back while I threatened to dry heave and made me laugh.  Niels, if you read this, thank you so much.

What went wrong?  I got sick much, much earlier than I ever do when I run alone and when I'm not racing. The nausea was NOT a result of under training.  I'm definitely thinking that it was either too much HC, too much salt and too little water or some combination of the three.

Will I attempt another 100?  Yes, I hope so.  This was my most depressing DNF.  I was as prepared as I could be.  I DID SOMETHING to create the nausea, very sad.  Very preventable.  I can't let Addison's get the best of me.  I can't allow adjusting medicines on my own to be a barrier to what I want to do.  Come on Ancient Oaks 100 acceptance!

John B goes down hard

Jeff eating the breakfast of champions, gas station donuts

SLC from Chinscraper

Paul Bunyon's balls

Jeff  doing awesome!

Beauty everywhere

Paul Bunyon's balls from a few miles away

So pretty!
 For more pics from Wasatch 100:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hi all, I'm down in Salt Lake City "camping" at the KOA.  Tomorrow morning at 5 am, I start Wasatch!

I signed up for this race in January, I was accepted via lottery in early February.  It's so easy to think you can complete something like this in February when September is so far off.  Elise got in too and since February she's had a broken foot and gotten squished by a horse and had some chest trauma.  Unfortunately, she's just getting her grove back and won't be joining me.  I'm doing this whole thing solo and I'm really nervous!!  I came down a day early which has been wonderful and less stressful than the usual drive down, hit the meeting, pin the number on, sleep and get up to do the race.

Any how, I'm feeling sick and excited about this.  It's like when you know you're going to go out and really, really tie one on. There are going to be some awesome, memorable moments, great pictures and "I love you Man!" Then, on the flip side, you know you're going to end up vomiting and you know your body will ache from a night on the bathroom floor.  The pictures of the bender could be great and put in the scrapbook or you might burn them.  It all depends on how the night progresses.

I'm hoping for a 36 hour finish.
Here's my pathetic pacing chart.
You can compare this to my actual and computer projected times here:  
"Camping"  Water, electric, internet, showers, hot tub.  Not exactly roughing it!

Sleeping in the back of the car (to avoid tent and tent set up) watching the Big Bang Theory.

Prerace meeting at Sugar Hill Park
The Capitol building

Paul patiently models the hat I will wear.

TTFN, more pictures next week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Aspen Trail and me

I've lived here in Teton Valley, Idaho for 16 years.  In those 16 years, so much has changed in the Valley, in my life and in the world.  One thing that has mostly remained the same is Aspen Trail.  Because we are moving from here soon, every trail I've been on this summer, I think, "This could be the last time I'm here!"  Usually this thought fills me with a little spark of happiness.  Yesterday on Aspen Trail, I cried a little bit.

This post is a departure from my usual posts.  Probably lots of rambling words.

Aspen Trail was the first trail I really explored when I came to the Valley.  It's close to town and, unlike most trails around here, it's not very steep with only 1,400 feet of vertical elevation gain and 1,400 feet of vertical loss in its 4.2 mile length.  True to its name, Aspen Trail has lots of Aspens.




I took cute, chubby Zane up there in a backpack when he was 2 and a half.  I remember struggling with his weight on the hills and struggling with the (very justified) fear of bears.  We turned around after less than a mile. Now that chubby two year old is seventeen and could probably carry me right up the hill with no trouble if he wanted to.
Me, McKenzie and Zane

While on Aspen Trail, I've run, biked, snow shoed, hiked mostly alone but sometimes with friends, my son, a Terry executive who laughed at me for wearing a skirt!, husbands, a potential boyfriend who turned into husband.  I done it with Allison over a decade, trudged through waist deep snow and rolled on our bellies with Meara.
Snowshoeing with Allison

Big group!

Paul ripping downhill past the horse and rider.  The lady on the horse was impressed!

My fitness and health have changed so much over the years.  There have been times that going up every hill was a challenge.  Sometimes, lately, every hill is bliss. There were times I kicked guys asses going downhill on a mountain bike.  There were times that I wished I could run the whole thing from start to finish.  I  progressed to easily running it from start to finish and then went about my day like it was no big deal, at points, it was a HUGE deal.  Once, I ran it in Croc's because of a pain in my foot that turned out to be a broken hip.
This looked like a spot where a doglike creature slept.  A wolf perhaps?

One of the biggest piles of shit I've ever seen.

Because the print has no kidney bean shape and the toes are almost straight across, I'm thinking  these were from a grizz.

I've seen the seasons change from summer to fall to winter to spring.  I've laughed and cried and sometimes not thought about much at all while on the trail.  I can run it as fast as I can ride it.  I admire the change of seasons.  I've seen bear tracks, cat tracks, wolf tracks and a wolf bed, moose, deer, grouse, hawks and an ultralight flying overhead.  Aspen Trail was my first and only night run that wasn't in a race.  There was a light coating of snow, it was silent and peaceful and not too cold.

Aspen Trail is beautiful.  I will miss it.

The changes that are coming up are good.  They are scary.  They are exciting.  You can be sure when I come back to Teton Valley, I will visit Aspen Trail and love it as much as I did the first time I was on it.

End of my rambling.  Lots and lots and lots of pictures to follow.

My favorite section of trail, I smile EVERY time I get to this spot.

Pigeon shooters, beer drinkers and litterers spent some time at the trail head.

Don't mess with my trail head!

Spring, muddy and slippery

Really early spring

Too much snow to run in the Big Holes, perfect on Aspen Trail


Early summer

A cloudy late spring, early summer day.  Looking at Driggs

Late summer

Later Fall


Aspen leaf carpet

A section of trail Zane helped create

Sunset in the fall

One of a few dogs who has joined me on the trail.  Definitely the most enthusiastic.  I call her Bear Bait.

Bear Bait

The result of M's amazing fall.



Me sliding into a tree well, trying to take a picture of myself.

Spring is coming, really!

I went through an entire summer taking pictures of myself jumping off of things.  It was pretty fun.

Dorkiest shot of me ever.  Can you tell how much I was enjoying doing it?  Too much.