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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wow! Barkley exceeded my expectations!

Geoffrey Baker took what I would consider the best picture of me EVER.
Here's his Ultrarunning gallery: He took before and after pictures of us.  He's really talented and I'm excited to see how they turn out!  The picture above is after being on the trail for 12+ hours.  I was so happy to have done what I did.  Hiram is to the left.  We're getting our pages out to have them counted.

As usual, I have to start out with thanks to my husband for putting up with me and my nonsense.  For making me go out and train, for just rolling his eyes when I apply to a race in the middle of the night, for dropping me off and picking me up in various places so I can run and for understanding (?) my obsession with Barkley over the last 3.5 years.  Thanks also to Lora for being wonderful Lora and starting me down this path.  Thanks to the Veterans of the Barkley who have been so kind and welcoming to me over the years (Rich and John) and recent months (Oak Ridge boys).

I just don't know where to start.  This race was HARD.  I knew it would be hard and I set my expectations and training miles low to accommodate my expectations of me.  I was hoping to finish one lap.  I made that clear to the RD, laz, too.

I arrived at Frozen Head on Thursday and stayed at the "Limacher Hilton".  I woke up Friday with a blazing headache and a lot of fear.  Friday, laz arrived, set up camp and put out the map.  There was a new section added to the race called "Hiram's Gambit" if you were going down and Checkmate Hill when you went up.

I slept well Friday night.  Saturday morning, I felt pretty good actually despite the raging headache the day before.  The conch didn't sound until 8:11 am meaning the cigarette that starts the race wasn't going to be lit until 9:11 am.  When the race started, I stayed in the back of the pack as usual.  I was given some good advice to catch up with Hiram (of Hiram's Gambit).  I met Hiram a few weeks before during some training in the park. Once I caught up with Hiram, I held on and didn't let go!!!!!  His navigational skills are amazing and he's calm and peaceful.  Because Hiram is so good at navigating, I tried to take in directions and navigation and just enjoy the race.  The hills were amazingly steep both up and down.  I bonked a little going up Rat Jaw and thought I would lose my guys but they took a break at the Fire Tower and I caught up, nearly crying with happiness.  There was no way I could navigate the next section without them.  The prison section was incredible.  We walked through a tunnel under Brushy Mountain State Prison and had to climb out of a ventilation shoot.  The final section, where you're not allowed to train and can only see on race day, is incredibly steep uphill.  I can't even describe how steep it is.  I think someone said 40% grade?  Hiram and I finished our loop in 12:11.  Kerry gave us some of Leslie's chili and Hiram gave me a Coke.  I changed clothes and Hiram, Will and I went out on loop 2!!!  Hiram and I only did book 1 & 2 of loop 2 and then came back to camp with Marco.  I ran my mile for the day on the way down and arrived at the gate slightly before the guys.  laz played taps for me (very badly!).  I have to say it was one of my proudest moments ever.  If anyone got a picture of me, I'm grinning like a goon.  I did not expect to do as well as I did.  We did 25ish miles with 14,500ish vertical elevation gain.  For once, I was AWAKE at night, even at 3 am when I was showering.

Health wise, I FELT FANTASTIC!  I was the only person in my group that didn't get nauseous!!!!!  I'm not sure what I did differently.  Perhaps I have trouble with altitude and this lower altitude is easier on me?  Maybe heat really agrees with me.  Meds were as follows:  10 mg HC, 12.5 mcg T3, 12.5 DHEA and .075 florinef upon waking. 5 mg HC every hour.  I took 2 salt stick/hour.  It was badly needed.  I was getting cramps in my feet that reminded me to take more salt.

I want to go back next year if laz will let me. I KNOW I can do better and go farther.  I think three loops is within my grasp.  More intense training is what I need.  Mentally, I have what it takes.  Physically, if I could feel that good every time I raced, damn, I'd be out of control.  I've never felt so good during a race.  I'm so thankful for feeling good.  It doesn't happen often nor does feeling awake that late at night.

It was such a privilege to toe the line with Brett Maune, Jared Campbell, John Fe... the 3 people who completed the race.  Beverley Abbs finished the Fun Run.  It was also a privilege to be in the race with Frozen Ed, Stu Gleman and the rest of the amazing veterans.  What an eclectic bunch of people, a 75 year old man, many Europeans, world class runners...and me.  Wow!

Pictures from the race