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, July 10, 2013

What do pennies, parrots and running have to do with one another?

What do pennies, parrots and running have to do with one another? Here's an explanation.

I love running, I love finding money, I love parrots.  Before finding Parrot Outreach Society accidentally, I had no idea that exotic birds were in need of rescuing.  I foolishly assumed that because parrots were beautiful, intelligent and expensive to buy that they wouldn't be given up and if they were, people would be clammoring to take them in as pets.  I was very, very wrong.

When stopping at the strip mall where the Outreach is located, I saw the sign  and thought, "Interesting!  I would like to volunteer.  Maybe they need cleaning help?" I never dreamed that I could actually be more helpful to the Parrot Outreach than to be an A#1 poop cleaner (my specialty despite a college degree).  Pam needed help cleaning, I slowly and gently worked into helping in many other ways as well as adopting a bird of my own.  I'm now the Parrot Outreach Volunteer Coordinator!  I digress.  

The parrots at the Parrot Outreach are almost all domestically bred (except for the old ones), intelligent, beautiful and always in need of socialization.  I'm tearing up writing this, these birds need humans and need homes. The best I can do is give them some part time love.  Pam, the Outreach founder and director, has created a place where these rescued birds can live and be loved until someone can take them on as a new family member.  Many of the parrots live longer than 50 years, they will have seven homes on average.  They will go through the process of being rescued or having new homes so many times in their lives.  Pam has created a safe, clean place for the birds to socialize with humans and get new homes.  Cleaning has a downside, metal cages rust, welds come undone, trays become ruined with repeated cleaning.  The birds need new, cleanable, presentable cages.  As with any 501c3, there's a lot of need and not enough money.  

I cleaned and cleaned the cages on Tuesday and Thursdays for months.  I broke the news to my husband that I was doing Vol State again.  I had to start training.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'd run to the birds and home.  During my runs, I'd find money.  All at once it hit me, Pennies for Parrots.  I could make an incredibly selfish venture much less selfish by running Vol State with a purpose.  We decided to raise money to buy new bird cages.  We are running a fundrazr campaign Pennies for Parrots.  I decided, if nothing else, I could collect pennies during my runs for the birds.  To date, we've raised $1000 toward our $5000 goal!  No matter what happens from here on out, I'm thrilled to have been a part of helping the birds in this way.

Today, Wednesday, July 10th, I'll be on a bus to Union City , TN.  I will try to post to the blog daily.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vol State is here

`As usual, I mean well and never get everything done that I want to. 
I've never actually given the "scoop" on doing Vol State (which starts on July 11th).  I guess it's because I don't even know where to begin.
What is Vol State?  Vol State is the nick name for a foot race called the Last Annual Vol State Road Race.  It covers 314 miles across (mostly) Tennessee.  There is a ten day time limit.  It can be done as a relay, with a crew or solo.  This year there are sixty some people doing it. Some are INCREDIBLE runners and will probably run most of the 314 miles.  Many people are great runners.  There's also a significant portion of people doing this race that enjoy challenging themselves and are quite, don't take this wrong, average.  I include myself in this group.  We want to finish, we want to finish faster than last time or we might even set our sights quite high and want to actually beat someone else in the race.  Lofty goals!  I want to stay ahead of people who are 20+ years older than I, however, most of them will beat me too (Stu and Marv, I've got you guys in my sights!!!)
From UltraRunning Magazine, September 2012 article called "WHY WE BONK" by Gary Cantrell.  Gary, better known as lazarus lake, is also the Race Director of Vol State.
"Vol State is a monumental 500K road race, held in Tennessee, right in the sweltering middle of July.  The uncrewed runners are a most unlikely group, neither the most talented nor the most highly trained runners in ultrarunning.  By any reasonable evaluation under current wisdom, few (if any) of them should be able to complete the event."
"I find myself drawing inspiration not from the amazing achievements of the elite, but from the remarkable resilience of the mediocre."
What drew me to Vol State?  Basically, that it was there.  It's a big, long race.  It's a challenge to anyone's body but more so to someone like me with adrenal insufficiency.  I have to be very mindful of providing my body with the hormones and electrolytes that my body needs because it doesn't do it all by itself.  I also love adventure!  This is an adventure no matter how you slice it.  Will I sleep outside?  Can I make it to the motel?  Is this dog approaching me friendly or will it kill me?  Will befriending a fellow racer be a benefit or liability to me.  Will I be up all night helping this person instead of sleeping?  How fast can I get this done???
Oh hell, this is getting long.  Sorry.  I'll try to sum it up.
I did Vol State last year.  I also told everyone I would never do it again.  Here I am in Tennessee a year later about to do it again.  Why?
Ask my husband, I have a superior ability to block bad memories.  Vol State, in my brain over the last year, turned into a simply wonderful event.  These thoughts were reinforced with hysterical laughter over some painful and fun events of 2012 with Shannon this winter.  They were also reinforced by my refusal to look at my blog posts from the race last year.
Asphalt is in my blood now.  I finished last year in 8 days 11 hours and change.
You all got very lucky.  My post was truncated.  I will do this race again beginning Thursday.  I will be doing it for the birds.  I will do it for myself.  I will beat adrenal insufficiency over and over for days.

Tomorrow I will post about Pennies for Parrots and how birds tie in to running.  Sorry this is so long!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Love Connection: Oscar

Oscar, Orangewing Amazon
314 miles.  100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Outrageous humidity.  Steep mountains.  Trucks roaring by, spewing black exhaust.  Feet pounding the hot asphalt for more than a week.  Why would anyone want to run all the way across Tennessee in July?!?  
Dusty Hardman is doing it to raise money to help parrots. 

It's heartbreaking to see all of the wonderful, intelligent birds that need homes.  Parrot Outreach currently has about fifty birds that need one-on-one attention and a family of their own. In the meantime, they live at the Parrot Outreach Society's storefront at 1105 Taylor Road in Punta Gorda, Florida in some well worn cages.  I know I don't know much about birds but I have the opinion that by getting to know and understand a bird BEFORE bringing it into your home can be extremely valuable.  With a baby, you get what you get.  You're stuck.  If you look for a bird (or dog or cat) at a rescue, the caretakers can fill you in on the bird's quirks, strong points and weaknesses so you can match just the right bird with your temperament and that of your family.  If bird adoption is not your thing, consider donating to Parrot Outreach Society via Fundrazr to help replace our well worn cages.
Look at me!! 
I’m a mature kind of guy, my name is Oscar and I'm an Orangewing Amazon. I came from my native land to America about 35 yrs. ago. I have lots to share with you and many things to say. This is my second rescue in 5 yrs. The people are great but I’d really prefer to have a home of my own with my very own humans. I love to eat and take baths when I’m not busy expressing myself. I am a woman’s man most of the time but will tolerate another guy in the picture.
Time to eat 
Please consider adopting this bird or help us buy him a new, easy to clean cage (approximate cost $200 to $600 depending upon the type of cage we can afford).  For more information or to visit with Oscar, please call 941-505-2593

Parrot Outreach Society in Punta Gorda, Florida. There's a Facebook page if you want to check it out!  Parrot Outreach Society Facebook page.