Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31, 2008 - Jennifer the female ran 5K today!

history was made as i participated in the Resolution 5K Run today, my first running event registered as a female. it was a very slow and gentle run on account of me being just 14 days removed from major surgery, but it went well. no major concerns. i clocked in at about 36.40, which really isn't too bad given that i was essentially running with a limp.

there was a little social event afterwards where i got to chat with a few local runners i haven't seen for a while.

earlier in the day, i visited the duckies and video taped them running around the pond, check it out:

happy new year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008 - Impromptu Run

and for the record, i ran 1.6k today. i was late for a meeting and ended up running from office to office.. the run was actually a good one. the wound was not aggravated. i think the bleeding has finally stopped. i'm going to give it a go in the 5K tomorrow. even if it is a slow jog, that's better than walking the Resolution 'Run'


December 30, 2008 - the official year in review stats!

Ahh, i love stats and i love self-promotion. here's a review of some of my key running stats and running milestones, as well as some 2009 goals:

Month total running km / net annual running km

Jan 126.30 / 126.30

Feb 114.50 / 240.80

Mar 299.50 / 540.30

April 317.10 / 857.40

May 347.00 / 1204.00

June 352.60 / 1556.60

July 415.40 / 1972.00

Aug 572.80 / 2566.80

Sept 325.40 / 2892.20

Oct 300.90 / 3193.10

Nov 241.90 / 3435.00

December 176.60 / 3611.60 km (includes my anticipated 5k tomorrow!)

# of days in which i ran 42.2k or more: 33

most consecutive days running 42.2k or more: 4 (Aug 7-10) the infamous Quadzilla!

training - ultra calendar days: (days in which i ran more than 42.2k)

05/18/08 sun 52.80 km

05/31/08 sat 46.40 km

06/01/08 sun 53.60 km

07/01/08 tue 85.00 km

08/01/08 fri 42.70 km

08/02/08 sat 58.80 km

10/03/08 fri 44.10 km

24 hour periods which i ran 55k or more:

05/31/08 - 06/01/08 55.80 km run within 24 hours

07/01/08 - 07/01/08 85.00 km run within 13.52 hours

08/02/08 - 08/03/08 80.50 km run within 24 hours

08/07/08 - 08/08/08 69.20 km run within 22.30 hours

10/03/08 - 10/04/08 60.00 km run within 24 hours

multiple day training runs of significance:

08/07/08 - 08/10/08: 168.80 km

(4 marathon equivalents: 17 hours of running within 77 hours)

08/01/08 - 08/10/08: 329.40 km

(equivalent of 7.5 marathons + in 9.5 days!)

Official Marathons:

05/11/08 Mississauga Marathon (Mississauga, ON)

3.19.0606/08/08 Eastern Marathon (Portugal Cove, NL) 3.22.16

06/15/08 Johnny Miles Marathon (New Glasgow, NS) 3.43.10

07/20/08 Massey Ontario Marathon 3.16.59 (Personal Best and Boston Qualifier!)

09/14/08 Newfoundland Marathon (St. John's, NL) 3.36.16

09/27/08 Akron Ohio Marathon 3.50.05

09/28/08 Toronto Waterfront Marathon 3.42.26

Claim to Fame:

Unofficially, the only Newfoundlander and only out Transsexual in world history to complete 2 marathons in 2 countries in 2 days! (note i was 7 minutes faster on day two!)

2009 goals:

- use running as a way to get my weight down below 160 pounds, and keep it below 160 pounds for the rest of my life!

- training run of 126.6k in a 24 hour period, at least once!

- training runs of 42.2k seven days in a row, at some point.- run more than 5000k in the calendar year

- run 10 official marathons

- run 4 official marathons in 4 different states within 9 days - likely to occur as follows: Charlottesville 4/18/08, Boston 4/20/08, Louisville 04/25/08, Toledo 04/26/08 - still working out the logistics for this trip. i hope it happens!

- use my status as a marathon-running transsexual as a way to promote positive education, awareness, and acceptance among society regarding transsexualism'll notice no time-oriented goals here. As i transition from male to female, my strength speed and endurance has taken a hit, and will continue to fall as i get deeper into estrogen therapy; therefore, it is essentially impossible to gain a clear understanding of time expectations. once i have fully transitioned, i will be able to start setting time goals again!

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29, 2008 - Glass City Marathon Accepts Jennifer as a female!

Over the holiday season, i decided to get in touch with race directors of several marathons for which i might consider running in 2009. One of which was the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio for April 26/09.

The race director has agreed to let me participate as a female, but with the understanding that i will wave my rights to accept female awards (not that i would likely win one anyway). This is exactly what i was hoping to get. I consider this a huge victory and a precedent which i hope will lead to future acceptances elsewhere.

Attached is a thread of my e-mail request, and the response i received from the race director.


Yes, we would allow any transgender to participate in our events. However, due to software limitations, we are required to enter a value for sex; either Male or Female. My recommendation for you would to enter under the female category as this is ultimately your goal. Should you fall in place of any awards we will pass the award to the next recipient. We look forward to seeing you in April, and good luck with your marathon challenge!

Clint McCormick
Race Director

-----Original Message-----

From: Jennifer McCreath Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:41 PMTo: racedirector@glasscitymarathon.orgSubject: Glass City Marathon - transgendered athlete policy?

Dear Mr Clint McCormick,

i am a transgendered athlete who is currently in the process of transitioning from male to female.
i just recently had part one of two sex reassignment surgeries performed (bilateral orchiectomy), so i am technically neither 100% male nor 100% female at the moment (i haven't had full vaginoplasty yet)..

i'd love to run the Glass City Marathon this year as part of a mega marathon challenge (i am planning to run 4 marathons in 9 days this April, including Boston).

it could reasonably be argued that it would be unfair for me to register and compete against males or females, given my current status of transitioning. from that standpoint, i do not have any natural testosterone flowing thru my body, but i have been taking estrogen pills on a daily basis for several months, simulating female levels. running for me isn't about competing against others, it's about me running for myself and to prove that transgendered people are capable of being great athletes. i don't even care whether or not i would be eligible to win awards for age/sex categories. i'd just like to get the t-shirt and finishers medal like everyone else!

would you consider allowing a registration and participation for me without assigning me to an official sex category? (either put me in a 3rd sex category, or leave it as undefined/unclassified?)

December 28, 2008 - longer run!

well, i couldn't help myself. i went for three separate short runs today over to the pond and to the Running Room. i registered for the Resolution Run for Dec 31, a 5k Run that is not technically a race. the big news is that the Running Room has sanctioned me in the female category. Even if i have to walk this 5k, due to my surgery, it is important for me to participate as i would love to be able to claim to have completed at least one official event as a female!

the other runs were over to the pond to see the duckies. most of the pond was frozen over but there is a small patch that doesn't freeze due to a stream flowing in. this is where the duckies hang out. there were about 60 of them today! overall, i ran 7.5k but i think i opened up my wound a bit more as there was a little bleeding. i will not be running again until Dec 31 as a precautionary measure.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008 - back home

just got back in town after a few days visiting family over christmas. first time in 6 trips that my flights to and from Newfoundland were not delayed or diverted due to weather issues. amazing planning on my part... lol

i am now on day 10 since the surgery and i went out for a light 2k jog to test my mobility. things are still awkward down there. but it is my hopes to participate in the Running Room's Resolution Run on Dec 31, a 5k informal jaunt around the pond. i've asked them to consider accepting my registration without a sex marker and they have yet to respond. must be on an extra long Christmas break!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008 - Thumbing your nose?

yes the thumb is still sore. it has now been 12 days since the injury. i am convinced it is a partially torn ligament that really should require imobilization for 4-6 weeks. my fear is that the legament may be completely torn and requires surgery. i am going to follow up with my doctor after the christmas holiday.

the joke all along was that "you know something's wrong with your thumb if that's the major focus of you r cocnerns just hours after having an orchi!"

no running today. but a nice walk outside. won't be running tomorrow either. want to make sure this orchi wound heals properly. won't run until there have been 3 days in a row with no bleeding.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008 - rest day

the wound extracted a little blood this morning so i decided against any running today. gonna rest up for a few days in hopes that it will heal completely.. the bruising and swelling has gone down a bit today, so that's definitely a good sign. it's definitely frustrating to deal with, but it definitely exciting to have the operation over with and a recovery going fairly well.

happy holidays to all

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008 - 6 days!

only 6 days removed from an orchiectomy, i went for my first run, a very very slow and gentle 1.2k stroll down to the mail box. probably not the brightest thing to do 6 days after this type of surgery, but i just couldn't resist. the run actually went well. no incident. it is still quite painful "down there" and the wound is still open, so i probably won't chance it again for a while, but if it heals further by dec 31, i may sign up for the infamous running room 5k resolution run.

on that note, i wrote the running room today and asked them about transgendered athlete policies. i have been in touch with some other trans runners and they seem to be against the concept of a hird gender category for transitioning athletes, but one liked the idea of competing without disclosing or declaring a gender. an "unclassified" category of sorts. so i ran that idea by the running room. will be interesting to see what they say.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21, 2008 - back home!

quite the journey. air canada cancelled my flight back to canada due to an expected snow storm, so i was scrambling from my hotel bed to find an alternate flight back. i ended up skipping town a day early, against doctor's orders. just 32 hours removed from surgery, i was navigating the philly and then toronto airports.

got into toronto before the storm and managed to spend the next day resting while visiting family. got back home early saturday morning...

today, the wound opened as the stiches broke. not sure if this was due to all my movement or due to a poor stitching job. (the stitching appeared weak right from the get go, but i am sure the moving around didn't help). found myself in the emergency room today as a precautionary measure. the wound will not be restitched as there are still some stiches in tact and the would appears to be healing well so far. i am going to have to be extra careful for a few days. the wound is swollen and bruised but nothing out of the ordinary. i am hopeful that the scar won't be too bad, although it looks like an incredible cut.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008 - Recovering going well

I had my orchiectomy surgery yesterday morning. Dr Murray Kimmel performed the operation in Philadelphia. He's done over 12000 of these so he knew what he was doing. i'll be resting for another 24 hours then heading home. i've been instructed not to run or swim for a month. let's see if i can wait that long.. lol


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16, 2008 - Philly!

well, i arrived in Philly yesterday for the big surgery. i booked my flights early to plan in case of weather delays, but i have had 2 really good days here so far as a tourist. Got to take in the NFL game last night, then spent today running around the city as a tourist. Saw the Philly Zoo, the Liberty Bell and the Rocky Statue, among other things. 8k running yesterday and 12k running today. Gives me a nice couple of runs to end my season. Surgery tomorrow morning. not sure if i will get in one more run or not. but it is probable that i won't run until 2009, as recovery is expected to take a while.

Got my official comfirmation from Boston Marathon today. that was really exciting! now i can start booking the trip.


December 15, 2008 - flat

finally had a run on some flat roads today. 8k to be exact. tons of fun. more later!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008 - cold

well, it was back to freezing temps today. my finger was still quite sore so i didn't get over for a swim. but i had 3 separate runs over to the ponds. 12k in total. felt a bit sluggish given that i ran 42.2k yesterday.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008 - It's Been A While!

yup, 42.2k of running today. 71 days since i last did that (gee, that's hard to believe!)

started out my day by sleeping in late. as promised, the temp was 60 degrees out there. i dusted off my running skirt, tank top and sports bra and went out for a run to the pond. i took a brief intermission to feed the duckies. it was very windy out there so the bread crumbs were flying all over the place.

then it was a trot to the mall to grab some empty boxes to bring to my friend's house as she was preparing a move. i ran home and had a brief snack, then ran up to another pond, left pond, where i had a very quick dunk in the water. last year at this time, i was skating on that pond!

then i ran back over to my friend's house and helped her finish moving her stuff. after helping her get to the airport, i ran back home again. this time, i took a stumble and hyperextended my thumb quite badly! i got up and bolted it home as fast as i could to put ice on it. at this point, i was up to 28k on the day.

after dinner with a few friends to 'celebrate' my surgery, i went back out and finished up the last 14k. still fairly warm weather but rainy..

42.2k in total. 4.11.02 of running in just over 11 hours. the last 5k were a struggle, as i had not carbloaded for the run or done anything like that. but it was nice to know that i could still run 42.2k on any given day out of the blue. my weight is up to about 190 now. hard to believe i have gained this much in 3 months!

well, perhaps i will get out for a few more long runs before my surgery..

i missed my swim at the pool today and might not get over tomorrow if this thumb is still as sore as it is.. kinda sad. only i could get a thumb injury by running!


December 12, 2008 - Soggy Lunch

ended up getting stuck at work late tonight so i only managed a 2k run around the pond at lunch. the snow was in the process of melting so it was quite slushy out there! this evening, it is 60 degrees f. hard to believe it is warmer outside than inside!

if i get a good sleep tonight, i will plan a long run tomorrow morning, as the temp is supposed to stay work until early evening.

missed my swim today but will plan to have one tomorrow and/or sunday!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 10 & 11, 2008 - Ahh, no title comes to mind

well, back to the pool yesterday and today after a few days off. it's amazing what emotional stress can do to one's energy levels. life is definitely not easy for me.. trying to constantly prove myself and get doors opened for everything i need, from transition, work, family/friends, health care, etc..

i have averaged 10k per day of running this week and i have had 3 nice swims so far this week. trying to keep myself in the best shape possible. surgery is around the corner and i will be shelved for a while to recover.. i'm concerned i will gain even more weight due to inactivity at that time..

weather is looking good for saturday here..i might try to give it a go at a long run..


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008 - ice!

gee, more snow and ice today. -4 temp and windy. the pond is starting to freeze over. i almost fell in again today. that ice is slippery! couple of nice laps around the trail. 10k running in total. the knee is still banged up from yesterday's fall.


Monday, December 8, 2008

December 7, 2008 - snow!

what a day. 6 inches of snow in the morning. made for a challenging run. had my first snow shovel of the year and built a snowperson. ran 8.2k and swam 2.5k. the swim was very exhausting.

Dec 8, 2008 - all the snow melted overnight. got as warm as 10 degrees, but now back to freezing. i fell and banged my knee at the pond on a rock so i canceled my evening swim, but did manage to get in a total of 12.2k of running.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 6, 2008 - Night Run

well, after watching the big SEC title football game on tv (Congrats Florida!) i decided to head out for a 10k run in the -5 fresh night. 65 minutes. knees were painful. felt good in terms of endurance, at least to a certain extent. ran into a cat after 6k, so i stopped for a brief petting visit.. lol up to 3503k on the year. let's see how many more i can sneak in before the surgery!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 6, 2008 - dark days

yesterday was an off day. i actually had a car for the day to do various errands, so i didn't get around to running or swimming. but this morning, i returned the car and ran home. this was around 7.30 am! i immediately went back to sleep and woke up at 11 am! took me a while to get organized and i ran over to the pond to visit the duckies, then to the pool for a swim, as per usual.. then it was lunch with a friend that carried on for a few hours. it just seems like my day is starting and it is already dark out. feels kinda strange, and sad. i miss my long 10 hour beach visits..

the SAD light seems to be starting to affect me. i appear to be in better moods more often, although i continue to average about 12-15 crying spells every day.. it will be interesting to see how i do over the 2nd week.

12.7k of running today so far. i may head out for an evening run. new shoes are nice. but i'm disappointed with the new asics 2130 model. they don't seem as durable as the 2120. the shoes seem to have lost most of their umph by 200k.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4, 2008 - Groundbreaking Trans Athlete Policy Development!

Due to an Olympic policy precedent, transwomen athletes who are less than 2 years into transition are often forced to compete as "males." i found this to be unfair and degrading. I proposed a better idea, and it looks like the idea may get accepted!

The World Out Games are the Olympic equivalent for athletes who identify as Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender /misc Queer, etc. It is a combination of athletic excellence and pride. The inaugural World Out Games took place in Montreal Canada in 2006. The next version will take place July-Aug 2009 in Copenhagen Denmark.

My big news of the day is that the World Out Games race organizers have given preliminary indication that they will likely accept and implement my proposed policy amendment to their policy for transsexual athletes, paying special attention to those who are currently "in transition".

The International Olympic Committee has clear guidelines for when and how trans athletes will qualify for their new sex. but for those who are less than 2 years into transition, they are forced to compete under their old/original biological sex category. The World Out Games had adopted this guideline as their official policy.

i suggested to the World Out Games that although i agree that it would be unfair for me to compete as a female, it would be unfair for me to compete as a male as well, given that 1 - i won't have all of the male "parts" that i was born with, and 2 - the affect of estrogen gives me an unfair competitive disadvantage against other males.

I also suggested that asking me to compete as a male was not only unfair, but disrespectful, humiliating, and degrading, given that i identify as a woman.

i proposed that a 3rd sex category be created for those athletes who neither identify with and/nor biologically qualify as male or female. this would be a participation category, as opposed to a competitive category (given that it is not really fair to ask transitioning competitors to compete against one another as some will be further along into hormones, and hence further advantaged or disadvantaged from others). the spirit of the World Out Games is to give LGBT athletes a chance to display their athletic talents while expressing pride of their LGBT status. this isn't really about winning or losing.

if this policy amendment does in fact go thru in January, i would consider this a huge precedent and a huge victory in terms of trans recognition and acceptance.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008 -

10.8k of running and 2.4k of swimming today. i was late getting my act together after work so i didn't get to swim as long as i had hoped.. the knees are still giving me trouble. the new shoes are feeling good and taking some of the pressure off. i'm thinking it may be my extra weight that is cause for concern.

it's starting to sink in that my surgery date is approaching and that i will be on the shelf for a while. won't be looking forward to that... oh well, it will be worth it!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008 - Sad Memory

Sad Memory.. let's see how many hidden meanings are in there..

dec 2, 2007 was the date of a major snow storm here in st. john's. i'll never forget that. it was my first taste of the newfoundland winters.. lol

Sad - my 2nd day of Sad light treatment. i've been told that i should see signs of improvement in 2 weeks.. this will really be interesting.

Sad Memory is also a 1967 tune written by Richie Furay of the Buffalo Springfield

today is also Britney Spears' birthday.. hard to believe she is 27! i gather from her interview today that she is having a sad life lately.. lol ..actually, that's not lol. poor Britney. i hope her life gets better.. you can all laugh at her if you want, but she actually represents an important part of my transition.. back in 1999, i seemed fasinated by her. little did i realize that i was essentially wishing that i could be in her shoes.. a young pretty successful teen.. being a teenage girl is something i will never get to experience.. but at least when i am fully transitioned, i can life a rewarding and fulfilling life as a middle aged woman.

anyway, 9th pair of shoes got broken in today. nice little run after supper to yet another pond (Burton's Pond) a place where duckies hang out all night. none of this flying away to go sleep somewhere.. lol

well, the sleeping pills are starting to make me woozy.. i better click this off before i pass out at my computer.. lol


Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008 - SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder is something i think i have been dealing with, so i went out and got myself a therapeutic light. it's going to be very interesting to see if this works!

ahhh, amazing how the topic of Boston Marathon Qualifying and surrounding controversies seems to dominate the web forum over at the Running Room's website. are the standards fair? should the rules be bent in extreme circumstances? is it morally right for them to break their own rules? would it be easier to qualify as a female than as a male? lots of interesting discussions!

7.5k of running today. the knees are sore from the weekend. i also think they are sore from the high heel boots i have been wearing to work.. might have to cut back on wearing them.

a negative situation at work has upset me greatly over the past few days. this has definitely affected my mood and energy levels too.

geeze, the detroit lions are 0-12 this season so far. wow.. as i enter december, i can't help but feel as though my year is going to go 0-12. sure there have been lots of great things accomplished for me, but i'm no where near where i wanted to be when i looked ahead from the beginning of this year. my job, my running, my transition, etc... nothing seems to have developed as i had envisioned.. i had hoped to get over the hump but 2009 is going to be just as painful.


November 30, 2008 - out with a run!

wow, 23.7k of running and 4.2k of swimming on this last day of November. the swim was slow and painful but i managed to get thru it, giving me my 5th highest monthly total of the year.

the runs were a series of runs around the city from pond to pond. felt pretty good, although the knees were sore toward the end.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 29, 2008 - endurance day!

well, i had a better sleep last night. got myself organized then went for a short run, a long swim, then a long run.. 16.7k running in approx 100 minutes and 4k swimming in 75 minutes. nice to finally be back doing some endurance work.

with my surgery looming, i am going to take myself off testosterone blockers to give myself all the strength possible to get in as many long runs and swims as possible before the big date. i want to drop 4 more pounds so i can end the year at the same weight i entered.. having endured 5 months of estrogen and 7 months of testosterone blockers, to maintain the same weight would be considered a huge accomplishment.

well, if i can swim 4.2k or more tomorrow, it will be my 5th best month in terms of distance.. only the first 4 were more (given that it was winter and i spent more time swimming than running).

well, i think i'm gonna go take in some university basketball tonight.. let's hope i don't have a panic attack over there like i did last time!

will plan for a long swim and lots of running tomorrow in hopes that my dec 1 weigh in will be impressive.. lol


November 28, 2008 - good runs despite emotional upset

gee, i got practically no sleep last night. it was a very upsetting day at work. things really haven't gone my way there recently.. i seem to have fallen out of favour and have been overlooked for growth and promotion opportunities in favour of them bringing in some new people instead, who i am not necessarily convinced are better than me. this has caused me extreme stress and anxiety..

but surprisingly, i had a pretty good run and swim last night, and an equally good series of runs today.. and a great swim today as well. that's 5 good swims in 6 days, and an average of 10k of running per day.. it's amazing what you can do with a lower level of testosterone blockers..

i am now thinking about canning the blockers completely, given that i am less than a month removed from orchiectomy.. might as well get as much running and swimming in as possible before the operation. maybe i can drop a few more pounds! i am down 2 this week. i started the year at 178 and got down as low as 165 during the peak of my marathonning in August. i climbed as high as 184, and now i am 182. i'd love to at least end the year at 178 and break even.. lol

big running and swimming plans this weekend.. perhaps even a 42.2k!


Friday, November 28, 2008

November 27, 2008 - busy day

several runs back and forth to work and to the ponds and the swimming pool, etc. 11k in total, plus a nice 2.5k swim. energy levels fairly low today due to a very stressful day at work. but overall, the running went well. still a slight tweek in the knee that doesn't seem to want to go away.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008 - status quo

not much to say tonight. 7k run and 2.4k swim tonight. felt strong.. excellent day!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008 - depression and enthusiasm

Seasonal affective disorder is a condition that causes depression during winter season due to an apparent lack of sunlight exposure. i definitely think i am dealing with this.. either that, or a strong dislike of the dark and cold gloomy winter weather. it was such a nice sunny day and i was fortunate enough to get out for an hour again at lunch and spend quality time at the pond relaxing, eating my sandwich and visiting with the duckies.

after work, i came out to the same pond and it was already darkening, and that seemed really upsetting. but i got over it and went for a nice run (6k) and swim (2.5k) and felt generally strong throughout. it's nice to feel up to running and to have the confidence that i can run anywhere now, without having to rely on taking a taxi due to exhaustion.. lol

oh well, a better day emotionally than yesterday was. let's hope tomorrow will be even better!

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008 - stress

well, i didn't get a very good sleep last night. today at work was a struggle to stay awake. had a nice walk at lunch hour and actually spent the entire hour sitting by the pond with about 30 duckies and it was very pleasant.

i had a 1k run from the office to home in order to make my teleconference with my psychologist in time. but that was it. i never made it back out of the house for a longer run or swim. i think today was a very emotional day that took its toll physically. knowing that i will be having a fairly major and life-changing surgery next month is really starting to freak me out. this is the biggest decision of my entire life so far. the financial implications are huge too. it's going to be a $4000-5000 trip, and with my short-term future at work uncertain, this is definitely a bit of a gamble from this perspective.

but ultimately, i know this is going to make me feel great, both physically and emotionally, as it is a major step towards making this transition faster and easier.. even though it will be quite painful and challenging in the short term.

well, let's see if i can get a good night sleep and make it over to the pool tomorrow!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 23, 2008 - great sleep, great run!

wow, i slept in til almost noon today. guess that's what happens when you stay up til almost 2 am chatting on facebook.. lol

i finally got myself out of bed and munched down a quick breakfast then ran over to the pool. it was a rather sluggish run and a sluggish start to the swim, but i gained strength as i carried on and ended up finishing strong. 3k of swimming right on the 60 minute mark. then i ran around town and visited 3 of my favorite ponds, including one i hadn't visited in 7 weeks.

for good measure, i went back out for another run tonight after supper, covering a total of 19k. seems the energy levels are back into a good range. let's hope i can have a good week ahead!


November 22, 2008 - surgery looming!

well, the biggest news this week is that i will be heading down to Philadelphia in the near future to have a bilateral orchiectomy performed, the removal of my testicles. This will speed up the feminization process of the hormone therapy i am taking, yet at the same time, reduce the amount of hormones needed, hence reducing the risks associated with it. i am really excited yet a little scared, for obvious reasons. i will be paying for the entire thing out of my own pocket since our lovely public health care system doesn't recognize gender identity disorder and associated medical needs as being covered in their plan. the surgery will cost me $2000 USD, plus plane tickets, hotel, etc. the operation itself will be 20 minutes. i will then be sent to my hotel and ordered to rest for 48 hours. then i will return home and do whatever i can to limit my mobility until the wound heals. rule of thumb is 4-8 weeks before resuming vigurous activity, so my knees will get a nice rest.. lol

anyway, back to business. 8k of running and 2.55k of swimming today, rounding out a really nice week! more of the same planned ahead.. wanna maximize my potential before the surgery. let's see how far i can run and swim before then. and maybe drop a few pounds!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 21, 2008 - running on frost!

cold day here.. temp down to the freezing mark. puddles starting to freeze! 11k of running today for me; and 2k swim as well. feeling very energetic for most of the day, but too tired to even write proper sentences now.. lol more tomorrow


November 20, 2008 - OFF Day

well, no running or swimming on thursday Nov 20. today was Transgendered Day of Remembrance, an event that was launched first about 10 years ago to honour victims of violence due to intolerance. i attended a little social event here that was held to mark the occasion.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 - energetic week!

wow 76.4k of running in the past 5 days, including 11.8 today. it's totally amazing how much more energy i have since making the switch from 200 mg/day of spironolactone to 100.

this is obviously a sign that my testosterone is not being blocked as much as it was at the higher dosage. ultimately, this will mean the minimal amount of estrogen i am taking will be even less affective. i'll be getting my testosterone levels measured in a few weeks, so that will give me a better indication as to whether or not my combination of pills is effectively reducing it to normal female levels or not.

meanwhile, i am going to take advantage of this band aid solution to restore my energy by running and swimming my butt off over the next few weeks. i'd love to drop some of the weight i gained in sept and oct.

it's been really fun telling everyone my Boston story. has a link about my call to the to discuss my potenial entry. funny how i always envisioned my first BQ as being this estatic moment in time as i cross a finish line somewhere and look up at the clock.. never thought it would be from a phone call made from my bedroom.

but seriously, you couldn't write a fiction story better than this. Jennifer runs a great race for 41k then slows down just enough to realize at the 41.6k mark that she's not gonna make it. with pride on the line, she finished as strong as she could. and in the end, it turns out that i literally made a buzzer beater!

i should chance my story and start telling people about how great it was to sprint my butt off at the finish line to ensure that i made it.. and tell people about how awesome it felt to see the clock strike 3.16.59 just as i crossed the finish line.. lol

oh well, the record books will show that i ran the Boston Marathon. no asterisk or disclaimer.

now comes the toughest challenge. no matter what, i want to keep improving.. no reason why i can't run faster times while on hormones.. it just means that i will have to work harder. if i can run a 3.16 while being a mediocre male athlete, then all i need to do is become a true elite athlete to beat those times as a female.. so the goal for Boston: simply beat 3.16.59, and if i do, i will requalify for the 2010 Boston Marathon.


November 18, 2008 - wow!

what a great day.. accepted into the 2009 Boston Marathon.. plus i was full of energy for all my runs and swim. 16.8k of running, from home to the office a few times, to the doctor's office, the drug store, the pond and the mall.. plus a very relaxing and energetic 3k swim.

it feels so great to have some of my energy levels back! i know this is on borrowed time, but for the short-term i hope to keep the mileage up and drop some weight.. will plan a fairly long run tomorrow


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Boston Marathon is back on the table!!

wow, I just got off the phone with the Boston Athletic Association. I was inquiring as to whether or not they had a transgender policy, which apparently they don’t. but they did say that race application acceptances would be for the same sex for which the qualifying race was run, regardless of biological sex on race day!

What I also found out, which was a great surprise, is that their official qualifying times are different from what it says on their website. Anything within 1.59 of the website time is deemed a qualification, no questions asked, not just within 0.59. So my 3.16.59, which I initially thought was 60 seconds too slow, was deemed an official qualifying time. So I can feel satisfied that I have, in fact, officially qualified!

i was quite certain that i did not want to try to beg my way in, and i am glad that this is not going to have to be the case. Ultimately, i did feel that i did not want to ever run a race as a male ever again, but that was under the impression that i had not qualified. Since i have, in fact, qualified, i feel i have some unfinished business to attend to on April 20, 2009.

ultimatley, this means that I will get to hit my initial goal that i set back in 2007 of running Boston at least once as a male, then hopefully many more times as a female in years to come.

Now comes the challenge of doing whatever I can so I can show up on race day in the best possible physical and emotional shape. Ultimately, even if the race doesn’t go well, I can at least feel good about the fact that I made it!

for the past 5 days, i have taken a reduced amount of testosterone blockers and this has help with energy levels. ultimately, i will now be working really hard to get as much weight off as i can. then i will want to focus on resting and rehabilitating my sore knees. i really want this Boston race to be as good as possible. it's obviously way too early to start setting time goals, but it would certainly be great run a personal best marathon time there. even with me being deeper in estrogen therapy, and even with the possibility of not having testicles, there's a chance that i could still improve my health and fitness enough to make it happen. definitely something to shoot for as i head into the long cold winter season!


November 17, 2008 - forgetfulness

gee, i forgot to post again yesterday. i ran 4.8k, mostly around the pond.. nothing too spectacular.. guess that's why i forgot to post.. lol


Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008 - more activity

felt somewhat strong today. started out with a strong 4k run then a strong first half of my 3k swim. then i seemed to run out of gas and had to slow down. finished the swim then ran some more a few times throughout the day.. totaling 15.2k of running. that's two nice days in a row for running.

temp reached as high as 13 tonight. i was tempted to jump in the pond but decided not to.. lol

i'm hoping that the week ahead will bring more energy. i'm taking a step backward with my transition by reducing the testosterone blocking medication. but i feel i need to do something to get back some strength so i can run and swim more often and get my health back to where it needs to be


Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15, 2008 - ups and downs

funny day for me. had to wake up early to return a rental car. i stayed up late so i only had about 5 hours of sleep. returned the car and ran home in the sub-freezing weather.. the run actually went well. it was a 3.5k run. then i went back to sleep for 5 hours! woke up at noon and felt really out of it. struggled to run over to the pool, but regained some energy and had an awesome 2k swim in only 37 minutes! ..ran around some more from pond to pond and got home around 4pm. by then i had covered 12k of running. i felt really good tonight so i went out and ran another 10k, in 57.30.

still some pain just below the left knee, that was evident today. i'm convinced i have a stress fracture there. i may have to just take some time off to get that better.

but overall, it was nice to actually have a long run! first time in 27 days since i was over 20k on a day. my how things have changed from the summer when i was running 20k or more every day!


Friday, November 14, 2008

November 13 & 14, 2008 - more swims

geeze, i can't seem to get my dates right here. nov 13 was a day of short runs and a tiring swim. the arms were still sore from the megaswim on tuesday, so 48 hours wasn't totally enough to get them back to normal. so i struggled thru 2.5k in 58 min.

friday was a better swim. 2k in 43 minutes. widths instead of lengths, plus it was very busy there. had to swim around all the slow pokes.. lol

thinking about a long run or two this weekend, as well as some long swims.. i hate to take any steps backward with my transition, but with the blessing of my doc, i am going to reduce the quantity of testosterone blockers i am taking in hope that this will give me at least enough energy to run and swim enough to lose back the 12 pounds i seem to have gained in the past 10 weeks.

the transition is important, but so is quality of life.. unfortunatly, she didn't feel comfortable raising my estrogen levels until she has a chance to consult with some more experienced doctors, which is frustrating, but certainly fair and reasonable.. so reducing the blockers is the only other real option at this point.

ultimately, i really need to get my testicles removed if i want to speed this process up. i am actually looking into the idea of having them removed as early as next month. this would require a trip to the USA and a private clinic, so cash flow is an issue, as would be some time off work for travel and recovery.. but definitely workable..


Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 12, 2008 - OFF Day

gee, i'm writing this on Nov 13 and i can't even remember why it was an off day.. short term memory loss seems to be a factor! could be a side affect of the meds i am on, who knows??

oh well, the rest day was well needed.

the biggest news of the day is that CBC television is interested in organizing a reality tv series that would feature a team of runners venturing across canada in a terry-fox-like journey. i've expressed initial interest and asked them for more information.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008 - a swim to remember!

well, i started my day with a 3.2k run over to the pool, where i spent pretty much the entire day! i swam for 4 hrs and 18 min, practically non-stop. all swimmers took a break at 11 am for a moment of silence to honour the war heros.

my swim was at a slower pace than ever before, but it was a good sign that i am starting to gain a better understanding of my new fitness levels and was able to accurately pace myself to cover 10k, the marathon-equivalent for swimming. i would have carried on for another hours but my arms were really getting sore. too bad, i wanted this to be my first ever 5 hour swim. oh well, i'm sure there will be other chances.

i celebrated my swim with a visit to both Burton Pond and Kent's Pond, where i was greated as usual by many feathered friends!

after a few hours rest, i went out and did another 5k run for good measure! nice to have a full day of athletics, even if i felt exhausted for all of it. proof that it still can be done!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Review of 2008 Running Series

A review of Jennifer’s NLAA races:

Date Race time place category notes

April 27, 2008 Mundy Pond 5K 20.34 25 5
May 4, 2008 Burton Pond 5K 19.59 25 6
May 18, 2008 Harbour Front 10K 46.05 36 5 backpack
May 31, 2008 Timex 10K OFF
June 8, 2008 Eastern Marathon 42.2K 3.22.16 2 1
June 21, 2008 Timex Bowring 10K OFF spiro 6/20/08
July 1, 2008 HSBC Run 10K 45.23 33 7
July 6, 2008 Mews 8K 32.39 48 9
July 13, 2008 Provincial 5K 19.39 22 4
July 27, 2008 Tely 16K 1.10.50 125 14
Aug 24, 2008 Quidi Vidi 5K DNS estro 8/22/08
Sept 7, 2008 Blueberry 10K OFF
Sept 14, 2008 Nfld Marathon 42.2K 3.36.16 8 3
Oct 5, 2008 Turkey Tea 10K OFF
Oct 19, 2008 Cape to Cabot 20K 1.56.11 204 52

kinda tough to read without the formatting. but quite a review of what turned out to be my participation in 10 of the 15 officially sanctioned runs as part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Association's road running series.

the highlight of the year for me was obviously the Eastern Marathon, a race which i lead for more than 60%. ultimately, i ended up runner up and just 5 minutes behind the winner. this race was run just 7 days after completing a 100k weekend, and just 3 weeks after cramping up at the Mississauga Marathon.

this season also taught me the importance of speed work, and my 5K events and the training leading up to them helped me steadily improve my times in this event. amazingly enough 3 of my 5 races where i placed in the top 5 in my age/sex catagory, were in this distance, a distance which i feel is my poorest overall (the longer the race, the better my chances!).

May 18 featured a day of running, where i ran this 10K race with a heavy backpack and still placed respectably. i then carried on to Cape Spear and back, covering 52.8k in total.

July 1 was a hot day. i ran 10k just to get down to the park, ran a 10k race, then ran another 65k, covering an incredible 85k in just under 14 hours.

still extremely sore, i decided at the last minute to go ahead with the Mews 8k on July 6, and i managed to post a very respectable time on legs and knees that probably shouldn't have ran at all.

still hurting a week later, i managed a PB at the 5K distance at the provincial championships.

then it was off to Ontario where i scored a marathon PB at the Massey Marathon on July 20, a 3.16.59 time.

i was already feeling the affect of my feminine hormone replacement therapy regime, when i took to the roads of Paradise for the most important sporting event of the year in Newfoundland, the Tely 10 Mile road race. i just didn't have it this day, as my tired marathon legs didn't have it. i scored a respectable time of just over 70 minutes, placing me in the top 7% overall, but no where near my 65 minute goal.

August 1-17 featured 10 unofficial marathon runs and 2 more halfs. by the time Aug 24 rolled around for the Quidi Vidi 5k, i wasn't even able to get out of bed in time.. lol

for the second year in a row, the Nfld Marathon was supposed to be my greatest run of the year, but one again for the second time in a row, it turned out to be a major disappointment. this was the first time reality really hit me about my new levels of fitness on estrogen. i threw a temper tantrum at the end of the race and considered leaving the sport until the end of my transition.

two weeks later, i decided that i didn't want to end the year on such a bad note, so i embarked on journey to complete something never done before by a Newfoundlander, as far as i am aware: 2 days 2 countries 2 marathons. and i successfully completed marathons in Akron, Ohio, USA and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, both in respectable times of 3.50.05 and 3.42.26 respectively.

it was then essentially three weeks off to prepare for the season-ending 20K race, the infamous Cape to Cabot run. this turned out to be the worst run of the year and one that prompted me to consider walking away from the sport.

as i adjust to the new reality of my slowed state, i am actively taking the next steps to attempt to procure acceptance among the running community for my post-transition state as a female.

the Boston Marathon has not responded to my e-mails, so i contacted them via phone today and asked that they call me back. it's going to be very interesting to see where this will lead.

at this point, it is still unclear as to what types of surgeries, if any, i will have in 2009. these decisions will certainly have an impact on my ability to run, and on the catagory for which i seek to compete in. i'm already starting to think about the 2011 running season, likely my first to be officially accepted as a female athlete.

not that there really is an off season, but i have essentially been in wind-down mode since the end of C2C, having completed more than 10K of running on only two days since then.


November 10, 2008 - dates mixed up

yikes, i seem to be a day ahead here on each post. the panic attack was saturday. the 8.5k of running was sunday. today is nov 10th. today was a day of rest. no running, no swimming. just some walking around the pond at lunch and after work. the temp got as high as 17 degrees here in st. john's, probably an all time record high for this time of year. i was tempted to jump in the pond but decided to live vicariously through the duckies.. lol

with nov 11 a stat holiday here for public servants, i am hoping to get a good night's sleep so i can head over to the pool for what i hope will be another record-breaking endurance swim. there is a 5.5 hour swim session and i will attempt to swim for the entire thing! hoping to cover 15k. should be an interesting challenge. hope i am up for it!


November 10, 2008 - runs add up

well, i was exhausted again today. i wanted to run over to the pool but gave up after 1.5k. i decided to have an extended visit at the pond instead, then a walk over to the store.

it's quite frustrating to have such low energy levels day after day. i'm going to have to cope better with the stress in my life and figure out a way to get more quality sleep. i ended up home watching some football and decided to go out for little run breaks a couple of time to see how things went. those runs were short but felt better. ultimately, i ended the day with 8.5k of running, which is quite a bit.

i had a much better sleep leading into monday morning, so that is definitely good news.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 9, 2008 - panic

yikes, i actually had a panic attack this evening while attending the university basketball doubleheader. very strange. it happened in between games as i was just sitting there reading the newspaper. it was the strongest panic attack i have had since January 2007.

..still trying to figure out why it happened. could be a combo of too much caffeine today combined with emotional exhaustion from what was a challenging week. i did not sleep very well last night. i struggled to make it over to the pool for a swim and felt quite slow and exhausted throughout the swim. after the swim, i had a nice walk to the pond to see the duckies then walked home and relaxed a while before heading out to watch the basketball games. after the attack, i left my seat and went for a walk around the stadium for a while to calm down.. i returned to watch the first half of the game but decided to head home. i canceled my evening plans to attend a Ron Hynes concert. kinda sad. but i think it was a wise decision to come home and rest.

hopefully i will have a good rest tonight and will feel better tomorrow. i don't think i will do any serious activities tomorrow. maybe a light run and swim and pond visit.. the usual stuff.. lol


November 8, 2008 - not quite as depressing

finally back to the pool, albeit a short 2k swim. 4.5k of running as well. little more energy today, but generally still feeling out of it most the time. not much else to say today. weekend is here! Yay!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

November 6, 2008 - depressing day

life just seems to be frustrating, and things will probably get worse before they get better. things are either moving too slow, or not moving in the right direction at all. the emotional stress is definitely having an impact on my energy levels. didn't feel up to a swim today, much like last night. 5k of running in total today, which i suppose is better than nothing. 3 trips to the pond, 2 of which were extended visits with the duckies.. seems to be the only thing that makes me happy these days.. i am going to plan to swim after work tomorrow no matter what. i hate to get into the habit of missing that.

the weekend weather report is not great but i am hoping to get in some long runs. tuesday next week is a holiday so that might be another mega swim. so lots to look forward to in the week ahead as far as athletic opportunities go.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5, 2008 - 10k!!!

gee, seems like forever since i ran double digits. 10k today in total. energy levels not high. struggled to get to and from the university for a night school seminar thing, which was quite interesting. i learned all about the gall bladder.


Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3, 2008 - recovered

looks like the flu has worked its way out of my system. i decided to have one more restful evening so it was only 3k of running today. i'll try to pick it back up a notch tomorrow with a longer run and a swim. i'm sure the rest has been good for the legs and knees. i think i dropped a couple of pounds over the weekend due to my lack of appetite.. that is good news!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2, 2008 - night run

well, it's hard to believe it is dark by 4.45 pm now. this daylight saving stuff really does work. i'm now going to be faced with having to get outside in the morning and at lunch hour to get some sunlight.

anyway, i went out for a rather speedy 4k hilly run this evening. this in addition to the 2k run earlier. 6k overall today is nice, especially considering my illness. i am feeling better tonight as i type this and should be ok for going to work and running & swimming tomorrow.


November 1 & 2, 2008 - flu

not a very good day for me. woke up with flu-like symptoms. went back to sleep until almost noon! decided not to run or swim. i did manage to take a walk over to the pond and then a walk over to the university to watch some varsity volleyball. then back home for an early night. very frustrating. i wanted this to be a good weekend of running and swimming.

sunday not much better. another good sleep in but did not feel up to going over for a swim. i actually slept in til noon, missing a chance to go watch the second half of the volleyball double header.

i did manage to get out for two separate 1k runs over to the pond, where i was greated, as usual, by a team of very enthusiastic duckies. still don't feel up to swimming. hopefully i will feel better tomorrow.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Running & Swimming Monthly & Net K totals

ahh, nothing like looking at stats to make me feel good about myself.. many of my friends over at the Running Room forum are trying to reach what's known as the 1000K challenge, that being, running 1000K in one year..

well, i'm gonna try for one better. i'm gonna shoot for 4000k run and 900k swim! here's where things stand so far...

Running Monthly and Net K Totals

January 126.30 -126.30
February 114.50 - 240.80
March 299.50 - 540.30
April 317.10 - 857.40
May 347.00 - 1204.00
June 352.60 - 1556.60
July 415.40 - 1972.00
August 572.80 - 2566.80
September 325.40 - 2892.20
October 300.90 - 3193.10

Swimming Monthly & Net K totals

Jan 67.350 - 67.35
Feb 101.500 - 168.85
Mar 92.450 - 261.30
Apr 103.900 - 365.20
May 47.000 - 412.20
Jun 47.450 - 459.65
July 42.925 - 502.575
Aug 43.725 - 546.30
Sep 36.350 - 582.65
Oct 54.150 - 651.65

October 31, 2008 - out with a whimper

well, there's no way i could ever live up to last year's Halloween. it was a very special milestone in the history of my life - the legendary Pink outfit that shocked the world, er, at least shocked everyone in the office.. this was their first real look at "Jennifer" .....i wore the same outfit today as a tribute to the day, and was met with general indifference, which is exactly what i wanted!

i went for a little run at lunch and then spent 5 hours sitting at home where i met a grand total of 4 kids who were brave enough to knock on my door, all together very early in the evening... can't believe i passed up my evening swim for that :(

i went out for a second run on the day, bringing the daily count to 6.1k and pushing me to 300.9k on the month, my 4th lowest total on the year..

generally, October sucked for me. i dread stepping on the scale tomorrow for what i think will be a 5 pound weight gain on the month..

it was a month that saw the most disappointing road race (Cape to Cabot) for the one that meant the 2nd most to me all year (Eastern Marathon was the only one i wanted more).

a month to deal with the frustration of being on hormone dosages that are too low to give me the desired feminization affects, yet high enough to hit me with side affects - cramping/dehydration issues, exhaustion, fatigue..

not all was lost.

- Oct 3-4 saw me run 60k within a 24 hour period, only the 5th time in my life doing that.

- Part of that was a 42.2k run on Oct 3 that represented my 33rd overall marathon on the year.

- that was also the day of a bonus "summer weather" day that lead me to run to the beach, a place i love so much.. for my last swim in the ocean on the year.

- the thanksgiving long weekend featured 44.7k run in 2 days, then a mega swim on the monday that was 10.1k non-stop in 224 minutes.

- and then i outdid that swim on Oct 26 by hitting both pool sessions for a total of 11k in 212 minutes.

i am determined to make November a good month. i want PB monthly distances both on the road and in the pool. and i want to drop those 5 pounds that i gained in Oct. i have to go out of 2008 at least 1 pound lighter than i entered.. that's where i'm at now... lol


Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008 - summer weather

history making weather day in st. john's, newfoundland.. 19 degrees (that's 68 USA degrees.. lol). another swim in the pond as well as a nice 5k of running. also did 2.5k swimming in the pool. felt pretty good throughout, although the energy stores lowered towards the end of the swim.

i am now up to 20.6k swimming this week. my PB is 32.15, so i have an outside shot at breaking that if i can get over for a couple of long swims.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 28 & 29, 2008 - two good days!

geeze, now i am getting sluggish with these updates... lol

Oct 28 was excellent. i had a very strong 73 minute swim, covering 3.5k. also ran 6k.

Oct 29 was equally as good. a 38 minute swim covering 2.1k, including some sprints.. then 10k of gentle running.. very energetic throughout the activities..

yesterday also featured me giving an interview to a Kinesiology student who was working on a paper regarding transsexualism in athletics (gee, i still can't believe people see me as an "athlete") it was a good discussion. we spoke about the issues transsexuals face as to athletic organizers in terms of if/when/how transsexuals should be allowed to compete for their new sex. the big gap here is that there's no place for those "in transition" ...sure, it's great that i will be able to run marathons in 2011 as a female, but what about 2009? is it fair for me to be competing as a male?

we also talked about the concept of "duty to accomodate" and the needs for 3rd change room options.

amazing day here in newfoundland. 17 degrees at lunch hour, prompting me to run home and get my bikini out for a swim in the chilly pond!


Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008 - exhausted swim

well, i shoulda known it would be a sluggish swim just 24 hours after completing 11k of swimming. it was a long and emotional day for me, which usually means energy levels are low... but i was determined to follow up with another run and swim, so i jogged over to the pool and got in for a swim, and could barely move from the get go. it was by far the slowest swim i have ever had, and i finally gave up after just 1.5k, which took 42 minutes.

oh well, maybe tomorrow.. lol


Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008 - Pool-mania Marathon!

well, the day started out similar to yesterday - sleeping in late! once again, i managed to get myself over to the pond to visit my little friends, then head over to the pool. once again, the run over was very sluggish, but once i got into the pool, i actually started to feel normal energy levels.. i didn't really know how much of a swim i was going to have. i figured it would be the usual 2-3k and the exhaustion... but things went well and i decided to carry on, and on... and on...

i hit the 4k mark and felt great and decided to keep going.. incredibly, i hit 5k and was ahead of my usual schedule for that distance, and decided i might as well finish up the entire 2 hour session. i ended up at 6.25k in 119 minutes, my 6th best two hour swim ever and best since starting HRT.

but that wasn't enough, i ran home... then after a break to watch some NFL, i was back out there repeating the path.. a run to see the duckies, a run to the pool, and back in for more. i managed to sneak in 3 minutes early, so i had 93 minutes to work on a daily PB. the swim got off to a good start. i was noticably winded from the earlier swim, but carried on at a good pace. by 3k, i was ahead of pace but finally started to slow. but after getting to 3.75k and seeing that i had 20 minutes left, i picked it back up and managed to get that 11k on the day in there right in time before the buzzer. i was totally exhausted but i had completed 4.75k in 93 minutes.. after what i did earlier in the day.

overall, i hit 10k in 3.12, typing my first every attempt at this distance (i'm not convinced the distance at the other pool is the same as it always seems to take longer to swim laps over there).

then i hit a PB with my first ever 11k day swim.. time totalling 3hr 32 min.

but that's not all, my run back home actually went well. and after another refueling and football session, i decided it was time for a night run, and i went back over to the pond (no duckies this time), and back. totalling 15.2k of running.

i actually felt sad that i didn't spend much time outside today. we had a fairly nice day here.. got up to 12 degrees in the afternoon and stayed sunny all day. as much as i love my swimming in the pool, i really miss being able to swim at the ponds and beaches. oh well, this is still a rest and recovery period, if you can believe it. the calf muscles are still sore and seem to be often at risk of further cramping.. and the knees still aren't 100%. maybe by next weekend, i'll be ready for a fall run up to one of the beaches..

oh well, overall, a pretty good week for me. let's hope the one ahead is a good one too!


October 25, 2008 - lovely fall afternoon

well, i can't think of a better afternoon. i had a nice sleep in today and finally got myself out the door and ran over to the pond to visit with the duckies. it seems the duckies are the only thing that can cheer me up these days. you can always count on them to be cheerful and enthusiastic as long as you have bread crumbs! then i struggled to finish the run over to the pool, where i had a rather sluggish swim and an even more sluggish run home.

but after some lunch and an hour or two of rest, i went back out for another run, this time, all the way down to Quidi Vidi lake, where i got to see even more duckies, about 300 of them! and yes, i made sure all 300 of them got at least one piece of bread.. lol then i ran up Signal Hill, and did so quite well, i might add. better than last week as part of the Cape to Cabot race. then i took the time to enjoy the view from a top the hill, something i was too upset to do last week. such a spectacular view from up there. nothing else like it in the world.

then i made the slow run home, stopping at Kent's Pond to see those duckies again.. essentially finishing my lovely afternoon off where it started.. i found myself actually crying to see the sun setting and ending my wonderful afternoon..

anyway, it was home and inside for the night, where i enjoyed an evening of NCAA football on tv, a real girly thing to do.. lol


Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 24, 2008 - Black Ice

ok, no ice out on the roads yet (although there was a hint of snow the other day here!)

i'm of course referring to Black Ice, the latest CD release by Rock legends AC/DC, their first album of new material since 2000. i had to take a trip over to the mall to get my glasses fixed, so i popped into the record store and grabbed the CD as well. hopefully listening to this new disk will fire me up and give me some much-needed energy.. lol

it was a very sluggish 8k run and 2k swim this afternoon. energy levels not very high today. i'm still just 5 days removed from a very difficult day, the Cape to Cabot race, where i did some damage to the calf muscles.

rather than go all out, i'm going to try to reduce the speed of my running, if that's at all possible given that i am already slower.. this was the 2nd day in 3 where i couldn't even complete 3k without stopping for a walk break.. and again, once i got into the pool, things didn't go well.. it was a slow and gentle 2k swim today with lots of breaks.. then it was more running over to the mall, then a run towards home, where i stopped at the pond and walked the rest of the way.

oh well, 8k run and 2k swim is a good little work out for a week day. i'm hoping to get a good sleep tonight and test things with a longer work out tomorrow. not sure if it will be run, swim, or both, but i will intend to do at least 2 hours worth of working out..


Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23, 2008 - better swim

much better day for me. energy levels back to normal (well the new normal, if such a thing really exists). had a nice 47 minute swim and felt strong all the way thru. would have swam longer if i wasn't late getting over to the pool after work.

will likely swim again tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008 - light day

very little energy this afternoon. having skipped my swim the past 2 days, i was determined to get over to the pool today. the run over to the pool was very sluggish. i actually ran 2k then walked the 3rd k. the swim didn't go much better. exhaustion right from the get go. i forced my way thru 20 laps, taking breaks in between almost each one. only 1k swim in total. and a slow 3k walk home.

guess i am going to have to get used to these low energy days and take advantage of the good days when they happen..


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 21, 2008 - OFF Day

well, it's a cold rainy and windy day here. perfect weather to be inside resting.. lol the calf muscles are still sore and the knees are sore too, and i am still dealing with fatigue issues as i adjust to the new meds i am on. so it was no running, no swimming.. 4k of walking, which i do every day. hopefully i can get a good rest tonight.


October 20, 2008 - unplanned sprint!

i wasn't planning on running today, but i got a last-minute call from rogers and literally ran from the office to home and then back to the office to ensure that i was able to let the repair team get my cable back and running, yet not miss a beat with a couple of afternoon meetings.. it was so funny.. i essentially sprinted back to the office and showed up to my meeting with a big bottle of gatorade and a towel.. lol ....for the record, it was 3 of the fastest k i have ever ran on a day after a seriously painful cramp.. lol

i'm still struggling to come to terms with my disappointing result at the 20K race yesterday. i had high hopes of a sub 90 minute run and a top 10 placement, yet finished 116 minutes and 204th. i wanted this one really badly. even more than any marathon. this was Cape Spear and Signal Hill, two of my favourite spots on the world.. it was the only race where i actually did training runs on the actual race course. i am totally shellshocked. this is going to be very tough to accept and get over..

well, the calf muscles are still hurting today. serious cramps usually cause damage that takes up to a week to heal. i even came close to breaking out in cramps again today.. i'm thinking this may have been more of a muscle fatigue issue than a dehydration issue.. lots of unanswered questions that i will have to figure out what has been going on here..


Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 19, 2008 - respectable swim

well, i thought i would salvage some self-respect and self-dignity with a swim, so i walked over to the pool and had a gentle 1.6k in the pool. not much energy left after 28k of running this morning, but having a swim in the pool and a visit to the pond to see the duckies really made up for a miserable morning..


October 19, 2008 - worst race of the year :(

well, my day started out with a 4k warm up downtown to catch the shuttle bus to the start of the 20k race, and i thought things were going to go well. my PB 20K is 85 minutes, but given the difficulty of the course and my limitations from the medications i had been on, i was aiming for a 100 minute run.

well, i got off to a good start keeping the pace that i had set out for the 1st k. the 2nd k was up a nasty hill that slowed me down more than most, but i made up for it by flying down a downhill stretch for the 3rd & 4th k. 5 and 6 were fairly steady and straight.. then the 7th k was another nice steep downhill but around the 8k mark, during another nasty uphill, massive leg cramps started to hit me in both legs. and that was pretty much it for me. i slowed down to a gentle jog.

i crossed the 10k mark at 55 minutes. and at this point, i considered dropping out in order to avoid further risks of cramping, but i decided to carry on at an even slower pace.. i figured that if this really is going to be my last road race for 2-3 years, i might as well finish it, even if i had the worst time of them all.

i kept a slow pace and occasionally tested the legs, but every time i tried to speed up, i could feel more cramps coming on. so i went back down to an even slower pace, and continued to slow down as i got deeper into the race. i did my best to try to keep a positive attitude, but everytime someone yelled out "nice job" or "you're looking good" , i'd just give then a nasty stare.. even yelling out a "no i'm not" back at them on occasion!

as i hit the 18k mark, it was time to finish the race with the climb up signal hill, essentially an uphill climb at a 45 degree angle for 2k! i could see about 50 runners ahead of me who had slowed to a walk and even at my slow jogging pace, i started to pass many of them.. about 3/4 of the way up the hill, cramps hit both of my calves again.. i almost lost my balance but managed to stay standing.. i ended up walking the remaining 200 m to the finish line.

ended up with a time of 1.56.08, placing me a distance 202nd out of 400 runners. first time all year that i didn't even place in the top half of a race, and the worst performance by me in any race since my IT Bands forced me to walk in the last 10k of the 2007 Toronto marathon. i appeared to be fairly well hydrated all weekend, so i can only assume the cramping was due to muscle fatigue and/or the fact that the higher dosage of spironolactone i have been taking was making me more dehydrated than i appeared. it's going to be a trip back to the doctors shortly to discuss plan B for all these meds i am on.

i guess overall, i shouldn't be surprised. there were times this week at work that i could barely muster enough energy to make it up and down the stairs..... it's also been a very difficult couple of weeks for me from an emotional standpoint.. so perhaps that played havoc on my energy levels.

well, i'm thinking this will be the last race i ever run in the male catagory. i am likely to have an orchidectomy surgery later this fall or early in the winter, so i will no longer have my biological maleness.. (yet i won't become a legal female until part 2 of the surgery, which i might not be able to afford for several years).

i've decided to write the Newfoundland & Labrador Athletic Association and the Boston Athletic Association and express my interest in participating in their 2009 running events, but only if they are willing to create a 3rd gender catagory.. it's going to be very interesting to see what these folks have to say about this..

anyway, what won't change will be my continued love of training runs.. i'll definitely be out there every day, even in thick snow during our lovely Newfoundland winters.. it's also going to be a winter where i pick my swimming up to the next level..

well, i'm going over to the pond to feed the duckies some bread crumbs.. maybe they can cheer me up after what generally felt like the worst morning of my life.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008 - back in the groove & strategizing about my futhre

well, it was a day of light running around the city this afternoon to get various things done.. a run over to the pond to visit with my little friends, the duckies.. and then a run over to the Running Room to pick up my race kit for tomorrow's 20K, where i was greeted and congradulated by the race organizers on my infamous 2 marathons in 2 days..

then it was a nice 40 minute swim, without my goggles, which somehow got left at home. so the chlorine really bothered my eyes.. it was still nice to get back in the pool after several days off.

then i ran to a walk in clinic to have my dog bite looked at.. good news is that the wound does not appear to be problematic. it is a little painful but it doesn't seem to hamper my running. (on that note, the bruise on the other leg seems to have healed so i should be fine to give it a good effort tomorrow).

then for added measure, i took a scenic route back home and ran by another pond, and saw more duckies, and swans! 11.5k of running in total, all on a new pair of shoes that i wanted to break in for tomorrow's big day.

....well, rather than completely throw out my racing career for the next 2-3 years, i have decided to try for a long shot. i will be contacting various race committees and athletic associations and asking them to consider allowing me to participate in their events in a 3rd sex catagory.

i'm still going to hold strong that i will not run as a "male" ever again after tomorrow, but if they are willing to put either the female or even an "intrasex," "in transition" or even "other" label on me, then i will happily compete in their events. Boston will be among the folks that i will be contacting. it will be very interesting to see what they all come back with.


Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008 - disasterous day

gee, so rogers cable cuts off my service when they were actually supposed to cut off my neighbour. before calling in to complain, i did a walk around the house to make sure none of the cables had been physically damaged, and i get attacked and bitten by the neighbours dog.

so now i have a nice little gash on my leg, and no cable tv until monday.

and if that wasn't bad enough, i had to call rogers twice to get customer service because the first clerk didn't want to serve me because she wasn't convinced my voice was feminine enough for me to indeed be a Jennifer. she didn't even bother to ask me the password on my account..

ahhh, the joys of being a transwoman.

anyway, back to business. this is supposed to be a running blog, isn't it? 3 gentle k this evening. the leg bruise problem from the past few days seems to have resolved itself and that problem seems to be 100% resolved. so i'm thinking Sunday's run will be a go ahead without any complications.

tomorrow is kit pick up day and will probably feature a light short run and a swim..


Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 16, 2008 - running update

yes i did have a light run today. 3.2k after work to the pond and back. very slow and gentle. the bruised leg is still sore but felt quite a bit better than yesterday. i suspect i will be good to go on sunday.

didn't get a very good sleep last night. felt rather lethargic all day. did manage to get out shopping with a girl friend tonight and grabbed a few new fall outfits.. tons of fun.

coffee with a friend tomorrow night planned too. wow, Jenn is actually socializing.. lol but i have missed my swim 3 days in a row, however. oh well, i suppose the rest isn't a bad thing, then again, i have probably gained another pound or two this week.

oh well, after sunday's race, i am going to try to pick it back up a notch or two with the endurance workouts. i really enjoyed the 3 hr 44 min swim on monday. i want to do some more swims like that this fall.. as well as several more 42.2k training runs.. perhaps 4 days in a row at some point.

ok, i gotta laugh at this one. someone actually set up a Facebook "event" for changing clocks next weekend.. and 187000 people so far have declined the "invite" to such event.. i guess all these folks will be showing up early for work on monday.. lol

i'm thinking i should book an "event" every time i update this site. since i know all you thousands of people reading this will be anxious to decline.. lol

ok, this is just getting silly and has nothing to do with running. i better sign off for the night..


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 16, 2008 - No Boston - retirement, of sorts, instead

well, i have thought this over for quite a while now and i have officially made up my mind to not seek an entry into the 2009 Boston Marathon.

although i technically did not meet their qualification standards, it is quite common for runners who are close to write them and beg their way in.

what makes my situation unique is that i am medically half way between male and female right now. the testosterone blocking medication and estrogen hormones have substantially slowed me down. to ask me to hit male qualifying times is technically unfair.

my July 20/08 marathon run of 3.16.59 was ran while under the influence of the blockers. i can honestly say that this run would have been easily at least 60 seconds better had i not started the meds when i did.

then again, i knew the meds were coming and i had many chances before this to qualify and i couldn't get the job done. the cramping disaster in Mississauga, and the fatigue issue at the Eastern were two more close calls. some things are just not meant to be.

bottom line, this isn't about whether i DESERVE to be there. this should be about whether or not i WANT to be there.. and quite frankly, as much as i want to run every race, especially this one. i want to run them as a female.. and unfortunately, boston and all other marathons won't recognize me as a female until 2 YEARS AFTER i have had my surgery.. this totally seems unfair and unreasonable, but if that's the standard, then i have no other choice but to accept it.

plus, the way i see it, i have nothing further to accomplish in running as a male. i do not want to be recognized or remembered as a male. although running was never supposed to be about competition, i can't help it. i am a very competitive person. and if i can't compete at my best, then i won't compete. and if i can't compete as a female, then i won't compete. this is what i want.

with that i mind, i have decided not to run any more marathons until two years to the day after my testicles have been removed from my body. it's going to be awefully tough to be sitting at home on apr 20/09 watching Boston on tv (heck, i might not even watch) but deep down, i know it's what i want.

i want my first Boston to be because i qualified as a female and have been accepted and recognized as such. i never got to experience the thrill of crossing that finish and seeing a qualifying time, and this is something i really want. begging my way in and getting accepted via letter is not the climactic qualification experience i want.

and sneaking in the back door and running a slow 2009 Boston would not give me any satisfaction. my back to back marathons in sept was supposed to be a test to determine whether or not i could enjoy running just for the sake of running and to see how i felt about posting poor results as a male, and sure, there was an amazing sense of accomplishment to complete 2 marathons in 2 countries in 2 days, but not enough to keep me going back for more. seeing "Jennifer McCreath male" written beside my results are upsetting enough. to see slower times beside that only makes it worse.

so i am both sad and happy to announce that i have run my last marathon as a male. this will more than likely mean that i won't run another marathon until 2011. it's going to be tough over the next few years to not compete in marathons, but i know deep down that this is what i want.

this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. i will now focus on training and getting myself into even better shape, so that my 2011 marathon season will go well enough to get my qualified as a female for the 2012 Boston marathon.


October 14 & 15, 2008 - injury recovery

well, i have a rather bizarre injury to report. as i attempted to get out of the pool on monday, i didn't use the pool ladder. instead, i lifted myself up onto the edge from the water and pushed myself right out of the pool, as i normally do. somehow, all of my body weight was pressing against my left leg, which was in an awkward position. as i was so tired, i couldn't lift my body right out of the water immediately, so my entire body weight was pressured on my leg for an extended amount of time. probably no more than 5 seconds, but enough to cause what appears to be internal bruising. i did not run monday or tuesday, and gave it a try today for 2k but stopped due to pain. i'm now thinking i won't do any running until sunday morning.

i had planned to swim after work today but felt too exhausted to do so. it's been a very emotionally stressful week. the last visit with the family doc did not go well. she is not willing to increase my hormone dosage levels due to what i feel was bad advice given to her by some doctors in BC. the BC folks use a protocol that differs from most others, and this is definitely a conern. i have spent most of the day contacting experts in Toronto in an attempt to get them to intervene and give my doctor advice that is consistent with best-practice. bottom line, i am not getting the hormones i need at this point and my transition is essentially on hold now. very frustrating given that i thought i had overcome all hormone concerns.


Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008 - Swim-a-thon

well, as promised, it was a trip over to the pool for the entire day session! 3 hours and 44 minutes of practically non stop swimming (except for a few bathroom breaks).

404 twenty-five metre laps, totalling 10.1k. i edged out my 10k PB by 1 minute, then added in a few more laps for good measure. technically, i covered the distance in a much slower swim time than my Sept 1 swim. then again, i took a 30 minute break during half time for that one, so technically, today's swim was faster overall.

there was absolutely no taper for this. in fact, i came into this fairly tired, having run 19k on sunday and 25.7k on saturday. not to mention swims of 4 and 2.5k respectively.

so i started out fairly slow and tried to keep a pace of 30 second laps. 31 minutes into the swim, i had to go for bathroom break #1. by 4k, i was already winded, but managed to keep up the pace. i had 2 litres of gatorade and 2 power gels with me at pool side to revitalize myself.

by 7k, i had my second wind and realized i was going to do it. i essentially cruised in right up to the end, sneaking in just a few minutes before the time limit. 11k was my ultimate goal, but i knew 10k was more realistic, so 10.1k was an extreme success.

i finished with energy to spare and without and sore muscles. even my arms felt good. i am convinced that i could have gone on for a while further.. oh well, i'm going to have to go over one of these days when they have a 5 hr 30 minute swim session. that will be a 15k attempt.

no run today.. i had a car rental so i did some errands after the swim, including some laundry, a coffee with a cute friend, and a trip to the ocean to see the waves, and the pond to see the duckies! typical cold newfoundland fall day, but a very productive and emotionally possitive day..

arms are incredibly not sore. i'm thinking there won't have to be any days off. with a 20k race this sunday, i will be doing more swimming and less running over the days leading up to it.

amazing to think i ran 44.7k this weekend and already here on monday night, the legs feel completely fine! there's a little nagging knee pain that has been bothering me since August, but nothing that should prevent me from running the best 20k of my life.

the only wild card will be more hormones. i revisit the doc tomorrow and will hope to go even higher in dosage.. although the estrogen has been sapping my strength and endurance, 20k is short enough that it shouldn't be much of an issue. i'm aiming to run a sub 90 minute race on what is the toughest 20k hilly course in canada. would really love to crack the top 3 but i think that may be a bit ambitious as there will be many elite stars in the field of 400.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 11 & 12, 2008 - big swim and run combo

what a good saturday. started by sleeping in til 11 am. a much needed long sleep after a week of stayingh up late a few times. dragged myself over to the pool for a nice 2k swim, then spent the afternoon running - 25.7k in total. also took time to visit both left and kent pond and enjoy the fall colours. the duckies were still at the pond and were glad to see me as usual.

Saturday night featured some relaxing inside watching some US college football. that stuff is so exciting to watch and the fans really get into it with school spirit.

Sunday started off with another sleep in and an excellent 4k swim, which i completed in 74 minutes, about 10 minutes faster than usual for that distance. sandwiched around a couple of 3k runs.

now i am settling in to watch some NFL football, then likely head back out for more running.

Monday is going to feature a short run and a mega endurance swim. possibly the longest swim of my entire life. my goal is to swim the entire 3:45:00 swim session and cover 11k. should be fun!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 10, 2008 - back in the pool

seems like i am never at the pool anymore, but i've now swam 3 times in 6 days, so i'm starting to get the numbers back. 55 minutes for 2.5k today. a pretty good pace. also ran 5k to and from the pool, so overall, a nice little work out. it wore me out though.. lol part of that could be from emotional stress from yet another upsetting situation at work. it's really amazing how emotional state of mind can affect one's level of energy and affectiveness while running or swimming.

well, no official races this weekend. no trips, no thanksgiving. nothing. just me and some long training runs and swims planned.. let's see if i can drop some of this weight i have gained over the past 6 weeks.. 10 pounds to be exact! not good!


Friday, October 10, 2008

October 9, 2008 - light run

nice little 3.6k run after work today. a work colleague from out of town wanted to join me for a run so we had a nice light jog down the street and around the pond. the knees are still a little sore. but this is to be expected. the past two weekends have featured an extremely high amount of k.

my weight continues to rise. this is definitely not good. up to the high 170s now. and yikes, i have only had 4 trips to the pool in the past 20 days. this is going to change this weekend though.. not sure about the running, but there's definitely going to be some long and hard swims.

i am also determined to finish putting that stationary bike together.. i'd like to drop 2- 3 pounds between now and oct 19.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 7 & 8, 2008 - slacking off??

gee, i haven't been posting on here much this week.

the 7th was another day off running but a good 47 minute swim where i covered 2.25k. swimming seems to wear me out much more than running these days. not sure if it's more of an overall body effort, or perhaps weaker muscles that aren't being kept active at a pace to compensate for muscle loss due to hormones.

a couple of short 2k runs today. 3 to be exact as i ran back and forth from a couple of appointments.. funny that these don't really feel like runs and it sort of feels like a day off. but 6k is considered a good work out for most.

short run and swims on slate for tomorrow. still in recovery mode. felt quite tired today and actually took an afternoon nap after work before heading out to my evening appt, which was an all candidates debate for the canadian federal election. fun to see the local candidates in action and get a taste for who they are and what they stand for.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Octoer 6, 2008 - day off

gee, no running, no swimming, and even no blog post! it really was a day off!

i did go for a nice long walk though and stalked up on groceries...

that weekend totally wore me out. the day of rest was much needed.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

October 5, 2008 - so much for a light sunday!

yah, if you actually believed it would be light.. lol

the day started with me waking up barely on time to get my butt down town for the cibc run. i had a 4.5k "warm up" run to get there. i ran into 3 other runners who were out for a stroll. they all recognized me and said hello. it's amazing how word has spread around the city about my double marathon last week in Akron and Toronto. i also had someone at the hockey game last night comment on it.

anyway, the CIBC run for the cure started with some pregame festivities. a lady told her story about overcoming breast cancer, and then a group of stretchers warmed people up to AC/DC's 1990 smash hit, Thunderstruck! then our premier welcomed everyone and wished us all the best.

although it was not a "race", i treated it as such and lined up at the front of the pack, where i ran into 2 familiar faces from our running community. two of our best mid-distance runners in the province in fact, including the best female runner. the three of us flew down the road and chatted away, mostly about my marathons.. after 2.5k, a hill slowed me down and they went on ahead. (i was surprised i could even keep up with them for that long!) by 4k, two others had passed me, but i got a second wind and finished strong.. crossing unofficially at 19.55, the 2nd fasted 5k i have ever run in my life! not bad for an exhausted transwoman who ran 98k in the past 60 hours..

i am just now starting to realize just how fit i have become. all those long runs in august, and the double marathon last weekend, and the 98k this weekend, and i can still go out there with relatively fresh legs and run an elite 5k time.

after i crossed the finish line, i grabbed some water and watched as 3000 others sauntered in one by one. this was easily the most-attended sporting event in newfoundland this year, even more people than our infamous Tely 10 race.

after a cool down, i jogged home, and then after a little food and some football, ran over to the pool for a late afternoon swim. (it was 12 days since my last swim so i was really anxious to get over there). i also didn't want to spend the rest of the day in the house.. i've really come to enjoy the outdoors and the sunlight. i don't know what i am gonna do come winter here.

the swim did not go very well. 1.6k and i was on the verge of collapsing.. so i decided to pack it in. i grabbed a coffee and donuts to get some sugar in my system and had a nice slow walk home, where i watched some more football.

so, not a bad little weekend of running 19k on thursday, 44.1k friday, 30k saturday, and 22.5k sunday.. the week ahead will likely be much ligher on the running but heavier on the swiming.

there is a very small chance that i will travel somewhere to run another official marathon for thanksgiving, (depending on air fares) so i want to try to get my legs rested, just in case. if i don't go away this weekend, i might try for a Quadzilla similated training weekend - 4 marathon runs in 4 days, in which all runs are done under simulated marathon conditions - i.e. all run early in the morning and all done without any significant breaks during each run.

the week past was also a time for further reflection on my life. the trip away last weekend gave me a chance to regroup my thoughts and try to come to a decision on some issues that have been outstanding for a while.. trying to find happiness has been a challenge lately.. my life has been in chaos for a while with several uncertainties regarding my transition and my employment. my socail life has essentially been non existant too. so i am going to be trying some new things to see if i can get all of these matters resolved.. uncertaintly and turbulance seems to be the norm for me, and that is not good. running seems to be the one constant i can always fall back on to keep my sanity.. i hope the month ahead is a good one..


October 4, 2008 - running til exhaustion.. lol

well, that was a tough 44.1k yesterday. lots of hills. i had a good night's sleep and woke up and had a little breakfast and felt like going for a morning run to see how much i could add to my total within a 24 hour window. after 10k, i essentially ran out of steam and had to stop. there's only so much a body can do with 8 hours to recover. i ended up logging a total of 60k within the 24 hour period, so nowhere near my personal best of 85k, but it was a good overall run and i know i have dropped a few pounds through these efforts (the real reason for doing this).

after a nap, i went down to the running room and registered for the CIBC run for the cure 5k. then i ran down town and watched an AHL hockey game, an exhibitiong game between Hamilton and Manitoba. funny that they would come all the way to Nfld to play. then i ran home. so it was 30k on the day.

my legs are sore and my energy stores have been drained so it is going to be a light sunday. i'm still gonna run down to the lake and do the CIBC 5k and then run home, but that will totally be it. the afternoon will feature me watching NFL on tv and resting.. lol


Friday, October 3, 2008

October 3, 2008 - 24 hour run in progress!

the concept of the 24 hour run fascinates me. it's a race where nobody will officially DNF (did not finish) you can run as far or as short as you like. whoever runs the most in 24 hours wins!

at 12.43 pm today, i officially started the clock ticking on a trial. the goal is 100K. with a really nice weather report this afternoon, i decided to take the afternoon off work and take a run up to the pond and beach. 18 degrees is almost unheard of for Newfoundland in october. 3.7k up the hilly allandale road and into the park was a challenge. the pond was cool but warm enough for a short swim.

then it was a long run to Topsail Beach, my 12th visit there this summer! rather than carry a backpack, i just had my purse with me, and i made a few pit stops to refuel a few times. the beach was lovely and i got in for a very rare October swim in the ocean.

the sun was about to head down, so i started to make the long run back. i felt pretty good all the way through. i was quite fatigued by thje 42k mark so i decided to head home and call it a night at 44.1k. with a good night's rest, i am hopeful to get up tomorrow morning and log the remaining 55.9k before 12.43pm. it's gonna be tough though as the knees and calf muscles are quite sore. it will have to be a very slow and gentle pace. the 44.1k today took up over 5 hours of running..

overall, a great day!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008 - so much for registration!

well, i went for my first decent run since my big double marathon weekend. 19k in total today, most of which came after work. i ran all over the city. met a friend for coffee, then over to the registration for sunday's 10k race (only to find the place closed up! what's up with that?). then over to the mall and then home. still haven't been over to the pool all week. might get over there tomorrow.

thinking about a 100K day this weekend, perhaps saturday. gotta start losing more weight and get into even better shape. as great as i have taken things, i'm not convinced that it has to end. i want to take another crack at a sub 3 hour marathon, even if i have to train my butt off all winter..

also thinking about a triple header in 2009. as most marathons are run sat and sun, it would require a marathon on a rare monday.. boston is run on monday, so that could be an option (it also may be my ticket to getting in without qualifying.) i am going to write them and explain my interest in running 3 marathons in 3 days in 3 states and would like their race to be the 3rd (i can run st louis on the sunday and either Charlottesville Virginia or Jackson Tennessee on the saturday). could be quite the trip if it does in deed happen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 1, 2008 - sluggish day

well, i'm up another 4 pounds this month, but still -3 overall on the year, so that's good news. these hormones are supposed to lead to "10-20 pounds of weight gain" so i am really going to have to watch out for that. the hunger and thirst continues to be a problem and the feelings of lethargy continue as well.

i had a sluggish 4k run this afternoon and gave up, even though i originally wanted to run more. i think i am still recovering from the lack of sleep from that near allnight flight. oh well, i have a 10k run planned tomorrow so i will plan to get to bed early tonight.

word is starting to spread around the city about my 2 marathons in 2 days, even though the local news paper elected not to cover the story. it's nice to be sitting at the pond feeding the ducks and getting congratulatory messages from strangers running by.

i discovered an interesting organization, the folks who are known to do insane and unique amouts of running. my 2 runs in 2 days in 2 countries alone was enough to reach their level 4 criteria. i will plan to join their organization in the near future in hopes of making some new friends and learning some new tips about endurance running.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 30, 2008 - back to reality

well, that weekend trip was tons of fun. the runs were great and i accomplished what i needed most: find a way to enjoy running again, find a way to feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness, have a visit with family, and take a break to clear my mind and refocus my attention on some major prioritizing and decisions for my life ahead over the next few months.

i only had 2 hours of sleep last night, so i was not really in any condition to run or swim. i ran 1k to get myself to work on time for an early meeting and the legs felt fine.

i am dreading the official Oct 1 weight in tomorrow morning. i know i have gained at least 5 pounds this month, even though i ran 4 marathons (3 official ones) in the past 15 days.

October will feature the unique 20k run known as Cape to Cabot , a run that has captured quite a bit of attention in eastern Canada, and an event that will actually be filmed by CTV for a documentary. i'd love to place in the top 3 and get myself some tv coverage, but i'm thinking a top ten score would be more realistic. i'd like to run this very challenging course in under 90 minutes, which based on last year's stats, would get me in the top 10.

i'm also going to focus more on nutrition this month as well as long distance running and swimming. i need to get more of this weight off that i have gained due to hormones.

should be an interesting month ahead.


September 29, 2008 - 2 days, 2 countries, 2 marathons!

Well, I really felt that I needed a break from the hard challenging reality of my turbulent life. This year has been the toughest by far and I have found myself feeling upset and frustrated on a regular basis. Running was the only escape I really had all year, but over the summer, I found even running was leading me into further feelings of frustration as I found my strength, speed, and endurance declining as I got further into the hormone treatments. After a disappointing run on Sept 14 at the Newfoundland Marathon, I considered quitting the sport until after my transition to female was complete, but part of me did not want to go out a negative note.

So I decided to refocus on a tough but achievable goal: 2 marathons in 2 days in 2 countries. Time was the one thing I couldn’t control, but I knew that I had built up incredible fitness and was able to handle consecutive long runs.

It was also going to be a chance to visit family back home who I hadn’t seen in a few months. As my transition progresses, it is critical for the people closest to me to see me on a regular basis so they can get used to seeing the changes.

Thursday night found me frantically organizing and packing things as this was literally a last-minute trip. I finally got to bed at 1 am and managed to get 3 hours of sleep before having to get up to go to the airport. The flight to Toronto was smooth and I picked up a rental car and drive down to the Toronto expo to get my kit. This was my 6th trip back to Toronto, my home for 24 years, since moving to Nfld in June 2007. It feels really strange to be a tourist in what I considered to be my home town.

Anyway, back into the car and into the mad Toronto traffic and down the highway for the 6 hour drive to Ohio. The drive was smooth and I arrived at the Akron expo at 7 pm. (it felt really strange picking up 2 separate race kits in one day!). Finally found my hotel and settled in for a well deserved sleep.

I woke up at 4 am, as I usually do on marathon days, and tried to get myself fired up for the run. This was going to be the first time I ran an official marathon where I was not going to go all out. I knew that I wanted to run 2 marathons in 2 days and post the best possible times for both runs, so it really had to be a balancing act.

I was still feeling the affects of the long travel day before and I felt very tired and sluggish before the run even started. Just 7 days removed from a challenging 42k run to the beach with a 17 pound backpack, my knees were still in rough shape.

But I wanted to see for real what I really had in the tank. Part of me really hoped that this would be the greatest day in my running life and that I would somehow find the strength, speed, and energy to run a 3.15 and get that elusive BQ. So I started out at 3.15 pace just to see how I would feel.

After 3k, I realized that there was no chance I could keep that pace up, so I slowed down to about a 3.35 pace and maintained it for the first half. The sun came out and the heat started to get to me. I felt exhausted throughout the run this far but managed to keep a pace that I felt I could handle for the duration of the day, and still not overexert the knees so that I would be able to go again tomorrow.

At the 19k mark, I started feeling some dizzy spells, something that happens on occasion due to the hormones.. And that slowed me down to a near walk for a few minutes. But I got over it and managed to soldier on. I crossed the half way mark at 1.49.00; the worst first half marathon I had run all year. But I had this smile on my face, as I knew deep down, it really didn’t matter. I knew that I was in rough shape and that I would have to slow it down further in the second half, but I also knew that I had what it took to finish.

As I hit the 30k mark, I began to remember the run 2 weeks ago and how I totally hit the wall and really had to struggle thru the last quarter. So I slowed things down a little more and allowed the 3.40 pace bunny group to overtake me (there were about 50 of them!)

By the time I hit 35k, I settled into a comfortable pace and found myself in cruise control. I knew that I was going to finish the run and I knew I would be way ahead of 4 hours. (I honestly thought that I would have to run these at about 4.15 a piece in order to finish them both, so breaking 4 hours became a really nice bonus).

The finish was actually into a baseball stadium full of fans, so I thought that was quite exciting. As I hit 40k, I realized that I was on pace to break 3.50, and according to my watch, I did! These folks used a different type of chip system and I am not convinced that it worked. I crossed with a gun time of 3.50.08, and I was a good 12-15 seconds behind the start when the gun went off, so I quite certain that I had broken it. My watch showed 3.49.56. But the official chip time ended up being 3.50.05. Oh well, I suppose it really doesn’t matter.

I felt exhausted and sore for about 2 minutes, but after a brief rest at the finish line, I started walking towards the food tent, and right there I knew that I would definitely be able to go tomorrow (my biggest fear was that I would somehow get myself too hurt and not be able to recover for the next one).

My approximate quarter splits minute times were as follows: 51, 58, 57, 64. Overall, I was very pleased with my day. To break 4 hours on a day after an excruciating travel day, and after 2 weeks of the worst possible marathon prep, and to finish with the feeling that I would be able to recover, was a great feeling. Also worthy of note, this was only the second marathon of the year that I was able to complete it without needing a bathroom break. This was also the most consistent race of the year, having run a back half only 12 minutes slower than the front.

Akron was an interesting place to run. The course was fairly flat with a couple of small hills towards the end. Part of the course was run on a trail thru a park, which was very nice.

The expo was great, and the kit was awesome. Really nice race shirt, and a free pair of shoes to all finishers! And the medal was really nice too.

Anyway, I wasn’t done for the day. I actually ran back to my car and quickly changed in the parking lot and proceeded to drive back to Canada. I arrived in the Toronto area around 7 pm and munched down a pizza and then crashed almost right away in a hotel in Mississauga.

I had a much better sleep than in Akron and woke up as usual around 4 am. I munched down a little breakfast and got myself downtown.

One of the real challenges during the 19 hour intermission was to try to refuel, and rehydrate. It was also not fun being stuck in a car for 6 hours right after a run. It would have been nice to walk around more and stretch and stay loose. Oh well, I had a little warm up jog down town and got myself into the chute for the start in Toronto. I was physically and emotionally exhausted but actually felt better than I did in Akron. The left knee was noticeable more sore than yesterday though.

3.50 was a nice time to start with and I knew that it would be considered a great feat if I could better that time on day two, so I immediately went into the run with that being my #1 goal. But as always, part of me wanted to test myself to see if there was any chance that I could make this the greatest run of my life. So I ran the first k at 3.15 pace just to see how it would feel, and it felt awful.. Lol I slowed down to 3.40 pace and refocused on trying to run a 3.49.

At 5k, I had to pull a Paula Radcliffe and found a nice little hiding spot and started to do my business. Then another runner had the same idea and joined me behind the same pole.. Lol that was quite interesting..

Anyway, that little break was just what I needed and after a very sluggish start, was able to pick the pace up again. From 5k - 10k, I ran consistently about 500m behind the 3.30 pace team, with the goal of keeping them in site. Amazingly, I started feeling stronger as the race went on. I ran a very consistent race from 10-21k and continued to keep the 3.30 pacers in site.

I crossed the half way mark at 1.47, 2 minutes faster than yesterday. But the big difference was that I felt great! I immediately thought about how great it would be to run a negative split, or an even split. So I carried on at exactly the same pace and continued to do well.

As many other runners faded, I carried on. By 28k, I was still moving nicely along at about a 3.34 pace. Then my stomach and bowels were starting to grumble and I realized I needed to find a porta pottie! There was one at the 30k mark, so off I went for another bathroom break, this one lasting a total of 3 minutes. It was frustrating, but it was necessary, and when I got back out on the road, I was able to shake it off and carry on as if nothing had happened.

I crossed the 31.5k mark and realized that without the bathroom break, the third quarter only took 1.5 minutes longer than the first and second half did (I ran almost perfect equal splits in the first half).

As I hit the 34k mark I was consistently flying past most other runners who had slowed down. At one point, a gentleman recognized me from last year’s Toronto marathon and we chatted a bit. one of the camera guys was out there on the course so we made a funny pose. It’s always nice when others recognize me and wish me luck. He seemed really blown away when I told him I had run Akron the previous day.

Anyway, on I went. I was really feeling good. I was starting to realize that I had a chance to break 3.40, which would have been awesome. To run 10 minutes faster a day after a marathon would have really been huge for me. Heck, back at 5k, I was convinced that I would need 5 hours to finish today!

I kept playing it safe assuming that the wall was going to hit. I could hardly believe that after 1.75 marathons, I was still feeling better than I had all weekend. The wall never really came, although I did slow down a little bit as I hit the 39k mark. It was at this point when I realized that I was probably not going to break 3.40, so I just focused on staying injury free and cruising along..

As I hit 40.5k, the 3.40 pace team over took me.. And interestingly enough, this really aggravated me! Motivation comes from strange things, and this was enough to give me a second wind, and I fired it up and picked up the pace drastically and caught back up to them and over took them. I really shouldn’t have cared about what other runners were doing, but I guess part of me felt really embarrassed that to this point in my life, I have never been able to run a marathon with even splits, and here these folks were looking great, running very casual as if they were just starting.

As I hit 41.5k, I realized 3.40 was not going to happen, but I wanted to at least finish ahead of the pace team.. Lol and I did! Overall, I scored a 3.42.26, almost 8 minutes faster than Akron.

my quarter splits were as follows: 53.5, 53.5, 58 (incl 3 min break), 58. a very consistent race.

For the second day in a row, I crossed the finish line with a big smile and with a huge feeling and sense of accomplishment. 2 countries, 2 days, 2 marathons. I did it, and with a much better overall time than I had thought.

As I walked back to my car, I couldn’t help but ask myself whether or not I thought I could run a third one the next day, and I concluded that yes, I probably could. The knees were sore as hell, but no worse than they were in august when I did 10 training marathons in 17 days.

I went back to my hotel and ordered another pizza and kicked back and watched some of the football game before heading out to visit family. The next two days featured some great visits with family and with my Toronto-based psychologist.

I usually don’t care too much about finishers medals, but these two seemed extra special to me. This weekend was about so much more than running. It was about rediscovering my love of the sport, and rediscovering my ability to find short-term happiness in a life that has generally been very miserable and challenging as of late. It was about revisiting and rediscovering the things that matter most in life. It was also a much needed self-lesson in patience and self-discipline. It really helped me to learn to appreciate the positive things in life, rather than dwell on the negatives.

So maybe I will never be able to better my PB of 3.16.59, and maybe I will never get to Boston as long as I am a biological male, but I am able to let that go and focus on other attainable goals that are equally, if not even more, impressive.

Although part of me still doesn’t really want to run ever again as a male, part of me wants to carry on and pick up where I left off with other goals: running the best possible marathon with even splits seems to be a new goal that came out of this. After all running as given me, I’d love to get out there and be a pacer one of these days and help others achieve their goals.

And of course, part of me is already thinking about bettering this result next year, either by running the Tahoe Triple, or redoing the Akron/Toronto double in better and more consistent times.

Well, Monday was a rest day and today only saw me running 1k to get to work on time for a meeting. My flight got in at 4 am so I have felt even more out of it than I did all weekend, but the legs and knees have recovered substantially and I suspect I will be back out there tomorrow doing some sort of long run and/or swim.

Amazingly enough, I managed to gain another 3 pounds over the weekend! Guess I didn’t really need that second pizza.. Lol

Well, that’s 12 official marathons in the books, 62 overall including training runs, but these 2 were probably the most 2 enjoyable ones, and that’s what I will remember most.

Until next time!