Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Summary

i posted this on Running Room's web forum and figured it was worthy of posting here:

As some of you know, i entered the month with the insanely ambitious goal of running 42.2k each and every day. well, things didn't turn out quite so good, but i still managed to cover tons of road through this month. i did manage to complete 42.2k on 11 separate occasions:

Aug 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, and 22

as well as 21.1 k on Aug 4 and 19.

overall, i logged 572.80k, shattering my previous monthly total by more than 45%.

although i think i came close to having a heart attack a few times, and although there were many times i was convinced that i had done serious damage to my knees, overall, i think i escaped this month with no serious injuries.. i walk out of this month with what i hope is better strength, speed, endurance, and muscle tone, despite the drawbacks of taking an estrogen pill every morning, which lead to increased fatigue, exhaustion, nausea, headaches, and poor metabolism.

this month was a confidence builder that proves i potentially do have what it takes to run a marathon every day!

although i ran out of gas and slowed things down in the 2nd half of the month, the 10 marathons in 17 days, including 4 in a row at one point, are things i will never forget. sure they are just insignificant training runs that weren't witnessed by anyone, and won't appear in any official record book, but when i limped home that late night on the 17th, i don't think i have ever felt so proud of myself in all of my life..

next ahead will be my 10th career officially sanctioned marathon, the Newfoundland Provincial Championship on Sept 14, a race that i hope to set yet another personal best, which i also hope will be good enough to win the race!

don't ever be afraid to set your sites high. even if you don't get there, you'll still probably hit some monumental achievements in the process!


August 31, 2008 - OFF Day

well, after 15k yesterday with the backpack, i decided not to run today. instead it was 8k of walking and a nice but cloudy 8 hours at the beach. could be the last chance to take in a pseudo-summer day at the beach here. the weather will become very november-like very soon. much sooner than november, that's for sure.

wow, this estrogen is starting to work. i found myself balling my eyes out about 10 times today.. lol which often caused me to break out with a smile.. good to know i am human after all.. but a very emotional day. only 5 trips to Topsail Beach this summer, which i believe mirrored last summer. i think it's one of the most amazing places to spend a summer day. the salt water of Conception Bay is so fresh and pure, and warm enough to swim in. and there is a lovely mountain in the background of the pebbled beach. i'd spend every nice day up there if i could.

well, quite the month. 11 full marathons, plus 2 half marathons, and a grand total of 572.80k. no where near my insanely ambitious goal of 1309, but still by far the best running month i have ever had. bringing my annual total to year 2566.80k

i also managed to get over for 15 swims at the pool, even though i logged over 60 hours of running.

despite dropping back off the 4 pounds i gained in july, i think i have gained them back again, and more. i suspect a 171 weigh in tomorrow, which technically brings me back up 1 more. but some of that is muscle weight. my legs are far more toned than they were last month. they look like professional athletic legs now.. amazing!

well, i set up this website specifically for August, but i think i will keep it going.. always fun to share my thoughts with the world, at least those of you out there who actually care about what i have to say.. lol

so keep checking back and i will continue to write about running, swimming, and how my transition seems to be affecting it..


Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 30, 2008 - Another test

after covering just 8.6k in the past three days, i decided to give the knees a little test today. 15k while carrying a backpack that weighed 19 pounds. i ran at a gentle pace of10 km/h (90 minutes in total running). generally felt good. the best run i have had since a week ago friday when i ran out to my doctors and back. the knee felt mildly tender towards the end so i decided not to run any further (i had intended to run 20k in total - from home to the beach and back).

the beach was nice, although it was a very cloudy day. had a couple of brief swims in the chilly salty ocean water.. not sure how many more chances i will get for swims there. the weather will start to cool off in a hurry here..

monday will represent my 200th day using the swimming pool facilities since taking up swimming in late september last year. i've managed to get over to the pool on 65% of the days. not bad at all.. i'll have to do the math and add up my swimming k one of these days.. lol

cloudy day with sunny periods in the forecast for tomorrow. i can't resist, it's gonna be another beach day. might be the last trip up there when i can actually wear my bikini without freezing by butt off.. lol


Friday, August 29, 2008

August 29, 2008 - speed work

gee, this estrogen is starting to kick in. very moody today. mostly sad emotions.. lots of crying today.. also felt totally exhausted for the entire day, but that didn't stop me from getting over to the pool for a slow 3k swim and then a rather fast 3.6k run. little speed work there running down to the pond after dinner, and had a quick dip in the pond too. hard to believe Nfld summer is essentially over. hoping for at least a few sunny hours in between rain storms this weekend..

16 days til the big run, so nothing too crazy planned between now and then.

well, august is starting to wind down. no where near 31 marathons, but definitely a month to remember.. lots of endurance records that i may never break. the two that come to mind are 4 marathons in 77 hours, and of course 10 marathons in 17 days. lots of fun!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28, 2008 - Another rest day

a very gentle 1k of running today at lunch, along with several k of walking. also a short swim - 29 minutes for 1.45k. i will likely need this full 3 weeks of rest to fully recover from the grueling 10 marathons in 17 days. knee still a little sore from the tweaking that happened yesterday but it does feel a bit better.

will probably want to work in a few middle distance runs this weekend - perhaps 10k per day, to keep fresh. also want to do some more speed work.

definitely starting to get excited about the big run on Sept 14. this is the one i have been waiting for.


August 27, 2008 - OFF Day

only ran 4k today and only swam 2k. cut both activities short on account of feeling tired. didn't get a very good sleep last night. think i tweaked my knee in the pool today as well. won't plan to do any running at all tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 26, 2008 - speed work

wow, i finally have my internet access at home back up. i had to completely erase my hard drive and reformat it. i got some computer experts to back up my data files though, but i have had problems extracting them. i'm anxious to get at my running and swimming log. so much info in there i haven't had access too. and now i will have the messy task of updating it.

today featured 12k of running and 2.525k of swimming (yes an odd measurement, i know)

part of the run featured a measurement lap around the pond, which i initially thought was 1.57k. it turned out to be 1.52k. so this means that some of my measured runs this month may actually be off by as much as half k! Oops.

i also measured my speed using a GPS and clocked myself as high as 26.9km/h at one point!

world record marathon pace for a female would be around 18-19 km/h. it is amazing to think athletes can keep this pace over the duration of a full marathon. i'd be lucky to keep that pace for 5 minutes! guess i still have lots of work to do., i've only run 25k over the past 4 days combined, which is more than most people probably log, but i am finally regaining the strength that i haven't had since July 31, so that is good. the knees are still not in great shape, but another 19 days of rest (rest meaning 15k or less per day), and they should be workable for race day.

i clocked in a personal best at this now officially-measured 1.52k pond trail, with a time of 5.52, and i wasn't even trying! This is truly amazing. evidence that this pilot has helped with my strength and speed. my usual speed work is three laps around the pond with 5 minute breaks in between, so i will probably do a full speed work drill twice a week between now and race day.

i will also likely focus on medium-distanced speed work - such as running some 5ks at 10k pace (about 90% speed of my normal 5k race pace, and about 140% of marathon pace).

the swim today was good. 5 days into estrogen and no ill affects, so that is good. i'm really starting to believe that i may have a shot at breaking the 3 hour mark for this marathon, which may be good enough to win it, depending on who else registers (Newfoundland's 3 best marathoners skipped the race last year, so maybe they will skip it again, who knows??)

well, enough rambling for now..


Monday, August 25, 2008

August 25, 2008 - slow 10K

well, for the record, i ended up running 1k last night, as it was too cold to just walk home from the office..

today featured a run down to see one of many doctors, then a run up nasty hilly torbay rd to stavenger mall to get my computer back from the store. later today, i ran over to the office, bring me up to 10k in 59.10. the knees and body felt pretty good. i was concerned over the weekend about my lack of recovery from fridays run, but things seem to be improving..

tuesday will probably be a long swim day with a few short runs.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 24, 2008 - OFF Day

well, i decided to no-show at the 5k this morning in favour of getting some extra sleep. i felt bad missing out, as not only do i enjoy competing, but it has become one of the few social things i seem to do here. but with the insane workload of running i have done, the knees were not in any condition for a fast run, so it would have been a sub-par performance anyway.

i ended up cabbing to another beach today and then making the long walk back in the afternoon. went for another long walk tonight.. probably walked over 20k today in total. but no running. first no-run day in a long time. but it was definitely a much needed rest day.

i've 99% decided that there won't be any more August marathons. it's going to be a 3 week taper that will feature some short runs, some speed work, and a lot more swimming than running..

i'm now into day three of my new drug, Estrace - a form of estrogen. this appears to be slowing me down even more than the testosterone blockers did alone, so more adjustments for me to make.. Race day will be day 23 on estrace so it is definitely going to be interesting to see how it goes. the unknown factor is giving me a bit of anxiety too. i'd like to think the training i have done this month will get me over the BQ hump (Boston Qualifying) , but it may all be for not if the estrace substancially slows me down. oh well, technically this is not really a handicap. all females live with estrogen every day and there's no reason i can't continue to improve on my running speed and endurance over time; it's just going to require more work on the road and more careful work with my nutrition.

well, it will likely be a week of short runs and medium swims. the weekend ahead is a 3 day weekend,.. also the last chance for warm summer weather here in Nfld, so hopefully it will be a chance to sneak on a few more trips to the beach before winter officially starts.. :(


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recap thus far

just for fun, here's a run down of my kilometre count by calendar day. you will see only 8 days at or above 42.2k, but that's because 3 of my 11 marathons were actually run over the course of 2 calendar days...

1 42.7k
2 56.8k (includes 42.2k to cape spear and back, then an evening run)
3 33.1k (completion of marathon started previous evening)
4 19.1k (full marathon abandoned due to knee pain and exhaustion)
5 4.0k
6 2.9k
7 42.2k
8 42.2k
9 42.2k
10 42.2k (the peak of this journey & event that lead me to investigate provincial record)
11 5.8k
12 3.8k
13 5.0k
14 26.2k
15 29.0k
16 29.2k (two marathons spanned over 3 calendar days - technically went over my 48hr limit)
17 42.2k
18 11.2k
19 21.1k (full marathon cut down to a half due to fatigue)
20 8.0k
21 14.3k
22 42.2k
23 3.0k (marathon abandonned due to fatigue)

not sure where we go from here. my pattern seems to be 3-4 in a row, then 3-4 rest days. i only made it thru 1 this weekend before forced into rest again. i am now just 21 days away from the Nfld Provincial marathon, so i think i may officially pull the plug on this Pilot tomorrow in order to get my taper under way. the knees, body, and immune system are very weak right now. don't want to risk getting mono. 3 weeks of recovery (with a little speed work here and there) along with some good tempo swims, should get me into tip top shape for race day!


August 23, 2008 - Marathon 12 abandonned :(

yikes, things went so well last night, but i started feeling out of it at the concert. i completed the run to the concert and arried at 10 pm, giving me a total of 42.2k on the a day that started with a run to the Dr at 7 am; but i ended up leaving the gig before the final set and cabbing home to get to bed. got to bed late but had a really good 6 hours of sleep..

woke up and was still determined to go to the beach for the day but was not really in any condition to run. still tired, and exhausted.. so i took a cab to the beach and had a lovely 9 hours of relaxing in the sun. got into the ocean for several brief swims, and read the first 100 pages of Lance Armstrong's biography.

at 7 pm, i decided to hit the road and attempt the long jaunt back home, but after 3k slow sluggish running, i slowed down to a walk for another 3k, then ended up calling a cab to get me back home. not sure if it was exhaustion from all the running this month, or all the emotional stress i have been dealing with over various problems with my transition; maybe the stressful situation from work has played a toll as well. my immune system is probably quite weak these days with all the activity.. plus the new estrogen pills probably aren't helping.. heck, maybe it was sunstroke, who knows?

anyway, it is now 10 pm and i am still feeling out of it. there was no 12th marathon today and won't likely be one tomorrow either.. in fact, i'm thinking there might not be another marathon attempt until Sept 14. perhaps it's time to play it safe and try to get myself better from whatever it is i seem to have been dealing with for the past week.

anyway, i am registered for the Quidi Vidi 5k road race tomorrow, an officially sanctioned NLAA.CA race, but not even sure if i will be in any condition to compete tomorrow or not.. i guess time will tell.

i am now up to 576.20k on the month, which is by far the best month i have ever had, so even if i don't run another k until sept, i've still set a very high benchmark for myself to live up to in future months..

i ordered some terry fox t-shirts in the mail and got them last night, so i am really excited.

men's olympic marathon on tv tonight.. gotta get home to watch some of it!


Friday, August 22, 2008

August 22, 2008 - Marathon #12 underway

well, finishing #11 this morning wasn't enough. #12 is already under way. officially kicking off at 3.45 pm when i snuck out of the office a bit early. i ran home then ran up to the pond for a lovely swim, then back home, then over to the other pond, then back to the office.. and now i am heading downtown for a concert. that will give me a total of 42.9k on the day, including 14k towards tomorrow's run, which will officially be marathon #12.

after the concert, i will run home, which will likely be after midnight.. lol giving me another 5k, and giving me a total of 19 heading into the morning. saturday will bring a run up to the beach, which will get me up to 42.2k by late morning.

after a lovely day at the beach the run home will give me 20k+ towards marathon 13, which will carry over into sunday where i will be competing in an official 5k race, then likely running to the beach or pond for more swimming and sun tanning. i am going to be quite tanned after this weekend!


August 22, 2008 - Marathon 11 of 31

as promised, a nice light 27.9k run out to the doctors office and back, giving me a 4.16.54 marathon within a time of 22.18.00.

with lots of energy still in the tank, and with many activities planned for the afternoon, there will likely be more k added before the day is done!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 21, 2008 - marathon under way.

ok i finally stared another marathon after several days of not running one. i ran 14.3k tonight (to the mall and back) and i will finish the run tomorrow with a 14.3k run to the Dr office and then a 13.6k run to my office. the run tonight was at a slow pace on account my my knee, so the overall running time will likely be in the 4.30 - 4.40 range, and will take place over a total time span of about 22 hours, which will fit consistently with how most of my runs have been.

saturday and sunday will both likely be 42.2k days as well as i think a couple of more beach visits are in order given the nice weather report. this will bring my total to 13 marathons and 2 halfs, in 24 days. i will probably then take the next mon-thurs off and then run 3 more on the aug 29-31 weekend, bringing my overall total to 16, which will represent more than half of my goal, which is darn impressive given my previous monthly record was 7.

sept 1-13 will be taper days as sept 14 is the big one, the Nfld Provincial marathon championship.

another major milestone for me tomorrow - after 2 months of testosterone blockers, estrogen will officially be introduced to my body for the first time, something i will then take every day for the rest of my life. it will be very interesting to see how this affects my running.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 19, 2008 - correction

not sure how i screwed up the dates here.

August 18 was the 11.2k run at night;
August 19 was the 21.1k to and from the beach.

August 20, 2008 - OFF day

just a quick update today. ran a light 8k and swam 3k today. nothing special, just ran to and from the office a few times and to and from the pool. very busy day. no time to write. more tomorrow


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 18, 2008 - another halfer

well, i ended up getting my computer taken in for servicing last night, so hopefully i will have it all ready in a few days. the desktop was too heavy to run with so i took a taxi up there but made the run back. did a few laps around the pond to make it a decent work out. totalling 11.3k, not bad for what was supposed to be a day off running.. lol

onto today, with the weather report being nice, i decided to take a last-minute vacation day so i could head up to the beach for some sun tanning and swimming! i packed my backpack full of goodies - food, gatorade, camera, magazines, beach gear, etc.. stepped on the scale and saw that my bag weighted 21 pounds! yikes, what was in there that was so heavy?!?! oh well, not to worry, i thought. i had run full length marathons with 15-18 pound bags before so surely i could do 21.

well, 6k into the run, my arms started getting very numb and i had slowed down considerably.. not sure if it was too much to handle or if i was just suffering the affects of the previous 17 days of running. anxious to get to the beach, i tapped out and called a cab! which was great. got me to the beach an hour earlier than i had planned.

8 hours and 1 sunburn later, i was ready to give the backpack another go. having eaten the food and drank most of the gatorade, surely, it was down to the 15-18 pound range.. the run was slow and painful, but i managed to make steady progress until i got back in the city. after 14k, i was completely exhausted to the point where i was unable to run. i slowed to a walk for about 30 seconds, then decided to run another 1.1k so i would have an even 21.1k for the day - a half marathon. which took a total of 2.30.00 to run, over the course of the day, which lasted 11 hours on the nose.

oh well, so it's still 10 marathons, but now in addition to 2 half marathons - totalling 12 quality runs in 19 days.

it's back to work on wednesday and i think the clouds and rain will be back too. wednesday will probably be a swimming day since my knees really took a beating out there with that backpack.

still trying to think about how to plan out the rest of this month. the Nfld provincial marathon is now just 25.5 days away, so i have to really start thinking about those two dreaded words: rest and taper! i'm thinking there will be a marathon on friday, since i have to make the long hike out to the doctors office. then perhaps at least one more on the weekend to the beach (assuming we get at least one sunny day). then that might have to be it.

there's also a 5k race here in St. John's on Sunday morning, and if i sign up to run it, i'll have to come up with some sort of strategy so i won't enter it in complete pain.. lol (wonder how many people prepare for a 5k by running 42.2k the night before?.. lol - at least i will have a good excuse for not doing well. lol)

more tomorrow

Monday, August 18, 2008

August 17, 2008 - Marathon 10 of 31

today marked a special achievment for me, not only did i run my 10th marathon in 17 days, i also completed my full 2 hour swim. It's amazing how this intense training has improved my endurance, even in such a short amount of time. Two months ago, a 6k swim over 116 minutes would have knocked me out for the rest of the day, but there i was 4 hours later running the remaining 29.9k of the 42.2k i ran in total yesterday.

the run went very well. the knees are at the point where they do not hurt. i seem to have found the balance of going just slow enough to not cause excess stress and pain. the major issue tonight though was hitting the wall. by 35k, i was exhausted and really had to struggle to get thru the last 7.2k. but i finished at 4.14.15 (over a span of 12.23.00). i was actually on pace for a sub 4 hour run but slowed down at the end.

it is now Monday afternoon the 18th and i feel quite capable of another run. not sure if i will actually get one in today though, as being stuck in the office for 10 hours will really cut into my time management. i also have some chores to take care of this evening, so there's just not going to be the time to run. but Tuesday will definitely be a marathon day.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17, 2008 - run in progress

wow, watching the women's olympic marathon on tv last night was really fun. those ladies are awesome athletes. yet at the same time, there's no reason i can't be as good as they are. watch out London 2012!

well, i went over for a swim today and was having such a great swim, i stayed in the pool for the entire 2 hour session. swam 6K in one shot for the first time in quite a while. i had to spend most of the afternoon recovering, but i will get back out there on the roads tonight to do whatever i can to get Marathon #10 in the books tonight. ran 11.5k so far, so i will have about 3 hours of running to do tonight. hope i can survive!

more tomorrow for sure,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 16, 2008 - Marathon 9 of 31

oops, i see a typo in yesterday's post. it states marathon 8 is "not" in the book, when of course this should read "now" in the books!

for that matter, #9 is in the books too! a great day here in Nfld, finally! Warm sunny day, and as promised, a run up to the beach and back. got a nice sun tan and a couple of nice swims in the ocean. stayed at the beach for 7 hours, longer than i had anticipated.

the run to the beach and back represented 20.8k, and i ran that with a 20 pound backpack! but it didn't really slow me down much. after getting back into the city, it was a quick pitstop then 5 laps around the pond to complete the 42.2k.

overall, it was 4.13.50 run in what actually amounts to about 25.30.00, so technically, not within the 24 hour rule. but you know, i am still gonna count it!

on that note, i miscalculated yesterday's run too. i did 2k at lunch then did a long run in the evening, but realized i needed to count those 2k towards the run, so technically, that adds another 4 hours to the time! yikes.

oh well, overall, it's 84.4k ran within a span of about 56 hours, which is still impressive. so that's 9 in 16 days.

the weather report is rain tomorrow so i will probably run around the city and perhaps swim at the pool. too bad, i was hoping for another beach day. oh well, that's life!

here's some other interesting stats:

January 126.30
February 114.50
March 299.50
April 317.10
May 347.00
June 352.60
July 415.40
Aug 1-16 434.20k
this year so far 2400.2k

nice to see that i have already broken my monthly record at the half way point, but the 1309k goal is definitely out of the question. in fact 1000k is looking quite unlikely too. oh well, it's still been a great month, and no matter how much i end up with, i will be happy.

it's amazing what those earlier runs did for my endurance. 3 in a row, then a break, then 4 in a row, then a break. now here i am having done 2 in a row and feel as fresh as when i started this whole thing!

anyway, that's it for now


Friday, August 15, 2008

August 15, 2008 - Marathon 8 of 31

well, it's amazing how reliant i am on computers. did whatever it took to find a comp tonight to do my e-mails and post a report.

Marathon #8 is now officially deemed in the books. a long series of runs in between errands, work shifts, etc. several laps around the pond, runs to the mall, runs to the psychologist, etc...

the 3 days off really seemed to help the knees and also help me build up my strength.

this run officially started yesterday, for which i logged 26.2k, then today, i finished the remaining 16k. the run officially took 4.02.00 and was completed over a span of exactly 24.00.00.

sticking with the plan, Marathon #9 is already under way. as i logged an additional 13k tonight and will plan to log 29.2k tomorrow prior to the completion of another 24 hour period.

i will also plan to do another 42.2k on sunday, bringing my total to 10 marathons plus 1 half marathon over 17 days..

i'm thinking the majority of the running this weekend will be to and from beaches, as the weather report is finally looking summery! can't wait to get out there and put on my bikini and work on my tan!


August 14, 2008 - Marathon 8 of 31 in progress

so i started a long run last night and came inside for a break to get some gatorade and check my e-mail and my computer crashed! spent a while trying to get it to boot up with no success. never did get the comp back up and never did get back out to finish the run. i will do that now so i can at least complete another 42.2k run within a 24 hour period, as per my rule.

will hope to get the computer fixed and hope to get a few more runs in this weekend, but might not be back online for a few days.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008 - OFF day

yet another rest day for me. 5k run at a gentle pace but with a few sprint segments. spent most of the day dealing with non-running related problems and crisis. hope tomorrow will be better!

probably one more off day and then a friday marathon.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 12, 2008 - OFF Day

well, i take a day off and the knees seem to get worse. not quite sure how that works. oh well, my 3.8k today seemed more painful than the 5.8k i ran yesterday. could be it had something to do with the 3k swim i had this afternoon.

anyway, another cold foggy and rainy day here, with more rain in the forecast tomorrow. i think 2 more days of rest are in my forecast too, and we'll give it another go Friday.


Monday, August 11, 2008

August 11, 2008 - OFF Day

geeze, they say it takes 40 days to develop a habit, but after just 4 days in a row of running 42.2k, i truly missed not running today. this certainly gives me an appreciation for time management. i don't know what i am going to do with these extra 4 hours today!

oh well, technically i did run. went for a gentle 5.8k over to the pond to feed the duckies some bread crumbs and then over to the store.

the weather in st john's continues to be a disaster. cold and rainy for 10th day out of 11.

i'm sure the knees appreciated the day off.

i decided to go researching to find out who the record holder is for most consecutive marathon days by a newfoundlander. i stumbled upon the name Bern Kelly, a newfoundlander who apparently ran across the province (although it remains to be seen whether he ran 42.2k on consecutive days or not.) i am digging deep into the archives here try to find out more about this..

yes, i am obsessed with becoming a record holder in something to do with marathons! hehe


Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 10, 2008 - Marathon 7 of 31

oh my.. yet another cold and rainy day here in st. john's. i really feel ripped off about summer here. we just don't get summer here, period. oh well, 14 degrees and rain makes for interesting running conditions, but i suppose it's better than trying to run in extreme heat (although at this point, i'm getting close to considering a move to florida or california!).

anyway, a lazy morning of sleeping in and checking e-mails got me ready to hit the road around noon. once again, it was a series of trips back and forth along the flat prince philip drive, one of the only long stretches of flat road in this city. back inside for a lunch break, then back out for another run, then back for a nap.

by 5.30 pm, i was feeling re-energized and decided to head over to the pool, where i had a really good 45 minute session (hard to believe that running a full marathon every day isn't enough, i need to hit the swimming pool to get my work out.. lol) no but seriously, swimming is one of my favourite activities and it is important to me to maintain my muscle tone in the arms..

after a coffee and a donut (actually it was 3 donuts.. lol) back on the road to finish the 42.2k, which i did in fine form. i finished today's run in 4.10.30, the second fastest of the month (yesterday's was 4.17.43, as i see i forgot to post the time).

i strategically planned today's marathon to end right at the dock at the pond, and i celebrated by stripping down to my undies and jumping in for a swim! it was 8.44pm, and i had just finished my 4th marathon in 76 hr 58 minutes. that's gotta be some sort of a record, at least for Newfoundlanders.. i'm gonna have to look into that.

overall, i have run 329.40k in 10 days... including 7 full marathons plus one half marathon.

i'm beginning to get worried about my knees and my heart. i've pushed my body above and beyond anything it has ever seen. as much as i want to continue this streak, i am thinking that tomorrow will have to be an off day. in fact, there may be 2 or 3 off days in a row now.. i'm anxious to see how much my knees can heel with a little time off..

anyway, that's it for today

Saturday, August 9, 2008

August 9, 2008 - Marathon 6 of 31

well, yet another cold rainy day. not exactly my favourite running conditions, but that's the price i pay for electing to come live in Newfoundland. ...anyway, all this running is starting to catch up with me. i slept for over 10 hours last night and was still exhausted when i woke up. i made the 3k jaunt over to the pool and struggled thru 1.75k of swimming before giving up. light running seems to be far less strenuous than swimming.. jogged over to the mall and grabbed a few nice outfits and had a nice slice of pizza..

by 3.30pm i realized i had better get out there since i had only run 10.6k in the morning. i ended up staying out and completing the remaining 31.6k, even though i didn't take any gatorade or gels with me. i ran back and forth to the mall and stopped into the university centre a few times to at least get some water. towards the end, i was totally exhausted, barely able to even stand. for the first time, i started asking myself what the heck i was doing. my heart was pounding and i felt i was going to pass out.

on a good note, only one idiot decided to yell at me from out of their car window (the average on any given day for me is five) . it's funny how it is always a car full of young men that feel the need to harass me. it's really sad how folks like this give us Newfoundlanders a bad name.

on another good note, i was approached today by a "fan" in the mall who was familiar with me and my story. she mentioned she was proud of all i have done for myself and for others in terms of raising awareness of the issues about transsexualism. nice to know that there are some nice people here.

wow, so i have run 6 full marathons and 1 half marathon over 9 days. it's tough to get an accurate measure of my weight since i am constantly losing water, but on average, i think i am down 3 pounds since starting this. my knees feel a bit sore, but no more sore than they were last month. i think the biggest change is the wear and tear on my body. i am exhausted, physically drained, i feel weak, and i know my immune system is very vulnerable.. this totally gives me a new appreciation for athletes like Terry Fox and others who ran a marathon every day for several months.

well, i definitely think i will sleep well tonight.. today's run was by far the toughest i have ever done. i have no idea if i will be able to go tomorrow, but to do 4 in a row would certainly be a special accomplishment.. especially after having to throw in the towel after 27k on day 4 of this journey..

thanks to those who have taken notice of my blog and left comments. i wish you all the best of luck with your running and i hope you can find inspiration in reading about my bizarre life.. lol

all the best

Friday, August 8, 2008

August 8, 2008 - Marathon 5 of 31

well, i'm on a roll again! started the day by finding out that the infamous Regatta was on and that the city would officially get a recognized Civic Holiday for the festivities (the only "weather-permitting" stat holiday in north america!) this was at 6.30 am so i went back to sleep for a few hours since i didn't have to go to work.

around 10 am, i had finally finished my bowl of raisin bran and banana and hit the road for a run. it was like i had hit the wall after the first step. i felt very sluggish. i dragged myself down prince philip drive to the mall and back a few times before nearly colapsing after about 12 k. after a water break, i struggled thru a few more k and made it home for an hours rest and some energy food.

feeling a bit better, i went and did another 9k, mostly laps around the pond.

then it was home for a nap and then off to the regatta. a co-worked was holding a dinner party, which was great as he owns a condo that has a balcony that overlooks the lake, so we were able to watch the rowing races from above.

i also managed to run to and from the party while wearing a sexy dress and my running shoes.. lol i got quite a few stares as i ran through the city.

once home from the party, i changed back into running gear and did 4 more laps of the pond to finish my 42.2k for the day. clocking in at what appears to be a consistent time frame: 4.17.24 of running over a total time span of 11.25.00.

earlier in the day, i was really pushing to see if i could get today's run finished by 3.46 pm, so i could register my 3rd career double marathon within a 24 hour period, but it was not to be. however, i am really pleased to have finished another marathon, and even more pleased that i did so strongly and with minimal knee or calf pain. here i sit at 10:40 pm typing this up and i am very confident that i will get thru tomorrow's run easily. in fact, there may be a double marathon in the works tomorrow or sunday.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

August 7, 2008 - Marathon 4 of 31

Ah now that's more like it! Back in business after a few emotionally painful days off. (well, they weren't totally days off, just days not running a full marathon).

my marathon started at 3.46 pm after sneaking out of work a bit early (heck they were upgrading my computer so i couldn't do any work on it anyway.. lol) i made the 3.7k up hilly Allandale Rd and into Pippy Park to Left Pond, one of my favourite places in the world. i had a brief swim in the fresh chilly water then made the 5k trek back down the hill to the swimming pool, where i logged 2k in 41 minutes before working my way back home. a few laps around Kent's Pond and i went home for a quick pit-stop. (why run the rest of my race while carrying my purse if i don't have to).

then back out i went for a run down to Prince Philip Dr., one of the few flat roads in this city! i went back and forth a few times then did a few more laps around Kent's Pond, before coming back home for another gatorade refill. up to 27k i had a brief rest before heading back out for another 2 treks down Prince Philip Dr to the Mall and back. the last 2k were excruciating. the knee pain and exhaustion became an issue, but i managed to get back up the hill to my house.

it was cool and damp, which made for an excellent evening of running. full marathon completed at 11.11 pm, a total of 4.16.00 of running over a span of 7.25.00 in total.

now maybe, just maybe, we'll get a nice weather day tomorrow so they will hold the Royal St.John's Regatta, which will mean a day off for all employees working in this city, including me.

if this happens, i will plan a huge day of running, in attempt to make up lost ground! (i still think i can run 31 marathons in 31 days, but it will require a couple of double marathon days...)

anyway, it's been a fairly good first week. 4 full marathons plus 1 failed marathon attempt that was abandoned after 26k. I ran a total of 202.8k, which i will assume is a personal best (until next week ends!)


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008 - OFF Day

another sore day. 1.6k into my run i pulled the plug. knees too sore. so i went over and had an awesome 3.5k swim at the pool.

will try again tomorrow.

meanwhile, check this out:

this guy is currently running across CANADA!!!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008 - OFF Day

Well, the knees and calf muscles are still quite sore. a day off was probably the best thing for me today. better to get healed up so i can run at least some more marathons this month, than to go out there and risk serious injury.

however, 4k of light jogging and 3k in the swimming pool was enough to give me a nice work out.

Well, see how things feel tomorrow.


Monday, August 4, 2008

stats for day 4

oops, for those of you keeping score, "attempt #4" featured 26.6k ran in 2.49.55 which took place over a total time span of 32.21.00. yes, i know, quite pathetic. oh well. i'll make it up on day 6 with some fresh legs.

gee, 2.49.55, now if i could actually run a full marathon in that time, i'd really be pleased!

August 4, 2008 - Marathon 3 1/2 of 31 :(

well, i hope none of you actually thought i would get through this insane pilot. but that's the good thing about a pilot. you can fail and it won't matter. an old boss once told me, "Jennifer, sometimes you have to redefine success in order to achieve success."

so today i set out and successful ran a very tough and challenging 26.6k at the cold and rainy pond!

well, not exactly. much like yesterday's run, i decided to get a head start the night before. after completing my very tough sunday morning run, i went home and had a very quick turn around to get ready to head downtown for the Pride events. realizing i was pressed for time, i decided it would be a run downtown, which was a slow and painful 4.5k in 29 minutes, which was perfect since i had exactly 30 minutes before the event started.. lol

it was a fun afternoon of celebration and i had a chance to chat with some old friends as well as make some new ones. the BBQ was great too, excellent sausages!

anyway, back to the running. it was a cab home and then a quick e-mail check then i was back on the roads making the 3k run over to the swimming pool, where i logged a nice 2.5k swim in just under an hour. then as i had promised myself, i had a nice quiet sit at the pond and fed the duckies some bread crumbs. then home for an early night.

waking up this morning, i figured i'd finish the run after work, but then i realized that would take me over my 24 hour rule. oops! oh well, i guess it is my pilot so i can change the rules as i see fit.. lol so after work i went home and quickly changed into running gear and decided to run laps around the pond, which i did for a while, but realized it was too cold, so i came home and had a quick slice of pizza and then put on some warmer running attire and went back out there in the cold rainy miserable weather. so around and around i went. the trail around the pond is exactly 1.6k so it's easy to calculate how many laps i would need.

eventually it got dark and eventually, my right calf muscle started to cease up. i was forced to slow down each lap, and eventually i realized it just wasn't worth it. i was very close to risking a serious injury, so i decided to pull the plug at 8.51 pm.

now here i am an hour later typing this up, and you know, i could probably head out and run the remaining 15.6k if i really really had to, but you know, i need my beauty sleep. if i didn't have top get up for work tomorrow, i'd definitely be back out there around 10.30 pm to finish it.

oh well, so maybe it won't be 31 marathons. maybe it's 30 marathons + 1 half. or heck, maybe it's 21 marathons and 10 halfs. or heck, maybe it's 10 + 10 + 11 days off. who knows what this is going to look like? bottom line, set your goals extremely high, and even if you fall slightly short, you will still achieve heights you've never reached before.

so far, 153.7k in 4 days. not too bad. that's about 92% of what i had hoped to achieve!

you know, i'm thinking to be safe, i might make tomorrow an off day to give the muscles a chance to heel a little bit, and then i can get back out there on stat holiday wednesday and break my run into 4 mini segments (i seem to get into trouble when i try to do it all in a huge chunk).

anyway, considering i just officially failed my pilot, i am still quite pleased and excited. and i suppose that's a good thing!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

August 3, 2008 - Marathon 3 of 31

well, i had just finished my hamburger last night when i tuned into tv to watch some of the women's tennis from Montreal, but it was raining there and they couldn't play. bored, i decided to get a head start on today's run by logging in some miles before going to bed. (heck, this is my contest so i can bend the rules if i want to! as long as some of the run was completed on the calendar date for which it will count, and as long as the complete run takes place within a 24 hour period, i am going to deem it suitable!!)

so off i went into the cold rainy night and ran down the the mall and back and then did a few laps around Kent's pond, logging 16.6 k before heading home for bed.

up i got the next morning and went back to the pond for 15 more laps. i strategically hid several bottles of gatorade in the woods so they would be all around the course for when i needed them.

on lap 8, i took an unexpected wipe out, flying over a tree route. i got up and cleaned up the blood on my elbow and soldiered on.

by 11.22 am, i had completed my 3rd marathon within 52 hours. the stats for this run were 4.19.37 of running over a span of 16.31.00 total time.

well, now i am ready to enjoy some hours off (funny how most runners talk about off days, now i am talking about off hours!). it's time to head downtown for the Pride parade, BBQ.. and then over to the pool for a swim, then a trip back to the pond with some bread crumbs for the duckies!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

August 2, 2008 - Marathon 2 of 31

well, nobody will be able to accuse me of taking the easy route. i decided for some strange reason this morning that i wanted to make the 21 km hike down the very hilly Blackhead Rd. to Cape Spear, the Eastern-most point of North America. (and of course, the equally hilly 21 km hike back home).

so off i went with two bottles of gatorade in hand. by 5k, i was already sore and ready for a short stretch and pee break. the first major hill came at 7k, the climb above the city into Shea Heights, home of Harold Druken, one of only a few Newfoundlanders to have made the NHL.

unlike my previous runs out here, the roads were quite full of tourist traffic (it's in a rather isolated part of the province).

i arrived at Cape Spear 2 hr and 16 minutes into the run, which was about what i had hoped for. hills are rough on the knees and i had to go really slow to not cause any serious muscle damage
. i also knew i had to run back, plus hope to recover in time for 29 more runs this month!

once at Cape Spear, i walked around and did the tourist thing. they have a lighthouse and a git store that was actually open (seasonal) so i had a little look around. my souvenir was going to be three bottles of glacier spring water.. lol a nice bonus, given that i was already running out of gatorade.

among the tourists contained a bus load of young ignorant men from Ontario who were sporting rubgy team jackets. several of them took notice of my feminine running attire and hurled insults at me from afar. they also yelled insults at me on the way home from their bus. it's sad that young men like these have been raised to be rude and immature. clearly no class. it's incidents like this that make me feel glad to be here in Newfoundland, where folks are a lot more tolerant and accepting of diversity.

anyway, after a 45 minute break at Cape Spear, i was back on the road heading home. The road was still painted with km markings from the infamous Cape to Cabot race, that was run last October. It's great to have km markings on the road to let you know where you are and how far you have to go.

there are a couple of really nasty long hills, at the 2k and 6-8k mark specifically, that slowed me down to a walk at times.

by the 30k mark, i was exhausted and took note that i had been running for 3 hr 27 minutes.
after a short water break, i slowed down the pace and comfortable jogged back into the city, where i stopped in for a bagel and coffee at tim hortons, before finishing the jaunt thru the city to get back home.

exactly 6 hr and 30 seconds after leaving, i was back home, having run 42.2 k in a total of 4.45.34 running time.

exhausted and ready for a rest, i was frustrated to learn that i had misread the swimming schedule (i actually wanted to go for a swim tonight but it was too late - oh well, rest is probably a good thing!).

well, that's 2 marathons in 2 days. incredibly, the knees are not all that bad. i definitely feel confident that there will be a 3rd marathon tomorrow. this will be the first time ever i have done 3 in a row (and think, i actually wanna do 31 in a row?!?!)

the weather was 57 degrees and cloudy/misty. today, perfect for running, and tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. in addition to the run, tomorrow will be a busy day. i am determined to get over for a swim (i promised myself that the running would not interfere with my swims, at least not too often). it is also Pride parade day here in St. John's, so i may opt to head downtown for that, especially since there is a BBQ afterwards!

until next time,

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 1, 2008 - Marathon 1 of 31

well, running 96.20 km the week leading up to this incredible challenge was probably not the best way to taper for such an initiative, then again, tapering has never been in my vocabulary!

the more i run, the better i seem to get. sure the knees are sore, but i am used to it by now. As John Madden once said, you can play hurt, just as long as you are not injured.

well, i ran a total of 421 km in July, yet some how managed to gain 4 pounds! so i certainly hope that this challenge will lead to some serious weight loss.

Marathon 1 of 31 started out at 7.30 am! with the morning off for a doctor's appointment in the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl, this gave me the perfect opportunity to kick things off.

home to doctor presented me with a 14.4 km run southwest through st. john's and into the farm area of brookfield rd, and into mount pearl. i felt fairly sluggish during the first 5 k and went at a very slow pace. things started to pick up for me at the 10 k mark as i realized i was going too slow that i was at risk of being late for the appointment. i picked it up a notch and felt pretty good clocking in at 76.48.

the appointment was on time and was fairly quick. i was back on the road less than 20 minutes later heading back home. i flew out of the gate at a quick pace but started to fatigue at my 20 k mark. by the time i was close to home, i was exhausted, but i decided i wanted to do some laps around the pond to see if i could complete the full 42.2 k before heading back to work. so i did 2 laps of lovely Kent's Pond, but i just couldn't take anymore. the fatigue and knee pain was too much. so after 31 k, i packed it in and walked home for lunch.

after a pizza slice, i was back at work for the afternoon, but not before a 30 minute walk with friend Stephen, who i have been training for weight loss. this 3.2 k walk was not part of my official running count.

i sat at my desk for the afternoon in a state of daze and shock, but managed to be quite productive.

at the end of work, i had a tough decision to make. run more, go for a swim then run more, or go home for a nap and then run more. i went with the run. after a quick snack, i was back out there to do 8 laps around the pond to complete my first of thirty-one 42.2 k runs. ironically enough, i finished feeling even more fresh than when i started the day. i flew around the pond for that last lap at boston-qualifying pace!

i clocked in with a total running time of 3.49.18, which took place over a span of just under 11 hours. this overall pace was faster than i figure i need to go at. the faster the run, the more stress and pain on the knees.

i started to walk home, but the cool newfoundland wind and rain was too much to handle. this forced me to run again to get myself home inside, so technically i had an ultra day, logging a net of 42.70 km.

well, it has been a relaxing evening inside watching tv and doing laundry.

the weather report over the next 5 days calls for cool and cloudy days, ideal for running.

at the end of the day, i stepped on the scale and officially registered a 170 pound weigh-in, for my official August 1 weigh in (up 4 pounds from my July 1 weigh in of 166 pounds).

i hope to drop down to 158 for Sept 1. this is going to be one heck of a challenge but i look forward to proving that it can be done!

until tomorrow,

The Terry Fox Pilot Challenge

July 28, 2008 would have been the 50th birthday of legendary Canadian marthon runner Terry Fox. In celebration, i am excited to announce the first ever Jennifer McCreath Terry Fox Pilot Challenge.

As a tribute to Fox, and as an attempt to lose another 10 pounds, and as a pilot for what i hope will lead to even greater running accomplishments (me running across Canada in attempt to raise awareness of some sort of matter or issue is actually something i have been thinking about!), i will set out to run 42.2 km each and every day in August.

most of these runs will be broken up into segments throughout the day (a run in the morning, another run at lunch, and another one after work or in the evening), but i will definitely log at least 42.2 km every day. this means that i will log at least 1308 km this month, the equivalent of running from Halifax to Montreal, or running from Winnipeg to Calgary!

i will be running each of these at fairly slow and easy paces in order that i won't cause injury or overuse of various leg muscles, so if anyone wants to come out and run with me, feel free to get in touch.

after this insane pilot, i will plan to take two weeks off running to rest and prepare for the Nfld Provincial Marathon Championship race, which i certainly hope will lead to obtaining that elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time!