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.


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