Saturday, November 29, 2008
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
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
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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
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
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!
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
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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. nlrunning.com has a link about my call to the BAA.org 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.
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
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!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
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
..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
Thursday, November 6, 2008
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
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
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.
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.