Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30, 2009 - recovery day

i am amazed at how good i felt today considering i ran 42.2k yesterday. i ran 1k today in a time of 5.20 (fairly fast pace compared to most of my runs as of late). the knees were noticably sore, but not bad enough that i couldn't have continued on if i wanted to. it will be interesting to see how i feel tomorrow. i will likely give the knees a substantial test as this will give me an idea of how my recovery times are. ideally, i want to take the charlottesville run slow enough to ensure that i save more than enough to get thru boston at an equal or faster pace.

will plan to get over to the pool for some longer swims later in the week to keep up the endurance work.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

very satisfying dress rehearsal 42.2k run!

well, i decided very early on that today's run would be a dress rehersal 42.2k run. i treated it like it was a race.. i went at the fastest pace that i felt i could sustain for 42.2k and my estimate turned out to be bang on. this was my first 42k run in 9 weeks and my health and fitness levels appear to have declined since then, but i decided to go at a slightly faster pace, given my restful week.

the run went very well. i slowed down a bit in the 3rd quarter but felt re-energized after 2 bottles of boost at the 29k mark, and i actually ran the 4th quarter as strong as the first two! i finished up at 4.19.08, with quarter split times of 62, 64, 69, and 64 minutes. this was 14 minutes faster than my run 9 weeks ago, a run i did when i was 6 pounds lighter.

most importantly, i felt great all the way thru and continued to feel great into my afternoon recovery. i have no doubt in my mind that i could go out there again in 48 hours and run another one at the same time.. (which is exactly what i will be doing next month in official races!)

adjusting to life after testosterone has certainly been challenging, as i have lost energy and gained weight. but after a series of med dosage changes, and the surgery, things have finally stabled off and i can start to get a sense of normalcy, which will allow me to start benchmarking and setting goals.. i have no doubt that i will lose off the weight this spring that i gained over the fall and winter; and no doubt that i will be running at a level that could be considered female equivalent to where i was last summer. the ultimate benchmark is the BQ time, and it is going to be a goal of mine to run at least one marathon this year in 3.45.59 or better.

after what has been a steady decline in fitness for 6 months due to surgery and hormone treatments, things appear to be finally looking up!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 28, 2009 - you go girl! (slowly)

the fans were out to cheer me on in the infamous Get Lucky 5K road run to raise money for arthritis research. it was a slow 24.00 5K for me, which represented the absolute best effort that i could muster this morning. definitely a far cry from the 19.37 i ran last year on the same course. but heck, it's to be expected with the loss of testosterone, the weight gain due to estrogen therapy, etc.. overall, it was a very consistent run that gave me confidence that i am in tune with exactly where my fitness levels are at as i go into 3 weeks of wind-down as the final prep for my massive undertaking in april.

i ran again later in the day to feed the duckies and to get over to the pool, giving me 11.1k run and 2k in the pool today. felt very good throughout the day. this rest week (only 38.3k of running) has certainly proved to be helpful as the knees are feeling MUCH better than they were last week. it's gonna be three more easy weeks (probably in the 50k range) combined with what i hope to be an increase of swimming.

traditional marathon training programs call for a rather aggressive long run 3 weeks before race day, so i may go out and give it a good go tomorrow. probably a semi long run that will be supplemented with a long swim.


Friday, March 27, 2009

March 26, 2009 - slushy run

well, the snow finally stopped and the temp started to climb above freezing. combine that with one of the world's worst municipal government snow clearing programs in world history, and you have what amounts to very slushy and nearly unrunnable sidewalks. but that wasn't enough to stop me. i plowed my way through 7k of slush to ensure that i got a decent work out today. i missed out on my evening swim on account of a social event. it's been a restful week physically but a very emotionally draining one too. the energy levels aren't too bad. the reduced workload of runs and swims has helped the legs, specifically the knees, with healing.

i am going to plan to race in a 5k event this saturday so that should be an interesting test to see where i am at in terms of speed capabilities..

friday will likely be a rest day too. with perhaps 1-2k of running.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009 - lunchhour workout

well, with another snow storm in the works tonight, i decided to get my workout at lunch with a 5k run and a 2.75k swim. the entire work out felt great. the swim was really strong all the way thru and i was even doing some sprint laps towards the end. probably the best swim i have had in a long long time.

gonna be a hectic couple of days as i clue up some things at work and do some last-minute networking. the more people that know i am looking for work, the better. i applied to 15 Government of Ontario jobs today, and will be applying to many more tomorrow in Ontario and BC. I wish there were more jobs here in NL to apply to. Oh well....


March 24, 2009 - speeding!

well, i found myself behind schedule this morning and literally had to sprint 4k to get myself to a dr appt on time. i was surprised to cover 4k in just 18 minutes, a very respectable time given my decline in fitness.. i ran another 6k later in the day at a slower pace. the knees are feeling better after a couple of rest days..

rough day overall, including a job interview that didn't go very well. the spotlight continued to shine on me in the evening as i delivered a presentation to the Dept of Justice, who are conducting a review of the Human Rights Code. i gave a spirited presentation that on the concept of adding 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' to the code under ground of discrimination. i gave a series of real-life practical examples of discrimination i face on a regular basis from both individuals and society as a whole. i also took the opportunity to network and let people know that i am being let go by my employer and am hence looking for work. the media took note of everything i had to say and i could be given the opportunity to speak with them further to tell my story.. definitely something that will have pros and cons..

another mega snow storm is apparently on the way in st. john's so i am not sure what sort of running i will get in on wednesday. i haven't been over to the pool since sunday so i am hopeful to have a nice long swim.


Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009 - rest day

well, just a measly 1.6k token run today to say that i ran. my knees are appreciative of the rest. busy day for me as i plan for a job interview, and a series of other networking and consultations tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22, 2009 - easy day

another easy day for me. only 2k run and 3.25k swim. the swim was rather lethargic as my energy levels are still quite low. friday was quite the run and it's taking me a while longer to recover. the knees are quite sore so i am going to be taking it very easy this week. in fact, i am likely to cut my running load down by 60% this week and replace it with some longer swims. i need to find that balance between resting the knees and maintaining endurance training.


March 21, 2009 - snowed out!

well, the snow storm came as expected. it was still not enough to keep me in doors all day though. i ventured out and ran the 6k down and back to the pool. running thru a foot of snow is not easy but it certainly made for a good work out. the swim was very slow and easy. swan 2.25k in 52 minutes, which is much slower than usual, but considering this was a rest and recovery day, all went well.

hard to belive i will be running the Charlottesville Marathon in 27 days and Boston in 29 days. the focus now will be on rest and recovery as well as some fine tuning speed drills. there will also be an emphasis on swimming to ensure that i continue to get good endurance work outs.


Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009 - spring running!

first day of spring brought warnings of a major snow storm to st john's tomorrow, so i decided to get in a LSD (long slow distance) run today, a nice little 34.7k stroll to the laser clinic, then the doctor office, then back home... taking me over the 1000K mark on the year!

...great report from the family doc today. tests reveal that i have practically no testosterone in my body. i'm actually in the lower quarter of the female range. my estrogen levels are also consistent with female norms.. she also took note of the progress regarding other bodily feminization in terms of weight redistribution, muscle tone change, and breast development.. overall, things are progressing nicely and i am generally in great health (other than the sore knees, of course.. lol)

other major news of interest, the Boston Athletic Association has changed their mind and has agreed to let me run in the female category. this is great news, as i will never have to run as a male ever again.. i will now happily abandon my 3 gender categories world record registration..

on that note, i have been seeded 7587 for the Boston Marathon. Not bad considering there are over 27500 runners!


March 19, 2009 - restful day

it's been a rough week for me so far as i try to come to terms with losing my job. this entire situation really has me feeling like a failure. it's never a good feeling to be told that you are not wanted or needed. oh well, all i can really do is try to remember the positives from the past two years there. lots of great work was thrown my way and i was told that i did a great job with it. my resume is much stronger than it was 2 years ago, and i can only hope that other prospective employers will recognize the skills, experience, and potential that i could bring to a future role in their office. the job hunt is well under way and i already have an interview lined up for next week for a similar role (policy and planning government job).

2 nights of low sleep left me with minimal energy levels, but the drive was still there and i went for a slow 3k run and 1.15k swim. i think it is very important that i keep myself busy and do little things to make myself feel good and feel a sense of accomplishment each and every day.

Friday will feature a couple of long run segments as i have a doctor appt and a laser appt. so i will be looking at 30-40k! good thing to get the long run in as there is a massive snow storm in the works for saturday so this city may be unrunnable all weekend until they get the snow ploughed.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 17 & 18, 2009 - the axe

well, it's been a rather disturbing week for me. the folks at work announced that my contract would not be extended next month, so i find myself in the undesirable position of being an unemployed transsexual. this does not come as a total surprise, but it does come as a disappointment as i was told as recently as last month that the org intended to keep me on indefinitely and that the paper work had been sent in to make the position permanent. i'm really beginning to wonder if it was all a big lie.

oh well, it's a good thing i like challenges and a good thing i am used to change. just another issue to add to my already stacked plate.

it's actually been a good week so far in terms of running and swimming. short runs and swims on tues and wed and the energy levels have been feeling good. 2.75 and 2.5k in the pool the past 2 days and 7.8 and 6.0k running respectively.

this work situation is going to add both pros and cons to my training regime. i will likely have more day time to run and swim; yet i will have to consider my financial situation with regards to travel plans and race registrations. in the coming weeks, i may have to make some tough decisions to cancel certain travel plans.


Monday, March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009 - hat trick

wow, another strong day for me.. 18k run and 2.2k swim... the day started bright and early with a rare 8 am wake up on a holiday. i was excited about the potential for the day.. nothing quite like the 3rd day of a 3 day endurance challenge. it is such a struggle, but it feels so good to accomplish anything after a 2 day workout that would land most people in the hospital.. lol

well, it started with me barely able to walk, but after a 1k walk, i was actually able to start a jog.. got myself over to the pool quite comfortably and then got off to a good start, but quickly faded.. 50 minutes to cover 2.25k and that was it for me. a slow walk over for a slice of pizza and a visit with the duckies had me feeling good, although slightly disappointed, about my morning.

after a 3 hour break at home, i was back out there for a run. went down to quidi vidi lake and did a lap, the took the long way home to stop off at the mall to grab a few things. then it was one more trip to the pond where the duckies seemed extra excited to see me. guess not too many other folks ventured out into the -10 cold day to feed them. i actually had the duckies walking out to the middle of the frozen pond to follow me and my bread.. it's so fun to get them running after me.

well, that's 77.8k running and 5.35k swimming within a 53 hour time period.. quite the confidence builder for me after a very sluggish week. i'm feeling much better than i did a few days ago about my chances of doing well next month in charlottesville, boston, and waterloo. it's going to be quite the trip, that's for sure!

well, as many of you know, there was a helecopter crash last week here just off the coast of south eastern Newfoundland. they recovered 9 bodies this morning from the sunk helecopter wreck.. a funeral was held today for the first victim that was found the day of the crash.. such a sad story.. a 26 yr old woman who had just recently bought a house. this province is going to be emotionally hurting for quite a while over this..

well, i think it is going to be a couple of low mileage days for me this week, then leading into another triple header weekend, where i will go out long as hard as i can. then i will tone things down into taper mode for the next 4 weeks after that.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15, 2009 - don't beware of the ides of March!

well, i had a pretty good sleep and just knew that it was going to be a great day. the sun was shining, the temp was slightly above freezing, so off i went on what was to be a very long run.. i ran down to quidi vidi lake after a brief stop at kent's pond. the 3.8k trail around the lake that i discovered yesterday was flatter than the 5k road course, so i decided to do as many trail laps as i could until i was literally unable to continue.. lol i took my time and had lots of short gatorade and gel breaks, and after 4 hours, decided to pack it in after a total fo 32k. what a great place for a run. the water is so beautiful and lots of lovely feathered friends in the vicinity to say hello as i run by..

after a brief rest, i made the slow long uphill walk back home, and then took a nice long relaxing bubble bath. i am completely exhausted but it's one of those positive exhaustion feelings you get after a great work out. what a sense of accomplishment... after struggling to get over to the pool yesterday, and after balling my eyes out in the change room after the swim due to disappointment, it's hard to believe i would venture out for 57k more of running in the next 27 hours! that's 59.8k in two days, plus the 3.1k swim. not bad for a weekend.

the knees actually feel pretty good. if it wasn't for the exhaustion, i would have run more. but then again, it's probably a good thing as i will likely recover enough to have another mega endurance day tomorrow (st paddy's day is a stat holiday here in Newfoundland for Government employees). i'm thinking about a 3-4 hour swim tomorrow morning, and then a bit of running.

ahhh, time for a nap!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 14, 2009 - resurrecting a dead day

gee, quite the strange day.. was up fairly late last night but slept in til 10 am. had a fairly decent sleep. just couldn't get things going this morning. i could barely make the 3.5k run over to the pool today and found myself crying even before i started the swim.

once in the pool, i took it extra easy, knowing that it appeared to be another low-energy day.. the swim went well considering all factors. i went for 65 minutes, covering 3.1k. a far cry from the 5k i wanted but still a fairly decent swim.. again, i found myself balling my eyes out in the change room afterwards.. the run home wasn't much to write home about either..

after a 2 hour break, i was so angry that i decided to bolt out for a long run even if it killed me. i went at a gentle pace and planned several stops at the ponds to visit friends that could cheer me up.. the run actually went well, and i seemed to get stronger as the afternoon went on. i did my usual jaunt down to quidi vidi lake and around the 5k road around the lake. at this point, i seemed to gain strength (although battling sore knees) so i decided to take a lap around the 3.8k trail, then took the trail back up thru the city towards my home. but that wasn't enough. i did a lap around kent's pond to close the day.. giving me a very respectable 27k running on the day.

ending the week with a relatively high 97.6k; bringing my annual total to 898.7k, the equivalant of running across newfoundland..


March 13, 2009 - First Aider

well, i successfully completed the 2 day first aid course; hence, i am now an officially certified first aider as per the St John Ambulance protocol. the goal of a first aider is to provide primary care to an injuried individual until professional help arrives. this includes taking steps possible to preserve life in an individual who requires assisted breathing and/or attempting to revive an individual who's heart has stopped beating. it also included how to stop bleeding and secure injuries, how to deal with toxic chemical spills, poison consumption, etc.. and dealing with heat stroke, hypothermia, etc..

another 10k of running today. the right knee got tweaked a bit when i ran hard to catch a stoplight when i wasn't properly warmed up. but i don't think the injury will keep me down. in fact, as i type this on the morning of the 14th, i feel it is fine for me to resume my regularly-scheduled weekend work out activities.

had a nice carb-loading dinner last night and it appears i am up another 2 pounds this week, so i am gonna have to get out there and burn it off.. lol


Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 11, 12, 2009 - reflections

well, it was a sunny afternoon yesterday so i did an abreviated version of my weekend run down to burton pond, quidi vidi lake and kent pond. the snow has actually melted off so i could actually sit down on the grass to feed the duckies. it's so fun to have them come right up close to me. nothing quite like a bunch of enthusiastic animals all giving you their undivided attention.. it's great to feel wanted and appreciated, even if it is only because i have snacks.. lol

took in day one of a first aid training course today. a good skillset to gain both for myself as a runner, and for others.. 10k of running today to and from the training centre. felt pretty good today, although the general lack of energy continues to make it more of a challenge.

can't decide whether or not to fork out big bucks to buy neil young tickets. i used to go to so may concerts, buy haven't been to very many since moving to Newfoundland.. this got me thinking back to all the fun times i had in years passed with my old friends in the USA. i haven't seen them all for so long.. it's sad to know that most of my closest friends are so far away..

well, there will likely be another 10k tomorrow, and maybe a swim if i feel up to it (i've been cutting back my evening swims this week in favour of rests, which isn't ideal, but seems to be a neceessity.. not really sure what i will do for the long weekend ahead. i'd love to try a saturday-monday double marathon as a dress rehersal for april, but i may end up resting some more..

a very sad and somber day here in newfoundland as a major helecopter crashed 60k off shore into the ocean while en route to an oil rig. 16 locals are missing and feared dead..

very tough day overall for me with tons of emotions and crying sessions.. hoping tomorrow will be better both emotionally, and physically..


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009 - sluggish

not the greatest day energywise. staying up late has it's drawbacks. 6k of running today, after i cut my planned 10k short due to exhaustion. oh well, better to get the bad days out of the way.

i am going to seriously rest up the next few days in preparation for a dress rehersal saturday/monday double marathon training run. this is really going to give me an idea of my readiness for the task at hand next month.


March 9, 2009 - time change

daylight saving time seems to be taking its toll on me. i'm usually much better at adapting to time changes but this one is taking a few days to kick in. a very tough time getting up this morning. i didn't have much energy throughout the day but i managed to get in a nice light run (5.4k) anfd swim (2.5k) in the evening.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8, 2009 - take it to the limit

happy 63rd birthday to rock legend Randy Meisner, writer and singer of one of the greatest country-rock songs of all time, the Eagles - Take It To the Limit.. and that's what i did today, with a sunny day with low winds and a temp above freezing (slightly) it was perfect timing for an excellent 32.2k long slow distance run. the run featured several stops at lakes and ponds to visit and feed the lovely duckies and the infamous Barry the Goose. so nice to see the ponds actually melting! i contemplated going the full 42.2k but decided to pack it in after 32.2 and save my knees. i feel pretty good tonight and shouldn't have any problem getting back to my regular routine tomorrow.. hoping for a full week of running and swimming.

on another note, i want to publicly congradulate fellow lady Newfoundland runner, Kate Vaughan on a great showing this weekend as she represented Canada as part of Athletics Canada's Track team that competed in Florida this weekend. Kate ran 6k in a very respectable time of 22.01. way faster than i have ever done! great run Kate!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7, 2009 - second wind out of nowhere!

not quite sure what was wrong with me today. i had a fairly good sleep and was ready for an endurance day, but i practically had no energy. i couldn't even complete the 4k run over to the pool. i stopped after 3k and walked the rest.. after a break, i got into the pool and started out really slow and struggled for a full hour, and then amazingly enough, i gained a 2nd wind.. or perhaps a first wind! i swam another 30 minutes and did much better.. then i headed back out and ran over to the mall for a little shopping.. then made the 5k jog home while carrying 5 bags of junk.. lol that was probably the toughest 5k of the year so far.. lol

9k of running and 4.4k of swimming in what was a rather strange day.. no idea what's in store for tomorrow.


March 6, 2009 - more blah

well, it was a rough day at work that drained most of my emotions and physical strength, but i couldn't let the entire week go by without a swim. i made the slow and gentle trot over to the pool and got off to a good start but quickly faded.. oh well, 2k in the pool in 45 minutes still isn't really that bad, although it was 20 min for the 1st and 25 for the 2nd. 4.5k running added to the mix made for a fairly light day by my standards, but still considered a good workout by regular means.. a good evening sleep and i am now ready for an aggressive weekend..


Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009 - blah

a series of short runs through out the day added up top 14.2k. legs felt good throughout. energy levels were quite low toward the end of the afternoon and i elected to skip my swim, yet again. that's 4 days out of the water after my mega 3 hour swim on sunday. the scale says i have dropped 6 pounds since my infamous march 1 weigh in. not sure i believe that though. then again, i haven't eaten much this week, and i have still managed to log 41.7k over the week so far, even with my mega light days yesterday and wednesday.

will hope to log 10-15 k tomorrow on the road and get over for a 3k swim, and then go nuts on the weekend!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009 - rest day, almost!

well, only 1k of running today.. not because it was a planned run but because i was quite anxious to get to a toilet.. lol ...this was actually going to be a complete day off, but that little episode ruined that idea.. lol oh well, the running streak technically continues!

i think i'm starting to like this 2-3 days in a row mid week of low km.. might have to make this part of my weekly routine going forward..


March 3, 2009 - important anniversary

1 year ago today, i registered my legal name change to Jennifer. What a year it has been! i celebrated today with a little birthday party with pizza and cake.

i also got in a 2k run on my lunch hour, after getting a routine blood test done at the hospital.


Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009 - recovery run

hehe, my idea of a rest day is a series of short runs to work, to the pond, to the store, etc.. 9.5k in total today. hard to believe that's a day off.. lol no wonder my knees are sore.

yesterday's mega swim took a lot out of me. arms are quite sore. but it was worth it. what a great swim it was.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1, 2009 - mega swim!

well, i wasn't going to get too down about the weight gain in Feb. i decided i was going to go on a mission to do something about it instead! having swam just once last week, the arms were fresh, so i decided this was going to be a swimming doubleheader day - yes two trips to the pool, sandwiched around runs to and from home to the pool and to the pond..

the day got off to a sluggish start as i could barely make the 4k over to the pool. and the swim didn't start much better, but i gained strength as i went on.. those morning caffeine pills finally hit.. lol i ended up swimming the duration of the session - covering 5.2k in 104 minutes.

after a run home and some lunch, i was back out there again.. the swim was slow and steady and went well right up to the end when my arms really started to hurt. 3.8k giving me a total of 9k in the pool on the day in exactly 3 hours of swimming; my 6th highest daily total for swimming ever! ...and throw in a net of 15k running on the day, and that completes a great weekend. i think the weight is gonna drop like the stock market.. lol


February 28, 2009 - long run

well an interesting day for me. got up a little earlier than usual for a weekend and headed out for a long run. i did my usual loop to the mall and back, twice. that was 17k in 1.41.00, which was not too bad of a time given the snow and ice and wind i had to run thru. i was exhausted at the end. hitting the wall this early into a long run is not something i am used to. i may have to go even slower in the future.

after a short break, it was off on a run to middle cove beach. the run up there (9.4k) went fairly well. energy stores were low but i managed to struggle thru it and get to the beach in 56.30. i hit the brink of total exhaustion upon arrival though and could barely enjoy my time at the beach.

after 40 minutes, i decided to give it a go to return home but 2k into the run, i was down to a slow walk. after walking 3k, i hit a store and grabbed some chocolate milk and chocolate bars. this gave me a little energy and i was able to run in a few more k.

after a nice warm bath and a bite to eat, i took a light jog over to the pond to feed the duckies, and then it was out for a dinner with someone special.. we had a good time, even though my knees were sore and i was exhausted.. lol

35.8k of running, which brought my weekly total to a respectable 83.7k, and my month to 353.1k. i also clocked in 821 minutes in the pool this month for 37.6 km

the biggest shock is that i somehow managed to gain 10 pounds! clearly in part due to the hormones having a greater affect, and my poor selection of food (way too much chocolate and ice cream).

now comes the task of trying to drop weight in march while running less. it's gonna be more pool time for sure. after getting down to 165 pounds last summer, i am now back up to 195! and this is will clearly make running tougher on the knees, and the system as a whole.

well, i've definitely got my work cut out for myself..