Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 29 & 30, 2009 - gentle workouts

recovery has gone fairly well. after a couple of rest days, i decided to get back into the pool, swimming 2k on wed and today. i also tested out the ankle today with 7k of gentle running. it is still a little tender but way better than it felt after the Waterloo Marathon. i suspect it will heal substantially within the next 10 days and i should have no trouble pulling off a Mississauga Marathon without doing any further damage.. will probably not run tomorrow but will plan a slightly longer swim.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The official review of '3 marathons in 8 days' Charlottesville, Boston, Waterloo marathons

for those of you keeping score:

04/18/09 Charlottesville Marathon 4.59.33
04/20/09 Boston Marathon 4.28.29
04/26/09 Waterloo Marathon 4.30.33

but this trip was about much more than finishing times..
ironically, these were the three slowest official marathon finishing times i had ever run, but they were probably among the most three satisfying marathon runs i have ever done..

(pictured is me sporting the Boston Marathon runner's shirt, along with all three finishers medals from my trip!)

wow, what a trip. i decided to take the plunge and book this insane trip back in january, just 4 weeks after i had major genital surgery. i was quite confident that i would heal up nicely and that my strength, speed, endurance, energy, and metabolism levels would not decrease substantially enough to prevent me from doing this challenge in april.

the main purpose of this trip was the Boston Marathon, but then i got thinking that since i was not able to run marathons fast anymore and go after new PB records, i decided i needed different goals to keep me motivated and positive about running (in sept 08, i found myself throwing temper tantrums at the end of marathons due to slower times and really needed to dig deep to rediscover the love of running).

running world magazine and other entities kept hyping up charlottesville marathon as a must run, so i decided to give it a go. having run 2 marathons in 2 days back in sept 08, i figured i could manage 2 in 3 days this year. my health and fitness had substantially declined since then though.. i entered this trip with testosterone levels in the lower quarter of the normal female range, and with estrogen levels in the upper female range.. despite conducting a grueling training regime in january to march, i found myself having gained 25 pounds. i also found myself with sore knees from what was clearly over training and extra strain on the legs due to the extra weight..

i flew into washington dc from newfoundland on apr 16 and met up with some friends in baltimore for dinner. then i drove down to virginia the next day and picked up my kit and walked around the campus of U of virgnina.. the rest of the day was spent relaxing in my hotel.
race day weather seemed perfect, about 9 degrees and no wind or rain. my plan was to run this race extremely slow to ensure that i did not push the knees any harder and to strangely enough, hope to save enough for boston that i could be as fresh as if i hadn't run 42.2k 2 days earlier.
i settled into a nice 4.20.00 pace. the race was going well, and then the hills hit. running thru the virginia countryside was pretty, but very hilly! ..and then the temp began to rise.. and rise... by mile 16, the temp had hit about 22 degrees, and i found myself feeling a slight knot on my calf.
getting used to my new body has been a real learning experience.. i thought i was managing my hydration well, but obviously not well enough. i was dehydrated and close to cramping.. this forced me to slow down substantially for a while.. it took me an hour to run mile 16-20. at this point, i had slowed down to a light jog.. this was actually good for me though.. i saved the legs thru some of the toughest hills on the course.

amazingly, after hitting the 20 mile mark, i felt suitably rehydrated and was able to pick the pace back up to where i was before.. i actually ran in the final 6 miles at a pace slightly faster than any other part of the race.

(pictured is me about 35k into the race)

time goals were never a factor in this run, but it was nice to cross the finish line at 4.59.33 instead of something in the 5.00.00 - 5.05.00 range.. lol

the biggest concern at this point was that i realized that i had aggravated my right ankle. it was quite sore...

anyway, no time for recovery, i went from the finish line straight to my car and made the 3 hour drive back to the washington dc airport and got on a plane to boston.. that was one heck of a long day and you could say i was excited when i was finally checked into my hotel..

boston was everything it was hyped up to be. the day before, i toured around and drove to hopkinton to take some pics and scope out the logistics of parking. i also drove down town and decided that my plan would be to park downtown instead of at the start, on race day, and take the shuttle bus that the BAA recommended we all take.

the health and fitness expo was huge and i spent a couple of hours walking around visting all the booths. i decided to order the My dvd package, i even filmed a brief interview for this dvd. this will essentially be a dvd that includes a highlight package of me running at various checkpoints, as well as highlights of the elite runners...

race day itself started out with a 2.50 am alarm (yikes). i had a little breakfast and then drove downtown and caught the shuttle bus out to hopkinton. there, me and 28000 other runners sat around the athletes village in the cold for a few hours before being called to line up for the start.
my ankle wasn't hurting all that much and i felt really strong. unlike most marathonners, i like to do the first mile a little faster than anticipated race pace as a warm up. this is also a chance for me to gage exactly how strong i feel and to decide what pace i should slow down to..

(pictured is me on my way to the starting coral in Hopkinton)

i came out flying. i was actually running at 3.40.00 pace! i decide to keep up this pace.. being seeded 7500th on the basis of a BQ time of 3.16.59, yet running 3.40.00 pace meant that i was constantly being passed by runners, which was actually fun as i got to see all sorts of intersting people..

by half way, i was still feeling very strong. i had run a 1.53.00, essentially keeping me on pace for a 3.45.59, which would requalify me for next year. i was in shock.. could the unthinkable happen? could i actually run fast enough to requalify for 2010 boston just 48 hours after struggling through the hot hilly virginia terrain?

well, it wasn't to be. around mile 16, i found my ankle and knees starting to act up, and i was forced to slow down.. i was frustrated at first, but then very quickly reminded myself that this race was never about time goals. my initial intent was to simply take in the experience and enjoy the run and try to finish in good health so that i could come back yet again in 6 days to run Waterloo Marathon..

i immediately refocused on enjoying the run. i started paying closer attention to the fans, high fiving all the little kids and egging on the college students to scream louder! although my appearance is getting more feminine as each day passes, it is still obvious to some that i am a male-to-female transsexual.. in some cases, people still just see a male dressing as a woman.. so i am often the centre of attention. i used this to my advantage to fire up the crowd! the boston college students really went crazy as i did jestured to my ear as if i was hard of hearing and then encouraged them to yell louder.. lol tons of fun!

after completing the heartbreak hill, i stopped briefly to do a live interview with CBS, who unfortunatly, did not air the footage.. i indicated that i really enjoyed climbing the hill.. lol seriously, this hill was nothing compared to what i run every day here in newfoundland!
around the 31k mark, i was passed by a friend from ontario who was looking strong out there, although he indicated to me that he felt he had started out a bit fast..

(pictured is me crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon)

shortly after, a fellow newfoundlander recognized me as he passed and said hello to me..
i ended up crossing the finishline in a limp, but managed to feel a very strong sense of pride.. 4.28.29. more than 30 minutes faster than what i had run in virginia. still, my second slowest marathon ever, but once again, the second marathon in a row that i finished feeling a strong sense of accomplishment and the feeling of knowing i had hit my goal...

i went back to my hotel and crashed out for the rest of the day..

(pictured is me with the Boston Marathon finishers medal)

i was up at 3 am once again for an early flight down to florida, where i planned to sit on the beach for 4 days of rest and recovery, and that's exactly what i did.. i went all the way down to Key West, a place i had never been to, but heard good things about. no running at all in florida for me, but the hotel had a pool, so i managed to get in 40 minutes of swimming every day i was there, as well as tons of walking. Key West is known for their diverse community, especially their strong population of gay/lesbian and transgendered people.. it felt great to walk around a town and not feel out of place and to not get stared at everywhere i go.. part of me didn't want to leave.

but i had one more run ahead, so it was a long travel day back to canada on saturday and then a quick turn around to get myself to waterloo early sunday morning..

the travel day on saturday took quite a bit out of me, so i started the waterloo marathon feeling very sluggish.. i set out at a 4 hour marathon pace.. by the 3/4 mark, i was still feeling strong, having run 31.5k in 3.05.00. once again, this is where the ankle became a problem again.. it was much more sore than in either of the two previous races.. my tank was also on empty and i could feel my body literally burning fat and muscle to keep me going.. i limped from 32k-37k and considered slowing down to a walk.. but then amazingly, i got a second wind from somewhere and was able to pick the pace back up a notch for the final 5k. i ran into the finish at 4.30.33. i was extremely puzzled as to how i managed to run strong after slowing down with the ankle..
i was then approached for an interview by the local paper, and i graciously accepted and told my story..
(pictured is me in the final k of the Waterloo Marathon)

then it was back to toronto where i found myself extremely exhausted and practically unable to move for the next 24 hours..

i felt a little better monday and visited with family and friends, including a brief coffee with another fellow running friend who is training for his first Mississauga marathon..

now it's back home and back to the misery that awaits for me.. need to find a new job and a new apartment in the weeks ahead.. i'm also negociating myself into a very risky romantic relationship with someone that i am starting to find myself strongly attracted to, yet someone that comes with a diverse variety of additional challenges and stresses..

anyway, the running will continue, after 14 days of rest, i will be back in Mississauga to commemorate my 2 year anniversary of my very first marathon, the 2007 mississauaga marathon.. this will be my 16th official marathon in the span of 104 weeks.

those runs last week has be already thinking about time goals again.. i think i have caught the boston bug. running it once isn't enough. i want to go back! i want to do whatever it takes to get back there every year.. i want a visit to boston on patriots day to become an annual tradition for me! it will really depend on how the ankle feels, but if i think i am up for it, i will fully intend to run mississauga at 3.45.00 pace. it will be my intent to tag along with the pace bunnys for the entire day..

after mississauga, i will be returning to my original home town of halifax 7 days later to tackle the very hilly bluenose marathon, which will be a treated like a slow long distance run.. making it 5 marathons in 30 days!

after that, it will be 7 hard weeks of cardio endurance workouts that includes some running, but mostly swimming, in attempt to rest the knees and ankle yet push me to try to lose some weight.. it will also help me work on my swimming stroke as i prepare for participation in my first ever swim meet in July.. the world out games in denmark will be up next, where i will be the first person in world history to run a marathon under the banner of a 'transsexual' sex/gender category.. a race which i hope will be my best of the year. one day later, i will be doing a 1500M swim at the world out games under the banner of the same category...

after that, it will be back to more weight loss in hopes of preparing for a late fall marathon either in newfoundand or ontario, depending on where i end up working and living at that point...


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009 - recovery going well

well, i am finally back home after an exhausting but really great trip. to run 3 marathons in 8 days and to do so while remaining in good health is an exceptional accomplishment give the current state of my health and fitness. this trip has really given me a boost of self esteem and confidence as i head towards some very shaky times in my life.

most importantly, this has re-lit the competitive fire in me as i found myself wanting to do more with each run. there i was half way into the boston marathon, 2 days after a very tough charlottesville marathon of hills, heat, and dehydration, and i found myself not wanting to settle for just finishing.. i wanted to shoot for a requalification time. 6 days later in waterloo, still very sore, i found myself pushing extra hard to bring in the best possible time i could.

with 14 days off, i plan to do whatever i can to get myself into the best possible shape to ensure that my chances of running a 3.45.59 in Mississauga are maximized. i never even thought 2 weeks ago that i would be setting my sites on the 2010 Boston Marathon, but this is the obvious goal for any serious runner. i'd love to get back to boston in 2010, and then take the 201o Boston run much more seriously with the intent of running a PB and re-qualification time for the 2011 Boston Marathon. it's the greatest race in the world and something i think every runner should strive for.. i'd love to make a Patriots Day trip to Boston, an annual tradition for me for many many years to come!

i found myself down 4 pounds upon return and that is really excited, especially since i had predicted that i gained weight! the focus ahead will be rest and recovery with a very limited amount of running and swimming over the next 2 weeks. i want to go into Mississauga with a mission. Mississauga was the launch of my formal Marathon career in 2007, so i want this years marathon to essentially be the official launch of my 3rd marathon 'season,' and i can't think of a better way to start the season than to run a 3.45 marathon with even splits. i will be planning to run the entire course along side of the official 3.40 pace team. i will stick with them as long as the ankle is able to hold on.

no matter what i do in Mississauga, i will then run Halifax the next week as a slow fun run. then focus 3 months on weight loss and swimming to ensure i can show up in Denmark for the World Out Games in the best shape of my post-op life. Then i will refocus on running a BQ in the fall somewhere, if i haven't already BQed.

meanwhile, the rest of my life carries on as i continue to look for a new job and a new place to live. oh what fun lies ahead!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26, 2009 - 3 Marathons in 8 Days in the books!

well, i wasn't able to get to a computer all week but it was an excellent week indeed. after running Charlottesville and Boston Marathons within a span of 56.5 hours, i went down to Key West Florida to sit on the beach and recover. 4 awesome days of sun, swimming and sun tanning. quite the place. no running at all but i did manage 10.15k in the pool over a span of 4 days.

today was the Waterloo Marathon. the ankle was quite sore but i managed to get off to a fairly good start, although feeling sluggish. first three quarter splits of 56, 64, and 65 minutes had me feeling strong and confident. But this is when the ankle gave out, i had to slow down and essentially limp from 32k to 37k. but miraculously, i was able to pick it back up a notch and run in the final 5.2k in 28 minutes, my fastest span of the run! finishing at 4.30.33.

now the question remains: how bad is this ankle. i've now got 14 days til Mississauga, where i had hoped to run a BQ time of 3.45.59. endurance has never been a problem throughout this week. the knees have been holding up. carrying some extra bodyweight puts a strain on things, but i proved today that if healthy, i should be able to do it.

won't likely do much running at all over the next 2 weeks, but will plan to get in some nice swims to keep the fitness levels going.

back home tomorrow

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009 - Boston Marathon!!!

just back from an excellent day at the Boston Marathon. it was everything i could have expected. A great event and probably the most exciting run of my life.

i was still VERY sore from saturday's marathon but amazingly enough, i got off to a fast start. could be the excitement of it all. i ran the first 10K in just under 51 minutes, and carried on almost as fast right into the half, where i came in at 1.52.29. my endurance felt great but at this point, the knees started to get really sore. running a marathon 48 hours prior was an obvious reason for this. i also found myself slightly over hydrated, hence, i ended up taking about 7 bathroom breaks in the second half, which also slowed me down, yet gave me some nice rests. despite the knee pain, i managed to take it all in and enjoyed the entire run. the fans generally loved my outfit and i did what i could to fire them up.

at the top of infamous Heartbreak Hill (which wasn't nearly as bad as the hills i run in Newfoundland every day), a CBS reported asked me how the hill was so i replied that it was tons of fun! hopefully that will air on the news tonight!

i finished up fairly comfortbly with a time of 4.28.29, more than 30 faster than the run 2 days ago. it is now 2 hours after the run and i am feeling really good. time for a shower and some left over pizza!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19, 2009 - Boston the day before!

quite the exciting day for me! i drove around Hopkinton, home of the Boston Marathon starting line.. also drove downtown to the finish line and took some great pics. the health and fitness expo was excellent. tons of great booths.. i also filmed an interview which will be part of the 'my marathon dvd' that i ordered. this will be a compilation of video clips of me from 5 different vantage points on the course, as well as a hilight package..

Boston will be my first official marathon in the female category, and for that, i am really excited. It's been a good restful day and i can tell that the re-energizing plan of lots of protein is paying off. i have no doubt in my mind that my endurance levels will be at 100% tomorrow. the legs will still be sore, as i had to extend myself quite hard out there in Charlottesville during my dehydration phase of that run.

My official Charlottesville time was 4.59.33 - a far cry from any other marathon i have ever run, but ironically enough, it was probably one of the smartest races i have ever done. the unexpected has to be expected in marathons, and i can feel very pleased and proud with the way i handled the dehydration situation. i slowed down from 10 minute miles to 15 minute miles until i was ready to pick up the pace. i coudl feel cramping in the right calf just trying to break out, and unlike Mississauga last year, i slowed down to avoid that disaster.. i actually finished really strong and had more wind left in the tank. i never did hit the wall!

here are my approximate quarter splits: 1.05, 1.09, 1.42, 1.03

looking forward to an interesting and exciting Boston Marathon tomorrow!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18, 2009 - slow and steady in Charlottesville!

today marked the first of 3 marathons in 8 days. Charlottesville Virginia and vicinity is very scenic but very hilly. it was cool to start but up to 75 degrees. adjusting to my new metabolism rates and everything else is a learning experience. i got off to a good steady start but found myself dehydrated at the 25k mark, forcing me to slow right down for a while until i was rehydrated. i ended up running a faster 4th quarter than the first 3! finishing with a time of 4.59.30 but more importantly, finishing with good health and feeling really good. monday's run should be much better! so far so good!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15, 2009 - tune up

excellent swim and run today as i prepare for 3 marathons in 8 days. 2 rest days ahead and then marathon runs on saturday in charlottesville and boston on monday. 6 days later, it will be the waterloo marathon in ontario canada. the days in between will feature suntanning in sunny key west!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009 - doubleheader!

well, i was late getting organzied today and only got in a 40 minute swim at noon, so i went back over and swam again in the late afternoon. 85 minutes of swimming covering 4.15k ..and throw in 8.7k of running and some nice quiet time outdoors at the pond, and i have a pretty good day! gonna go at it in the pool again hard tomorrow and then rest up for the big races ahead!


April 13, 2009 - short n sweet

had a 2k swim today in just 35 minutes. one of the fastest swims i have ever had. didn't have much time to swim today as i was busy having a series of meetings, but it was nice to get in some swimming speed work.

going to have a longer swim on tues and wed.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009 - foggy easter

couple of trips to the pond for a few laps.. 10k in total, slow and gentle.. lots of duckies spread all around the pond today and even a few on the walking trail! cold, rainy, foggy day here.. great for the ducks! easter dinner tonight with some friends, then a very busy day tomorrow... got some meetings with some very important people here in this city who i hope can lend a hand in my quest to re-enter the workforce soon.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11, 2009 - 6th best 2 hour swim ever!

well, with the pool closed for both easter friday and sunday, i had saturday pegged for a long swim.. but after 17k of tough running yesterday and with sore knees, i was going to pass on the swim in favour of haning out with some friends at the mall today. but turns out they left without me, so i decided to give the swim a go as a plan B. well, it proved to be a great plan. the 4k run over to the pool was rather painful and i really wasn't expecting the swim to last very long, but i got into my groove fairly quickly. i covered 3k in about 55 minutes, and still felt strong.. so on i went at a consistent pace with the idea that i would get in 6k. well, i showed literally no signs of slowing down and i hit 6k with 6 minutes to spare.. so i sprinted in 7 more laps to give me 6.35k on the day.. the 6th best distance for a 2 hour swim in my brief swimming history! i could only imagine how much better it could have been had i not put in that run yesterday. amazing to think that my swimming is literally almost as good as it was pre-op.

let's revisit my greatest 2 hour swims:

03/08/08 120 minute swim 7.025 km
02/16/08 120 minute swim 7.00 km
01/19/08 120 minute swim 6.80 km
03/29/08 120 minute swim 6.50 km
04/13/08 120 minute swim 6.50 km
04/11/09 120 minute swim 6.35 km (post-op)
10/26/08 119 minute swim 6.25 km
02/17/08 118 minute swim 6.20 km
02/09/08 120 minute swim 6.10 km
04/04/09 115 minute swim 6.00 km (post-op)
03/01/08 105 minute swim 6.00 km
02/03/08 117 minute swim 6.00 km
08/17/08 116 minute swim 6.00 km

anyway, it's now officially taper week. i don't plan to do very much running at all over the next 6 days. i will probably plan to swim for an hour each day on mon, tues, and wed. then rest completely on thurs and fri.

Happy Easter to all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10 2009, good speed drill friday

well, so much for following the rule book, i went out for a 13k slow long run this afternoon, and it went well. stopped several times along the way to visit and feed duckies that are now scattered all over the ponds now that the ice has melted. the weather was cold (3 degrees) and rainy..

later on, i decided i wanted to do speed drills, so i went over to Kent's Pond and did 2 speed laps of 1.5k. there was still snow and ice on the trail, which slowed me down to a certain extent. i clocked in at 6.51 and then 7.19. about a minute slower than my peek times last year. which is not too bad considering my weight gain, hormones, and lack of speed training in recent months.. oh well, guess i got my work cut out for me now.. i'd love to set a PB in the 1.5k distance this year. there's gotta be something i can do faster now than before, huh??


Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009 - 2 hour warm up

well, today's swim was rather strange.. i went at a very slow and gentle pace. i felt very relaxed, as if i was doing some sort of warm up. i couldn't really get it going at normal pace, but i managed to keep going on and on.. 20 laps, 40, 60... 3k, 4k.. on and on.. i hit 5k in 105 minutes, which is slow but still not bad. it was at this point where i was finally 'warmed up' and able to pick it up a notch. i swam about as fast as i could for the next 12 minutes and got in 14 more laps.. giving me 5.7k in just under 2 hours. as i got out of the pool, i felt 'warmed up' and ready to go.. very strange. i bolted out of the pool, got changed and went into a run afterwards..

i hope this is how things go later this month when i essentially warm up in charlottesville with a 42.2k run, then move onto boston 2 days later and do the same! overall, it was a great day, great, run, great swim.. also had a nice visit with the duckies and had a good networking visit with a colleague who is involved with some local LGBT advocacy organizations...

not sure if i will do the Tely 10 teaser run tomorrow morning or not. it will all depend on how well i sleep and how late i stay up tonight..


April 8, 2009 - low energy

not much of a work out today. a 3k run over to the pool and a very sluggish 1.5k swim was all i could handle. that aggressive swim monday took more out of me than i thought. it is now the morning of the 9th as i type this and i had a good sleep and i am feeling good so i am hopeful of a better run and swim today..

friday is the official, tely 10 teaser run here in paradise, NL; a chance for local runners to do a dress rehersal of the 10 mile course for july's infamous road race, a race i will sadly miss this year due to my marathon commitment that same weekend in Denmark.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Summarizing my journey to Boston

i was recently asked about my journey to Boston, so i put together this report: a 33 yr old male in 2007, i went from 240 pound couch potato on January 1, 2007 to 200 pound 4.19.48 Mississauga Marathon finisher on May 13/07. i ran every day and slowly increased my distance to the point where i was ready to run 42k. the month leading up to mississauga, i ran a 42k LSD every week, gradually improving on my finishing times.. i never engaged the services of a running coach, and i generally broke many rules with regards to marathon training best-practices.

over the next 4 months, i focused on improving my endurance, added in speed drills, and lost more weight, in hopes that i could have a shot at a BQ in the fall However, increasing my distance too drastically proved to be problematic as i ran into ITB syndrone and found myself struggling with long runs in the fall.

over the winter, i focused on resting the legs and took up swimming as a way to continue with health, fitness, endurance, and weight loss.

come spring, my legs had recovered and i resumed a full slate of training, featuring endurance runs, hills, speed drills, and a much more healthy diet. i averaged 320k of running per month during march, april, may and june.

i showed up at the 2008 Mississauga Marathon in great shape, weighing about 170 pounds, and anticipating a 3.15.00 BQ time. things were going well but i cramped up at the 39k mark, slowing me down and costing me a BQ. i still crossed the finish line at 3.19.06; hence, shaving off more than 1 full hour from last year's time.

with estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy scheduled to start in August (i am a transsexual currently in the process of changing from male to female), i knew the clock was ticking on my chances to score a BQ, so i signed up for 2 more marathons in June, both which proved to be challenging courses. i did not BQ on either.

desperate for one more chance, despite rather sore knees from a very busy spring, i signed up for the Massey Marathon on July 20/08 in northern ontario. this course proved to be fairly flat and the weather that day was perfect. i scored a 3.16.59, technically 60 seconds shy of the official BQ website times, but good enough for the BAA to grant me entry into the Boston Marathon as per an unwritten policy regarding 'close calls'.

so, in just 19 months, i literally went from obese couch potato to BQ. at 166 pounds, i was still on the heavy end of the acceptable weight range given my height. at no time did i ever consider myself to have an athletic body. bottom line, if i can do this, than anyone can.. although be prepared to put in an extreme amount of work to get there...

fast forward to today, i have now endured the many negative side affects of transitioning from male to female: loss of testosterone, loss of muscle mass, 25 pound weight gain, lower energy levels, slower metabolism.. this despite running 370k per month in 2009. i anticipate marathon times in the 4:00 - 4:20 range this spring.. but i will be working extra hard over the next year to adapt to my new reality, and hope to regain suitable fitness so that i may post a 3:45 at some point this fall and requalify for the 2010 Boston Marathon as a female..


April 7 , 2009 - another rest day, with pride!

got in a 2k run this evening on my way to a 'st. john's pride' planning meeting. the knees didn't feel too badly at all. didn't get in a swim though today as i wanted to rest the arms after what has been a couple of very strong swims in the past week.

although st. john's pride festivities won't rival those of a big city such as toronto, there is lots of spirit here in this small city. As the publicly only out transwoman in the province, i am being looked to as a leader to both help plan and organize, as well as be a key participant in some of the events. with my future up in the air in terms of work, it's tough to make any firm commitments for pride week, which will take place in late July. i hope my future sorts itself out soon as i would like to play a strong role in this pride week.


Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009 - speed drills in the pool

well, another day off running, but plenty of work in the pool. 4k in 85 minutes, which featured a series of sprints for part of it.. my knees really seem to like swimming more than running, especially when 99% of my swimming is arms!! but it was a great work out, will likely head back to the pool for another long session tomorrow and will likely take yet another day off running..


Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5, 2009 - no repeat performance

well, i thought today would bring a legit shot at breaking my 2 day swimming distance record, but yesterday's swim took more out of me than i had thought. the energy levels seemed ok at first, but today's swim quickly went downhill in a hurry. 53 minutes into the swim, i decided i was ready to pack it in. 2.575k, which is still a respectable swim..

no running today but about 15k of walking around the misty cloudy but warmer st. john's winter.. got up to 12 degrees here. the ponds are melting off and the duckies are finally getting some room to swim around..

it was definitely an emotional week for me. not knowing what the future holds regarding work is rather scary. i could be packing a moving van and going just about anywhere in the near future.. it brings me back to where i was a few years ago, when i knew i was going to move, but didn't know where.. i sense that my days in Newfoundland are numbered. it's been a great two years here. i never really got too comfortable here, because deep down, i sorta knew that i wouldn't be staying here for long.. guess my gut feeling was right. oh well, i'm looking forward to the next phase in life, wherever it may be!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 2009 - swim of the year so far!

well, i had a pretty good sleep and woke myself up around 8.30 am today. just can't seem to sleep in any later these days.. strolled over to the pool anticipating another sluggish day, but it didn't take long to find my groove. i was swimming fast and strong. at the one hour mark, i had already swam 3.25k and wasn't showing any signs of slowing down. i started to think that this could be something special. sticking with the fast pace, i swam on and on... i hit the 5k mark in near record time and was finally starting to fade. but i knew this was gonna be my first chance of the year to hit 6k in less than 2 hours. i slowed down a bit but managed to swim in the final k in 21 minutes, only a bit slower than the previous 5, and faster than my normal swimming pace. i was totally exhausted at the end but felt very satisfied about swimming 6k in 115 minutes.. add in a gentle 4k run and a 4k walk and my day is complete..

now, let's see how long it takes to recover from this. the arms were sore before i even started. i'm amazed that i managed to get thru this swim.. i'm hoping for another big swim tomorrow..

my record 2 day total for swimming was Feb 16-17, 2008, when i swam 7k and 9.45k respectively in 120 and 181 minutes. the 2nd day featured 2 separate swims..

i could attempt to match this effort as there are two adult lane swims tomorrow, 12-2 and 5-6.30pm. amazingly enough, it is doable. i'd have to match my feat today, then return for 4.5k in the late session.. all it would take would be a swim at my normal pace (3k/hr). of course, it would take 325 minutes to do this, as opposed to the 301 last year. but just the fact that i am even thinking about this aftert my surgery is amazing.. i've often read that the reduction for transwoman is not as bad for swimming as it is for running.. although i can still notice the difference when i am in the pool.. but luckily, the extra weight isn't as much of an issue in the pool.

anyway, on that note, here's a summary of some of my greatest endurance swimming accomplishments:

longest swims:

10/13/08 224 minute swim 10.10 km
11/11/08 258 minute swim 10.00 km

additional long swim calendar days:

10/26/08 212 minutes (2 separate swims) 11.00 km
09/01/08 192 minutes (2 separate swims) 10.00 km
02/17/08 181 minutes (2 separate swims) 9.45 km
04/13/08 180 minutes (2 separate swims) 9.30km
03/01/09 180 minutes (2 separate swims) 9.00 km (post-op)
02/24/08 157 minutes (2 separate swims) 8.15km

Best 2 hour swim sessions:

03/08/08 120 minute swim 7.025 km
02/16/08 120 minute swim 7.00 km
01/19/08 120 minute swim 6.80 km
03/29/08 120 minute swim 6.50 km
04/13/08 120 minute swim 6.50 km
10/26/08 119 minute swim 6.25 km
02/17/08 118 minute swim 6.20 km
02/09/08 120 minute swim 6.10 km
04/04/09 115 minute swim 6.00 km (post-op)
03/01/08 105 minute swim 6.00 km
02/03/08 117 minute swim 6.00 km
08/17/08 116 minute swim 6.00 km

best swim weeks by distance:

Feb 24 - Mar 01/08 648 minutes 32.15 km
Mar 02 -08/2008 541 minutes 28.275 km
Feb 17-23/2008 524 minutes 26.65 km
Apr 06-12/2008 523 minutes 25.25 km
Feb 10-16/2008 501 minutes 24.75 km
Apr 27- May 03/2008 515 minutes 24.00 km
Feb 03-09/2008 462 minutes 23.60 km
Mar 30 - Apr 05/2008 485 minutes 23.35 km
Mar 23-29/2008 476 minutes 23.10 km
Apr 20-26/2008 459 minutes 23.00 km

best 2 day segments:

Feb 16-17/2008 - 301 minutes 16.45 km (3 separate swims)
Oct 12-13/2008 - 298 minutes 14.10 km (2 separate swims)

Post-Op Swimming Achievements of note:

04/04/09 115 minute swim 6.00 km
03/01/09 180 minutes (2 separate swims) 9.00 km

Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009 - quick update

2.35k swim was enough for me. very lethargic. 4.2k of running. enough to get me a good work out today but essentially a rest day. will be resting up big time over the next 15 days to ensure that the knees, calf muscles, etc are in prime condition for the big runs. got my boston kit in the mail today. how exciting!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009 - solid work out

yesterday's swim took more out of me than i thought. today's swim was relatively strong, but fatigue kicked in early. 2k in 40 minutes is still good. in fact, it is great! 5.5k of running at a slow pace rounded out the day. the job interview went well today. i can only hope that these folks will give me a legit chance...


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009 - ain't no foolin'

one of the best swims since surgery for me today. 4k in the pool in just 75 minutes. felt strong all the way thru and easily felt i could have swam on and on forever.. 11k of running today as well, 6 of which happened before and after my swim. then it was a run to the duck pond later in the day.. really feeling good today about the workouts. a couple of busy days ahead to close out the week, including a job interview, some social networking, an interview with the media, and hopefully a couple of more awesome swims!


March 31, 2009 - streak over :(

no run today.... haven't been able to say that since Feb 10! no swim in 3 days too. rest and recovery much needed after sunday's long run. gonna hit the pool tomorrow though for sure!