Wednesday, September 30, 2009
cloudy and 16 today, which made for a nice day to be outside. i ran all over the place, including downtown, along water street, up to kent's pond, around the pond. then later a few runs around the neighbourhood, including to the pool and back. 15.5k running today, and 2.15k in the pool, which i swam in a very fast 40 minutes. that gave me a miserable 20k in the pool for the month. it has taken 9 months to swim what i swam in the first 3 months last year. oh well, i intend to swim more in the fall, as there will likely be miserable weather which will make me want to spend more time inside!
runningwise, i am over 2000 miles. that's 3218k. 3223.3 to be exact on the year so far. 368.4k on the month. i am consistently running about 10% more than last year. but devoting a great deal more time to it.
Monday, September 28, 2009
strange how every time i finish a marathon, i contemplate quitting the sport, but the next day, i usually end up registering for the next one.. Lol
well, not the case today. i really have no desire to run any more marathons in the near future.. perhaps i am burnt out and need a break, who knows?
i think it really hit hard today just how low my performance has fallen.. and the fact that i had reduced my expectations to the point where i was happy with yesterday's performance, really disgusts me.
in just 14 months, i have gone from one of the best male marathon runners in Newfoundland, to one of the worst pseudo-female runners. i'm really starting to believe the latest research and scientific test that imply that transsexual woman athletes are actually at a competitive Disadvantage towards other females, due to even lower testosterone levels, and higher body fat levels.
oh well, i've got Boston and Big Sur next spring to think about, and 7 long cold Newfoundland winter months to prepare for them. and if things don't go well in Boston, i may hang up the marathon shoes for good and start to focus more on shorter distanced runs..
Sunday, September 27, 2009
i didn't sleep well last night and felt a little sluggish at the start. i never really know how i feel until after i run the first km, this will usually broadcast how the rest of the run will go. i feel out a pace that i feel i can keep up for the entire run. i was around 5.30 in 1k, and quickly did the math in my head, thinking i was looking at a 3.52.00, IF it was on a flat course. knowing what lied ahead, i figured there was no way that i could break 4 hours, but i decided to stay on 4 hour pace. i crossed over 10.55k at 59 minutes, then the next 10.55k in 61 minutes, literally getting me to the half at 2 hours.
i was feeling a little better by then but i could feel some tenderness in the knees. i slowed down a little bit and put it on cruise control. 63 minutes for the third quarter. amazingly, i started feeling fresher than i had all morning. but the last quarter is the hilliest, and the windiest, so i slowed down even more to ensure that i didn't do any damage to the knees with the hills. i hit the 40k mark at almost exactly 4 hours, and finished up strong at 4.13.43.
that's 6.10 better than my last marathon, which was run on a much flatter course.
overall, i am a little disappointed given how much better my 42.2k dress rehearsal run went 3 weeks ago, but ultimately, i knew coming into this run that i was not in peak condition.
i guess what matters most is that i ran a very consistent race and was able to stick to the game plan as it had unfolded. the knees, the lungs, and everything else handled the run fine. i ran strong all the way thru and never hit the wall. my attitude remained fairly positive throughout the entire run, which is a first for this marathon. the last two runs on this course were classified as disasters. it was nice to cross the finish line and not throw a tempertantrum.
i really don't know where i will go from here. i'd love to run a 3.45.59 somewhere soon, but i won't likely run another marathon until Boston 2010 unless i am extremely confident that i can do that.
well, time to go to the post-race reception and have lunch and mingle with other runners..
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
a busy week for me with looking for work and meeting with a variety of political figures to discuss a variety of issues, many of which relate to my situation as a transperson who is struggling to find work and struggling to get the health care funding for medical procedures that my doctors say that i need.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
the game was so frustrating that i gave up and went back outside for another run during the second half. this time a stronger paced tempo run around long pond, where i took a break and sat on the rocky shore for a while. and that's where it really all sunk in that summer is all but over. it was a really crappy one weatherwise here. only 5 trips to topsail beach and 4 to middle cove beach this year for me. less than half the beach days we had last year. oh well, we might get 1 or 2 warmer days this week, so it's not totally over..
and fall really can be lovely with the leaves changing here. and the air is still crisp and pure. and i have lots to look forward to with a marathon next weekend and lots of tough decisions to make with regards to where the rest of my life is going.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
i also made a rare apperance at a concert tonight, only my 2nd concert of the year. it was a benefit gig to raise money for breast cancer, and it featured two musicians from ontario, who are touring across the country. each gig also features 2 local musicians. the format is a song-circle gig, so each singer took turns running thru their list of hits.. among the artists sharing the stage were local newfoundlanders Sherry Ryan and Denielle Hann, and Amanda Rheaume of Ottawa - an awesome singer/songwriter who i met on an airplane earlier this year and kept in touch with. it was great to see her again. she's always been very supportive of me and what i am doing as a transsexual marathon runner.
after the show, i chatted with most of the singers, then made the run home, adding 3 more km to my daily total.
cold and rain in the forecast tomorrow so i'll probably hit the indoor swimming pool. it was cloudy and fairly cool for most of today, but i decided to take a brief break during my half marathon training run to stop the clock and jump into kent's pond to cool off. my was it cold but very refreshing. i hope it won't be the last pond swim of the year. i really miss the few summer days we have had this year.. hoping for a few more before it starts snowing!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
it's been a sluggish week for me with the exception of tuesday's mega 21.1k run.
8k wednesday, mostly slow and gentle with Kim. no running thursday but about 8k of walking, including a walk around my favourite trails to long, kent, and burton pond.. the latter where i had a long visit with the duckies.. i also hit the pool for a rather strong 45 minute swim (2.1k), my 3rd swim of the week. let's see if i can sneak in a 4th and 5th swim this week! i said on Sept 1 that i wanted to swim more this month, so it's time to make it happen!
9 days til the provincial marathon, so it's ok to be toning it down. the knees are still feeling my 50k run that i did onsept 6, but they are healing well and should be close to 100% come race day.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
tuesday the 15th was an excellent 21.1k tempo run; 2.08.00 in total. ran the trail down to quidi vidi lake, 3 laps around the lake, then back home. a strong run on a tough hilly trail. ran 4 more k in the evening..
sorry for the point form, but no time to write tonight!
Monday, September 14, 2009
an hour later, we were back at it for the terry fox run, a fun run to raise money for cancer research. we ran 3k around quidi vidi lake and then had the chance to meet with and chat with Heather Strong, Newfoundland curling legend and rep of the terry fox foundation.
later that evening, i went for a nice 2k swim.
looking forward to a busy week that will likely see more swimming and slightly less running.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
recent reports out of Australia claim that sex testing results on Caster Semenya have been leaked and that the test results conclude that she has testicles, a clitorus, a vagina, no penis, no ovaries, and no uterus.. hence, making her intrasexxed.
first of all, these reports are from unreliable australian sources. i am ashamed that the national post and other supposedly respected publications are covering this story based on tabloid rumors ... and shame on the IAAF for allowing this apparent leak.
....the global societal presumption that everybody in the world is either 100% male or 100% female is what i like to refer to as 'societal discrimination' that folks like myself and Caster have to deal with every day.
Caster is a SHE. Gender is not a matter of biology, but a matter of self-identity.. to refer to her as him or it would be extremely disrespectful..
in terms of sex, most reports i have studied indicate that approx 1.7% of the human race is intersexxed in some manner, meaning that these people carry some combination of both male and female parts, either internally and/or externally... this in addition to the 0.005% of the population who identify as transsexual.
if these reports prove to be true, it is likely she won't compete against females again until/unless her male (testosterone-producing) parts are surgically removed and her hormone levels (both estrogen and testosterone levels) return to what is considered the female norms for at least 2 years.
what makes this most upsetting is the way the situation has been handled.. i know only too well what it feels like to face societal discrimination on a daily basis for falling somewhere outside of the so-called global sex/gender identity and expression 'norms'.. the emotional scars that Caster will face from all of this will be extremely tough to deal with, and these scars may be enough to drive her out of the spotlight for life.. heck, most intrasexxed and transsexual people stay out of the spotlight for their entire life. i can tell you it takes real courage to stand up and be yourself in a situation like this..
finally, these athletic sanctioning bodies better do their research on the difference between 'gender' and 'sex' ...if they insist on using the word gender, then they better continue to allow Caster to compete.. she may not be the fastest 'female' in the world, but she's no doubt the fastest 'woman'
if the IAAF really wants to consider themselves the World Championships, then they gotta find a way to keep her in the line up, either in a 3rd category, or as a 'woman' who is 'participating' but won't be eligible for 'female' awards.. it may be unfair for her to compete against females, but it would be unfair to her to ask her to compete against males. yes she has high testosterone levels compared to females, but no where near male levels.. bottom line, you can't really call it a world championship if 1.7% of the world population is disqualified from being there due to no fault of their own.. to only allow 'males' and 'females' to be involved would be highly discriminatory. if any athletic body denies her the opportunity to run, she should take them to court.. if these sanctioning bodies don't want to be taken to court or the human rights commission by her, or me, or anyone else, they better hurry up and put together some protocol to determine when and how an intersexxed athlete can be deemed 'good enough' to 'deserve' to be included in an elite-level track meet.
notice how every time i ask a marathon to let me run, they have always found a way to do it. whether they classify me as '3rd sex' or as 'woman who will run with females but not win awards.' if they excluded me, they know they would potentially face a law suit or human rights complaint....
with Boston and Big Sur 2010 finally starting to sink in, my focus will now be on a BQ for 2011! not knowing what the future holds for me in terms of health, there's no reason to wait until April 19, 2010 to attempt to qualify for the 2011 Boston Marathon. the qualifying window starts late sept/09 so i might as well try to find a nice flat course this fall and give it a go!
i also ran 2.5k this morning with Kim. it was her first run in 6 days after a little injury-resting break. the run went well. we also walked 1.5k. we registered for sunday's 5k race this evening and she graciously accepted the opportunity to wear bib #1. i was assigned #3.
bib numbers are only meant to identify runners, but for me, #1 represents a bit of a target. i wore #1 for the 2007 Newfoundland Marathon and i felt rather uncomfortable with it.. i wore #1 again at the 2009 World Outgames Marathon and it didn't bother me at all that time. as we know, i went on to 'win' that race in the transsexual category..
i am still quite sore from sunday's 50k so i anticipate that sundays' 5k race will be a fun run for me, as i pace Kim to what will hopefully be a great run for her. as an added bonus, i will also head down to quidi vidi lake later that morning to participate in another fun run, my 3rd ever Terry Fox Run, (the other two being 1982 and 2002).
anyway, NFL season kicks off tonight, so i am looking forward to watching some of that, as well as watching more of the US Open tennis..
might be warm enough for a beach day tomorrow. let's hope the weather report in the morning is favourable!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
well, my day just took a really exciting turn in the positive direction...
i've just received clarification that my Sept 28/08 Toronto Waterfront Marathon result of 3.42.26 will be recognized as a qualifying run for my entrant as a female for the 114th Boston Marathon, which runs on Apr 19/10. (female standard for age 35-39 is 3.45.59)
there was some initial confusion regarding whether or not my TO run would be sufficient for a female qualification given the lack of a transgender athlete policy for the TO Waterfront Marathon at that time, but Boston has given the green light...
this is the second year in a row that my acceptance into Boston occured in an anticlimactic way by receiving communication while sitting in my living room.. i am determined that my 3rd trip to Boston will become finalized upon crossing the finish line on Boylston St. on April 19/10. so, let the training begin!
what makes this story extra unique is that my run on Sept 28/08 was run at a slow and gentle pace, given that i had just completed another marathon on Sept 27/08 in Akron Ohio. As you may recall, i decided to give up on Boston qualifying in an effort to find new challenges that were more attainable at that time, as i was unable to hit the male BQ standard of 3.15.59 little did i know that a year later, i would be using this as a female qualifier, as the actual qualifying time window for the 2010 Boston Marathon started on Sept 27, 2008. amazing!
but wait, there's more!!! i will now be eligible to participate in the "Boston to Big Sur Challenge"
to celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Big Sur International Marathon will challenge and honour 400 special runners who complete Boston and Big Sur in the same year (that's 2 marathons in 6 days!) The run from Big Sur to Carmel California is a very challenging hilly run, but is among the most scenic in the world, with mountains on one side and the pacific ocean on the other. the Big Sur marathon has also sanctioned me as a female runner (but with exclusions from awards). assuming i am in good financial and physical health, i will plan to make the journey to california after running boston to complete this challenge!
tuesday was a swim at the hotel pool before the meeting, a great meeting, then the long flight back home.
wednesday will be back to the normal routine for me..
Sunday, September 6, 2009
anyway, after a bubble bath, i was back out there for a light 7.8k to visit with a friend for some pizza. it was not the greatest 7.8k of my life, but it was fast enough to ensure that i came in well under 5 hours overall for the 50k. 4.50.48 over a span of 9.50.00 in total.
and overall, i feel pretty good. the run was tough but at no point did i ever feel that i was over doing it. the breathing held up fine. the knees managed to survive it. and i should be fine for my 5k with Kim tomorrow morning.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
i'll be looking for 10 days of consistent hard running and then 10 days of tapering as i head into the Nfld marathon, which will be an interesting test to see where my fitness is at.. then i will decide whether or not to pursue a mid-to-late fall marathon..
Friday, September 4, 2009
i decided to visit Long Pond today, a place i don't usually spent much time at, but it was lovely. lots of duckies swimming around and people bringing their kids and dogs to the park. i find it amusing how every dog seems to instinctively know how to swim and loves to chase after a wooden stick. it's been a rather cool week here but it finally warmed up to 23 today, so it was a great day to be outside.. i also walked over to Kent Pond for a swim too. both ponds are quite chilly, but still swimable, at least for a short while... hopefully there will be more nice september summer days ahead here, as i hope to have a few more beach visits before it starts to snow here! i find it sad knowing that our short summer is winding down. i really feel cheated as i missed 3 of the nicest days of the summer here when i was locked in that hospital in late June.
anyway, i will likely swim over the weekend at the pool but limit the running, as the never-ending runner's knee in the left leg seems to want to act up just as i think it's getting better.. that hill work will get ya every time!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
i made the challenging climb uphill from arts and culture centre to left pond today.. a hilly 3.5k run that rivals signal hill! it was very windy here today, which made it seem like a fall afternoon. i jumped in the pond for a brief swim as it was quite cold. more gentle running followed and then a walk to the pond later to feed the duckies.
i bought a new set of asics 2140 shoes, looking forward to seeing how the compare with last year's 2130s that i have been using for the past 14 months. i also bought a pair of 2130 trail shoes, as they were on sale. should be interesting to see how they differ as well.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
i also swam 1.5k at lunch today, packing it in early due to sore arms that are still recovering from yesterday's 5k swim.
hot and sun in the forecast tomorrow so it will likely be a run to one of the beaches.. where i can add to my already high k total this week. 77.8k in 4 days so far.. this combined with the swims and i have already dropped the 4 pounds i gained last month.. amazing! back down to 188, which is great!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I gained a few pounds in August from the reduced activity, but the feet are almost 100% so i will be back at my normal weekly running routine. with some additional time in the pool, i should be able to drop back down a few.
January 392.8 392.8
February 353.1 745.9
March 342.6 1087.5
April 226.1 1313.6
May 444.0 1757.6
June 309.9 2066.9
July 361.2 2428.1
August 426.8 2854.9
Swimming 2009 - month - net
Jan 2009 19.900 19.900
Feb 2009 37.600 57.500
Mar 2009 39.900 107.400
April 2009 57.625 165.025
May 2009 32.900 197.925
June 2009 10.000 207.925
July 2009 8.600 216.525
August 2009 27.1000 243.625
2008 total rank net
January 126.3 126.3
February 114.5 240.8
March 299.5 540.3
April 317.1 857.4
May 347.0 1204.0
June 352.6 1556.6
July 415.4 1972.0
August 572.8 2566.8
September 325.4 2892.2
October 300.9 3193.1
November 241.9 3435.0
December 176.6 3611.6 km
Jan 2008 67.350 67.35
Feb 2008 101.500 168.85
March 2008 92.450 261.30
April 2008 103.900 365.20
May 2008 47.000 412.20
June 2008 47.450 459.65
July 2008 42.925 502.575
August 2008 43.725 546.30
September 2008 36.350 582.65
October 2008 54.150 651.65
November 2008 54.200 705.85
December 2008 14.325 720.175
Aug 2009 - overall, it's hard to believe i have swam so much less than last year, especially given my goal to swim more. oh well, at least the running is up 10% from last year.
last year at this time, i was just starting to feel the affects of the estrogen therapy. i went on to gain 17 pounds from sept 1/08 to jan 1/09. my weight has fluxuated up and down thru 2009 but has generally remained the same as it was to start the year, so from that perspective, that is good. i have not gained any additional weight since having my orchi, so that too is a sign that my workload has been a good way to counter act the affects of hormone replacement therapy.
that being said, i am really going to try to get back into the pool more often so i can load up on cardo/endurance work in hopes of dropping a few pounds without overdoing it to the knees or feet. i'd really like to peak in November and run a 3.45.59 marathon somewhere.. that is my main running goal for the final 1/3 of 2009.
other exciting news, i finally got an appt booked with a lung specialist for Nov. this will be a few weeks after some extensive breathing tests. i also finally received a recommendation letter for Sex Reassignment Surgery from my psychiatrist. yet another exciting baby step forward in life!
well, i am dreading the weigh-in tomorrow as i know i am up a few pounds.
sept is going to be a base building month with a refocus on peaking for a nov marathon. i will still run the Nfld marathon this month, but it will only be a light training run as i am nowhere near peak shape.