Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010 - not a bad finish

well, today's run was better than yesterday. i ran 21.1k, the equivalent of a half marathon. a lovely run, mostly on snowy trails, through the city. as an added bonus, i stopped at quidi vidi lake to feed the goose, which is always fun! i was quite spent at the end, but it was an encouraging run, given that i ran 16k yesterday. i think there's much room for improvement, but i am confident that i can build upon this and have a series of endurance weekends over the next 6 weeks and get myself in shape to complete the 2 marathon runs in late april.

this gives me 205.9k on the month, and 477.5k on the year. only 20k in the pool this month, for a total of 52k on the year. but overall, these numbers aren't bad at all given that i have been adjusting to a new life schedule with this new job, as well as the continuing challenges of transition, which include the additional burden of dealing with depression.

i maintained my weight at 196 pounds, which remains 2 less than the 198 i saw when i stepped on the scale on Jan 1.

i'm really hoping the month ahead will be a good one, as i seem to have renewed interest and passion for sport and life in general, and i hope to re-establish myself into the things that matter the most to me.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 27, 2010 - strange day

well, i started the day with a nice long sleep-in, then went out for what was supposed to be a long run. came in after 12k for hydration purposes and within 10 minutes, the adrenaline had warn off and i was exhausted! i literally had to lie down for a nap for a few hours. it is very very rare for me to fall asleep during the day! but it seemed to help as i was rejuvenated and went back outside for another 4k, mostly because i wanted to get over to the pond to feed the ducks.. oh well, 16k of running is not a bad day, even though i wanted it to be a 25k day.

Well, it's been a great evening to watch Kevin Martin with the gold medal in curling, and even more exciting to see Joannie Rochette honoured with the first ever award named after the greatest runner in world history, the Terry Fox award. it's been great to follow the progress of the athletes, even though i have not had a chance to really watch much of the footage due to being busy at work.

well, i am hoping for a strong day tomorrow to end February on a good note. with only 16k today, i might give a long run another go tomorrow, but i'd also like to get in the pool for a long swim.. maybe an evening swim will be in the works.


Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010 - update

had a strong day with 11k running and 2.5k swimming. feeling really good. the increase in SSRI dosage to regular levels seems to have helped. i appear over the initial hyper-adjustment phase and appear to have stabilized. i hope to have more energy this weekend than last, so that i can have a serious long run and long swim.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010 - taking 'pride' in St. John's

A new leader has recently emerged from an unofficial entity known as "St. John's Pride." Today i had a chance to speak with this new leader and i am highly impressed with the person and her vision. Unlike prides of years passed, i am confident that this year will be much more than just a parade and a series of speeches from heterosexual politicians. i am eager and excited to re-establish myself as a prominent LGBT-identified member of society and as a member of the team of people who will steer and implement a pride week spectacular that will facilitate strong societal acceptance and understanding of the LGBT community and our unique needs.

here are my 20 visions for Pride, the entity!

it will be my personal goal to do whatever i can to see that these visions become reality:

- Pride is not just a parade, it is an organization of people with common goals and interest to come together and work together with each other and community leaders to implement positive change to society.

- It is a place to celebrate who we are, and to educate and advocate for acceptance and equality. a place where everyone will be welcomed and valued and nobody left out or censored

- A place where bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transsexual, transgender, transvestite, intersexed, two-spirited, and questioning people are equally as embraced, celebrated, and heard from as the gays and the lesbians

- Instead of a place for us to listen to politicians, it will be a place where politicians listen to us.

- A place where LGBT people big, small, old, young, rich, or poor, can all come together and feel like one big family

- a place for serious LGBT matters to be discussed with community leaders. Specifically, health care and human rights.

- a place where businesses will have a chance to show their support and gratitude for their LGBT clients

- a place where government policies will be opened up for public consultation

- a place where personal stories are told and new personal friendships and acquaintanceships are made

- a place where LGBT health professionals finally engage and listen to LGBT people discuss their wants and needs so they can really gain a clear understanding of what the gaps and inconsistencies are.

- a place where the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Justice personnel hear first-hand stories of discrimination against LGBT people

- a place where corporate entities, LGBT-friendly or otherwise, can come together to discuss our community.

- An organization that offers a safe haven for closeted people to come out, at least to a certain extent

- An organization that offers advice and guidance to LGBT people in need

- A place where straight allies can learn how to be the best allies possible

- A place where prominent members of the LGBT community are profiled and recognized for their work

- A place for LGBT people to make meaningful positive contributions to society.

- an organization that is transparent and accountable to all of its members and to the entire LGBT community

- an organization that has a mission statement, terms of reference, board of directors, and business plan

- an organization that works to ensure that the culture and spirit of the concept of ‘pride week’ are recognized, promoted, and celebrated in the City of St. John’s 365 days a year!

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010 - Ho Hum

another monday. ran to and from work today, 9k. felt sluggish most of the day but managed to have a day filled with positive thoughts. it can be tough to make the work environment fun in a law office, but i managed to do a good job getting people to laugh today, my trademark!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 21, 2010 - winter blahs!

cloud, freezing rain and snow today. not exactly the nicest weather to be outside. i got in 6.3k of running, plus had a fairly strong 3k (one hour) in the pool. spent the rest of the day cleaning house and getting ready for the week ahead, which will be busy. the SSRI appears to be helping my mood which is great. nice to regain some important interest in so many things that i seem to have lost interest in over the past few weeks.. running, swimming, social networking, and watching olympic sports.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20, 2010 - swim, at last

friday was a sluggish day, but i had a good sleep and got in a nice light run and swim today. looking forward to my first semi-serious long run of the year tomorrow. i only have 8 weeks left to prepare for boston. tomorrow's run will be a very interesting benchmarking event to see where i am at!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010 - feeling better

one of my doctors thinks i may be dealing with a little clinical depression. this certainly would not surprise me. in addition to feeling down as of late, my exhaustion symptoms may be caused by a clinical chemical imbalance in my brain from depression. the good news is that i am now being treated with antidepressants and they seem to be having a positive affect so far. after just a few days on the meds, i find myself more positive and more motivated to engage in the things that i used to always want to do.

untreated transsexualism often leads to depression, and in my case, the past year has definitely been tough as many of my transitional medical needs have been delayed or outright on hold. antidepressants may be a temporary solution, but ultimately, i need to get thru this transition as soon as possible. otherwise, depression will not go away, in fact, it will get worse. but the good news is that this temporary solution has given me back a bit of my bite. i have regained the passion and the fight from within to carry on with aggressiveness to get whatever i need done, by any means necessary. over the next few months, it will be my intent to reconnect with many LGBT community members that i have alienated. and we will hopefully work together to bring positive change for all.

i ran 9k today (to and from work) and the run went well. not a great sleep last night, so i was too sluggish to hit the pool today, but i plan on swimming tomorrow. i will also plan to have a gentle test with a long run this weekend..


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feb 17, 2010 - mid week update

ran 12k yesterday. no running or swimming today as it was a day off work to undertake a series of errands, including a meeting with a phD university student who was interested in studying transsexualism. always fun to play a small role in the education of our future leaders! i really wish the education system would take on a more active role in teaching transsexualism to all.


Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010 - positive day

well, even with rather serious back pain, i managed to get myself to work with a full sprint! the day was rather boring, but i am starting to feel a little more comfortable at least (i have been there long enough that it doesn't feel totally 'new' anymore).

nice walk at lunch and then a run to the pool afterwards, where i had a very strong 3.5k swim in 71 minutes. throw in a run to the store to get milk and i have a complete day! i hope this back pain won't stick around. it's probably caused by stress.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 14, 2010 - good day

well, at least today turned out to be fairly good, at least compared to the rest of the month so far. i got out for a light 12.5k of running, and had a slow but steady 2k in the pool. i also managed to get some grocery shopping done, and had visits with ducks at kent's and burton's pond (twice); as well as a visit with Kim and her family for some tea. the highlight was getting to cuddle with Kim's cats Oreo and Garfield, who are very lovely!

i am hoping that the week ahead will be better physically and emotionally than the last two have been.


February 13, 2010 - rest day, again

it is now Sunday as i type this and i have and 2 great long sleeps in a row. i didn't get to my swim or concert yesterday but got in my visit with friends and dinner. i slept 10 hours this past evening and still didn't want to get out of bed today! but i think i will feel up to a little run and swim this afternoon, so that's good news.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fenruary 12, 2010 - exhausted

well, i could barely make the run to work today. i struggled to survive, balancing feelings of fatigue and depression all day. had a slow walk home and made an extended visit with the ducks, which cheered me up. went to bed early and slept for 11 hours! it is now saturday and i am feeling better. looking forward to a noon hour swim, an afternoon visit with the ducks, supper with some friends, and a Ron Hynes concert (Newfoundland's all-time greatest singer/songwriter) tonight!


Friday, February 12, 2010

February 11, 2010 - depressing day, and a tribute to Brett Favre, perhaps?

not really sure why, but i have really felt depressed this week. i'm thinking it is the frustrations of being essentially forced to take a job that i feel makes me highly underemployed. it's great to have a job of any sort, after being unable to find one for so long, but the realities are that my salary is about the same as what i was getting from unemployment insurance.. which means that many bills will still not get paid.. the transition continues to be on hold, and that is not good. even worse, my entire life remains on hold, as i am unable to move forward on so many other things that i need to get done, both transitionwise and otherwise. in addition to not having the money, i now don't have the time either, as this new job and new schedule is sapping what little energy i have. it is eating up about 60 hours a week, including working, traveling to work, etc.

i am also coming to terms with the fact that my days as a good quality runner are likely over, and i have been seriously thinking about retiring from the sport of amateur marathon running for good. it's going to take everything i have to complete Boston and Big Sur.

i realize that i have technically retired twice and made comebacks almost immediately afterwards twice, but this time, i am serious. i have been thinking about this every day for the past 3-4 months. this transition from male to female has brought so many challenges physically, that it has become impossible for me to keep up with the necessary training requirements to complete marathons. my strength, speed, and endurance levels have dropped significantly, and most importantly, my energy levels have dropped far below anything that i could have ever imagined. it's been an amazing 3 years of marathons, but the wear and tear on my knees have taken its toll as well. for months now, i can't even seem to get through a long run, or even a medium run, without knee pain. i had high hopes for Boston this year, and even set a goal of trying to requalify, but that is clearly off the table now. my only goal is to finish these last 2 races.

while i admire people who complete marathons in any time, i've always maintained that anything slower than 5 hours is not really a real run, it is a jog or a walk, and that is not who i am or what i am about. i've always said that the day i can no longer run a sub 5 hour marathon will be the day i quit the sport. this has never really been an issue up til now (except for the close call in Charlottesville last year when i had to slow down due to cramping), but now, i'm even worried that i won't even make the 6 hour cut off to finish Big Sur. i'm sure i will make it, but it won't be easy. i will be entering these last 2 marathons unprepared as i literally do not have what it takes to put in the required training.

also, training is not fun anymore. in fact, it's additional stress and pressure that i put on myself that i don't need or want anymore. i used to very much look forward to race day, but now, i am actually dreading the thought of having to complete these runs. don't get me wrong, i realize the accomplishment of qualifying for Boston, and i very much want to follow thru and complete the run that i have earned the right to run.. and i know it will be a great feeling to be able to say that i ran back to back Bostons.. but at the same time, i am also strongly feeling that i won't want to do it anymore. right now, and for the past 3 months, i have felt 99% certain that Big Sur will be my last marathon for a very very long time.. perhaps forever. only time will tell.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10, 2010 - 8k

more running to and from work today. the temp was about 2 degrees and the sun peaked through at times, in between cloud and drizzle. the snow continues to melt, but there is so much of it!

arms are a little sore from yesterday's swim so i decided to take today off, but will be back at the pool tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010 - finally.. lol

well, i made my post-work swimming debut today. it's nice to see that i am finally on a sleep schedule that will allow me to go to bed and fall asleep early enough to get the hours that i need, yet still wake up at 6.30 am.

i actually ran to and from work today, which is essentially 12.4k of hills. then i had a very strong aggresive 4k swim. i slowed down a little in the end, but managed to complete the 4k goal, in 85 minutes. it will be interesting to see if this work out will make it even easier for me to fall asleep tonight. hopefully so!

i really need to work hard over the next 8 weeks to get in as many endurance workouts as possible. i also need to start increasing my weeky long run. although i have had many runs in the 20-27k range, i have not been over 30k since i ran 42.2k in late sept, the Nfld Marathon.

the other good news is that i am actually down a met of 4 pounds in 2010 so far.. so the diet modifications and additional swimming appears to be working!


Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010 - brief update

no run, no swim, but 10k walking today. not a very energetic day as i didn't sleep well, but a very productive day at work as i continue to learn new things about the job, the office, and the industry.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010 - sluggish!

wow, i actually slept for 11 hours last night. Guess my body is still adjusting and recovering from a week of 6 hours per night. the day finally got going when i went out for a run to the store, and although the website said it was 0 degrees, it felt more like 6! way overdressed. the snow was really starting to melt, with street vents overflowing with water. later in the day, i fed the ducks and the goose, and then hit the pool for a sluggish 2.5k swim, then rounded out the day with a night run to another store, giving me 7.5k running today.

well, the superbowl turned out to be an ok game. at least it was competitive right to the end. Congrats to New Orleans for a great season and a great second half of this game. For Indy, they just fell asleep after a strong 10-0 start. sort of reminds me of how they handled regular season games 15 and 16.. guess they paid the ultimate price for 'resting' players. in the end, they gave up their momentum and couldn't really get it back. and to think they started 14-0, but finished 2-3. the critics will definitely be bashing them, as they deserve to be!

well, i'm looking forward to what i hope will be a good second week on the new job. there's still lots to learn and lots of new planning work to do as well, so it should be interesting. i hope i can survive the early wake ups and managed to save enough energy to get into the pool, at least some of the days this week!

10 weeks left til Boston, so i really need to make the most of the next 8, before heading into a 2 week taper.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010 - cleaning up!

well, we got 50cm of snow yesterday. the city spent all day shoveling out their driveways, clearing streets, etc. the temp raised above freezing today so the roads were really slushy and puddles. not exactly ideal for a run, but the air was crisp and pure and i wanted to get in a run, so i went for a 12k. i had a stop at the ducks for a visit, and to Kim's for a visit too!

i had a nice sleep in today, after a week of getting up at 6.30 am. i was actually awake at 6.30 again this morning but it was nice to be able to go back to sleep. i am thinking about a long run at the track tomorrow morning, which will be followed by a late afternoon swim.

super bowl tomorrow as well, which should be a great game, for once!


February 5, 2010 - mega snow storm!

wow, 50 cm of snow in eastern Newfoundland today! amazingly, although most of the city shut down, my office decided to open, so i had to make the 5k run thru the blizzard. it was actually quite fun, as the roads were dead. at noon, they decided to close down. so i got to run back home thru the blizzard!

today also marks the 1 year anniversary from my last feature story on NTV news. take a look and see how much i have changed from even 1 year ago! NTV Feature News Story #4

well, i will be interesting to see how well the snow clearing workers do over night. i hope to see some clear roads and maybe even some clear sidewalks for a long Saturday run!


Friday, February 5, 2010

February 4, 2010 - in the groove

starting to get used to this new schedule. i finally felt well enough to have a work out after work. in addition to walking 10k (which i have now done every day since starting this new job), i went for a 10k run this evening. major snow storm on the way tomorrow, so the office might be closed!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010 - rest day, well sort of!

10k of hilly walking to and from work with a heavy bag seemed to be enough for me, as i was also struggling from lack of sleep. at least today went well at work and i am starting to get to know the business of the org, and get to know my co-workers better. so far, everyone seems totally comfortable working with me, a transperson. some are fascinated and want to learn about it, while others are probably too shy to comment.

feeding the ducks in the morning before work, and late afternoon after work, on the way, makes for a nice way to start and end my day. they must have been cold today. some of them literally had icicles frozen to their body, even one had one frozen on his beak!

i decided not to swim again today after work, as i just didn't feel i had enough energy to make it worth while. no running today either, just the long walks.. oh well, not a big issue, i will plan to stack my days off with long runs and/or long swims until i get up to speed and start getting mid week swims in.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010 - not really sure what to say

not in a very good mood tonight. not really liking my new routine. the long walk to and from work up and down those hilly st john's streets in-13 degree weather is not exactly my idea of a good time.. putting file folders in boxes for a living is not exactly what i had in mind when i graduated with a university degree almost 5 years ago, either..

and hmmmm, having to spend my lunch hours down at the polluted waterfront with tons of ugly street construction and abandoned buildings is no match for a lunch hour walk around a pond either. it's a shame how disgusting downtown St. John's has become.. and it's only going to get worse if Fortis is given the go-ahead to build these massive buildings that they have asked the city for permission to build. st john's downtown will literally become a permanent construction site.

oh well, i'm going to have to do my best to try to keep trying to find positive things about all of this.


Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010 - back to work!

it was great being able to have a job to go to today for the first time in 10 months! i was up really early and managed to get the lunch made and clothing ironed and all that good stuff. i made the near 5k walk to work, stopping to feed the ducks on the way. i think the ducks were surprised to see me at the pond so early in the morning!

it's great to have a job downtown as i can walk along the waterfront at lunch, and i may even plan some lunch hour runs up signal hill!

it's going to take a while to get adjusted to going to bed early and waking up early, but after a few better sleeps, i will likely start swimming after work on the way home too. i suspect that this routine will actually prove helpful for my training and overall health and fitness.