Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 30, 2010 - quick update

ran 18.5k today, mostly bits n pieces of little errands. not a great energy day but i managed to survive and actually felt stronger as the day went on!


Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 - cold cloudy monday

not a bad start to the week. a rather energetic day. i finally got back into the pool after a 2 week layoff, and i had a rather strong, albeit short swim. 1.5k in 32 minutes. a busy evening with the swim, a visit with the ducks, and a trip to see a rare concert tonight as Gordon Lightfoot made the trip out East for another one of his cross-canada tours! 12k of running today, to add to the 6k yesterday, and i have already bettered last week.. lol busy day tomorrow planned with a couple of errands to run, literally.. lol i should hit the 20k mark tomorrow. hope the energy flows continue!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 27-28, 2010 - weekend update

still getting over this cold. very little energy this weekend. i spent most of the weekend sleeping. i did manage to run 7k yesterday and 6k today. the highlight of the weekend was a long visit with the cats at the animal shelter.


Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010 - dreadful week but feeling better

wow, this respiratory infection has really drained my energy this week. no swimming at all and only 9k of running. but the good news is that it hasn't done any negative damage to my moods and attitudes. i am finally feeling better and plan to have a short run with Kim on saturday as well as a swim at the pool. if i feel up to it, i will plan to have a long-distance run on sunday morning, which will be considered the official final tune up for Boston. it will be my plan to attempt to run 3/4 of a marathon at boston pace.. if i am not feeling that good, i will make it a 3/4 marathon at LSD (long slow distance) pace.

i generally feel disappointed that i will be heading into Boston undertrained and underprepared physically, but life has thrown so many challenges at me, both mental and physical, so at least i can feel proud that i have managed life the best i can and that i will enter boston under the best possible conditions, given the circumstances. i just hope that i will somehow get it back together later this year so i can run a marathon that i know i am capable of and get myself requalified for boston in 2011, which will likely be my first official marathon after completing full sex reassignment surgery, which will be a very exciting milestone, and gives me some long term running and overall health and fitness goals to shoot for over the next 12 months.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010 - still recovering

wow, this is a major sickness. still running me down, but at least i managed to get to work today, as well as got to a job interview, which i think i did rather well. going to bed again early tonight.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24, 2010 - quick update

back to work today, although still not 100%. half the office is sick. managed to run 5k today and walk about 5k too. brutal weather coming home - 2 degrees, high wind and freezing rain.. ahh, the Newfoundland 'spring' weather.. lol


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010 - rare sick day

sore throat and dizzy head today. i could feel this coming on over the past few days. i decided this morning to stay home from work to sleep and rest up. only my 3rd sick day in 20 years! i called in sick once to my part time job at a hardware store that i had in 1990, then called in sick for 1 days with a brutal flu in march 2008. i guess my immune system has been weak as of late with my added running as well as my sleeping difficulties, and there have definitely been some sicknesses floating around the office at work. oh well, i feel better tonight so hopefully i can get back at it wednesday.

no running or swimming yesterday or today. i struggled to get outside and walk to the store for some cough drops this afternoon. it's too bad i had to spend most of the nice sunny day indoors resting in bed. oh well, it was for the best.


Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010 - a plug for my upcoming public speech

- Jennifer McCreath's public speech at LBGT Mun's Health Forum
- Wednesday, March 31, 7 pm - 10 pm
- Centre for Music, Media and Place - Arts and Culture Centre

Jennifer McCreath is a local public figure best-known for advocating for human rights and access to health care, as well as helping society gain a better understanding, education, and awareness of transsexualism and the issues transsexuals face. She has been featured on NTV and CBC and VOCM news, as well as in Telegram and Scope newspapers. She's been a guest speaker at a variety of public events, addressing audiences including university students, St. John's PRIDE week festivities attendees, health care professionals, and politicians & government policy makers. She has also been a guest lecturer for a variety of courses at Memorial University. She also sits on Canada Blood Services' LGBTTQ Working Group.

Jennifer is an avid endurance athlete who takes health and fitness seriously. In addition to completing 19 Marathons since 2007, she has been a strong advocate for the acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people in sports. She penned and submitted a 'sex/gender inclusion policy' that was ultimately accepted and implemented by the World Outgames to create a 3rd sex category for trans athletes and others who self-identified outside of the binary male/female sex realm. She went on to compete in those same World Outgames in Copenhagen, Denmark in July 2009 and won 2 gold medals for her efforts in a marathon run and an endurance swimming event.

This panel discussion is one of a series of events being put on this week by LBGT-MUN as part of their Health Awareness Week. Jennifer McCreath will be one of the five featured panelists at tonight's event. Come here Jennifer speak about human rights discrimination and other flaws that exist within our province's health care system, and our local community's support system, with regards to transsexual women's ability to secure timely and affordable medically-necessary health care in our province.

Jennifer will detail everything from a flawed approach, a flawed piece of out-of-date legislation, a complete lack of direction and framework for going forward, and the deaf ears she has been met with when she has asked for help or made suggestions for improvement.

Jennifer will make recommendations for how the provincial system can be improved and steps that local community support entities can take to help ensure that our province adopts and adheres to global best practices.

This event is free of cost, and is open to the public. For more information, please visit LBGT Mun's facebook event site here:!/event.php?eid=10150152176180188&ref=ts

to publicly confirm your attendance, feel free to sign yourself up here on my facebook event site here:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010 - spring is here, sort of!

well, i have been battling a cold today so i didn't have much energy, but i managed to get outside in the sunny cool weather for a long walk, which was at least some exercise. i visited ducks at 3 different ponds, then dropped into the animal shelter to visit the cats again. i am seriously thinking about adopting a cat or two. i think i really could use a couple of furry friends to keep my spirits up at home..


Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 20, 2010 - Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine

Well it's all right, doing the best you can...
Well it's all right, as long as you lend a hand...

Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong...
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong...

Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive...
I'm glad to be here, happy to be alive...
It don't matter if you're by my side...
I'm satisfied...

Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line...
Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine...

thought i would quote a song lyric in my title tonight, and i heard this old Traveling Wilburys song on the radio the other day. they used to play this tune at the toronto blue jays games every time the starting pitcher got pulled. the song sorta sums up my life and my attitude these days.. it's a song about standing up for what you believe in and chugging along with life through the bad and the good.

Here's a live version of this tune by co-writer Tom Petty.

....anyway, i capped off the week with a couple of short runs today, including a run with Kim this morning around the Mundy Pond race course; then a run on my own later in the day to two of my fav ponds to visit ducks, then to the animal shelter, where i visited with several cats for about 20 minutes! oh what fun..

91k this week, including a couple of really awesome runs.. finally, a week that i knew i was capable of. the energy levels were a little better this week. just 30 days til boston, and finally a little momentum to build on. only 1 swim this week, but that's ok as i had a couple of evening runs this week.. hoping to hit the pool tomorrow


Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010 - It's official. Retirement will have to wait!

well, exactly 1 month til Boston, and i felt really good after work today, amazingly enough, even after a 4k run home with my gym bag.. so i decided to give myself a serious test, and i passed with flying colours! i ran a half marathon at BQ pace on a rather hilly course. and it was an amazing run. quarter splits were almost exactly even: 29.00, 27.00, 28.15, 28.43 for a net of 1.52.58. the knees felt pretty good and i could have easily kept the pace up for a while longer, and gee was i tempted, but i decided to sign off and save myself for a strong LSD run on sunday.. this run today has given me renewed confidence that i still have what it takes to complete marathons within times that i will be satisfied with.. and with a little more effort this spring, there's even a good chance that i can get myself to the point where i can BQ in the summer or fall..

so it's official. the goal has been set. work hard this summer, run as many marathons as i feel i can afford to run (money is more of an issue than anything else, given the travel requirements to run marathons), and come early summer, i will try to pick a goal race to take a shot at a BQ. The Montreal Marathon in Sept might actually be an option, as it will give me an excuse to pay a visit to Dr. Pierre Brassard for a formal consultation in prep for what is almost certain to be a Sex Reassignment Surgery procedure with him in January 2011.

then, the real fun will be recovering from surgery in time for Boston 2011.. not sure if that will be feasible or not, but hey, why not set your goals high? i always have!


March 18, 2010 - thursday

10.6k of running today. felt good and strong!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010 - busy week

wow, we had a nice bright warm sunny day here.. 5 degrees, which is warm for here! i managed to run to and from work, then ran an additional 10k in the early evening. it's great to see some more energy than last week. i might actually get 100k in this week, which would be a first since i started this new job.

very busy this week with lots on the go, including a couple of speeches to write for some big presentations ahead. i've also been piecing together some strategies for some more advocacy work that i will be pursuing in the near future for mostly myself, and indirectly, for other transsexuals. It's interesting that there seems to be lots of interest in helping the trans community here in Newfoundland, but their efforts seem specific to gender and they do not want to take action to help those in need of Sex Reassignment Surgeries. The most vulnerable people are being excluded from all this work that's going on, and it's time someone stood up and made a statement about this, and i am just the person to do just that! and i will!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010 - Boston Marathon Bibs!

Boston Marathon Bib numbers are out today, and with that, the official list of participants..

let me be the first to congratulate and wish the best of luck to the 24 runners from Newfoundland and Labrador (including me!). here's a list

17671 Avis, Simon P. 56 M St. John's NL CAN
11457 Beazley, Guy W. 51 M St. John's NL CAN
10697 Blackwood, George M. 47 M St. John's NL CAN
9243 Bradbury, Keith R. 41 M St John's NL CAN
11669 Broders, Anthony E. 45 M St. John's NL CAN
15231 Burden, Sheri-Lynn 25 F Mount Pearl NL CAN
2418 Burgess, Andrew 32 M St. John's NL CAN
20076 Dobbin, Lisa A. 47 F St. John's NL CAN
1943 Durnford, Edward A. 42 M St. John's NL CAN
9492 Engelbrecht, Andre A. 47 M St. John's NL CAN RSA
17841 Gamberg, Rob C. 55 M St. John's NL CAN
15149 Grant, Holly 25 F St. John's NL CAN
12021 Heale, Bob 46 M St. John's NL CAN
2439 Horsley, Daniel 28 M St. John's NL CAN AUS
17419 McCreath, Jennifer J. 36 F St. John's NL CAN
9151 Neary, Noreen 40 F St. John's NL CAN
15634 Okeefe, Janine M. 46 F St. John's NL CAN
17400 Peacock, Andrew J. 55 M Carbonear NL CAN
13881 Roberts, Gaye M. 46 F Appleton NL CAN
18547 Ryan, Kevin M. 55 M Mount Pearl NL CAN
7963 Ryan, Lou 58 M Marystown NL CAN
21846 Sheppard, Judy 58 F Mount Pearl NL CAN
11489 Sheppard, Nelson 50 M St. John's NL CAN
3525 White, Jason 34 M St. John's NL CAN

March 16, 2010 - recovery day of sorts

the speed work tweaked the knee a little so i took it easy today, only doing a light 2.2k run (had to go to the store for a few groceries!)


March 15, 2010 - don't beware the ides of march!

wow, a great Monday for me with an excellent 16k at the indoor track, that included 7j of speed work (yes i actually remembered how to do speedwork after all this time! , then a strong 1 hour swim in the pool. and an evening 2.5k run outdoors to top it off. Nice to have a rare strong energy day!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14, 2010 - yes i am still out here.. lol

03/07/10 sun 33.40
03/08/10 mon OFF
03/09/10 tues 8.00
03/10/10 wed 5.00
03/11/10 thurs OFF
03/12/10 fri 4.00
03/13/10 sat 10.60

weekly total 61.0km of running

only 1 sluggish 1.8k swim on monday. not a very good week energy wise. hoping the week ahead will be better.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010 - busy times

lovely sunny morning here. 5k run, 5k walk, nice visit with the ducks at the pond, productive day at work, scored yet another job interview for a senior policy analyst job - which will take place tomorrow... lots else on the go, so this is only a quick update again.. sorry.. lol


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010 - update

ran most of the way to and from work today, for 8k. knees felt fine, which is a big relief.


Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010 - Randy Meisner

happy 64th birthday today to one of my all time favourites, Randy Meisner, founding member of my 2 favourite rock bands, California country rock pioneers Poco and the Eagles. Randy is best-known for his lead vocals on the #4 hit single Take It To The Limit from the Eagles 1975 classic album One of These Nights. You can get a taste of Randy singing Limit here as part of a Poco reunion gig for 1990's Farm Aid.

Randy left Poco in 1969 and eventually joined the Eagles for their monumental run from 1972-1977. Then he went on to have a not-very-successful solo career in the 80s, that produced some great music nonetheless, before reuniting with Poco briefly in 1989-91. He's remained out of the spotlight for the past 20 years, playing the occasional gig with tribute band the World Classic Rockers. His health has not been great as of late, with as many as 5 internet reports surfacing over the past year or so with a variety of ailments. Hope you are alive and well out there these days Randy. Thanks for so much great music!

Anyway, a great day for me here in Newfoundland. the sun finally peaked out after 8 days of cloud and rain. i didn't run but managed a nice 5k walk and a 1.8k swim at the pool. energy levels good despite not a very good sleep. looking forward to tomorrow!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010 - a decent test!

well, i had a great sleep last night and decided to give it a go with a long run. i managed to survive 33.4k in a running time of 3 hr 35 min (which did not include a couple of refueling breaks). i got off to a slow start but managed to pick up speed and power as i went on. km 10-20 were ran at a rate of 6 minute kms, which would essentially put me right around where i was last year in Halifax, when i set my post-op personal best time. at 30k, the ligament out front and below the right knee started to give me problems, so i slowed down a bit, and eventually pulled the plug.

but given that i only made it 21.1k last week, i am extremely excited to have managed a 33.4k run today. the endurance was never an issue. if i can just figure out how to contain this knee (possibly by running slower), i am highly convinced that i can complete Boston.

but the knee issue could be a concern, as i will only then have 6 days to recover in time for a very hilly Big Sur. oh well, the next 48 hours should give me a good idea of exactly where the knee is at. after a nice bath and a 3 hour rest, it is already feeling better. h0pefully i can manage the hills to and from work this week!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010 - week in review

well, the week got off to a good start but fizzled quickly. not even a nice sleep in this morning could prepare me to do very much, as my swim and runs were very lethargic and short.

02/28/10 sun 21.10
03/01/10 mon 10.00
03/02/10 tues 4.00
03/03/10 wed 5.00
03/04/10 thurs 9.00
03/05/10 fri 2.50
03/06/10 sat 2.50 (plus a 1.6k swim)

net 53.1 km run, 1.6k swim.

i suspect that the lack of sunlight may be playing a roll, as we had 7 days in a row of cold cloudy rainy days. i even had a rare nap this afternoon, where i actually fell asleep for 3 hours!

well, the rain is due to stop tomorrow morning so i am optimistic that i will feel up to a long run. with boston 6 weeks away, the next 4 weekends will be very critical in my training. i am hoping to have 4 really good long runs over the next month, and this should be good enough for me to be ready to complete the runs in boston and big sur.

a busy week with 2 more job interviews, several meetings with regards to my advocacy work for transsexuals, and a special piece of work that lead to the media covering a story about a local animal rescue shelter in need of donations and people willing to adopt animals (Animal Shelter news story.)


Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010 - Andrea James

I just wanted to take a moment to give some recognition to someone who without a doubt, in my opinion, is the most important trans advocate and trans resource in the world today, and perhaps of all time.

Andrea James has put together the most comprehensive trans website in existence, the tsroadmap. she's also got a facebook fan site that is a fountain of great information and other resources. She's also a business owner who has created many great products and services that will help one transition.

As busy as she is, she's always responded to every e-mail i have ever sent her, in a very timely manner; and the content of her responses have always been of extreme value and high quality.

It appears clear to me that Andrea makes it a priority to be aware of any major issue that has anything to do with transsexualism, and she is often very quick to put together a fact sheet on the matter. She knows her trans theory and expresses it well. Andrea is a resource you can count on for what I feel is accurate and reliable information. Her facts are accurate, and her opinions are highly credible and valuable. Quite frankly, I don't think I have ever disagreed with anything she has said or published.

I feel Andrea is also a great person and a great example, representative, and spokesperson for the entire global trans community (yes, Andrea, herself, is a transwoman). She is educated, professional, articulate and passionate about who she is and what she does. I consider her a role model, adviser, mentor and a benchmark that i try to live up to as a fellow transwoman and as a fellow trans advocate.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Andrea, for everything you do, and everything you are. Keep up the great work, and may your legacy live forever!

For more information, check out all of her websites, especially the first two!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010 - exhausted

busy week so far. as i try to get myself more involved with the community, i am finding myself either glued to my computer at home, or engaging in the every day practice known as going to work. just getting thru the work day seems to be all i can handle. the moods continue to be more stable for me, but the energy levels have not improved at all since starting this SSRI. if anything, they have worsened, and that is frustrating. no swim for me since friday, and that is really upsetting, as i really miss being at the pool every day. i only ran half way to and back from work today and yesterday as well, due to exhaustion and knee pain (running these hills every day seems to take its toll).

Boston and Big Sur are definitely shaping up to be extremely challenging undertakings. i have pretty much accepted the fact that i will not get any real serious training in before these events. if anything, i'll be lucky to get in even somewhat reasonable 'weekend warrior' style training over the next 6 weekends. after my 16k and 21.1k runs this past weekend, i am thinking about doing longer but slower runs this weekend (which will be hard given how slow i was already running last weekend! heck, it may take all weekend for me to run 30k!).

oh well, i'll be happy when it's all over! for the record, this depression and its subsequent treatment has had no affect on my views that Big Sur will be my last marathon for a long time, if not forever. i am clearly burnt out from this sport. it is not fun anymore and i seriously look forward to not 'having to train' for marathons anymore. i just don't have it in me anymore. this transition has just taken too much out of me.


Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010 - the good news

10 very strong k of running today, half of which was thru cold rain. not exactly great conditions, but hey, i have to get home somehow.. lol and the duckies are always extra excited to see me on rainy days because nobody else feeds them.

another exciting piece of news as i have been invited to speak on a panel discussion on homophobia in sport, at a high school. unfortunately, the event is out of town and it is not likely that i will attend in person, but i am hoping to join via pre-recorded video and via live teleconference. great that so many people out there want to hear my story.

finally, a free plug for some old friends in the music business who have released an awesome new album of original bluesy-rock tunes. they are the Red Hot Blazers from Toronto! be sure to check out some free downloadable tunes on their site!


March 1, 2010 - revisiting the World Outgames - still a bitter taste

i was recently approached by a student in Denmark who was doing a project on the Outgames 'experience' of the athletes, and i was all too happy to share my story.. heck, I'm going to share it right here, right now!

Hi (student's name not shared on my blog for privacy reasons),

I'd be happy to share a few thoughts about my experiences in Copenhagen this past summer.

the anticipation leading up to the Outgames was huge for me, as i was the one who suggested the policy to create a 3rd sex category for transsexuals athletes who were in the midst of their transition and who did not desire or felt comfortable competing in either male or female category. the Outgames accepted my idea and announced their decision via this new release on their website...

the thought of becoming the first formally-sanctioned transsexual marathon runner & swimmer in world history excited me, not necessarily because i wanted or needed the personal accolades, but because i knew that this would be a great chance to further spread education and awareness about a topic that is often misunderstood and not spoken about.

the hype at home here in Canada was great as i was featured on television, and in a major local newspaper, and was invited to speak at the opening ceremony of my city's PRIDE week.

as i ran the marathon, before, during, and after the run, many other athletes approached me and wanted to speak with me. many knew who i was and recognized the importance and significance of me being there.

my marathon run was actually not that good, but all that really mattered was that i finish the race, which i did. the very next day, i was in the pool swimming the 1500M, my first ever swimming event! and even on sore legs, i swam the fastest 1500M in my entire life. while at the pool, i also had a chance to meet with and speak with so many great athletes from all over the world.

sadly, what should have been a great success, ended up in a disaster. although they had created this new category, other than that initial news release, the Outgames did practically no communication about the new category. there was no mention of it in the official program, and there was no mention of it at any of the major events. not the opening ceremony or the opening reception.

folks at the swimming pool had no idea that it even existed, and they initially erroneously assigned me one of the other two category and actually awarded me a medal for the wrong category!

to make things even worse, the medal ceremonies for both the swim and marathon runs were canceled, so there was no opportunity for me to be publicly recognized for this important milestone.

and the fact that i was initially assigned to the wrong category was a complete slap in the face, as i had traveled half way around the world specifically to not be assigned to a category that i did not feel was right for me.

in the end, it was as if the Outgames wanted to pretend as if they never really invented this 3rd category in the first place.

i later found out there there were 12 other athletes who had signed up for various sports in the transsexual category, but i didn't get to meet any of them and there was no way of finding out who they were.

ultimately, i left Copenhagen feeling extremely disappointed, used, and taken advantage of. i felt completely ripped off as i did not get what i wanted out of the experience, that being: a chance to spread education and awareness about transsexualism.

although i was handed a gold medal at the marathon registration table, and although i was sent a swimming gold medal in the mail, this was not about winning medals. it was about telling a story, and this didn't happen.

with all the controversy surrounding the Caster Semenya issue, this was a chance to show the world that there is a way to be inclusive in sports, but it is a story that very few people got to hear.

i honestly do not expect to take part in the world Outgames ever again, as it appears clear to me that they really aren't all that accepting of transpeople. tolerant, yes; but accepting, no.

as far as the Gay Games in Cologne, i am not planning to attend these either. having reviewed their gender identity policy, i contacted them and raised some concerns, and they have not been very communicative with me in response.

given what happened to me, and what happened to Caster Semenya, and given the recent statements by the IOC that stemmed from their 'gender summit' in Miami in January, it appears that the sporting world still has a long way to go in terms of accepting and embracing transsexuals into their environment. i realize that transsexuals and other 3rd gendered athletes bring new complexities into an environment that has traditionally been binary; and it is sad to see just how scared they are of change. even an LGB-friendly environment seems unprepared and unwilling to change at all to accommodate and embrace all of us.

anyway, I'm sorry to have to tell such a negative story about my World Outgames experience, and believe me, it wasn't all bad, as i still brought home many great memories and experiences, but if i had to summarize my trip in a short e-mail, this issue trumps them all.

If you would like any additional information, I'd certainly be open to discussing further,

all the best with your project,
Jennifer McCreath