Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010 - another month in the books

well, it wasn't much of a running month for me, but i kept very busy doing other things. it's great that i seem to have enough energy to do most of the things i want to do.

i've decided to proceed with a registration for the Newfoundland Provincial Marathon on Sept 26, which will give me something to focus on this month. it will be my 25th career marathon finish, so i am quite excited about that, and want to make sure i do as well as possible.

here's a recap of my monthly kilometres.


jan - 271.60 - 271.60
feb - 205.90 - 477.50
Mar - 258.80 - 736.30
Apr - 213.70 - 950.00
May - 230.20 - 1180.20
June - 147.00 - 1327.20
July - 56.50 1385.70
August - 169.10 1554.80

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 - quick update

yes folks, i am still alive. it's been a very busy week. will hope to update soon


Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 21, 2010 - free concert!!

Quite the social day for me. i had a series of friends dropping by all day to hang out, visit my cats, and to discuss some business. Then i got a last minute call from a good friend late in the afternoon, who scored some free tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert tonight. I'm not what i would consider a fan, but as a music historian, i am obviously familiar with their big hits and their place in music history. turned out to be a fun show. i ran into several people i knew there. seems any big concert in this town is going to attract audiences of all types!

Well, it was not a very active week in terms of running. my left foot has been acting up again, so i only ran once - the thursday frontrunners event, as well as too and from the event. a strong 13.5k, even on a bad foot.

the foot is feeling better now, at least a bit, so i will try to have a solid run on sunday.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 20, 2010 - Trans people in Ontario by the numbers

Taken directly from TransPulse Survey results, in Ontario:

DEMOGRAPHICS / First data released after lengthy Trans Pulse survey
Andrea Zanin / National / Tuesday, August 17, 2010
* Respondents were about equally split between MTF-spectrum (47 percent) and FTM-spectrum (54 percent).

* 50 percent make less than $15,000 a year. 21 percent make between $15,000 and $29,999 and 30 percent make $30,000 or more, with only 7 percent making $80,000 or more.

* 32 percent live in Toronto, while 68 percent live elsewhere in the province.

* 71 percent have attended college or university, with 43 percent holding a degree (including 7 percent with a graduate degree).

* 35 percent identify as straight or heterosexual, with the remaining 65 percent using a range of terms including bisexual or pansexual (30 percent), queer (31 percent), gay (11 percent), lesbian (14 percent), questioning (13 percent), two-spirit (9 percent), other (8 percent), and asexual (5 percent).

* 32 percent are in monogamous relationships, 12 percent in open or poly relationships, 44 percent are single and dating, and 12 percent are single and not dating.

* 86 percent are white, 6 percent Aboriginal, 4 percent Middle Eastern, 4 percent other, 3 percent black and 3 percent Latin American.

* 27 percent are parents.


...so, as we can see, the numbers indicate severe underemployment. for more information, see this Xtra.ca article.


Aguust 20, 2010 - busy week

lots on the go. The frontrunners launch was a huge success! A small group, but a great time. It looks like frontrunners will meet weekly from now on - probably thursday nights.

Meanwhile, the local LGBT community building networking continues. lots of discussions with lots of people. hoping to get all the key players together for a meeting in the upcoming week.

rainy weekend in the forecast, which may mean more time indoors for me, but i hope to get out for at least a short nature walk to the pond. it will still be warm enough to jump in for a swim!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18, 2010 - Frontrunners.org Newfoundland chapter to debut tomorrow!

Thursday August 19, 2010. We will meet up and depart from the intersection of Mayor Avenue and Freshwater Road at 6.15 pm.

Then we'll run to Quidi Vidi Lake, arriving at approx 6.35-6.40. then we will do a lap or two (or three) around the lake.

Then we'll head downtown for Coffee at Chatters at 112 Duckworth St., Approx arrival time at coffee is 7.30 pm.

Depending on who all shows up, we may run together as a group, or break up into 2 or 3 groups based on slow, medium, and fast pace.

Everyone is welcome to join for the run and/or the coffee!

to RSVP, see this facebook event link:



Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15, 2010 - rest and recovery, and a focused new beginning

wow, quite the busy and stressful week for me. 3 alan jackson concerts, 2 job interviews, and a regular mon-fri week of work at my current job. all adds up to a need to use the weekend for rest and recovery. i had 2 really nice sleep-ins this weekend and didn't really do too much. i had friends over to visit my cats yesterday, which was really fun. i also took walks to the kent's pond both days, and sat in the sun and went for a swim. i also spent some time doing some much-needed cleaning up at home, getting laundry done, bathroom and living room cleaned, etc.

big week ahead as i and 2 colleagues will launch an LGBTQ Community Focus Group that will take on the following mandate:

- We want to create formal organizations that will provide year-round education, advocacy, and social events by and for the LGBTQ community and their stakeholders.

- We want to create an environment where all members of the LGBTQ community will feel welcomed and treated equally.

- We want to reach out to those who have been reluctant to get involved in community events in the past.

- We want to take steps to see that 'Pride week' planning and delivery becomes more transparent, accountable, and inclusive of the entire local LGBTQ community; and that Pride becomes a formally-recognized legal corporate not-for-profit entity.

- We want to reach out to LGBTQ people across the province, country, and planet, to form alliances so that we can work together to deal with common issues, such as health care and human rights.

more details to come on this matter as they become available.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 10, 11, 12 - 2010 Alan Jackson in Newfoundland!

Well, he's probably the hottest country music star in the entire world over the past decade. Alan Jackson has 50 top ten hits in his career, which has spanned over the past 20 years. 25 of those hits went all the way to #1 in the USA country charts. He, his band, and his crew loaded their gear into two of these big trucks and made the trip all the way out here to Newfoundland for 3 concerts in 3 nights. i was fortunate enough to attend all three shows.
The highlight was night three, when i had a seat on the floor in the 4th row! Alan's set featured a smorgasbord of hits. i think he played at least one song from each of his albums, including the newest one he is touring. He was accompanied by an 8 piece band that included a steel guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, drums, and violin. there was a huge presentation on stage with 4 big screens, as well as 2 additional screens hanging from the rafters.
Local musician Karla Pilgrim opened the show with a 30 minute set. Alan's sets lasted about 95 minutes.

Songs which were played all three nights included: gone country, summer time blues (eddie cochrane cover), i don't even know your name, livin' on love, small town southern man, who's cheatin' who, little bitty, a woman's love, drive for daddy gene, where were you, don't rock the jukebox, hard hat and a hammer, remember when, good time, country boy, its 5 o'clock somewhere, chattacoochee, where i come from, mercury blues (KC Douglas cover).

Bonus songs that were exclusive to one or two of the shows include: like red on a rose, tall tall trees, blues man, here in the real world, wanted, chasin' that neon rainbow, pop a top, it's just that way, song for the life.

overall, an amazing experience to have Alan come all the way out here for now one, but three concerts! all three were sold out, so hopefully this will convince other big names to come here soon!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010 - running machine!

well, after a rest day monday, i ran all over town today.. home to doctor to work to home to concert to home. 20k in total. much of which i ran at mid tempo pace or higher. a very strong energy day with some really good running drills. the momentum is finally building!

other big highlight tonight was the appearance of Nashville's hottest star Alan Jackson in town here in little old Newfoundland for 3 nights. this guy has 25 #1 country hits and played at least 20 of them tonight! i consider myself a historian of the country rock genre, but i haven't really given pure country or new country much of my attention over the years, but with this guy in town, i just had to check him out, and wow, what a great show!


Monday, August 9, 2010

August 8, 2010 - a day behind

yikes, seems i have been playing catch-up for a while with these updates. oh well, better late than never. After a busy week, i didn't have the energy i needed to run to the beach. turned out to be a good thing, as the nice weather never materialized. i actually started running to the beach but turned around after 3k and ran back home due to a combo of fatigue, knee pain and foot pain. i spent the rest of the day resting.

that proved to be a good thing, as Sunday i did make it to the beach. I cabbed up there, but ran home (with my infamous heavy backpack) after 5 lovely hours in the sun. The ocean water at Topsail is still chilly, but you can at least get in for a refreshing dip. 16k on a hilly road with a heavy backpack in 25 degree c heat, in just over 2 hours... not too bad.

well, a busy week ahead with 2 job interviews, 2 alan jackson concerts, and hopefully, lots of sun, lots of running, and lots of pond swims!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 6, 2010 - busy week, big decisions

lots on the go over the past few days. i've secured 2 more job interviews next week for positions in St. John's with the Provincial Government, including what will be my third kick at the can with the Privacy office for one of their senior analyst positions. should be very interesting to see if my latest resume experience within the Dept. of Justice will help my cause this time around.

I also made a tough decision to walk away from a second interview with the City of Toronto for what appeared to be an excellent one year contract doing privacy work. unfortunately, they would not cover travel costs for the in person interview, and i just couldn't justify the extreme last-minute expense for something that only had a 1 in 3 chance of materializing.

i've had better energy levels as of late, and have taken advantage of this buy resuming marathon-training, as well as adding on a variety of social events, in addition to my day job. I am committed to taking steps to bring St. John's' LGBT community and their stakeholders together so that we can become a stronger force in our ability to fight the battles that still need to be fought against society and Government entities.

I also want to bring different demographics of the community together so we can both learn from each other, and socialize together. taking a leadership role in legitimizing our Pride entity is also a key goal of mine, and one that could be a challenge, given the existing stranglehold a small segment of our community has had on the Pride concept for the past couple of years.

meanwhile, the weekend weather report is nice, so i am hoping to take a run up to Topsail Beach on one day and perhaps middle cove beach on the other.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 4, 2010 - Regatta Run

well, the St. John's Regatta went ahead as scheduled today. We had a rare nice warm, calm day. It was rather cloudy all morning, so i decided against a run to the beach, but ran around town instead. i actually ran to and from the Regatta twice, as well as did a few laps around quidi vidi lake. 26.2k in total, much of which i ran in speed-drill or tempo format. Nice to get in some fine tuning for the first time in a while.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010 - nice day

had a nice walk over to kent's pond after supper tonight and jumped in for a swim. after 2 and a half days of cold and fog, it was nice to see some warmer temps again and some sun!

the weather report is promising for tomorrow, which means the city of st. john's will celebrate regatta boat racing day, the only weather-permitting stat holiday in the world! if the wind is too strong, it will be postponed on a day-to-day basis, and we'll have to work.

if it is really nice tomorrow, i may opt out of the regatta festival and head out to the beach! that is, if i feel i can handle the long run.. the upper leg muscles are still stiff from sunday's marathon. i had a light 2.5k run tonight.


August 2, 2010 - George Street Festival!

Well, i decided it would be important for me to attend the George Street Festival, at least once. The idea of hanging out with a bunch of drinkers and smokers really doesn't do much for me, but in this case, Blue Rodeo was playing live in concert on a stage set up on the side of the road, so off i went into the rainy standing room pit. Blue Rodeo is probably the most successful Canadian band to never make it big outside of Canadian borders. These folks regularly sell out 15000 seat arenas here at home, yet struggle to sell 500 tickets at a small club down south. very strange. oh well, we love them and they are great!

i ended up making my way to the centre of the stage about 10 rows deep in the standing room, so i was actually fairly close! and the sound system was really good, hence drowning out the many drunk loud-mouths who wanted to chat over the band, or at least, attempt to.. lol

Blue Rodeo played a 90 minute set that featured a few new tunes, several old classics, and a few rare tunes that they dusted off from the vault. The highlight was Jim's amazing vocals on Try. he hit all the high notes without any trouble.

Here's the set list:

Blue Rodeo
George Street Festival
August 2, 2010

01 cynthia
02 it could happen to you
03 fools like you
04 one more night *
05 diamond mine
06 what am I doing here
07 don’t let the darkness in your head *
08 always getting better
09 five days in may
10 heart like mine
11 Candice *
12 rose coloured glasses
13 try
14 hasn’t hit me yet
- encore break -
15 til I am myself again
16 lost together

* - off new album


Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1, 2010 - Marathon #1 of 31 (just kidding)

well, it was two years ago that i first created this blog with the idea that i would use it to monitor my progress of my attempt to run 31 marathons in 31 days, as part of a training regime to prepare for a BQ, and to honour what would have been Terry Fox's 50th birthday.

Well, i ended up falling short of that insane goal, but i learned a valuable lesson: you can achieve great things if you set your sites extremely high. even in failure of that measuring stick, i still demolished every monthly endurance personal record that i had set. Looking back, that was an amazing accomplishment. 11 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and a total of 572.8k in a month.

Anyway, fast forward to today. Just a miserable 56.50 k in the entire month of July. 16 of which were at last weekend's Tely road race, and 12 which were yesterday. Miraculously, i managed to drop 7 pounds though, mostly due to healthier eating, lots of walking, and staying active.

Well, i woke up this morning around 5.30 am and was quite restless. i couldn't get back to sleep, so i decided to munch down a small breakfast. Then it hit me. It was August! The month which i traditionally have my best training runs. By this point, it was 6.45 am,it was 18 degrees and drizzle, with cooler fog in the forecast. I decided that it was the perfect time for a little test. You gotta start somewhere with a benchmark, so i decided it was time to see if i could run 42.2k for the first time in 70 days. This would mark only the 4th time since then that i had been over 25k.

Well, i got off to a sluggish start, as i usually do, but it seems the 12k from yesterday, that wore me out, actually acted as a good warm up. i managed to pick the pace up a bit when i hit the 5k mark, and coasted away. i ran with a bottle of gatorade, as i suspected it would be humid out. Running with a bottle in my hand may seem like an impediment, but it seems to actually help me keep a steady pace. first quarter in 69 minutes, and the first 13.6 in 89. then i stopped the clock so i could run inside for a gatorade refill, and back out immediately.

at 16k, i was finally finding my groove and i picked up the pace even more. as i hit 19k, i noticed i had a good chance at running a negative half split (2nd quarter faster than 1st), so i held steady and hit the half at 2.16.00. At this point, i was actually feeling stronger than i have since i ran Halifax.

I stayed out for a few extra laps at the pond before looping back home for another gatorade refill. i hit 30.2k in 3.14.00. i sprinted back down my street towards the Thorburn downhill and bolted it, so i could hit my third quarter in 67 minutes, which i did.

After a power gel, i was holding strong. at 35k, i started running even faster than i had all morning. a little fatigue was finally starting to kick in, but i kept pushing as hard as i could. i finished off my gatorade and finally ditched the bottle at the 38.5k mark. the final sprint was on! i flew back down the allandale road hill for the 3rd time (which is much more fun to run down, then run up), and hit 40k. looking at my watch, i saw that i was way ahead of my goal (run a 4th quarter in 67). Instead of coasting, i pushed as hard as i could to see just how fast i could do it. I still felt incredibly strong, considering how far and how hard i had run. i sprinted down the final road and clocked in at 62.58, giving me 4.25.58! This was almost 10 minutes faster than my fastest previous marathon of the year, which was Halifax.

69, 67, 67, 62.58 for 4.25.58 Those are really nice numbers. I honestly thought that i would be lucky to finish at all, and at best, break 5 hours. But to essentially come off the bench and run my 3rd fastest marathon time in the past 14 months (at my heaviest weight), was extremely exciting and satisfying.

Well, at least part of my title is correct. I did indeed run marathon #1 of this month! not sure if there will be any more 42.2k runs until my next official marathon, but the good news is that i've still got it. in fact, better than ever this year.

Well, Boston Marathon 2011 registrations opens in 78 days, which means i have 77 days to see if i can get myself into BQ shape. The goal that i thought was dead and burried, is now officially back on the table. All i have to do is shave off 40 minutes from today's run. with the right training and with 15 pounds of weight loss, this is very doable, as long as my health, especially my foot, stays in relatively good shape. Let the training program officially begin!