Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rogers Super SportsPack Canada, aka SportsPak - difficulties, problems, failures

i just thought i would publicly add my name to the list of frustrated customers who continue to experience problem after problem, week in and week out, while simply trying to relax and enjoy a few football games on tv!

one week it is picture pixilation. the next week, it's frozen screens, then it's no sound. then some days, the schedule is wrong, and games appear on different channels than advertised.. then sometimes, there are games on espn that aren't even covered on the program!

i agree that yes, the concept of this product is a great idea, but there appear to be many flaws that continue to be a problem year after year, and it seems complaining isn't leading to any change.. you'd think in 2009 that these folks would have a better grasp on the digital tv technology..

not sure if this is Rogers fault, or if this needs to be blamed on the American tv networks providing the feed, but for $40/month to Rogers, i'd like to think that after 5 years of problems, that they would have these sorted out by now..

i am going to think seriously about not renewing for next season unless i hear of significant improvements.

Jennifer

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009 - 4000!!!!

well, i decided to get it over with today, and i ran the remaining 17.3k that i needed to make it 4000 on the year. that's makes 60k over the past 50 hours, which is nice to see that i can still do!

the initial goal for the year was 5000, but injuries forced me to tone it down at times at various points in the year. but to reach 4000 is a clear sign of persistence and commitment.

i will look forward to reviewing and breaking down my year end stats over the next few days, and to try to figure out how to goal set for the year ahead.

i got a really nice running jacket today from the running room as part of the registration fee for tomorrow's 5k resolution run. it was one year ago that i registered for a run as a female for the very first time, at this event. i was also 13 days removed from major surgery and found myself limping around the course that day, but it was a monumental event for me, and the year ahead that was to be turned out to be very challenging, but one that lead to many very exciting running achievements and milestones.

looking forward to watching more bowl games tonight!
Jenn

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009 - a real long run!

great running weather today. 6 degrees, cloud, and low wind. i ventured down to quidi vidi lake and did 3 laps, then ran back home. that's 23.3k in about 2.30.00 of running time. you can add in an additional 30 minutes of breaks as i stopped to feed the duckies at long and burton pond, and feed barry the goose at the lake, along the way. i'd have to classify it as an excellent run, considering i ran 17.2k yesterday. the few extra pounds gained over christmas haven't slowed me down that much!

that's 3982.7k on the year. looks like i will hit 4000 tomorrow, and might get in a swim or two as well over the next few days!

now it's time to relax and watch some bowl games on tv! i'm now 7-4 in my pool, but likely out of it due to the magnitude of the points missed on 3 of those loses.

Jenn

December 28, 2009 - couple of long runs!

17.3k today, including a lovely afternoon run around the ponds, and an evening run to do some boxing week shopping! it was the best my knees have felt in quite a while, so that is very promising news!

3 more days to get in the 40.6k that i need to hit 4000 on the year. i might have to skip a few swims, but i think getting in the 4000 will be a tremendous boost to my confidence and self-esteem, and will give me something positive to finish the year on, a year that has generally been very tough and miserable on many accounts.

Jenn

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 27, 2009 - long sleep and long run

wow, what a sunday morning. i slept in til 11 am! then i went for a long run outside, hitting the ponds and a few stores along the way to take advantage of some boxing day sales.

then it was an evening of watching NFL football, where there were many surprises...

looking forward to a nice run tomorrow

Jenn

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009 - boxing bowl day!

wow, here's a really great story about a woman who has excelled in her job in what has, up til now, been a male-dominated profession, a football referee! a major congrats to Sarah for being, not only the first woman referee, but for apparently being one of the best ones too!

http://www.freep.com/article/20091226/COL08/912260346/Lone-female-ref-in-major-college-football-will-make-history-today

and wow, check out this video for a very inspirational story of a 12 yr old football fan who lost his site due to eye cancer.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX0ovhkgR7s&

the attitude of this kid is amazing! seeing something like this can make even me appreciate what i have in life...

anyway, it was a rather restful day for me as i continue to recover from a chaotic but amazingly awesome christmas. i had a light short run to the pond and over to friends for lunch, then a relaxing afternoon and evening of football on tv.

Jenn

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25, 2009 - Christmas morning run

wow, i was up at 4.30 am today to prepare for a 6 am run over to my best friend's house to help with christmas morning festivities, where her two young girls were extremely excited and fired up to see so many presents under the tree! i also played the role of video camera woman, and i managed to capture some great memories throughout the day. the food was excellent too, with turkey dinner for lunch and supper! i had some nice phone calls to my own family members who are celebrating in their hometowns on the mainland. i look forward to returning to the mainland in 2010 to visit soon!

well, it's currently warmer right now in St. John's Newfoundland Canada than it is in Nashville Tennessee, where the titans and chargers are battling it out on the gridiron in freezing temperatures, in the NFL christmas day classic, a great game so far featuring two teams jostling for playoff positioning.

well, my bowl pool has already become a disaster, with just a 3-3 start, which includes losses in the two games for which i was most confident in, and hence, ones which i assigned the most point totals too. oh well, it will still be fun to watch the remaining games.

i hope everyone reading this has an enjoyable holiday season...

Jenn

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009 - white christmas, perhaps?

well, the temp has dropped to -3 today and we have gotten some snow sprinkles. it's nice to have a little snow for christmas, just as long as we don't get a major storm! i had a lovely 4k run to the pond earlier this afternoon to give the duckies their christmas present (their customary daily dose of birdseed.. lol).

it's going to be a busy couple of days for me as i will be spending christmas with my new adopted family here in newfoundland. going to be some great fun with some great food!

then we will get down to some serious business to see if i can hit my adjusted annual goal of running 4000k and swimming 360k for the year. i still need 24k in the pool and 76.8k on the road. should be easy to attain the running totals but not likely to hit the swimming with the pool closed for the next 2 days. ...and then it will be the infamous jan 1/10 weigh-in, where i don't expect to see a number on the scale that will make me happy.. lol oh well, can't win them all!

Jenn

December 23, 2009 - last minute shopping done!

well, i'm pretty much ready for christmas. it was another warm drizzly day here that melted off almost all of the snow. i managed to get over to the pool for an evening swim, which went fairly well. i swam 2.8k in an hour, which is a little slower than usual. this leaves me 24k short of my year end goal of swimming half as much as i did last year. not sure if i will get in the 24, but it's gonna be close enough.

just one week away from the new years resolution 5k run, which will represent the one year anniversary of my first running event for which i was formally registered as female. it's been an interesting year of running, as i have made much progress in terms of gaining acceptance and credibility among the various running organizations as a transwoman runner. it's just too bad that the quality of my running has suffered so much. but it is what it is, and i knew this would happen.

Jenn

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009 - clean teeth!

well, it was an early morning dental visit for me today. then a run home in the rain. nice to know that the teeth are in good shape. the knees are another story though.. lol

very windy day here, combined with 4 degrees temp actually has lead to most of our snow melting! Long pond had melted too and there were duckies swimming there. didn't think i'd see that until May or June!

i spent the rest of the day inside relaxing as i wasn't feeling too good. the early wake up call set me back a few hours sleep!

well, bowl game #4 is underway tonight, and my team is losing badly early on. hard to believe my #1 pick of Fresno State blew a lead and lost in overtime to the huge underdog Wyoming team. gee, hard to believe that i have essentially been eliminated from the pool in the very first game!

oh well, at least my pro football pics are better than those of dan marino, boomer esiason and mike ditka!

Jenn

Deceember 21, 2009 - quick update

5.4k run, 2.1k swim. fairly sluggish day, not much energy. but still got in a good work out.

Jenn

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009 - drizzle

just a brief 4k run in the drizzle for me today, my customary daily run to Burton's Pond with a bag a birdseed. always fun, even in the rain!

Jenn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009 - snowy saturday, but let the bowls begin!

wow, another awesome swim today for me at the pool. 4.5k in 88 minutes. strong for the most part, but slowed down towards the end. snowy and freezing rain here today with high winds. not exactly the nicest running weather, but i survived the 4k to the pool and duck pond before and after my swim.

NCAA Bowl Season starts today. I've signed up for a free complex pool over at CBS sports website, where you have to pick the winners, and rank each game in terms of confidence levels from 1-34 to your pics. the higher the confidence, the higher the score for a right pic. for example, my highest game will be worth 34 points, where my lowest game will be for 1 point.

out of 34 games, i've got today's New Mexico Bowl as my highest ranked game, with 34 points on the line as i am extremely confident that Fresno State will take care of Wyoming. I've also got 32 points on the line as i feel Rutgers will take care of Central Florida later tonight in the St. Petersburg Bowl. in all, i am going with 9 upsets out of the 34 games, although most of my upset pics are for lower points. my most risky upset pic will be Idaho over Bowling Green for 16 points. i am also going with the third highest underdog out of all the bowls, Cincinnati, who i feel will shock the world by beating Florida; but this is only for 2 points.

a total of 595 points are on the line. and it is likely going to take a perfect 34-0 to win the pool. grand prize is $10000, which would definitely come in handy!

here's what my pics look like in total. Note, spread only included for interest sake. this pool is strictly for picking winners.

2009-2010 CBS NCAA Bowl Pool

rank - date - pick - spr - opponent

34 - 12/19 - Fresno State -13 Wyoming
33 - 12/24 - Nevada -13 Southern Methodist
32 - 12/19 - Rutgers -4 Central Florida
31 - 01/06 - Central Michigan -4.5 Troy
30 - 12/31 - Houston -7 Air Force
29 - 12/31 - Missouri -6 Navy
28 - 01/02 - Arkansas -10 East Carolina
27 - 01/02 - South Florida -4.5 Northern Illinois
26 - 01/02 - Texas Tech -9.5 Michigan State
25 - 01/02 - South Carolina -3 Connecticut
24 - 12/27 - Clemson -7.5 Kentucky
23 - 01/01 - Auburn -4.5 Northwestern
22 - 12/29 - UCLA -4 Temple
21 - 01/07 - Alabama -4 Texas
20 - 12/26 - Ohio -4 Marshall
19 - 12/31 - Minnesota -1.5 Iowa State
18 - 12/31 - Virginia Tech -4 Tennessee
17 - 01/05 - Georgia Tech -3.5 Iowa
16 - 12/30 - Idaho +1 Bowling Green
15 - 12/31 - Stanford +7 Oklahoma
14 - 01/01 - West Virginia +1 Florida State
13 - 01/01 - LSU +3 Penn State
12 - 01/04 - Boise State +4 Texas Christian
11 - 12/28 - Georgia -4 Texas A&M
10 - 12/26 - Southern California -7 Boston College
09 - 12/26 - Pittsburgh -2 North Carolina
08 - 12/30 - Nebraska PK Arizona
07 - 12/22 - Oregon State -2.5 Brigham Young
06 - 12/23 - Utah +2.5 California
05 - 12/29 - Miami, FL -6.5 Wisconsin
04 - 01/02 - Ol’ Miss 2.5 Oklahoma State
03 - 01/01 - Ohio State +2 Oregon
02 - 01/01 - Cincinnati +10.5 Florida
01 - 12/20 - Mid Tennessee State +6 Southern Mississippi

if the pool is tied, then it will be up to a tiebreaker of predicting the total points scored in the Alabama/Texas game, and i am going with 53. should make bowl season extra fun to watch, that's for sure!

rain in the forecast all night and into tomorrow. i am hoping to get over to the pool again for another swim. i need 28.9k more in the pool to reach half of what i swam last year. i am now at 3899k running, so 4000k should be easily reached before year end.

Jenn

December 18, 2009 - long run, finally!

finally got out for a decent long run this week. 17k around the snowy trails down to quidi vidi lake and back. had a nice lap around the lake too. fun to see this city in winter. the snow can be so pretty on the trees. hoping for a long swim tomorrow

Jenn

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009 - one year

wow, it was one year ago that i was in Philadelphia having one of the most unusual of surgical procedures. the infamous bilateral orchiectomy! (look that one up on google if you don't know what it is!).

it's been an amazing year for my body, as the hormonal changes have had both positive effects, and negative side affects. but looking back, i am 100% happy and confident with the decision i made to pursue that surgery, rather than wait for full SRS to have those two little thingies removed.

the most noticeable change has been in the energy levels. less energy all the time, and more energy required to do less. today was a rare throwback swim for me, as i managed to survive 90 minutes in the pool at a consistent pace, covering 4.5k. this type of swim used to be the norm for me, but now it is considered a major accomplishment. it was a great feeling to have such a strong and long swim today. and unlike a year ago, it completely wiped me out for the rest of the day.. lol

well, according to the often-criticized Stockholm Consensus (the International Olympic Committee's protocol for transitioned athletes), it takes 2 years to feminize a male body to the point where it can be deemed fair and suitable for competition without having an advantage. but according to recent research by Athletics Canada, it appears that 1 year is more reasonable. it is going to be very interesting to see if i managed to get any weaker in terms of strength, speed, endurance, and energy levels, over the next year ahead. Quite frankly, i would find it hard to believe that i couldn't be deemed at a competitive disadvantage already at this point. if you look at my running results this year compared to last year, i have gone from a front-of-the-pack male runner to a mid-packer among the female runners.

oh well, speaking of running, i have had a couple of light days, after a couple of off days.. so in theory, the legs should be well-rested... but the right knee continues to be a problem. i'm still not convinced that there isn't some minor damage to a ligament or the cartilage in there.. i'm probably going to take it easy for a while yet..

Jenn

Dcember 16, 2009 - back at it

miserable freezing rain today but i managed to get out for a light 6.6k run. i felt more energetic today but still not where i had hoped. it's been a busy week with many resumes being sent out all over the place. strange to find more job openings than usual on my favourite job boards at this time of the year.

Jenn

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009 - one k!

wow, it's been an incredibly busy couple of days. i won't go into detail but i finally managed a run today, albeit of only 1k.. funny how i could take a couple of days off, yet be totally exhausted. oh well, i am working hard on a job hunt, and other strategies to find employment or other monies. so hopefully it will all be worth it. i had a meeting with a special adviser who has given me some great ideas, so i will be pursuing them in the near future.

oh well, hopefully i will get a good sleep tonight and be ready for a great run and swim tomorrow

Jenn

December 14, 2009 - update

another day off running and swimming due to a variety of other things going on today..

Jenn

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12, 2009 - Barry the Goose!

well, it was a fairly calm day here in St. John's, which meant it was nice running conditions. I ventured through the snow and ran all the way to Quidi Vidi lake, where i had a visit with Barry the Goose and his many duckie friends. Here are a few pics that i took down there last winter. The scenes this year aren't very different, as there continues to be a large flock of birds who enjoy being fed. In addition to ducks, there are also pigeons and sea gulls. Legend has it that the goose was once a pet that was abandoned by its owner. It has been down there as long as i have lived here. He is very friendly and will eat out of your hand. He's also very vocal with his famous honking noise! I have given him the name of Barry in honor of a good friend of mine who likes animals. Visiting this goose always makes for a fun afternoon.


The run back home went well, so that gives me another 11k to add to the totals. I am planning another evening run tonight, which should take me over 100k for the second week in a row. The knee was pretty good this afternoon, only acting up twice.

Jenn

December 11, 2009 - awesome day

well actually, it was a cold windy and snowy day, but that didn't stop me from having 3 separate runs, totaling 23.8k. i also had a sluggish 71 minute 3k swim in the pool. it's great that i am feeling good enough to have back to back strong days! hoping for a good weekend of running and swimming too. gotta keep the momentum going!

well, once again, our lovely city council has decided not to budget for shoveling snow off sidewalks. i have had some terrifying experiences running right on the streets, which is the only place to run in the city in the winter. angry residents are starting to make some noise about this issue. a recent article in the Scope about the topic has lead so several comments. Take a look: http://thescope.ca/city/how-much-of-a-priority-is-sidewalk-snow-clearing-for-st-johns-city-council/comment-page-1#comment-7951

in addition, a protest event has been organized thru facebook. details here: http://www.facebook.com/#/event.php?eid=193213137223&ref=nf

Jenn

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009 - snowy run!

wow, i was up bright and early to make the 22k run to and from the doctors office. it was a slow and steady run through what was mostly unshoveled sidewalks. my energy levels were strong all the way thru, even though i did not sleep well last night. good news from the doctor, as she suspects the knee issue is just a matter of a little internal bruising, and not a ligament problem. she encouraged me to carry on with my normal running routine, but to come back if it gets worse. everything else appears to be in good order so i am essentially deemed healthy! i got the regular flu shot today as well, so that takes care of that!

Jenn

December 9, 2009 - another great swim

7k run today, in winter boots, thru thick snow, plus a strong 3k in the pool. feeling great, as energy levels are high.

Jenn

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009 - 2 year anniversary of major significance!

yup, it was two years ago today that i got rid of the male clothing and got rid of the androgynous look and went 100% full time as a woman. it was clearly the best decision i have ever made. it's definitely been a challenging 2 years as i have struggled to gain acceptance among my many neighbours, friends, colleagues, etc... but it has helped bring inner peace, and it has finally given me a focus on the meaning of life, my life.

two years that brought me tremendous bad fate. this appears to have cost me many important people in my life, including many long-time friends, and even some family members.. i've also lost what appeared to be a very good and very secure full time job. i've also lost a great deal of strength, speed, endurance, and energy as i have struggled to adapt to a new feminine hormone regime. i also find myself dealing with a government-run health care system that refuses to pay for the majority of medical treatment that my doctors are saying that i need, and given that loss of employment, i am no longer in a position to be able to afford to pay for much of the care that i need..

but on the positive, i've made many new friends, including several people who i consider to be my adopted new family. it has also brought me into alliances with people and organizations that have allowed me to pursue my passion for promoting human rights and equality around the world for a diverse body of minority individuals, including members of the LGBT family, and specifically trans people and trans athletes.

it's given me a chance to sit on committees, deliver speeches, and help education people about something that society knows little about. it's also helped build me a title of 'well-known athlete' in my community, which has brought on a variety of additional interesting opportunities, including media attention for being an athlete, and the excitement of being a volunteer health, fitness, diet, and running consultant to other local athletes.

the next 2 years are certain to be equally as challenging, but if i can weather the storm and continue to take small baby steps forward, this transition will reach its pinnacle and i will eventually start to be seen and accepted in society as just another one of the many lovely women that live in the community, and the discrimination i face will hopefully cease. the momentum is heading in the right direction, and i read about many great things happening around the world every day regarding the acceptance and the equality of transpeople. jurisdictions around the world continue to add anti-discrimination law that specifically focus on protecting the rights of trans people.

anyway, it was 10.7k of light running today, as i continue to use running as my primary mode of transportation around town to do errands. much cheaper than taking a cab, that's for sure! i'm fortunate that i can still run on this knee, but i won't be doing any hard running until i get to the bottom of this injury.

Jenn

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009 - monday!

well, the city is still digging out of the 40 cm of snow we got yesterday. i managed to get out for a 7.5k run. the ponds are already starting to freeze! the poor duckies don't quite know what to make of the snow and ice.. they were glad to see me with some bird seed today.

i also had a light 68 minute swim, where i covered 3k, my first 3k swim since late october. i'm hoping to get over to the pool every day this week for 3-4k.

i seem to have had minor nagging knee problems for the better part of 3 years now, but i am starting to think that one of my latest knee issues is more serious. i took a bit of a nasty fall on some stairs on nov 5, and things haven't been the same since. i've done some research, and judging by the symptoms, i am starting to believe i may have a minor tear in my ACL and/or MCL. i'll be booking a doctor visit in the near future to have this examined further. let's hope it isn't going to be a major setback.

Jenn

December 6, 2009 - snow!!!! and bowls!!!!

well, as advertised, 30-40 cm of snow fell today. i went outside for a short run during the early stages of the storm. it was very windy too, so the snow was blowing all over the place, making it hard to see. i felt very sad and depressed. i'm not one of these people who enjoys winter! then again, i'm usually pretty good at making the best of things. since moving here, i have enjoyed winter activities that i haven't done since i was very young, such as building snow men and skating on ponds! the ponds are not frozen yet, but the temp is scheduled to be below freezing for most of the next 7 days, so i'm sure ice will start to form. the poor duckies looked so cold and hungry when i visited them today. it's very cute when they get snow on their beaks though!

oh well, the city is very good about plowing the streets (not so good about side walks though), but with careful planning, i should be able to map out some good running routes on the side streets to give myself plenty of challenging runs this winter. i also might finally find myself over at the pool more often. i missed most of this week as the flu shot left my arm sore for a couple of days, so i am anxious to get back in the pool.

i ran 100k this past week, the first 100k week in a while. nice to be back at it in full swing after a 6 weeks slow-down.

well, the 5 major college football bowl games were scheduled tonight, and 32 of the remaining 33 bowl games were scheduled as well (the last one will be decided next week as there is still one more regular season game to be contested that has bowl implications). of course there is always controversy when you have polls determining which top 2 teams will play in the so-called 'championship game'. this year, there were 5 undefeated teams, so in the end, we all knew that 3 of them would get screwed out of the big game. in the end, they decided to match up 2 sets of undefeated teams, while scheduling the 5th undefeated against the 6th ranked 1 loss team. the rest of the bowls will feature teams with 2 losses or more. in all bowl games, it will feature teams from different conferences playing each other, which will be a great way to attempt to prove which conferences are the best.

here's some brief thoughts on the big games (with Associated Press rankings)

Rose Bowl: #7 Oregon vs #8 Ohio State. i can't say that i am really excited to watch 7 vs 8. basically a meaningless game from that stand point. but on the positive side, this is another edition of the storied rivalry between the PAC-10 Conference winner vs the Big 10 Conference winner. we've got 2 high profile schools that are sure to bring their best on game day.

Fiesta Bowl: #6 Boise State vs #3 Texas Christian. well, we've got 2 teams from non Bowl Championship Series conferences in the Bowl Championship Series, a first! sadly, they have these two undefeated teams matched against each other, rather than give them a chance to prove their worth by playing against, and beating, teams from BCS conferences. given these two school's status as being non BCS conference teams, the tv coverage for them has been limited. i was lucky enough to catch 5 of Boise's 13 games, and they looked awesome, especially on their dominant win over Oregon. Not even 1 TCU game televised here in Eastern Canada, even with the Super Sports Package. ultimately, there will be many who have never watched either, and this game is a great chance for both schools to get some exposure in front of a national audience.
and for the winner, a chance to lay claim to being the 'real' champions, having gone undefeated and winning a major bowl.

Orange Bowl: #9 Georgia Tech vs #10 Iowa. i really hate to say this, but this is a meaningless game. you've got the ACC winner against the Big 10 runner up. the two weakest conferences out of the big 6. i would have much preferred to see both of these schools matched up separately against the undefeated Boise and TCU, so that both Boise and TCU could prove their worthiness and both finish undefeated. on the positive side, Georgia Tech did win their conference and they had a great year. Iowa had an amazing run in the first half but stumbled a few times down the stretch.

Sugar Bowl: #4 Cincy vs #5 Florida. Ok, i totally don't agree with Florida dropping to #5 after losing one game this year, which was to the #2 ranked team, who is now ranked #1. I also don't like Cincy being here either. Cincy is the #2 in the country as far as i am concerned, and it's sad that they won't get a chance to win the official championship. but at the very least, this is the game with the most implications. a chance for the often-mocked Big East conference to make a statement by beating the #2 SEC team, and the team that was ranked #1 for the entire regular season. It will be very interesting to see how Florida does. Last year, the SEC runner up was so disappointed at losing their conference and missing out on the title game, that they gave no effort in the Sugar Bowl and got pounded by yet another non BCS team. Tim Tebow is a great leader and i suspect he will not let this happen to Florida. This is certain to be one heck of an offensive shoot out, the type of game Cincy is very comfortable with.

So-Called National Championship game: #1 Alabama vs #2 Texas. ok, Texas really shouldn't be here. they should have lost the conference championship game when the final play of the game was an incomplete pass. inexplicably, the ref decided to put one second back on the clock and give texas one more free play, which they used to kick a field goal to squeek by the much lower-ranked Nebraska. Sure, a win is a win, and texas is 13-0, which is awesome, but they struggled to get by a couple of weak teams. their strength of victory does not compare to that of any of the other undefeateds, and their strength of schedule is no tougher than Cincy's was. Alabama is also 13-0 and they did so against one of the toughest schedules in the league. they dominated almost all of their opponents, including 3 teams who were ranked in the top 10 at the time they played.
ultimately, on the positive side, if Texas can pull this one off, then they will earn my respect and will certainly deserve to call themselves co-champions along with any other undefeated team that wins their bowl. i can only hope, for the sake of the league, that this turns out to be one heck of a game, and not a one-sided blowout win for Alabama.. but quite frankly, i have my doubts.

in the end, here is how i would have ranked the top teams:

1 alabama
2 cincy
3 texas
4 florida
5 boise
6 tcu
7 oregon
8 georgia tech
9 ohio state
10 louisiana state
11 iowa
12 penn state

and here's what i would have done with the BCS bowls to make them more meaningful:

so-called championship - alabama vs cincy (the 2 teams i think are the best)

fiesta - tcu vs texas (talk about bragging rights in the state of texas!)

rose - ohio state vs oregon (keep the tradition alive, big 10 vs pac 10)

sugar - florida vs boise (let's see how good boise really is!)

orange - lsu vs georgia tech (sorry folks, but i think that a 3 loss SEC team is better than any big 10 team, LSU deserves to be here. if they didn't have to play FL and AL, they would only be a 1 loss team, talk about a tough schedule! yes i know, no conference is allowed to have 3 reps here, but this is my fictitious BCS so i can change the rules if i want).

oh well, if we can't have this, at least we've got what we've got. 34 great bowl games ahead, and i will be glued to the TV for each and every one of them! let the games begin!

Jenn

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dec 5, 2009 - last day before the snow!

well, with major snow in the forecast for sunday, i decided to make one last long run around all my favourite trails to all my favourite ponds. i made the treck to burton, kent, and then up the nasty 3k of hilly roads to left pond, where i haven't been since Sept. left pond is so lovely. the freshest water you will ever see. 100% drinkable! 17.8k of running today, giving me an even 100 for the week. it's nice to be back in the groove after several weeks of reduced workload.

Jenn

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 4, 2009 - rough day

didn't feel very good today. perhaps it was the lack of sleep the night before. i had a headache for most of the day, perhaps side effects from the H1N1 flu shot? i got out for a light 6k run in the freezing drizzle, then spent the rest of the day inside. hope to get a good sleep tonight and head out for a long run tomorrow

Jenn

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009 - more wind!

wow, another very windy day here in Newfoundland. But it was a beautiful sunny morning. i was awake bright and early for a doctor appt, which went very well. The day continued with a visit to the lake to feed the Goose, and his many duckie friends. Later, it was a trip to the infamous H1N1 vaccination clinic, where after 3 unsuccessful attempts on previous days (they were already full), i finally got in the door!

I also had the excitement of submitting a 300 word bio and photo to the race director of the Big Sur International Marathon, who is planning to put together a special commemorative 25th anniversary program book, which will include some details of the infamous "Boston 2 Big Sur challenge", and the special runners who are attempting this feat!

well, it's time to tune into a football doubleheader, where the Bills and Jets are playing a game in Canada, of all places. Then later, it's the PAC 10 Championship game, where I predict the Oregon State Beavers will upset the favoured home team, the Oregon Ducks (what, Jennifer going against the Ducks?!?! Can this be for real???)

Jennifer

December 2, 2009 - very windy!

70 km/h winds were blowing for most of the day here! but that didn't stop me from heading out for a light 14k run down to quidi vidi lake. It was colder too, temps around 1 degrees! oh well, might as well get used to it. winter is coming. the sun was shining bright though, which made for a pleasant afternoon. the run felt great. i showed no signs of wear and tear from my 24k yesterday. seems the reduced workload over the past 6 weeks has paid off!

Jenn

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009 - serious running

wow, quite the windy day here, but it reached as high as 15 degrees! i took advantage and went out for 3 runs, 2 of which were in summer running attire. i covered 24k today, 19 at slow-long-distance pace, and 5k at half-marathon pace (faster.. lol). it's time to officially start thinking about the Boston Marathon and preparing to get myself into the shape i'll need to be in order to hit my yet-to-be-determined goal for that run.. lol this means logging tons of km for strong basebuilding, a weekly speed work session, more time in the pool, and healthier eating.. should be a long cold but fun winter!

Jennifer

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 - end of month cramming

well, i have run 26.2k in the past 30 hours as i try to drop one more pound before that infamous start-of-the-month weigh in. i anticipate being down 3 pounds in November, which is really exciting. if i can drop 4 in december, i will go out the way i came in, which would be an incredible accomplishment given the adjustment to my hormone levels.

the cold weather is back after a few days of nice warm temps. just above freezing today, but it was very sunny and windy. so it was rather nice to be outside.

i seem to say this every month, but i hope to get in more trips to the swimming pool in Dec.

Jenn

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 28, 2009 - warm weather and brutal football pics :(

wow, what a lovely day here. well, it was actually cloudy for most of it, but no rain, and it was 14 degrees again! perfect for a little 8.5k run down the trails by three of my favourite ponds. i had a great time being outside as much as i could today. i also managed to get over to the pool for a fairly strong 2k swim.

and then the heartbreak of watching 2 of my major upset pics in the facebook/myspace NCAA football pool go all the way to overtime, and then lose. a 4-1 upset records quickly turned into 2-3. and to make things worse, many other upsets that i did not have the guts to pick, ended up happening! hard to believe so many top schools choked out on rivalry weekend in games that were fairly important in terms of bowl positioning. oh well, i guess my quest to bring home Canada's first facebook/myspace NCAA football pool title will have to wait. with only 13 regular season games left, and 38 bowl games, i think i am too far behind the leaders to have a chance, but i have some more upset pics planned this next weekend nonetheless. As a woman from Canada, i take great pride in being able to outwit and outpick all these men from the USA who think they know their football... lol

well, i'm hoping for a nice strong swim tomorrow. the ankle is about 95% now, so that is great news. took long enough for that to heal.

Jenn

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 27, 2009 - more rain

it rained harder here today but that didn't stop me from going for a run. i ran 7k at a mid tempo pace. i'm actually trying to cut down on running for a while to rest the knees, but i had some important errands to get done. i also had a nice evening walk in what appeared to be about 13 degree temperatures! more warm weather tomorrow, but more rain too. didn't make it over to the pool all week, so i hope to feel up to a swim tomorrow.

Jenn

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 26, 2009 - oops missed a day

yesterday was a rest day with no running or swimming. but i did manage to have a nice afternoon walk. i had a 4k run today in unseasonably warm weather. 14 degrees with light drizzle. warm enough for shorts here today!

it has been a busy week filled with a variety of chores, including a major clean up project here in the apartment. it's looking nice, for a chance! i even put up a christmas tree, something i haven't done in 3 years.

i accidentally hit my elbow fairly hard yesterday on a cabinet, so i am now dealing with a sore ankle, 2 sore knees, 2 sore wrists (carpel tunnel) and 1 bad elbow. i just can't win!

Jenn

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 - long long day

well, i was up very early today to get ready for the long run out to Mount Pearl to visit one of my doctors today. the run out there went fairly well, the doc visit went great, but the run back was very sluggish. i ran out of energy, which i suppose is not surprising given that i didn't have a great sleep. the health report is good. blood tests are all normal, hormone levels are still consistently female, and i am generally in great health. more tests to follow to see if my lung issue is asthma related.

the run back was concerning. at the 15k mark overall on the day, i slowed right down to a walk. i don't think i have ever felt this exhausted after just 15k. but i took advantage of this break and visited the lovely Lester Farm (the road between st. john's and mount pearl goes thru rural countryside). so i got to have a visit with the farm animals - goats, pigs, rabbits, etc.. tons of fun! i also picked up a big bag full of fresh veggies.

i got back on the road and managed to run about half way home, walking the other half. i stopped again for a break at Mundy Pond, where i got to visit 2 lovely swans, as well as about 100 duckies!

when i got home, i needed a 2 hour nap, but that revitalized me and allowed me to have a somewhat productive rest of the day..

oh well, that's 47k over 4 days, which is not unusual for me from a macro perspective, but is a lot of running considering i have only averaged 50k per week for the past 9 weeks. the best news is that the knees aren't any worse for wear.

oh well, a decent sleep tonight should get me back to my normal energy levels..

Jenn

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009 - lovely sunny day, and some football picks!

a cold but sunny day here! there was a little snow on the ground this morning. about 0 degrees today with bright sun. i took a light jog over to the pond, then the mall, then over to the H1N1 clinic, where there was what appeared to be a 4 hour line up standing outside the building! hopefully these lines will be shorter in a week or two. i also had a lovely run back home thru the trails, where i got to see ducks and squirrels.

i have a 20k run planned tomorrow to visit the family doc, where there will be a long list of agenda items to discuss.

i still can't get over the fact that out of 62000 people, i am ranked 144 in the facebook/myspace NCAA football pool, which is only 8 games off first place. with a couple of careful upset picks over the next few weeks, i might have a shot at winning this! too bad there's no money involved. but bragging rights is always nice to have. hard to believe that a transgirl from northern canada, who lives closer to the north pole than most of these football stadiums, is in the hunt for a championship!

after hitting 3 of 4 major upsets this past week, i have confidence to keep it going. i have 5 upset pics in mind for this week's upcoming games.. here's some thoughts:

take South Carolina (6-5) over Clemson (8-3). only 43% of poolsters like SC, but think about it. SC plays in a tougher division, they will desperately want this win for bowl positioning, and they are at home. Clemson will be thinking ahead to the big ACC title game and may overlook this one. they have much less to play for.

take South Florida (7-3) over Miami (8-3). only 11% of poolsters like South Florida, but this is their superbowl! a chance to take out their storied local rivals, a Miami team that has looked sluggish as of late. the U seems to lose interest once they are out of the National Championship hunt.

take BYU (9-2), over Utah (9-2). two great teams that are evenly matched and are equally as impressive. BYU is playing at home, so that's my main reason for taking them on this 50-50 toss up. with only 37% of poolsters taking BYU, it makes sense for a realistic and reasonable upset pic.

take Kentucky (7-4) over Tennessee (6-5). Kentucky has looked hot as of late, and are coming off a very impressive come-from-behind win against Georgia, a team on par with Tennessee. TN has been very inconsistent this year. sure, many people only think of Kentucky as a basketball school, but their football team has been good for a couple of years now. with only 23% of poolsters supporting KY, this seems like an easy win!

take Arkansas (7-4) over LSU (8-3). LSU is not the powerhouse they were earlier this season. injuries have decimated this team, and it has shown, with their struggle to beat the woeful LA Tech team, and their confused state at the end of the game this past weekend in their loss to Ol' Miss. Arkansas has quietly been the hottest team in the SEC as of late, blowing out 4 opponents in a row convincingly at home. Both teams have lost to #1 Florida, #2 Alabama, and Ol' Miss. so with easier schedules, both of these teams could be top 10! i see this as an even toss up on paper, but with LSU's injuries, i'll gladly take Arkansas along with only 18% of poolsters. this is a low risk pic with big rewards!

should be fun games no matter what!

Jenn

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009 - snowy cloudy afternoon

hardly any evidence of the sun today, which seems to be a usual situation here. but it was calm and pleasant. i ventured outside on two separate occasions and managed fairly strong runs both times, with 4k and 8.5k runs at BQ pace (which seems like a speed drill for me these days) ...lol i've got lots of work to do if i want to maintain that pace for 42.2k on April 19/10 but i know i can get the job done with proper rest this fall and a strong program of base building, speed work, and diet modifications, which i certainly hope will lead to some weight loss.

If the 2-7 KC Chiefs can beat the Super Bowl champs, than anything is possible!

Jenn

Nov 20 & 21, 2009 - update

been very busy. had a great friday with a couple of great public speeches. it was also a rest day with only some walking. Saturday was very windy here. i ran a light 9k and then joined some friends for a walk around the mall. i have now equaled my running total from all of last year with 3611k. with 6 weeks left, i anticipate finishing the year just over 4000k, which is very high for anyone's standards. looking forward to a swim in the pool sunday.

Jenn

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009 - brrr!

another sub zero day here in St. John's. I spent most of the day inside, including a rather strong 2k swim at the pool (wow two days in a row at the pool!)

a big day tomorrow with two public speaking engagements. both are open to the public. Come on out to the Battery Hotel at 2 pm to hear me speak about Newfoundland's state of transsexual health care to the Federal Liberal Party's Health Critic's stakeholder engagement session! then catch me at 6pm at MUN university outside at the clock tower for a candle light vigil in honour of transgender day of remembrance (and action).

ahh, it's thursday night, so that means football on TV! i am currently ranked 359 out of 61540 in the facebook college pool! most likely making me the highest ranked female and highest ranked Canadian! ahh, gotta love bragging rights!

Jenn

November 18, 2009 - busy day

had a rather strong 2k swim this afternoon, as well as a light 4k run to and from the pool. a nice little work out, overall.

I also attended an educational and social function commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance (and Action).

Later this week, I will be speaking at Memorial University as part of their Transgender Remembrance festivities. I am also going to be meeting with Dr Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament and the Federal Liberal Health Critic, to discuss the transgender health care situation here in Newfoundland. Should be a fun second half to the week!

Jenn

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nov 17, 2009 - day off

10km of walking today, but no running or swimming. i really need to give my knee a rest. i think i have pulled the tendon or ligament. i will try to pool tomorrow.

Jenn

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nov 17, 2009 - strange swimming stats website apperance

Gee, you never know who's keeping an eye on you..

http://www3.sympatico.ca/chberger/ca09/cmc09f5d.htm

Someone has found my stats from the World Outgames swim and has apparently ranked me against other Canadian swimmers. My 800m split has me ranked 20th and my 1500m full time has ranked 10th. I have no idea what this ranking is for. I'd be very very very surprised if I have in fact swam the 10th fastest 1500m freestyle swim by a Canadian woman this year..

hmmmm, I think I will have to investigate further.

Jenn

Nov 16, 2009 - warm day

wow, an amazing 13 degrees here in st. john's! perfect for a run. i had a rather light 9k today, including some hill work. my right knee and ankle are still feeling the effects of the fall i took on the stairs over a week ago. i'm thinking i will have no other choice but to rest up for a while until it is better. don't want to be running on an injury like that. gonna try the pool again tomorrow to see how that feels. ah, frustrations..

Jenn

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 15, 2009 - long runs, yes plural!

wow, what a day.. calm and somewhat warm. perfect running conditions! i had a nice 14k run this morning, as i ran to Quidi Vidi lake, did a lap around the lake, then ran home. one of the highlights was seeing the infamous Barry the Goose, who is always honking about down at the lake along with his 200 duckie friends..

later in the day, after watching some NFL on tv, i went back out for an evening run to Kent's Pond, where i was tempted to jump in for a dip, but decided not to. that's 27K. not a bad sunday at all!

Jenn

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 14, 2009 - powerful day!

well, i was up late last night getting some work done and ended up sleeping in until almost noon! but the sleep helped as i was full of energy this afternoon, with a very fast 36 minute 2k swim. i ran home from the duck pond for a break and was back outside enjoying the sunny weather with more running, giving me 12k in running today, all at a very strong fast pace. i had the usual visits with the ducks at Kent, Long, and Burton's ponds on the way..

then as it got dark, it was time to come inside to watch several hours of NCAA college football. i seem to get more interested and excited about the college stuff as each year passes, and as each week passes. the final stretch is shaping up to be very interesting. i am currently entered in the facebook NCAA football pool, where i am currently ranked 360 out of over 61130 entrants! not bad for a girl from Canada huh? ...lol

Jenn

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 13, 2009 - rest day

a day of rest for me as i focused on preparing for what turned out to be a great job interview with the Newfoundland provincial government. i really hope this turns out to be the one i have been waiting for.

after the interview, i had a lovely walk around Mundy Pond, where i got to visit with, and feed, two swans! these animals are often known to be mean and aggressive towards humans, but these swans were quite happy and comfortable being close to me and even ate out of my hand! tons of fun!

a big day in college football tomorrow and i am ranked among the top 1% in the facebook pool. in an attempt to gain ground and catch the leaders, i am going with 4 major upset pics: Connecticut, Boston College, Northwestern, and Ol' Miss!

Jenn

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009 - swimming!!!

back in the pool today for the first time in a week. the ankle injury made swimming very challenging last week, so i decided to take a break. the ankle is still not 100% but did not give me any significant problems in the pool today. the issue today was energy levels, as i was very slow and sluggish. but i still managed a 2k swim in 45 minutes. I also managed 6k of walking today as i enjoyed some time outside in the sun (why can't we get 4 days of sun in a row during summer?!?!)

Jenn

November 11, 2009 - more sun

another sunny morning had me up early and running with Kim for the first time in a while. she's fought hard to overcome some somewhat serious health issues to get herself to good health. we ran around the pond a couple of times and fed the ducks. then later, i ran a little more. 10k for me in total. my right knee is feeling some pain of a new kind. not really sure what is wrong but i think there may be a tendon pull in there. gonna take it easy tomorrow.

Jenn

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009 - officially back at it!

well, i felt really good today after a good sleep and a nice breakfast, so instead of going for a short swim, i decided on a long run. i took the lovely trail down to quidi vidi lake, then proceeded to run 4 laps around the lake, then head home.. that's 26k, the most i have run in essentially one shot since my Sept 26 marathon. i did take a few short breaks to buy some gatorade and to feed the ducks, but it was essentially a continuous run at a consistent pace.. it took 2 hr 30 min, which was essentially a 4 hour marathon pace. i felt really good all the way thru and felt that i could have easily gone on to run 42.2k if i wanted to, but i decided to save it for later. training is all about pushing yourself far enough that you maximize your workout, yet save enough that you can get back out there the next day.

the knee and ankle felt fairly good, although they are not quite 100%.

i found myself getting quite emotional at times. not quite sure why. perhaps it was the realization that the winter is coming fast, or a realization that the sun is starting to set much earlier now, and that it will be a long dark winter.. or perhaps it was positive feeling of enjoying my first long run in a while, and my first run around quidi vidi lake in a while... i think part of it is the fact that i have come to appreciate the simple things in life... feeding the ducks; finding a squirrel in the tree. enjoying a swim in a pond.. nothing makes my day quite like any of these things... Watching the baby duckies grow up has been so much fun.. here's a pic of a set of babies from August, and then a later pic from 5-6 weeks later! Jenn


November 9, 2009 - back at it

had a nice 7k run today in in the cool but sunny windy environment! the knee and ankle injury are almost better. looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow for a full slate of swimming and running

job interview went fairly well today, and i have another one lined up friday, both are government of newfoundland jobs. let's hope for the best

Jenn

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009 - another rest day

well, i went out to test the knee but there was enough discomfort for me to cut it short and rest another day. i still managed to have a lovely 4k walk outside for an hour, including a visit to the pond to feed the duckies for the first time in a few days.

big day tomorrow with a job interview.. hope it goes well.

Jenn

November 7, 2009 - rest day

well, i managed to get outside for a walk for about 15 minutes before turning around and heading back inside. just wasn't in the mood for cold rain today.. lol

oh well, the restful day certainly didn't hurt.

Jenn

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009 - breath into this tube!

Well, i had my pulmonary functions tests today. oh what fun, breathing into a tube for 20 minutes. i really hope these tests prove to identify what has been wrong with my left lung for the past 6 months. it's really frustrating when you can't take in as much oxygen as you are used to, especially when you can't get enough oxygen to run at full speed!

That proved to be the highlight of my day as i spent the rest of the day home inside trying to avoid the snowy-slush storm and high winds. no running or swimming today, which is rare, as you all know. I fell and twisted my ankle and hurt my knee yesterday, which made my swim very uncomfortable, so the day of rest certainly won't hurt. I hope the injuries will heal up enough so that i may return to the pool tomorrow pain-free.

Jennifer

My letter to co-workers

Here is a modified version of "Jennifer's Story", a newsletter that i was fortunate enough to share with many people whom i worked with in recent years.

Jennifer's Story

I am writing to introduce you to Jennifer McCreath, Senior Policy and Planning Analyst in the Information Management Branch. I want to raise education and awareness about a very personal issue in my life that is playing out in a very public manner, because I want people to learn enough about this so they won’t feel uncomfortable working with me.

After years of confusion and unhappiness, I finally figured out what I needed to do to find happiness. In January, 2007, I concluded that I was a transsexual (a woman born with male sex organs) and that I needed to undertake transition (the medical correction of my sex organs and my hormone levels). After suitable assessment, my doctors agreed with this diagnosis and have been working with me on this transition process ever since.

Transition requires good physical fitness, so from January - July 2007, I undertook a grueling long-distance running regime and dropped 60 pounds. Although the main goal was to get in shape, which I did, the competitive fire from within lead me to take running to a competitive level. I have since completed 19 marathon runs, including the 2009 Boston Marathon.

In June, 2008, I started Hormone Replacement Therapy: the taking of testosterone blockers and estrogen pills. Over the next 3-5 years, this will cause a feminization process to my body: softer skin, lighter body hair, breast growth; as well as changes to my emotions. There will also be side affects such as fatigue, muscle loss, body weight redistribution and slower metabolism.

There are things estrogen won't do. This means that I require a series of expensive medical procedures, including laser facial hair removal and electrolysis, voice retraining, the wearing of a wig or hair transplants, and up to five different surgeries, including two genital surgeries - one of which I had done in December 2008.

In preparation for the surgeries, I needed to prove my readiness by undergoing a “Real Life Experience” (RLE) test as a woman (essentially as a way of proving that this really is necessary for me). This was a full year of living in the woman gender role as documented by doctors. My RLE went very well and I was given the go-ahead by my team of doctors to pursue all procedures.

The announcement of my transition has been well accepted here in Government, among my friends here in Newfoundland, as well as by local organizations such as the Aquarena and the Newfoundland & Labrador Athletic Association.

Raising societal education and awareness about the issues of transsexualism is important to me both for my own good, and in my opinion, for the good of the transsexual community, and all of society. I take pride in being an advocate, and I have been fortunate enough to get my story out into mainstream society by starring in a three-part mini news series that aired on prime time NTV news in March, 2008, a series which lead to a massive amount of positive feedback and support. A follow up news story in February 2009 was also well received.

Since then, I have also been featured on CBC news, VOCM Radio, The Telegram, and the Scope magazine. I have also been a guest speaker at a variety of events, addressing audiences including students, PRIDE week festivities attendees, health care professionals, and politicians & government policy makers. I have also been a guest lecturer for a variety of courses at Memorial University.

So why put myself through all of this? Our brain dictates who we really are. Our brain makes many conscious decisions, but many unconscious ones too. We don't get to choose whether we are left handed or right handed; we don’t get to decide how tall we are going to end up; and we don't get to decide our gender identity. Yes it is rare, only 1 out of every 20,000 people will have this condition, but for me, it couldn’t be more obvious. History has proven that post-transitioned individuals go on to live happy and normal lives, while untreated transsexuals often fall into deep depression, 40% of whom commit suicide.

So, will I really become a female? Well, legally yes, and medically, it’s amazing what can be done with hormones and surgeries, but the bigger issue is gaining acceptance across Government and throughout society as a whole, and this will be the toughest challenge I face. Change has to be slow and gradual, so with this in mind, I have moved forward one step at a time with new milestones: feminine wardrobe, legal name change, hormone therapy, and the first surgery. There are many more steps to come before this transition can be considered complete, but no matter what I look like, I ask that you think of me as Jennifer, a woman, and address me accordingly. It is hurtful to be called, him, sir, or mister. Please try to be sensitive and understanding of this.

Anyway, I look forward to the exciting challenge of continued success in transition, as well as success in the work place as an Analyst. I appreciate the support and acceptance I have experienced thus far and look forward to working with all of you in the future!


Jennifer


If you would like to learn more about me and my transition, please visit my personal website: Http://www.jennifermccreath.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009 - signal hill revisited!

well, i just couldn't resist. i was downtown for a doctor appointment today and decided afterward, to make the long 1 mile climb from the bottom of Temperance Street, up Signal Hill Road, to the Cabot Tower. Once again, as was the case during the Cape to Cabot 20k road race, i found it extremely challenging to run uphill and breathe at the same time. But instead of walking, i was able to keep a steady jog for most of it.

It was a very rare beautiful clear day in St. John's, so i had a lovely view of the entire city, as well as out to sea, from the top of the hill. in all, i ran 18k today, and swam 2k in the pool for good measure!

Jenn

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009 - so much for that

well the warm sunny day never showed up today. instead, we got 5 degrees and cloudy.. oh well, a perfect day to go and renew my swimming membership at the pool.... lol

the swim this morning did not go very well. i was having a rough breathing day, which essentially ruins any swim. later in the day, i toured around the city, running from pond to pond. totaling 11.9k.

well, still no luck with the job hunt. i recently applied to another batch of government jobs, some here in Newfoundland, some in Ontario, and even one in Yellowknife! now that would be an interesting place to work!

Jenn

Jennifer McCreath - Resume (education and work experience) - updated Feb 2010

Here's my conventional resume of education and work experience!


Education

Bachelor of Administration Degree (Management Concentration)
2005 - Athabasca University

Business Administration Diploma (Honours)
2000 - Humber College of Arts and Technology


Work Experience

Information Management Technician
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Department of Justice - Public Prosecution Division
Jan 2010 - present

on Jan 29, 2010, I verbally accepted a temporary position at the above-cited office. It is my understanding that my new work here will be to help office management create and implement policies and procedures with regards to a new record centre, as well as be part of the actual record centre team that creates, manages, and stores Government records.

Senior Policy & Planning Analyst - Information Protection (Privacy and Security)
Government of Newfoundland & Labrador (GNL)
Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) - Information Management Branch
June 2007 – March 2009 (Temporary Assignment)

Created, coordinated, managed and implemented a privacy review program that ensured that privacy assessments were conducted on all IT system development projects and major legacy system enhancements. This included collaborating with Government Departments, the official Privacy Office, private sector contractors, and other relevant stakeholders.

Developed and implemented policies, procedures and guidelines with regard to Information Management (IM), privacy, and security

Contributed toward strategic planning and organizational development initiatives; this required up-to-date knowledge of relevant international, federal and provincial legislation, policy, standards, and globally-recognized best practices

Raised education and awareness of privacy and security through creation and delivery of training materials and through written communication

Frequently met with senior management to gain input and to provide briefing of issues, and to advise of recommended mitigation strategies

Member of numerous Government committees including privacy steering committees, OCIO Security Focus Group, OCIO Project Coordination Team, IM Management Team, Internal Security Review Board, and the Risk Assessment and Mitigation Project; had authority to make key decisions and act on behalf of the IM Branch

Served as the backup Access to Information Coordinator for the OCIO. Trained to process formal Access to Information requests
Frequent participant and presenter at major privacy, information management, and government-related conferences

Claims Assessor

Government of Canada, Dept. of Human Resources and Social Development Canada
May 2006 - January 2007 (Temporary Assignment)

Analyzed and processed Employment Insurance Claims ; Identified discrepancies and verified information with claimants and employers; analyzed, interpreted and made decisions based on the Employment Insurance Act

Database Management Coordinator
Education Safety Association of Ontario
January 2006 – March, 2006 (Temporary Assignment)

Conducted analysis of field-consultant / client relationships. This analysis was used to help senior management with their performance appraisal work

Conducted analysis of client feedback data-gathering tools; made recommendations; responsible for data-quality and database management of client information

Electronic Service Delivery Analyst
Government of Ontario, Office of the Corporate Chief Information Officer
Identity Authentication & Authorization (IA&A) Working Group
November 2003 – July 2004 (Contract Work)

Assisted Chair with the delivery and management of a cross jurisdictional working group whose mandate was to create a cross-Canada strategy for citizen identity management. Liaised with senior IT managers to help promote Ontario’s vision and goals, and to solicit feedback and buy-in regarding policies, procedures and technologies

Researched various global IA&A methodologies and best-practices; shared findings with Working Group, which often led to buy-in

Created and managed an online file-sharing portal for working group documents

Electronic Service Delivery Analyst
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (MCBS)
Integrated Service Delivery Division, Business Development Branch
March 2003 – November 2003 (Contract Work)

Assisted with the development of a Communities of Interest model, the concept of bringing government and industry stakeholders together to network and collaborate on common issues and program delivery; met with potential model participants to solicit involvement

Conducted business mapping of government services across the Ontario Public Service to identify and implement opportunities for service integration and electronic service delivery

Electronic Service Delivery Analyst
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Citizenship
Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat – Public Education and Awareness Unit
July 2002 – March 2003 (Contract Work)

Represented Ontario on a variety of cross-jurisdictional initiatives designed to deliver products and services to seniors and caregivers through service integration and electronic service delivery

Provided business content for a variety of government web sites that offered information, products and services to seniors’ stakeholders

Responsible for management and maintenance of Ministry web sites

Conducted focus group testing meetings to introduce new web sites to seniors’ stakeholders, gather feedback, and implement changes based on recommendations
Drafted Project Charters, Budget Submissions, and Communication Plans

Created and delivered status reports and briefing notes for Senior Management

Responsible for demonstrating a Pilot Seniors web site at Showcase Ontario, a major governmental conference

Records Management Clerk
Crown Law Office, Criminal - Ministry of Attorney General, Ontario Government
February 2001 - August 2002 (Contract Work)

Responsible for the management of paper and electronic records, including the filing, retention, and disposition of court and other criminal appeal documents

Responsible for updating several case management IT tracking systems

Responsible for reporting bail information to the police


Additional Training and Skills

Proficiency with PC/software - MS Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook, Windows, HTML, Internet Explorer, Misc. custom-made Databases; experience with TRIM software

Completed senior level university courses include Change Management, Strategic Public Policy, Innovative Public Management, and Public Policy in a Global Environment

Successfully completed “Managing Information Technology Projects”, a Masters-level course sanctioned by George Washington University and McMaster University

Saint John Ambulance First Aid Certification 2009 - 2012


Current Part-time Volunteer Work

Running Coach (May 2009 - Present)

Work with two individuals to create customized health, fitness, and running programs to help them improve their strength, speed, endurance, and overall running performance through healthy eating recommendations, training runs, goal setting and strategy sessions, and sports psychology mechanisms

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009 - miserable day

more cloudy, rain, cold, and fog today, which meant that i spent pretty much all day inside. i had one hour outside, where i am 6.3k and spent some time at the pond, but it was literally cold and miserable.

i am planning to go to bed early tonight and wake up early tomorrow morning for a long run, in what is being billed as 12 degrees, partly cloudy, which should make for excellent running conditions. i'll be up early thurs and friday for doctor appointments, so i might as well get used to getting up early.. friday is my lung tests, which i certainly hope will lead to a diagnosis of this mysterious ailment that i have been dealing with.

Jenn

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009 - actual regular blog post for today

wow, all these bonus posts today as i turn this blog into my official new website... anyway, on with the show.. i ran 10k today, mostly at a leisurely pace, stopping along the way whenever i saw a duck that i wanted to feed. i also saw a squirrel hiding in the tree for the first time in a while at lovely Kent's Pond. that makes 26.5k in two days for me. tomorrow, i plan to return to the pool after a few days off swimming.

Jenn

November 2, 2009 - new official website

well, with Geocities closing down, i have decided to make http://jennifermccreath.blogspot.com/
my new official website.. you will notice the addition of a 'links' section on the side, which includes references to a couple of particular new blog posts that will detail more information about me..

Jennifer McCreath - Biography - February 7, 2011

I am Jennfer McCreath, a 37 yr old transsexual marathon runner and trans-rights advocate. I am a post-op (meaning that I have underdone the surgical correction of my genitals to become anatomically female).

I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but have also lived in Black Point, Nova Scotia; Toronto, Ontario; London, Ontario; and currently live in St. John's, Newfoundland.

I am a provincial public figure who is best known for advocating for trans-rights and helping society gain a better understanding, education, and awareness of transsexualism and the issues transsexuals face.

I have been featured on NTV and CBC news, as well as local radio and newspapers in Newfoundland. I have also been a guest speaker at a variety of public events, addressing audiences including university students, St. John's and Corner Brook PRIDE week festivities attendees, health care professionals, and politicians & government policy makers. I have also been a guest lecturer for a variety of courses at Memorial University. I have also done some consulting work for the local Health Authority, in the context of assisting with the transition of a trans patient.

I am a marathon runner and long-distance swimmer. I became the first formally-sanctioned transsexual marathon runner in world history when i ran the World Outgames Marathon in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009. I also became the first formally-sanctioned transsexual swimmer at those games as well. I have run a total of 25 marathons, including 2 Boston Marathons. I am also a part-time volunteer running, health and fitness coach.

I am currently working as a file clerk in the Newfoundland public service, but desire to regain employment at a senior analyst level in a public service capacity. My background is business admin and public policy, having worked 7 years in government policy development and information management jobs - including work with the Canadian Federal Public Service, the Ontario Public Service, and the Newfoundland Public service. I hold a Bachelor Degree in Admin (Management Concentration), and a College Diploma in Business Admin.

I am a non-voting Member of Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (cpath.ca); I am a co-founder of the newly-created St. John's Pride Incorporated; and co-founder of the Newfoundland & Labrador Chapter of International FrontRunners (an LGBT-focused jogging and social club).

I enjoy 1960s and 70s rock, blues, metal, country, and most of all, country rock music. My favourite band is California country rock band, Poco (http://www.poconut.org/).

I aspire to work with government policy makers to ensure that transsexuals are able to obtain access to the health care that they need, and the human rights recognitions and protections that we currently lack in many parts of the world.

November 2, 2009 - snubbed by Guinness

well, the folks that run the Guinness World Records organization have refused to recognize me as the fastest transsexual marathon runner in the world. they stated that the record request did not meet their policy criteria, which i find rather ironic given that they recognize marathon efforts of other unique minority segments of the population, such as amputees and wheelchair athletes... not to mention, the fact that they recognize seemingly ridiculous records, such as "world's longest lawn-mower ride" and "greatest distance walked with a milk bottle balanced on the head" ...gimme a break!

Oh well, Guinness, i don't need a stamp of approval from you, your lawn mowers, or your milk bottles! My name will forever be archived and documented in the record books of the 2009 World Outgames as the first, only, and hence, the fastest formally-recognized transsexual marathon runner in world history!

Jennifer

November 1, 2009 - frustrated

wow, we had a very warm but very windy day here out east. temps got up to 17 degrees! but with winds of 60 km/h. i spent an hour outside trying to enjoy it, but the winds were just too rough. i ran 7k in the wind and also had a visit at the pond with the ducks. the birdseed was flying all over the place in the wind. so frustrating that the one nice day we have had in the past 4 weeks would be so windy!

oh well, inside i went to watch some football on tv for the afternoon. the wind eventually gave in to rain and cold. late in the evening, i logged into nlrunning.com, as i do every day, to check out the latest local running news. there, i found out that 6 Newfoundanders had career days at the NYC marathon. including two females who ran sub 3 hour marathons, which is phenomenal!

Reading that actually made me feel very aggravated and upset. with all the hard work i have done the past year, it should be me breaking 3 hours, but instead, i sit here with an still yet-to-be-identified respiratory ailment, with an extra 15 pounds, with a bad knee that won't get better, and with no job and essentially no money to travel to run marathons any more... not to mention, no where near being able to run a 3 hour marathon.. heck, i haven't even broken 4 hours this year. this even though i probably log more training hours than any of those folks....

well, i channeled my anger into something positive, and decided to go out for a late evening run. i ran 9.5k in 54 minutes. which really isn't all that bad considering it was an unplanned spur of the moment run, and considering i was running while feeling extremely frustrated and upset.

oh well, i think it's safe to say that this has motivated me.. i am going to work extra hard over the next 5 months to get ready for boston. i am determined to make 2010 a good running year for me. 2009 will go down as the worst running year in my life because i am going to do whatever it takes to ensure that my running results never drop this low ever again. i know i am capable of doing better, and yes, i have many handicaps to deal with, but that just means i will have to work harder. and i will.....

Jenn

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 31, 2009 - chilly

yikes, i had the exciting thrill of accompanying several children around the neighbourhood for halloween. it was 2 hours in near zero degree cold, wind, and drizzle.. not exactly the greatest conditions. but it was tons of fun. the first time in more than 20 years that i was out on halloween.

i also managed to run 8k today. lifting my weekly total to 33.6. wow, and my knees are still sore.. sometimes you just can't win!

Jenn

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 30, 2009 - another great swim

i wasn't feeling all that energetic today, but i forced myself to get over to the pool, where i pushed my way thru another 3k swim, this one taking a little longer than usual. but that gives me 4 really nice swims this week, making it my second best week in terms of swimming distance all year!

looking forward to more great swims in November!

Jenn

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009 - awesome swim

wow, what was going to be a slow swim turned into a rather strong and fast endurance swim.. 4.5k in just 85 minutes, ranking among my top swims of the year! i could have easily gone on to set an annual best time for a 6k swim, but i decided to save my arms for tomorrow, and to ensure i had time to enjoy the remaining little bit of sunlight (or more like cloud light). i had a lovely visit with the duckies at Burton's Pond today. i never get tired of seeing their enthusiastic beaks quacking away at me! lol

wow, i've only run 21k this week so far. a good chance i will beat my personal-weekly-low of this year, which is 38.3. oh well, nothing wrong with that. it is the offseason! and i am only one short swim away from my 6th highest weekly swim total of the year.. the plan is being executed to perfection!

Jenn

October 28, 2009 - sluggish day

only managed to run 3k today.. not much energy, probably because i stayed up late writing and reading e-mails.. oh well..

Jenn

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009 - that's better

ah, more energy today after a great sleep. i made the run over to the pool and back, plus ran over to the pond. that's 4k of running. plus a really good 2k swim, well an average swim. shortness of breath was an issue today that forced me to take a few breaks. but a great workout. geeze, it's only 0 degrees today! and very windy.. coooold!!!

yikes, i really wish those folks at the hospital would stop digging up the lovely trail system and trees. they are expanding their parking lot... and yes there are lots of cars over there, but how bout asking people to run to work or take the bus? this city has got to be the most environmentally unfriendly in the entire country!

Jenn

October 26, 2009 - sluggish day

no energy today. not quite sure why. guess it's just the luck of the draw. i had a sluggish 1.5k run over to the pond, where i fed the duckies and enjoyed the sun. but ended up home taking a nap. oh well, i'll try to get a good sleep tonight and be ready to get back at it tomorrow..

Jenn

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009 - swimming mania!

well, i decided to skip the 5k charity run this morning in favour of sleeping in. it's been a rough week with not very many good sleeps due to the high level of stress and anxiety in my life. the good news is that my friends are both out of hospital now and are on the mend at home. it's amazing how challenging the health care system is here. neither really got the right care while there were hospitalized. it's shameful that the resources are so low that even basic needs can't be met by existing hospital staff.

i finally got out for a light run this afternoon over to the duck pond with some bird seed, where i was met with some very hungry and enthusiastic ducks.. lol guess not too many people are out feeding them in rainy 2 degree weather.

after tuning into my pay-per-view football package, and watching my KC chiefs drop yet another game, i decided to head out for another light run over to the pool, where i was full of energy! i set my third personal best of the year, with a 26 minute swim of 1.5k. then i continued on to swim almost as strong for another 1.5k set - ending the day with 3.35k in 61 minutes.

i am hoping to make several trips to the pool this week in hopes of making October my second highest swimming month in terms of quantity. i swam my 300th km of the year today, which is a far cry from the 642k i had swam by this time last year. oh well, i will be running less and swimming more for the remaining 11 weeks of the year, so my totals are bound to increase. i will have to be careful not to overdo it though as too much too soon too fast can hurt the arm muscles..

there is only a small chance that i will swim competitively in 2010, but if i do, its nice to know that my swimming is almost as good as it was from my pre-op days. testosterone loss is not nearly as much of a factor in swimming as technique is, given that the body weight is insignificant in the pool.

Jenn

October 24, 2009 - personal worst 5k but good enough to medal!

wow, not very often i run a personal worst and still finish 1st in my category. today's early cold morning "Mun Run" was a 5k race to raise money for the Memorial University Athletic program. a field of nearly 100 runners, mostly young students, braved the zero degree and windy snowy conditions. at 35, i was one of the older runners, and one of only a handful of racers over 25. i placed 1st among 30-39 females, way ahead of the next runner. guess all the stars are skipping this race in favour of running tomorrow, or resting up after cape to cabot.

at the start, i ran into a friend who was in town from Yellowknife, of all places. always nice to see people mixing racing with work. i ran a fairly consistent run and did about as good as i could have hoped. sore knees from last week's cape to cabot, strong head wind, small hills, and the extra layers of clothing all accounted for a slower race time. 24.20 is still fairly respectable for me, given all of this, and given the lung issue. only 37 seconds slower than my post-op personal best time, which i ran 9 weeks ago.

my splits were 4.30, 4.45, 4.55, 5.00, 5.10.

i spent the rest of the day going back and forth to the hospital to see my friend (one is still in and the other is out), and time on my couch relaxing with some NCAA Football on TV. my time watching football has paid off, as i am expecting to rank in the top 100 out of over 70000 people in the facebook college football pool. potentially making me the highest ranked canadian in the pool! too bad there's no money involved.. just bragging rights!

not really sure what tomorrow will bring. i am hoping my other friend gets out of the hospital. if my knees feel up to the Autism run, i will give that 5k race a go, making it a rare doubleheader race weekend. there also might be a swim at the pool, and visit to the duck pond, and some studying for monday's job interview.

in all, not a bad day at all!
Jenn

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009 - restful week

not much running this week as i give my knees and quads a chance to recover from the torturous 20k road race from sunday, the Cape to Cabot race. i had a really strong but short swim yesterday, 2.1k in 29 minutes. only a greand total of 44.9k of running this week, including 26 on sunday.

i will plan to run two 5k charity runs this weekend, saturday, it's the "MUN run" a 5k treck around the campus of Memorial University to raise money for their athletic program. i got a nice Memorial SeaHawks hat for registering for this one. Then on sunday, it will be a 5k run around the lovely trails of long pond to raise money and awareness for Autism. this will be exciting and will force me to get to bed early and have early morning wake up calls, which will also prepare me for Monday's job interview with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's department of Tourism Culture and Recreation.

meanwhile, my best friend continues to remain hospitalized with a painful condition that will likely require rest and medication for another 4-6 days. i've been over to visit every day.

on a positive note, i found a needle in a haystack this week! a very very rare copy of Ron Hynes' 1998 CD Standing In Line In The Rain. this CD went out of print shortly after its release and finding a copy has literally been impossible. i managed to find a used copy for sale online for just $15. the current street value for a copy of this disk is $150! not a bad score at all. and it is great music too!

Jenn

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2009 NLAA road running season review

well, i only managed to participate in 6 out of 17 races this year, only 3 of which i took seriously. It's a shame that i had to miss so many but life brings its challenges. road running is costly (race registration fees and transportation, if needed, can add up); running also conflicted with other running schedules - specifically marathons and charity runs; and in some cases, illness prevented me from running.. let's take a look..


apr 26 - mundy pond 5k - missed due to marathon in Waterloo, the 3rd marathon in 8 days!

may 3 - burton pond 5k - what a shock it was to run as hard and as fast as possible and see a finishing time 4 minutes slower than last year. welcome to the world of being a post-op, estrogen-filled female! the look on my face as i cross the finish line says it all, a combo of satisfaction and disbelief!




may 17 - harbourfront 10k - this time, i was marathonning in Halifax on this same day, my 5th marathon in 30 days! last year at the harbourfront, i ran with a 20 pound backpack, then continued to run all the way to cape spear and back after the race.. 42.2k was enough for me on this day in 2009. the backpack marathon runs are now a thing of the past for me.

may 30 - garnish 10k - i'd love to give this a go one of these years. garnish is a cute little town. it is also about a 3-4 hour drive. no car = travel costs that i didn't want to pay for.

june 7 - mercury 15k - well, this used to be the mercury 15k and eastern marathon, but they cancelled the marathon after only 2 years due to low interest. at this point in the season i was extremely down about my progressively slower race times. after finishing runner up in the marathon last year, the thought of finishing at the back of the pack in a 15k road race just didn't appeal to me. last year's marathon loss (i finished runner up after leading the race for most of it) is something that still bothers me every day, so returning to portugal cove would have been emotionally challenging as well. not to mention, another car rental to get out there would have been costly. oh, and i had just ran 5 marathons and 1 half marathon in the previous 7 weeks, so i was still in recovery mode. lots of good reasons to skip this one. looking back, i feel badly for skipping it and will definitely plan to run it next year if i am still living here in Nfld.

june 20 - canadian light 10k - i was going to run this, but ended up in the hospital for 3 days with resporatory problems. so much for that idea!

july 12 - mews 8k - the resporatory problems continued. meanwhile, i found a new exciting challenge of training a novice runner. this would be her debut road race, a hard fast 8k for her, but a light training run for me. finishing at the back of the pack was a new experience for me, but in this case, it was the happiest moment of my running season to know that the title 'coach' is one i had earned!

aug 2 - gander races - new races, a 5k and 10k. another road trip i didn't want to make, and it was probably a good thing. the course was apparently very poorly marked and many runners ended up off course.

aug 16 - quidi vidi 5k - still suffering from resporatory issues, it was another light run along side my protegee, who shaved off several minutes to set a new PB.

aug 23 - bell island blast 10 miler - i opted to skip this one in favour of doing a 5k charity run this day for the NL Sexual Health Centre. it turned out to be a good move as i won the 5k, posting a time slightly faster than my burton pond 5k time, which is amazing given the resporatory issues. i hope this run won't conflict with bell island next year, as i would really like to run both.

sept 13 - provincial 5k championship - another light run with my protegee, who struggled a bit with this one. this was actually a warm up as we both ran the Terry Fox Run later in the day..


sept 19 - blueberry harvest 10k - another road trip that i didn't want to take. if i can ever afford to buy a car, chances are that i will start to take some of these trips...

sept 27 - newfoundland marathon - running with resporatory problems is not easy. you add in the fact that this was a very hilly marathon, and it really made it tough for me. but i knew exactly where i was at in terms of my ability and executed a perfectly-planned race strategy and ran a very consistent marathon. i can only hope that the doctors can sort out this lung issue. it's really stalled my running progress.

oct 10 - trapline marathon - goose bay - i really want to run this and gave it strong consideration, but when i lost my job earlier this year, i knew that an $800 plane ticket was totally out of the question. maybe next year

oct 11 - turkey tea 10k - gee, two NLAA races on the same weekend. maybe next year i will run them both! but i decided to pass up this one as there was really no reason for me to run a 10k race at this point in the season. i was already in taper mode for the C2C.

oct 18 - cape to cabot 20k - i knew the resporatory illness would slow me down, and it did. even moreso that i thought. again, a consistent run that turned out pretty much as i expected, with the exception of signal hill taking me a few minutes longer than i wanted. i literally could not breath while climbing this hill unless i walked.. my goal of breaking last year's 1.56.11 was not to be, and i was actually just over the 2 hour mark.. which is still pretty good pace for this course. consistently similar to the pace of my 2 post-hospitalization marathons..




overall, this NLAA racing season would have to be classified as a disaster for me. best thing i can do is wipe the slate clean and start again next year, with what i hope will be a much better state of physical health.

Oh well, at least i had fun for the most part and further developed my public profile and positive reputation as a runner and as a running coach.

Jenn

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21, 2009 - brutal week

well, the knees and quad muscles are recovering from sunday's run. they were quite sore for the first 48 hours afterwards.

i've spent a great deal of time this week over at the hospital visiting 2 friends who are in there for various issues. our hospital system is grossly understaffed and emergency patients often spend 24-48 hours sitting on a stretcher in the hallways before they get access to hospital beds.. really not a good situation at all..

miserable weather all week here in Nfld with temps in the 2-5 degree range and almost a constant flow of light rain. more of the same in the many days ahead, and perhaps even some snow or freezing rain on friday and saturday.

there are two 5k charity runs this weekend but i think my status will be doubtful for both. staying up all night at the hospital last night will likely take a few days to recover, and i really don't think i will want to wake up at 7 am for races this weekend.. but you never know!

Jenn

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18, 2009 - 3rd Annual Cape to Cabot 20K Race

well, it was an early and cold morning today at the eastern-most tip of north america, Cape Spear, NL... a cloudy and drizzly 1 degrees! i and 400 others embarked on the 3rd annual Cape to Cabot 20k road race, one of the hilliest 20k races in the entire world.

i found myself struggling severely with the uphill portions due to my respiratory issue. i can't really handle running up hills of any magnitude, due to my inability to take in enough oxygen... so i took those nice and slow but made up for them with 3 awesome downhill k sprints.. i actually had 3 separate km which i ran faster than 4.30, which was exciting.

i negative split the race by exactly 1 second, giving me a time of 1.00.18 and 1.00.17 respectfully. a personal worst one the course overall, but by far the most satisfying and consistent race out of the 3. it's nice to know that i have a solid understanding of where my running is at these days. if you don't know where you are, you won't be able to plan for improvement.

now the off season officially begins as i will plan to rest up the knees for a while and focus on cross training, and then will go hard at it in the winter in prep for Boston and Big Sur marathons in April

Jenn

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009 - weekly update

oh my, i haven't been on here for a few days. it's been a busy week. i returned to Memorial University today to speak with another group of students. this time, it was a classroom full of soon-to-be social workers, as part of a social justice course. i was joined by 2 other local members of the LGBTQ community as we told our stories and fielded questions.

it's also been a musical week for me, taking in a couple of concerts here in St. John's. my 3rd and 4th concerts of the year.. hard to believe i actually attended more than 50 concerts per year back in the early 2000s when i lived in Toronto. Newfoundland doesn't get very many big-name mainland artists, but we had Murray MacLauchlin, Canadian 1960s folk singer, who shared the stage with Newfoundland music icon Ron Hynes. The next night, it was 80s pop rocker Rick Springfield in town.

it's been a good taper week for me as i prepare for sunday's 3rd annual Cape Spear to Cabot Tower 20K road race, one of the toughest 20k courses in all of the world, due to the extremely challenging hills. i ran 14k on monday, 14k on tuesday, then took a break wed and thurs. it's also been 3 days off from swimming after two strong swims sunday and monday. the focus has been on rest and recovery, as the knees are still feeling the affects of the Sept 27th Newfoundland Marathon.

it's been a disappointing month of job searching so far, with a series of rejection letters from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, including a few from the very office where i used to work. I am now expanding my job search even further than ever before, with resumes being sent to places like Yellowknife and Whitehorse!

Jennifer

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009 - encore

back in the pool this afternoon to follow up on my great swim last night. things weren't quite as powerful today, but still a great swim.2.1k in 4o minutes. anything faster than a 3kmph pace is good. lol

14k of running too, including a 10k tempo session. cold and windy here today. the sun peaked through for a while so it was nice to be outside.

Jenn

October 11, 2009 thanksgiving PB

wow, a personal best in the pool this evening with a very strong and fast 1500M in just 27 minutes! i carried on to finish this training run with a total of 2.625k swimming in 48 minutes. this after a busy day of 7k running, thanksgiving dinner with some friends, and a few hours watching my KC chiefs lose yet another football game.. lol

yesterday was a rest day with just 4k of running. both days featured a customary visit to feed the duckies at burton pond.. lol

Jenn

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009 update

been a good week for me so far.. 3 good swimming sessions on mon, tues, and thurs. including 2 over an hour. plus a 22k run on wednesday, among other runs.. i plan to hit the pool later tonight as well.

i had the exciting experience of speaking to a classroom full of university folklore students today, where i told my story and discussed issues regarding transsexualism in society. it was great to learn that some of the students had seen my tv interviews and/or had visited this blog site.

i will run my 3rd consecutive Cape To Cabot race next weekend, a 20K run that is extremely hilly. given the disaster that happened last year, i am anticipating that this may be the first time that i run a race faster than i did while pre-op.

C2C 2007 featured a run on very sore legs after enduring the newfoundland and toronto marathons while dealing with an extreme case of Illiotibial Band Syndrome. i ran that race at 183 pounds and finished with a time of 1.46.56.

a year later, i tackled the C2C while under the influence of a very high dosage of spironolactone, a dieuretic and testosterone blocker. i had also been on estrogen for 2 months by this point. Adjusting to the spiro was extremely challenging as i suffered from cramps and dehydrtation early into the run, forcing me to slow right down for the remaining 12k. i ran this race at 178 pounds, and finished in 1.56.08.

this year, i will likely come in at 193 pounds, yikes, but on relatively health legs/knees and while under stable hormone conditions, having testosterone and estrogen levels that have been consistently the same and consistently in the female range. the only major downer will be the continuing lung issues, which make hill-climbing extra challenging due to increased oxygen intake requirements. i still think there is a very reasonable chance that i could break 1.56.

Jenn