Saturday, October 31, 2009
looking forward to more great swims in November!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
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!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
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.
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!
Friday, October 23, 2009
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!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
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.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
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!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
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
Thursday, October 15, 2009
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!
Monday, October 12, 2009
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.
yesterday was a rest day with just 4k of running. both days featured a customary visit to feed the duckies at burton pond.. lol
Friday, October 9, 2009
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.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
In no particular order, here's what i have done since November 2007:
- Co-wrote a special edition of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Respectful Workplace Coordinator's monthly newsletter, which featured Diversity in the workplace. The main article focused on transitioning transsexuals in the work place, and steps that can be taken to ensure that both transpeople and their colleagues can work together in a supportive environment.
- wrote and distributed a biographical letter that served for education, awareness, and sensitivity-training purposes for Government employees who were in the process of gaining a better understanding of a transitioning transsexual in the work place.
- conducted a series of one on one sensitivity training discussions with co-workers to ensure that they had a safe environment to learn about a transitioning transsexual in the work place.
- was a member of a provincial government Duty to Accommodate Committee, that was tasked with creating corporate-wide policies and communication advisories with regards to transitioning transsexuals in the workplace.
- wrote and delivered a public presentation to the Department of Justice as part of their legislative review of the Human Rights Code, where i advocated for the inclusion of the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" to be added to the code under the Prohibited Grounds section.
- wrote a policy and successfully advocated for it's acceptance for the creation of a 3rd sex category for transitioning athletes who sought participation in an international sporting event, the World Outgames. (went on to unofficially become the first formally sanctioned transsexual in world history to complete a marathon run and a 1500M swim).
- co-lead a pride week sub-committee that planned, developed, and coordinated an LGBT health care forum discussion for St John's pride week; recruited speakers; was responsible for ensuring that the media and political figures were invited; was a featured speaker at the forum where i discussed the gaps and discrimination that currently exist in the Newfoundland public health care system with regards to health care for transsexuals; interviewed by, and featured in, the local newspaper for a story on the forum.
- was a featured speaker at the opening ceremonies for St John's Pride week, where i addressed a crowd that included community leaders, politicians, and other LGBT advocates. my speech focused on advising pride participants to engage in conversation with transpeople as a learning experience.
- have been recruited to be a guest lecturer at Memorial University for a number of courses, including graduate students.
- member of Canadian Blood Services LGBTTQ working group, which is actually a steering committee that is helping CBS conduct research, policy reviews, and policy development with regards to blood and organ donation rules for MSMs (males who have sex with males) and transsexual donors.
- former acting-chair for Pflag Canada's St. John's Chapter's monthly meeting, an organization that holds public meetings where members of the LGBT community and their supporters can discuss their issues and obtain advice in a calm and accepting environment
- soon to be a co-founder of the St. John's edition of Front Runners, an international running organization that caters to LGBT athletes
- will be working in concert with LGBT advocacy groups to create and submit a discussion paper to the Government of Newfoundland's Department of Health, advocating for a legislative review on their Medical Care Plan's trans health policy
- collaborated with Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) to coordinate a letter-writing campaign which ultimately lead to the cancellation of the airing on tv of a controversial anti-gay advertisement by a Canadian fast food company and the termination of their contract with the ad agency that created the ad; was interviewed by local radio for the story
- was the star of 4 feature stories on local CTV news portraying transsexuals in a positive light. stories included the myths vs the realities of being trans, transitioning in the workplace, preparing for and undertaking the medical side of transition, gaining societal acceptance in a conservative community, and advocating for acceptance in the international athletic world.
- featured on CBC news' story about Pride week, where i was identified as an example of how more LGBT people are becoming prominent members of society.
- interviewed for local newspaper regarding my participation in the Newfoundland Sexual Health Centre's Run for Respect, to raise awareness against sexual violence and harassment. (went on to win this race)
- interviewed for local newspaper and radio regarding my appearance at St. John's Pride's flag raising ceremony; spoke about the importance of using pride as a time for advocacy and education, as well as celebration.
- featured on the cover, and in the pages, of a local arts and entertainment magazine, which told a positive story about a successful transsexual marathon runner.
- successfully lobbied a Newfoundland psychiatrist to adopt and apply the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for a transsexual patient
- successfully lobbied a Newfoundland GP to adopt and apply Vancouver Coastal Health's transsexual endocrine therapy protocol for a transsexual patient
- worked with a number of individual university students who were conducting educational projects on variety of transsexualism-related topics
- created and maintain a variety of internet websites with information about transsexualism
(updated Nov 25, 2009)
- delivered keynote address as LBGT MUN's transgender day of remembrance candle light vigil event
- met with the Federal Liberal Government's Health Critic to discuss matter pertaining to health care concerns for transsexuals in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
March 22, 2010 - spoke at Memorial Univeristy as part of a LGBTQ panel discussion on discrimination and other challenges with the Newfoundland Health Care System
May 17, 2010 - spoke via video and live audio to an entire high school in Nova Scotia regarding homo and trans phobia in sports.
May 22, 2010 - hosted a networking brunch event with approx 20 LGBTQ youth in Nova Scotia where i provided advise and guidance.
June 22, 2010 - interviewed on CBC Radio to discuss concerns about Newfoundland's Government Department of Justice's refusal to include gender identity in their new Human Rights Act
June 23, 2010 - attended a public forum on mental health and criticized the Minister of Health and Minister of Justice for failing to ensure transsexual Newfoundlanders have adequate health care funding and human rights. Challenged both to work with me and the rest of the trans community to resolve both issues.
July 2010 - coordinated a 4 hour seminar that included over 20 speakers in an LGBTQ context at a PRIDE environment
July 15 2010 - spoke at St. John's PRIDE flag raising - noon at City Hall - gave 10 minute speach that focused on challenges trans people face in society, including discrimination with regards to housing, employment, health care, and human rights recognition by government.
July 15, 2010 - spoke at St. John's PRIDE opening reception at 7 pm, City Hall - gave 10 minute speach that focused on challenges trans people face in society, including discrimination with regards to housing, employment, health care, and human rights recognition by government.
July 15, 2010 - appeared on NTV news as part of their pride coverage, including one on one interview clips.
July 18, 2010 - was one of the keynote speakers at a G20 rally/protest where Canadians demanded a public inquiry into the police violence that occured in Toronto during the G20 meetings. I was featured heavily in the NTV news coverage, both as a parade marcher, and a podium speaker.
July 19, 2010 - Represented PRIDE and co-hosted a pride movie night at and with the St. John's Women's Centre.
July 23, 2010 - will be among the 50 privately-invited guests of honour who will be a part of the St. John's PRIDE 'citizen of the year award'
July 24, 2010 - will host, and speak at the PRIDE conference seminar event
July 25, 2010 - will speak at PRIDE parade, drag racing, and BBQ social events
sept 18, 2010 - co-founded st. john's pride incorporated.
- hope to secure full time permanent employment as an analyst, adviser, or consultant with an organization that is accepting and embracing of LGBT people
- hope to continue work as an advocate and educator to society about LGBT issues, especially trans issues
- hope to found and run a legal corporate entity whose mandate will be to advocate for transsexual women and to provide services to transwomen in Eastern Canada
- hope to write a book about my journey as a transitioning transsexual
- hope to create a video documentary about my journey
- hope to work with Canadian and international athletic sanctioning bodies to create suitable policies for the inclusion of transsexual and inter-sexed athletes
- hope to create and execute a running training program for LGBT athletes
- hope to work with Government entities to eliminate discriminatory policies against LGBT people
- hope to work with Human Rights entities to help make this world a better and easier place for transsexuals to undertake their transition in a public manner, and to carry on living life in a world of acceptance and equity
- hope to return to school to complete a Masters Degree
- hope to realize continued success as a marathon runner and endurance swimmer
- hope to cement a legacy as a positive transsexual role model and public figure in any community which i live
if you are interested in discussing my suitability for work with your organization, and would like more information about my specific work and educational experiences, please contact me at email@example.com
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
slightly warmer temps in the forecast for tuesday so i will plan to do a fairly long run.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
a good strong hour in the pool, swimming slightly more than 3k. then a series of short runs out in a surprisingly warm cloudy day.. prompting me to jump in kent's pond for a swim! a very rare October pond swim in Newfoundland. there was also my customary daily visit with the duckies. 14.3k of running today. knees still a little sore from the marathon. still haven't decided if i want to run a marathon on thanksgiving weekend or not..