Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Boston Marathon pics 04/19/10

Big Sur Marathon Photos 04/25/10

April 28, 2010 - review Boston 2 Big Sur Marathons!

well, my trip got off to a rough start as the airline canceled my flight out of Newfoundland due to weather issues. I was able to get off the island later that day but did not make it to Boston all the way. I ended up in Halifax Nova Scotia for a day, so i took advantage of the opportunity to drive around my old home towns and see some old familiar sites.

a day later, i finally made it to Boston and got myself checked into my hotel. The next day, i traveled around Boston and area and shot some cute video footage at various marquee sites, including the starting line, finish line, boston common, and the marathon expo.

then i returned to my hotel room for a pizza and early night's sleep. i also recorded this pre game interview where i told my amazing story of the journey to get back to Boston.

the run itself was brutal. a combo of heat and fatigue slowed me down substantially just 16k into the race. it was an extreme struggle to get thru the run. but as awful as i felt, i managed to enjoy the experience. i high fived about 1000 little kids. i also took time to enjoy the infamous Wellesley College girls who were holding 'kiss me' signs, at the 20k mark.

after finishing the run, which i did in 5:16:55, i was in a rush to get to the airport to get my flight to LA, which i barely made! it was a long day, but in the end, i accomplished the main goal of finishing.

the next few days in southern california were interesting. the weather was actually cold, rainy, and foggy, so i didn't spend much time outside. i went to Venice Beach and the Santa Monica pier and did some site-seeing. I also took in the Eagles concert at the Hollywood bowl. Eagles have always been one of my favs and it was great to see them live in their home town.

among the videos i shot, was this reflection of my Boston Run.

the next day i literally slept for about 16 hours, which was surprising but much-needed.

then, i drove up to Malibu area and visited one of my favorite beaches there, then carried onto Santa Barbara and reunited with three old friends for dinner and a concert.

then next day was an amazing drive up the coast all the way to Big Sur and into Carmel and Monterey. It was nice to get a glimpse of the marathon course and take time to site-see and shoot pictures and videos.

the Big Sur marathon expo was great. I had a chance to listen to Chuck Engle and Dean Karnazes speak, two internationally-recognized ultramarathon legends.

i had to get to bed early, as i would be waking up at 1 am in prep to catch a 3.45 am shuttle bus. i actually slept well. the race was awesome. there were 5000 marathonners and 4000 other runners doing other events, so the athlete's village had a boston feel to it. the course was tough but i felt much better and ran very well at first. the knees were quite sore from Boston though, so that limited my speed. in the end, i ran 27 minutes faster than Boston, 4.49.49. Given the difficulty of the course, this was actually a good run. i finished right around the middle of the female range. many runners did not finish at all as it was hot and windy.

it was very frustrating running 2 very slow marathons. part of me feels i can and should have done better, while part of me is realizing that i will have serious limitations and may never run fast again. i felt upset and disgusted at the finish line and wanted no part of any of the post-race celebrations. But now that i am home and have had a few days to reflect, i feel that these runs went better than i thought and i feel the urge to get back out there and prove to myself that i can still do this and that i can do better. So, i am going to be looking at the calendar and playing around with potential ideas and will give serious consideration to more marathons this year!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010 - resting up

wow, spent most of yesterday sleeping. that run really took a lot out of me. feeling better today. going to drive from LA to Santa Barbara today, then drive the rest of the coast tomorrow. legs are feeling better today. should be ok for sunday's marathon. can't wait!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010 - quick update

boston marathon was very tough but at least i finished it. that's 20 career marathons in less than 3 years. eagles concert was awesome last night. really enjoying my time out here in California! legs are still very sore but i am confident i will recover in time for big sur.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010 - Boston revisited

Ahh, i finally decided to bite the bullet and pay the $50 to get copies of all my official Boston Marathon photos from last year.. Here are my two favourite shots. Me just moments before getting in line to start, and me with my finishers medal just moments after finishing. I hope i end up looking as good this year as i did last year!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010 - taper update

5.5k run yesterday, 5k run today, and a really strong 2.5k evening swim today at the pool. nice to actually have some energy!


April 13, 2010 - transvestic fetishism? i don't think so

So the American psychiatric Association is accepting public consultations on their proposed draft 5 of the DSM.

These folks have engaged the services of Ray Blanchard and Ken Zucker from Canada's infamous CAMH Gender Identity Clinic. It appears that these folks have been brainwashed into thinking that transsexualism is the same thing as transvestitism. They are looking to label people as 'mentally disordered' who cross dress 3 times in their life and fantasize about sex, and/or people who fantasize about sex while being in the opposite gender role and/or opposite biological sex.
this fake mental illness, interestingly enough, will only apply to biological males, not biological females.. finally, they are also looking to invent another fake mental illness where anyone (cis or trans) who finds a transperson sexually attractive, is also mentally ill.

well, i decided to sign up and give them a piece of my mind. chances are they will not post my comments, so i am taking advantage of the free internet world to share my thoughts for the world to see.

i urge everyone out there who has any medical designation to please speak out against these CAMH quacks and let's take steps to ensure that transsexuals become one step closer to getting the care that they need, rather than continue to face inappropriate fake mental illness labels that do nothing to help their transition or help them gain societal acceptance.

302.3 Transvestic Fetishism

just because someone fantasizes about sexual activity while either cross dressing or while having a biological body that matches one's perceived gender identity (transsexualism) does not necessarily constitute a fetish.

it's kind of like suggesting that a cancer patient who fantasizes that they are cured from cancer and are having sex while cured is also someone who is suffering from a mental disorder a la paraphilic fetish.

people who have birth defects such as transsexualism, obviously, dream of having a body that matches their inner identity. and history seems to have proven that surgery, not reparative therapy, is the only consistently successful remedy.

there is a big difference from a transvestite (someone who does dress up for fetish reasons, yet has no desire or perceived requirement to undertake corrective surgery) and a transsexual (someone who passes thru the W-path Standards of Care and is perceived to require SRS).

whether one is cis or trans, sexual fantacies is something all human beings do. to suggest that cis fantacies are 'normal' and to suggest that trans fantacies are 'mentally disordered' is highly ridiculous.

furthermore, the fact that you only want to label male to female fanticizers as disordered, yet don't mention female to male fanticizers disordered, is a blantant act of sexism and further deminishes your feable attempt to carry on inappropriately labelling transsexualism as a mental disorder.

finally, to suggest that one who masturbates 3 times in their life while cross dressed is a paraphilic fetishist and/or is an autogyniphile is completely ridiculous. that's kinda like saying that someone who has drank 3 beers in their life while concurrently fantasizing about sex is an alcoholic-paraphilic-fetishist who is mentally disordered.

finally, to suggest that cis people who are attracted to trans are mentally disordered? that one won't fly either. many transpeople are passable and cis people have no way of knowing whether one is trans or not. so is it really fair to label people disordered for finding passable transpeople attractive? gimme a break! furthermore, non-passing transpeople can be loving individuals who live fairly regular lives.. there's no reason to be labeling the cis partners of transpeople as mentally ill. you folks need to stop inventing fake mental illnesses that don't really exist and start taking steps to ensure that transpeople are able to access the HRT and SRS that they so desperately need. and you need to take steps to stop labeling transpeople as 'mentally ill' as this only adds to an inapproproate negative stereotype.


Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010 - interesting historic day

Well, today was Terry Fox day, at least for a closed group of rich corporate executives and politicians, who were invited to a special Terry Fox memorial tribute, to mark the occasion of the 30 year anniversary of the start of his legendary run across most of Canada.

it's not very often i see a news story that aggravates me to the point that i will literally log in and comment on the story, but that's what i did today on CBC's website.

i initially expressed disappointment that local runners were not given the chance to attend, and interestingly enough, this was met with a series of 'thumb's down' from other readers.

but i seemed to have redeemed myself with the following follow-up comment:


"for all of you bashing the amateur running community, take note that runners are among the most generous in the world when it comes to charity. we give lots of money and lots of time. the average club runner takes part in anywhere from 5-10 charity races every year, including terry fox run and cibc breast cancer runs, among many others. we collect pledges from family, friends, and co-workers, and we get out of bed at 7 am on sundays and go outside in the cold rainy weather to run for charity, while the rest of the world stays home and sleeps in.

i and others were approached by Terry Fox foundation and CBC 2 years ago and asked if we would be willing to give up our summer plans to volunteer to run across Canada as part of a made for tv reality series that would both pay tribute to Terry, raise money for cancer, and make CBC famous. unfortunately this show never materialized but i was glad to express willingness to be a part of this, as were many other runners.

Terry Fox means many things to many people. in addition to cancer, he was an inspiration for people with disabilities in general, and he is a great example of doing the best one can to live a healthy life. he has inspired many others to run across Canada or run in general for a variety of causes, all important. Terry was the main reason i took up running and the main reason i willingly give up time and money to help others on a regular basis. let's not forget that Terry Fox was an athlete, and none of his legacy would have existed if it wasn't for his legendary daily marathon runs.

Today is a special day for many people who want to celebrate Terry, not just for those in corporate jobs at the Cancer society or those who are in politics."


speaking of running, i had a nice 20k tempo run yesterday and a light 5.5k today. i generally felt strong today, having had 2 great weekend sleeps. i spoke with one of my doctors and we are going to beef up my SSRI meds to see if that will help improve and stabilize my moods.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010 - morning update

well, tomorrow will represent the 30th anniversary of the start of Terry Fox's journey across Canada. Terry was clearly an inspiration to many and continues to be recognized and remembered for being perhaps the greatest athlete in the history of our country.

well, i ran 39k this past week, and managed one swim at the pool. not bad considering how low my mood and energy levels were. still a respectable taper week. i'm expecting more of the same in the week ahead as i make final preparations for Boston. looks like a cool sunny morning here in St. John's so i will plan to bundle up and get outside for a light run, perhaps to the pond!


Friday, April 9, 2010

April 8, 2010 - brief update

taking it easy the last few days. have had 2 better quality sleeps this week, but energy levels still low. looking forward to a restful weekend of sleeping, and hopefully some gentle walks to the pond, the animal shelter, and maybe a nice swim at the pool.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6, 2010 - failed test run, and changes ahead

well, it was a very miserable run to the doctor this morning. 11k in a brutally slow 84 minutes. i expected to run this in 65-70 minutes, so i was actually late for my appt. not good. and i threw in the towel after 4 more miserable k and called a cab to get myself to work.

After talking with the doc, i have reached a decision that i need to remove stressors from my life.. so there are going to be many changes to my life in the near future.

unfortunately, this includes less active involvement in the local LGBT community as an advocate/spokesperson. the other big change, will be to take a long indefinite break from competitive road running. running has gone from being fun to being a chore, and it's something i have grown to totally hate in recent months.

so i am somewhat sad, yet very relieved to report that after Big Sur, there will be absolutely no racing plans on my plate. i am going into 'competitive retirement.' the slate will be clean and there will be absolutely no pressure to perform or to prepare for any upcoming races. part of me will definitely miss it, but ultimately, it's time for a break. so sadly, the NLAA road racing season will be totally out of scope for me. i need my sleep and weekend sleep-ins are more important than ever, now that i find myself completely exhausted come friday afternoons.. so those 8 am sunday races will have to be off the table for now too, which is sad, as i will miss the community, and i will miss being there for Kim, who i am extremely proud of for all her hard work and dedication to the sport. perhaps i will at least make the effort to run along side of her at the Tely 10 this year, and perhaps a few others, but there will definitely be no serious NLAA road races for me this year. there's just no reason for me to run them. going out and setting new official personal worsts at the 5, 8, and 10k distances just won't add value to my life. the only 5k runs i will have will be getting myself to and from work every day! and i think it's best that it stays that way.

and sadly, i think it's safe to say that Big Sur will be the last marathon of the year, and more than likely, the last marathon of my entire life. marathons take an incredible amount of training and prep work, and it's just not physically in me anymore. although my training run last friday went as planned, there's just nothing fun about running for 5 hours. so i am not officially 'retiring' but i can guarantee that i will never attempt another marathon unless i am 99% certain that i can run it in BQ time. Boston has always been the key motivator for why i kept running marathons, and if i can't run at BQ pace, then i have no reason to keep running them. i get no satisfaction out of simply 'finishing' a marathon.

preparing for marathons has become a negative emotional and physical stressor in life. the training that is required to run them is intense and it's just not something i can handle anymore. life is all about balancing priorities, and i need to save my emotional energy and physical strength for other more important things, like making it to work in good health each and every day, and being able to enjoy a weekend jog to the pond without having knee pain..

i also miss my swimming and although i don't seem to have what it takes to swim during the week anymore, i am looking forward to getting back in the pool on weekends instead of 'having to' go for my long runs..

i am also sad to report that my plans to create and launch a corporate entity that will undertake advocacy work for transsexual women in Newfoundland, has also been put on indefinite hold. as much as i want to do this, both for myself and the community, there are only so many hours in a day, and sadly, re-entering the workforce has eaten up most of my time and all of my energy. although my current job is far from my dream job, it is a means to an end and it has to be my #1 priority right now.

i guess the good news is that i will continue to maintain this website and will continue to post on a daily basis, so at the very least, i hope its existance will add value to some people!


April 6, 2010 - early morning start

at least there's no early morning rain.. lol restful day yesterday as i 'tapered' for this morning's early start with a long run to the doctor and back. gonna be a 22k run in total, then a long day at work, then probably a walk home!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010 - rest day

friday and saturday's runs took quite a bit out of me and i didn't sleep too well, so it was a rather restful day for me. lounged around the home all morning and went for a nice walk in the afternoon. also dropped in to visit some friends and have a bite of easter chocolate.. lol

i went for a light 3k run tonight to the store to get a few groceries. (nice to see at least one store open on easter!).

i have a doctor appt tuesday morning, so i will likely use that as an excuse to go for a long run, probably in the 25k range. this will be a good test as it will piggy back onto the 42k i ran friday, which will act as a perfect dress rehearsal for what i will be up against later this month when i run Boston and Big Sur marathons 6 days apart. really feeling good about where i am at with my training, considering all the challenges i have faced in recent months.


April 4, 2010 - Candace Sutherland's cross canada run

Candace Sutherland, a 17 yr old from Manitoba, is attempting to become the youngest to ever run across Canada. she is doing this to raise money for 4 charities. it has been brought to my attention that she is having a variety of challenges raising funds, and is even in jeopardy of having to call off the run. i have offered my support and may plan to drive out and meet her in the middle of Newfoundland island and run with her for a day as a publicity stunt to attract media interest. if anyone else in Newfoundland wants to get involved, please get in touch with me and/or contact her thru her website:


April 3, 2010 - Meow!!

wow, another great weather day here. 12 degrees and sunny. even after a marathon yesterday, i found out that the pool was closed today for maintenance so i decided to make it another running day.. i managed to run 11k and walk 11k. i had a run down to quidi vidi lake and visited the goose with some bird seed. then i ended up at the animal shelter, where i visited with the cats for a while. i submitted the paperwork to adopt a cat so hopefully they will review the application quickly and i can get a cat selected by the end of the month. i am really excited about having a cat. i've thought about it for a while and feel it would be a commitment that i am willing to take on, as i really want to have a fluffy friend at home at all times to cheer me up.

well, it's supposed to go back to cold temps for easter sunday so i will have to put the running skirt away again for a while.


Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010 - great friday evening!!!!

Wow, a lovely afternoon and an awesome test run today. 42.2k in 4.38.01 with quarter splits of 65, 65, 68, 80 minutes. i slowed down in the end on purpose as this was just a training run as i am hoping to either hit the pool or go for another decent run tomorrow! a great confidence booster with just 17 days til Boston!

the temps hit 15 this afternoon in st. john's, which is insane for early April. we are used to seeing snow right up until the end of April! there were even some flower bulbs starting to pop out of the hill on Allandale Road! the birds were out chirping, the duckies were swimming and quacking at the pond, and there were even some squirrels out in the trees! so much fun to have a spring-like day!

looking forward to a relaxing evening and hopefully another good sleep. i think i will plan to visit the cats at the animal shelter tomorrow and spend some quality time with the duckies too! it felt sad running by them so many times without stopping today on my runs..


April 2, 2010 - good friday morning

wow, it's been a crazy busy week, but a good week. i was out late 3 nights in a row, which was a real test for my strength. 2 really good concerts from canadian folk legend Gord Lightfoot. He's 71 and his voice is scratchy, but he can still play the guitar well and his backing band is really smooth and solid. his guitar player and bass player have been along his side for 40 and 41 years respectively now!

then on March 31, it was a very special evening as i made my debut appearance at the St John's Arts and Culture Centre as a performer! No, i wasn't singing in the big theatre. I was speaking at a health care panel discussion in one of their basement theatre rooms. I and 3 other local LGBT public figures spoke about experiences and challenges with the health care system. I spoke candidly about the goods and the bads with regards to the care i have or haven't received over the past 3 years that i have lived in Newfoundland.

I specifically took aim at our provincial government politicians and policy makers who refuse to ensure that transsexuals have equal and fair access to the care that their doctors say that they need. Our government's public health insurance plan only covers a small hand of procedures that trans people need, and in order to get access to the funding, transpeople have to travel to the notorious Cam-H in toronto, a place that is well known for deviating from global best practices with regards to assessment protocols.

i also took aim at some of our local so-called health care experts who although want to be perceived as helping move trans health care in the right direction, are avoiding taking steps to deal with what i feel are the key issues. I hope to have my speech posted on line in the near future, as it was both audio and video recorded.

anyway, i had a really good sleep in today and i am looking forward to getting outside this afternoon in the warm spring weather for what i hope will be a decent long run!