Yesterday I ran my first ever official running race – I completed a 10km “epic” hill run. My aim was just to get across the finish line because it is the furthest I have ever tried to run, but I placed myself a target of completing it in under 1 hr 45 mins. The timing is done by electronic chips on the numbers so my official time ended up being 1 hr 19 minutes and I was absolutely delighted. I was so happy to have completed it that I was openly tearing up in front of my sister.
As these races require medical contacts I had to list my gender as male which made me a bit sad, but I now wear running tights which are basically leggings anyway so it is not any different to what I would wear if I could go as Dee.
Unfortunately halfway around the course I tripped over an old chain link fence buried under the long grass we were running over and did a full on superman dive into the muddy trail. A lovely woman made sure I was okay when I stood up before we all carried on, but by the time I had finished the race, and driven home I could barely walk and I could not put much weight on it at all – one sleepless night was enough to convince me to call my doctors and so they sent me for an X-ray to check and see if there was a fracture – it is only a sprain but it does mean that I have to try and rest up, this impacts my aim to exercise every day of January to improve my mental health, and it definitely stops me trying to get more comfortable at running longer distances. Thankfully though because of the NHS it was all free and I was back home inside of two hours with an ankle support I bought at the shop..
This time last year I was still emotionally a big gooey mess, not much has really changed, but I am not so terrified of admitting that I am Dee as I used to be – the fears are all around whether I should transition, not so much for the impact on me as I am starting to come to terms with myself, but for the potential impact on my children.
My emotional eating was out of control and then when I did not want to eat I was using meal replacement shakes to try and rapidly drop my weight, of course things went well for a little while but it was in May that my sister encouraged me to start going to Parkruns, I literally could not run 1km – after nearly killing myself that first time getting numb in my hips and wanting to actually throw up. I was the second to last person for the next 3 weeks, just in front of the tail walker who volunteers so that no one has to be last. I started going out during the week too and usined a couch to 5k app to encourage me along. In October I completed my first Parkrun without stopping to walk, and now I have just competed a 10km run. I walked up most of the hills, but where it was flat and where it was downhill I was jogging, I could, in theory call myself a runner even though I still do not see myself as one.
What’s crazy is that I am back to 16 stone (101 kg) so I am running with just as much weight as this time last year, only now I can run. Even with all that extra weight – it is just that I am carrying 3 stone of weight that I do not want.
My sprained foot would normally have me reaching for the chocolate to console myself, proof that I am a loser and cannot do it – but instead I am trying to work out what exercise I can still do so that I do not lose my aerobic fitness while I heal. I have other races I want to do this year.
I still have to sort out my eating patterns and habits, but I will get there. I think a part of me wants to lose weight so that if/when I decide to start hrt then I stand the best chance of being happy with my body, after all I am not in this for the boobs but for the peace of mind that I hope will come.
I am trying to acknowledge to myself that I have actually achieved something over this last year, because physical well being definitely contributes to mental well being.
I also decided not to reschedule my hospital appointment again, instead I will just leave my work conference early and catch a train to get there on time, for me it is the right choice to make at this moment in time.