The GRA consultation

Since my last post I have still been on this downward spiral. I’ve even been unable to enjoy running, although I managed to finish the Manchester Half Marathon. So I will talk about the half, and other stuff. First, the government consultation on the Gender Recognition Act. I was going to put it all in one long post but I will actually make another post or two later.


First the gender recognition act (GRA) consultation is seeking views on how transgender (and hopefully non-binary) people can have their gender identity legally recognised. It was extremely emotional to fill in because it brings up a lot of bad things in the equality act and in the current GRA, also because of the media coverage including an overwhelming amount of transphobia saying I have no right to existence. I think you still have time to fill this in if you go here.

It’s a once in a generation opportunity to improve things for transgender and non-binary people. Currently we have to jump through a lot of expensive and degrading hoops (read more here ) to have our gender legally recognised. And isn’t an option for non binary people.

Aside from the actual proper transphobia and bigotry, professionals saying we need trans conversion therapy, people shouting out of their car that I’m a pervert e.t.c. one argument against the reformation is that it could allow sex offenders to abuse the system and enter womens facilities.

There are a lot of points why this isn’t a good reason to not reform the GRA. Including that using the toilet is already possible by self identification, notice how you don’t need to get your birth certificate out, so self identification is already enough for entering public toilets. Legal self identification as proposed by the government is already a thing in other countries and it hasn’t caused such issues, the list goes on.. on top of that a point I want to make it that seems to be one similar to victim blaming. It is the same as arguing that women shouldn’t be able to wear certain clothes, or even have public toilets because of a risk that violent criminals commit crime against us. In order to stop people who apparently didn’t realise that they could already do this, we should further persecute transgender people. An already marginalised group of people who are already dealing with their own problems along with the problems society is putting on us for daring to be different. What about persecuting violent sex offenders instead?

Here’s another thought experiment, consider changing even the current rules so trans people are forced into the wrong toilet, and lets forget that that means a marginalised group of women who face violent and verbal harassment daily are forced to use mens toilets, and the fact that I would just say goodbye cruel world. Also the fat that therefore trans men would use the female toilet but also in that case what would stop a cis male from claiming to be a trans male, and therefore using the female toilets?

So there’s my frustrations at the moment, and I know its a minority who are against it but believe me they are extremely vocal. Also the GRA has nothing to do with using public toilets, as I’ve mentioned you don’t need to present your birth certificate for that, but the same arguments apply.

So maybe I put forward some new perspectives there.

Mood 0/10

My name is Sofie

Hi all just to let you all know my name is now Sofie, going through the process of changing all my ID.

Had a horrible day today and I’ve taken a nosedive really. I know the people who read this aren’t the problem, but I have to write it down. I hope you know its not about you but I aren’t just going to be quiet. I was walking to a meeting with friends from Cafe Diagnosis and on my way got so many horrible stares of people. One young lady shouted “pervert” out of her car window at me and drove off extremely happy with herself. Then a couple on their cycles started shouting “That’s a man in a dress!! That’s a man in a dress!” Repeatedly whilst another lady stopped and stared at me with contempt.

I am seeing contempt on many women’s faces. That hurts a lot I see it also on men and also get more verbal abuse from men but it hurts worse from women for some reason. You know the thing is when people go out of their way to do that to me, they don’t actually have to worry about it, they can rest assured that I have got the same look or will get it from dozens of people before I get back home. I’m sure they go about their day then and feel good about themselves, and for me it is just destroying my life.

I cant imagine what it takes to do that, I see myself as disfigured and I can’t imagine trying and enjoying going out of my way to make someone’s life worse who is already dealing with something terrible. It doesn’t surprise me that almost half trans people in the UK have attempted suicide. The thing is, if you succeed you wont be in those statistics as you are going to be classified in the wrong gender.

I briefly considered just coming back to my flat but knew it would be bad if I did. I enjoyed meeting the CD gang and feel like I have at least done something today.

Just wanted to do a name changing post but if things are going bad then I’m not going to pretend they are good. I can’t change my name on Facebook because I changed it to Jo, so that will take a month or so but I don’t really care.

There have been some good things recently, I wrote my story a while ago and sent it to a running magazine I really enjoy and they have accepted it so it will be included. I also got a new coffee grinder and am having the best coffee ever.

My confidence is low and mood is rock bottom, have only done 5k this week running wise. I have the Manchester half this weekend but aren’t sure after today whether to go. Being ground down. Thinking of moving to Venus, I know its 90 + Earth atmospheres of pressure at 460 C with clouds of sulphuric acid and everything…


Unexpected Changes


Two weeks ago I came out in general on facebook and here. I want to write about how it has changed my feelings and confidence, mainly because it has, and because I didn’t think it would.

Before though I cant say how much I appreciate all the positive responses I got. People seem genuinely happy for me and I hope in the future everyone who does the same as me will have a happy response like that, rather than a “this is a problem we can get through” response, or complete rejection and hostility, which many trans people still face from friends family and employers.

I also posted to Didsbury runners and had an overwhelming response. It was after going to Didsbury runners wearing a running bra and nobody batting an eyelid that I decided to force myself to wear only female clothes that I want to wear for a week. I was hoping it would give me some confidence and save time questioning how I would go out. It worked! The next day I met Sophie as I was out walking and she was really happy to see me. It was like fate because I never see anyone I know when I go out walking. I knew I was changed because as she approached me I thought how odd it was that I WASN’T thinking “oh god I should be feeling like I need to disappear right now” instead I felt relieved. Yes my reflexive thoughts sometimes get quite meta – thinking about not thinking about what I usually would think about e.t.c…. Anyway, it turned out to be an interesting week, including the BBC, I went to another group, Cafe Diagnosis where I had started creative writing and they were also great about it and have been supporting me with it.

I should write about that week at some point. But that’s another story.

Since getting the awesome response I did, I have lost a lot of uncertainty about the path I am going down, and that was completely unexpected, but its been nice not having it. Such doubts are common among transgender people I know.  I expect doubts to come back but I don’t miss them in any way. I really feel a lot more relaxed about the whole thing, which is pretty impressive considering I don’t have a bath in my flat. Also now I can put this picture up – my favourite picture of me running, and I can talk about other running stuff more freely. It could be an interesting year depending on what happens and I would like to document the running side. So thankyou Emma Simms for taking that photo!

I have also been super low the last 2 weeks, I think because of things that happened when I was young, when something good happens I always wait for something to come along and make me guilty for feeling good. And wait for a disaster to happen. When you start looking for fire you will always find smoke. I don’t know if I made that saying up, I’m sure I heard it before. A few things did happen I suppose but nothing to do with being transgender and no disasters.

I am looking at changing my name legally too, I will do another post soon as I am going to get the deed poll all sorted and then finalise it, it won’t be Jo any more, but I cant change my facebook name again for about 46 days, so facebook will be wrong again. It’s all free to do. Looking forwards to other changes happening in the future which is nice and I will let you know what’s going on in terms of running. My next race is the Manchester Half Marathon on the 14th October. Looking to beat the time from the Great North Run.

Love you all!!! X

P.S. Oh talking about changes, google sent me this photo of me from 3 years ago today. Glad to be out of the long sleeves too!

I am Female

As you might now I was pretty suicidal in the beginning of 2017. When I was released from hospital I managed to stop drinking alcohol and start running, as well as receiving a lot of mental help from psychiatrists, the home treatment team and the community mental health team. At some point along this journey, when I lost loads of weight and tried to feel better about my body, I realised there was still something really wrong. Like an itch I couldn’t scratch.

Well I’m writing this with the benefit of hindsight, nothing was quite as obvious to me back then, I was just still very unhappy and thought I was doomed to be so forever.

Sometime as I was approaching my target weight in 2017 I faced something inside myself. It was buried so deep I didn’t even know it was there, it took me by surprise. If I hadn’t been able to gain confidence and clarity over those months and learned to be myself unashamedly and not worry what others thought about me I would never have touched it. Well I’m not going to live my life based on the next persons definition of who I am.

All my life I have wished I’d been born a female. But I left those thoughts at that and just figured that’s how all males were, I became a bit macho and brave because I thought everyone else was pretending and pretending was easy. Sometimes I used to get extremely depressed when I saw females just walking outside and wished I was different, I never realised why. I don’t know how, but I never actually developed these thoughts from there. It might have been a survival mechanism. But although there were other big things it has been a big factor in my mental health, I’ve self harmed and tried to kill myself.

So that’s the thought I finally confronted. I realised I can be a female and transition, its not just a thing other people are allowed to do, I can do it too. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with who I am, and what directions I want to go. It felt like I’d uncovered this invisible mountain that had been weighing me down my whole life, and now I could begin to climb it and navigate it. I was also extremely surprised  and shocked because I had buried it so well, I didn’t see it coming. Fortunately I was seeing a psychotherapist at the time and summoned up the courage to talk to her about it. I was afraid she might say something like “I am not comfortable talking about these things, and can’t see you again”. Which of course never happened and it is crazy to think now but shows how afraid I was.

So I am a female. I don’t want to be transgender, I just want to be a female. But being transgender isn’t a problem, unfortunately society still has a problem with it. The only problem I have is I am frequently cursed to see the very ugly underbelly of otherwise normal people. I don’t know what will happen in my future, maybe I will change my mind, probably not. Life is short so I’m going to try and be happy try and leave the world a better place and I won’t be ashamed of anything.

I’ve tried to tell as many people face to face as I can, everyone so far has been brilliant about it. I certainly have the best friends in the world. I would have told more people face to face if I could, please don’t be offended if I haven’t told you there’s many reasons why it is complicated. Trust me. As well as the fact that I am pretty much a hermit anyway unless I am running. Then understand that as I have been living as a female full time for a few weeks, I am losing control of how people find out. Then on top of that, understand how making a post like this is just taking a lot of weight off my shoulders.

Since all this I’ve had higher highs and lower lows than usual, but I’ve finally started to think more than 1 or two months into my future, so things are hopeful for once.

I’m still the same person as I was before, with the same likes and dislikes and tastes and lack of taste. Saying that, I feel like I have changed a lot though my life for the better, and I am always learning and changing. I wouldn’t be surprised if my personality does change a bit, now that I am free to be myself but what will really change to start will be aesthetically I will appear more female, and if you think that isn’t a big deal then you are on the right tracks. I never had an interest in fashion or looking good before, I think that was a symptom of not feeling Male anyway, I would literally put my hand in a closet and randomly  pull out something blind and wear it. That might change, but I don’t know yet. I’m going by Jo for now and my pronouns are She/Her but will change my name in near future.

As you can see I’ve changed a lot the last year and a bit. I got sectioned, got free, lost 40kg, stopped drinking, started running a lot and changed my gender. Not bad right?

Another good thing about this is that I can finally talk about more things on here. And I will explain more in future, but it gives me more freedom to talk about my worries and experiences especially with running and transitioning and the good the bad and the ugly.

Lots of love and hope you are all doing well,

Jo xxx




By the time I let Blue and Marlon and Pharaoh’s ashes off up Sharp Haw its gonna be like Eyjafjalla-freaking-jökull

Someone better let the folk know at Leeds-Bradford airport. I love these bloody dogs :’)


I have to confess, I wrote a lot of this already on Strava in the description of my run! That’s a bit odd I guess, but I’ve always been a bit of a maverick 😀 So I’m in a funny mood as you can probably tell. One of those up episodes. I went on a run in the dark through the woods and along the river mersey. I really like it. I was with the dogs (in my mind) and we were having fun.  😀


Something to be said for gallows humour. I was running with them tonight and we were talking about this while rounding up werewolves in the woods. Blair witch wouldn’t come out to play this time, nor the thing on the ice. Saw a lot of tapetum lucidium though, rabbits and even a fox. So its getting dark early, needing a headlight at this time! At least it isn’t cold. I cant deal with it well anymore.

I probably used some of tomorrows 3k time trial energy tonight but you know I used to drink over 15 pints some nights no problem all my drinking achievements are in the past, so I enjoyed the run tonight better than that. 590 days since my last drink.

I have started to listen to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast, the ones about world war one, they are horrifying and interesting at the same time.


Sale Sizzler 20:00 5k :D




Race report from the Sale Sizzler

Was having mini panics about getting there all day and ended up missing meeting the group from Cafe Diagnosis as was a bit too stressed (ridiculous I know), but the race started at 19:30 so had plenty of time and walked there from mine which took about an hour. I walk everywhere though so that was a good warm up listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast, a new one for me. I just want to thank everyone for their lovely posts on facebook as well after the last update. I found it very encouraging (and head swelling!) and it helped me along at the race, even just getting to the race!

This race was a really surprising one, since the marathon training/injury I have been in and out of injury and building my base mileage up. Around 3 months ago I was getting under 22 minutes in the 5k. Then 2 weeks ago I went to parkrun and ran as long as I could at 20minute pace (15kph) and got only halfway before needing to slow down, ending with 20:44. My 5k PB is 20:34 and by now is almost 11 months old! I was hoping to just beat that, maybe by 10 seconds.  But at the race I got to halfway, felt fine, got to 3k, felt fine so started to push a bit harder, at 4k I had stomach cramp and was feeling tired but still have felt worse at 4k before. I also remembered all the lovely posts on facebook and imagined having Marlon, Blue and Pharaoh running with me and kept going. Towards the end I thought I had another 400m to run, but it turned out to be only 100m so with disbelief sprinted towards the finish line. The time on the clock said 20:08 as I was approaching the finish line, I knew I was close to sub 20:00 and certainly PB.

We were chatting after the race when Matt told me they send a text with the results, I looked at my phone and was so happy with 20:00, I somehow managed to knock 34 seconds of my PB and 44 seconds off my recent best. A 20 minute 5k is something I wasn’t sure would be possible at the start of my running so I feel like its a dream come true. There’s the awkwardness of it not being a sub-20 but I really don’t care, now I get to celebrate hitting 20 minutes, whilst also celebrating getting sub 20 in the future.

I remember running at the gym earlier last year and struggling to get under 30 minutes (10kph) and the little celebration I did when hitting it then and now I can run for 20 minutes at 15kph, outside! So happy about that.

Really enjoyed my first Sale Sizzler, this was the fourth and final one this year and I will definitely try and make them all from now on, that will be next year however. The conditions were also great for running yesterday whereas I believe the first 3 were sizzlers indeed! In the end I would have been happy whatever time I got, most people who aren’t at the front of a race only race themselves, and a lot of the time I don’t even do that, just enjoy the run. It is nice to see some progress however after putting in all the effort doing intervals, so I am really happy to know everything is working.


Hope everyone is OK and I love you all!


Official Results:

Strava (forgot HR monitor so ignore that stuff):

Rubbish Day

Signed up to a clinical trial and was going in today for the appointment. It’s a long way there and was supposed to be payed but the PI told me she wanted to see notes from the mental health team to make sure I am “stable”. In the end I have travelled for about 4 hours and had no sleep and got £2.40 for transport.. So wasn’t worth it at all I actually lost money. Wish they had just told me over the phone.

Lots of people tend to stare at me and sometimes just laugh at me and it is really bothering me. I am really tired of it.

To try and distract myself and invent a new hobby I’ve been painting (ahem .. by numbers…) and learning to draw. Want to make a site logo for Sans Shoelaces and just find something constructive to do. Also I wrote up a short version of my story and submitted it to Like the Wind. Its about me finding myself, losing weight and giving up alcohol through running. Running at the minute is the only stable thing in my life.

I was also looking at applying for jobs, I just get so anxious, I’ve had it my whole life and don’t know why nobody did anything about it. I hated school because of it and work has always been clinging on on the border of panic attack. Last night just knowing I had this clinical trial appointment I was up till about 3:30 worrying about it and just kept waking up. But of course I am completely “stable”, for the record.

I was supposed to see my CPN (phsychiatric nurse) 2 weeks ago and it happens a lot where they just don’t show up. Or send me a text saying “are you still OK to see me at “X” time” where X is completely different to the time we agreed. So I just get to feeling that nobody gives a shit. I waited in all day as usual and haven’t heard anything, I got a private call but missed it and that might have been them, but that was a week later.

What should I do right now? Mindfulness, distractions, music, look at things in a different way. What do I want to do now? Tear everything up and dissapear. What will probably happen, something in between, driving people further away from me.

I have a run to do today which is good. I’m falling asleep and its 3:20PM as got no sleep and had nightmares all night. Usually as I am about to drop off I hear a screaming or cracking or gunshot right in my room which brings me back to full alert. I have no Idea how I stay in bed but its not exactly helpful in getting to sleep as you can imagine. Have got the Sale Sizzler tomorrow and looking forward to it, will be my first chip timed 5k and hope to get a PB, anxious about getting there, will probably not sleep tonight.

Suprise Sale Sizzlers 5k

A few days ago I signed up for the sale sizzler 5k on Thursday this week (16/08/18)

Hoping for a 5k PB (<20:34) as this will be my first proper 5k race that isn’t parkrun. Also it’s chip timed!

Also soon going to start posting up my original C25K runs, all of them apart from the very first run have been recorded. I also wrote on a forum after a lot of the runs so we will see what was going through my mind.


Oh also, I want to improve this site at some point. Probably put a home page, or just something at the top, and the ability to navigate posts. And have been working on a logo type thingy.

Couch to 5k and my current training “Plan”

The Couch to 5K bit

Have been feeling very low recently, it’s a good job I have running to help me escape from my mind. It’s a lot like doing a mindfulness exercise when you go for a run. I encourage everyone to do it, or start with Couch to 5K right now!

And if you start couch to 5k and want support there is an awesome forum, you CAN do it! There are people starting it in their 70s and later in life who have never run before. Your only regret will be that you didnt try it sooner 🙂

If you are thinking of doing it, join that forum and get all the encouragement in the world!


My Current Stuff Bit

I decided after the pre-marathon injury (shin splints for 5 weeks) to cut my mileage back. I am quite certain the injury was partly because I ramped up my weekly mileage too fast, along with overpronating and starting to land more and more forefoot. All of which put extra demands on the muscles and ligaments connecting to the shin.

My current objective is to improve my speed, whilst slowly increasing weekly mileage to about 40 miles per week. To do this I am doing interval training for 5k races (although I haven’t signed up for one) as well as strength and conditioning to improve my stability around the knees and make me even more injury proof as well as speeding me up.

I’m following the free base building plan by Sage Canaday and Sandi Nypaver, this is a 9 week plan to build up your base running safely to 40 miles per week. I say following it, but because I’m doing the 5k interval stuff as well as wanting to do Parkrun every Saturday and going to Didsbury runners on Monday, I am really just trying to hit the weekly mileage totals, as well as taking same number of rest days on the plan. So if I get injured, cant blame Sage 😀

Anyway I am currently on week 4 of that plan

My next races are :

Great North Run (HM) (May have to defer till next year) 09-09-2018
Manchester Half Marathon 14-10-2018
Bolton Abbey (HM) 11-11-2018

As you can see, they’re all HM, and I’m training for a 5k. Well I intend to increase my weekly long run to at least HM distance, and just be mindful on the day of each race that I haven’t trained properly, so just enjoy the run and not worry about time. Although I could change my mind, and do want to beet my Manchester Half time of 1:37:06!

I am pretty sure I can beat the Bolton Abbey time, all I have to do is A) Not get injured and have to go easy, B) Get stuck behind a 4 by 4 on the bridge to the finish line. C) they’ve sorted out the style problems, so in effect I am cheating this time 😛 . It’s a lovely course too so even if I don’t go faster, I spend more time admiring the scenery. Win win.


3 Races Update!!!


Well its been a while! I seem to keep hoping this blog will write itself as I have been in a state of “I intend to do that” for over 3 months now. Time just keeps going it seems!

Since my last post I completed the Manchester Marathon, the Great Manchester 10k and the Manchester Mile. Thankyou to everyone who donated to Mind I and Mind really appreciate it and everyone who has supported me on this running malarkey!

All three of these races went differently:

The Marathon was very painful and difficult and a case of just not dropping out and somehow keeping running. I’m really happy I completed it after having to take a 5 week rest before the run due to shin splints. In the end I got there in 4:11:11.


The 10k was surprisingly hard. I had no idea how fit I was as it was quite soon after the marathon and I didn’t do any speedy stuff in that gap just long slow runs to make sure I completely recovered from the shin splints and marathon. I set off way too fast and on top of that is was super warm (was it 28C?). This was my first experience of racing in the heat and I learnt that it slows you down a huge amount. In the end I got around in 47:24. Thats 2 minutes slower than I ran the last 10k of the half marathon, but still an improvement over last year. It’s always a super fun race for me as there are so many crowds so I just enjoyed the race. I met Phil and Laura afterwards too and they had both run the 10k. Huge well done to Silke and Laura who did their first race! 🙂


The Manchester Mile, after the last 2 races being slower than I aimed for, was just what I needed. I recommend everyone sign up for this, its four laps around a running track with all abilities taking part. I was expecting to be able to do a mile in about 6:30, but went out trying to get 6 minutes. In the end I got around in just under 6 minutes which I was very happy with. I was pretty unconfident though and seem to have taken a little break halfway around, I was about to overtake someone and just felt like maybe I was going too fast. Saying that I don’t think I could have knocked more than a few seconds off, if even that. Official time was 5:59.70



So Now my next races are the Great North Run, The Manchester Half Marathon and then I’ve signed up for the Manchester Marathon Next year.

Although the next ones are HM I am just training for 5k speed. With the hope of getting a sub 20 minute 5k. At the same time increasing my weekly distance through long easy runs so that I should be able to run the HM just fine.