Sofies London Marathon Week 9 Training Update: I Found a Broken God by the River

I am running the LondonMarathon to raise money for the LGBT Foundation, please consider donating here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SofieLewis

Total Training: 376.1k (235 miles)
Week 7: 67.3k (42 miles)


So that was a lot of running. As I mentioned last week the long run on Monday should have been on Sunday, so this balances out last weeks low mileage.

On Monday I went for a long walk where I found a broken god on the banks of the river Mersey. I took it home to look after it. I then ran to Didsbury runners and did a 10k run at 8 minute mile pace, after that I extended the run down the river to make it up to a half marathon. It was very nice to see and speak to people. I feel like I don’t do that very often and forget how.

Ive been doing a lot more walking since the weather was so nice this week. It felt like a weight had been lifted as I cant really afford heating here, everything felt a loot nicer.

On Wednesday I went on a run with Jose, this time I didn’t need to steal any chocolate from anyone!

On Friday a couple of english athletes came out in an organised transphobic attack. Since these were people who inspired me it was extremely heartbreaking. I had to get out and went for a 9 k run. So in a few days we have been attacked for sport, prisons, and NHS. It is taking its toll, I am pretty sure all trans people in the UK will get some form PTSD from this continued barrage.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2.png

I got a lot of supportive messages from people however, and it made me realise I want to celebrate these people. As former inspirations have decided to hate and inspire hatred of me for being trans, I have found new inspirations and become enriched from them. Neville Southall and another friend reached out to me on twitter and I was so touched that they would do such a thing. So on Saturday I did my longest run this year. It was a day early but I needed to get out and was full of positivity.

These people speaking out for us against these baseless ignorant attacks turned my mood around completely. I did notice that I was slightly more afraid, and remembering how hard the first runs are, it’s important to point out these people are doing irreparable damage to trans peoples confidence who are interested or wanting to start sport. That they use their platform for this hatred is quite devastating.

Running wise I have also been noticing my form seems to be improving, was really happy to see my GCT (the balance between how much time I am on left vs right leg) was super balanced during this entire run.

Also my bum hurt, which means I am using my glutes properly :p I think I am learning a lot from the hill sprints, focussing on how my body works and becoming more efficient. It takes some core strength to keep the form right for such a long run though so these long runs are very important, as well as extra core work like planks, which I aren’t doing yet….

I also wore my new running top which came from the LGBT foundation. It has my name on it, so the London Marathon will be my first race with my name spelled correctly and not my dead name which is fantastic.

So I am about to head back to Didsbury runners, probably wont be a HM distance run today, but 10 miles or so (16k). Will be looking especially fine in my new running top 😀 It does look like it might pour it down on us, as it has been sunny and rainy/hail all day.

Love you all and if you can donate to the LGBT foundation, thank you to everyone who has and everyone for your support.

Sofie xxx

When you find out a famous athlete from your country thinks you are a man in a dress and shouldn’t be able to compete in sport.

I found out today that Kelly Holmes, an inspiration of mine, believes that trans women are males and shouldn’t be allowed to compete. She agrees with this completely transphobic thread. “they would be my words exactly”

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1076276617041854464.html

I feel quite devastated by this.

I wrote :

England is transphobic hell. Fellow athletes suggesting we are cheats without caring to look into any evidence. This is shocking from this person. A failure of empathy and a failure to look into the truth.

I am running the London Marathon this year for the LGBT foundation I currently compete against males, and will never win a race, but when I can I will run as female, I will take courage from people like Rosa Parks, I’m not going to give up my seat Just because I am trans. Shame on you all.

I don’t really know how to handle this. It seems like every day or week the temperature is increasing another notch in hell. This is a problem pretty specific to England. I don’t really know how I am managing to be honest. Why am I still here? I want to do the London Marathon.

I linked the thread in question above. On twitter I also pointed towards the scientific studies around trans people participating in sports. Something surprisingly few (read none) are willing to do before using their platform to tell the world we are cheaters.

The links are here.

https://www.caaws.ca/e/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Devries_lit_review2.pdf

https://sports.vice.com/en_uk/article/vv95a4/what-actually-happens-when-a-trans-athlete-transitions

That’s not exhaustive obviously.

Sofies Transing the London Marathon Week 7 and 8 Training Update

I am running the London Marathon to raise money for the LGBT Foundation, please consider donating here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SofieLewis

Total Training: 308.8k
Week 7: 18.1k 

Week 8: 36.1k

Well, if you read my previous post. Week 7 is easy to summarise. On Monday I went for a long run. Unfortunately my foot went down a hole about 2 miles from home. I thought it might have broken my ankle but fortunately it turned out to be a sprain. Here’s the run.

My ankle swelled up overnight but I could walk on it pain free (aside from putting shoes on). I left it a week so that was my training for week 7. Fortunately I got 15k in before I went down! I jogged home to avoid freezing so that definitely counts too!

Week 8

I got back into it last week. The sprain was only effecting me if I needed to balance my foot. Like when running on uneven ground. So I tried to keep mostly to pavements, but also just to stay more alert to my footing.

As you can see I am pretty much back to normal. It is less mileage than I hoped but I couldn’t run on Sunday as I helped a friend move house. I have done a half marathon this Monday which is technically week 9. So week 9 may end up seeming to be too much mileage, but its nothing to worry about. I hope to push beyond the half marathon distance (21k) on Sunday (or Monday)

The 12k run on Wednesday was with a friend, where I literally stole chocolate from a child. I will definitely have to make up for that, sorry Jose and Oscar 😉 . I had planned to run with Jose but went for a run the day before. After a couple of k with Jose I could feel like I was running on empty and got a massive craving for a mars bar. I had planned to run home also but ended up getting a tram. People were looking at me oddly as I was wearing a headtorch after running out of the woods/river.

Sorry again about the late update. Things have not been going well, its a good job I have running to fall back on. And raising money for a great cause. Thank you again to everyone who has donated.

Love you all! XXX

Sofie

I thought I’d broke my ankle

Had another low few days, so haven’t gotten around to writing although hope to get some new things up soon. I went for a run on monday after missing didsbury runners because I saw something shitty and transphobic in the news. Despair washed over me. I wrote about it on facebook, which is where I sometimes scream.

“I was just about to go to Didsbury runners then read this. Citing a single case of assault, the government is telling everyone that all trans women are men. It disturbs me that people don’t speak out against transphobia, feels like this is incubating transphobia. Meanwhile trans women are dying in mens prisons. When I die feel free to drop me down a manhole, just another tranny after all, who gives a fuck.”

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/uk-trans-women-moved-to-mens-prisons-as-current-policy-is-set-to-change/#gs.SAQAK8Pc

It was dark and I didn’t want to stay in all day, its a horrible feeling. I went out and let some stress out on the run, headtorch down the river and through the woods, back upriver, through more woods and around a waterpark.

https://www.strava.com/activities/2139894428

On the way back I was distracted in my mind and had time to notice my foot hadn’t hit the cround, before it twisted horribly and made a cracking noise, then the rest of me smashed into the floor. Pain washed over me. It was freezing, I was wearing a hoody (something I need to do more when running) so I needed to get moving or call for help.

After cursing the ground and sky and all their lineage for 20 seconds I tried walking. It was painful. After a while though it subsided a bit so carried on, I would walk home but it would be cold.

The pain kept decreasing so I tried running, it was too painful at first so I stopped but then I found I could jog without much pain. That simplified things a lot. I managed to limp jog the 3k back home and had a shower and started the ice pressure and elevation. It is swollen still but not very painful. The tendons are going to be weak for a while but I should be able to keep running I hope. Nothing will stop me from the marathon if I am still here to do it.

Sorry, I don’t think I can take a flattering picture of a swollen ankle!

The good news was that I felt great during the run. The day before I had to cut a long run short as my legs were mysteriously like jelly, the difference was massive. This has happened before but I can usually put it down to something. Poor food, worked too hard day before, not enough rest etc. I was socialising on Saturday and that does take a lot out of me so maybe it is why.

Need to tell the story behind the necklace

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the LGBT foundation. I am extremely grateful for your support.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SofieLewis

Love you all!

Sofie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Trans Girls London Marathon Week 5&6 Training Update

I am running the London Marathon to raise money for the LGBT Foundation, please consider donating here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SofieLewis

Total Training: 254.6k
Week 5: 47.8k 

Week 6: 37.0k

Well that’s 158 miles in my legs.

I was feeling pretty bad the last few weeks so haven’t made a post but glad to be back. I have still been running as you can see. Don’t think anything can stop that, I started in a mental hospital after all so cant get much worse.

Week 5 was my biggest running week in this training cycle

I have to come clean, I bought a gopro. I have wanted one for a long time and since I am going through this transition once, I wanted to document it. Not that I can afford it. So after it came on Monday of week 5 I went out with it and filmed a long run.

The next day I went to a suicide prevention workshop at the LGBT foundation. I wanted to save money so I ended up running there. It’s a little further than I thought , about 6.3k each way. In the end though, running was faster than the tram and cheaper than the bus. So success!

On Thursday I did some hill sprints on the treadcmill at the gym. These were in order to improve my running form. You cant run with poor form when you are going at it up a hill. I noticed a few things during the session that I have been putting into my normal running too, so it was a success! For example I was really driving my knee up to help carry me forwards in the air.

On Sunday I did a 10 mile long run, after getting better at working the camera and getting a chest harness I got to film the whole run in a timelapse. It looks super smooth. I also talked for a bit halfway through and was pleased with how it cam e out. I seemed more confidant than usual even if my male voice upset me. You can see the whole 10 miles in just 6 minutes here.

Let me know what you think. Keeping it simple at moment, I want to get more into video editing and maybe figure out how to mix timelapse in without including the whole run. Unless you want the whole run. Some bits are more beautiful than others and would be better to slow down the timelapse for those sections. Anyway hope you enjoy let me know what you think.

Week 6

Got a little bit less distance this week, which I will come to later. I did a treadmill run on Tuesday, after I got back from the gym I was in the shower, had just put shampoo in and soap when everything went black. The power cut out, so the shower cut off and it was freezing in my flat. Just had to dry as best I could and wait for the power to come back ( 4 hours! ). Fortunately I have a lot of battery power and torches so could read and see. I got a takeaway pizza as I had no food cooked.

I went to a run and talk organised by Didsbury Runners. It was at one of these events last year that I came out to someone as transgender. This time I didn’t really talk much but was good to see people and get out. I was feeling pretty rubbish so it helped.

On Friday I did a fast 10k. It was very windy so happy with that time and I didn’t push as hard as I intended. Still my 10K PB is from a 21K race so have some time to knock off. Strava says this was my 2nd fastest 10k (44:16) and it felt OK, could have gone a lot further without slowing. I hope you enjoy my run names.

Yesterday I went out intending to do a long run of 11 miles, maybe more, but after 200m or less I could tell something was wrong, I just had no strength in my legs, they were like jelly, so I tried to carry on but turned back eventually. It felt like I was at the end of a marathon, my legs were not strong, which increases injury risk as your joints aren’t suppported properly. I wasn’t out of breath but just felt exhausted. At one point someone thought I was racing them which was quite odd. After persisting for 5k I dragged myself home with my tail between my legs. I aren’t really sure why, possibly from the fast 10k on Friday. Possibly I have been ill. I have had a few days hearing the blood pounding in my head, even though no cold symptoms or anything. My average HR has been high again also. Maybe I am anaemic. Anaemia has happened before during marathon training but I aren’t far in yet. Its just one run so nothing to worry about anyway.

Have now been self medicating on estradiol for a while. Hoping to get some external help but again it will cost money. I will see what happens. After waiting 17 months, to join a 12 month waiting list, I have been told that there may actually be another 11 month waiting list after that. So it seems like the NHS plan is to let trans people commit suicide. Other GIC’s have waiting lists up to 5 years, if this is true then Leeds is almost at 4 years. How do you cut down a 4 year waiting list, well one plan it seems is to turn it into 3 back to back waiting lists. It is unacceptable, I feel like I am treated as a non human by the NHS.

That wasn’t very positive to end on. I went to the LGBT foundation on Saturday and met a friend, Stafani for her birthday. It was super nice to see her, although she beet me at connect 4. I also went to a pod-casting workshop where What the Trans did a live episode. I am a big fan of their podcast and got to meet them after with the GoPro.

My hand was really shaking so you can see how well the stabilisation works in the camera. Mic is very good too. They were amazing, and you dont get to meet your heroes often.

So I was thinking about doing a transgender running podcast in the future 😀 What do you think I should call it?

Lots of love,

Sofie XXXXX

Trans Girls London Marathon Week 4 Training Update

Total Training: 169.8k
This week: 28.2k

An update on my training during week 4.

I am running the London Marathon to raise money for the LGBT Foundation, please also consider donating here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SofieLewis

Things were looking good this week in terms of the injury. Leg was a little tender on Monday and Tuesday but after then it seems fine. I have also been quite lazy. Only going to the gym once! So this week I intend to finally get an official training plan.

Mentally things have been bad. I had to get some help so went to the GP and he prescribed me Mirtazapine. I needed help with my thoughts and to get to sleep. The pills did work and provided some much needed relief but are a little too powerful and had some bad side effects. I will show you what happened and the effects they seem to have had on parkrun and my resting heart rate. They tend to leave me feeling quite dizzy and clumsy for 24 hours.

This is all a little complicated by the fact I am doing my own HRT, I have no help coming from the NHS nor will my GP check my bloods.

Currently as I write this I’m having the withdrawal effects from the Mirtazapine, something I am unfortunately familiar with, but surprising after just 2 pills with a day off in between. I figure they feel more powerful since I have been off alcohol so long, and the only time I was on them was when I was drinking. The withdrawal effects are hard to explain, currently it is like my skull is groaning like a ships hull as it is crushed in ice. Whenever my heart beats I can hear and feel it in my ear a bit like my ear is letting out gas (it isn’t, don’t worry) but if I am concentrating on something else it isn’t as noticeable which is nice. That is probably why I am up at 1:15 AM writing this. So…………

RUNNING!!!!

Monday, I went again with Didsbury Runners, I decided to go on the shorter route this time at 8 minute miles. As I run there 2.5k and back I didnt want to do too much with my leg still a little dodgy. It was nice to meet everyone though and got in 10.2k overall. Apparently it was the largest turnout of Didsbury Runners, which is impressive in the cold.

Tuesday I went to the gym, I think I did an hour on the crosstrainer and came back home.

Wednesday is the day I went to the GP, I didn’t accomplish anything else and took the 1st mirtazapine that night. It got me to sleep so well that I slept for 14 hours, only waking up once for the toilet and getting back to sleep quickly. Usually the past few weeks that has kept me up for another 2 hours at least. Sleep is very important for recovery so this was good for running too.

Thursday, I went to a running injury prevention (unfortunate acronym) event at a private hospital nearby. It was free and one of the Didsbury runners had linked to it on Facebook. There was free food and the even was interesting. First 2 lectures on running injury prevention, which had a lot of new information and I will be looking in more detail. Especially surprised to hear that the current consensus is that stretching and sports massages have no effect on reducing injury risk. Conflicts what I have been practising and preaching here so look forwards to reading into that. Instead they said current advice is to do dynamic stretching and warmup. It does seem like the Spire hospital has a crack team of running specialists. They also showed evidence that running actually reduces the risk of getting bad joints as you age.

Afterwards there were practical exercise session where we did a bit of physio led pilates, which was new to me and some other workouts to help stay injury free. A lot of this I have seen variations of, including buildin up core and activating glutes aswell as improving balance or proprioceprtion, to keep the knees and joints steady as you run so as to avoid injury. All good stuff. Aparently I am good at single leg squats 🙂

I decided to run to this even on thursday and afterwards went for a longish run. I found after a few k I couldnt quite keep up with my old power, something I am blaming entirely on the Mirtazapine. I also had a stomach problem on the run, which I dont usually get fortunately, blame that on the meds too eh?

Thats when I looked at my resting heart rate. It has risen quite high due to all the transphobia related stress from media and online. Usually I expect it to be in the low 40’s when I am training but the day after mirtazapine it spiked low. What us computer chess nerds call a moob.

Resting HR moobing after taking meds

Also I should point out that 47 and above is high for me, this is what I would expect if I was overtraining and what I was seeing late into training for the Manchester marathon last year. Usually my Resting HR is below 45 during training, when I have stopped training due to injury or before a race it goes to below 40 once I got down to 32 for 1 day.

So I believe my resting heart rate is high due to the anxiety I am having, which I can believe, I can feel it pounding most of the day and it is racing at night as my mind goes over things. So its not surprising the drugs reduced it, because after taking them I felt dulled. I didn’t feel good, I just didn’t really feel, and it was a big relief. I do think there was a further reduction due to the drug itself though. Mainly because that is what I want to blame my poor runs on, the one on thursday and also parkrun.

Saturday, I went to parkrun. After taking the mirtazapine I fell asleep at about 9, unheard of for me. I woke up on time but felt very unsteady due to the drugs. They make me feel a bit like being drunk I suppose but not fun, for example when trying to type I often miss the key I am aiming for, I cant focus my eyes quite so well, etc, this lasts for about 24 hours after taking them. I decided to go anyway, If people were volunteering I had better go! I ran hard and tried to get a PB but it just wasn’t in me, and I am definitely blaming the mirtazapine so there! I still did it in around 21:45 and thanks to Kim for adding me to the results after my barcode seemed to have failed.

So I have been calming myself without drugs and doing some writing, it has been partially successful!

Running video coming soon, and more on my own C25k journey.

Hope everyone is doing well, it has been lovely hearing from people who have started C25K because of my blog, let me know how you are getting on and lots of love to everyone!!!!!!

Sofie,

XXXXXXXX