Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

May 2014 bring you everything you desire in life.

I'd say may you live in interesting times, but being who we are we already do that.


Monday, 30 December 2013

2014 Goals

Well its that time of the year to set myself some goals for next year. I don't expect to achieve most of what I want. If I achieve the main one then a lot of the others simply aren't going to happen because I'll be spending a fair bit of time recovering from surgery and wont feel like doing things.

Complete Grizzly in under 4 hours 30 minutes
I managed to secure myself a place in this year's Grizzly. 20 miles of cross country running on what is the hilliest, muddiest, pebble beach strewn route that I've ever come across. It will be fabulous!! The last time that I took part in it I finished in about 4 hours 50 minutes. I want to do better this time so I'm aiming to finish in under four and a half hours.

I've a number of routines that I've been fleshing out. By the end of 2014 I want to have developed them into full blown routines and if possible to have performed each of them. There are 3 routines that I want to have finished working on. A small hand fan dance, a silk fan dance with a striptease or belly dance section in the middle, and another routine that makes use of silk fans and either cloak. This one is likely to take the longest to develop as its going to require saving up for a new corset. Think Adam and the Ants jacket in the video for Stand and Deliver.

Belly Dance
I want to learn enough steps to put together a short belly dance routine.

I need to expand on my skills at work so I plan to work on my programming skills and brush up on what I learned when I did a C# programming course a couple of years ago.

There are two projects that I'd like to complete this year. The first is to clear out all the things in our attic that we either don't use and don't want. The second is to fence in our front garden, remove the lavetera and brambles that has taken over one part of it, remove the grass from that part of the garden and replace it with pebbles.

I've been trying to lose weight for a while but it doesn't seem to be working. The other day I did a BMI check via the NHS website. It suggested that if I lost 14 kg then I'd be the ideal weight for my height. So over the next year I plan to lose about a kilogram a month. At the very least it will get my BMI and weight down to a level that shouldn't delay me having surgery.

This is the big one for next year and the thing that I want to have done more than anything.
There are two parts to this.
When I was a teenager I had gynaecomastia and as a result had the tissue removed from my left breast. This has meant that since I've been on hormones, although my right breast has developed my left has not changed. If I'm lucky then I hope that by the end of the year I'll have had chest reconstruction surgery, breast augmentation if you must, and that both sides of my chest will match.
The second goal for next year is to have had my GRS. I've requested that I be sent for my second opinion so hopefully things will move along at a reasonable pace so that come the autumn I'll be looking at a trip to Brighton in order to put myself into the skilled hands of Dr Thomas and his team.

So with my goals set for next year, here's a song by Emeli Sande that I heard on the car radio Christmas Day while driving to my father-in-laws.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Season's Greetings

A belated Merry Christmas to everyone
May 2014 bring you everything you wish for in life.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

2013 Review

As its nearly the end of the year I thought I'd do a bit of a review of the things I'd hoped to do.
My goals for the year fell into 5 areas, sport, burlesque, work home and transition.

Complete Outlaw Triathlon:
Sadly this didn't happen. Working at our Malvern office for several months at the beginning of the year didn't help my training. By the time I'd found where the local swimming pool was and then worked out a cycle route that I could use if I took my bike with me I'd already committed to returning to Yeovil. 
Managing to fall off my bike and hurt my wrist during the Outlaw Half and breaking my little toe during training simply compounded things. I might not have managed to achieve this aim this year but its still there and I will do it at some point.

Complete Outlaw Half:
Completed this and managed to improve on my personal best for the distance. I was quite happy with that as I had felt so bad the morning of the race that I'd seriously contemplated pulling out and just going home.
Complete DIY Olympic Triathlon:
I managed to complete my own little Olympic distance triathlon, even if I did break my little toe while changing to go out on my bike. 

Perform True Love routine:  
I managed to get my large fan dance routine developed and performed it at the start of the year at the Pink Kitten showcase. I loved performing it as it was such a brilliant routine. Now I just need to work on refining it for the future.
Other burlesque aims:
Well I failed spectacularly with every other aim that I had. I had a number of routines that I wanted to develop and performed but I've not managed to do any of them. I had planned to train to teach burlesque but again that did not come to fruition. Its a bit frustrating but I'll hang in there and work on routines in the New Year.

Pass ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst exam:
I popped up to London at the start of the year and sat my ISTQB exam and managed to pass it. It was a lot less stressful than the last exam I took, no headaches at the end of it thankfully. The whole trip to London was an interesting one as it was the first time that I'd been there since I transitioned.

Develop C# programming ability:
I've had a few attempts at achieving this goal but something seems to come up. I don't have the time to do anything at work and at home I have even less time. I really do need to brush up on my programming skills so that I can do other things at work. 

Finish decorating small bedroom:
There is only a few bits and pieces that need to be done to the small bedroom and it will be decorated. It needs a carpet, a bed, wardrobe and some drawers. The area over the stairs that has been boxed in needs to be finished (minor work) and then covered over to leave it looking neat and tidy.

The room has had all of the holes filled in, the woodwork has been repainted, the ceiling repainted and the walls papered. It looks quite nice. At the moment it makes the perfect practice and exercise space. How long that continues to be the case I do not know.

Tidy garden:
The back garden was tidied up and rubbish taken to the dump several times during the year. There is still work to be done and there is yet another load of rubbish to take to the dump. That needs to be done before the end of the year.

The front garden is a work in progress. Part of the hedge has been removed. The remainder needs to be cut down and taken to the dump when the weather is good enough to get the chainsaw out. There is still work to be done but that will be part of next years aims.

Empty attic of things we don't need:

We've not really started to sort through the attic. That is also going to be something that I'll start doing next year.

Get referred back to Laurels in December:
In the end I never actually stopped going to the Laurels. I did start going less frequently. My sessions have been very useful and things are in progress at the moment so that hopefully I'll be able to have my surgery next year.
Complete speech therapy:
I think my speech therapy sessions are going to carry on for a while, although not as frequently as previously. At the moment I go every 2 or 3 months to for an hour session. They are good opportunities to go over what has been happening.

Start laser hair removal:
I managed to start having laser hair removal at the Nuffied in Exeter. Its helped a bit but hasn't cleared all of the hair. Some of it simply isn't the right colour for the laser to work on. Still it does mean that the electrolysis that I'm having can focus on getting rid of the dark hairs that have resisted the laser. The remaining hair is light coloured so I don't have a noticeable beard shadow.

Electrolysis on breasts and chest area:
I started to have electrolysis on my breasts and chest area. After several sessions I've now moved to having electrolysis on my beard area. The laser sessions reduced the dark hairs which means that the electrolysis can focus on the lighter hairs.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

A little bit of training goes a long way

I completed my 4th Parkrun today and was really pleased with it.
Over the last few weeks I've been managing to get some training done for the Grizzly next March. Last Monday I managed an interval run with decreasing distances of 1200m, 1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m and 200m with 200m rest intervals between each. It was hard and I didn't hit my target times for the longer distances but I finished it which is a good start.
On Wednesday evening I completed a tempo session with a mile warm up and then 5 miles at marathon pace. Again it was a hard session but I completed it and even managed to run the entire 5 miles averaging my marathon pace.

Today was Parkrun and although it didn't feel easy I was able to keep up a reasonable pace and when I finished had smashed my personal best for the course by over a minute with a time of 27 minutes 25 seconds for the 5k distance.

Its going to be hard to better that time but I'll keep plugging away at it. With luck the combination of interval and tempo sessions in the week will help to improve my running enough that I can go even quicker.

It probably also helping that I've been doing a couple of 30 day abs challenges. One is based around performing a plank and the other is doing crunches. Today I managed to complete a two and a half minute plank and 90 crunches. Twelve more days to go and I'll reach 5 minutes of plank and 135 crunches. I might not have abs of steel but they'll certainly be a lot stronger which will translate into better control of my tummy muscles for dancing and also for running.