big ring, little ring and a lot of space

Posted in bike, gym, photos, road, running, trail with tags , , , , on July 17, 2014 by afuntanilla

My body feels tired. I just got up from an hour long nap. These types of naps are not uncommon…a few days a week, I take the pleasure of these wonderful opportunities to rest my body. I’m thankful I have the time to do so. I wake early for work and when I get home mid-late afternoon, if I can sneak in a 30-60 minute nap , I indulge. Even so, my body, right this minute, feels tired. Or, more accurately, sore. My legs feel stiff, heavy. My hips and lower back are tight and need stretching. My right upper leg/hip are are especially tight and generally feel out of whack….I know this is because of my cycling and more specifically from the session I did last week on an indoor bike at the gym. As I am new to consistent cycling, I now realize, that riding on the gym bike was a bad rookie move. And, I am still paying the price 6 days later. For the last 6 weeks, I have been consistently riding my own bike and getting familiar with it…learning it’s ways, getting to know the feel of it under my body. The gym bike was, of course, a general bike for anyone. As soon as I took my seat and began pedaling, I physically felt all sorts of wrong. Especially in my seat area and I could not adjust it to feel better. So, being me, I just do what I do; hammer away and through the planned workout of 40 minutes cycling. This was after a fast 20 minute run on treadmill. (Why did I do this inside? Because for a shorter ride like this, it’s not really safe or easy to ride on the roads in town after work. I thought it would be easier to do this short back-to-back workout at the gym)

Anyways…I rode and when I tried to peddle a bit faster, I could feel a strain on my right side because I was just not seated correctly. When I finished the workout, I felt fine. I even thought maybe I should have gone longer or pushed harder….
Well, the next day, I was in a world of hurt. The tightness and soreness in my legs/hips were nothing I have experienced in quite some time. It was this unfamiliar soreness within a myriad of muscle groups that have not seen much action. I know what soreness from running is and what it feels like. I have been getting to know the soreness from MY bike….but, THIS…..this was the unknown and the wicked, wicked witch of the west! I was hobbling along during the day…walking in all sorts of crooked manners to try to deal with it. I needed help so got a last minute massage that definitely helped. Hips, hamstrings, gluteus, and back got all the attention!
So, it IS fair to say I won’t be riding at the gym again. Probably ever!
I took 2 days off from any exercise and then had a slow, a bit awkward, 50 minute run in Golden Gate park on Saturday. Awkward because the area in my upper hamstring/right hip area continues to feel off.

As the week went on, I realized how tight all these aforementioned muscle groups are and so have been trying to spend time daily to loosen them up with different stretches. Lots of hip flexor stretching! I’ve know all along for years this area was tight, but it’s a whole new level of tightness now! Anyway, was glad to get the Saturday run in and then on Sunday, I went for a bike ride with a friend. He is a pretty experienced cyclist who rides for a local team and races. This was the first time going out together. We spoke a few weeks ago and I said I could go with him when he needed a slow/recovery ride. He had ridden 85 miles on Saturday in the Sierras, so a recovery ride on Sunday was in order for him. I was excited and a bit intimidated, of course. I just wanted to not slow him down too much.

Let me preface this next part by saying I’ve had my bike for 10 years and it’s a nice bike with good components, however, I don’t know much about the “mechanics” or when to use what and why…a rookie, you know!
And for the past 6 weeks, I have been riding in the county with some slight hills, nothing major, but some rides have more rolling hills and such, so it is a challenge.

So, we leave from my house and after the first familiar stretch, instead of turning left, we decide to go on his loop so I can do something different, which is straight ahead. Up a nice long steady steep stretch…which was also a very bumpy and rough road. I’m riding along in my easier gear and going as well as I can and staying close. We finally get to the downhill and let it go and it is FUN!!! But also scary (for me) because I was going so fast over this bumpy ass road and my eyes were watering from the cool temps and I had trouble seeing a few seconds here and there through my glasses. I was holding on to my handlebars….holding on for dear life it felt like. I definitely felt out of control at some points because I couldn’t see the bumps in the road all that well and was freaked out I was gonna fly off the bike! Whew! A thrill! Crazy and scary and an opportunity for me to figure out my own comfort levels of speed on a road like such!
As we rode along, he was checking me out and how I fit on my bike, etc…he was asking me about my gears and telling me to switch to my smaller chainring. I’m like “what??”. He goes on to explain the whole OTHER set of gears I have on the left hand side of the bars. (Remember, I am a rookie) He proceeds to tell me what those are for…the small chainring is for me to use when I am climbing steep hills…like the one we did earlier. He could not believe I did that hill in my Big chainring because it makes it THAT MUCH HARDER! When I used it on some remaining hills, I was shocked and amazed at how much easier it was! DUH!!!!!!
We both got quite a laugh out of this!

It does beg the questions though of; what did I think those gears were for and why didn’t I ever think to look into it? I know I have 2 chainrings and know I had not been using the smaller one, so why didn’t I question this? All long, I was using my easiest gear on my BIG ring, but I could have made my experiences that much easier and more comfortable had I known about the other…

This lesson…it is not lost on me…the making things hard no when they could be so much easier.
I can’t help but ask; “how is that like my life?”

I’m laughing!!

It was really fun to ride with my friend who is quite experienced. Can’t wait to do it again! Oh, and he gave me quite a few compliments on my riding ability/strength so I definitely take that as a positive! :)

Later that day, early evening, I just felt like getting on the trails. I went up to Helen Putnam and ran/hiked for another 50 minutes. Loved and appreciated the beauty, quiet, and space of both activities right in my backyard!

Wednesday: 20 minute run, 40 minute bike

Saturday: 50 minute run, Golden Gate Park

Sunday: 25.5 mile bike ride (morning); 50 minutes trail run/hike (evening)

 

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update…

Posted in bike, motivation, photos, random, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2014 by afuntanilla


Been running, cycling, kayaking (for the 2nd time ever), flew a kite (barely…for the 1st time) hanging at beach…all outside my door and/or within 1 hour drive. This is why I live in the Bay Area! 

Got into riding my bike in June more than ever before. Probably will sign up for a short Duathlon in August. Have really been enjoying adding the cycling bit to my days. Even more, I like the what it feels like to Run after cycling. And, i’m finding my pace is even faster…which is really fascinating.

I have done 1 duathlon in the past….way back in 2005 after I first got my bike. That was when i lived in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to doing this one in the near future. I definitely have not been running as many miles, but the ones I am doing have all been quality, so i’m ok with that. I need to spend more time on bike to increase my abilities here. I may do another half-marathon in early SEPT. Still undecided….

June:

Cycling = 130.3 miles

Running = 53 miles

Included in this is 5 sessions of bike+run.

Am enjoying this variation of training, both how it feels physically and how I am sparked to learn more about how to improve my cycling, how to ride in various conditions, etc…it’s a whole new world…cycling. And, it’s pretty fun to go downhill!!

July is off to a strong start and i’m looking forward to seeing what I can do! The kayaking was ok…after an hour, I got kinda bored. LOL — I need more speed, I guess!!

everyday people

Posted in random with tags , , , on June 18, 2014 by afuntanilla

Just have some thoughts wanted to put out there…thinking about Heroes/Heroic people or actions. The definition of a HERO  (via dictionary.com): “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” 

Hmmm….just a few days ago, I dined for lunch with a colleague whom I do not know well. During our conversation, I mentioned that I lived alone. Her response: “wow! that’s brave.” Of course, I was shocked to hear her say “brave”. But to her, maybe it was just that…BRAVE. Perhaps she is afraid to be alone or live alone or whatever. No judgement. I just thought her choice of word, “brave” was interesting.

So often we hear the media refer to people as brave or heroic because of a particular action they took and often times (perhaps too much) athletes are assigned with this “hero” title.  Yet, if we look at the definition, “distinguished courage or ability” couldn’t that be applied to so many people? Don’t we all possess some distinguishing ability? I believe we do. We may not be admired for it because we are not of “celebrity” status….someone did not take a video of us in our “distinguished ability” and post it on YouTube for the world to see. We remain hidden heroes, so to speak, except to the people in our immediate lives who witness our abilities.

Perhaps the hero is the mother who has to hold down 2 minimum wage paying jobs because that’s the only way to make ends meet. Maybe it’s the father who is clinically depressed after his child has been killed in school….but gets up day after day to care for his other child and his wife, because that’s what he is supposed to do. Maybe he is a hero because he didn’t fall into the deep dark place of no return and become a zombie of a person after such tragedy. Maybe the hero is the hospice nurse whose daily job is to care for those individuals who are in the final days of life. He/She must be that person, by their side, day after day….witnessing them and facing death. That’s her job. Maybe the hero is the person with only 4 quarters in their pocket but is willing to give half of it away. Maybe the hero is not just the guy/gal who can perform multiple slam dunks, hit a 3 run-homer, score the winning goal, run the 2:05 marathon…

Maybe it’s the female attorney handling a arduous criminal case, testing her every capability, working 10-12 hour days and still makes time to make her family feel super special. Maybe it’s the spouse who always remembers the kind of chocolate you like: dark with almonds.

Maybe the hero is you.

Toeing the Line

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 27, 2014 by afuntanilla

I don’t race many 10k races….or at least I haven’t done so in the past 5 years. I ran many of them in the late 90′s. Yet, as I have now been sticking to longer distances, the 10k race has kinda fallen away from my radar. Since the beginning of the year, or at least since February, I’ve made more of an effort to work on speed. I’ve done some work here, but honestly nothing too intense or rigorous. Running the longer distances has a way of making me feel really slooooow. Granted, some of this is probably because I don’t vary the training enough. Anyways…i’ve tried to make an effort to increase speed to a level that is satisfactory. So far this year, I ran a 5 miler and a 15k, both with finishes I was pleased with. The 15k was run at 9:13 pace and the 5 miler at 8:46 pace.  I wanted to get in another short race so I signed up for a local 10k in Marin County.

I ran the course last weekend so that I would be familiar come race day. I had been in the general area before, but not too much. Running the course gave me the opportunity to see the gorgeous surroundings….basically the first 3-4 miles are all through Kentfield and Ross, which are 2 of the most beautiful (and expensive areas) in the Bay Area. Quiet, lovely streets with huge trees all around. (The trees would provide much needed shade on a warm race day morning.)

 

IMG_0927After this area, the course popped onto the College of Marin Campus and onto a paved path that travels the outskirts of the campus for a mile and then basically loops back through Larkspur and ends with a 3/4 lap around the college track. Very Cool Finish!

So, race morning came and I figured the crowd would be full of some very fast runners. Man, was I correct! This was actually a Championship Race for Pacific-Association USA Track and Field and there were some nice monetary awards for the best club teams as well as top individuals. So, it was no surprise when I showed up in the parking area and was feeling a bit intimidated by the array of people in their Club Tanks…Tamalpa Runners, West Marin Track Club, etc… This was NOT your typical local 10k. Everyone looked super fit. Anyhow…soon we were off and I was just trying to stay focused on my personal goal which was to finish between 56-57 minutes. My running in the last month (since the 5 mile race) has not been a lot. I did a lot of short runs and only ran 6 miles once, which was last weekend. I was running 3-5 mile stints at about 8:45-9:15 pace but i wasn’t sure what I could do on race day.

Off we went and the first 2 miles felt fast. I ran 1st at 8:40 and 2nd at 8:48 and HR felt pretty high. I knew I couldn’t sustain this pace and kept telling myself to slow down. But, I didn’t. Mile 3 was 8:48 also. Again, I told myself to slow down or else I might not have enough come mile 5 etc… So, I did. I also carried my own water, which was needed as there were only 2 water stops and honestly, I have NO idea how people ran this race at those fast paces with not much water. It was pretty warm.  I actually stopped for about 20 seconds after mile 3 just to get my HR down a bit. Keeping on, I was in a nice groove and around 4 other runners and we were all running together. A slight shift ahead for one of us and then the other. It was fun to be in this mini race within a race. The jockeying and surveying….3 women and 2 men. The 2nd half of the race, I slowed down. My pace was 9:25 but the 5 of us kept hanging together. Until the last 3/4 miles…I pulled ahead and thought i was in the clear to the finish. At about 1/4 mile to go, one of the other women passed me and I could not catch her. She ran well. I did rev it up for the last bit, I was just not able to stay with her. As I crossed the finish line and put my hands on my knees, hunched over, I thought: ” i could not have pushed any harder.” And that was my truth at that moment. As I write this now, hours later, recovered and all, I can’t help but wonder: “could I have? Could I have pushed harder and at what point could I have done so?”

I think that’s what we do…that’s what runners do…we wonder and we question. We beg to know what we are capable of on any given day. Or at least, I am!

But, for today, Yes…I am satisfied with my effort & the result. I pushed my body hard and enjoyed the challenge, both externally and internally.

Watch Finish Time: 6.3 miles/56:47/8:59 pace

Official Chip Time: 6.2 miles/56:45/9:08 pace

I prefer the watch finish time, but oh well!

 

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So, what’s next???

 

 

 

accountability

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by afuntanilla

Accountability. Where do we learn this? How do we stay focused on this? Naturally, it is a learned behavior, pretty early on in life and then practiced throughout one’s lifetime. Often times, we have someone or someones to be accountable to….our parents/guardians, teachers, friends, loves, spouses, bosses, clients, kids, etc…

I believe the person we have to be accountable to the most is our own Self. Yes, with a capital S. Why not? If you are not accountable, what are you? If you don’t hold yourself in high regard, what are you? If you are not able to be there for yourself and hold your own, what are you? We are all more capable than we can imagine. I look around the world and see people accept and live with such mediocrity, such complacency….and all I want to do is get as far away from these things as possible. My life has never and will never be about either of those things…of settling for the mediocrity of anything. And, I am the one truly accountable for this. No one else. Even if I had tons of family or kids…it would still be me. No one else lives in my shoes, thinks what I think, has to go thru my day to day things. We are all on our own. Essentially. People fill in and can be and are complimentary, but no one else is gonna do it for us. We must do it. You want something? Go get it. No one will just hand it to you. Work for it. Earn it. Enjoy the “hunt”. Of course there will be times when we all wish it was easier. I am not immune from this. But if it was easy, chances are you wouldn’t want it. These words are not for everyone. Some people are just not very internally motivated or ambitious or driven or whatever. No judgement. We are all different. But if you are someone who is aiming, who is reaching, who is going for IT….Keep Going…Keep doing your thing. Get up every day and make a little bit of progress. It’s not about hitting a grand slam every day….it’s single after single after single. You will have success, whatever that means to you, but it must be earned. Enjoy the challenge. Let it feed you. Let it lift you up. You want something? Make a stand. Show up. Be accountable. To YOU.

Things I am thinking about, learning, re-learning, pondering….

Posted in random with tags , , , , , on May 8, 2014 by afuntanilla

Trust gets built with integrity, truth-telling, keeping promises and commitments.

Don’t give trust before it’s earned.

People may not be able to give you love and when that happens, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not personal. It has no bearing on your ability to be loved. None whatsoever.

How will you show up with the people in your life?

Let’s stay away from judgement. Isn’t there so much of it? We don’t need to judge (others, ourselves) we can just be in truth….whatever the truth of the moment is….no should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…

We get caught in telling people who we need, wish or expect them to be rather than asking them/finding out who they are!

Deliberately nurture trust.

Isn’t a life of honesty better than a life of commonality?

Are you hiding parts of you, all of you? Why? What would it look like to come out of hiding?

An infant and a mother are more connected than I ever knew. Obviously, it starts in the womb….so connected. The growing baby senses everything…anxiety, fear, disconnectedness, love, joy…and this all has an impact on the developing brain.

Trauma is anything that happens to us that is against our nature.
What is your true nature! Are you going with this or against it?

Crying expresses a need.
Everything boils down to fear or love.

If someone if jealous of your success, what you have, etc…they are not really jealous, they are afraid. Afraid they will not “have” the same.
It’s important to learn abundance. There is so much abundance out there. “Success”, love, etc…is not only for a few….we can all have this. We are not shut out from anything unless we shut ourselves out.

Let got of your agenda for other people and what they should or shouldn’t do. It’s not your path. It’s theirs. Let them follow their own path and go with their own nature. Allow.

You are not your fear. You are not your anger. You are not your pain.

Everyone is doing the best they can, at any moment, with what they know right then and there.

What if you could expand your capacity to grow? You could expand your brain? Your heart? Your capacity for love? Forgiveness?

Being controlling = being afraid. Let go of the outcome.

If you want to heal, you have to tell the truth. All of it.

Forgiveness comes from an open heart and without condition, or it doesn’t come at all.

Our pain is our pain. It just is. We SUFFER when we believe we shouldn’t have it!

You can create a new story any minute you chose to do so.

Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to be seen. And, being seen….it’s the most amazing thing in the world.

A story

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2014 by afuntanilla

Years ago, I wanted to progress in my career. I was an assistant for a long time and I worked for people who had positions I wanted. I was passionate about the field, the profession, and I studied as much as I could and learned as much as I could on my own time. I observed and soaked in all I could from those around me who had the position I wanted. I was on the outside and I wanted to be on the inside. I wanted to have a greater impact, to be more influential, to be more significant to others. I wanted my own office, not a cubicle or desk. I wanted to hold the responsibility of taking care of others assets. I wanted to make the call, be held accountable. I wanted to put myself on the line, day in and day out. I wanted to show that I knew what I was talking about, that I could bring value.
I kept wanting this….and kept wanting this….
Finally, one day, I approached my sales manager at the time. A fellow female. I told her of my ambitions and she had me take a “personality” test to make some sort of initial assessment. I took the test, nervous I wasn’t answering the questions correctly, worried I should be answering “in the way I think is expected” rather than what was true for me.
She came back to me a few hours later and simply said, “you didn’t pass the test”.
That was it. No feedback. No follow up. No suggestions of other options. No other avenues to explore. No further discussion.

My ambitious, hungry heart was crushed. Devastated, really.
I went though all the “I’m not good enough, I’m not capable of this…” Bull in my head…and I finally told what happened to a couple of male colleagues. They simply said, “what does that test prove? Nothing! Don’t let it stop you.”

I held off a bit, but then refocused my energies and pushed and pushed and got the position I wanted. I worked hard and kept going for what I knew I wanted, what it knew I was capable of. It was far from easy, lots of obstacles had to be overcome but I did it. That was about 5 years ago.

I continue on in my same career, more successful and more driven. My ambition has not waned, but has become stronger. I think back to the woman who didn’t give me even 1/10 of a chance and that continues to motivate me every day. I think about where I came from in this world and see how far I’ve come and I’m proud. And I want to keep going. I feel like I am just touching the tip of the iceberg. I feel like I have so much more to learn….so much more to give…

My desires have not changed. I continue to want to be of value, of significance. This is my definition of success. The financial part will take care of itself. My focus is the same. My ambition is stronger.

Far from satisfied.

And, THAT, is a very good thing in my book.

Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Most of all, yourself.

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