overdue

Posted in photos, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by afuntanilla

Hello – i’m due for a catch-up. A big thing happened on Sept 1st. which is that I moved into a house. Same town, but a house, not an apartment, a whole house. All to myself. Big News in my world. This is the nicest and largest space I’ve ever lived in alone. So, happy. Very happy about this.

Also, I turned 44 years old. Wow. How did THAT happen. I like this number. I like the double 4’s. It looks good when I write it. It sounds good when I say it. You know how there are some numbers that might not sound good, like 42 or 39…i don’t like those. But, 44….i’m good with that and I’m hoping for a kick-ass kind of year.

Been steadily running. I’m actually training for a race where I’m not 100% sure I am a confirmed runner. It’s The North Face 50 Miler in December. When I went to sign up weeks ago, it was already full with a wait list. I reached out to a client of mine who works for North Face (corp) and through their internal lottery system, he let me know I was in and that i should be receiving word from the race team. Upon getting his email, I was ecstatic….this has been a race i have had on my list for a long time. It’s local and i have the course to train on….so…. I have not received any follow up from the race team and I’m just figuring I will at some point.  (I hope!!!) If I don’t hear anything in the next 2 weeks, I will contact my source again and see what’s up. Right now, i’m totally under the assumption I will have a spot on Dec 6th. Cross your fingers for me.

I’ve been training almost 100% on trails and nothing flat…I’ve been training many miles on the course itself. I have the opportunity to get familiar with it, so there is no excuse. I’m preparing, preparing, preparing and i’m really enjoying the miles, the terrain. As I have shifted to trails these past 2 months, I feel a kind of renaissance with my enjoyment level of running. So much of it has to do with the terrain…i’m on some gorgeous trails and i feel incredibly fortunate. The joy and challenge, the difficulty, the beauty, the relentlessness of the climbs…up and down, repeat….its all pulling me in. i find myself eager to get back out there after 1 day off…i want to immerse myself back in the exquisite surroundings. I want to find my limits.

Just a few numbers:

Sept: total elevation: 19,169

Oct: elevation so far: 22,501

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

Here are a few shots from the miles this past month or so.

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For shoes, i’m using HOKA HUAKA and also a (still) good old pair of Asics Trail shoes. Both are working well & getting pretty damn dirty!  :)

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The After

Posted in running, trail with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by afuntanilla

When your body is caked with dirt, mud, sweat from the undulating, unrelenting, beautiful terrain.

When your pulse finally settles down, normalizes to others; rest of life

Your eyes move over in a quiet gaze, noticing the world; the people, their movements

It all seems kind of dreamy, doesn’t it?

Looking down at your feet,

Shoes removed

Tan line of dirt wrap perfectly around the edge of where leg meets ankle

& the protruding ends of Tibia, Fibula.

Toe nails slightly bruised

A small blister showing signs of life

Otherwise,

Feet look regular,

As if out for a stroll

Only you know

What they have been through

Where they have traveled

What they got you through

How they helped you

Climb, conquer

The trail, today

Tomorrow, awaits

labor day workouts

Posted in motivation, road, trail with tags , , , on September 1, 2014 by afuntanilla

A long full weekend of exercising. Happy.
Friday – 5 mile run in town. Flat.
Saturday – 6+ mile trail run on Tennessee Valley Trails; 1033 ft ascent, 1014 ft descent
Sunday – 7+ mile run mixed road & trails from home; 620 ft ascent, 597 ft descent
Monday – 25+ mile bike ride; 1217 ft ascent, 1224 ft descent;  followed by 1 mile run @ 8:32 pace.

Every day, my legs felt heavy, which felt odd considering I hadn’t done much the week prior. So, because if this, every workout felt more “work” than I would have liked, but I still enjoyed it all. Hard not to when the surrounding views are so amazing and beautiful.

I purposely did the ride today because I have not ridden in about 3 weeks and I want to see if this actually helps freshen up the legs in any way….because I feel like it has in the past.

It’s time to start upping the mileage and the elevation. Time to get better prepared!

 

 

Life happens

Posted in random with tags , , , , on September 1, 2014 by afuntanilla

Wow. What’s that saying “be careful what you ask for, you just might get it?” Um….YEAH! If you refer to my previous post, you will understand; I just got what I put out there…
(The meaning of my previous post was related to a few different things, but a new dwelling spot was definitely one of them)
I wrote the post on Thursday. I perused Craigslist a few times during the week and nothing really struck me, except for a house in the same town I live in…only about 1 mile from current location. The pictures were ok, and the location was good; the price would be something to consider. I figured I would swing by and check it out after my run on Friday. Friday rolls around and I got a good 5 miler in around town. After breakfast at a nearby cafe, I drove by the rental. A fella was in the driveway doing some work and I asked him about it…he/wife live next door and they are renting it. Go and take a look, he said. I walked in and I knew. I knew it was right. From the 1st few steps…I guess you could say it was “love at first sight.” Airy, well-lit, cozy, all new appliances, floors, huge back yard, etc…2 bedroom house. I was super excited and felt like I had to contain some of my enthusiasm because I thought…”wow, this is too quick…it’s happening too fast…wait, wait…” (Ever been there??) Enjoyed talking with the fella, took an application & exited. I grabbed a friend and drove her over to get her opinion.

“It’s adorable. You have to take it.”

After some financial advising of my own self, I applied. And to make a short story even shorter, it’s mine. To find good, available, “affordable” rental property anywhere in Bay Area, let alone where I live, is always iffy. I am thrilled. Delighted. And, once again, struck with how life happens, how the universe works, how I can create what I want. How WE ALL can!

Sometimes, life isn’t very complicated and mysterious. Sometimes it’s just really easy and simple: get clear on what you want, put it out there, receive it. Easy.

I can’t help but think of my whole “small ring” bike story…..

Something different

Posted in random with tags , , on August 28, 2014 by afuntanilla

The in between. I feel like I am in the in between. Between here and there. In this moment, I am not anxious, worried, scared. I am calm, curious, open. I am allowing. I am not stressed. I am not aching over what’s been “lost”…or what’s just been….the past. I am not looking in the rear view mirror, over my shoulder. My view is ahead, up, forward. This place now seems temporary, transitional. A place that has held me as my innerds readied for something bigger, brighter. I am no longer looking for a place to cradle and protect the lost, hurt, abandoned parts. I am open to a place of air, light, & room to expand myself, my SELF; a place to unleash more of me and invite more of others In. I want to fill the corners with energy and goodness, and maintain my minimalistic nature. A place of comfort, of creativity; a place to elaborate on the senses and capture the in and out beauty. I am looking for a place. To softly land.

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Catching Up

Posted in bike, photos, road, running, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

These past few weeks: Another awesome bike ride with Jason. Went out on an mid week early morning. Weather was cool, foggy. I added arm warmers to my body but other than that, stayed with just shorts and bike jersey.

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(Jason in fog)

We did our same 25.5 mile loop and I felt good. The route was the same but the scenery changed due to the foggy conditions. A different kind of beautiful. So peaceful out there…I love it!! Awesome way to start my work day.

The next 2 weeks I traveled to Kansas City, MO & then Atlanta, GA. Obviously, both not easy places to run in during the summer months. I also have learned that for me to try to run the day after a long travel day is absolutely useless. I ran the day after I arrived in KC after long day of getting there. Run was painful. I also ran the day after I arrived back in CA after super long day of travel. That was doubly painful. I think I have learned my lesson. I can do the run of course, I just don’t find it enjoyable after such long travel days….but I feel like I just have to exercise because of all the sitting, etc…hello….conundrum! Anyways, in between those instances, I ran 3 days (4 miles each) steadily in Atlanta and was glad to get those morning runs in before work. Did a lot of driving while there, so moving my body beforehand was perfect! Humidity/heat was not as bad as expected for this time of year. Bonus! I ran on the same path each day….a flat path with a gazillion trees hovering around. Ahhhh….THIS I miss very much!! The plethora of soooo many trees! Beautiful, luscious, invigorating, and yes, thank you for the shade! The last day of running there was eventful in that I tripped and fell AND then narrowly avoided a snake. I’m sure the snake was harmless, but a snake is still a snake. Also, no scars or nothing from the fall. A tiny bruise, if that. Darn it.
Much of the path is laden with wood planks because the area is basically akin to a swamp. Every morning, it was deliciously quiet out there with just my footsteps and the soothing & familiar sounds of the cicadas.

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(playing w/ the shadows)

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After a full travel day back home from ATL, I desperately wanted to move my body the next morning. I knew I would be sluggish, but I just HAD to move. You know that feeling, right?? Also, after the flat path in GA, I was hungering for the dusty trails of Marin. I opted for the Dipsea steps and trail. Ahhh….the steps I crossed with happy, gentle, tired feet…the steps that took my breath away….over to the windy trail with scores of scattered fallen Eucalyptus leaves under my stride. Down and then back up the steep, dusty, rocky, section….my legs happily aching…running over to a section I had yet never been…the sunrise trail that goes .7 mile out and then the same return. An easy runnable section with fantastic views (even with the cool foggy morning). Taking some deep breaths and smiling, happy to be home again…happy to move my legs, grateful for everything.
Back down the Dipsea steps after a slow 5 miles. Just what I needed.

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Part of the Dipsea Trail

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Part of Sunrise Trail

Sunday 8/3

Posted in photos, road, running, shoes, trail, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

Ran my “staple” route as of late…home/chileno valley/Helen Putnam park west side and back home via the east side of park. This time, I mixed in the steepest hill 2 times. I did it first upon arrival, then ran about another mile around park and looped back to the hill. Again, it is not lengthy, but steep. 2 times felt good and I kept rolling along other trails and then the backside towards home.
A solid 8 miles on top of the bike/run yesterday.
Feeling good and ready to start pushing the envelope a bit more after I return from about 10 days of travel.

Here’s what I call “baldy hill” at Helen Putnam Park;

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HOKA HUAKA: I’ve been using the shoe for about 2 weeks now and overall, like the shoe a lot. I’ve tried other HOKA shoes on before & did treadmill tests, but none of them ever felt right for me. Until these!
However, the big bummer I’ve come across is that the toe box seems to be tighter than I am accustomed to…this was evident by a huge blister the first day I did any trail running. It’s strange because the shoes do not feel tight at all….but for some reason, the right shoe toe box is causing me to get blisters. I’ve been wearing some Injinji socks and that has helped. Other than that 1st issue, which has not occurred again, my experience thus far has been quite good. I think there is something quite true about how the shoe “technology” is somehow lessening the impact of the pounding on pavement. I was very skeptical about this when I heard people talk about it, but I feel like I have experienced it too, so, I am now drinking the HOKA cool aid!

I do not wear the shoes on short, faster runs. I don’t think they are designed for that either. The HUAKA is not a specific trail shoe, but has been fine on the trails I have run, which so far have been non technical trails. Don’t know how this would do on heavy, rocky terrain. This is my new go to shoe for longer distance, road and trail.

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