Archive for September, 2008

I finally get a run in..and then, the main event..

Posted in road on September 30, 2008 by afuntanilla

Friday morning woke up & went down the hall into the breakfast room. A huge room with all kinds of breakfast goodies and all FREE. This wasn’t your Holiday Inn continental breakfast; this was many notches above! Oatmeal, several cereal options, hard boiled eggs, coffee, fresh orange juice, apple juice, bagels, muffins, pastries, and a waffle iron so you could make your own waffle. I was the only one around at 630am. I just grabbed a coffee and toasted 1/2 bagel and put some peanut butter on it. Again, a glorious clear day outside. I got dressed and headed out to the streets. I figured I would run flat today and hilly on sunday. I ran from the hotel and into downtown mill valley and back. A smooth and easy 6 miler with one hill in both directions. I kept taking deep breaths of these fresh northern california air. It was truly delicious. I was so happy. 

I returned to hotel, cleaned up and headed up to Petaluma for the main event of the trip: my good friend’s wedding. 

The wedding was very small and intimate and held outside at 11:00am in a little park near downtown Petaluma. It was only the 2nd wedding I have ever been to. My friend, of course, looked gorgeous as usual and looked so happy. This was truly HER DAY. As the wedding parties started to walk down the isle, it was quiet except for some beautiful music in the background. To my surprise, I got really choked up immediately and my eyes were pools of water throughout the ceremony. I was so honored to be there and be a witness to a friend i have had for 18 years. To be a part of this significant ritual was amazing. They read their beautiful vows to one another and i kept wiping the tears as they streamed down my cheeks. It was just sooo moving. In those moments, i knew i was right where i needed to be; all the hem-hawing about whether I was going to actually take this trip was gone; it was ALL WORTH IT. What a privilege to simply be a witness.

The Birthday: 2nd half

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2008 by afuntanilla

I finally made it to downtown sf around 4pm. I was starving so I grabbed a sandwich at Specialtys and  scarfed it down. Can’t remember last time I ate so fast! I then made my way to Kelly’s office. She had b-day presents for me. Yeah!! It was a great thing to see a friends kind face after the near disaster I experienced!! We talked a little and then I opened my treats! Her mom got me a pound of PEETS coffee!! Kelly gave me a iTunes gift card, which I will be so delighted to use many times. The 2nd gift she game me requires more of an explantion. Months and months ago, we had been either talking or emailing about the Golden State Warriors. (For those who don’t know, this is the bay area NBA team we both cheer for) I’ve been a long time fan and finally, we are getting some exciting teams to cheer about after years of severe drought! Some of the players now wear white headbands with the warrior logo on the front. It looks super cool and I told kelly long ago I wanted one. Well, she remembered! So, this was my 2nd gift; a cool-ass Warrior headband!

We then parted and I made my way to my hotel in Mill Valley. I stayed at The Acqua Hotel. I cannot tell you how happy I was to arrive. I was so exhausted by the time I arrived and it showed on my face when I greeted the front desk folks. “Wow, you look like you could use a glass of wine. Can we bring you a glass?” WOW. How cool is that? I had to decline because I knew I would go out soon for dinner and didn’t want a drink just then…Acqua Hotel is a boutique hotel that sits right next to a small portion of the bay. I mean, you walk out the back entrance and you are right there next to the water. Pretty freakin cool and exactly what i needed. WATER. SOOTHING. CALMNESS. AHHH…I looked to the left and saw Marin Headlands. I looked to my right and saw Mount Tamalpais. AHHH…all worth it. The money. The near disasters. All worth it. Clear blue sky day. My near disaster kept me from having the time to get a run in and so after showering, i made my way into downtown Mill Valley for dinner at a favorite italian restaurant. I had a Cosmo, a yummy salad and wonderful pizza. After being fully fed and relaxed, I went back to the hotel, snuggled into bed and watched the new Season’s of Grey’s Anatomy. 2nd Half of birthday was much, much better!!

Birthday Blues

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2008 by afuntanilla

After my nearly 5 hour flight to sfo and another 30 minute waiting in rental car line, I finally am at the rental car counter. As the guy is checking me in, he says “oh, your license expires today” (I realized this only the day before and of course had no time to renew it and brought my passport along just in case I had trouble at airport) Rental car guy continues, “well, we can’t rent to you since you’d be driving beyond today, it would be unlawful for us”. So, there I am at sfo rental center freaking out on my birthday. Everywhere I need to go is 1-2 hours away, what the hell am I gonna do?? He then mentioned there was a less than reputable place nearby that might be able to help me. Well, 2 taxis for 55 bucks later , I get to this shady rental outfit and get a car. A beat up, disgusting, dirty interior toyota for 33 bucks a day. No questions asked about my expired license. I didn’t care. It wasn’t pretty, but it had 4 wheels, so I took it. I had my ride for the next 4 days. What a way to start my trip on my freaking birthday. Aren’t things suppossed to go smoother? Doesn’t the universe KNOW!!

Stay Tuned…it Does get better…really!

morning birthday post, Atlanta

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2008 by afuntanilla

My alarm clock went off about 6am and i lay in bed til 630, debating whether to get up or continue to sleep. My body wanted to stay vertical, but i got myself up and after a few sips of coffee, a vanilla Gu, and sitting in my bed and looking at my race bib#’s for a few minutes, I headed outside. Cool morning, 55 degrees. No iPod, no H20. I almost felt naked!! 🙂 First mile was pretty flat. The morning commuters were in their cars on this Thursday morning, making there way to wherever they were going. It was still a tad dark out and kinda quiet. I wore a long sleeve cotton t-shirt from a past race and noticed the difference in just that. Before leaving the house, i checked the weather in Chattanooga (site of race next weekend) and it was 60. I think our temperatures are pretty much the same – they are only 2 hours away. Anyways, I took a few sips of water at a fountain about mile 1.2 and kept on. My legs started to feel heavy at mile 2 and then i had all the hills left in the run. I almost stopped in a coffeehouse for another sip of water after 1st hill, but i didn’t. I ran by and took a right hand turn onto the shortest, steepest hill of the run. Hill #2. As I approached the top, the orange sun beamed at me with it’s beauty and blazing color. I smiled as I descended down hill #2. After zig-zagging through some short blocks, I got to hill #3, a long gradual climb. It was 2.95 miles at this point and i could have stopped at 3, but i didn’t. I kept on and just trudged nicely up the climb. I took my last left turn and ended at my house 1/2 block up the street. Morning runs are not easy when I don’t have time to “wake-up”, but this felt good and I was glad to get it in before the long flight across the country. Later this afternoon, I hope to get another run in for the day. I’m about to go get some morning snacks and head off. Be well all. Have a great weekend.

Birthday Eve Post

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2008 by afuntanilla

On the eve of my 38th birthday….

Man, what a week it has been. Super stressed. Not running enough. Super stressed. Half of my day at work was crappy…then, i got to eat some birthday cake which was delicious. that made me feel a little better. a colleague made it for me cause she bakes great cakes and i asked her to make me one way back in like, march! it was chocolate with peanut butter frosting. they had 4 candles on the cake. i have no idea what i wished for, but i was happy they were there and happy to blow them out. how can you NOT feel young and kinda silly when you blow out the candles on your cake?

Unfortunately, the stress came zooming right back. Soon, i left and called Kelly in SF to vent about some of the things from the day. So glad she was willing and able to listen!!

My evening is better. I have to pack tonite for my trip to SF Bay Area tomorrow. While I have some mixed feelings about taking this trip at this particular time, I’m sure I will have a good time and maybe it will even be helpful to get away for a few days. I booked a cool place to stay tomorrow night in one of the best little cities around, MILL VALLEY! I could retire there….I hope to get on part of the Dipsea Trail at least for a little bit either late tomorrow or very early on Friday. I hope to suck in the awesome smells of Marin county and the eucalyptus trees!! 

I’ve been so busy and stressed that running has not been the mental focus like it had been. I’m not sure if that is good or not, but it is what it is. I hope to get some sort of run in tomorrow early am pre-flight. I came across some photos on flickr of a previous Stump Jump Race. Looks pretty damn fun!! 

Trailing 4

Sept 23: 3 miles

Sept 21: 10 miles, trail (lost my new headphones for iPOD 😦  

Sept 20: 10 miles, road

Sept 19: 2.25 miles, treadmill – fast

Sept 18: much needed massage

there is no title, damnit

Posted in quotes, trail on September 18, 2008 by afuntanilla

i left work. i walked over to the Target parking lot where my car was parked. i changed my clothes in the car. business suit off. shorts, shirt, running shoes on. i put on my new nathan pack just to try it out for this run…this run which i badly wanted to wipe away the stress, worry, and confusion of the day. 5 miles later, i still felt the same. DAMN! Perhaps I should heed the words of Winston Churchill who said, “difficulties mastered are opportunities won.” For certain, I am in battle. 

Trailing 3

Sept 17: 5.2 miles

Sept 15: 2.0 miles – fast, steep hills

Sept 14: 7.38 miles – trail, 90% humidity, w/ work buddy 

The trail run on sunday w/ my buddy from work was freakin hard. so freakin humid at 7:30am. 90%. My heart rate was way up there on the hills. Ugghh. Was great to have my buddy there. we kept each other going.


Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 by afuntanilla

OK, did you notice I have changed by site AGAIN?? Are you wondering why? Are you thinking, “sheesh..why does this chick keep changing her site?” Well, I just wanted to…I was never really too keen on the white background. I am back to a black background and i like it. a lot! i think this design is pretty cool. 

Training has been light this week. Mentally, I was just in a weird place after having the north face race cancelled. I mean its a bit challenging when i train, train, train and then fly, rent a car, pay for hotel and find out all lis for nothing, basically. It’s like the FUN was all taken away. So, mentally, i was in a weird place. Couple that with some very long work days and trying to figure out a new race to do….and not a lot of running got done. 

Trailing 5 runs =

sept 13: 4 miles – outside, hills

sept 11: 4 miles – treadmill

sept 9: 3 miles – treadmill

sept 7: 12 miles approx. – washington dc

sept 6: 12 miles approx. – trail, great falls park, va

This morning, i decided i was gonna try and not use my car today. And, I was successful. I didn’t have any coffee at home, so that meant I had to go get some. After pondering my choices, I decided to walk about 1/2 mile up the street to Aurora Coffee. It’s not the best, but the best that was within good walking distance. Afterwards, i came home and ran a little 4 miler through my neighborhood. It was about 11:45am; about 80 degrees and 80% humidity. nice. A bit later in the afternoon, I needed groceries and i could have actually walked to the grocery store, but i decided to ride my bike…which i had not been on in sooo long. I pumped up the tires, put my backpack on and headed off to Publix, about 1 mile away from my house. I bought just enough things to fill my pack and headed back home. I gotta tell ya, I feel pretty great about all this. It is cool to DELIBERATELY not drive. I wish i could do more of it tomorrow, but i cannot. I am meeting a colleague from work to go for a trail run. The location is about 20 miles away and there is no way i can ride my bike, run for about 2 hours on trail and then ride back home. Maybe next year. I’m looking forward to the run cause my colleague and I have never run together before and I think he is awesome. Just a good guy, ya know. 

See ya. Train hard. Train smart.

Moving on

Posted in trail on September 11, 2008 by afuntanilla

Last night I signed up for the Rockcreek Stumpjump 50k, a trail race on Oct. 4th in Chattanooga, TN. The link for race details is on the right side of screen and as you can see, the NORTH FACE link is GONE!

I’ve seen the ads for this 50k for a while and have been curious about it. Now, I will get to see and experience it all first hand. yippee.

Train Hard, Train Smart.

Restore the Roar!

Part III: Oh, Beautiful for spacious skies…

Posted in trail on September 9, 2008 by afuntanilla

Sunday woke up with an idea to go into DC and get a good run in before having to head to the airport. Woke up at 7, jumped out of bed and got dressed. Had to wear my still very wet ASICS trail shoes as there was no way I could wear my dry Salomon trail shoes. I headed out to our country’s capital on a truly stunningly beautiful day!! Clear blue skies, not a cloud in site. Unbelievable…the luck that we had yesterday!! I parked right next to albert einstein memorial (near vet memorial) and ran along the park trail. Tons of runners out at 8am!! Ran by washington monument and lincoln memorial and along a route beside the Potomac. Following this route awhile and then I took a turn up into Georgetown. I have been to the area twice before and was neat to be there again. Such cool architecture and neat shops. Passing thru Georgetown, I then headed back to the Capital, seeing Jefferson Memorial in the distance and of course, lots of other buildings like the Smithsonian, Dept of the Interior, etc…

As I ran, I had so many different emotions…emotions related to the area and the history that I was passing through…I felt sadness, hope, humility, embarrassment, pride, strangely patriotic, and very confused over the state of the country and of the world. I felt small in a good way. Smallness reminding me of a bigger picture…of getting away from my own self and remembering how much is going on out there for so many people and so much going on that I have no idea about. But, I did not feel insignificant. We are all significant. In all our own ways….we are all very significant and capable of great things every single day. As I was finishing my 12 mile run, I grew determined. No rain, sleet, mud, hurricane or otherwise will keep me down or keep me from my dreams. I hope you will always pursue yours too, whatever they may be.

Go. Live. Be GREAT.

Part II: Hanna and her storm

Posted in trail on September 8, 2008 by afuntanilla


(This part was written Saturday morning during breakfast at the hotel)

It feels difficult to put my feelings into words right now. I’m so disappointed. Mixed in with feelings of a supreme letdown. Feelings of deflation. Last night/yesterday, I think I was in a bit of shock.

The difficulty in naming how I feel might be tied in to the pure fact that I have been working toward this goal for so long…months of training, days of training, so much mental and physical effort has taken place. So much preparation…


What has been the consolation? Talking to others at the event last night was some consolation. Hearing how others are affected is helpful. A small group made efforts to gather this morning at an area along the race route to run. There were make-shift awesome “aid stations” put down by 2 guys. The signage at these spots said “renegade 50k/50mile aid station”. Very cool.


I arrived at what I believed to be the run location this morning just after 7am. I didn’t see anyone there, but I did see the aid stuff, so I figured I had gotten there a little late and missed the others. It was very quiet out and pretty grey. Rain was just beginning to trickle down. I headed out on a trail and it was quite an adventure. This particular trail ran alongside a creek and was full of small, but growing, puddles, and fallen tree limbs, but overall, not difficult at all. There were 2 creek crossings; the 1st one had huge rocks in a line to serve as “stepping stones” to get across and the 2nd crossing had wooden stumps to get across. I was wondering how long it would take before the water rose and covered those “bridge” areas. My shoes, socks and feet were already well drenched and ankles/lower legs were muddied. I got a little lost twice, but at about 40 minutes into the run, I came across the next “aid station”. I figured this is where people were turning around so after grabbing more water, I headed back the opposite direction. Also, at this time I did not have a hat on and the rain was falling harder. With my glasses on and getting soaked, I could not see a thing….adding an element of danger cause there were plenty of places to trip or slip and fall. I was glad to be heading back to my car so I could clean my glasses and put my cap on. I was enjoying running in the rain; it was cool temperatures and very refreshing.


When I got back to my rental car, there were 2 folks who had taken the initiative to be “support people”. Turns out the guy who was there, he and his wife and her friend traveled from California. They came out to help support her efforts to run the “renegade 50miles” or however long she would make it. Awesome, good family/friends. They also had a bunch of food in their vehicle to offer us other runners. It was amazing, really. It was pouring rain now. The group I had been looking for showed up. They had started in a different location and now where headed out to where I had just come from. I wanted to run with them, so our group of 5 guys and 1 other woman took off.  We ran the same route I had just finished. Puddles were deeper and I noticed we were all sinking further into the mud! It was actually pretty fun. I also noticed my left ankle was beginning to bother me…no doubt from all the side stepping and adjusting I had done earlier to try and avoid the puddles. Visibility was again getting pretty bad for me, and I tripped and fell amongst a bunch of rocks. I had been gripping my water bottle as I landed and so a bunch of water came spouting out. I have no idea how I landed safely…no bruise, no scrapes, no nothing. I just let out a big “whoa” when I went down. Pretty funny.

Soon enough I was back at the parking area and called it a day. 12 miles +/-  Since my ankle was bothering me pretty good by this time, I figured hey, I’m not gonna risk anything right now cause I gotta find a new race to do. I hung out for a few minutes and talked to those folks from California. 3 other guys then showed up who had just finished their running. They started at 4:30 am and did about 25 miles. All very friendly. Completely soaked and smiling, I got back in my rental car and headed back to the hotel.