Archive for June, 2010

numbers, et al.

Posted in photos, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by afuntanilla

I first heard about the Western States 100 UltraMarathon back on the eve of my first ever HALF-MARATHON in 1999. A friend was explaining the race to me and as i was about to embark on 13.1 miles the next day, hearing about this 100 MILE race was incomprehensible. I could barely wrap my head around 13.1 miles…100 miles…whew!!

It’s years later now and while I know 100 miles is a lot, it is no longer incomprehensible to me. I mention this because this classic, bad-ass annual race took place this past Saturday. The route starts in Squaw Valley, CA & ends in Auburn, CA covering some ridiculous elevation along with snow in the beginning and 90 degrees+ later in the day. I was following along via the web & twitter to get updates on some of the ultrarunners that inspire me. It is truly amazing what the top runners are able to do…what their bodies are able to do. AMAZING.

No, I’m not planning on running a 100 mile race…at least not anytime soon. 🙂 I just mention this because, there I was, saturday morning, all inspired and amped up!! Damn 100 miles. That’s a long way!!

Here are some tidbits from some recent runs:

Wednesday; 5.25 miles, treadmill
Thursday; 4 miles, 95 degrees
Saturday; 5.16 miles, 85 degrees, 68% humidity
Sunday; a.m. 10 miles, 74 degrees, 85% humidity; p.m. 3o min walk/run/hill repeats. 90 degrees

Diet: all vegetarian.

here are some pics of some of the training ground:

Heading west on Silver Comet Trail (below)

Trying to cool off afterwards in the creek!

It was pretty damn peaceful sitting there after 10 good miles!

At least a couple of days a week, usually after running on treadmill, I will run up these steps. They are the beginning of the 6 flights up to my place. I love running these!!

I know I talk about the heat a lot, but damn…y’all…we’ve had some RIDICULOUS weather here lately. I cannot remember the last time it WAS NOT 95+ degrees outside. Everyday the heat and high humidity. This is not too customary for June in Atlanta. July and August but not June. I don’t even think we had a Spring. Walking across the street in the afternoons to grab coffee just about knocks me out. I feel like my face is on fire. Seriously. Well….what are you gonna do, right?

Like they say, ‘that which doesn’t kills us, makes us stronger’.

Go to it. Get Strong. Get Stronger.

…on my way to 40….that’s almost HALF of a 100… just sayin’

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Bags full of difference!

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos with tags , , , , on June 23, 2010 by afuntanilla

As part of my 40 mile run on my 40th Birthday, I’ve decided to raise money for a charity called MY STUFF BAGS.

I have spent weeks thinking about and researching what charity to focus on and was feeling overwhelmed at the enormous amount of need that exists in our world, in our country, and in our own neighborhoods. I wish I could raise money for hundreds of charities!!!

When I found http://www.mystuffbags.org/ I was immediately touched by their story. It’s a very small organization that uses it’s donations and resources to focus on helping children who have been abused and/or neglected.

My hope is that you will visit their website and choose to contribute to their efforts on my behalf. My hope is that thru this 40 mile run, we can raise awareness to their cause so that they can continue to serve children and that their doors never close.

In terms of donations, I know its easier for everyone these days to donate online, but my preference would be for you to make checks payable to the foundation: MY STUFF BAGS FOUNDATION and mail to me. I will then mail checks to the foundation directly. This is the easiest way for me to be able to keep track. If you choose to donate online, go to their website and see DONATE button. In the comment field, put “For Funtanilla 40 mile Run” in the comment section. This will allow them to track donations for me.

If you need my mailing address, send me an email at afuntanilla@yahoo.com

Thank you for reading and for the support! It means the world!!

Cheers!

sunday

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, quotes, road with tags , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by afuntanilla

“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.” – ANON

Great running yesterday. Woke up at 530am and started at 7am at Silver Comet Trail. Ran a solid 8 miles. Absolutely drenched afterwards. Rested. Ate. Went to office for a bit. Rested. Ate. Ran another 3.5 miles on treadmill in the evening.

Loving my Vegetarian, Semi-Vegan nutrition. Why SEMI-Vegan? Cause I just am not willing to forego half-n-half in the java.

Stay positive. Stay Strong. Stay active.

Oh yeah…i think i need a new pair of running shoes. K-Swiss, baby!

spontaneous adjustments

Posted in motivation, races, road with tags , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by afuntanilla

“Each of us is faced with the same challenge; to put on our shorts and shoes and get out the door” – D.E.

Earlier in the week, a co-worker mentioned he had an extra 10k race entry if I wanted it for today, Saturday. I accepted. I got up this morning, with full intentions on running the 10k race called The Possum Trot.

Morning began with a BAD cup of coffee. Yesterday, I shopped at Dekalb Farmers Market. That is THE place for cheap, healthy, organic food. It is NOT the place to buy coffee beans. I learned the hard way. 😦    (In 3 weeks, I will travel to LA and get some damn PEETS, THANK GOODNESS)

So, i dumped out the coffee and had a little green tea along with my Clif Bar. Then, i looked at the clock & it was 6:50am. YIKES. Race start was at 7:30am and I had at least a 20 min drive.

Well, off I went. Drove up to Roswell in search of race location. I found the area but then had to get re-routed because some roads were blocked off. By the time I found the parking lot, it was already a few minutes past 7:30am and I still couldn’t even see the starting line or anything.

So…i decided to just leave and go run somewhere else. My friend was also not running the race so I was not leaving him in the lurch or anything.

While driving back into Atlanta, I remembered that some people would be out running the traditional “Peachtree Prep Run” and so I figured I would join in somewhere along Peachtree. In case you DON’T KNOW, The PEACHTREE ROAD RACE is held annually on 4th of July in Atlanta. It is the largest 10k in the United States. 55,000 people. Running on July 4th in the Atlanta heat & humidity. The prep run is done a couple of saturdays in succession prior to race day. It’s pretty cool to go out and see so many people running along Peachtree as they gear up for the race.

I parked about 1.5 miles into the race route and started running. It was 80 degrees & 80 percent humidity by this time, 8:00am. Still, I was happy to find some people out there even if I said no words to anyone. I do most runs solo, by choice, but it’s always good to mix it up a bit. I ran along the course for 2.5 miles, incorporating the biggest hill leading up to Piedmont Hospital & then turned around and went back…this way, i would get the longer hill back to where my car was parked. I ended up only running 4.5 miles but since it was this particular route, i was fine with the outcome. It was brutal out there, but i still managed less than 10 min mile pace even with the hills. I added another mile walking around a neighborhood I had never encountered before.

One of the coolest things about the Peachtree Road Race that I was reminded of today is that ANYONE & EVERYONE participates; elite runners, casual runners, people who are overweight or obese are out there walking/running, military folks dressed in all their gear & boots, wheelchair racers, children, people who have never run before, people who run everyday…it’s a race for everyone…running does not discriminate.

Whoever you are, I support you to get your sneaks on and get those feet movin’. Get that blood pumpin’. This is life, baby! THIS IS LIFE!!

Road Trip

Posted in photos, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

One of the reasons I love to travel is because my senses come alive. It’s as if they have been dormant, piled under papers, dust, daily routines and the unfortunate monotony that can happen in life at any time. Its easy to think about Monotony as a “bad” thing…but I will refrain from judgement — it just is.
New places, streets, architecture, shops, city and town landcapes…all those things awaken the senses. Monday morning, I drove from the hotel about 5 miles into more “downtown” Lexington. I parked in a little neighborhood with some fantastic old homes. To me, these homes were a cross between New Orleans, Charleston and Georgetown…tall, somewhat narrow, brick, half porches, some w/ columns. Visually stunning to look at. So different from what I pass on my usual jaunt to the office or just riding around Atlanta.
While running, I noticed some of what I thought were homes were actually businesses: a yoga studio, a lawyers office, etc…

Down the block from where I parked was a little Wine + Market. White coffee cups & baskets of long, slender flour dusted baguettes enticing me through the window. I walked in & smiled at the european styled decor..the painted floor, the array of cheeses, a separate, darker room called the Wine Salon. Two large wooden farm-like tables were in both the wine salon and main room…more enticement to sit & stay awhile. And I did, but I was drawn to sit outside in the morning sun.

Since I was feeling all decadent, I opted for a fresh Chocolate Croissant & Cappuccino. Ahh….heavenly.

The whole experience unscripted, unplanned, spontaneous..spontaneously coming across places that awakened my senses!

Next was the 1.5 hour drive to Cincinnati. This route along HWY 75 from Lexington into Cincinnati has got to be one of the most beautiful stretches of land. Trees and trees for as far as the eye can see. Gorgeous ranges!

Flash forward to my evening and the main event: The SF Giants vs. Cincinnati at The Great American Ballpark.

A bit early…it did fill up a bit. I was still surprised there were not more people in attendance since Reds are doing well this year!

So, I drove from Atlanta to Cincinnati for a ballgame? Why, yes I did. I sure did. If you know me, you will now this is COMPLETELY IN CHARACTER for me. I enjoy taking road trips…it had just been awhile. It was a beautiful, clear, not too warm of an evening. I had a great seat in left field. Watched my favorite team beat a team that has been better all year than Giants have been….so worth it!! A great game and Giants won 6-5.

I had a long 8-9 hour drive back home on Tuesday, but i didn’t mind. As much time as i spend alone, THIS was different. Being in your car all by yourself for hours is really alone. Not much to distract you. It’s easy to get re-focused on what’s important, what you need, etc….and it was wonderful to remember that I don’t need much. Shorts, shoes, t-shirt, money for gas & some food and all is well. Oh, and maybe some extra dough to catch a ballgame.

Don’t miss out on anything. Do what you want to do. This is life, baby!!

my own little relay (of sorts…)

Posted in road, travel with tags , , , on June 9, 2010 by afuntanilla

Today, I wanted to get in a run for the 4th day in a row..before taking day off tomorrow. Here’s how it went:

4 hour drive from Cincinnati to Knoxville

hopped out and ran 3 miles around and near Univ of Tennessee campus.

Found some stairs and did a good 5 set repeat. 86 degrees.

Back in car. Found a healthy, organic co-op & grabbed some goods to go.

4 hour drive from Knoxville to Atlanta.

hopped out and ran another 2.36 miles on treadmill.

–if you don’t think this is tiring….go ahead and try it yourself. i triple dare ya!

posting from the Bluegrass state…

Posted in photos, random, road, travel with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by afuntanilla

Yesterday, woke up a little later than I wanted to this morning and by the time I was ready to run, it was 87 pecent humidity. Not a difficult decision: treadmill. One of the good things about the 40th birthday run is that it will be 90% flat (most likely) — therefore some treadmill training is fine. Another benefit from being on the apparatus was watching almost the entire French Opens Womens Final. Since I had not heard of the 2 women, Schiavone & Stosur, I thought I would not have much interest. Boy, was I WRONG!! They captivated me with their athleticism & strength. And how could you not be engaged with the passion displayed by Schiavone?!!! I loved watching her get pissed off, become energized, jump up and down and climb her way into the stands to be with her fellow Italians. Classic. Beautiful. Inspiring. If you have followed me for a while, you know I love watching Tennis, especially the Grand Slam events.

Unfortunately, my favorite on the Mens side, Federer, fell short this time. He lost earlier in the week to Soderling who will meet Nadal in tomorrow final. Soderling’s record vs Federer prior to this weeks win was 12-0! . That just goes to show us once again, it does not matter what the odds against you may be…there is always that 1 day, that 1 chance, for it to be your time. And it was, for Soderling. Hoping to see Federer come back strong at Wimbledon.

As for me and my running…going along just fine. Slowly ramping up. I think I will look into some short races to run this summer, mostly to mix up the training.  I’ve received such great support and feedback on my 40 mile plan and I thank all who have commented and who support me. I’m pretty excited about it…there will be a lot to plan in the coming months and I know the time will be here before I know it.

Just to be clear and perhaps repetitive, anyone who wants to come and run with me is welcome to join in at any time!! I’m sure I’ll be walking some, so please don’t think you need to be a runner to come out. After the run is over, I plan to have a celebration party/fiesta!!!

This morning, I went out to run at 7:30am…greeted with 75 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Had lots of hills, up & down, for 6.10 miles. Then, I got in the 328i and drove to Lexington, KY. Final destination is tomorrow in Cincinnati. Next post will explain why…

In the morning, I plan to get a run in through these Kentucky streets and thereby knock another state off of those where i have either raced or run.

Cheers to all! Stay strong. Stay inspired.