Archive for July, 2010

the daily route

Posted in 40 mile run, random with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by afuntanilla

I walked down the driveway and turned left. a quick left again and a straight stretch along Garcia Avenue. Walking along in my ponytail, with my Trapper Keeper Binder stuffed in backpack, I always thought the houses were soooo nice. All of them had neatly manicured lawns, pretty flowers, and well groomed shrubbery. The homes were not big (especially by today’s standards), they were very modest, but on the outside, all well kept. As I walked by, I often wondered about the people who lived there; what were they like, what did they do, etc…Some of them I knew just a little because I delivered their morning paper, The Daily Review. A lot of the residents were actually elderly folks. I liked some of them…especially those that game me $.50 or $1.00 tip when I collected the fees for the newspaper at the end of the month. Man, I was pretty damn excited to get 2 quarters, 4 quarters or a dollar bill.

The first break in the block meant that I came to Tim Chiu’s house. Tim was a tall, lanky, very smart and shy kid in my class. We exchanged “Hi’s” whenever we saw each other and I tried to draw him out in conversation a few times, but he never said much. I’m sure we never spoke more than a few words to each other all though Elementary/Junior High School. At recess time, I always saw him with his younger brother and no one else. I wonder what happened to Tim and what he is doing now. I hope he overcame his shyness because he seemed like a very nice person. I hope he is kicking some ass in this life…even though he beat me in the spelling bee! (Tim was 1st, I was 3rd)

The next big break in the block brought me to East 14th Street, one of the big main streets in town. I went into the 7-Eleven almost every day to get some candy; Lemon Heads, Jolly Ranchers, Now or Laters…those were some of my candy staples. I crossed E. 14th Street and on the the stretch of Sunnyside Rd. I didn’t notice the homes on this street because the CATS stole the show. There were a ton of cats sauntering around…more like creeping around…that’s how I felt. All the cats really freaked me out. I felt like they were circling me and getting ready for an attack…staring at me with their creepy eyes and slinky bodies. I couldn’t wait to get passed that stretch of road. Near the end of the street there was a small park that I cut through to enter the school from the backside. Soon enough I was on the blacktop of the schoolyard and then into the classroom. That morning walk always seemed sooo long….but now as I map it out, I’m shocked to see that door to door, it is just about 1 Mile.

Looking forward to being there one more time…

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the pros, the kids, and me

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, random with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2010 by afuntanilla

One of the athletes I admire and have been inspired by is Craig Alexander. For anyone who may not know, he is the 2 yr reining champion of Ironman Championships in Kona. I have followed his career for a while and have read and watched interviews. He has always seemed kinda soft spoken, humorous, and dedicated to his sport. his job. He has also appeared to be a pretty classy guy. confident, yet humble. So…i had seen where he along with 2 pro women triathletes, Heather Gollnick & Mirinda Carfrae, were going to be in Atlanta for a fundraiser for 2 local kids’ charities. Of course, i had to go. The event was held at Piedmont Park on a hot, sticky evening last Tuesday. The athletes showed up and everyone was just kinda mulling about at first. I went up to talk to Craig. I told him how inspired i was by him and then asked him some stuff about his training plans, etc.. So easy to talk to. Very unassuming, humble, and damn handsome. oh, and probably not one ounce of fat on his body. Amazingly lean! The large group split up in 3 groups for a short run. I was in the group with Craig and it was pretty neat to run right beside him — he was good natured with everyone. I didn’t have much interaction with the female athletes, but i saw that Heather was full of spunk and energy and Mirinda was on the quieter side.

All the proceeds from the event (entry fee, silent auction, & raffle) went to two local kids’ charities; East Atlanta Kids Club & Tri Kids Inc. Both organizations are involved in getting kids to be active and healthy and there were many kids at the event. I absolutely love seeing this kind of stuff and being a part of it.

Saturday, I ran a 5k race put on by Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation. I ran this local race 2 years ago and this year, it was substantially larger! There were approx 1000 runners for 5k and about 600 for 2k. $250k was raised for brain tumor research! Amazing. One of the things a speaker said at the end was that it was great so many people came out for event and all the money raised, but it would also be wonderful to not HAVE to host such an event. Amen to that!

This year, I participated as a way to show support for a client who had lost her husband to a tumor. I was honored that she asked me to be a part of her team. She did not run, but was a volunteer at event (and is also involved with SBTF) She was at the Wall of Heroes which was a place where families and friends could post photos and stories, etc…of loved ones lost to this disease. It was not a sad event. It was an event of celebration and determination to beat something that takes so many lives.

I pushed kinda hard in the run. Temperatures were 80 degrees with 85% humidity, so it was far from easy, even for a short distance. As I ran, I thought about my client and her husband of many years and got strength and focus from those thoughts. There were many kids out running, too, which i love to see!

i placed 2nd in my age group and got a very cool medal w/ a butterfly on it…the symbol of hope the foundation uses. While waiting for awards to be given out, I walked around and found a table where we could color in these pictures of butterflies. A lady asked me if i wanted to color, and i said yes. I got some crayons and colored in my butterfly. I was thrilled. This might not seem like a big deal, but to me, it was. I rarely do things like that — maybe because i don’t have kids and am rarely around them…whatever, it was neat. It cracks me up to look at the photos cause I look pretty serious. HAHA

Sunday’s long run began about 6:50am outside. I ran for  4 mile and thought, this (weather) is ridiculous. i’m going INSIDE to run on the freaking treadmill. And, so I did. I ran another 10.5 miles on treadmill for a total of 14.5 for morning run. Later that evening, I went back to treadmill for another 4 for 18.5 total on Sunday …i think treadmill and I are no longer dating; we are in a full blown relationship. i think those 10.5 miles might be the longest I have ever run on treadmill at one time. Why do i have a feeling that is a number that will be surpassed very soon…

The donations for the My Stuff Bags Foundation are coming in and I’m thrilled. Thank you to all who have contributed. Truly Appreciated!!

Overall, feeling ok. Did a couple of other shorter runs mid week. Body has been kinda out of sorts lately, but I cannot dwell on any one thing. I just gotta trust that some days are good days, some days not so good. I’m running on my 2 legs and 2 feet and a whole lot of heart. What else do i need?

Well…maybe some crayons…

a potato story and a little more….

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, road with tags , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by afuntanilla

I used to feel very uncomforatble in taking up any space. I used to behave as though i didn’t “deserve” to take up any space or “have a voice at the table”.  I used to be extremely shy when people offered me things and of course, I never asked for anything.  A couple of examples for better illustration;

Back in early 1990’s, i lived in San Francisco with 2 great friends. Well, one already great friend, Alec, and another person who grew to be my best friend,  Holly. Holly had just moved in with us. While she and I shared many commonalities, we also shared many differences. One difference was in the whole cooking arena. Me and my little self didn’t know how to cook and rarely ate at home unless it was something very simple. So, one day, Holly & I were in the kitchen and I was about to eat a simple baked potato I had made for myself. She, on the other hand, was making a huge pot of Jambalya. (She is from a small town outside of Baton Rouge, LA, so the girl knows how to cook some Jambalya! ) Here’s what was said in kitchen.

Holly: If you wanna wait, this Jambalaya is gonna be ready in just a bit”

Me: (feeling all awkward & uncomfortable), “oh…um…no, I’m just gonna eat my potato”

She looked at me incredulously. Why the hell would someone chose to eat a baked potato vs homemade Jambalaya? Well, what she didn’t know then was how much I DID want the Jambalaya, but I was so queasy about accepting the offer that I simply could not do it.

Present Day – When I go to her house, I practically beg her to cook for me, we eat off each others plates and often crack up at the potato story.

Other examples of how i didn’t feel comfortable taking up space are simply those many times I have been with mutiple people at dinner tables or work functions or anything where people are gathered and sharing ideas. I would often remain quiet..very quiet because I always felt what I had to say was so trivial and stupid. And when I did speak up, i often felt like people just looked at me and when i was finished, simply moved on with their conversation. So…that did not help to give me confidence.  I felt invisible. I felt ridiculous for even being there…

Fast Forward to present day..this past Friday,  I was invited to lunch by some managers in my office. They wanted to take me to lunch and get my ideas on work stuff. So, here I am, at a table with 4 men, who wanted my input. Not only was I more than happy to give my input, but i felt totally comfortable and like i totally belonged right there at that table.

I bring these things up because as i was sitting yesterday morning  being quiet and reflecting, i had these realizations of how much I have grown over the years. And it feels freaking awesome. The whole feeling like i belong…..i didn’t even think about it at the lunch meeting. It was a non-issue. I only thought about it upon reflection. How great is that!

And now, here I am, totally putting myself out there to people, to companies, as I prepare for this epic birthday run. Asking for support…wanting to share a story so deeply personal…but wanting to share because I hope to have impact…to inspire….if i can inspire just 1 person, my life is valuable. period. If i can inspire 1 person to take a risk, to push themselves just a litte more, my life is valuable. period. If i can help to fill bags for children who have so little, my life is valuable. period.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. You make it worthwhile.

And now a few pics from the weekend runs;  bridge along Silver Comet Trail –

One of my favorite sections of trail…so dark because of all the lush green overhang…

Little Tunnel…

It was a bit humid…

A pretty good week capped off with Sunday double of 14 miles in a.m. and 4 in p.m. Drank some Coconut Water for first time. Not the greatest tasting drink, but it sure did help w/ replenishment. For those who don’t already know, coconut water is the purest form of electrolyte replacement. Go get yours!

Getting more and more excited about the birthday run. Have lots of ideas and will be sharing more info and details as I get some things up and running, so to speak.

Train hard. Train Smart. Push beyond what you think you are capable of…FIND OUT!!!

ATL-LAX

Posted in 40 mile run, photos, road, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2010 by afuntanilla

Thursday – arrived into LA & drove straight to lunch at Urth Cafe. On to Peets on Sunset Blvd & then to hotel in Studio City/NBC Universal.  After check in process, etc…got my bearings, slipped on shorts, &  shoes and headed out the door. A short 3-3.5 miles from hotel through the neighborhood. Finished at a small park with towering Eucalyptus trees & some people practicing some kind of martial art on the greens. At approx 4pm, it was a very comfortable & refreshing 70 degrees.  It was not easy to go from about 7 hours of total travel time to hitting the ground running, but I had to get started. On route back to hotel, I ran up the incredibly steep hill that lead to front of hotel.

Friday – awake by 7am and in the hotel lobby for a very expensive $3.00 mediocre coffee! Drank half of it along w/ my Clif Bar. Went back up to room, changed & hit the pavement for another 6 miles, culminating with that damn hill leading to hotel. (I mapped the hill portion; .37 of a mile)  I would have loved to have run somewhere else..perhaps one of the many places that Josh mentions in his blog, but I just did not have time. Most of the short route was run along Ventura  Blvd, where I luckily located a Peets Coffee to hit post-run. After dragging my 2 friends/ travel partners to Peets in Studio City, I was on Hwy 101 for my jaunt up to Santa Barbara. The drive was a swift 1.5 hours north to the local airport where I picked up my best friend who had just flown in from San Francisco. A massive infusion of a bunch a good stuff in seeing her; humor, spiritual -realness connection, friendship of 18 years connection. I was so glad to see and to spend a little time together among the beauty of the Santa Barbara shoreline. Our hotel was literally across the street from the beach. Woke up Saturday & Sunday mornings and sipped coffee while looking out at the Pacific Ocean. The cool air refreshed my body, my spirit.  Saturday night, we had a delicious Lobster tail dinner.  We dined outside as the sun was setting, slight breeze off the water, and the intermittent faint sounds of the docked boats in the harbor. ahhh…i could definitely put that evening on repeat, repeat….

View from hotel

Back track to Saturday morning. I only was able to get in another 4 mile run. Afterwards, I had to head back to LA for an event.

Sunday morning was my long run, almost exclusively along the Santa Barabara Shoreline and then the tail end of it into downtown. Running parallel to the water on a quiet Sunday morning. Ahhhh….HEAVEN!!!!! What more can i say. I needed to see the water. I am not one who likes beaches for the purpose of going and laying out in the sun. For me, the water  is essential for grounding, for quieting, for healing. And for Hope. I always find some measure of Hope in just being near and watching the water.  Hope for what? Nothing in particular, and everything in general. ..hope for practicing non-attachment and hope for a better  existence for all those who suffer. Hope for my ability to be a good friend, a solid listener & hope for better education and greater compassion from us all.  As I ran alongside the shoreline these were some of the thoughts as i took my breath in the unbelieveable 60 degree temperatures. With the running, I felt rejuvented physically & mentally . It’s amazing how much of a MENTAL drain running in the stifling heat can be…It’s easy to notice the physical drain, but the mental drain is much more evident when going from one climate to another. Anyways. I ran a very solid 12 miles and felt like I had more in me, but had to stop and get on with the day.

Heaven!

Stretch!

Goofiness!

Me & Best Friend, Holly

Sunday Morning – ahhh–

We went for a wonderful breakfast at a cafe. Incredible sunflower wheat toast with 2 poached eggs. Yummy. I never get poached eggs! Then, off to drop friend off at airport and i made my way down to Santa Monica and LA. I specifically went to Santa Monica simply to visit the K-Swiss store and pick up a new pair of shoes. I got another pair of the K-Onas. This is my 4th shoe of this same type. Enough said. The only bummer was that I had to get a color I already had as the other 2 options were sold out in my size!

While in the store, I spoke at length to Michael, who was helping me. He is training for Malibu Tri and we got to talking about training & nutrition etc…I just love that…swapping stories.  Also, while I was there, another K-Swiss employee showed up, Joe. He had actually  helped me when i visited the store back in March for LA Marathon. He remembered me and asked me how the race went…how cool is that? The three of us talked for a bit; i shared with them my 40 mile run plan and they gave me a 15% discount on my purchase. I was thrilled!!  To be able to share about your passion with like-minded others is priceless. Thank you Joe and Michael and K-Swiss!

( i will most likely be purchasing the other color i wanted via online…i will need it with all these miles)

Earlier in the day, I had initial hopes of getting in a second run even if it was just 3 miles, but I just could not fit it in…however, all in all, I am really happy with the running I did get in on this trip.

Train hard, train smart and as K-Swiss says, “Have an Awesome Day!”

wow!

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos with tags , , , , , , on July 3, 2010 by afuntanilla

I’ve been reaching out to a few companies and telling them about my run. I have not asked for any monetary donations for myself or the charity I am raising money for, but products to help with the training. I figured if anyone responded at all, I would be grateful & surprised. I’m blown away at the response of even a few…

Nathan Sports was gracious enough to allow me to pick a pack from their website. Here’s what I chose:

This is called their “Trail Mix” pack.  I love the mesh pocket on the front to hold my key(s) & GU Gels. As you can see, this belt has 2 flasks, perfect for runs of about 8-12 miles. If I have access to more H2O along the routes, I can replenish, but if not, I have to wear something else to carry more H2O.  If you want to check their website out to see more of their products, go to http://www.nathansports.com

The other company who has responded is GU ENERGY.  My contact there sent me an email saying he would send me a care package. Here’s what arrived:

In the care package was 2 big containers of their recovery drinks, a HUGE bag filled with a variety of flavors of GU GELS, and a box full of GU CHOMPS (bite sized energy gels). I almost fell over in shock when I opened the box. Seriously. I am excited to try their recovery drink as it is not one I have tried before. All of these products are going to help as I train for this 40 mile run. To see more of GU products, go to http://www.guenergy.com

It means so much to me that these companies have responded – especially since they are not HUGE companies with big budgets, etc..

Also, some donations are starting to flow in for the MY STUFF BAGS FOUNDATION. I’m delighted & thrilled to try to raise money for the foundation, the kids…please help if you have the means to do so. See CHARITY PAGE at right side of page for more info.

Thanks to all who read, support, & cheer me on. It means more to me than I can ever possibly express.

Follow your dreams. Make a difference.