Archive for December, 2010

I beat my secret goal…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

Here’s how  it happened.

After arriving in Las Vegas friday mid afternoon, me & my buddy, Lynn, walked around everywhere. Went to expo. Gambled. Walked. Ate. Walked. Saturday was more of the same. Gambled. Walked. Ate. Repeat. All FUN! We had a blast. I was trying to not be to concerned about how much i was walking around pre-race. This was to be a fun race and not super serious. Even so, I went to bed at a decent hour both nites and only had 1 alcoholic beverage on Friday nite. It wasn’t even very good, but that is besides the point.

Woke up on Sunday and I knew I’d have a good day. I felt good. Only place to get coffee at 5:30am was in the casino/hotel bar. It was um…drinkable. LOL I ate a Clif Bar and got ready to go.

I decided to walk the 2 miles from our hotel to the start line at Mandalay Bay. I figured that could be my warm-up. I have to say it was pretty darn cool walking in the middle of the stip, Las Vegas Blvd, at the break of dawn and seeing only other runners walking or running to the start line. The strip was all ready for us. I passed in front of Bellagio and a song was being sung in Italian. I don’t know…there was something about that moment…the cool air, the sounds, the way the lights illuminated from Bellagio…it was perfect.

I’m  glad I used the walk as a warm-up because by the time I arrived at the start line, it was almost time to go. I had to make one pee pit-stop and sorry to say, I didn’t go in the port-a-potty. I was in a rush and basically went on the side of the road. It was pretty funny. i could care less. you gotta do what you gotta do on race day.

At 7:10am, I was off and running. I took the first couple of miles very easy and just kinda wanted to see how my legs were feeling. I decided I felt pretty good and so I decided to push it and then see….well, I never stopped pushing. Lynn was a trooper AND my roving reporter. She met me at approximately 3 mile mark near the Wynn Casino. She took this pic of me.

She asked me how I was doing; “great”, I said. I think I gave her a hi-five and kept on moving. One thing I noticed was that the pack of runners was pretty crowded the entire way. I frequently had to slow down just a bit to find some room to maneuver. it never really thinned out. I think there were close to 30k runners. I had some Gu Energy Gels with me and was taking them every 30 min or so. The water stops were perfectly situated and there were lots of spectators. Before I got super focused, i was watching the spectators…it’s funny to watch their expressions. Some are cheering us runners on while others are simply looking at us completely dumbfounded. Their looks suggest these thoughts: “what are those people doing? They are running? Why?” But, the best spectators are the little kids who excitedly extend their hand for us the runners to hi-five as we run by. I love that.

As the miles passed, I kept looking at my watch to see how I was faring…I knew that if I could keep the solid pace up, I might have a chance at beating my PR of 2:01:44. Mile 10 came along and I was really starting to feel some fatigue. Legs getting heavy. Mile 11 was the slowest. I was surprised by the severe drop-off. Last 2 miles are back on LV Blvd and all the lights, people gave me some energy. I was telling myself, “just pretend you have JETS on your feet. JETS. JETS.” Well, those last 2 miles seemed to take a looong time. My face was pretty contorted the last mile. I can’t wait to see pics from that mile (if there are any). I was hurtin’ but kept pushing as much as I could.

Finish was 2:03:07.

My secret goal was to go under 2:05. Mission accomplished. Now, it’s on to really go after the BIG GOAL of breaking 2 hours. I know I am close.

My longest training run for this race was only 10 miles. That was the longest I had run since my 40 miler on 9/25. (Sorry, if i am repeating myself.)

I found Lynn under the F sign. (F is for Funtanilla, ya know!) I was so happy she was there to greet me and share in the experience. She was an excellent roving reporter and it was great to have her support.

Roving Reporter

Gear worn:

Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ona

Shorts: K-Swiss

Shirt: Long sleeve RUNATL shirt from The Big Peach

Hat: Adidas

Watch: Garmin 110

The Half

Posted in races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by afuntanilla

The Half-Marathon. 13.1 miles. A splendid distance to run. My very first Half-Marathon was back in 1999; the San Francisco Home Depot Half-Marathon. I recall the race so perfectly; it was in late January, cold, wet & some rain. It’s SF, what do you figure! I wore Adidas nylon pants, Adidas pullover jacket & Adidas cap.(no, Adidas did NOT sponsor me!)  The course basically went all through Golden Gate park and along the Great Highway. 2 friends had driven over an hour to see me run. I passed them twice along the course. That was it. That is some kind of friendship.

The wind along the great highway was spectacular on the return portion of the course; crazy wind blowing me backwards while the waves crashed in the Pacific Ocean to my left. Felt like I was moving in slooooow motion. The final turn led you back into a section of GG park and onto the finish line. I was so so Happy. My 1st Half-Marathon. Done.

I’ve run a Half about once a year ever since 1999. It might just be my favorite distance. It’s long enough to get your body and mind into that calm state of keen awareness and not so long that you are just experiencing pain & fatigue. I don’t know how calm i will feel running along the Las Vegas strip on Sunday, but I’m sure looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the race expo and seeing what cool stuff they have & possibly meeting Scott Jurek, Ultrarunner god. (also vegan, want to ask him questions about this..)

Time goal for race? I don’t really have anything concrete right now, but i know i will by the time the starting gun (or Bellagio fountains) go off. Seriously, my longest run since the 40 miler is just 10 miles. I only ran about 75 miles in November. My expectations are very loose. I want to run, have fun, enjoy every step and see what happens. (i have my secret time goal, don’t we all…will let ya know if i make it or not)

Two pals will be with me and as long as they don’t keep me up til the wee hours playing craps and blackjack, I will be there at the starting line in front of Mandalay Bay on Sunday at 7:00am.

Flight leaves in a few hours. Gotta go pack! Cheers!