Archive for April, 2011

stay open. be present.

Posted in photos with tags on April 26, 2011 by afuntanilla

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Palmetto

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by afuntanilla

Sometimes, a race, or even a training run, is simply about finishing. Yesterday, was one of those days.

Since my last race a couple of weeks ago in Clemson, SC, I had only run 5 days, with no run over 4 miles. Also since that time, I had traveled to the bay area and have been super stressed out from work. This was all not a good combination, but I took a gamble anyway and signed up for the Palmetto Half-Marathon in Columbia, SC.  I knew that my performance would be suspect given the circumstances outlined above. What I didn’t know is that it would be even more suspect given some extra circumstances;

1) I forgot my running shoes….my ROAD RUNNING shoes. (if you have seen my vast shoe collection, i’m sure you cannot imagine how I could have forgot the shoes, but i did. Instead of bringing any 1 of my many pairs of KSWISS running shoes, I ran in the only shoes I had. THESE TRAIL RUNNING SHOES

2) We left the hotel at 6:30am to get to the race start . Race started at 7am and I had totally miscalculated how long it would take to arrive at start line. I’m not sure why that happened. I woke up at 5:30am and my buddies were up too. I just fu&*&ed up. We get to the start at about 6:55am. I jump out of car while they go find a place to park. I get to start line, someone says a prayer and sings the National Anthem and we are off. No time to stretch, warm-up or nothing. I even had to scrounge around for a 2nd bobby-pin so i could attach my BIB # to my shirt. (i had only had 1 and an older gentlemen kindly gave me 1 of his, so at least bib was in tact w/ 2 bobby-pins)

And we are off….What was strange about the race was that the course was NOT held in downtown Columbia, which is so pretty and showcases the Capital, etc…The course was about 15 miles from there in a suburb. The route went along a couple of busy roads and then all neighborhoods. The course was almost entirely up/down small hills. A few flat sections. By as early as Mile 2, I knew this was not going to be a good day. My legs felt so heavy…likes someone had attached 50 pound weights to them and I felt incredibly lackluster, as If I had no energy at all. This could have been because

3) I did not eat enough the night before. All I ate at Outback was a small salad and a baked potato.

I saw my buddies at Mile 4 and ran over to their side of the street and told them i felt like crap (i really wanted to stop and just go to breakfast) but I said; “well, I’m just gonna see how it goes. maybe walk/run the rest of the course.”

I kept going. Slowly. Up/down/up/down. I thought to myself. “just make it to mile 6 and see how you feel.” Passed Mile 6. By this time, I had sucked down a GU Energy Gel and felt a little better. “Ok, just see how you feel by mile 9.” By 9.5 miles, I was back to seeing my buddies and I said, “Well, I will see you at the finish line.”

But, those last 3.6 miles were NOT easy. The race director must be sadistic. After a rolling course, they add in a STEEP, LONG HILL at Mile 10. Geez. THANKS. Then, some flat land until Mile 11. Another steep hill UP the freeway exit ramp. Ouch. Then some flat > downhill to the finish line.

For those of you who might recall, at my last race 2 weeks ago, my finish time was 2:02:08. Yesterday at Palmetto was 2:11: 21.

That might not seem like a big difference, but it is and even given the circumstances, I was disappointed. I was disappointed for many reasons, especially because most of what went wrong was me not taking care of myself. And so…I learn.

The good news is that I stuck it out. I could have had a shitty attitude and stopped but I didn’t and I am glad for it. Tasting Life. Still.

Hungry. Still.

Onward.

I’m thankful to Sharon and Parker who were there to cheer me on and cheer me up. Thanks, ladies!

Gear Worn:

Shoes: La Sportiva Trail Shoes ***by accident**

Shorts: Under Armour

Shirt: Nike Livestrong

Yellow Bandana

Watch: Origo Granite Peak

the here and now

Posted in random with tags , , on April 13, 2011 by afuntanilla

I encourage anyone who may read this to stop waiting for the day to “break out the special bottle of wine, the “good” dishes, the better shoes, the better anything that we keep saving. We save things we think are more valuable..we save until we can use it for a special occasion, right? Isn’t today the special occasion? Aren’t you and your company or who/whatever special enough to “break out the china?”

This moment. This day that you are alive is worth celebrating. BIG.

Quit waiting. CeLeBrAtE NOW

running small and tall

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road with tags , , , , , on April 5, 2011 by afuntanilla

So, I went on a very short (2 hours) road trip on Friday with my buddy, Sharon. We went to Clemson, SC for the half-marathon race on Saturday. Still in search of my PR for the distance, but going into this race, i knew this was not going to be the day. Not yet.
Sharon and I checked out some of the course before dinner and saw that it was not flat at all. The course was in and around the Clemson University campus. Beautiful. Lots of green. There was no expo. This was a super small race. Fine by me. It’s nice to mix up the races between big, heavily sponsored races and low key races. We stayed at the new Courtyard Marriott hotel. If you happen to ever be in the area, we highly recommend. Super nice rooms, main lobby, etc…and a reasonable rate!

Being that Clemson is a pretty small town, our dinner choices were limited. We opted for Applebees and both got pasta. It was um…less than desirable. We may have fared better with all the snacks each of us brought, but alas.. we ate and moved on to the movies across the street. We went to see The Lincoln Lawyer. We were both looking forward to seeing it as we both dig these type of movies and I also had just finished the book. Great book, by the way. By Michael Connelly. I have read most of his books and recommend him for anyone who likes lawyer, crime, suspense type books. The Poet is probably my all time favorite and i wish they would make that into a movie! The Lincoln Lawyer was pretty good and followed the book pretty closely. Plus Matthew Mcconaughey and Marisa Tomei were pretty easy to watch for a couple hours! Next up: back to hotel and sleep.

Morning. Woke up at 6am and went down to lobby for coffee. Had my usual Clif Bar and chilled out while Sharon got ready to go. We found our way to the Botanical Gardens, the start location. I loved the small race atmosphere; limited amount of people, low-key. Just a bunch of runners on a gorgeous, crisp morning. 50 degrees. After a bathroom break and some stretching, I was ready to go.

I really had no expectations other than to do the best i could. In my head and aloud to Sharon I said, “if i finish under 2:05, i’ll be happy”. My body the week before had been a major stress ball. All work related and bothersome for me. It was a relief to be “in my element” again and to just GO!

While in the starting area, I heard fellow runners discussing how hilly the course was…i started to get more cautious in my thinking and strategy…don’t go out too fast…take each mile one at a time, etc…

Right out the gate, it was all rolling hills..small, but rolling. It was hard to feel or find a rhythm. I was surprised by my time when I passed Mile 2. I was doing better than I thought. We faced numerous turns around campus and more and more rolling hills. They threw a few steep ones in there also. For the record, I have not been doing much running on hills at all, so i was nervous. Yet, as I passed each mile marker, my time was still pretty good. Mentally, I felt very focused. Even as i passed some water stops, i drank on the run, which i rarely do. I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to break stride. Around half way, we ran over a grass lined dam with Lake Hartwell to our right. Gorgeous. I saw lots of crew teams out with their boats. That was always something I wanted to do; row/crew.

As we approached Mile 8, we climbed a moderate hill. Legs were getting tired. Otherwise I felt solid. I was focused and determined. Felt good to have this mindset. Sharon was there and taking pics. I was happy to see my friend there supporting me!

By Mile 10, I was at 1:31 which meant I had 29 minutes to run 3.1 miles and i would have a PR! I was excited, but knew i had to see how the terrain was gonna be on the last few miles. Mile 10-11, good. Mile 11-12, BAD! Man, probably the steepest hill of the day and there it is…mile 11. Yikes. Tore up my legs. Could not really push like I wanted to. The hill got me. It conquered me pretty good and I tip my hat to it. Mile 12-13 was a mix but  mostly slightly downhill. I was not able to make up the time I lost on the hill. I came around the bend to finish in a respectable 2 hours, 2 minutes, 8 seconds.

02:02:08

Still trying to break PR of 02:01:44  — damn, i didn’t realize how close I was! And on a hilly course! I pushed as hard as I could. That’s what it’s all about. Laying it out there. Gutting it out. For yourself.

Proud. Still hungry.

Gear Worn:

Shoes: KSwiss K-Ona

Shorts: KSwiss

Shirt: technical race shirt from Vegas Half-Marathon in December 2010

Arm Warmers: Nike

Blue Bandana

Watch: Origo Granite Peak