Archive for July, 2012

The Good of Reflecting

Posted in motivation, road, running with tags , , , , , , , on July 27, 2012 by afuntanilla

Last night, I pulled out some of my old training journals. I’ve been keeping a log of my training for years now. Probably about 14 years. It’s pretty awesome to go back and look at where I was with my running; my distance, pace and how I felt at the time. I found the book that captured the training before I ran my 1st Half-Marathon back in January of 1999 (before the internet truly took off and long before BLOGS began or at least my blogging) Like my regular LIFE handwritten journals, I’m thrilled to have these journals. Even looking at them and seeing how my penmanship was is kinda neat. I have all sorts of books/logs. Some are ones I bought at running stores and are very specific with each day; GOAL. TIME. DISTANCE. AM PULSE. WEATHER. TEMP. TIME. TERRAIN. And others…I have simply used a good ‘ole yellow notepad.

So, reading the log from late 1998 into early 1999 was very cool. I was just beginning to run “long” as I trained for the SF Half Marathon. Here are a couple of entries from that time period.

Date: Jan 7th, 1999
Distance: 10.3 miles
“This was a hard one. Damn, I was tired after. I may have went out to quickly after eating lunch. I had bad pains at about 40 minutes. pain! But, I wouldn’t allow myself to stop. not an option. I even went over my time (goal) because I thought I was going slower and I was. My last 203 miles felt relatively strong. But, days (runs) like this one make me wonder how I can do 26 miles eventually. The only answer is will. My own will. Train, train, train. If I want to, I know I can do it. I can do anything. Thank God, I can run.”

Date: Jan 13, 1999
Distance: 13 miles
“Long, Long, run. My body has never felt so fatigued before. It felt like all I could do to finish. Gee, it was really tough. The last 40 minutes especially. I felt off balance, like I could fall. Disoriented. But, I met – BEAT my time goal. YEAH. This was the toughest run I have ever had. I’ve never felt so fatigued. Now, I know I can do it. I CAN!!”

AND HERE IS THE ENTRY FROM AFTER THE HALF-MARATHON I WAS TRAINING FOR:
Date: Jan 31, 1999
Distance: 13.1 miles
“Well, I did it. I really did it. A 1/2 marathon. I’ve completed something very big – quite an accomplishment and I’m going to let myself have it. I need more room to write than what is provided here in this training journal. It rained Saturday night so I thought it would rain in the race, but it didn’t. It was a little misty at the start. I almost can’t believe that I did it. It seemed like such a big feat and now it’s over. Kinda a bummer. I’m so proud of myself. Proud for many reasons – because I committed myself to something and stayed with it – because I never let myself quit – because I made a goal and smashed it. Because I stayed committed to a program and essentially, myself. The course was pretty and fast; a lot through Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway. It was neat/refreshing to see the big waves as I ran. Some of the wind was incredibly fierce. It was just awesome though. I can’t believe how much the PowerGel helped. It wasn’t actually until mile 12 when I felt real tired – but now I know – I know I can run a full marathon and I will.”

So…there you have it. Some insight into my early thoughts as a runner. One of the coolest things about going back and reading these entries is how it connects me back to gratitude and perspective. If you know me, then you know I push pretty hard at all I do and sometimes lose site of perspective. I think we all do, don’t we? But the relfection also has connected me back with joy and excitement of running and racing, which I can also lose site of sometimes.

As the days near to race day this Sunday, I am already quite excited. I’m lucky to be alive. I’m fortunate to have legs that work. I’m blessed to be able to run. AND, I am gonna try like hell for my #1 goal.
Finish time: 01:59:59 or better!

I urge and encourage you to TRY! TO GO FOR YOUR OWN GOAL! Whether that is running a 5k, swimming a mile, getting a college degree, playing the piano or walking across the street. JUST GO FOR IT!

ONWARD.

Advertisements

Knowing who you are

Posted in motivation, running with tags , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by afuntanilla

As I slow down this week in prep mode for race day, I’ve had more time to think and do other things. Not sure having more time to think is a good thing, as sometimes I can get way too much in my head, but well…you know…ok…onward…

So, yesterday, I wanted to move my body, but not run. My first thought was to go for a walk around Shollenberger Park here in Petaluma. It’s a nice 2 mile loop, where you can see all sorts of wildlife. Don’t ask me what kind of wildlife, because I am not the kind of person who knows. All I can tell you is there are lots of birds and marsh type wildlife. (I’m a city girl who was never a girl scout) It is very peaceful, open, and quiet there, so it’s a good respite from being hunkered down in front of my computer which is where I find myself a lot these days. NEED FRESH AIR! But, I did not go to the park. I made a last minute decision to go to my fitness club instead and go for a swim since it was quite hot. I’ve been a member of CLUB ONE for a few months now, but first time in pool. I think my swimsuit and googles were shocked to be put to use. I had a lane to myself and began swimming freestyle laps. By laps I mean I swim to one side, take a breather and go back. Repeat. I am not a swimmer, you see and I quickly remember why I don’t go more often…BECAUSE FR ME IT IS A STRUGGLE. I feel my lung capacity is like zero when I am in the pool. Maybe I am not breathing right. I did a more laps alternating freestyle no breaststroke. My thoughts turned to: “I can’t believe Michael Phelps has done this all day long for YEARS…I can’t believe people enjoy this…it feels kinda boring to me.” and that’s when I realized that the way I think about swimming is what non-running folks think about running. I got out of pool after about 8-10 laps and 2 elderly gentlemen were nearby sitting and chatting. Be said to me, while smiling, “hey, that’s not long enough…you gotta get back in there.”
I quickly replied. “hey, I’m a runner, Not a swimmer.” He smiled.

And there you have it, folks.

Race day is 4 days. Onward!

1 week to Go

Posted in motivation, road, running with tags , , , on July 23, 2012 by afuntanilla

1 week until race day. SF Half Marathon next weekend. I’ll be so happy to get out there and run a road race again. I have not run a (road race) in quite a while now. Did the trail race earlier this year in March, and as you know, trail races are different beasts all together.

I’ve had a couple of good weeks of running, not great, but good. This week, I plan on running just 1-2 days. My body, i’ve discovered, especially my legs, work well on adequate rest. So, maybe get a massage this week and a short run or 2 and that’s it. Need to make sure my nutrition is all good and get lots of sleep.

I’m looking forward to running a race in San Francisco again. I ran this race as the FULL MARATHON back in 2005 and one of my overall best race experiences! It was a gorgeous day throughout the city and I had lots of friends who came to support me. An awesome day.

This time, I’m going for my goal of under 2 hour finish. My best half marathon time is 2:01:43. As mentioned before on this blog, I ran that time in my very first ever Half-Marathon race in 1999. That race, too, was in San Francisco, but a different course. The course on Sunday will begin in Golden Gate Park and cover miles approximately 1-5, then goes into lower/upper haight, Mission District, Mission Bay/At&T Park (SFGIANTS HOME) and then finishes right at the awesome Ferry Building along with the full marathon. I’m looking forward to it.

If anyone wants info on the race, go to http://www.sfmarathon.com

So, my primary goal is to finish under 2 hours, even if I finish 1:59:59, I will be super thrilled. My secondary goal would be to best my time of 2:01:43.

I think I can. I think I can….

Stay tuned….and keep that body healthy!! ONWARD!

Take the shot!

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2012 by afuntanilla

From time to time, I like to go out and shoot hoops. This activity usually occurs by myself. For a couple of reasons. 1) I usually go do this on spur of the moment. 2) I don’t really know anyone else who would like to go do this with me. 

So. I go alone which is just fine by me. I don’t like people guarding me and getting in my face anyways. 🙂

I like the freedom to move and shoot with no one else around. I like to dribble and drive and shoot and try to make all kinds of crazy shots. The last few times I have gone out and played, it seemed like i couldn’t make ANY shots. Not even those super close up lay up shots. Nothing was going in. Lay ups, jumpers, free throws…you name it and it just really wasn’t happening for me. Pretty frustrating, but I always kept shooting. Because I like to move. I like to try. I like to keep the challenge going. Even though it can be frustrating, it is still fun. 

And, TODAY, was even more fun. Because most of the shots were going IN. Long range, short range, crazy lay ups…they were all going in the net…..SWOOSH…..and that is what keeps me going…those times when you take the shot and it hits nothing but net….SWOOSH, baby!

So, keep taking the shots. Don’t give up when it might seem frustrating. Keep taking the shot. Because, pretty soon…you will hear it….SWOOSH!!!!

On Running…Tennis…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, running with tags , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by afuntanilla

The plan this morning was to wake up at 5am to catch the Gentlemen’s Singles Final at Wimbledon. Then, go run 10 miles. So, I got up at 5am only to see the match wouldn’t begin until 6am…yeah! more sleep. Re-start the engines at 6am. I watched the first couple of games between Federer and Murray and THEN decided to make the coffee, Peet’s GAIA Organic Blend. Yum.
I was thrilled to be able to watch the match on TV. This was the first match I’d been able to watch of the entire Wimbledon Tournament because I had not yet had my cable installed. I finally took care of that bit of business yesterday! Just in time to catch Federer!! I figured I would eat, watch the match and then go out and run. The match then had a rain delay and I decided to adjust my plans. Not knowing how long the delay would be, I decided I would go run on the treadmill at the club and watch the match whenever it resumed. I didn’t really want to run 10 miles on treadmill, but if I got to watch the match, I would be entertained! Thankfully, as soon as I arrived, the match re-started. First couple of miles, I was not too focused, but then afterwards, I was all good. Got into a good rhythm.
Watching Federer play is always such a gift, in my book. He is so composed, so talented and graceful. He is a beautiful athlete to watch perform. Like he is dancing out there…amazing footwork and touch. As I have begun to play tennis, I feel like I can appreciate even more his and all these other elite Athletes talents. Amazing. I was thrilled to watch him win another Grand Slam Final. Unbelievable. 17 Grand Slam Titles. Unreal. Talk about consistency.

So, as the match kept going, so did I. I ran the first 5.5 miles and then restarted the machine since it was going to stop soon anyway at 60 minutes. Re-started and ran for another 5 miles, a total of 10.5 miles. Felt pretty good almost the entire run. Like, i mentioned, had a little bit of a hard time getting going, but then had a nice pace. Ate 2 GU Vanilla Gels to keep me going.

10.5 miles/pace 9:02 per mile.

I finally signed up for the race I have been targeting; the SF Half Marathon on 7/29. Getting excited. Feels like I NEED to race. It feels like a long time since I ran a road race and I guess it sure has been! I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing what I can do come race day! All I can do is prepare the best I can and put my best self forward. A few more weeks of preparation and then it showtime.

Back to tennis: if you were not able to watch the match or the ceremony afterwards, you missed a great event. Murray’s comments afterwards were humbling, touching and gracious. He cried. He showed his humanity. You understood that he did give all he had and how much he had wanted to win. Much respect to him and how he played. I have a feeling these 2 fellas will meet again soon.

Life is about c…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 6, 2012 by afuntanilla

Life is about constantly making adjustments. adjusting one’s expectations, adjusting one’s goals. adjusting one’s outlook and perspective. If we don’t adjust, we may as well just cosider ourselves stuck forever in a rut. Sometimes adjustments are easy and sometimes not. Think of the most recent Olympic track and field trials where a few sprinters missed being on the US team by fractions of a second…no London for them. How about making that adjustment!!

 

Adjustments — it helps if we can keep open minds and remain flexible. Obviously, we aren’t saints and it is not always easy to be open minded and flexible. Life happens. We get angry and frustrated. Yesterday, I had a shortened work day so i decided to use it as an opportunity to go for a random bike ride. Thought it would be good for my legs and be awesome to just ride and go fast on the open roads of westside Petaluma. (i was also in kinda crappy mood and thought it wouid help) Ride today and get a run in tomorrow, I thought. 

First thing i rode about 1 mile over to the bike shop to buy some new gloves because somehow the ones I had are no longer around. Lost somewhere in my cross country move, I guess. So, I got some sweet new gloves and got my tired pumped a bit more and off I went. Headed west towards a loop trail i just heard about from a couple of people in town. All was going fine until I hit a small hill on the way there…only about 1 mile into ride…and I noticed my gears were not working properly. The lowest 3 gears kept shifting on their own and making the peddaling erractic and very frustrating. I kept going, but knew this was gonna be an issue cause I heard the route would be rolling hills and some bigger than others. I cruised down the backside of the 1st hill and headed onto Chileno Valley and started what looked to be a lengthly gradual uphill and started to shift again….more of the same shifting. UGH. UGH. UGH. I stopped and got off the bike and flipped it over. I looked at the wheel and gears, etc..and hand pedaled it to see if I could see the problem. BTW, I had no clue what i was looking for….as I have NO CLUE about fixing bikes. Of course, i couldn’t see anything and I gave up. In this little moment, alone, on this gorgeous road filled with Eucalyptus trees on one side and blonde grass on the other, I was extremely pissed off! I wanted to throw my bike as far as i could. WOW….guess I had some built up frustration from something else!! I turned around and figured I would just go back home. UGH. I so wanted to ride….

On the short ride back into town, it donned on me that i COULD still ride and just ride around town where it was flat. DUH!! I thought about the roads I could go on that were pretty with not a lot of traffic. Off i went, slowly recovering from my temper tantrum. Yes, I think that is what it was. THINGS NOT GOING EXACTLY HOW I EXPECTED!!!!

I ended up riding for just over an hour and while there were stop signs and stop lights along the way, I still got in some good miles. I was very happy that I made the ADJUSTMENT to keep riding instead of throwing in the towel all together. It wasn’t what I had orignially wanted or planned, but it all worked out. Now, I just gotta get my gears fixed….

 

OK…so, now it’s the holiday, 4th of July. My plan was to get a run in…not sure how long. 4 mile maybe. a little faster than usual. I woke up late at 9am. I figured i must have needed it. Don’t fight the body. if it sleeps, it sleeps. It needs it. But still…9am was late for me. I usually am up by 7am on non-work days and 5:30 on work days. Anyway, I had coffe and toast and headed out the door at 10:30am. My legs were pretty sore from 1) 2 days ago aquats, lunges, etc and 2) bike ride yesterday. I know cycling does not burn a lot of calories, but it sure makes my legs sore. Maybe an hour ride was a lot for someone who doesn’t ride? I have no idea.

So, I started running and my pace was fast. I knew I was way too fast and my energy level just faded. My thoughts quickly recall what I ate yesterday…not much at all!! NO FUEL.  + pretty sore legs + warm weather. 1st mile was 8:37. I just stopped. There was no way I would keep that pace up for 4 miles and I didn’t want to keep running slower than 9 min pace. I could feel my body just not “have it” (i also had 2 cocktails last night…that also makes a difference…) 

Unlike yesterday, I was not angry or frustrated about what was happening…I simply just made the adjustment….I walked for a few minutes and then just figured I would run some 1/4 mile intervals. 

So I did. I did 4×400 at just about 2:00 each and I felt good about it. Even in this shortened, adjusted workout, I pushed myself and made the best of it. Made something out of nothing. 

 

Now, its time to eat better and get ready for a better run tomorrow and then again on weekend. Race day is approaching.

 

I guess my unsolicited advice is to be willing to adjust. Be willing to let go of what you expected and make the most of what you have. if we can do this, the moment will be that much better for us. I think there is ALWAYS a way to make it better. It just might take a bit of getting “over” ourselves and being just a little bit bigger. 

 


Final week of June

Posted in motivation, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , , on July 2, 2012 by afuntanilla

The last week of June has come and gone. I’m glad to see the month over as it was super busy and very challenging in just trying to stay healthy in all ways.

I got in 2 short runs this past week. Treadmill run – 3.5 miles at 8:45 pace – followed by solid strength workout. Outdoor run – 3.0 miles at 8:58 pace. Lately, I had been running Saturday and Sunday, but I decided to rest legs yesteday and go for it today. Sunday run – 8 miles at 9:04 pace. I was pleased with this effort. I just looked back in my training journal and saw that 8 miles is the longest I have run on any training day since last OCTOBER. wow. Yikes! Didn’t know it had been that long. And yet, my pace today for this distance was better than it has been in a LOOOONG time. SO, what this tells me is the interval runs and strength training is paying off. AND, it helps to live somewhere where the heat and humidity suck every once of enery you have…BTW, I saw it was over 100 degrees in Atlanta this weekend….YES, its safe to say I am glad to not have to face that weather anymore. Yikes!
Oddly enough, it was cool in Petaluma this morning, but there was some humidity….

I am still reading “Running on Empty” by Marshall Ulrich. I am thoroughly enjoying and recommend for anyone to read…not just runners. He writes simply, yet with a lot of depth and shows his humanity. His adventures are incredible!

As I write this late Sunday evening, I am still feeling good from the 8 miler today. The pace gives me confidence for my upcoming half marathon in SF. I still have work to do, but I am getting there, one step at a time. There were moments today in the early miles where I just had a hard time getting focused, but as I saw my splits on my watch as each mile passed, I became more and more intent. The last 2 miles, I just put my head down and ran. Breathing, running…great way to start JULY 2012

Make it count. Be brave. Be bold. Make it happen.