Archive for September, 2012

Pressing on…

Posted in photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by afuntanilla

After last Sunday’s 16 miler, I received a massage about 1.5 hours after running. I have no idea what the optimal time is as when one should receive massage post run, but it sure felt good. I’m glad to have found a very wonderful massage therapist here in Petaluma. I felt like this helped me recover a bit better than usual.

Tuesday I went to the gym and decided to do some “speedwork”. I ran 4×400 and then 2×800 all at 8:00/min pace. Felt good and felt pushed. Legs still a bit tired from that 16 miler. Wednesday ran about 3.5 on the streets and then Thursday back at the gym for 5 good miles. Admittedly, my nutrition was not too good this week. Sometimes, like this, I just become lazy about making good dinners and eating enough. I really don’t have the luxury of doing this, especially when I am training so hard…so I need to get my act together this week. (i still wish I had a personal chef, a la Ellen!)

I wake up about 5:45am every work day. And most days this week, it was super duper hard to get my butt out of bed. I just felt super tired in the morning and soooo wished to sleep in. I actually could sleep in and go to work a bit later, but I don’t elect to do this because i would then be stuck in traffic. So.

Friday night I caught a movie in San Rafael. Arbitrage with Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. I love watching Gere and the movie was ok. Felt like I hadn’t been to a movie at nite in like forever! Made my way into San Francisco and had a late night soup and snack at The Waterfront Restaurant right along the pier along the Embarcadero. Enjoyed one of the best Cosmopolitans I’ve ever had and some yummy roasted heirloom tomato soup. I sat at the bar and could see SF Bay outside. Such a view. Such a sight. Never gets old. I walked outside and caught this picture.

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That’s a dock and then the Bay Bridge beyond. It was such a nice night. Not cold or windy. Awesome.

Made my way to pick up Sharon from SFO on a late flight. Happy she got home safe and sound from her journey to France.

Saturday — didn’t do much. Slept in some (THANK GOD) and then meandered down to Corte Madera for some attempts at shopping for clothing. Found nothing at my usual places of J. Crew and Banana Republic. I did, however, get something new at The Apple Store. (no, not the new iPhone 5 although I might in the near future…) It was crazy busy inside as you can imagine. I found an employee and said, “ok. So. I LOVE Apple. But, here is my one complaint…when i am running and i use my iPOD NANO, I can’t skip to the next song because it it touch screen and I have to pull it out and look at screen, etc..i wish it had the features of the big iPOD or the Shuffle so I can just touch the FF button”. Apple guy says, “Well, do you have the earbuds with the remote on them?” “Um…no…I had no idea.” “yes, you can use the remote to skip songs, volume, etc…” Me: “Oh my god, you just solved my 1 little complaint. Now I love Apple even more.”

Suffice it to say, I bought the earbuds. I also asked another employee if there was a way to sync my iTunes from my iBOOK G4 (older version laptop) onto my big MAC. Yes, was his reply and he showed me how. So…today, I synched all my songs. I have been wondering how to do this for about 2 years. I guess the lesson of today is “ASK QUESTIONS, ASK FOR HELP”. My level of happiness went up so much today because I got these 2 lingering things resolved. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG??? I don’t know why, but it is probably related or in the same part of my brain that has me only BUY ONE THING AT A TIME (see last weeks post if you are confused)

Speaking of which…you will be happy to know I stocked up on gels & gatorade this past week. So, Sunday morning. Woke up and didn’t feel good. Felt a sore throat coming on last night and it emerged this morning. Wanted to try for 18 today and as I woke at 6am, i knew it wasn’t going to happen. I took some Emergen-C and went back to bed. Felt like crap. Woke up again and thought it was about 10am. I turned on my phone to see it was 2:00pm. HOLY COW. I knew i needed to sleep! Woke up and made coffee and big bowl of Oatmeal with raspberries, blueberries, almonds, & walnuts. YUM. Started to feel better. Actually, my body was feeling ok. Just my throat and my head were a little suspect. A few hours passed and I felt like I could give running a try. My body felt awake and I felt like I wanted to run. Got all my stuff together and hit the road. As soon as I took my first few strides, i knew i would be ok for a while. The miles were passing and I was feeling ok. I was taking some Powerbar Gels and watered down Gatorade. Ran much of the same route on the east side that i have been running these past 2 weeks. I wasn’t sure if I had made the smartest decision by running today, but I felt like I had to try and it felt great to be out there. A beautiful fall day…about 5pm…the roads were getting quieter, the sun was descending, and the moon rising. I saw it all. Beauty. I called it in at 10 miles, which was better than I thought I could do. It wasn’t 18, but it was 10 and what i could do today. Rushed over to the club to soak in the hot tub for 15 minutes. Ahhh…heaven.

This week, my goal is to take better care of myself with nutrition. Given that the race is in 3 weeks, I now have no more time to try to do 18 miles and have good recovery time. So, my longest run pre-marathon will be the 16 I ran last week. I have no idea what this will mean going forward for the race. I’m trying to stay “loose and relaxed” mentally about it since I knew I didn’t have enough time to get all the proper training in…but…still…

I think race day will be tough and hard. And a damn worthy challenge. As it should be.

ONWARD…

P.S. It’s my birthday this week. Think I need a new pair of running shoes… 🙂

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Clubs, Cows and Kids

Posted in gym, motivation, quotes, random, road with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by afuntanilla

My week of running — spent 2 days at the gym and ran 4 miles each day on the treadmill. Followed the running up with strength exercises. I do believe these exercises have made me more fit, overall. I love going to the gym. It probably helps that it is such a NICE LOOKING club. It’s clean, BIG, lots and lots of equipment and lots of space. I remember going to some gyms in SF when i lived there and they were not nearly of the same caliber, but of course, cost pretty much the same. Anyways, I am thankful that Petaluma has such a place for me to enjoy my workouts/training. It makes a difference. If the gym you belong to is “dirty”, tiny and you feel packed in like a rat, difficult to get to, no parking, etc…all these things can deter an individual from taking advantage of their membership. So. Yes, I am thankful. There’s also a great pool, hot tub, spinning classes and many other classes! The pool area has a semi-resort feel to it. And both a wet and dry sauna in women’s locker room. Where is this? Club One in Petaluma.

I ran another 4 miles on the day sandwiched in between the club days. Ideally, would have liked to have gone longer on one of those days, but just didn’t happen. I have been taking Saturdays off from running. This is something I have not previously done in the past when training, but so far, i think this is a good choice. Legs feel just that much fresher on Sunday. All about quality!

So, here’s what I don’t understand about myself….how i forget sometimes to “stock up” on things I need for my Sunday run. Like energy gels. It’s like…HELLOOOOO. Last night, I go to look in the kitchen for my gels and notice I only have 1. Well, 1 just doesn’t cut if for a 16 mile run. It was late and here in Petaluma, while they have many great things, they don’t yet have a Target or a Dicks Sporting Goods that i could go to that late and pick up my gels. (p.s. both stores are expected to be here in 2013) But, the point is why do I NOT STOCK UP?? Even when I do go, I only buy what I need for the next run. So, it might be 2 or 4. Why don’t i just go buy a couple of cases. I ALWAYS USE THEM. Clearly, I need some assistance here…

Anyways, I woke up this morning and had to decide what to do about nutrition. I had 1 ClifBar and 1 Hammer Gel. Rather than eat the Clif Bar for breakfast as I usually do, I had 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter and a banana. Not together. Separate. I sliced up the Clif Bar into 3 portions and took it with me along with the 1 gel. Out the door at 9am and on my way.

Today was the first time in a while when the sun was not already shining on us. It was a little cool and overcast. I opted to wear some longer pants and a long sleeved wicking shirt. I never got hot so it worked out perfectly. I ran much the same route as last weekend, but with a slight change. I went a bit further onto the East Side of Petaluma and on the outer areas, where it becomes much more rural. I turned left onto Frates Rd from Lakeville Hwy and there was just a beautiful stretch ahead of me as I ran East. To my left was a golf course and to my right were empty golden fields. Way ahead of me, up on the hillside, were vineyards. Beautiful slopping vineyards; some late morning fog still draping them a bit. Gorgeous.

I was basically running on a rural 2 lane road. For Sunday, it was a bit busy, which was kinda a bummer, but I just kept on. I turned left onto Adobe Rd and was on another long stretch headed North. I passed a small, towering grove of Eucalyptus Trees. Took some deep breaths…AHHHH….Ran by many farms; cows about 15 feet away and just grazing and paying no attention to the runner with the yellow bandana. Passed a small Elementary School with a vineyard smack right behind it! How lucky are those kids? Some kids go to elementary school where there are drugs, muggings, right across the street. Some kids go to school where they might not be any running, clean water. Luck of the draw. Purely, luck of the draw…And so I thought about this stuff for a while and how the kids are born into their environment and have no choice….and then become shaped by their environments. It’s all amazing really. Could go on and on about this.

I kept running along. Oh, so…I ate 2 of my Clif Bar slices along the route and had my gel. As I mentioned last week, I felt like I needed to do something differently with my nutrition DURING the run because I felt like I needed more fuel. I had $2 on me and as soon as I could, I stopped in at a Chevron Gas Station and purchased a Gatorade. Unfortunately, this was not until about mile 13. They didn’t have any Chevron’s or 7-Elevens back with the cows. I poured about 1/4 of the gatorade in with my water and used that the rest of the way. I think this did make a difference. I felt my energy pick up noticeably. So…note to self on the gatorade. AND BUY MORE THAN ONE BOTTLE!

I finished at my goal of 16 miles. Felt great to reach that distance as this is the farthest I have run since SEPT 2010, when I ran 40 miles on my 40th birthday! Holy cow…I didn’t realize that…but it makes sense because I had not raced any races over a half-marathon since that time! And the last marathon I ran was in Los Angeles in March 2010. So…here we go.

So, 16 miles today felt hard. I noticed how long I was moving my body, how long I was out there on the road of Petaluma. Some moments, i felt the pain, other moments I was just in a zone thinking about nothing or the kids who might live in crappy neighborhoods and don’t get to see such beauty. I thought about how I am doing my HEART and my heart some good.

Keep strong.

Onward….

this and that

Posted in quotes, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by afuntanilla

Sunday –  woke up early and caught the live streaming of the Ironman 70.3 world championships in Vegas. I was inspired and excited to be able to “watch”. The elite athletes are amazing…their bodies…their abilities…Amazing! I was rooting for reigning champion Craig Alexander and Andreas Raelert. Alexander came in 2nd and Raelert 8th. It was a great thing to get me up and motivated! One of my goals is to finish a 70.3 race someday. Guess I gotta start swimming! And biking! 🙂

Post race comment from Alexander: “I’m very happy with my performance. I think that was the best that I was capable of today. At the end of the day, i came up that much short to a guy who was just that much better.”

He is ALL CLASS! He came in 2nd place….1 minute behind the winner, Sebastian Kienle, who had a bike ride that was out of this world!

By 9am, I was headed out my door and onto the streets of Petaluma. I ran down my road and over to the East side of town. I rarely run in that part of town, but since I was going long, I had to expand my route. The East side of town is pretty much ALL FLAT, which was fine since I had been doing hills last couple of weekends. I pretty much just did a big loop. Nothing really exciting. (not much exciting on the east side of town) I didn’t have my iPod…just me and my thoughts. Was completely absorbed by that ironman race. Then, as the miles went on, i just don’t think about too much other than getting through the run as the pain starts to settle in. I felt my legs start to cramp up a bit around mile 10 and I am wondering if i should start thinking about adding more nutrition around this mile. During long races, I will often grab a banana or orange slices. But, during training runs, i only carry my energy gels. As I kept going, I felt like I didn’t have as much energy as I know I can. So… I want to play around with my nutrition now and see if it makes a difference. Anyways, I ended up running 13.25 miles in the morning. My goal was 15, so i was a bit bummed by not finishing.

I came home, ate, rested, watched tennis, ate some more. Then, I went to the gym and ran another 3 miles on treadmill. I felt like I had the energy to go so i did. It’s important to get time on my feet. Went slow, but felt good otherwise.

Did a few shorter runs during the week and overall feeling good. I’m ramping up the mileage as best i can, but also trying to be smart about it. As I have mentioned before, i do not have high expectations for this upcoming marathon. I just want to be there, have fun and push myself as best i can.

In other news, I am about to start volunteering at the local Boys/Girls Club. I’m really looking forward to this for several reasons. The bottom line is I feel I have a lot to give and I want to make the best use of my time. Looking forward to being around the youngsters!

ONWARD!

Sunday Run

Posted in motivation, photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2012 by afuntanilla

I love early Sunday morning runs. The streets are quiet. The air smells fresher. Possibilities seem abundant and my soul seems more open to take it all in. Life. As I have mentioned many times, this truly feels like my “church” time.

I slipped on my shorts, shoes, shirt, & iPod. I put 1 Hammer Gel in my shorts pocket and 2 GU Gels in my Nathan Water bottle pocket. I wrapped my Garmin watch onto my wrist and off I went onto the vacant streets of Petaluma. Headed West.

I ran a similar route as last Sunday, but with a little bit of change. The first long hill comes about 1.5 miles and takes me up and over a nice crest. I’m headed west, but then NorthWest onto Chapman Lane…a long, rolling street lined & scented with Lavender growing abundantly. As I head down the street, I can feel myself take deep breaths and I am just soaking it all in…this moment. This opportunity to move my body and do what I love: RUN!

Lots of homes on either side of me with lots of space between them. I see some horses, cows and hear the chickens off in the distance. Country.
I make my way onto Eastman and turn left and venture into new (hilly) territory. My pace quickens a little from the thrill of the unknown.

I come across folks walking and a few cyclists out putting their legs and hearts to work on this Labor Day Weekend. My legs are feeling good even with the hilly nature of these first 6 miles.

I look around and just see open spaces. So refreshing. I see the golden landscape that is synonymous with California. I live in such beauty. And, yes, I do miss my running routes in Atlanta. Such lushness there. GREEN! AHHH. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty!

I circle back and head East on Eastman, cross Bodega Hwy and off to Lohrman Lane…another long stretch of a new road for me. This takes me to Magnolia and I’m East headed back towards downtown.

I have a loved one who has a loved one here and I pay my respects as I run by. My footsteps seem to be a little more quiet, gentle.

I continue on and towards downtown where the traffic and activity has picked up. I finish out a few more miles on flatter ground and end close to home.

11.62 for the day. Happy.

Onward.