Archive for June, 2013

Walking, Running, Rolling…..

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, road, running, trail, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2013 by afuntanilla

Post-race week:

Last week, did some walking. Kinda a big deal for me because I don’t really like to walk!

Monday-walked about 30 minutes

Wednesday-walked 6 miles, approximately 1 hour 45 min. A hilly route from home over to and in Helen Putnam Park and back. Petaluma gets very windy in the early evenings and as I walked thru the park, it was just a beautiful sight to see….how the wind made the golden grass on the hillsides sway to and fro. A lovely, calming site….like an orchestra moving together in perfect unison. There were not many people out and it as peaceful there….definitely a ice reprieve from the crazy work week.

Friday – walked about 2 miles

Saturday – first run since the race. I didn’t take it lightly. Drove down to Mill Valley and just went on a random route up and into the curvy, quiet hilly neighborhoods. My level of perceived exertion felt very high. Felt like my HR was way up there. Damn hills. But, beautiful. The smell in these parts is something I wish I could bottle and take with me and put in my home. It is Eucalyptus AND SOMETHING ELSE. Don’t know what THAT is, but quite yummy.

After the run, made my way over to the running store, San Francisco Running Company (located in Mill Valley) This is a fairly new addition to the area and I couldn’t be happier. The store is co-owned by Ultrarunners Brett Rivers and Jorge Maravilla; 2 stud Ultrarunners and cool guys! Brett finished 2nd in the recent San Diego 100 miler and Jorge will be competing in this coming weekends Western States 100 (last year, Jorge finished 8th). So, um, yeah….they do some training!!

Their specialty running store is awesome and I’ve already dropped more than a few bucks there on shoes, shirts, hats, and most recently, the R8 Roll Recovery. This is essentially a self massage device that is like nothing I have ever tried. As expected, it’s designed to reduce inflammation, stimulate blood circulation, etc. I love it and feel it is worth the price. I’m especially thankful for it as I cannot seem to find a massage therapist that really suits me these days. If you use this R8 correctly, it can definitely feel like a great massage on your legs!

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Sunday– decided I hadn’t had enough hills, so I ran essentially the same course I had walked mid week; 6 miles from him to Helen Putnam Park, I don’t know why I am running hills since the next race is Peachtree, but I just felt like it. Hey, I like to suffer, ok. I will say this, it was a lot more fun to RUN this course than WALK it!! A peaceful, quiet, Sunday…no music, no crowds, just me and the open road and trails. Heaven. Church. A different kind of heaven versus last weekends packed race. Different and still awesome.

So, the Peachtree is next, on July 4th, in a hot and humid Atlanta. In Petaluma these days, it is mid 60’s, cool and a little rainy. It’s ok. I know I will suffer. I lived in Atlanta for 13 years and never got acclimated…so, Peachtree, bring it on…I will be prepared to suffer and be humbled, yet again.

Lastly, this coming Friday, Nike will release the results for the Nike Women’s Marathon lottery. If I get it in, I’m committing here and now to go for a PR. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and remember, you are capable of so much more than you think! GO GET IT!

Here’s a little Bruce Lee for ya!

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The SF Half Marathon

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2013 by afuntanilla

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And, so…the day began. 5:30am start in San Francisco. Starting line just south of the Ferry building. A gorgeous morning as you can tell from the photo. I had run down to the starting line as my little warm up. The city streets filled with fellow runners….love it! As I ran along to the start, became more and more awake, enlivened…to do my thing. RUN.

It had been a long time in between races…the last one I did was very different; a super small trail race in Pacifica. The starting line was packed with those running the Full Marathon and those like me, running the Half. (This was the 1st half of the course, last year I did the race but ran the 2nd half of the course, which is actually easier in may opinion.)

My “starting wave” didn’t actually cross the starting line until about 5:50am, so I had plenty of to stretch, warm up and get comfortable. I felt relaxed and at ease with my “game plan”….which s simply run, enjoy and do my best. In contrast to last year when I had specifically trained for a personal best, I did not train much this time. I mean, I got many runs in, but I didn’t focus on speed work, I didn’t get the specific training in that I would have needed to keep pace with my 1:58:42 from last year. And, I was ok with that. I knew when I signed up this would be the case. So.

There was a Cable Car bell ringing to signify the start and off we went. The first 5-6 miles are almost entirely flat as we run all along the Embarcadero, past Fisherman’s Wharf and along the Marina Green and Chrissy Field. Felt easy and comfortable. I kept looking out into the bay….feeling loads of gratitude and appreciation for where I live.

And, then the climbs started. The steep climb up from the marina and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not enjoy this part. I knew I wouldn’t as I remembered this portion from when I ran this Full Marathon back in 2005. To me, running across the bridge is very loud and it FEELS like a constant steady slight uphill in both directions! I guess the path is like a slight arc, but honestly it doesn’t feel easy. I guess I also feel like it’s a bit chaotic because the bridge is not closed to traffic. So, lots of cars swooshing by and other runners headed in the opposite direction since it is an out and back portion. The remaining 4 miles were not easy.  Once off the bridge, we made a steady climb into the Presidio which is followed by a nice downhill section into the final Richmond District neighborhood and finally into Golden Gate Park. I was not comfortable on the climbs as any climbing has been almost non-existent in my training. Ahhh… A good kind of hurt, eh? But, even around mile 10, I remember thinking, “I am actually feeling ok…i would be curious to see how i would fare for the FULL course today.” And then, something happened in the last 2 miles where i just started to feel very tired…like seriously running out of gas!! I was surprised but probably shouldn’t have been since my longest run pre-race was only 10.5 miles. So, as we made the ran the final steady uphill mile into the park and into the finish line, I was Happy I was NOT running the FULL course. Today.

My finish time was right along what I expected in 2:09:42

My main goal while running races is always to see what I can do on a given day. How will I show up? How will my body perform? How am I mentally? As mentioned in previous posts, I had not felt the greatest mentally or physically before this race and I did in fact, have some fears that I would just crack and not finish. But, as I woke and got prepared in my hotel room….as I made my way to the starting line….as I stood there with thousands of my fellow mates,  I knew I was instantly stronger in every way. THAT’S why I do this. It was great to get out and be a part of the race and feel the enormous energy and camaraderie. I needed that.

I never really care how I finish overall, but I do care and like to see how I fare among my sex and age group: women 40-49.

Here were my numbers from this year :

Females 40-49    121/618

Which I think is good, especially on the tougher part of the course.

To contrast, here are my numbers from last year when I ran the 2nd portion of the course and had a PR

2012 Females 40-49    54/415

Which I also think is good.

Some comments about the race logistics, etc: Race Expo was ok, but it was VERY, VERY hot in the building so that made it uncomfortable to stay long. I was also super aware of how commercialized it all is….seems like every year, the feel of an expo appeals to me less and less.  I used to love going to these things and now I have more like a “get me in, get me out” attitude. But, that’s definitely the nature of big races and I have to expect that….if I want something low key, there are plenty of options for that!!

The Race organization itself was awesome. Even their communication per-race, with sending emails and letting us know security would be enhanced and to arrive earlier than usual. And yet, there was no waiting or anything at the starting line, everything was clearly marked for each different starting wave and just simply well-organized. There was enough of water, Gatorade, etc on the course and the volunteers were terrific, as usual. Massive thank you to all the volunteers. I realize some were probably starting their VOLUNTEER shift at 4am or earlier. THANK YOU! The finish line and snacks afterward were more than sufficient. I took a shuttle bus back to the starting line and that was easy as can be. So, overall the WIPRO SF HALF MARATHON was terrific.

I made my way back to my hotel, changed and met a friend for breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley.  A great Sunday morning.

Thank you to my friends who cheer me on, near or far, in person or in spirit. Thank you!

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Shoes: Brooks T-7 Racer. super light shoe, felt good but would not want to run in full marathon, but good for this distance. Would want more support for longer distance

Also wore: compression socks for the first time. loved them and will use again.

Next up: The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4th!!

“Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary behond comprehension. But it also made him free.” –John L. Parker Jr.

being alive

Posted in running with tags , , , , on June 15, 2013 by afuntanilla

I am reminded that it’s Fathers Day tomorrow. A holiday that has been very much a non-event day in my life. In fact, it has usually been a day I don’t even remember or know about. But, being that marketing in our world has severally ramped up ALL holidays, I am very aware of “what to get dad for father’s day”.

I never knew you. Don’t remember you. You were gone (for whatever reason) before I could walk. In my early years, I heard a few tidbits about you; you liked sports, maybe were a baseball player, your family was from Palo Alto. That’s about it.

Over the years, maybe you tried to find me. Maybe you didn’t. I made a few half-hearted attempts to find you. A bit challenged as all I know is your first and last name. Period.

I have 2 pictures of you and I when I was not even 1 years old. I come across them occasionally and give you a thought or two. “My dad” comes up in conversation now and again, and I will be reminded of you at those times also. But, other than that, you have been a passing thought, at most. I don’t say that meanly…at all. It’s just that when you have no experience with someone, what is there to miss or have many feelings about.

But, sometimes, a little sadness does creep in and I guess that is why I am writing. And, I realize, I give this, you, No attention whatsoever. I forget. I forget that it was indeed, 2 people, who created me. This was not an immaculate conception!

So…one of the cool things about knowing nothing about you is I get to make it up. I get to make you whatever I want. How cool is that!

Of course, how can I not be a bit like you, right??? Isn’t that what they say? I’m well aware of how I am like mom….so how am I like YOU?

Well….i am NOT tall, as you seemed to be in photos. But, I do consider myself, dark and “handsome” (for a woman) so i’ve got that going for me.

Of course, I am sporty…athletic as can be. Not great at any sport in particular, but can hold my own. So, I guess you do and are too. You are also thoughtful, caring, big-hearted and have a big love of baseball. You’re a dreamer. You’re a charmer. You can be with groups, but you prefer to journey solo and be independent. You are curious and wowed by many things. Life amazes you. Not many things truly piss you off, but seeing injustices in the world, is one of them. I am with you there, dad. Big time.

You are also things I am not but wish I was….light hearted, care-free, with an ability to let things go very easily. How do you DO that??! I’m trying…learning. You are also pretty thick skinned, so i guess i got my thin-skinned sensitive self from mom. crap. Can you give me some of that?!!

One of the greatest things about you is how when you are with someone, you are truly there and give them you full attention. You don’t know how rare that is. Don’t ever lose that quality about you, ok.

So…you…Ken, Dad…what else to say? Thank you for helping to create me. Thank you for giving me life. This precious life that I do hold so dear. This life that I do find at times, both wretched and glorious. My teary eyes pool as I finish this. I am not sad. I am alive.

Tomorrow, on Fathers Day, I’ll be running through the city where you gave birth to me. Look for me ok? And give me a big cheer!

Thank you!

insight

Posted in motivation, photos, races, running with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by afuntanilla

So, I’ve gained a bit of insight into my physical funk feeling. It HASN’T all just been due to some personal stuff happening —

I’ve been having some lingering problem with dental stuff. Yes, dental stuff. I had a crown put on about a month ago, along with 2 separate fillings. I was in some serious pain afterwards for about 3-4 days. UGH! Then, I was good for about 2 weeks. Then, some newer pain emerged in same tooth. I finally went back to dentist 2 weeks ago and she thought it was my bite…so she worked on that and the pain was alleviated for about a week. Then, last Saturday, I encountered more pain and knew I had to go back and see what the hell was happening (probably need a root canal, i think). Then, I noticed my right cheek was swollen. (tooth is on right side) So…no brainer, swollen cheek has to do with tooth problem. All this while, I was noticing my physical self not feeling 100% — feeling sluggish on runs, unfocused, etc…and never did I link the 2 together….until, a friend of mine says….”well, you probably have an infection and need antibiotics.” So, sure enough, went to dentist today and confirmed that same tooth I just had the crown put on about a 5 weeks ago now needs a root canal. She gave me prescription for antibiotics and I’m already feeling a little better. Root canal is scheduled for Monday, the day after SF Half Marathon Race.

As soon as I left dentist office today, I felt better because I had an answer as to what has been going on. It sucks to NOT KNOW.

I still have no idea what to expect of myself on Sunday, but I’m excited. Tomorrow I will head on down to the expo and I’m looking forward to that event. Hope they have some cool swag!

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Fog

Posted in photos, quotes, road, running with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2013 by afuntanilla

Howdy. So, I am on the heels of another race; the San Francisco Half Marathon 1 week from today. The event has 3 parts actually; the full marathon and then the choice of running either the 1st half or 2nd half marathon. Last year, the race was in July and I ran the 2nd Half Marathon and had a PR of 1:5842. I was beyond ecstatic. I was so jazzed! So proud. If you follow me, you know I had been trying to get under 2 hours for the half for some time.

So. As the race was approaching this year, I signed up. I didn’t sign up with enough time to properly train for another PR and honestly, at the time I signed up, my mindset was this: “I just want to RUN THE RACE. I don’t have a serious stake in how I finish, I just want to RUN.”

And, so. I’ve pretty much “trained” with that mindset too. Last year, I specifically trained to beat 2 hours and this year, I’ve just been running without a real focus on time. And honestly, as I sit here today, one week prior to race, I realize I don’t like that mindset at all. Here’s why; it’s left me without a REAL GOAL and REAL FOCUS. While this may be ok for others, I need this. I know myself well enough to know I absolutely THRIVE with goals. They make me feel like I have purpose and actually, help keep me sane. This all came into focus during this weekend of 2 short runs.

Yesterday, I drove down to San Francisco to run near the water and along a short portion of the course along Chrissy Field. It was clear skies  where i live and about to get super hot, but as soon as i crossed into Marin, I could see the lovely morning fog hovering over the Marin headlands and into SF. It was so foggy, once I was on the Golden Gate Bridge, I could not see anything. I’ve been to the city a lot lately and this was one of the foggiest mornings in a while. Anyways… I parked at Chrissy Field and began. My legs felt ok to start, but pretty quickly, I felt their fatigue. The first 2 miles had some uphill climbs into and around the presidio. I specifically wanted to run up this portion as it is the same on race day. Complete fog and gray skies all around made for perfect running weather. I love the cool breeze on my face and the usual smell of the towering Eucalyptus trees. But, all the while, I was not entirely focused. Not the way I like to be….focused in a way that actually allows me to enjoy the run. I was feeling sluggish, crabby, not focused and ran 5 miles. I was ok with the distance, just not with the way I felt.

Then today, I went out for what I thought would be 5 or 6 and ended up running 2. Yes, 2 miles. I can honestly say I was physically not feeling great and mentally even worse. Some of all this has to do with some personal things I have going on. They are definitely weighing on me and most of the time, running can be a great respite, but I am spending so much mental energy on other personal things, I could not push through today. And, yes, this bothers me. And I do think, if I had a SPECIFIC goal, my experience might be different, almost undoubtedly so…because without a goal, it becomes WAY too easy to stop, to go slower, to not push, to essentially slack off. Because the mindset is different.

Some may read this and think, well do you have to push all the time, have goals all the time, etc….and of course, there has been and will be time for that, I’m just finding that for me, right now, a goal-less mindset is not serving me best.

So, I have to adjust. I wish I was running better, faster, but I am not. And it is not lost on me that I have the ability to run. I have deep gratitude for what I am able to do with these legs, this body. Right now, I am probably running somewhere between 2:05-2:10 finish time. I will take this week to try to figure out what I think is realistic and shoot for that. At this point, I am not sure of anything. The goal may simply be to finish the damn race.

Need to get my mind and my heart right….sometimes, it ain’t easy.

A few pics from Saturday’s run in SF:

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an answer

Posted in motivation, quotes, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2013 by afuntanilla

Yep

“Stepping outside my comfort zones is the price I pay to find out how good I can be. If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult, I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting.”

-Des Davila

The newest

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