Archive for the bike Category

Catching Up

Posted in bike, photos, road, running, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

These past few weeks: Another awesome bike ride with Jason. Went out on an mid week early morning. Weather was cool, foggy. I added arm warmers to my body but other than that, stayed with just shorts and bike jersey.

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(Jason in fog)

We did our same 25.5 mile loop and I felt good. The route was the same but the scenery changed due to the foggy conditions. A different kind of beautiful. So peaceful out there…I love it!! Awesome way to start my work day.

The next 2 weeks I traveled to Kansas City, MO & then Atlanta, GA. Obviously, both not easy places to run in during the summer months. I also have learned that for me to try to run the day after a long travel day is absolutely useless. I ran the day after I arrived in KC after long day of getting there. Run was painful. I also ran the day after I arrived back in CA after super long day of travel. That was doubly painful. I think I have learned my lesson. I can do the run of course, I just don’t find it enjoyable after such long travel days….but I feel like I just have to exercise because of all the sitting, etc…hello….conundrum! Anyways, in between those instances, I ran 3 days (4 miles each) steadily in Atlanta and was glad to get those morning runs in before work. Did a lot of driving while there, so moving my body beforehand was perfect! Humidity/heat was not as bad as expected for this time of year. Bonus! I ran on the same path each day….a flat path with a gazillion trees hovering around. Ahhhh….THIS I miss very much!! The plethora of soooo many trees! Beautiful, luscious, invigorating, and yes, thank you for the shade! The last day of running there was eventful in that I tripped and fell AND then narrowly avoided a snake. I’m sure the snake was harmless, but a snake is still a snake. Also, no scars or nothing from the fall. A tiny bruise, if that. Darn it.
Much of the path is laden with wood planks because the area is basically akin to a swamp. Every morning, it was deliciously quiet out there with just my footsteps and the soothing & familiar sounds of the cicadas.

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(playing w/ the shadows)

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After a full travel day back home from ATL, I desperately wanted to move my body the next morning. I knew I would be sluggish, but I just HAD to move. You know that feeling, right?? Also, after the flat path in GA, I was hungering for the dusty trails of Marin. I opted for the Dipsea steps and trail. Ahhh….the steps I crossed with happy, gentle, tired feet…the steps that took my breath away….over to the windy trail with scores of scattered fallen Eucalyptus leaves under my stride. Down and then back up the steep, dusty, rocky, section….my legs happily aching…running over to a section I had yet never been…the sunrise trail that goes .7 mile out and then the same return. An easy runnable section with fantastic views (even with the cool foggy morning). Taking some deep breaths and smiling, happy to be home again…happy to move my legs, grateful for everything.
Back down the Dipsea steps after a slow 5 miles. Just what I needed.

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Part of the Dipsea Trail

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Part of Sunrise Trail

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Saturday 8/2

Posted in bike, road, running, shoes with tags , , , on August 10, 2014 by afuntanilla

(2 short runs mid week)

After some back in forth in my head, while laying in bed, about whether to ride or not, I.e….whether to get my butt out of bed….I did! Lesson: don’t try to decide whether to go exercise while laying in bed. Most assuredly you will NOT! Thankfully, today, I got vertical and made the coffee….
I don’t have any specific thing I’m training for which also makes the decision to stay cuddled and nestled up under the covers quite easy…but, I knew once I got moving around the house, outside is exactly where I wanted to be!
I only wanted to ride about 16 miles so I rode a partial reverse route of the one I have mentioned lately. As I began, I immediately saw the cyclists who were out on the Marin Century ride (and other distances). An added benefit to see them and be additionally inspired. My buddy, Jason, who I’ve been riding with was doing this 100.
I didn’t know how far into the ride this distance was for them, but the first groups I saw looked like some solid cyclists….fast, focused…
I rode straight up and over Western and hung a left on Chileno Valley. Took that route for about 8 miles out and reversed course. The race group was on the same route and I had to refrain from trying to stay with some of them….had to just ride my pace and do my thing….not always easy sometimes…get excited! Like in running, very cool to see so many different people, different body types, ages, and abilities….from those looking super slim and fit to those who are carrying extra weight….to those who are riding at 25 mph & those who are much more leisurely….they are all out there! Love it!

I had decided when I finished that I would hop off bike and run just a couple. Just because.
I discarded helmet, gloves and exchanged bike shoes for my Nike Flyknits and off I went. Ran 2 at a fast pace and felt really good. I love the way this feels….that transition from bike to run….the movement from pedaling & propelling to the rotation of foot on land…

A good morning. And to think I could have let it go….

big ring, little ring and a lot of space

Posted in bike, gym, photos, road, running, trail with tags , , , , on July 17, 2014 by afuntanilla

My body feels tired. I just got up from an hour long nap. These types of naps are not uncommon…a few days a week, I take the pleasure of these wonderful opportunities to rest my body. I’m thankful I have the time to do so. I wake early for work and when I get home mid-late afternoon, if I can sneak in a 30-60 minute nap , I indulge. Even so, my body, right this minute, feels tired. Or, more accurately, sore. My legs feel stiff, heavy. My hips and lower back are tight and need stretching. My right upper leg/hip are are especially tight and generally feel out of whack….I know this is because of my cycling and more specifically from the session I did last week on an indoor bike at the gym. As I am new to consistent cycling, I now realize, that riding on the gym bike was a bad rookie move. And, I am still paying the price 6 days later. For the last 6 weeks, I have been consistently riding my own bike and getting familiar with it…learning it’s ways, getting to know the feel of it under my body. The gym bike was, of course, a general bike for anyone. As soon as I took my seat and began pedaling, I physically felt all sorts of wrong. Especially in my seat area and I could not adjust it to feel better. So, being me, I just do what I do; hammer away and through the planned workout of 40 minutes cycling. This was after a fast 20 minute run on treadmill. (Why did I do this inside? Because for a shorter ride like this, it’s not really safe or easy to ride on the roads in town after work. I thought it would be easier to do this short back-to-back workout at the gym)

Anyways…I rode and when I tried to peddle a bit faster, I could feel a strain on my right side because I was just not seated correctly. When I finished the workout, I felt fine. I even thought maybe I should have gone longer or pushed harder….
Well, the next day, I was in a world of hurt. The tightness and soreness in my legs/hips were nothing I have experienced in quite some time. It was this unfamiliar soreness within a myriad of muscle groups that have not seen much action. I know what soreness from running is and what it feels like. I have been getting to know the soreness from MY bike….but, THIS…..this was the unknown and the wicked, wicked witch of the west! I was hobbling along during the day…walking in all sorts of crooked manners to try to deal with it. I needed help so got a last minute massage that definitely helped. Hips, hamstrings, gluteus, and back got all the attention!
So, it IS fair to say I won’t be riding at the gym again. Probably ever!
I took 2 days off from any exercise and then had a slow, a bit awkward, 50 minute run in Golden Gate park on Saturday. Awkward because the area in my upper hamstring/right hip area continues to feel off.

As the week went on, I realized how tight all these aforementioned muscle groups are and so have been trying to spend time daily to loosen them up with different stretches. Lots of hip flexor stretching! I’ve know all along for years this area was tight, but it’s a whole new level of tightness now! Anyway, was glad to get the Saturday run in and then on Sunday, I went for a bike ride with a friend. He is a pretty experienced cyclist who rides for a local team and races. This was the first time going out together. We spoke a few weeks ago and I said I could go with him when he needed a slow/recovery ride. He had ridden 85 miles on Saturday in the Sierras, so a recovery ride on Sunday was in order for him. I was excited and a bit intimidated, of course. I just wanted to not slow him down too much.

Let me preface this next part by saying I’ve had my bike for 10 years and it’s a nice bike with good components, however, I don’t know much about the “mechanics” or when to use what and why…a rookie, you know!
And for the past 6 weeks, I have been riding in the county with some slight hills, nothing major, but some rides have more rolling hills and such, so it is a challenge.

So, we leave from my house and after the first familiar stretch, instead of turning left, we decide to go on his loop so I can do something different, which is straight ahead. Up a nice long steady steep stretch…which was also a very bumpy and rough road. I’m riding along in my easier gear and going as well as I can and staying close. We finally get to the downhill and let it go and it is FUN!!! But also scary (for me) because I was going so fast over this bumpy ass road and my eyes were watering from the cool temps and I had trouble seeing a few seconds here and there through my glasses. I was holding on to my handlebars….holding on for dear life it felt like. I definitely felt out of control at some points because I couldn’t see the bumps in the road all that well and was freaked out I was gonna fly off the bike! Whew! A thrill! Crazy and scary and an opportunity for me to figure out my own comfort levels of speed on a road like such!
As we rode along, he was checking me out and how I fit on my bike, etc…he was asking me about my gears and telling me to switch to my smaller chainring. I’m like “what??”. He goes on to explain the whole OTHER set of gears I have on the left hand side of the bars. (Remember, I am a rookie) He proceeds to tell me what those are for…the small chainring is for me to use when I am climbing steep hills…like the one we did earlier. He could not believe I did that hill in my Big chainring because it makes it THAT MUCH HARDER! When I used it on some remaining hills, I was shocked and amazed at how much easier it was! DUH!!!!!!
We both got quite a laugh out of this!

It does beg the questions though of; what did I think those gears were for and why didn’t I ever think to look into it? I know I have 2 chainrings and know I had not been using the smaller one, so why didn’t I question this? All long, I was using my easiest gear on my BIG ring, but I could have made my experiences that much easier and more comfortable had I known about the other…

This lesson…it is not lost on me…the making things hard no when they could be so much easier.
I can’t help but ask; “how is that like my life?”

I’m laughing!!

It was really fun to ride with my friend who is quite experienced. Can’t wait to do it again! Oh, and he gave me quite a few compliments on my riding ability/strength so I definitely take that as a positive! 🙂

Later that day, early evening, I just felt like getting on the trails. I went up to Helen Putnam and ran/hiked for another 50 minutes. Loved and appreciated the beauty, quiet, and space of both activities right in my backyard!

Wednesday: 20 minute run, 40 minute bike

Saturday: 50 minute run, Golden Gate Park

Sunday: 25.5 mile bike ride (morning); 50 minutes trail run/hike (evening)

 

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update…

Posted in bike, motivation, photos, random, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2014 by afuntanilla


Been running, cycling, kayaking (for the 2nd time ever), flew a kite (barely…for the 1st time) hanging at beach…all outside my door and/or within 1 hour drive. This is why I live in the Bay Area! 

Got into riding my bike in June more than ever before. Probably will sign up for a short Duathlon in August. Have really been enjoying adding the cycling bit to my days. Even more, I like the what it feels like to Run after cycling. And, i’m finding my pace is even faster…which is really fascinating.

I have done 1 duathlon in the past….way back in 2005 after I first got my bike. That was when i lived in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to doing this one in the near future. I definitely have not been running as many miles, but the ones I am doing have all been quality, so i’m ok with that. I need to spend more time on bike to increase my abilities here. I may do another half-marathon in early SEPT. Still undecided….

June:

Cycling = 130.3 miles

Running = 53 miles

Included in this is 5 sessions of bike+run.

Am enjoying this variation of training, both how it feels physically and how I am sparked to learn more about how to improve my cycling, how to ride in various conditions, etc…it’s a whole new world…cycling. And, it’s pretty fun to go downhill!!

July is off to a strong start and i’m looking forward to seeing what I can do! The kayaking was ok…after an hour, I got kinda bored. LOL — I need more speed, I guess!!

Hope Rides Again

Posted in articles, bike, motivation with tags , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2009 by afuntanilla


Why I Ride: An Open Letter
by Lance Armstrong
WHY I RIDE
About a year ago, during our LIVESTRONG Summit in Columbus, Ohio, I started thinking about returning to professional cycling. I knew I could compete at the highest level of racing but this time I was motivated from a different perspective.

Meeting so many people over the years…so many survivors…has built in me an ever greater sense of urgency addressing the hurdles in cancer control and, ultimately, telling survivors’ stories. The stories tell it all. The triumphs and challenges are all part of the LIVESTRONG community and the human narrative. That collective, grassroots movement built by all of you has been remarkably powerful for me personally and also powerful in moving cancer back into the consciousness of decision makers.

That energy is why I am riding again: to make cancer a global priority.

A GLOBAL SOCIAL MOVEMENT
Cancer will be the leading cause of death, globally, in 2010. This disease affects 28 million people worldwide. Its projected growth over the next 20 years statistically dwarfs other diseases. In many parts of the world, cancer is considered a death sentence. Survivors are labeled and cruelly stigmatized. With 30 to 40 percent of all cancers being preventable, a shared global strategy that combines prevention and innovation is essential. As LIVESTRONG and our partners continue to build a global social movement, it’s imperative that we tie the strands of all disease control together to be more effective.

We know the numbers. We know various ways to control this disease. We know how to better care for those suffering. We know where triggers exist. Simply put, we know a great deal. What is missing in this equation is a global focus supporting those who are suffering in silence, organizing community action and aggressively developing the most innovative research.

THE SUMMIT AND BEYOND
The purpose of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit is to draw the eyes of the world to the global cancer burden and also the challenges of stigmatization. Our Dublin Summit and global campaign will provide a platform for telling the stories and highlighting the outstanding work going on around the globe to alleviate the pain and suffering of cancer. Over the last six months, our LIVESTRONG team and I have met with various prime ministers, health and finance ministers, parliamentarians, cancer experts, NGO leaders, advocates and, of course, survivors to see how can we continue to push for fresh investments in cancer control. We have asked leaders all over the world to offer new “commitments” in making cancer a global priority. The response has been tremendous and this same cross-section of leaders – well-known and not so well-known – will all be collaborating in Dublin for two and half days of forward-thinking action.

We will see participation from all five continents, 62 countries, over 300 commitments and an anticipated 500 delegates, joining together in Dublin from August 24th-26th to make cancer a global priority. The growing global network of advocates spurred by this Summit has committed roughly $200 million in fresh investments, just as a start. Government commitments are estimated in the billions. While financial contributions are obviously important, other leaders will be using the Summit to announce significant policy shifts, advocacy campaigns or direct services to survivors. So, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit is providing the license and platform in which to highlight great advances and collaboration on the next steps for action.

Some examples include:

Jordan:
$300 million for the King Hussein Institute for Biotechnology and Cancer, funding three cancer control initiatives, including creating an Office of Advocacy and Survivorship

Netherlands:
The Dutch Cancer Society will be introducing web-based clinical trials.

China:
The Chinese Anti-Cancer Association is planning to screen 530,000 women per year in 30 provinces

Brazil:
TUCCA (Brain Tumors Assoc. for Children and Adolescents), will be building the first pediatric hospice in Brazil

Australia:
$2 billion in the new Australian government budget for cancer control

LET’S CHANGE THE EQUATION
Building a social movement takes time, focus and ultimately an impassioned, consistent and active chorus of voices for change. LIVESTRONG has become a community for people from all over the world doing just that. While the Dublin Summit and continuing global campaign provide an occasion for elected leaders to tell their stories and exhibit truly innovative practices in combating this disease, it is also about individual advocates, multilateral organizations, NGO’s and community-based leadership all over the world working together. LIVESTRONG can only accomplish progress in partnership with others, collaborating across all sectors on prevention and innovative practices.

It’s so empowering to see individuals all over the world advancing this issue in the most creative ways. It’s also encouraging to see more leaders in power taking innovative steps. LIVESTRONG chooses lead as a source for inspiration, knowledge and by offering the tools to build this newly emerging global social movement.

What a great reason to ride again.

Thanks for all you do.

My “Renegade” race and more

Posted in bike, photos, road with tags , , , , , on May 11, 2009 by afuntanilla

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The above photo was taken after I finished my “renegade” race on Saturday. There’s me with my running shoes still on and my new very girlie bike shoes on display. (those bike shoes are a whole other post)

So, why RENEGADE?

Well, on Thursday when i got to my office, I had a voicemail from the race people for the duathlon. They informed me they cancelled and re-scheduled the race due to “weather”. Um. Okay…I looked at the forecast for their area which is about 1 hour NW of Atlanta. Saturday called for some intermittent t-storms. Whatever. I was disappointed, of course, cause i was really looking forward to competing and seeing how I would fare. My thoughts immediately went to “what will i do instead? will i run another 5k race and try to run faster than the one last week or should i just do the Duathlon on my own?” So, I decided to do the latter.

Of course, nothing is like race day and the anxiousness and excitement that run through your blood. So, waking up and getting ready was a bit different. very low key. I decided to go to Silver Comet Trail since that is the one place where one can go without many interruptions.

As soon as I got going on the first leg, the 5k run, I felt like i was in race mode. My pace was fast and my heart rate was getting up there. I knew it was too fast too soon. First mile was 8:30. The good thing was that I felt very focused. The bad thing was that i felt really hyped up. By nearly the 2 mile mark, i actually just walked for about 30 seconds just to try to get my HR down. It worked. My legs actually felt kinda heavy from the get-go and I wanted to have a good ride. This multi-sport stuff requires my planning and strategy and I have a ton to learn. I was done with 5k leg with a 9:00/pace, exactly what I had wanted. Now time to get on bike.

This was only the second ride I have done with clip less pedals. Can you believe it? All this time, i have been riding with regular pedals. Man, what a difference! The trail has a few intersections where you do have to wait for any crossing traffic, but other than that, it is pretty easy riding. I felt like I was working hard though. I felt like my body just wasn’t quite awake yet or quite loose enough. However, I still had a good time and felt like i did try to challenge myself. It was gorgeous out there and very peaceful even though there were quite a few people out exercising. The actual race distance was to be 13.02 miles. I ended up riding 12.83 miles in 49 min. I hopped off my bike and actually just left it out by my car and put my running shoes back on and did the final 1k sprint. The 1k was done in 4:59. 

So in Summary

5k = 27:50/8:59 pace

12.83 bike = 49 min

1k = 4:59/8:01 pace

All in all, I was happy with it and felt like I did push myself even though it was not a “real” race. I think i am going to look to go on some organized bike rides because I have no way to judge myself and see how I am doing. 

Here is a photo of me as I lay on my back in the parking area of the trailhead. 

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Today, Sunday, i was planning to take a rest day. However, when I woke up and saw what a gorgeous day it was, I just could not stay away. Ran an easy 4 miles. Felt good. 

Now regarding the detoxing: friday night, i treated myself out to dinner and had Ally, the bartender, chose a wine for me. Something light-bodied was all I had said. She served me a glass of Bliss Pinot Noir. How’s that for a good serving. My first sip of alcohol in ten days. Went nice with my pasta and brussels sprouts. 

Last night, I had about 1/2 cup of low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt & today, i had the same yogurt mixed into a coffee/banana/protein smoothie. At this point, I feel good for my restraint and I think I have cleared out the all-too-fast grabs for unhealthy stuff, namely the junk. I am still gonna try to to “be good” but sooner or later, I know I will crack and get the damn chewy, chunky, chocolate chip cookie! 

Cheers to All!

inching along…

Posted in bike, road with tags , , , , on April 27, 2009 by afuntanilla

The weather this weekend in Atlanta could not have been more stunningly perfect! About 80-85 both saturday & sunday. no humidity. clear, blue skies. HEAVENLY! AHHHHHH!!! 

I really wanted to go see 2 movies this weekend, but the weather changed my mind. I just could not be enticed to be inside to watch a film, no matter how much i want to see the films. They will just have to wait. 

After dining out tonight, i drove home very leisurely. I love to drive slowly thru beautiful neighborhoods on Sunday evenings. My car windows are rolled down and the sun is about 1 hour away from setting. It’s all quiet on the streets and i feel serene & thoughtful. The trees are getting very full & green, making the scenery all the more beautiful. AHHHH…..a nice way to end the weekend.

Saturday, got out for a good, slow 6 miler. Ran through my old neighborhood. My current neighborhood is not very conducive to running and so I prefer to start and finish other places. My old neighborhood is a great place to run. Finished up about half mile from where i parked so that i could just walk a bit. Ended up talking to a couple who were out walking their pup. Always cool to strike up conversations with strangers. 

Sunday got up and drove over to Silver Comet Trail. had just planned on biking, but was so amped up, I ran too! I was glad to get out there and away from city streets. I feel like i am getting stronger, overall, which is a good feeling. 

April 26: 16.55 mile BIKE, 1 hr 3 min; 2 mile RUN, 18:47 = 8:53 pace

April 25: 6.2 mile RUN, 1 hr 3 min = 10:09 pace

April 23: 5 miles BIKE-INDOOR, 17:10; 2.1 mile RUN-TREADMILL, 18:05, 8:37 pace

April 22: 10 mile BIKE – approx 37 min

I’m glad the race is coming soon. I wanna get out there!