Archive for the gym Category

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! ūüôā

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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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….

T-19

Posted in 40 mile run, gym, motivation, photos, road, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by afuntanilla

There’s been so much going on and so much I have wanted to post, but the moment keeps getting away from me. And honestly, I have been spending so much time in front of computer at work, that I really don’t want to be in front of it at home…which is a little bit of a shame considering i have a sweet-ass iMAC!

So, since this has been a 3-day weekend, it’s a good time for me to post!

Last week was interesting. I was more stressed with work stuff than I have been in a while and then having some anxiety about the 40 mile plan. I also had some physical issues. major fatigue. fatigue like i’m standing up at work talking to a colleague and just feel like I will fall down right then and there. Thank goodness, I didn’t. Fall down.

Then, on Friday, i also had some kind of intestinal issue which was not fun. I left work early, went home and slept a lot for the next 36 hours.

Even though as fatigued as i was, i ran on Tuesday after work. Weather has turned about 10 degrees cooler with significantly less humidity. On Thursday, I ran in the morning and then again later that evening. I felt really good on that second run, but now i think it may have been my adrenaline-induced self speaking. Who knows…I ran 4.5 miles on Saturday on treadmill and was extremely dehydrated. Afterwards, I basically slept for the rest of the day off and on.

So, i tell you all that because it really did not make ANY sense what happened on Sunday. Sunday was to be my longest long run before taper for 40 miler. I had no idea what I would be able to do given what my body was going through Fri/Sat.

I woke on Sunday and felt ok. I definitely felt rested. Legs didn’t feel as fresh as I would have liked, but I was glad to feel rested and AWAKE. I figured since it was my longest run yet, i would just go ahead and run thru the city rather than go to the Silver Comet Trail. I wanted to be alone on the empty Sunday streets of Atlanta. I wanted to see the city in its calm¬†state, to look at the different architecture¬†of downtown buildings, and to zig zag my way through various neighborhoods.

I drove and parked my car along Peachtree Ave, put on my Nathan Pack and headed East. Starting temperature was 56 with low low humidity. HEAVEN!

I made a conscious decision to walk any hilly parts so I could save my legs and last for as long as I could. I felt a lot of peace. It was soooo quiet being a Sunday and a holiday weekend. I had the streets to myself. Love that! The first 12 miles took me through Midtown and downtown. Running along some of the outer streets of downtown is where I encountered some of the homeless folks. They are the only ones up at that time of day. A lot of them sleeping on the concrete. Man, can you imagine? Regardless of how they arrived at a place in their lives where they know sleep on the street, in vacant, dirty, trash-filled parking lots, every one of them deserves compassion. I wanted to go home and get them some blankets. Some part of me frequently feels that only a few pieces of different luck or different choices and I could have been there…could be there…you never know.

On a stretch over by Turner Field (home of the Atlanta Braves) a couple of fellas were sitting there smiling at me as i ran past. “Run it out, run it out”, they cheered! Thx, fellas!

Physically, I was feeling better than I had expected and mentally, i felt stronger than in a while. I KNOW a lot of the mental strength came from simply better weather and not having to battle the flattening humidity. It’s truly amazing how much that had beaten me down over a good chunk of the summer. I ran into Decatur and found the track at Agnes Scott College open so i went on it. I was relieved to take off my pack and run without anything. No water, no iPOD. Free. The track there is awesome. Beautiful grass. Nice track. Serene setting. There were only 2 other people there; an older couple who were walk/running. They were adorable. I thought maybe that is how me & my loved one will be when we get old. (Whomever that loved one might be…) I ran a solid 4 miles on the track and then continued on for the final 8 miles back to my vehicle. 24 miles.

I was pretty psyched when I was finished. Why? Because I did it on tired legs. Because I had about the same pace I had at the LA Marathon back in March. Because like all the other times, I could have stopped at any point and I didn’t. Because I pushed myself and gained more confidence with each passing mile. Because even though I will still need to go another 16 miles to reach 40, I know i can do it. I know it in my blood. I needed that kind of a day, that kind of a run more than i could possibly explain.

Below are some recent pics a friend took during some different runs.

July

Posted in 40 mile run, gym, photos with tags , , on August 3, 2010 by afuntanilla

Month of July; total running miles  = 124

Most of any month so far in 2010, which is as it should be. August will be more. Miles were pretty tough whether they were on road, trail or treadmill. As I might have mentioned before, this is probably the hottest and most humid weather conditions for an Atlanta summer. Everyday, no relief. Crazy.

So, some days, and some heavy miles were done on treadmill. We are becoming quite close, me & treadmills…it’s a love/hate kind of relationship.

Shallow, random…whatever.

Posted in gym, motivation, random, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by afuntanilla
  • I think watching The Biggest Loser should be mandatory for all households. Great Show. Informative. Motivating. Educational. Fun.
  • I would never want to be President. No matter what political party is in office, people are so incredibly negative about what you do or fail to do. It’s unbelievable, really.
  • I am pretty pumped up for next week when LOST is back on the air. Bummed though that it is final season
  • Going to see LEGION this week. Not usually my cup of tea, but hey, KATE WALSH, is in it so I will go and check it out. Actually, previews have interested me…
  • Very happy to say I personally contributed to Apple’s latest blow-out quarter with the purchase of my iMAC. Freaking love it. Go APPLE
  • I wish I could spend a solid weekend learning about nutrition and exercise. A weekend away somewhere like a workshop where I could just focus on nutrition.
  • February is maybe my least favorite month of the year. Why? Football is over and baseball hasn’t begun yet.
  • I continue to try to motivate people at work to exercise. Hope I can get some folks to sign up to run a 5k this spring. That would be awesome!
  • One of my male co-workers wanted to give me a hug yesterday. We hugged. It was really sweet. I was leaving for day and he just asked, “can i hug you”. I feel a sister/brotherly kinship with him, perhaps. I love hugs. Good ones, not half-ass lame hugs.
  • I love chips

Jan 24: 7.2 miles, outside, total rain

Jan 23: 6.2 miles, outside

Jan 21: 3 miles, treadmill, fast

Jan 19: 3.4 miles, treadmill, fast

Keep it real. Train Hard. Train Smart. Keep pushin’

quick catch up

Posted in gym, motivation, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by afuntanilla

July 8: 47 min run – approx 5 miles outside
July 7: 3.5 miles – treadmill
July 5: 8 miles – outside, silver comet trail
July 4: 5.25 miles – outside
July 3: 4 x 800 w/ 90 sec recovery; 4:14, 3:56, 3:58, 4:04 splits
July 2: 4 miles – treadmill
July 1: 3 miles – outside

The training for my next marathon is now in “official” effect. I feel committed and excited. Each time i begin training, it is different. Each time brings new challenges and new revelations. And of course, some things are the same. Some of the roads or trails i will venture on are the same ones I’ve been running on…and they serve as comfort. They are my friends. Part of my support system. Welcoming me back again. Challenging and cheering.

October in San Francisco. I will be there.

Inspiration all around. From Federer and Roddick; from Lance and from my beloved SF Giants. And, from all those people in life who I see out of the roads trying to exercise, trying to just get a walk in or a slow run. They are sometimes overweight and I think of the struggles they might go through and how its not easy for them to get out there. But they do it. They put on their own gear and get out the door. I nod and I smile and cheer them on. We are all on the same, aren’t we?

run for money – sorta

Posted in gym, motivation, random, road with tags , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by afuntanilla

Tomorrow, June 3rd, is National Running Day. For every MILE YOU RUN, i will donate $1 to charity. Must send me photo as proof along with your stats. Let’s make a difference!

 

May 31: am run = 5 miles, pm run = 3 miles – both on treadmill

May 30: 2.5 mile run, 3.5 mile run/walk (still suffering post blood donation!) – outside

May 29: 11 mile Bike Ride

May 27: 3.10 miles – treadmill

Most of these runs were all tough. I was still experiencing difficulty from the blood donation. I spoke to a friend in medical field and she was not surprised. Plus, me being a small person adds extra strain after the blood/hemoglobin loss. 

Ran a short 3 after work today in the near 90 degree hit and felt better than I have in since the donation about 12 days ago. Sheesh! Hopefully I am on the upswing!