Archive for the motivation Category

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!!

Toeing the Line

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 27, 2014 by afuntanilla

I don’t race many 10k races….or at least I haven’t done so in the past 5 years. I ran many of them in the late 90’s. Yet, as I have now been sticking to longer distances, the 10k race has kinda fallen away from my radar. Since the beginning of the year, or at least since February, I’ve made more of an effort to work on speed. I’ve done some work here, but honestly nothing too intense or rigorous. Running the longer distances has a way of making me feel really slooooow. Granted, some of this is probably because I don’t vary the training enough. Anyways…i’ve tried to make an effort to increase speed to a level that is satisfactory. So far this year, I ran a 5 miler and a 15k, both with finishes I was pleased with. The 15k was run at 9:13 pace and the 5 miler at 8:46 pace.  I wanted to get in another short race so I signed up for a local 10k in Marin County.

I ran the course last weekend so that I would be familiar come race day. I had been in the general area before, but not too much. Running the course gave me the opportunity to see the gorgeous surroundings….basically the first 3-4 miles are all through Kentfield and Ross, which are 2 of the most beautiful (and expensive areas) in the Bay Area. Quiet, lovely streets with huge trees all around. (The trees would provide much needed shade on a warm race day morning.)

 

IMG_0927After this area, the course popped onto the College of Marin Campus and onto a paved path that travels the outskirts of the campus for a mile and then basically loops back through Larkspur and ends with a 3/4 lap around the college track. Very Cool Finish!

So, race morning came and I figured the crowd would be full of some very fast runners. Man, was I correct! This was actually a Championship Race for Pacific-Association USA Track and Field and there were some nice monetary awards for the best club teams as well as top individuals. So, it was no surprise when I showed up in the parking area and was feeling a bit intimidated by the array of people in their Club Tanks…Tamalpa Runners, West Marin Track Club, etc… This was NOT your typical local 10k. Everyone looked super fit. Anyhow…soon we were off and I was just trying to stay focused on my personal goal which was to finish between 56-57 minutes. My running in the last month (since the 5 mile race) has not been a lot. I did a lot of short runs and only ran 6 miles once, which was last weekend. I was running 3-5 mile stints at about 8:45-9:15 pace but i wasn’t sure what I could do on race day.

Off we went and the first 2 miles felt fast. I ran 1st at 8:40 and 2nd at 8:48 and HR felt pretty high. I knew I couldn’t sustain this pace and kept telling myself to slow down. But, I didn’t. Mile 3 was 8:48 also. Again, I told myself to slow down or else I might not have enough come mile 5 etc… So, I did. I also carried my own water, which was needed as there were only 2 water stops and honestly, I have NO idea how people ran this race at those fast paces with not much water. It was pretty warm.  I actually stopped for about 20 seconds after mile 3 just to get my HR down a bit. Keeping on, I was in a nice groove and around 4 other runners and we were all running together. A slight shift ahead for one of us and then the other. It was fun to be in this mini race within a race. The jockeying and surveying….3 women and 2 men. The 2nd half of the race, I slowed down. My pace was 9:25 but the 5 of us kept hanging together. Until the last 3/4 miles…I pulled ahead and thought i was in the clear to the finish. At about 1/4 mile to go, one of the other women passed me and I could not catch her. She ran well. I did rev it up for the last bit, I was just not able to stay with her. As I crossed the finish line and put my hands on my knees, hunched over, I thought: ” i could not have pushed any harder.” And that was my truth at that moment. As I write this now, hours later, recovered and all, I can’t help but wonder: “could I have? Could I have pushed harder and at what point could I have done so?”

I think that’s what we do…that’s what runners do…we wonder and we question. We beg to know what we are capable of on any given day. Or at least, I am!

But, for today, Yes…I am satisfied with my effort & the result. I pushed my body hard and enjoyed the challenge, both externally and internally.

Watch Finish Time: 6.3 miles/56:47/8:59 pace

Official Chip Time: 6.2 miles/56:45/9:08 pace

I prefer the watch finish time, but oh well!

 

IMG_0972

 

So, what’s next???

 

 

 

accountability

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by afuntanilla

Accountability. Where do we learn this? How do we stay focused on this? Naturally, it is a learned behavior, pretty early on in life and then practiced throughout one’s lifetime. Often times, we have someone or someones to be accountable to….our parents/guardians, teachers, friends, loves, spouses, bosses, clients, kids, etc…

I believe the person we have to be accountable to the most is our own Self. Yes, with a capital S. Why not? If you are not accountable, what are you? If you don’t hold yourself in high regard, what are you? If you are not able to be there for yourself and hold your own, what are you? We are all more capable than we can imagine. I look around the world and see people accept and live with such mediocrity, such complacency….and all I want to do is get as far away from these things as possible. My life has never and will never be about either of those things…of settling for the mediocrity of anything. And, I am the one truly accountable for this. No one else. Even if I had tons of family or kids…it would still be me. No one else lives in my shoes, thinks what I think, has to go thru my day to day things. We are all on our own. Essentially. People fill in and can be and are complimentary, but no one else is gonna do it for us. We must do it. You want something? Go get it. No one will just hand it to you. Work for it. Earn it. Enjoy the “hunt”. Of course there will be times when we all wish it was easier. I am not immune from this. But if it was easy, chances are you wouldn’t want it. These words are not for everyone. Some people are just not very internally motivated or ambitious or driven or whatever. No judgement. We are all different. But if you are someone who is aiming, who is reaching, who is going for IT….Keep Going…Keep doing your thing. Get up every day and make a little bit of progress. It’s not about hitting a grand slam every day….it’s single after single after single. You will have success, whatever that means to you, but it must be earned. Enjoy the challenge. Let it feed you. Let it lift you up. You want something? Make a stand. Show up. Be accountable. To YOU.

A story

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2014 by afuntanilla

Years ago, I wanted to progress in my career. I was an assistant for a long time and I worked for people who had positions I wanted. I was passionate about the field, the profession, and I studied as much as I could and learned as much as I could on my own time. I observed and soaked in all I could from those around me who had the position I wanted. I was on the outside and I wanted to be on the inside. I wanted to have a greater impact, to be more influential, to be more significant to others. I wanted my own office, not a cubicle or desk. I wanted to hold the responsibility of taking care of others assets. I wanted to make the call, be held accountable. I wanted to put myself on the line, day in and day out. I wanted to show that I knew what I was talking about, that I could bring value.
I kept wanting this….and kept wanting this….
Finally, one day, I approached my sales manager at the time. A fellow female. I told her of my ambitions and she had me take a “personality” test to make some sort of initial assessment. I took the test, nervous I wasn’t answering the questions correctly, worried I should be answering “in the way I think is expected” rather than what was true for me.
She came back to me a few hours later and simply said, “you didn’t pass the test”.
That was it. No feedback. No follow up. No suggestions of other options. No other avenues to explore. No further discussion.

My ambitious, hungry heart was crushed. Devastated, really.
I went though all the “I’m not good enough, I’m not capable of this…” Bull in my head…and I finally told what happened to a couple of male colleagues. They simply said, “what does that test prove? Nothing! Don’t let it stop you.”

I held off a bit, but then refocused my energies and pushed and pushed and got the position I wanted. I worked hard and kept going for what I knew I wanted, what it knew I was capable of. It was far from easy, lots of obstacles had to be overcome but I did it. That was about 5 years ago.

I continue on in my same career, more successful and more driven. My ambition has not waned, but has become stronger. I think back to the woman who didn’t give me even 1/10 of a chance and that continues to motivate me every day. I think about where I came from in this world and see how far I’ve come and I’m proud. And I want to keep going. I feel like I am just touching the tip of the iceberg. I feel like I have so much more to learn….so much more to give…

My desires have not changed. I continue to want to be of value, of significance. This is my definition of success. The financial part will take care of itself. My focus is the same. My ambition is stronger.

Far from satisfied.

And, THAT, is a very good thing in my book.

Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Most of all, yourself.

Races, Data…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

I ran another short race this past Sunday. A very short 5 miler in the town where I live. I love traveling for races, but it was actually nice to have zero stress about anything related to logistics…nice to run something local for fun and the money all went to one of the local high school’s track programs.

It was an interesting choice for me in that I really didn’t like the course. It is almost entirely run on a narrow path around a marsh and then a park. The marsh part of the path is fine, with packed dirt, but the park part is all on loose gravel. This might just be my LEAST favorite type of surface to run on…I just don’t feel like I get an traction with each step. It’s a peaceful, beautiful path…and nice to walk, but for me, the running on it is just not idea.

However, I sucked it up and signed up…for fun and to test my “speed.”

It was a nice, cool morning. Good enough for shorts and my long sleeve Under Armour technical shirt. I was also pretty happy to be sportin my new ON-RUNNING kicks! These are super cool shoes, my 2nd pair by the company. I will write more on them later. A good gathering of the local peeps and at 8:30am, off we went on our Sunday Test.

IMG_0893

I thought I would do no better than 45 minutes, actually. 9:00 pace. I was excited and ready to see what was possible. I had no water, no music. nothing. felt so free. Except for the fact that I really needed some water and the 1st place to get it was not until 3 mile mark. I am just one of those people who need water at least 1x/mile, especially if I am pushing it, which I was. We went though parking lots, over to the marsh and then onto the loose rock path. 1st mile was 8:27 but it didn’t feel that fast so I wasn’t too worried about the pace, but i also didn’t want to have a severe drop off come mile 4. Mile 2 was a bit slower, about 8:45 pace. I would have liked to have had my heart rate info, but something is not working with it. I even bought a new battery and it still is not synching with my Suunto watch…so no HR info for now. Anyways, by now I was really looking for the water stops and it wasn’t until another mile. I grabbed some and walked a few steps. Mile 3 was about 9:15. Got more water around mile 4 so that slowed me a bit too, 9:12. I guess this last mile I just took off because the data show mile 5 at 8:10 pace. Wow. Didn’t really know that til looking at my watch stats. Pretty cool. I can tell you I was not smiling as I ran that last mile, especially the last 1/2 mile. I was pushing hard and even as I crossed the finish line, no smiles. Painful.

THEN, the smiles came! WOOT WOOT! Very happy with this result and even came in 4th place in my age group.

IMG_0895

 

So, I think it’s important to give some data on the race stats to give some perspective to the result. Of course, I’m happy. but i also realize the TOTAL number of runners at a race like this is NOT HUGE.  Then again, 4th is 4th. 🙂

Here’s the breakdown:

Age Group: F 40-44.  40 runners.  4th place

All Females: 259 total / me  27th place

All Runners: 394 total / me  101st place

I also want to share the stat breakdown from the Portland 15k race I did a month ago.

Age Group: F 40-44  681 runners. 163rd place

All Females: 4518 total; me  1126th

All Runners: 8826 total; me  3507th

 

Before I started running marathons in 2000, I was faster at the shorter distances. Of course, I was also younger. 🙂

Regardless, I know I have more gears I can tap into to get faster. So….what’s next???

March

Posted in motivation, photos, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by afuntanilla

As March 2014 comes to a close, just a few brief comments. Longest run was the Portland 15k race mid month. Continually working on my speed and absolutely love seeing the improvement. In addition, I have wanted and needed to get in some trail runs and I got 2 short runs done both last Sunday and yesterday on trails near home. Yesterday’s run was just one of those perfect running weather days….it had rained during the night and still drizzly as I had morning coffee & Clif Bar. By the time I got to the trail though, the rain had ceased and we were left with a gray sky.  The air was cool and everything was quiet, clean. I did not take my music with me so I could purposefully just listen to the surroundings….listen to the quiet! As I crested the first section, I looked around at the amazing beauty …all the hills in the distance glowing and glistening after the drops from the sky….all green, rolling hills beneath the gray skies. Was gorgeous.

This was only my 2nd time back on the trails since New Zealand last December. A most welcome change from the city pavement. Going serves 2 purposes; to get in some hill work and get off pavement. The trails were a bit soft from the rain and I had fun trotting thru various puddles. As I was coming around a bend on the opposite side of the park, I looked ahead and saw about 6 Cows in a line, RUNNING. The Cows, they were RUNNING. I have NEVER seen this before and I’ve seen a lot of cows! Honestly, I didn’t even know they could move that fast. It was quite beautiful. They were in a line moving south to north and they reminded me of horses as they trot along…it was startling, funny, and gorgeous. COWS.

The best part of the route I do at this park, Helen Putnam, is the last .85 miles. It’s down-slopping, weaving right and left and straight, etc… and I can really pick up my pace and unleash my stride. That’s the best feeling…a mixture of feeling most alive, most free, most abandoned in the moment. Truly awesome.

Happy Running!

IMG_0856

On Failure

Posted in motivation, quotes with tags , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by afuntanilla

Think about this next time you think about failure;

Fail boldly. The more you take on, the more you will fail. But, the more you fail, the more you will learn – and the more you will succeed.
You have to hate failing. If you don’t mind failing, you’re never going to succeed – there will be nothing there to make you want more.
Failing makes you see yourself as your truly are, and where you can take yourself.
It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
– Dean Karnazes

I have failed. Big. Boldly.
I remain hungry. Unremittingly so.

Day 3 in Portland; The Main Event

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, travel with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2014 by afuntanilla

My 3rd and final day in Portland was the day of The Main Event; The Adidas Shamrock 15k Race.
My morning began at 5:30am. Made hotel coffee, and ate my customary Clif Bar and banana. I sat and looked outside my hotel window and the still darkened sky, the streets so delicate in their Sunday morning quiet….those same streets would soon be lit up and come upon by 35,000 runners participating in either 5k, 8k, or 15k mile distances. This gray, overcast morning would soon be adorned with bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and color wearing their traditional Green race shirts!
Time to get on with the party.

I walked the short 3/4 mile from hotel to starting line and it was a tad chilly. I wore nothing to keep me warm as I figured as soon as I began running, I would be fine. This was true, however the 30 minute wait until the starting line popped open was chilly. Thankfully, the gathering crowd of excited runners and the beauty of the morning along the Willamette River distracted me from being cold. These are the moments that are so fun and if you have ever done a road race or any race, you know what I mean….I love just taking it all in, absorbing the moment, and watching the congregating of a bunch of strangers on a street to go run their hearts out. Absolutely love it.
I looked across the river to the east side and smiled at the grayish-bluish sky emerging from the darkness. There is nothing quite like the beauty of a morning, is there?? I think that is why I am an early riser…I hate missing it!

IMG_0834
The combination of the walk to starting line and some time warming up along the rivers pathway, I felt loose and ready to go. I was actually gonna RACE, not just go for a run! My goal was to have a finish sometime between 1:26-1:28 which would be an average pace of 9:15-9:28 per mile. Obviously, I was hoping to be closer to the 1:26 finish. I thought my chance was good if all went well, so we were about to see!
The first mile is headed south and flat, going in the opposite direction of downtown where race began. After mile 1, you make a left turn and head back towards downtown and it’s basically straight & flat for the next 2-3 miles. The crowds were sparse in the beginning but there were some festive folks out…a few fellas playing the bagpipes and another band I think. On the north side of downtown, the small climb started as we ran next to Portland State University and then up more to pass Oregon Health & Science laboratory and Marquam Park. These were miles 3.5-6 approximately and they were a steady incline along wide windy roads. Beautiful and serene atop the higher areas. I was doing well on time. My first 2 miles were actually less than 9 minutes each and I made a conscious decision to slow down or else I might have nothing left in the later miles. The total ascent was only 550-600 feet, but I could feel it as I have run nothing but flat in preparation. I did some repeat hill sessions, but nothing major. Anyways, I was feeling good as I was watching my time and passing the mile markers. I was taking a gel every 2 miles and this was perfect. I was pushing throughout, but as the descent started to occur I really took off and pushed harder. I had lost some time on the climb and I wanted to make sure to beat my goal since I was now so close !!
Heart pounding, legs aching….absolute total focus. I was single-minded and out of my crazy mind and nothing else mattered except my strides, one after the other….keep going you are doing good, you are gonna make it, you are gonna make it…. (hey, nice legs 🙂 

1106877_race_0.08579727782519642.display 
Breathe. Push. Keep going! I was aware of everything and nothing. Such a cool, amazing feeling.
Running the last mile, it was a straightaway and I could see the finish line. I never let up…push, push, push Ang…

1024528_race_0.2109919690272959.display

Finish time 1:25:46
Average pace per mile: 9:13

Very freaking happy with this. It shows my training has paid off. Everything came together on this particular morning. I was happy and delighted and proud of my efforts!

IMG_0842

Another cool thing in addition to the race shirts I received was this unique race “medal”…a bottle opener! i love it. IMG_0850

I happily walked back to hotel and spent the rest of my morning/afternoon back in the Pearl District. Enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Cafe Isabel and then roamed around with my travel pack before heading to the airport and home. IMG_0849

A fun and full weekend in this Pacific Northwest city I have been wanting to visit! Thank you, Portland!!

What’s next…….

me & the rain

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by afuntanilla

Me & the rain…we got a special relationship. Much more love than hate. Much much more. In face, no hate at all! I cannot recall exactly when I first fell in love here but I can tell you this love affair has been long. When I first got seriously into running in the late 90’s, I didn’t belong to a gym and therefore didn’t even have the option to run on the treadmill on rainy days. I put on a cap and a rain jacket and off I went. I remember the very 1st HALF-MARATHON I ran in SF in 1999 was partially run in rain….I couldn’t have been more delighted. The freshness, the challenge, the beauty of it all still sticks with me today, 15 years later. I ran MANY times in rain while living in Atlanta. How could one not with all the random yet not so random Thunderstorms coming down all around you. Not little droplets, no “light” rain there….heavy duty, gigantic raindrops thru the often thunderous crackling of lightening across the southern skies. Delicious, formidable drops that i could not keep myself away from….so many spring & summer days…the wetness would fall on my body and just wash over me — the warm waters felt like a soft sponge on my bare skin. There is NOTHING like running in the rain in the southern heat & humidity! The vast lushness all around that becomes even more so after mother nature gives an impressive spill. I remember days of running along Ponce de Leon, a main corridor in Atlanta, and being able to see off in the distance the falling drops in the sky and the awesome backdrop of the deep green that lined the famous street. I remember steps along the Silver Comet Trail when the wetness would create more space than usual…the walkers, cyclists and others would stay away on rainy days. Just me and the path that became my trusted, stable friend. And our other friend, the rain. Many miles I have run through such magnificent conditions.

And then running in the cold rains! I recall possibly my toughest race ever in terms of weather conditions; the Half Marathon in Chicago in May 2011. Damn that was tough. Rain and serious wind on a course that was out and back along Lake Michigan. 25-30 mile winds! It was ridiculous. It wasn’t fun, it was really freakin’ cold and it was so mentally challenging, but I still relished the experience. I still wonder how I made it through that one… it was one of those experiences where you tell yourself, “if i can run though this, i can run through anything!”

Following my jaunt today, I just stayed outside of my house for a bit. I removed my cap and glasses and just hung out on the corner….marveling at the elements and blissed out after my run. I forgot myself and just started to spin and twirl around a few times, head back, letting whatever wanted to come, come. My smile was huge!

I think there is definitely a spiritual element I find through running and even more so, in the rain. I feel more connected to myself, my truth, and a spirit that goes far beyond little ole me and my world. The quiet, abandoned  streets beckon me to come on out…the life that i feel pulsing through me on such days like during today’s 6 miles in steady rain is incalculable in its reward and how it fills my soul.

Why do I run? Well, isn’t this enough of an answer?

IMG_0712

What? I’ve been running…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running with tags , , , , on February 1, 2014 by afuntanilla

Hey, long time no write! What’s up?

Well. I am proud to say that I did indeed take some time off of running after the Kepler race like I said I would. I ended up taking about a month off of absolutely no running! I knew I could do it, as I could physically and mentally feel like I needed a break. During that time, I didn’t miss it. In place of specifically running, I did walked, hiked, biked, did some weight training and I’ve totally gotten into doing push-ups! I think I started when I was still in New Zealand. I have been practicing almost daily. I have been doing 2-3 sets of 10 regular push-ups and I totally feel my strength gain. It’s pretty darn cool, I’ll tell ya! My goal is to get up to 5 sets of 10. I’m not sure I really need to do more than that, do I? It’s fun, different, and like I said, I love that I can see/feel my results. Some days, I tack on tricep dips and I will always work in some core work. Honestly, that is my LEAST favorite exercise of all: core work, and of course, it’s the area I would like to see improvement, but am not 100% motivated here. So, I do some, slack off, do some, etc…
When I wasn’t running, for the first few weeks, I also didn’t look at/read anything running related. No blogs, no articles, no magazines….I just took a full break and it was all good.
Since, January 1, I got back on the horse and ran pretty steady all week. I’ve been studying some different training plans, etc to get ideas on how I can improve my speed. One of the things I know that has held me back with improving my speed is that I have not incorporated enough variation in my training. I run at the same speed too much and don’t incorporate enough hills, intervals, etc. This is not NEW news to me, but I am now making a concerted effort to tackle this. Why? Because I wanna be faster. Just for me. For my own self fulfullment.
I have not yet picked any races to do in 2014, I have just been kinda focusing on the variations, mixing it up, seeing what works for me, etc…
I had tried to get in to the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in DC in the spring, but was not selected via lottery. Bummed. That would have been a fun trip!

It’s interesting with the varied workouts I have been doing….I found that I have gone from running every run too slow to now almost running them all too fast. I wear a heart rate monitor for all runs now so I can see this clearly in my heart rate, pace, etc. So, it’s a process.

One of the resources I am using is this book I’ve had for quite some time; run-faster

There’s A LOT of detailed information in this book and I’m sifting my way through it.

Total miles for January = Approx 68 miles
Mix of hill repeats, progression runs, easy runs, speed work

Looking forward to February and getting faster!

Cheers!