Archive for the quotes Category

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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Whirlwind Calm

Posted in quotes, random, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by afuntanilla

Last Sunday, I traveled to NY for long week of work. My days began early and ended late and there was a lot of sitting involved. A tough recipe for this active body to deal with, but…that’s the way it goes….

My work, in general, is dominated by males and by nature, is a very “aggressive” or “masculine” occupation. What do i mean by this: the occupation is very outward, high energy, with much focus on goals, accomplishments, etc…It’s nature is Outward. It’s the Yang (yin/yang) I enjoy my work and am pretty damn passionate about it. If you hear me talk about it, you will probably get that about me….at any time, it can be complicated, every changing, dynamic, challenging, maddening, enthralling, and very gratifying. It is not simple, easy, comfortable or boring. Thank Goodness!

My whole week was spent planning, strategizing, evaluating, reviewing, etc…all about the future and creating what I want and creating a plan to execute. And I loved it. It was mentally tiring and physically draining, but it was full of valuable nuggets for me to implement. It was a week long cram session.

Friday, I flew home to SF from NY and if you travel that route, you know it is a looong flight. Around 6 hours. + the travel to the airport in the morning and the travel home from SFO. Add on another 8.5 hours of sitting. ARRGGHHHH!!!!!! After a week of lots of sitting and little time for exercise. ARRRGGHHHH…..My body was dying for movement.

So, I arrive home about 9pm on Friday night and by 9am on Saturday morning, I was at a DAY LONG MEDITATION RETREAT CENTER. This was already planned into my schedule and when I realized it was the day after my trip to NY, it’s not like I was too excited for it since it involved more sitting!!

However….as the Gods would have it, it ended up being timed PERFECTLY. As I arrived at the beautiful center and settled in for our 1st of many meditations, I was quite thankful for this day and this opportunity. And I was enormously struck by the complete and utter contrast to the environment I just left….

This day was going to be 8 hours of SILENT MEDITATION. Surrounded in an environment that was gorgeous, restorative and nurturing. This was the feminine, the YIN, the INNER.

I was struck by these 2 opposite places and events and how I involve myself in both. I am passionate about my work and I am passionate about caring for my soul, my spirit. The 2 are not dis-connected. I weave them together. I can hold both.

“Sit. Feast on your life” – Derek Walcott

For today…everyday

Posted in quotes with tags , , , on April 11, 2013 by afuntanilla

“There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So never apologize for your enthusiasm. Never. Never. Never. ”

-Ryan Adams

A Slooooo Start

Posted in motivation, quotes, running with tags , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by afuntanilla

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know”

So. 2013 has not started exactly the way I had hoped…on December 26th, I got sick with the flu. It lasted for about 2 weeks and since then, I have been experiencing much achiness and fatigue. I feel like the damn thing just flattened me. And it did. I haven’t missed any work, but left early many days. My weekends, up until this current weekend, have basically been spent on the couch/bed. Not feeling the physical energy to do much for such a long time now has been quite the challenge.

I love being active. Of course, I love to run. But, I also love just having the energy to go about my day with some zest! During the past month, i have felt depressed, angry, agitated, cranky, irritable. I have done my best every day to be patient with my body as it clearly has a course of its own to run. I went to the doctor, had some blood work done just to be thorough….all came back normal. More patience with just what is….

I have not experienced this kind of sickness since about late 1990’s, so it’s been even the more challenging. I have been running about 3-5 days a week for about 15 years, so to have such a lengthly delay has been bubble bursting in so many ways. Some people will understand it and others won’t. And, that’s ok. Running makes me feel alive in a way that nothing else does. If you have read my blog for a while, you probably get it.

And…I’m trying to see the positives in all this. My flaw has been I do not give myself enough time to rest after big races and I had 2 big races last year. I know I am guilty of not enough rest. And part of me sees this delay as learning a lesson in this regard. I’m absorbing the lesson. Sometimes, after a big race, I’m so excited i just can’t wait to keep going for the next thing. But, there’s another lesson here too: to truly embrace my current self-accomplishment. Too often these past few years, I have not allowed myself to just “enjoy the after…” And, I think that is part of the nature of the mentality of runners…to keep re-setting their goals. Believe me, I am all for goal-setting, but i am getting the other lessons here too.

So, where am I now? Well, after a full month of little to no physical exercise. I am basically starting from zero. For example, I ran for 10 minutes on Friday and walked for 5 minutes.

Yesterday, I ran 2 miles and walked 5 minutes.

Hard to understand I ran a marathon in October. I could not run 5 miles right now. And….that is ok. I will get back. Smartly.

I remain positive and upbeat and ever determined.

Onward.

enough said….

Posted in motivation, quotes, random, running with tags , , , on January 20, 2013 by afuntanilla

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The Marathon – a race report

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, races, road, running with tags , , , on October 19, 2012 by afuntanilla

“The real contest is within. The real trophy is the self” – George Sheehan

I arrived at the race start in the heart of Union Square in SF at about 6:30 a.m. The race would begin at 7:00 a.m. The streets in and around Union Square were at full capacity and BUZZING in the Sunday morning darkness. I walked around smiling, so happy to be in the race atmosphere once again. Glittering lights surrounded us and music  boomed through the city streets. Electric. The crowd of 25,000 runners quieted long enough for us to hear the beautiful voice of a 16 year old girl sing the National Anthem for us. AHHHHH……what a moment!

Soon enough, we got moving and I crossed the starting line, feeling loose and ready to go! We were off and running and within a block, into the Financial District, that area normally reserved for the suit wearing professionals, but today, was reserved for us Runners. This Mid-October Sunday that held much promise and possibility for us all. We passed the towering Transamerica building, home to the first professional job I ever had and where I would begin my financial career. Memories…

The route then took us along the Embarcadero and with the Bay to my right, I kept trying to find my stride. This proved difficult for the first 3 miles, at least, as it was VERY CROWDED. Lots of weaving in and out of fellow runners and walkers. We ran by Fisherman’s Wharf, the Marina Green and Chrissy Field. Along this stretch, I kept looking out onto the Bay…awesome views even on a foggy/overcast morning. I looked out to Alcatraz and the famed place was shrouded in fog except for a one light peeking out. Fantastic views of The Golden Gate in her early morning hour, still stunningly beautiful in her sleepy state. We, runners, very much awake as we tackled our 1st and steepest hill of the day. The was at Mile 6 as we made our way up into the Presidio area. I purposely paused my iPOD here so I could just listen to the group of us as we made our climb. I just think there is something beautiful about these moments…all together, but on our own separate journey; each with our own private thoughts and personal goals for the day…Top of the hill, iPOD back on.

The temperatures felt a little cooler up here but also felt awesome. Refreshing. Delicious aromas in the air from all the nearby Eucalyptus trees. I was on good pace — better than I had anticipated. Body was feeling good. Soon, we had a lengthy, fantastic downhill section. I took full advantage and stormed downhill. I had a small thought that maybe I should take it easier, but I just didn’t. I went for it and tried to make up some time in case I needed it later. Time in the bank, so to speak.

Soon enough, the Cliff House and The Pacific Ocean came into full view. AHHHHH…..

As we turned onto the Great Highway, I caught my 1st glance of Sharon, who was there at about mile 11. Gave her a quick hug and kept chugging along. I was happy to see her because we really didn’t plan it out well as to where we would see each other. She had her bike and was going to catch me at different mile markers, but we totally missed our specific details! As I left, I said, “meet me in the park”. That’s pretty specific, huh!

At this point, the crowd was pretty heavy. We entered Golden Gate Park from the ocean side and headed west for about 1.5 miles. This was also where the Half Marathoners split off and us Marathons continued on. Amazing how the running crowd totally thinned out. Out of 25,000 total runners, only about 5000 ran the FULL MARATHON. (Bragging here!! 🙂

I had taken about 6 Gels with me at the start and by mile 15-16, I only had 2 left so when i saw Sharon again, I was hoping she had some with her. We saw each other around mile 16 and she didn’t have them and would have to ride back to the car to get them. Then, I said, “ok. meet me at the lake.” THE Lake would be Lake Merced and its about a 3 miles loop. So, another example of no specifics. I don’t know what i was thinking. Apparently, I wasn’t. HA!

So, I had 2 Gels left with 10 miles to go and I was a little worried I would need more. and nervous we would not meet up again. I started drinking the NUUN Electrolyte cups they had at the aid stations. I had never had it before, but figured it was safe enough for my system. And, I did find it to be helpful. So, basically, I was drinking water at every aid station and in the later miles, added the Nuun. Thankfully, somewhere around Mile 20, they had some Clif Bloks so I grabbed some of those too,  just in case. Let me backtrack for a minute…at Mile 13, I remember thinking, “wow, 13 miles already? I’m glad I’m not done yet. I still feel like running.” And even after this, I felt the miles were passing by quickly. Let me tell you, when you are running a marathon, having THAT feeling…that miles are passing QUICKLY, is an awesome thought/feeling to have!

Miles 17-Finish are along the Great Highway to Lake Merced and then back along the Great Highway to the finish line. I was feeling good and actually on pace for a personal best until about Mile 22. I was very surprised by this, given my longest run during training had only been 16 miles. Surprised and happy…but I just couldn’t keep up that pace for the remaining miles. Legs were getting super heavy. I saw Sharon at mile 23 and she gave me more Gels, which I was still needing. Seeing her gave me a big boost at just the right time. I knew all I had to do was make the final stretch along the lake, go up the hill and I was back on the Great Highway and heading home! I know it might sound crazy, but I consciously thought, “embrace the pain…embrace the pain…you only have a few more miles to go..” By mile 23, I knew I would definitely not PR, so I just focused on giving my best effort, keep going as best I can. I knew my finish time would still be decent. Sharon was nearby on her bike and told me another friend of ours was at the finish line. YAY! A Surprise! So cool! During the last mile, the spectators became quite numerous and loud and it was such a neat feeling…the thunderous cheering for all the runners! I tried to pick up my legs, move them as fast as I could and finish strong that last mile. Within a few short strides, I was done with my 8th Marathon.

Finish time: 4 hours, 24 minutes, 34 seconds.

As always, I run to find the better me. On Sunday, I did.

Onward.

Massive THANK YOU to Sharon,who was my total wing woman, supporter, cheerleader! And, THANK YOU to all my friends near and far who continuously cheer me on. These adventures of mine would not be quite the same if I could not share them with you. THANK YOU for being there in person or in spirit!!

Clubs, Cows and Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep strong.

Onward….

this and that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ONWARD!

Catching Up

Posted in quotes with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by afuntanilla

So, it’s been over a month now since I last wrote and rather than try to cram in everything, I will simply touch base on the key points of what the last month looked like.

Late May: traveled to NY for work for a week; in “training” all week. Very little time to run or exercise. Made the best of it, but a rough go of it. No windows all week. Not good for the body/soul. Catch my drift!

Following Week: developed a tough chest/head cold. Couldn’t run. Had to try to rest my body for the upcoming trip to Atlanta & subsequent travel across country by car.

1st Week of June: one way to atlanta by plane. busy, busy week with friends, clients, etc. Small amount of running.
2nd Week of June: one way back to California in a 12 Ft Penske Truck. Drove for 7 days. Small amount of running. Tough trip to do, but I needed to get my belongings back with me. Long hours driving….made me nuts. It was not a sight-seeing trip. Basically made a bee-line back home to bay area.
3rd Week of June: finally feel like I am physically all better, but still trying to find my rhythm; a flow and routine…amazing how much I feel I need THAT, but I do.

It’s a wonderful time of year to be inspired. So much going on. French Open just ended and now we have Wimbledon about to start. The OLYMPICS are about to begin. Lots of races going on and people to cheer for. This guy http://www.jeffreyjmiller1.blogspot.com/ just finished (yesterday) running 100 marathons in 100 days.

But, mostly, the inspiration continues to come from within…being inspired by waking up and seeing what and how I will meet the challenges before me. We all have our thing(s). The SF Half Marathon is about 1 month away. I don’t yet know if I will be able to break that 2hr mark. Those weeks in June really threw me off schedule and way off balance internally. But, I will toe the line and see just what is possible. In the meantime, I’ve got work to do and miles to run.

There are a lot of good books that have been published lately. Ones I hope to read are:

Eat and Run – by Scott Jurek
Finding Ultra – by Richh Roll
A Life without Limits – by Chrissie Wellington

I just began reading “Running on Empty” by ultramarathoner Marshall Ulrich – am enjoying it so far and yes, inspired.

There is nothing you can’t do! GO GET AFTER IT!

“Running was the friend that never went away” – LOLO JONES U.S. Olympic Hurdler