Archive for the random Category

Smirk

Posted in random, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 6, 2014 by afuntanilla

Death
Snatched one
And then the other
From the palms of life
How to explain
The stricken
And the sudden
We are left grappling,
Clawing at our skin,
Our eyes,
Begging for answers
While death…

Is smirking in the distance
At what you thought you knew
At what you thought you had

-AMF 4/6/2014

Written 12/11/12

Posted in random with tags , , on March 24, 2014 by afuntanilla

What was the attraction,
I’ll never know
All I heard was
“He was a good man”

‘Good’ enough
To leave you with a baby,
Your 4th child
The last without a father

‘Good’ enough
To take his own life
Thru his
Careless, addicted ways

‘Good’ enough to haunt you
In the many years to follow
To make you drink your life away
Your spirit, sadly lingering on
While your body ballooned and deteriorated

A “good man”….

Hmph….I’ll never know….

Portland Day 2

Posted in photos, random, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2014 by afuntanilla

Day 2:
The morning was cool and overcast, but quickly burned off and later, sunshine and low 60 degree temps. I began my morning by walking back to the Pearl District

IMG_0820and over to a place called Yoga Pearl. It was a large yoga studio with a cafe; mostly vegan, organic, all healthy yummy good stuff. I ordered some oatmeal and the ingredients were; oats, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla, banana, cocoa nibs, & coconut flakes. It was delicious! I have made oatmeal before and added PB, but these other flavors were tasty additions that I will definitely add going forward.

IMG_0822

I took my time walking back towards hotel and went into a few more neat shops.
I noticed a salon that looked kinda cool so I spontaneously poked in and asked if anyone could fit me in. The gal said she could fit me in right then if I had time. SCORE! I needed a haircut badly and what fun to get it done in new city! Stylist gal was fun to chat with and had recently moved to Portland from Phoenix….just because she wanted to do something different and get away from the Arizona heat. LOVE IT! Love hearing people’s adventurous stories. Enjoyed good conversation and got a good haircut. Lucky me.
Hung out in hotel for a bit while watching some BNP Paribas Tennis and then headed out for a 1.5 mile run just to stretch my legs and run a bit of the course. Afterwards, I went into the nearby Niketown and not sure how I walked out not buying anything! Below is a picture from a display case at the store entrance. The shoe is an original Nike by Bill Bowerman (with the waffle iron bottom). I remember these shoes and wish i could get an original pair. I will never forget my first pair of Red Nikes which looked very similar to these!

IMG_0830Later in the day I went out for my afternoon cappuccino

IMG_0831

and then to dinner at a low key place called Grassa. It was very simple. Per their website, “GRASSA PUSHES THE CONCEPT OF ARTISAN COMFORT FOOD SLUNG IN A NO-FRILLS FASHION.” You walk in and place your order with the person who looks like they are the host/hostess. You then sit and food comes to you. It was limited menu of homemade pastas, salads, etc.. I grabbed a seat at the bar and watched the pasta makers as I waited for my meal. I had a tasty arugula, fennel, & goat cheese salad as appetizer.

IMG_0832As an entrees, I just ordered the very simple pasta I love; spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, breadcrumbs. So damn delicious, minimalistic and simple. Want to replicate this dish at home.

IMG_0833Zig zagged my way back to hotel through more downtown streets I had not yet been on. For the most part, my venturing out encompassed only about a 5/6 mile radius, but there was plenty to see in this area.
Once back at hotel, I got my race gear all together and set up for the morning. I realized I did not have any safety pins for my race bib #! Oops. Not sure how I missed this at the expo, but hopefully there would be some available at the starting area.
Another fun day and so glad to just wing it and not have any agenda. I never travel with an agenda. Just not my style.

As you can see, I have been eating and enjoying my stay in Portland! Day 3 and race report next!

A friday tale

Posted in random with tags , , , on February 21, 2014 by afuntanilla

If you know me, then you KNOW how much I love coffee. Not just the drink, but the entire experience of it. It’s  never just coffee. A few months ago, I heard a phrase by one of the co-owners of Equator Coffee. She said, “Coffee is a connector”. And it’s true. It is.

Here’s one such story from today. For much of the past 2 years, I go to Peets Coffee every morning for a small cup on the way to work. During this course of time, I usually arrived there at about 630am. When I arrived around that time, I would see 2 women who were there together. I would either see them in line, at the “condiment” area fixing their coffee or sitting, talking, enjoying their morning sips. By their attire, I surmised they had come to Peets after their gym workout, since the gym is across the street. They look the same every day…in post workout clothes. I am guessing they are in their late 50’s and I was just sort of curious about them. One day, I struck up a brief conversation while we were in line. They told me they go to the gym every day together and going to Peets afterwards is their “treat.” They meet each other at the gym and the morning is theirs to hang out. I applauded them for getting up so early every day to go work out! I think they meet at 5-530 at the gym! 2 friends with a routine. I liked it. They asked about me….always on my way to work.

So, after that conversation, when we would see each, we would always wave or smile. We had connected. One day last fall, they were in line in front of me and as they approached the counter to order, I went with them and told the barista I would like to buy their coffee. They were happily shocked and thanked me. Warmth all around. I just wanted to. We connected more. A bit more conversation.

Well, since the beginning of January, I no longer arrive at Peets around 630am. I arrive earlier now, around 530am. So, I miss them. My 2 steady acquaintances…I no longer see them out and about doing their thing….I noticed that I missed them both literally and figuratively.

Well, this morning for the first time all year, I decided to sleep in an hour and thus, I arrived at Peets around 630am. And, there they were at the condiment area fixing their morning brew. I opened the door and smiles and waves all around. Nice.

I got in line to order. I was a few people back when I saw one of the ladies approach the front counter and have a quiet, brief conversation with the barista. Strange, I thought….i wonder what she is saying…maybe telling them they need more Half-n-Half….

So, I’m now at the counter ready to order my small coffee and oatmeal and the barista rings up the order and tell me the amount. Then, she corrects herself and says, “oh, wait…that’s not correct, those ladies are paying for your coffee..”

Coffee…the great connector.

light and dark

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, random, road, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

Have missed writing for a bit, and instead of giving a total recap, will just give some highlights.

Last week, i was able to check off an item on my bucket list; i went to the US OPEN Tennis Tournament in NY. Going to see one of the Grand Slam Tennis events in person has been a desire of mine since I seriously began following tennis in the late 80’s. i finally made it happen and am thrilled that I did!

Here are just a couple of pics from midtown and central park

Image

Image

Image

While I was severely disappointed not to see Roger Federer play because he had lost on the day prior to my travel, I did get to see Victoria Azarenka, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawvrinka, and the Bryan brothers (play doubles) The Murray/Wawvrinka was the best match I saw. It had everything I wanted to see; drama, great intense tennis and an underdog winning. AND, the energy of the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium was thrilling. It was a gorgeous late afternoon match, the sun was beating down on us with not too much heat, and we watched awesome tennis. Perfect. Ashe stadium was the only stadium I watched matches so i don’t know what the others feel like, but Ashe was great. My seats were not very close, but in general, just to be there was pretty special.

Image

I was only in NY for 3 days and only ran once for about 3 miles. Went for a wonderful walk in central park for about 1.5 hours with 2 pals. Did a ton of walking just in general. Of course, NY!!!

Came home on Friday and was beat!

(Sept 2) Monday: 6 miles outside – 9:23 pace; 1 mile walk

(Sept 5) Thursday: 30 minute run – NYC

(Sept 7) Saturday: 4 miles outside – 9:07 pace

(Sept 8) Sunday: 16 miles outside – 10:14 pace

This last Sunday run was clearly the highlight. Longest I have run all year. And the best I have felt on all my long runs as of late. As mentioned in previous posts, I have felt sluggish, very heavy physically (+emotionally) and have just felt very weighed down! I’ve definitely turned a corner and the first thing that happened as I turned my Garmin switch to “stop” after Sunday’s 16 miler was a huge smile came upon my face. So happy with my effort. Grateful to feel my running VIBE again. If you are a runner, I think you GET what I mean. AHHHHH

Went for another “ice bath” in the Pacific Ocean afterwards!! AMEN! Felt so freaking great!!

Image

I cannot express enough how much “lighter” I felt while running, especially over the weekend. I attribute this to the following:

1) taking care of myself emotionally and getting thru my stuff

2) travel – having fun – complete change of pace

The hard stuff in our lives, the difficult times, we need it — for balance. Sure, it never feels good, all that hard stuff; but we gotta have the patience and the care for ourselves to get through it. It can be grueling. But…then….you get to the other side. There is light after darkness.

Thankful.

“Endurance is just not the ability to ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory” – William Barclay

gift from the sea

Posted in photos, random, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by afuntanilla

Last week’s training:

Tuesday: 5 Miles Treadmill – 9:23 pace

Wednesday: 2.25 mile evening walk

Thursday: 5 Miles Treadmill – 9:14 pace

Saturday: 4 miles outside – 9:31 pace

Sunday: 13 Miles -San Fran – 10:10 pace

Total Run Miles: 27

It was a tough week for me. Mostly due to personal things that were just very heavy for me and oddly enough, the running the felt extra hard. It grew frustrating that I could not often find the respite I needed while running. Hopefully, I have turned a corner. with this…

I found myself super tired on Monday and legs very tired so I decided to take it easier during this week. Works out well cause I have not had the time to exercise the past couple of days. Been focused on eating well and getting enough sleep. Super important!

The Sunday run in San Francisco was a nice change from Petaluma. Really needed some new scenery. I started in SOMA and ran from their over to Potrero Hill, Mission District and then over to the Dogpatch area which is an area south of A T & T park and is mixed Industrial/Residential. I really like this area because it is right by the Bay and had great views. While there is a TON of what looks to be commercial and some multi-family residential construction going on, this area is a lot more spread out than other parts of the city. I’m always trying to figure a way I could afford to live in this area. In a high rise. With a view…..Oh, and of course, it’s flat and on sunday mornings, it is pretty darn quiet! The final miles of the 13 were ran past A T & T park, the Ferry Building and further along the Embarcadero. I doubled back and ran thru the Financial District, and back into SOMA where I began.

After getting cleaned up, I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Ocean Beach. It was actually a little warm & sunny while I ran, but once i got to the beach, it was overcast and no sun.  Fine by me cause I had been hot and I knew it would be hot at home. I walked along the beach, felt the sand crawl between my toes and enjoyed the softness on my feet. I walked along the waters edge of the mighty Pacific Ocean and was immensely grateful I brought myself there! I needed it. The water was like a shock when i first touched it and it made me giggle, actually. Then, I really laughed. Out loud. Simple Joy. I really needed that, too.

I walked then just sat. Watched people. Dogs. Life.

Onward.

IMG_0241

 

 

“The beach is not the place to work; to read; write or think….The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceness as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Love this poem

Posted in random with tags , , on July 26, 2013 by afuntanilla

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

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

Running for Coffee and Fun

Posted in motivation, photos, random, road, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by afuntanilla

Yesterday I made a spontaneous trip down to Santa Cruz. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from where I live. I just wanted to get out of town and go somewhere fun. I needed to get away but I didn’t know how much until I actually arrived. I arrived, checked into hotel, changed into my running clothes and hit the road for a quick 3 mile jaunt to explore and kinda get my bearings. It was a beautiful late afternoon, just a hint of cool temperatures. I ran through the cute, packed in downtown, saw the coffee shop i wanted to visit (VERVE COFFEE) and just made a loop back to hotel. Felt great to move my body. I’m SLOWLY getting back into running….and being ok with that…

I felt myself excited and awakened by the new sights all around me. My senses were awakened. On alert. I wanted to take it all in. I love how a new place has this effect. I had been to Santa Cruz many times in the past….but i’m talking about 25 years ago….

After run, made my way back downtown to visit Verve and find dinner. If you don’t know, I’m a big coffee fan and love finding new good coffee and coffee shops. Verve did not disappoint! I went to 1 of their 3 Santa Cruz locations. Its located downtown on the main street, Pacific. The shop was spacious, tall ceilings and a large area for the baristas to do their thing! A decent sized crowd were sitting and doing THEIR thing. I ordered a Cappuccino and passed on the yummy looking Chocolate Chip Cookie. While my drink was bring crafted, I nosed around in the shop…looking at their beans, mugs, apparel (yes!) and other logo items. I knew i would spend more than a few bucks in this place! I picked up my splendid cappuccino and took a seat at the bar area that allowed me to watch the baristas. Love that! The VIBE in this place was a huge plus. Young, cute,  friendly staff. All of them. Welcoming!  Image

I also ended up chatting w/ a gal who works there and she gave me a recommendation for dinner. I asked for “someplace casual with a TV to watch sports”. She directed me to SurfRider Cafe about 1/2 mile away. It was pretty packed but I got a seat at the bar immediately. Ordered a house-made Veggie burger w/ sweet potato fries and an ale called Dragon’s Breath. All very good! And again, loved the vibe in THIS place. Young, casual crowd. Very good and pleasant service. I think the VIBE i am speaking about is just very much Santa Cruz. Always been a very casual, independent, liberal place. Love that!

Saturday morning got up and went back to Verve for morning coffee. using my iPad, i found one of their other locations about 2 miles away and figured that would be a fun out and back route. So, off i went. There’s a river that runs thru town, The San Lorenzo River, and the route carried me on a path next to the river. Mostly flat, with just a little bit of incline. Gorgeous day outside. I could see the Boardwalk Rides off in the distance. And the Pacific Ocean. AHHHHH — Soon enough the short 3.6 mile run was over and again, i felt like i couldn’t run much more. for now!!

Got breakfast, walked around a bit, got cleaned up and headed to the Boardwalk. I went straight to the arcade and played my old favorite video games; Ms Pac Man & Centipede. Fun! I could’ve played longer, but had only a short time to get a few rides in and head back home. I chose 2 rides; Double Shot – which is just a straight ride up 125 ft. Super fast up and super fast down. a few times. I was facing the ocean and of course, great views. I was screaming and laughing the entire time. Other ride was the classic Giant Dipper roller coaster. More laughing the entire time. I love rides…i love the feeling of being locked in but totally out of control. SOOOO FUN. I really needed it.

This morning (Sunday) I drove just a short distance over to Mill Valley to hit some trails I had yet visited. These were right off of Tennessee Valley Road. I really had no idea where I was going, but i thought it would be easy to get back to the starting point, and it was. I ran, hiked up and came to some amazing views of the bay! Picture does not justice. Image

The trail up was mostly single track with hard packed dirt. I could’ve worn regular road shoes but I had my adidas trail shoes on. Came to some fire roads also. A hefty climb, especially given my current level of fitness..but i sure loved being out there!

So…I am making progress with getting back to being as fit as i want to be. Here’s a snapshot of what i’ve done lately.

Feb 10: 6 mile trail run; Elevation gain 1,179 (highest elevation gain since last August!)

Feb 9: 3.6 mile road run

Feb 8: 3 mile road run

Feb 7: core workout @ home

Feb 5:  3 mile treadmill run

Feb 2: 4.25 mile trail run; Elevation gain 635 (makes me realize how this is really nothing compared to what i can do in muir woods)

Feb 1: 3 mile road run

So as you can see, February is off to a much better start than January. Thank God for HEALTH! I still have not picked any races. Basically, I’m just trying to get a base level of fitness back and go from there. I saw a lot of folks on the trails today and that also gave me a boost!

Also, these are the newest add to my collection:

IMG-20130131-00814

Brooks Pure Connect. These are one of the minimalist shoes. Not the least MINIMAL, but mid range minimal. So far, so good. I like the feel..like they hug your feet. Good traction even on the trail I used them for last weekend. Got ’em at a new specialty running store: San Francisco Running Company located in Mill Valley. If you are in the area, go pay them a visit. Good guys running the show!

Find Your Greatness

Posted in motivation, random, running with tags , , , , on January 31, 2013 by afuntanilla