Archive for the shoes Category

Saturday 8/2

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

(2 short runs mid week)

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

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

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

Sunday 7/27

Posted in motivation, photos, road, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2014 by afuntanilla

Sunday morning rolled around and after a minor debate in my head about where to run (Marin trails of from home base), I opted the latter. I laced up the HOKA HUAKA (who-ah-ka) shoes for the 2nd day in a row and hit the streets. The morning was almost an exact replica of the day before…clear skies, sun already heating things up a bit at 930am…
Once again, I headed up and over Western and straight ahead. This time, I hung a left on Chileno Valley, the country, rolling road that lead me to the West entrance to Helen Putnam Park. Immediately, I opted for the steepest trail, so steep that I have yet to be able to run this part…I would love to know the degree of steepness. This part is wide, super dry and I’m alternating between hands on quads and not, my breathing is heavier, sweat pouring more frequently and I can hear only my own steps and my own life force….Damn! I love this! I push forward to the top, rewarded with beautiful sweeping views of west petaluma. Catching my breath, I start to run again and make my way down the backside of the park along a windy, downhill narrow trail. I’m back on pavement and already thinking of going cycling after….
2 more miles and I’m back home, changing into my cycling stuff, downing some First Endurance ULTRAGEN and getting my butt in the saddle. I know I am pushing it as I plan to ride the 25.5 mile loop I did 2 weeks ago….but, I just want to. I just wanted to keep being outside, keep moving my body, keep feeling my body working. So. I did.

Locked into my pedals, I headed off on the SpringHill-Chileno Valley route. (man, I hope this doesn’t re-aggravate my hip, hamstrings . Felt good to be on the bike after 2 weeks. Felt good to propel my being forward with the help of this mechanical instrument. And, now that I am wiser and know I can use the small chainring, climbing the hills was a helluva lot easier. Still challenging, but not killing me. I could feel right away that this ride would be slower since I tagged the run on already…but I didn’t care. I kinda got into a meditative space….hard not to when it was just me, the land, the occasional passing vehicle, the sporadic herd of cows, and the open sky that let’s me dream and fantasize, that allows for being in the moment and appreciation, that offers the undaunted optimism I try to carry with me, in my core, in my soul.
I was a little more than half-way on the route, when another cyclist came up beside me….Jason! My buddy who rode this route with me last time! He was on his way home….would be riding a total of 80 miles today!! Fun to see him and ride the rest of the way together. It was just delightful & beautiful all the way around. The sun was beating down on us, with only an occasional splash of soft wind. With about a mile left, he left my side for his way home. Just over the hill, my wheels turned up on the sidewalk in front of my home. Sunday workout complete and feeling FULL!

Damn! I love to move and everyday I am grateful for my health! All parts feeling good!

Hope you are getting outside, stretching your heart, pushing your limitations. Why not?

Saturday 7/26/14

Posted in road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2014 by afuntanilla

Saturday: a cloudless blue sky, west side heat rising and I am out the door 2 hours later than I wanted. No doubt, the extra time with head on pillow did my full body some good.
I look out at the quiet streets…to the right, to the left, and then go in the direction that called me again, the route that beckoned me forth….to the right.
Wearing my newly purchased HOKA HUAKA shoes for the 3rd time, I am slowly becoming familiar with their feel on my feet, with my stride in these new kicks. All the while, hyper cognizant of what my hamstring is telling me….I sense it continuing to feel better, looser, and so I proceed ahead with a little less caution.
In full sun exposure, cap down, I head up and over the 1st hill that takes me to the other side….where the quiet dominates and the cows roam; where the golden grass on the hillsides lies so still in this mid summer elevated heat. The houses become fewer and fewer as I make my way up the steep slope that is SpringHill. My legs now slowing moving up this lumpy, broken, pot-hole filled country road. Passing my Eucalyptus tree marker from last week, I rise just a bit more to my new benchmark and turn around. I have a plan, a goal…

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My legs welcome the descent and follow the route from last Saturday. Running past a lavender farm, & broken, empty sheds, the small rolling hills and I are becoming friends. Fast. I’ve seen you here before.

Greedily, I suck down and swallow my hammer nutrition gel and am thankful for it and the water to slosh it down. Water. Such a necessity.

Straight ahead and then to the right…Passing a home where once an unforeseen romance blossomed across coasts, cookies were made, and love shook the soul…

After the straightaway, I hang a right and am back among the busy-ness of a road that begs for attention. My meditation is over, my life is more at stake here on the busy bodega highway.

Down and away I run at a faster clip on this final downward sloping mile to the place I call home….

An easy 6 in the log book….

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!!

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.

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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.

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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!

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Post race musings

Posted in photos, quotes, races, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , on December 12, 2013 by afuntanilla

The race was 5 days ago and as I’ve been recovering and traveling along, I’ve had some post race thoughts I wanted to put down and share.
To not finish: it SUCKS! No other word for it. Period.
Having to tell people, even strangers, who ask how you did: SUCKS!

The morning after the race, there was a post-race breakfast that I attended and met a few people and swapped stories of our experience. I knew I would say, “I didn’t finish”, and I knew that I would have to have a strong stomach as I did so….
I’m sure no one cares, but I care, and it just isn’t the most pleasant thing to report to people. But, it definitely comes with the “territory” of running and doing these kinds of things. It is part of the running experience. Every race can’t be smooth, easy, predictable. Gosh, how boring would that be!! I understand, it’s the opposite side. The opposite of setting a personal best at a time or a distance. It’s the opposite of finishing and finishing strong, which I have had many such experiences.
2 days after the race, as I made the drive from Te ‘Anu back to Queenstown, I was stuck with the thought that ‘I should have finished’. During the 2 hour drive, I really let it bother me. 5 days later, I am more at peace. I did all I could on that particular day.

In evaluating what could have helped me or what I could have done differently, I have some thoughts;
Nutrition; I really need to get a better handle on this. By nutrition, I mean race day nutrition. If I plan on doing events that take me over 5/6 hours, I cannot rely on energy gels alone. I need more solid food and I need to train with different things and see what works best.
Training; I’ve already mentioned some of this in earlier posts, but for this particular race, I needed to run longer with more elevation. I needed to have incorporated more tough back to back days on weekends. Plain and simple.
Why didn’t I train more? Honestly, I just wasn’t motivated enough. And my body was tired. Some people who know me on a daily basis know I’ve been talking about fatigue for awhile now and how I need to give my body a good break from running. I was tired going into the marathon in October and I was tired going into Kepler.

I don’t regret either experience, just being honest with how I was feeling. That is why even though it sucked to not finish Kepler, I was not surprised.

Sometimes my enthusiasm to participate in events really takes over and I cannot contain myself. I see something or hear about a race and I wanna do it. And then I see another one and I want to do that too. I realize I can’t do everything AND have the kind of experience I want. My body can only take so much.

I am looking for answers to questions that are important for me to have answered; how can I recover better? What are the best things for me to do? Is it nutrition related? Is it training related? Is it rest/recovery related?

I believe it is a combo of all those things and it means something different for me than it does for the next person. And the next person. We all have different bodies with unique requirements and capabilities. My goal is what it always is, to get the most I can from myself.
And to know what’s possible, my body needs resting time. I made an agreement with myself that after Kepler I would not run for 30 days. And more, if I feel like it. Just take a break. Heal. Rest. Repeat.

I have not run, but I’ve been walking a lot and sometimes with elevation. Soon, that will change. My vacation will come to an end and I will be back home and in a work routine. I plan to NOT run, but I do plan to stay active by getting in some cycling, swimming and just plain old workouts at the gym. I can very much feel how I need both the mental and physical rest.

There are running related goals I very much want to achieve. And I’m coming to understand more and more how it’s about smart planning just as much as dedication and commitment.

I will continue to strive to be the best me…to keep pulling out the best me that I can find!

Onward and upward!

RACE GEAR

Shoes: Brooks Cascadia trail shoes. This is my 1st pair of brooks trail shoes and they worked out fine. They are not too heavy, with a good bit of cushioning. They feel a bit wide and roomy, so they actually feel a bit loose on me. I compare this feel to some old ASICS trail shoes I have and still wear. They feel much more narrow. I also had quite a bit of small pebbles in my shoes during the race and I don’t ow if it’s because they do fit a bit loose on me or what…but, overall, no complaints.

Socks: Injinji toe socks. I love these socks. Been wearing them now for all my long runs and have had no blisters.

Pack: Salomon Skin S-Lab race pack. I love this pack! The only other pack I have had is an older Nathan pack with water bladder and just a few pockets. This Solomon pack has MANY pockets, both zipped and some unzipped. It has 2 clasps in the front so you can tie across your chest which gives a very compact/form fitting feel. It doesn’t restrict or interfere with arm movements either. One of the best parts might be that the bite valve from the water bladder can fit snuggle across your chest and really all you need to do for a sip of water is barley move the tube to your mouth. Very seamless and convenient. They thought of everything!

Shorts: black North Face running shorts. I love these too, they fit well and are simple. 1 small pocket in the rear if you need it for gel, or key. I didn’t need it for this race since I had my pack but I use the pocket at other times.

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Nike Women’s Marathon Race Report: Going way beyond comfort levels….

Posted in photos, quotes, races, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by afuntanilla

Well. What a race. The marathon deserves and demands much respect. if you do not train properly (i.e. enough), it will be a painful experience. Gonna be painful anyway, but not training enough will put your further into the hurt box. Such was my experience today at the Nike Women’s Marathon; my 3rd go at this particular race and my 9th marathon overall.

The start area is tremendous. 30,000 women packed into San Francisco’s Union Square to begin the journey at 6:30am. The thunderous crowd of females (and a few males) lined the narrow streets and waited for the countdown; 10, 9, 8…

A few strides in and I knew. I knew it was going to be a tough day for me. My legs just felt heavy. Tired. My quads. Not a good sign.

The start is a bit staggered but even so, it is very congested and for the first 3 miles, it is very packed. Runners moving tightly together, trying to find some space..It felt a bit surreal for me those first 1-3 miles. Felt like I was floating…couldn’t really get a good grasp of my feet. Strange. After we weaved our way through the financial district, we hit the Embarcadero and it was still quite dark out. Great running weather; about 50 degrees and foggy. The first 6 miles are almost all flat — just 2 very very short hills. Can you believe I had forgotten my earbuds so i was without my own music. very disappointed about this…could have really used it in the later miles…

Between running this race 2 times in the past, the SF marathon 2x and the SF 1/2 marathon 2 times, and all the training I’ve done, I knew this course well. I knew where the hilly parts were and what to expect, etc…but, today, it didn’t matter. Miles 6-11 are the most hilly…some steep climbs up through the Presidio area, Sea Cliff and then a long steep downhill past the Cliff House and into Golden Gate Park. The first 13 miles are “tougher” than the 2nd 13 from a standpoint of course difficulty, but of course the back half of the race is tougher because well….it’s 13 more miles!! Unfortunately, I started to feel physically bad around mile 9. Even after the long downhill around mile 10 didn’t help. In fact, my quads were feeling it there…very tender. So, basically from that point on until around mile 17, I found myself having a raging battle in my head!!! (THAT is a long time to have a battle in your head let me tell you!!)

Here is some of what it was like in my head: maybe you should not finish. maybe you need to stop. maybe you just need to call this a training run and let it go. then i have to explain to friends what happened. i don’t want to do that. i don’t want to disappoint them. disappoint myself. but, what do you have to prove? you have already run 8 marathons! you are already in pain…think of how much more pain you will be if you keep going? you have a long way to go still, Angie. this is driving me crazy. this is not fun. there is no way I will reach my goal of 4:20ish. my time will be bad. who cares? check your ego! let go!! i guess this is what happens when you don’t put in as many training miles as you should. ugh. crap. i don’t know what to do. i have to decide soon. just focus on one mile at a time.

So several times, i thought i would pull myself from the course and thereby receive a DNF…Did Not Finish for this race. There were several opportunities to do so at very attractive points on the course; Mile 13 and between miles 16-17 for example. Once I was past mile 17, I knew if I did in fact pull myself, I would have a long and unpleasant walk back to the finish line and where the shuttle was located to take us back to the start. For a few miles probably between 9-12, my mind was fixated on “should i stop”. There was a lot of badgering going on inside my head…the pros, the cons, the very realistic reasons why it would be ok. I suppose during those miles I was trying to come to peace with that possible decision. I guess I never found that peace. I stopped somewhere along the great highway between miles 17-18. I looked around and then started running again. A few minutes later, I stopped again. This time, I looked back and glanced at the runners behind me and who were now passing me in these few seconds. All I could think was; “how can I possibly NOT finish?”

And, so..i kept moving.

With full knowledge, I not only embraced the pain, I literally DOVE right in it and said, ‘Ok…I get it…it’s your time to take over…but, know this…you will not break me.’

It’s an interesting thing…to knowingly dive into something you know will be challenging and very painful….especially when you know you have the choice. No one was forcing me to keep running. I could have stopped at any time. I’ve already run the marathon 8 times. What did it matter on this day that I finish? I hadn’t trained enough and I was clearly paying the price for not giving the marathon the absolute full respect it demands and deserves. Hands down. Really, what did it matter….I had nothing to prove to anyone. Did I? I guess the answer just came down to the fact that I truly owed it to the race, to the event itself, to finish. And, I owed it to me…for the amount of training i HAD put in. And I felt I owed it to the many other women out there…who were struggling in their own right…who were on the own journey…i owed it to them, my comrades on this day, to finish.

I felt more mentally and physically challenged than I have experienced in a while. And because of this, to finish, felt like a win. I had to dig deeper and stay focused more than I have ever had to before (or that I can remember) Miles 21-26 were super tough. I started to have some GI issues around miles 21-23….i was so sick of eating Hammer Gels and GU’s…i had also taken in 1/2 banana, 1 orange slice, 3 individual Clif Shot Blocks and a few sips of NUUN Electrolyte Mix. All of this was making my stomach not feel too good. Also, I did something I almost never do in a race; i stopped to urinate in a port-a-potty, not once, but twice! Arrrgghh! I truly hate having to stop for things while running. Usually, just a few short stops thru some of the water areas and I am good to go. But, today, was a whole different story and I just had to accept the circumstances and keep moving forward.

As I finish writing this 2 days post race, I feel this race experience perhaps taught me more than any other. It really feels quite profound. This was my overall 2nd worst finish time. And yet, It could very well be the marathon I am most proud of. Isn’t that something??!!

I definitely wouldn’t say I had fun out there…well, maybe I do enjoy the pain in some weird way…But, if you asked me after any marathon if i had fun, i would probably say no. It’s not a FUN event. I relish the experience. I enjoy the challenge. I bask in trying to find out just what I am capable of on any given day with the set of circumstances laid before me. That’s the “juice” for me. That’s what its always been about for me. Running…has been and is such an amazing teacher and the marathon is the event where there is a mirror all around you and you learn. You learn your strengths, weaknesses, etc…you see where you want to quit. And where you won’t. Where as ok as it could be, the fact of the matter is, you just must keep going. Some days, that is the only choice.

I thought I might cry a bit when I crossed the finish line, but I didn’t. That happened hours later when i came home and laid on my bed. I cried. For what it took. For what it gave. For me. going full circle.

Finish Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes, 27 seconds. — 2nd worst finish time. well….

What I ate: 6 gels, (Hammer Gel and GU Energy); 1/2 banana, 1 orange wedge, sips of Nuun Electrolyte.

Shoes worn: Nike Flynit (my orange pair) 🙂

Shorts: North Face (flight series) love these!

Shirt: Nike Dri-Fit Short Sleeve

Socks: Injinji toe socks…the best! no blisters ever.

Hat: San Francisco Running Co (orange hat)

Oh…yeah…this is the marathon that does NOT give you a medal….instead you get a little Tiffany Blue Box with a necklace after you cross the finish line. Each year it is different. In honor of the races 10th Anniversary, this was the necklace this year:

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On the back, it has inscribed: Nike Women’s 2013 Marathon San Francisco.

Some stats I pulled from the Race Results:

most women ran the HALF – MARATHON; 26,402

Full marathon runners: 4,364

That stat alone makes me feel a little more bad ass.  🙂

In my age group W 40-44, I came in 168 out of  433.

Thanks for reading and to those of you who know me and cheer me on in my crazy endeavors…Thank you.

21 > 27 ?

Posted in photos, road, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

This was a little step back week and even though my total weekly mileage was only 21.54 miles, it felt more than the previous week’s 27.

Perhaps it was simply due to running some trails and a little hilly terrain. I really haven’t run hills consistently…most of my mileage over the summer (and longer) has been very flat. I did 2 short runs at Helen Putnam Park. 4 and then 4.5 miles. Awesome both times and i loved being off road. The park is not very big which is maybe a reason I don’t go there more often. If you go more than 6 miles there, you are doing repeat trails. But, still….a great place to go and very close to my house.

Also, this is the 2nd week in a row where I had booked a massage for Friday afternoon. Well, 2 Saturday’s in a row now, the runs have felt difficult and I’m sure in big part to the massage. Just not smart to get it on a friday before 2 days of running. Oddly enough, this past friday, my primary reason for the massage was to get some work done on my right shoulder and arm. I have been doing some strength exercises and such and apparently I tweaked something in my arm. I think it is a result of not using proper technique. Anyways, my right shoulder & arm muscles are super duper tight and tweaked. Still. Deltoid, Upper bicep, Trapezius. The therapist spent the entire hour just on those areas and I’m still not right. Better, but something is still off. Not sure what my next course of action ought to be….

Thankfully, this does not prevent me from running. 🙂

Sunday long run was just 10.  Ran all over the town. Need to go somewhere else next weekend. Feeling a little claustrophobic.

This week starts a new week of increasing mileage. Hope to get it all in and with quality!

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View from one of the trails…gorgeous day. After I was done, I sat on a bench and just listened. No music with me. Just listened to the slight breeze, the quiet of mother nature in all her glory. AHHHHHHHH — so awesome.

Oh — wore my ASCICS Trail shoes that I hadn’t used in a loooong time. They still work!

Happy Running!

The SF Half Marathon

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2013 by afuntanilla

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And, so…the day began. 5:30am start in San Francisco. Starting line just south of the Ferry building. A gorgeous morning as you can tell from the photo. I had run down to the starting line as my little warm up. The city streets filled with fellow runners….love it! As I ran along to the start, became more and more awake, enlivened…to do my thing. RUN.

It had been a long time in between races…the last one I did was very different; a super small trail race in Pacifica. The starting line was packed with those running the Full Marathon and those like me, running the Half. (This was the 1st half of the course, last year I did the race but ran the 2nd half of the course, which is actually easier in may opinion.)

My “starting wave” didn’t actually cross the starting line until about 5:50am, so I had plenty of to stretch, warm up and get comfortable. I felt relaxed and at ease with my “game plan”….which s simply run, enjoy and do my best. In contrast to last year when I had specifically trained for a personal best, I did not train much this time. I mean, I got many runs in, but I didn’t focus on speed work, I didn’t get the specific training in that I would have needed to keep pace with my 1:58:42 from last year. And, I was ok with that. I knew when I signed up this would be the case. So.

There was a Cable Car bell ringing to signify the start and off we went. The first 5-6 miles are almost entirely flat as we run all along the Embarcadero, past Fisherman’s Wharf and along the Marina Green and Chrissy Field. Felt easy and comfortable. I kept looking out into the bay….feeling loads of gratitude and appreciation for where I live.

And, then the climbs started. The steep climb up from the marina and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not enjoy this part. I knew I wouldn’t as I remembered this portion from when I ran this Full Marathon back in 2005. To me, running across the bridge is very loud and it FEELS like a constant steady slight uphill in both directions! I guess the path is like a slight arc, but honestly it doesn’t feel easy. I guess I also feel like it’s a bit chaotic because the bridge is not closed to traffic. So, lots of cars swooshing by and other runners headed in the opposite direction since it is an out and back portion. The remaining 4 miles were not easy.  Once off the bridge, we made a steady climb into the Presidio which is followed by a nice downhill section into the final Richmond District neighborhood and finally into Golden Gate Park. I was not comfortable on the climbs as any climbing has been almost non-existent in my training. Ahhh… A good kind of hurt, eh? But, even around mile 10, I remember thinking, “I am actually feeling ok…i would be curious to see how i would fare for the FULL course today.” And then, something happened in the last 2 miles where i just started to feel very tired…like seriously running out of gas!! I was surprised but probably shouldn’t have been since my longest run pre-race was only 10.5 miles. So, as we made the ran the final steady uphill mile into the park and into the finish line, I was Happy I was NOT running the FULL course. Today.

My finish time was right along what I expected in 2:09:42

My main goal while running races is always to see what I can do on a given day. How will I show up? How will my body perform? How am I mentally? As mentioned in previous posts, I had not felt the greatest mentally or physically before this race and I did in fact, have some fears that I would just crack and not finish. But, as I woke and got prepared in my hotel room….as I made my way to the starting line….as I stood there with thousands of my fellow mates,  I knew I was instantly stronger in every way. THAT’S why I do this. It was great to get out and be a part of the race and feel the enormous energy and camaraderie. I needed that.

I never really care how I finish overall, but I do care and like to see how I fare among my sex and age group: women 40-49.

Here were my numbers from this year :

Females 40-49    121/618

Which I think is good, especially on the tougher part of the course.

To contrast, here are my numbers from last year when I ran the 2nd portion of the course and had a PR

2012 Females 40-49    54/415

Which I also think is good.

Some comments about the race logistics, etc: Race Expo was ok, but it was VERY, VERY hot in the building so that made it uncomfortable to stay long. I was also super aware of how commercialized it all is….seems like every year, the feel of an expo appeals to me less and less.  I used to love going to these things and now I have more like a “get me in, get me out” attitude. But, that’s definitely the nature of big races and I have to expect that….if I want something low key, there are plenty of options for that!!

The Race organization itself was awesome. Even their communication per-race, with sending emails and letting us know security would be enhanced and to arrive earlier than usual. And yet, there was no waiting or anything at the starting line, everything was clearly marked for each different starting wave and just simply well-organized. There was enough of water, Gatorade, etc on the course and the volunteers were terrific, as usual. Massive thank you to all the volunteers. I realize some were probably starting their VOLUNTEER shift at 4am or earlier. THANK YOU! The finish line and snacks afterward were more than sufficient. I took a shuttle bus back to the starting line and that was easy as can be. So, overall the WIPRO SF HALF MARATHON was terrific.

I made my way back to my hotel, changed and met a friend for breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley.  A great Sunday morning.

Thank you to my friends who cheer me on, near or far, in person or in spirit. Thank you!

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Shoes: Brooks T-7 Racer. super light shoe, felt good but would not want to run in full marathon, but good for this distance. Would want more support for longer distance

Also wore: compression socks for the first time. loved them and will use again.

Next up: The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4th!!

“Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary behond comprehension. But it also made him free.” –John L. Parker Jr.