Archive for the Uncategorized Category

January ( a little late) 

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2015 by afuntanilla

With January 2015 about to go in the history books, I thought I would update with my own slices of what has been happening….

January – feels like this has been a long month! I started the year off with some lingering issues from the North Face 50k race. I focused on taking it easy post race and just walked, stretched, used a stretch band thing to try to stretch my tight-ass hamstring. Just took everything pretty slow and easy and tried to recover. Slowly, I beckoned myself out the front door and onto the roads and felt my legs find their stride. And I do mean, literally, “find their stride”. My legs felt so out of whack for a few weeks post race that my stride felt quite awkward and off balance. I was trying to pay attention to the whole, “don’t overcompensate in one area because some other part isn’t working”. Still, my stride felt really off. I got a couple of massages and it helped. Slowly. Massage, stretch, rest. Repeat. Luckily, I wasn’t in any hurry and I felt fine with taking my time. I was just glad for any day I could be outside, even if I was walking.
I also started doing a bunch of exercises at home; core work, push-ups (which I have been doing diligently every other day for over a year!) tri-dips, etc…I’ve gotten a nice little cool routine going and I love it. I’ve been doing it every day or every other day. Many days, I look forward to it! It’s great to come home and just start the routine and leave a work day behind (sitting, being indoors) and be totally focused on something healthy!

As January rolled along, I found I was simply running short distances 3-5 miles and I decided to start working on my speed again. So, I’m gradually doing that…adding in sprints or hill repeats at the end of a run. Training on the hills for the past 6 months really took a toll on any sort of speed I had…but that’s the trade off….endurance for speed. So, I’m fine with being back on the road for a bit. I’ll probably mix in a trail run 1x a week, but probably not more than that right now.

I am targeting my 5k pace first and then I will probably move on to 10k pace.
I’m just kinda loosely following some training advice online. Nothing too serious. Unless I want to really be more serious. We’ll see. I’ve never been very fast, but if I can get back to 8 minute miles for 10k distance, I’d be happy with that pace!

I ran my first 5k today in years! Man, that sure goes by a lot faster than 50k. It was flat & fast. I finished 26:15 @ 8:21 pace per mile. Good place to start. A good barometer as I move forward.

What’s next?

Sunday 8/3

Posted in photos, road, running, shoes, trail, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

Ran my “staple” route as of late…home/chileno valley/Helen Putnam park west side and back home via the east side of park. This time, I mixed in the steepest hill 2 times. I did it first upon arrival, then ran about another mile around park and looped back to the hill. Again, it is not lengthy, but steep. 2 times felt good and I kept rolling along other trails and then the backside towards home.
A solid 8 miles on top of the bike/run yesterday.
Feeling good and ready to start pushing the envelope a bit more after I return from about 10 days of travel.

Here’s what I call “baldy hill” at Helen Putnam Park;

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HOKA HUAKA: I’ve been using the shoe for about 2 weeks now and overall, like the shoe a lot. I’ve tried other HOKA shoes on before & did treadmill tests, but none of them ever felt right for me. Until these!
However, the big bummer I’ve come across is that the toe box seems to be tighter than I am accustomed to…this was evident by a huge blister the first day I did any trail running. It’s strange because the shoes do not feel tight at all….but for some reason, the right shoe toe box is causing me to get blisters. I’ve been wearing some Injinji socks and that has helped. Other than that 1st issue, which has not occurred again, my experience thus far has been quite good. I think there is something quite true about how the shoe “technology” is somehow lessening the impact of the pounding on pavement. I was very skeptical about this when I heard people talk about it, but I feel like I have experienced it too, so, I am now drinking the HOKA cool aid!

I do not wear the shoes on short, faster runs. I don’t think they are designed for that either. The HUAKA is not a specific trail shoe, but has been fine on the trails I have run, which so far have been non technical trails. Don’t know how this would do on heavy, rocky terrain. This is my new go to shoe for longer distance, road and trail.

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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!

 

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So, what’s next???

 

 

 

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

Walking, Running, Rolling…..

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, road, running, trail, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2013 by afuntanilla

Post-race week:

Last week, did some walking. Kinda a big deal for me because I don’t really like to walk!

Monday-walked about 30 minutes

Wednesday-walked 6 miles, approximately 1 hour 45 min. A hilly route from home over to and in Helen Putnam Park and back. Petaluma gets very windy in the early evenings and as I walked thru the park, it was just a beautiful sight to see….how the wind made the golden grass on the hillsides sway to and fro. A lovely, calming site….like an orchestra moving together in perfect unison. There were not many people out and it as peaceful there….definitely a ice reprieve from the crazy work week.

Friday – walked about 2 miles

Saturday – first run since the race. I didn’t take it lightly. Drove down to Mill Valley and just went on a random route up and into the curvy, quiet hilly neighborhoods. My level of perceived exertion felt very high. Felt like my HR was way up there. Damn hills. But, beautiful. The smell in these parts is something I wish I could bottle and take with me and put in my home. It is Eucalyptus AND SOMETHING ELSE. Don’t know what THAT is, but quite yummy.

After the run, made my way over to the running store, San Francisco Running Company (located in Mill Valley) This is a fairly new addition to the area and I couldn’t be happier. The store is co-owned by Ultrarunners Brett Rivers and Jorge Maravilla; 2 stud Ultrarunners and cool guys! Brett finished 2nd in the recent San Diego 100 miler and Jorge will be competing in this coming weekends Western States 100 (last year, Jorge finished 8th). So, um, yeah….they do some training!!

Their specialty running store is awesome and I’ve already dropped more than a few bucks there on shoes, shirts, hats, and most recently, the R8 Roll Recovery. This is essentially a self massage device that is like nothing I have ever tried. As expected, it’s designed to reduce inflammation, stimulate blood circulation, etc. I love it and feel it is worth the price. I’m especially thankful for it as I cannot seem to find a massage therapist that really suits me these days. If you use this R8 correctly, it can definitely feel like a great massage on your legs!

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Sunday– decided I hadn’t had enough hills, so I ran essentially the same course I had walked mid week; 6 miles from him to Helen Putnam Park, I don’t know why I am running hills since the next race is Peachtree, but I just felt like it. Hey, I like to suffer, ok. I will say this, it was a lot more fun to RUN this course than WALK it!! A peaceful, quiet, Sunday…no music, no crowds, just me and the open road and trails. Heaven. Church. A different kind of heaven versus last weekends packed race. Different and still awesome.

So, the Peachtree is next, on July 4th, in a hot and humid Atlanta. In Petaluma these days, it is mid 60’s, cool and a little rainy. It’s ok. I know I will suffer. I lived in Atlanta for 13 years and never got acclimated…so, Peachtree, bring it on…I will be prepared to suffer and be humbled, yet again.

Lastly, this coming Friday, Nike will release the results for the Nike Women’s Marathon lottery. If I get it in, I’m committing here and now to go for a PR. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and remember, you are capable of so much more than you think! GO GET IT!

Here’s a little Bruce Lee for ya!

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who are we?

Posted in random, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2012 by afuntanilla

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the violence we see in this country. I think about this a lot. I notice so much of the violence comes from the male population and it makes me even more curious as to why this is the case. When have we heard of a female shooting up a cinema, school, church, etc?? I don’t think I have heard of any. This is NOT to bash the males of society, but clearly there is something very wrong with the way our culture is operating. On Christmas Day, I heard an opinion of an active police officer who took issue with the media. His comments were that the media blows the stories up and gives the stories/issues way too much attention. And then he linked it to kids wanting attention. They watch someone on TV getting all that attention and think, “hey, i can do that too!” I think there is some validity to all his comments, but its deeper than that. What is it in males that make them want to hurt, KILL…take a life? Is it easy because they place no value on life. Where does that come from? The understanding of the value of LIFE. Clearly, anyone who kills themselves in the process of killing others has no value for their own life. Fine, but why is it necessary to eliminate others? Maybe because we live in a society that wants to blame everyone else. Think about it for yourself. Be Honest. Who do you blame? Why? Think of the people in your life. Who do they blame? Look at the government. There is a true and tremendous lack of accountability and self-responsibility in our culture.

I remember as a kid I wasn’t afraid of guns…probably because they weren’t really a part of everyday life as they seem to be now. I walked to school almost every day by myself. I walked home everyday. You know what I was worried about….i was scared the cats on a particular street would all attack me at the same time. Seriously! There was a ton of cats on this street and they all looked very spooky with wicked eyes and they scared me. I started to walk down a different street.

I was also scared someone might kidnap me. Kidnapping seemed to be more in the news when I was a kid.

Is it really about guns? I don’t know. I think it’s about more than the guns. We have big problems with how we think and behave as a society. Parents need to be better parents. And then at some point, we all have to get responsible. And yes, part of this i think has to do with people feeling loved and being nutured. When was the last time you heard of someone committing a mass murder who was a loved kid, had a stable and healthy home life? These are not the people committing the crimes.

I come from a family where this male-as-criminal phenomenon is crystal clear.

In my immediate family and my extended family on one side there were 9 boys i grew up with and all of them got into trouble with the law and used drugs. None of them graduated from high school or college. All were having problems and/or arrested by the time they were at least 15 years old. Some of them remain in prison and/or continue to live on the streets, addicted to drugs. All were members of a gang at some point. The main commonality between all of these boys: no father figure whatsoever. No stable home life.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s not just about the guns, either. As a society, what are we committed to? It sure doesn’t help that our society looks completely down on those who have mental illness, even depression. There are such gigantic stigmas with mental illness that people who need help, even in low doses, probably don’t even attempt to do so. Or the parents don’t get help for their kid. Or the places they try to go to for help are such poorly run institutions, they opt out. More money from our government needs to be allocated to help those with mental illness. PERIOD.

p.s. for the record, I am NOT pro-guns.

Life is about c…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 6, 2012 by afuntanilla

Life is about constantly making adjustments. adjusting one’s expectations, adjusting one’s goals. adjusting one’s outlook and perspective. If we don’t adjust, we may as well just cosider ourselves stuck forever in a rut. Sometimes adjustments are easy and sometimes not. Think of the most recent Olympic track and field trials where a few sprinters missed being on the US team by fractions of a second…no London for them. How about making that adjustment!!

 

Adjustments — it helps if we can keep open minds and remain flexible. Obviously, we aren’t saints and it is not always easy to be open minded and flexible. Life happens. We get angry and frustrated. Yesterday, I had a shortened work day so i decided to use it as an opportunity to go for a random bike ride. Thought it would be good for my legs and be awesome to just ride and go fast on the open roads of westside Petaluma. (i was also in kinda crappy mood and thought it wouid help) Ride today and get a run in tomorrow, I thought. 

First thing i rode about 1 mile over to the bike shop to buy some new gloves because somehow the ones I had are no longer around. Lost somewhere in my cross country move, I guess. So, I got some sweet new gloves and got my tired pumped a bit more and off I went. Headed west towards a loop trail i just heard about from a couple of people in town. All was going fine until I hit a small hill on the way there…only about 1 mile into ride…and I noticed my gears were not working properly. The lowest 3 gears kept shifting on their own and making the peddaling erractic and very frustrating. I kept going, but knew this was gonna be an issue cause I heard the route would be rolling hills and some bigger than others. I cruised down the backside of the 1st hill and headed onto Chileno Valley and started what looked to be a lengthly gradual uphill and started to shift again….more of the same shifting. UGH. UGH. UGH. I stopped and got off the bike and flipped it over. I looked at the wheel and gears, etc..and hand pedaled it to see if I could see the problem. BTW, I had no clue what i was looking for….as I have NO CLUE about fixing bikes. Of course, i couldn’t see anything and I gave up. In this little moment, alone, on this gorgeous road filled with Eucalyptus trees on one side and blonde grass on the other, I was extremely pissed off! I wanted to throw my bike as far as i could. WOW….guess I had some built up frustration from something else!! I turned around and figured I would just go back home. UGH. I so wanted to ride….

On the short ride back into town, it donned on me that i COULD still ride and just ride around town where it was flat. DUH!! I thought about the roads I could go on that were pretty with not a lot of traffic. Off i went, slowly recovering from my temper tantrum. Yes, I think that is what it was. THINGS NOT GOING EXACTLY HOW I EXPECTED!!!!

I ended up riding for just over an hour and while there were stop signs and stop lights along the way, I still got in some good miles. I was very happy that I made the ADJUSTMENT to keep riding instead of throwing in the towel all together. It wasn’t what I had orignially wanted or planned, but it all worked out. Now, I just gotta get my gears fixed….

 

OK…so, now it’s the holiday, 4th of July. My plan was to get a run in…not sure how long. 4 mile maybe. a little faster than usual. I woke up late at 9am. I figured i must have needed it. Don’t fight the body. if it sleeps, it sleeps. It needs it. But still…9am was late for me. I usually am up by 7am on non-work days and 5:30 on work days. Anyway, I had coffe and toast and headed out the door at 10:30am. My legs were pretty sore from 1) 2 days ago aquats, lunges, etc and 2) bike ride yesterday. I know cycling does not burn a lot of calories, but it sure makes my legs sore. Maybe an hour ride was a lot for someone who doesn’t ride? I have no idea.

So, I started running and my pace was fast. I knew I was way too fast and my energy level just faded. My thoughts quickly recall what I ate yesterday…not much at all!! NO FUEL.  + pretty sore legs + warm weather. 1st mile was 8:37. I just stopped. There was no way I would keep that pace up for 4 miles and I didn’t want to keep running slower than 9 min pace. I could feel my body just not “have it” (i also had 2 cocktails last night…that also makes a difference…) 

Unlike yesterday, I was not angry or frustrated about what was happening…I simply just made the adjustment….I walked for a few minutes and then just figured I would run some 1/4 mile intervals. 

So I did. I did 4×400 at just about 2:00 each and I felt good about it. Even in this shortened, adjusted workout, I pushed myself and made the best of it. Made something out of nothing. 

 

Now, its time to eat better and get ready for a better run tomorrow and then again on weekend. Race day is approaching.

 

I guess my unsolicited advice is to be willing to adjust. Be willing to let go of what you expected and make the most of what you have. if we can do this, the moment will be that much better for us. I think there is ALWAYS a way to make it better. It just might take a bit of getting “over” ourselves and being just a little bit bigger.