Archive for big peach

Getting to the Starting Line…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by afuntanilla

After 2 weeks of not feeling good, physically, it was truly a last minute decision to make the 3.5 hour drive from Atlanta to Albany, GA. Physically, my body has felt like a mess; major fatigue, stress, anxiety, not sleeping, etc…I have not gotten a fever or anything like that…my body was just shutting down, i believe, from stress….hence the major fatigue. Lots of things going on outside of my running life. 🙂

So, there I was at my office Friday afternoon, trying to decide if i should drive to Albany. Basically, I just said, “screw it, i’m going. make the drive and see how i feel in the morning.”

3-4 hours later, I was in Albany and at the small expo at the Hilton Garden Inn. For those who don’t know, Albany is a pretty small city in south Georgia with a population of about 80k. While there, I learned that Ray Charles was a native and they have a very cool statue of him playing the piano in the area.

The little expo was cool! Better than some of the much bigger expos I have been to…although maybe its just that I like smaller expos now. Less people. Less craziness. I really liked the small town feel of this one. I grabbed my race bag, some Snickers Marathon energy bars, a couple of GU’s and that was about all I needed. As I walked around, I became more and more excited; just being in the atmosphere was great! I was excited to run, body willing.

I decided to go to the pasta dinner right there at the hotel. While eating, I talked to my fellow table mates and got even more jazzed for the run. Then, runner/author/speaker, Scott Ludwig, gave a talk and that put me over the top. A serious runner who has run races such as Badwater Ultra, Western States 100, etc…He regaled his experiences from such races for us as we chowed down pre-race pasta. I was in runner heaven. For me, Badwater, is a true dream….(for those who don’t know what Badwater is, Goggle it!!!)

Thankfully, I got to bed fairly early and when I woke, I felt rested and ready to test the waters, so to speak. Going to the starting line, I felt better and better. Adrenaline was definitely my friend! Even as lousy as I had been feeling, I was still going to try to push it and go for a PR. This was to be a flat, fast course so why not give all I could and see what happens. Right out of the gate, I felt good. Miles were passing and I was doing ok. 9:00- 9:15 pace approx. By mile 6, I was 56 min and I just kept thinking, keep this pace and I will be ok. Aerobically, I felt fine but I could feel my legs start to get heavy. My mind was constantly going, checking my watch and trying to calculate my next mile, etc…I was so happy to be out there and to be doing as well as I was. The weather was perfect. A cool <60 degrees. The course was flat with quite a few turns through some quaint & pretty neighborhoods. The volunteers were abundant and amazing. I didn’t want to stop at all at the water stops, but I did to get the GUs down. Mile 7 felt ok, but now thinking there’s no way I can keep this pace up. Mile 8; right after the water stop, i “latched” on to a couple who were running faster than I. I wanted to keep up with them as much as I could — it lasted a little past mile 9. I could not keep it up, but I was thankful for that mile. After that, I knew I could not sustain the pace so I began to relax a little and I slowed down. Legs were getting tired. I stopped 2 times and walked about 1 min each time. I think somewhere around Mile 11, there was a great group of young, black, teenager girls who were volunteering and cheering loudly. They made me smile. Even so, I just slowed my pace and wanted to finish with a decent time.

Soon enough I was heading down the last stretch to the finish line right along the Flint River. Official result 2:06:27

Crossed the finish and was greeted with a smiling volunteer who put a medal around my neck. A good day.

Gear Worn:

Shoes: KSwiss K-Ona

Shorts: KSwiss

Shirt: RUNATL shirt from Big Peach

Blue Nike Bandana

Watch: Nike

Onward! Determined to get my body better and ready for a finish under 2 hours. I know what I need to do.

Run Smart. Run Strong. Enjoy every step.

the last of the 30’s…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2010 by afuntanilla

Last weekend I went into the Big Peach running store and in my excitement about all things running, I signed up for a race today; The Buckhead Sizzler 10k. I signed up for a few reasons. 1) cuz i like to support Big Peach & local races 2) i thought it would be good to mix in a race before the 40 miler on 9/25. 3) to get in one more 10k before turning 40 years old.

So, this morning, alarm clock went off at 6am and i had to hope outta bed or else I would have just kept sleeping. I had my customary coffee, clif bar & water & sat on my carpet, in quiet, while watching the darkness outside in the distance. There is something so serene & calming about just sitting in the morning darkness, looking out, while most others are sleeping. A comforting quiet. As I sat there, I started to become a little emotional…just thinking of the passage of time and the all races I have done, all the preparation, and of course, this upcoming adventure next Saturday.

My calmness quickly turned to a little chaos as i realized i was running behind in actually getting to the race start. I put on my running clothes and hit the door. I arrived at the race start with about 1.5 minutes to spare. I had to um…go to the bathroom, but i had to forego that and get going.

I started at the back and made my way along passing people here and there but I definitely did not want to “race” or push as hard as I could. I knew the course very well. It basically is all on Peachtree Rd (from Chamblee Marta to Buckhead) on a stretch that I run on quite a bit because it’s a great flat stretch (which is unheard of in Atlanta.)

At mile 2, I checked my watch and was on 9 min/mile pace. all good. Grabbed some water at about mile 2.5. Now, I get really thirsty while running…probably much more than the average runner, so by mile 4, I was looking for more water. None. I started feeling not so great by mile 4.5, was dehydrated and some minor stomach issues. Still no other water stop in sight. Finally, as we are approaching just past mile 5 (outside my office in buckhead) i see water stop. Hallelujiah! By this time my pace had slowed to about 9:15 min/mile – which is faster than all my long run paces. It was good to move my legs faster, but I could definitely feel the difference as I approached the 6 mile marker. I rounded the last corner and went through the finish line. My final 10k of being in my 30’s. 57:33/9:16 pace per mile. I can’t focus on that result cuz it was more of a training run. (for reference, I ran this race in 2005 and finished in 52:41/8:30 pace per mile.)

I grabbed my new technical Saucony shirt, a banana & some water and stretched a bit. This was a point to point race so I had to take the Marta train back to Chamblee station where I parked. However, instead of getting on at the nearest station, I walked about 1.5 miles to the Brookhaven station. Honestly, I just wanted more time on my feet and more time just outside moving! The great part about my walk was that I got to see those people who were coming in at the very end and i got to cheer them on. About 15 people passed me and I cheered on every one of them and they all smiled and thanked me. We all need cheering. Whether you are first, middle, or last. We are all out there doing our best on any given day and I cheer for that, for the effort. It is not always easy to get out the door, but once you do, it feels freaking GREAT!

go a little beserk

Posted in motivation, quotes, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2009 by afuntanilla

A good week or training. Finally got above 20 miles for week. Better yet, I ran in some serious heat/humidity. Hard, but always feel like a good accomplishment afterwards. Wednesday did somewhat of a speed workout; 1 mile hard, 4 x 1/4 mile hard, 1 mile hard. Man, my HR was really up there. Thursday ran 3 inside on treadmill, went outside and did some small hill repeats in the parking lot of a church. God was watching!  🙂

Just as I wanted, I woke earlier on Saturday and Sunday to try to beat some of the major heat/humidity. Still pretty tough. No way to really get away from it now. Jut gotta adjust. Saturday, a bunch of runners gathered at THE BIG PEACH in brookhaven to run the Peachtree Rd Race course, so I joined in and did a modified run. 3 out and 3 back along peachtree. Was pretty cool to have a bunch of runners scattered about along Peachtree! We are takin’ over!! LOL

Sunday, I made the drive out to Silver Comet and ran a good 7. As usual, devastatingly gorgeous out there this time of year with all the green! Whenever the day comes when I move away from Atlanta, i will surely miss that place! Did another 3 on treadmill Sunday evening. Again, felt great on the last run of the week!

I’ve got a new batch of ULTRAGEN. I totally believe in this recovery drink! It helps, big time. After both Saturday and Sunday morning runs, i took some dips in the pool. How refreshing and soothing.

Mentally, I feel like I am in a good place with the running. I’m feeling more motivated. More focused. I don’t think it’s any coincidence either that my “official” training schedule will kick off next week. SF Nike Marathon: here i come.

I only have to ask myself this everyday: “what are you prepared to do”

In the words of the great George Sheehan: ““If you want to win anything- a race, yourself, your life- you have to go a little berserk”

June 21: am 7 miles – Silver Comet; pm 3 miles – treadmill

June 20: 6 miles – outside

June 18: 3 miles treadmill, hill repeats outside

June 17: 1 mile, 4 x .25m, 1 mile – speed workout

update #2, holding my own in more ways than one

Posted in races, road with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by afuntanilla

Today marks the 4th day of my “detox” and i am hanging tough. I definitely put myself in another tempting situation tonite, but more on that later.

This morning, I ran the Big Peach 5k in Brookhaven. I woke up at 7am and DID NOT want to get up. I was tired and wanted to keep sleeping in my quiet, warm, space. I definitely could’ve slept for 2 more hours. But, I got my butt up, made coffee, ate 1/2 a clif bar and was out the door. I made it to the starting line of the race with literally about 1 minute to spare! I was excited to be there with all the fellow runners; everyone all ready to go on a cool atlanta morning. it had rained last night and the streets were still a bit wet. perfect weather. I ran this race once before about 3 years ago and the course is different. it was basically a square route instead of going thru the brookhaven streets/neighborhood. First mile was fast at 7:57. I knew it was too fast, but oh well. it had just a slight uphill and then a flat stretch. Mile 2 was first downhill, then uphill. Both slopes were moderate. I was affected by the uphill portion which continued into mile 3. Mile 2 pace was 8:28. The first part of mile 3 was the last stretch of uphill and then flat on Peachtree to the finish line. Mile 3 was 8:32 pace. FINISH TIME: 25:54 = 8:16 pace (my garmin had me at 3.14 miles, so not sure what the exact time/pace was…but close enough. I was very happy with this result. Fastest 5k i have run in years! I felt like i could have pushed a bit harder, but i just gotta let it go and focus on the next one. it’s funny how quick these races go! lots of people out which was great to see. All money raised went for Leukemia & Lymphona Society. Post race t-shirt and goodies are some of the best; got a Nike Dry-Fit shirt and the food: bagels, muffins, Vitamin Water, Starbucks coffee, pizza, bananas, apples were all available. Why is it that this kind of spread is never available after marathons? That’s when we could really use all the food. Regardless, i love all the free stuff!! 

Next week at the duathlon, i assure you i will not be running this pace. Will need to conserve some energy for the bike and last little run. 

Regarding my detox, yesterday was good, no real temptations. Tonight, however, was a different story. I went out to one of my favorite places to get something good to eat and a place I would typically order a Cosmo or glass of red wine. I had neither. Dinner was good and healthy. I will say this; whenever i decide to end this detox, i am gonna really look forward to a kick ass dessert! Until then…I’m staying “clean”. 

Cheers!