Archive for birthday

Can I

Posted in motivation with tags , , , on August 7, 2015 by afuntanilla

Can I do it?

Do I have enough time?

Is my body capable?

Am I capable?

Can I do it?

XLV

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Miles, ice cream and a semi-stalker

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by afuntanilla

The highlight run of the past week was the Sunday run(s). For some reason, I FELT like running on the treadmill for the longer run. I think I actually just wanted to switch it up…switch up the route and because Petaluma is not very big, I have already run all over the place here. Anyways, I ran on the treadmill. Luckily, Sunday Football was on and I watched the 49er game. I thought I would go 10, but ended up running 12. Happily. For my nutrition needs, I had 1 PowerBar Gel, a few CLIF BLOKS, water and some diluted Gatorade. All was good. Since I’ve been experimenting with the Gatorade, at least I now know I can drink some during race and not have any stomach issues. Huge lesson here is not to try anything DURING a race you have not already done in training.

Post-run — just came home and ate, rested. Felt like I had it in me to go more miles later in the early evening, so i did. Just a short 3.25 in the neighborhood. At the end of the night, felt really good. Stretched & ate well. So, for the day a solid 15.25. Also, did some shorter runs during the week and a good 3 mile hilly hike at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland on Saturday with friends.

After hike, we went to Fenton’s and I had no problem finishing this long awaited Black & Tan Sundae! Toasted Almond & creamy vanilla ice cream, handmade caramel & chocolate fudge, toasted almonds, whipped cream & cherry! OMG! SO Freaking GOOD!

Race day is now less than 14 days away. I was looking back into my running journal from 2009 when I ran this race before. My longest run for that training block was only 16 miles (same as this block). My finish time that day was 4 hours, 21 minutes. If I can be in that ballpark on 10/14/12, I will be more than satisfied.

I know I’ve said before that for THIS RACE, I am not concerned with my finish time because I have not had enough time to train like I should/need to…BUT, it’s also the MARATHON and I know that deep down, I DO CARE. I can’t help it. It’s just my nature.

I bought a new pair of K-Swiss Shoes for my birthday present. They have not arrived yet. Fedex is trying to deliver, but need a signature. UGH. I got home today and JUST missed the driver…so i then got in my car to go see if i could see fedex truck somewhere in neighborhood. I drove about 1 mile and saw truck. No driver inside. I waited. Fedex guy walks towards truck. I then realize, my fedex sticker is for GROUND DELIVERY and his truck is EXPRESS. No luck. I drove back home, kept a watch for FEDEX GROUND. Came home. Deflated. Who knew I was such a stalker. What? You didn’t KNOW how much I love my running shoes???? Where have you been….

Run Strong and Stand Tall.

I haven’t even told you about the birthday party yet…

Posted in 40 mile run, photos with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by afuntanilla

So, I DID celebrate my 40th birthday after the 40 mile run. First thing I did when i was done with the run was grab a beer from one of my friends! Simultaneously, an ice cream truck went buy and we started yelling and waving for the truck to stop. I have no idea why, but a popsicle sounded so damn good. So, that’s what I did. I drank a beer and had a popsicle immediately following the run. (also some energy replenishment mix) A few of us sat by the pool(and got in) and relaxed in the late afternoon sunshine. It was very peaceful. I was in a daze. So relaxed. Then, I was starving and knew I wasn’t going to last til dinner time without eating so I ordered a pizza to be delivered. Pizza, beer, sunshine, the pool, friends….perfect!

I showered and then hobbled over the birthday party in a facility near our hotel. I knew I had some kind of surprise coming, but had no idea what it was….

I knew more friends were coming and i was so excited to see them!! Some friends I had not seen in more than 25 years! Kera and I walked in and there were a bunch of tables set up for dinner and then a table in the corner with the Banner and some birthday gifts. Everyone signed the banner!! I loved reading their messages. This whole time, I was just smiling from ear to ear. I swear i don’t think i stopped smiling for days, really..The friends who were already at the hotel were already there at party, then the rest of the guests arrived pretty quickly….Nancy, Diane, Marcie, Kristine, Miki, Kim, Delaney, Karen and husband, Mike, Christine, Kelly…i was overjoyed!! I ordered one cosmopolitan and it seemed like my glass never got empty. HA. But, I was as sober as a judge and taking it all in. Old friends, new friends, twitter friends, school friends, etc…all under one roof. I could not have been happier!!

 

Scott, Jason, Delaney, Denise, Nancy & Me

 

 

Marcie & me

 

 

Some of the group

 

So, as the evening was rolling along, I am asked to go sit in front of the crowd and Neva was talking about the day, etc…and then she was saying something about indie artist/musician, JEN FOSTER..like how she wished me happy birthday and then Neva gave me a an autographed pic of Jen. Then, before I knew it, JEN FOSTER, walked in the room. WHAT THE HELL??

So, yep..that was my big surprise!! I could not believe it. How was this happening? What was happening? What were she and her partner, Leslie, doing here?? I was thrilled and confused. They (Neva, Kera, Sandra, Sharon, Lynn) all concocted a plan to get Jen to do a house party show. Are you freaking kidding me? We all know Jen’s music because of VenicetheSeries. One of Jen’s songs, VENICE BEACH, is a main song of the series and so we have followed her and her music and become big fans. (if you have not heard her music, go to http://www.jenfoster.com and listen!!)

Jen and Leslie greeted me so warmly..gave me big hugs and took pictures. It was awesome! We all settled down a bit to order food and eat. I was trying to make my way around to visit with different friends…feeling like I wanted to spend time with everyone of course! Everyone was visiting, eating, drinking, laughing, smiling. I looked around a few times and just watched everyone…and I will say this…the amount of LOVE in that room was UNBELIEVABLE and IMMEASUREABLE!

Next, Jen began playing and of course, she was phenomenal. Acoustic Jen Foster in a small space…AHHHH  Her voice, so clear and tender and powerful. Her words, the same. POWERFUL. We all just sat back and listened and watch something very special unfold. More than half the room  had never heard of Jen before and they become fast fans. Some of us had just seen Jen play at a small venue in Asheville, NC in late August and here we were, treated to her special talents again. My tired, worn body and happy soul sat back and basked in all the goodness surrounding me. I watched the crowd a lot..watched them taking it all in…smiles on their faces and quite a few tears when Jen sang some songs that tug at your heart. People were moved. I love that….

We ended up running out of time at the rented space and since so many of us wanted to stick around, we simply took the party outside to the parking lot. Hell, we had not even had the MINT ICE CREAM BIRTHDAY CAKE that MARCIE had brought. We settled in outside and Jen indulged us in playing one of her new songs that has yet to be released yet. I had heard her sing it in Asheville and asked her to play it. It’s always a fitting song, but even more so now in light of all the teen suicides lately related to bulling/sexuality/coming out, etc..

I truly felt we were all witness to something incredibly special as we all sat on the ground, together, and listened to Jen play “THIS IS ME”

Needless to say, this was the best birthday of my 40 years. I shall never forget. Thank you to so many of you who made it so amazing and memorable!!

THIS IS ME

Words & Music by Jen Foster

You and I have come this far

Guess it’s time I tell the truth

‘Cause I have known for a while, but I never wanted to bring shame on this family

‘Cause you asked me not to

But if this God to whom you pray

Is the same God I was raised to believe in

You’d better take it up with him

This is me, here we are

I know I may not be everything you wanted

But this is all I’ve got

This is me, talk to God

He’s the one you really ought to ask these questions

Cause I am all his fault

This is me

Why, you ask, would I ever put you and Dad through this

When it’s only just a phase

Well, who’s to say what’s to come

And who are you to judge my love?  Yes, I am different, but my heart works just the same

I could lie to your face

But you taught me that’s no way to live my life

So I’m taking your advice

This is me, here we are

I know I may not be everything you wanted

But this is all I’ve got

This is me, talk to God

He’s the one you really ought to ask these questions

Cause I am all his fault

This is me

This is me

Talk to God

You said he speaks to us when we listen

So listen

This is me

I’m nobody’s fault

Listen to your heart

Talk to God

This is me…


Jen
www.jenfoster.com
www.myspace.com/jenfoster

Funtanilla Forty: Part 4

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

At approx Mile 22 mark, me and the fellow runners & 2 support cars, pulled into a gas station. I wanted to change my socks/shoes and refuel. A man in a large pickup truck pulled up to us and said, “Can I ask what this is all about.” I guess we were causing quite a scene. LOL

I got up and headed down the road. By this time, it was nearing mid-day and it was HOT. Temperatures were between 85-90 degrees and I was in the full sun. There is virtually no shade in San Leandro. Those temps were unusual, for sure, but you get what you get and move on. I needed a hat so I took off my Funtanilla Forty Orange bandana that Sharon made and put on an oversized cap from Sandra. (this was not my first choice, but i couldn’t be picky. left my own Brooks cap in the hotel)

 

Oversized Dodger Blue Cap (UGH!)

 

 

Scott, Neva, Kera & Me on walk break

 

 

Back to Work

 

I was also getting into high traffic areas and had to stop at a lot of traffic lights…that’s never fun but it was part of the course. After the marathon mark of 26 miles, it started to get tougher. I had not run past that distance in about 2 years and my legs were feeling it. And Feet! Scott was still running with me and offering lots of positive encouragement. “Angie, you are looking good. you’re looking strong”, he would say. I have no idea if he was telling me the truth, but it sounded good and I believed him. I can’t say enough about how thankful I am that Scott ran with me. (in total about 26 miles) He was solid! He was a great companion. We have only known each other thru the blogging world and met each other once before at a race. It was easy to run with him…no pressure to talk or anything…just be and run. He is a gem! Everyone loved him and his cute self.

We were coming up to a Taco Bell so I used it as an opportunity to make a pit stop to the bathroom. When I came out and went outside, I saw more friends to greet me; Denise and Jason! On the eve of their 2nd wedding anniversary, they were out there to cheer me on! Denise even ran with me for a bit which was a wonderful surprise. She has some disc problems with her neck that prevents her from hard impact activities, so I was so delighted to see her out there and she felt good!! Me & my friend of about 21 years out running in the streets of San Leandro. Sweet!

 

Denise & I

 

We ran through the mini “downtown” area of San Leandro and made a stop across from the Long’s Drug Store. I sat on the curb and i think at this point someone (can’t remember who, sorry) massaged my calves. A huge help. Grandma and I used to go to that Long’s Drug store all the time and I always enjoyed it. I loved walking slowly along the aisles and just looking at all the stuff…the greeting cards, all the medicine stuff, random things like slippers or clock radios or little fans. I remember when we would walk in during the holidays and they had all their holiday decorations out…for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grandma always seemed to buy a tin of those Butter Cookies, Andes Thin Mint Chocolates and Mon Cheri Chocolates. It’s a rarity that I eat any of those items anymore (mostly because I don’t wanna buy a WHOLE PACK or CONTAINER just for me) but they always make me think of grandma and the holidays. Ok. Get back to running.

There isn’t a whole to report on the next 10 or so miles. Some of it was back through some areas I had already been and other than that, not to noteworthy. Except to say, that it continued to be hot and Jason was a gem in getting me a bunch of ice cubes packed into a t-shirt for me to wear around my neck. That was a huge help. He also switched places with Denise and ran a bit with Scott and I. I really felt he was taking care of me and I appreciated it so much. THANK YOU, JASON!

These miles that were uneventful were mentally kinda taxing. They made me a little grumpy although I was also feeling the pain so those 2 feelings kinda mixed in with each other. We had to wait at a lot of lights/traffic and it just wasn’t nice scenery. But, again…i chose the route for particular reasons and I just had to keep on.

I got a great boost around mile 32. I am running along on this road full of nothing and I see these red car parked ahead all by itself and I see someone waving. I hear their voice. I cannot tell who it is yet…closer, closer, I see it is my old high school friend, Miki! WOW. CRAZY. UNBELIEVABLE. She gave me a big smile and hug and it was such an enormous boost. She had to get back in her car and would join us later that evening for the birthday party. How great was that, right!!!

 

MIKI!

 

Another big boost came about 2 miles later when Scott and I saw my best friend, Holly! She had swapped her car with someone and had her bicycle and was gonna be with us for a while. So happy to see her and have her join us. We were about 6 miles away from the Marina and the finish line. It wasn’t too long ago that Holly couldn’t even exercise at all. She had a serious back injury that was very painful and caused her to be extremely limited in her exercise. She couldn’t ride a bike, no tennis — nothing really except walking. She couldn’t even really sustain more than one hour car rides. Now, she is kayaking, riding her bike, etc..and I was so proud of her and happy she is able to be active again.

 

Denise, me & Holly

 

Once Holly joined me, Scott departed and went back with Kera in support car. He had run about miles with me and said his knee was starting to bother him. I would have thought he was a serious slacker, but 2-3 weeks prior, he had just run 93 miles across Idaho! So, i let him off the hook and told him it was ok to go rest. HAHAHA!

(read about his adventures at http://www.ikeeprunning.blogspot.com or click SCOTT on my links to the right of page) He is an awesome runner and a great fella!

Now, I’m about 3-4 miles from the end and what am i thinking? Well, I’m looking at my watch and seeing the hours keep adding up and thinking, “wow, i’ve been out here a long time.” You know, there comes a point where your thoughts are not really coherent and you are just functioning..just keep going…just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep pumping your arms…repeat.” oh, and keep drinking. what else do you need? another gel? keep going. I never thought, “i can’t finish”. Never even crossed my mind. Oh yeah, i few miles back, Kera had the Rocky Theme song playing on her Droid phone so gave it to me to listen to which was very cool. In case you don’t know, that IS my favorite song!

Finally, I’m on a straightaway into the Marina and I know I have about 2 miles left. I tell Holly, “I wanna do this part alone. I will meet you all at the finish line.” Off I went to run the final part which is into the Marina and onto the “fitness trail” portion which looks like a little island in itself. It’s a small loop on paved trail with dirt patches all around and the bay is right there with ya! I was running and looking across to San Francisco. I felt the soft breeze cool my face. I heard the sounds of the water gently lapping against the rocks. I heard children’s voices playing in the distance. I remembered all those times I came to this same spot as a teenager…coming there to find some quiet and some calm in my crazy life. I would run or walk around the loop and just think. I can’t remember what I thought, but I remember how I felt; i felt like i could breathe. Something about the openness of the area gave me perspective and some kind of hope that things would be ok. I think we all need that kind of place, no matter how old you are or where you are in your life. I hope you, dear reader, have that kind of place for you.

 

view of sf

 

 

my friends waiting for me!

 

I had been run/walking these last 10 miles and I had about 1 mile to go to the finish. I wanted to run all the way in…all the way in to my friends, my awesome supporters. As I exited the trail and ran along the main road, I could see some of them up ahead with cameras. I was smiling and digging in. I turned left into the hotel parking lot and saw some of them up ahead holding a banner for me…like a finish line banner. I ran until I touched the banner. I was smiling. BIG.

 

Happy. So Happy.

 

 

Why 40 miles?

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, road with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by afuntanilla

Let’s get it Started!

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, travel with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by afuntanilla

As I thought about my upcoming 40th birthday, of course i thought of how to celebrate. First of all, 40 is and has been a significant number because when i think of 40, i think that’s how old my mom was when she died. So, here I am…just 4 months away from being that same age. To me, that is just crazy. Wild. Weird.

She died on a late Sunday morning while we were driving home from a fishing trip. A peaceful Sunday along Hwy 580 near Castro Valley turned deathly silent after the crash, boom, and bang of the multi-car pile-up.

I got pretty well banged up in the accident. After 6 weeks in the hospital & another month or so in a full body cast, I literally learned how to walk again. I’ll never forget those first moments of taking steps on my own. Man, what a THRILL!! There I was in grandma’s living room, wearing my blue & bright pink pajamas, gingerly putting one foot in front of the other. I was walking again and I felt free.

I’m a runner. I have to tell the story above because I continue to feel much gratitude that I can run. I listen to folks all the time of all sizes, shapes, & ages tell me how they wish they could run, but cannot because of knee problems, back problems, etc… So, it is never lost on me how lucky I am. Every day.

So…what the hell does all this have to do with turning 40 and a birthday…?  Well, after many thoughts and ideas about how, when, and where I would celebrate,  I made a decision. I have decided to go back to where it all kinda began for me; San Leandro, CA. Even though I was born in San Francisco, most of my childhood memories are from days spent in San Leandro. To commemorate my 40th year, I have decided to run 40 miles starting in San Leandro at the address of where I grew up and go from there. I recently mentioned my idea to a friend and her response was: “wouldn’t you want to do something more fun?” – I think my response was: “well, i want to do something meaningful and this is meaningful.” And I actually think it will be fun….fun because my hope is that many of my friends will come out and support me at some point during the day, fun because it will be like some big trip down memory lane — and although some of those memories are difficult, they contributed to who i am and for that, i give thanks.

This will be a run of celebration. A celebration and reflection of 40 years and pay tribute to those people and places who have been with me along the way.

There will be many people to thank that day, including mom, for without her, September 25, 1970, would not have been possible.

I hope you will follow me as I train and plan for the celebration. Cheers!!!

Remembering Grams

Posted in random, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2009 by afuntanilla

I remember….walking with you to Safeway &  Longs Drugs store. We would often take your wiry shopping cart and head out along Park Blvd. We would pass our church, St Leanders, and sometimes stop in to light a candle for those you had lost. Being so young, I never thought I would later in life light candles for both you and mom. Surely you didn’t think you would light a candle for your daughter….

Did we talk along the way? I don’t remember conversations, i just remember me and you and our journeys together. It was like our time, our ritual.

I loved going into Longs Drugs with you. Those stores are now few and far between. Here, in Atlanta, we have stores called CVS and Walgreens. (In fact, Walgreen just bought Longs, so their name might be completely gone by now…sadly). Anyways, I just remember being in that store and going through the candy isle, the card isle, the shampoo isle…something about it was oh so comforting. If it was near the holiday time, you would pick up two of your holiday staple treats; a good sized can of Almond Roca and a tin of butter cookies. Ahhh….yum! Still, two of my favorite treats to have at ANY time.

You walked EVERYWHERE or took the bus, the BART. Eventually, you revealed that you didn’t know how to drive…never got your drivers license. You walked to your jobs…those where you cleaned and took care of women who were older than you. Sometimes you had to stay for the weekend and I would visit with you and help clean. I looked forward to it not only for the money you would share, but because it was something different to do and I got to see someone else’s house and how they lived. Since these were people who could not do a lot for themselves, I got the sense that their death was not too far away…and often times the odor of near death would hover in the air. Still. I didn’t mind being there with you. You always seemed to enjoy your job and your connection to those you took care of. Who knew that in a few short years you would be taking care of me…

After being released from the hospital, I went to live with you, yet still had to be in a hospital bed. There it was, front and center, in the living room. Where else would we put it? There was no more room!  We had lots of time to spend together now! I was supposed to have a school tutor since I was missing the beginning of my 7th grade school year, but many days, you and I called in “sick” for me. Hee Heee. I loved that. What did we do instead? Well, we watched Soap Operas, of course. Our favorite shows; All My Children and General Hospital. You would make me one of my favorite things to eat: a cheese quesadilla in a corn tortilla. Gooey cheese would explode on one end as i bit the other side. YUM.

Hard to remember what else we did all day while I was laid up in that bed for a month or so! I’m now in my 39th year so my memory is failing a little… There were days I remember you cooking up a storm. You would spend all day making a big pot of beans, spanish rice, tamales, enchiladas…I would help you “clean” the beans. Do you remember that, grams? Um….still have yet to have a single Tamale as good as yours!

You were a Folgers drinker. As loyal and as addicted as I am to Peets, you were to Folgers. Every morning, you would boil the water for your coffee and then put it into your little cup with a saucer. Who uses saucers? You would add a little milk, no sugar. Then you might look at some of your religious books you received in the mail or pay bills or just sit. Always at the kitchen table. I don’t think you ever sat anywhere else while sipping your coffee. Me? At my home desk, sitting on the carpet, the sofa.

Oh my gosh. You were a pack rat. You had all these piles of magazines and little books all over the place. I hate to say, THIS, I inherited from you. I am STILL trying to rid myself of this! I have boxes of newspaper articles from years ago…all sports related. Why do i keep them? I have piles of running magazines both in view and in boxes. Why? why? why? Well, if i tried to throw away any of your Sunset or Readers Digest mags, you would scold me and tell me even though you don’t look at them every day, there is something in them you might want to go back and read sometime. And there lies the answer. Damn you.

I’m happy to report that unlike you, I do not have a dresser top filled with bottles of lotions, perfumes, gobs of lipsticks, rouge, and anything else cosmetic related. Why did you have all that shit? I don’t think I EVER saw you wearing makeup!  Looking at your dresser made me crazy but also made me laugh. Even now!

You liked your beer. Olympia (no longer in existence), Coors. You liked your brandy. E&J. And sometimes, you liked your whiskey. Kesslers. Did you ever drink Margaritas? I’m sorry we never got to have a drink together. I would have liked that. Often times when you were into your whiskey you would start semi-dancing and babble on about god knows what….you would keep saying, “That’s a baba”. Cracked us all up. Never found out what that meant. You would never say…although now i think it was just something you made up you crazy lady.

As time passed, you aged. Before my eyes and between the distances of where we lived, you moved much slower, seldom walked and even seldom talked, I think. All I wanted was for you to stick around long enough to see me graduate from college. Do you remember me asking…er…TELLING you to stick around. “Grams…I’m gonna graduate soon. You gotta be there and you gotta dress sharp, ok.”

You were there. You saw me receive my college degree with high marks. I wanted you to be proud, grams. I doubt you had any idea what I was studying or received my degree in, but you knew I finished. I was so happy you made it to the ceremony. Thank you!

A month or so later, I came to visit you in your little apartment in Oakland. I was nervous. excited. nervous to tell you my news, but excited about my news. “Grams, I’m gonna be moving to Atlanta.”   You said, “That’s it then. I’ll never see you again.”  Well, you were wrong. You did see me again!

A few months later, I returned for my first visit and went to your door. It was unlocked and the TV was blaring. I walked in, walked in front of you sitting on the sofa. You smiled, gasped, and put your hand over your eyes….I was sooo happy to see you too, grams!

My next visit was also unexpected. On an late night in early September 2000, I got that call. Liz called and said, “grandma died.” I packed my bags and got on a plane to see you. Liz had told me you died in your sleep. I wondered what happened. I’ve come to my own conclusion that you were just done. Done with a very hard life. You were alone and so many of those close to you had already passed. Your life was a tough one. A life filled with failed marriages, kids who were in prison, a daughter who died and left you holding the bag with 4 grandkids, sisters and brothers who were junkies (even in their old age). I think you were just done. Even so, it was sad to lose you and heart-wrenching to plan your funeral service and finally, to bury you. At the cemetery, they opened mom’s grave because that is where you were to be buried also. What a strange sight that was to see. Her coffin in another box. Long gone. You were the one who bought the double plot. Did you have one of your “esp” moments and you just knew?

I’m sorry time didn’t accelerate quicker for me and slower for you. So many things I wanted to do with you; go to Las Vegas, take you on a cruise, take you to so many places you never got to see.

I’m sorry you didn’t get to see me run. You would be clapping so loud, grams. BUT,  you’d also probably be one of those folks who tell me running isn’t good for my knees, etc…and WE WOULD FIGHT ABOUT IT! HA!

I’m sorry you didn’t have the chance to see me in my professional life, my career. You’d probably be surprised at my chosen profession, but you would be proud and that’s all that matters. You knew. You knew I would not go by the wayside and do nothing with my life. Thank god! You seldom said it, but damn, I know you loved me. That was just your way. I get it now.

You were Mercedes on the record books, Mercy, to friends, and Tita to your brothers and sisters…Tita, spanish for small one.

To me, you were Grams. Always.

I love you, Grams. Happy Birthday.