Archive for determination


Posted in motivation, photos, running, trail with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2015 by afuntanilla

It is thru repetition that we get better. However, the repetition must be accompanied by awareness, more deliberate effort, laser focus. This is how we improve, in anything.

Of course, this is also in addition to a desire and the belief that you can be better. At ANYTHING. At LIFE.

Why not?

At the halfway mark on Sunday’s concerted and fun effort! Happy to have hot some personal bests of sections of the trail today. Happy Runner.


Take the shot!

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2012 by afuntanilla

From time to time, I like to go out and shoot hoops. This activity usually occurs by myself. For a couple of reasons. 1) I usually go do this on spur of the moment. 2) I don’t really know anyone else who would like to go do this with me. 

So. I go alone which is just fine by me. I don’t like people guarding me and getting in my face anyways. 🙂

I like the freedom to move and shoot with no one else around. I like to dribble and drive and shoot and try to make all kinds of crazy shots. The last few times I have gone out and played, it seemed like i couldn’t make ANY shots. Not even those super close up lay up shots. Nothing was going in. Lay ups, jumpers, free throws…you name it and it just really wasn’t happening for me. Pretty frustrating, but I always kept shooting. Because I like to move. I like to try. I like to keep the challenge going. Even though it can be frustrating, it is still fun. 

And, TODAY, was even more fun. Because most of the shots were going IN. Long range, short range, crazy lay ups…they were all going in the net…..SWOOSH…..and that is what keeps me going…those times when you take the shot and it hits nothing but net….SWOOSH, baby!

So, keep taking the shots. Don’t give up when it might seem frustrating. Keep taking the shot. Because, pretty soon…you will hear it….SWOOSH!!!!

Been in similar shoes

Posted in motivation, photos, random with tags , , , , , , , on July 14, 2011 by afuntanilla

Before I became a crazy runner, Soccer was my love. I was not very good, but I was an average player. I played in high school and club teams and then 2 years at Santa Rosa Community College in Northern California. My 2nd year was the more memorable of the two seasons.
We had a new and awesome coach. She had been a star player at the local university, Sonoma State, and we were excited to have her on board. I was a starting midfielder who also played some forward position. I worked my ass off to BE a starter because like I said, I was a mediocre player. But, I always believed I would make a difference and stand out to my coaches if I just kept working hard to improve. (I was a team player but I still wanted to work harder than anyone else.)

So, our season went well and at the end of the regular schedule, we found ourselves in a familiar position; we had to beat another team in our league in order to progress to the State Championship. We had already beaten the team 2x during regular season, but one more time was needed to move on to State, The Ultimate Goal.

The year was 1991, i think. The game took place on our home field in Santa Rosa. I remember sitting in my white Honda CRX listening to a song called “One Moment In Time” by Whitney Houston. It was initially played in the 1988 Olympics and I loved it. It always provided me with inspiration, motivation and determination. I finished listening to the song and went to join my teammates for our game.

After 90 minutes, we were tied. I cannot recall the score, but we went into 1 overtime and it was still tied. Next, it was 2nd overtime. Still tied.
90 minutes. Tied.
Two 15 minute overtimes. Tied.

We moved on to penalty kicks with our season and our dream on the line.
The sidelines were packed with lots of people cheering for both sides. You could feel the tension, the pressure, the excitement. Both teams were exhausted, but it was time to see which team had more left in them.

Each coach had to pick 5 players to begin the kicks. I was not one of the 5 picked and I was devastated inside. I knew I was not a great player, but I also had 100% confidence I could hit the net for us. Well, each team sent one player at a time and after 5 kicks each, we were still tied. I think both teams had missed one. Player 6 needed to be chosen by coach. I was not that player. More inner devastation. Said 6th player ended up missing the kick and after the other teams turn, we had another chance. Player 7 chosen. It was me.

I had some friends on the sidelines cheering me on. I had my teammates cheering me on. I felt the weight of so much intensity and pressure. It was one of those moments you never forget.

I walked up to the penalty kick line and placed the ball where it needed to go. Just me and the goalkeeper. I was so alone and yet so supported. This was my moment. My one moment in time. How was I going to do?

I looked at the goalkeeper, got the o.k. from the referee to proceed.

I kicked the ball into the upper left hand corner of the net, just beyond the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper. I made it. We won.

We were going to the State Championship Game. I was yelling and screaming as were my teammates as we all mobbed each other on the field.
It was one of the most unforgettable and special moments of my life.

I share this memory because it came to mind as I have been watching the US Women’s Soccer Team in the World Cup. Watching their game vs Brazil was one of the best games, best finishes I have ever seen. A phenomenal clutch performance, especially playing a man down for about 50 minutes, in tough temperatures. They gutted it out and never quit. When Abby Wambach scored the tying goal with seconds remaining, I had chills and got teary-eyed in the midst of my pure excitement. What a moment. What a thrill this game of Soccer can be. I hope you are tuning in.

The words to the song were so fitting for me on that day, in particular. Here are some of the words:

Each day I live, I want to be
A day to give the best of me
I’m only one, but not alone
My finest day, is yet unknown

I broke my heart for every gain
To taste the sweet, I faced the pain
I rise and fall, yet through it all
This much remains

I want one moment in time
When i’m more than I thought i could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me


Posted in motivation, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by afuntanilla

After picking up race # from Loop Guy’s condo, I walked the mile back to hotel and enjoyed the rest of my Saturday in Chicago; went to Intelligentsia Coffee (some of THE best coffee around), went into an awesome Photo Gallery on N. Michigan Avenue. Cesar Russ Photo. His photography was gripping, mesmerizing & inspiring. His website does not do his work justice, but it is The CROWN FOUNTAIN SERIES was awesome to see in person.

My initial thoughts before flying in were to go to the Cubs vs Giants game. Having never been to Wrigley Field before and with my favorite team in town, I wanted to go. However, with the weather looking more awful by the minute, the last thing i wanted to do was go sit in a cold, windy stadium for 3 or more hours. So, I watched the game from the comfort of the bar area at restaurant across from my hotel. I had a nice dinner, felt cozy and cheered my team on from the comfort of my bar stool. Went to sleep early and woke up at 5am feeling ready to race. Feeling refreshed and limber is a great thing on race day. I feel like those feelings/conditions have eluded me the last few races.

Appropriately dressed for rain/cold, I walked out of the Raffaello Hotel and headed west for the mile walk to race start. Windy, heavy drizzle slapped against me as I made my way towards the Lakeshore. I was so glad to finally see some runners and took comfort that we are all a bunch of crazy and awesome people.

Soon enough, the race began. The course was entirely along the Lakeshore paved path. Out and back. The narrow path proved to be a bit congested in many areas, but it’s not like I was trying to run 7 min miles or something…I kept a good pace for the first 6.5 miles out with the wind at my back at times and other times, it was coming from the west side. It was truly like being pelted with sheets of ice. No protection whatsoever. Left side of my face was frozen. Head too. Ouch, man. That hurt. Then, the wind would whip up and shove me forward.

For the 1st half of race (about 6.5 miles) I was running about 9:18 pace per mile, which was ok and I felt encouraged until I made the turn to head back the other direction. WOW. How to explain running into 25-30mph winds? Nothing to compare it to. Holy Cow. That’s about all I can say. I’ve run in wind before, but I have not run in WIND OFF OF LAKE MICHIGAN. Because I wear glasses, I had to wear a hat which was blown off of my head several times. I could not raise my head much, so I just kept my eyes downward and kept on going. With each step, it felt like I was being defeated. I felt like I had to make soo much effort to even go 5 feet forward. Not Kidding.

Did I ever think about stopping and bailing out? No. What I thought was…”Wow. I cannot believe I am voluntarily doing this.”  Honestly, I couldn’t think about much other than getting to the next mile and the next one until I was done. I looked out at the powerful ocean and the white-capped waves a few times. I gained strength from the runners in front of me, beside me, behind me. We were all in our own worlds and yet so connected by our passion, our goal. I believe, in our hearts, we were all aiming to be our own hero, someone we could be proud of…

And, I was. Proud. It took maybe a full 24 hours for me to truly feel proud and get over the disappointment of my finish time of 2:14:34. I know it was the conditions, etc…but I can’t help it. (In case you are just tuning in…i’ve been trying for a new PR at the Half-Marathon Distance.)

I grabbed my finisher medal, which is really nice by the way, and walked back to hotel. A bit later, I get an email from Loop Guy, who lives in a condo overlooking the race course:

Did ya get ur ass kicked by my windy city 😉

ME: kicked my ass and then some! Brutal conditions. The harshest i’ve ever run in during all my years of racing. or even training. But, it does make the finish line more sweet.
thanks again, Dom! I will make the donation and let you know when finalized.
did you watch from the cozy comforts of your condo?

Yep … got that right … was good timing to be on the injured reserve list hehehe
I was sittin in my watch tower … hot cup of coff … toasted french bagel … cream cheese … fresh fruit … anddddd gazing over the diehards … hehehe …. being pummeled with sheets of icy lake sweat …

Just thinking … somewhere in that mass of red runny noses, blured eyes, chattering teeth, … stands Angie … taking one for the team … hehehe … you go girl! … 

Thank you to Loop Guy and to all of you who support and cheer me on in my quests…your kind words, your encouragement, your positive energy mean more to me than I could ever properly or adequately express.



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.

Someone who inspired me

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, quotes with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by afuntanilla

A favorite quote by someone whose story truly inspired me.

“I ran and ran every day, and I acquired a sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never, give up, no matter what else happened.” – Wilma Rudolph, US Track Star, Olympian

If you don’t know who she was, Google her. Amazing story!


Posted in motivation, quotes with tags , , , on September 20, 2009 by afuntanilla