Archive for dipsea

The Quadruple Dipsea: Part B

Posted in motivation, photos, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2016 by afuntanilla

So, as I mentioned in the last post, I was dejected after not finishing the Quad. It was the right decision for my body on that day, but i still felt really disappointed.

During the week that followed, as I would relay to others what happened, I followed my comments up by saying, “i’m going to go out again…i will do this and finish.” I wasn’t sure if it was going to be 1 week later or 1 month later. But, I knew I was going to go back.

5 days after not finishing the race, I had decided my body was good to go for it again the following weekend. I let myself rest during the week, stretched, ate well and felt good. I had the added benefit of further inspiration as that Saturday (Dec 3) was The North Face Endurance Challenge here on some of the same trails. I didn’t go watch in person, but followed via social media and was super pysched to follow some of my favorite runners do their thing, especially Zach Miller, who was the 50 mile winner.

So as Saturday went along and then into the evening, I noticed that mentally I was where I wanted to be and where I should have been on pre-race weekend. It was a noticeable difference. So, i felt both physically and mentally ready and now i just needed sleep and to get up and go.

I had my nutrition figured out and took extra shoes in case i wanted to change half way. I packed a PBJ Sandwich cut in 1/4’s, orange slices, Hammer Nutrition gels and Tailwind. I was ready to go.

I began at 8:30am and believed it would take roughly 8 hours. Anything more was gonna push me into post sundown. That would not be good.

I was up the Dipsea steps and onto the course and on my way. I knew early on that I was ok and felt much better than last week. Many parts of the trail were still a bit muddy from recent rain so my Nike Kiger Trail shoes were perfect for the gripping nature needed. They don’t have much cushion but they do grip well and are light! I was just basically humming along and enjoying myself and knowing I had many hours ahead of me so i just tried to settle in, but still stay cognizant of time. I made it to the Stinson turn around and headed back to Mill Valley. Once I got to Mill Valley, i knew I had 2 things to do; 1) grab some food from car, change shoes 2) turn around and get back up the stairs. I didn’t allow for any thoughts to enter my mind around how hard it was gonna be or anything like that…i just kept saying to myself, “get up the stairs, get up the stairs..” And I did. Once I was on the stairs, I felt like THAT was a WIN. I smiled. And kept moving.

A woman actually stopped me prior to me heading up stairs and asked if i was doing a double. I said “No, a Quad.” Her eyes widened and she said; “well, good for you. i know you will do it.”  I so appreciated those kind words.

I figured the 3rd leg, which i was now on, would be the hardest and it was tough. By approximately miles 19-20, I was really starting to feel it..my back started to hurt a bit and i was getting some ache in my legs. But, I just had to keep moving. I made it to Stinson for the 2nd time and as soon as I turned around to head back for the final leg, I smiled and texted my friend, Tim, to let him know where I was…that i was going to finish. I mean, really, at that point, my options were limited anyways…what am i going to do? Walk the rest of the way back. Hitch a ride back to Mill Valley? I better get moving as fast as I can cause the sun in starting to go down.

Let me tell you now. The 3rd leg is NOT the hardest. The 4th leg is. Even though this was the “homestretch”, there was No adrenaline rush. I was moving slow. Very slow. Different body parts were starting to really hurt, as I had anticipated, but it IS still always tough when the hurt sets in and you have to begin the battle. However, what most non-runners don’t understand is, THIS IS THE PART that makes it all so worthwhile..the HARD PART. Experiencing myself as I work through and navigate the rough patches. This is the part where I truly have to show up, stand up, rise up and above and get it done. I’m one of those people who gets absorbed in moments like these BECAUSE they are such great teaching moments…the moment that fully consumes me and I am engrossed in the nature of this particular battle…with the course, the elements, my body and my own will. I’m fascinated by how I respond. And not just how I respond; this is one of the things I’ve truly been captivated by in sports for my entire life…watching athletes of various levels and different sports compete in the most challenging moments. Deeply engrossing!

As I slogged up Dipsea near the Coastal view, I passed some fellas hiking for the 3rd time.  By now, they were wondering what I was doing and after learning, offered me words of encouragement. Thankful for that!!

My right shin of all things started to give me some real trouble. Weird, i thought. I guess from all the stairs. It was super tight and hurting. Going up the final Dipsea stairs after crossing the bridge @ Steep Revine intersection was insane. My labored breathing, my slow movement of lifting one leg and then other to step up again and again. I stopped, looked around the forest…no one in sight..beautifully quiet…and I simply said THANK YOU, out loud to this place…this place that has become my 2nd home. And then, I kept moving.

Finally, atop, and on my way to pass Cardiac for the last time. Next 3 miles all downhill and no, not easy. Just a few hours ago, i was flying down this section and now I was slowed to gingerly running down. As I crossed over the roots and rocks, i was so glad i had changed my Nike Kigers for the additional cushioning of my Hoka Challengers. Again, still no adrenaline rush. Still had one little climb after I labored DOWN Dynamite and into the Muir Woods parking lot. Ok…here I go…lumbering up and knowing now that this is it and trying to push faster in any way i could as I was less than 2 miles from the finish. Finally , I get up to Panoramic and take a quick glance at the gorgeous scenery and i smile big…this is it…1 mile downhill to the finish. I went as fast as I could on the Dipsea Stairs down into the finish at old Mill Park, where I began, 8 hours and 5 minutes earlier.

I was done with my Quad Dipsea.

I’m good and me and the Dipsea are good.

Thankful for this Body, this Life

 

repetitive…

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.

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for the joy

Posted in motivation, running, trail with tags , , , , on September 25, 2015 by afuntanilla

for the past few weeks, the running has been a time and place of pure joy. exhilaration. I lace up. I go roam with intention, with curiosity, with abandon, with determination, with freedom.

I enter into a place that is just for me, but makes me better for my life, for others.

I zone out, but zoom in.

Every sense feels on high alert. The smells on the trails permeate and refresh me after hours inside a boxy office. The beauty of all the enormous trees…so generous in their gift of shade, solace, inspiration…of respite from a world of pavement, buildings, stores, stuff…

my eyes awakened and renewed by seeing a blue bird whizzing by and the deer who startled me today. there she was just SITTING there at a switchback junction as if she was saying, “oh, hello.”

I, who has a habit of looking down, have to remind myself to look up…look up and what do i see…i see the Pacific Ocean out beyond…on this very warm late September day…i see the serene looking blue waters and want to keep running to her…i want to dive into her calmness, her consistency, her vastness.

My eyes so attune to this trail; my familiarity with it still growing, even after all these years, all these miles. My friend, my companion…

The roots, jagged rocks, smooth sections, dry, cracked hardened areas, the stairs…the never ending stairs and the ones that are slipped in here and there just to keep you honest, on balance. Talk about having to be and stay present. This is it. The place where attention is demanded, not just merely suggested. Stay present or you might miss the amazing beauty that falls upon you.

My ears activated by my own breathing, the rapid increase of expiration as I try to go faster up and up and up. Aroused by the simple stillness and quiet of a path with, at least for now, had no other runners.

As thankful as I am for a body that allows me to experience this movement, i am equally grateful to have all my senses in working order so that I may live and appreciate ALL OF THIS. Grateful for a heart that beats…

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Catching Up

Posted in bike, photos, road, running, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

These past few weeks: Another awesome bike ride with Jason. Went out on an mid week early morning. Weather was cool, foggy. I added arm warmers to my body but other than that, stayed with just shorts and bike jersey.

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(Jason in fog)

We did our same 25.5 mile loop and I felt good. The route was the same but the scenery changed due to the foggy conditions. A different kind of beautiful. So peaceful out there…I love it!! Awesome way to start my work day.

The next 2 weeks I traveled to Kansas City, MO & then Atlanta, GA. Obviously, both not easy places to run in during the summer months. I also have learned that for me to try to run the day after a long travel day is absolutely useless. I ran the day after I arrived in KC after long day of getting there. Run was painful. I also ran the day after I arrived back in CA after super long day of travel. That was doubly painful. I think I have learned my lesson. I can do the run of course, I just don’t find it enjoyable after such long travel days….but I feel like I just have to exercise because of all the sitting, etc…hello….conundrum! Anyways, in between those instances, I ran 3 days (4 miles each) steadily in Atlanta and was glad to get those morning runs in before work. Did a lot of driving while there, so moving my body beforehand was perfect! Humidity/heat was not as bad as expected for this time of year. Bonus! I ran on the same path each day….a flat path with a gazillion trees hovering around. Ahhhh….THIS I miss very much!! The plethora of soooo many trees! Beautiful, luscious, invigorating, and yes, thank you for the shade! The last day of running there was eventful in that I tripped and fell AND then narrowly avoided a snake. I’m sure the snake was harmless, but a snake is still a snake. Also, no scars or nothing from the fall. A tiny bruise, if that. Darn it.
Much of the path is laden with wood planks because the area is basically akin to a swamp. Every morning, it was deliciously quiet out there with just my footsteps and the soothing & familiar sounds of the cicadas.

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(playing w/ the shadows)

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After a full travel day back home from ATL, I desperately wanted to move my body the next morning. I knew I would be sluggish, but I just HAD to move. You know that feeling, right?? Also, after the flat path in GA, I was hungering for the dusty trails of Marin. I opted for the Dipsea steps and trail. Ahhh….the steps I crossed with happy, gentle, tired feet…the steps that took my breath away….over to the windy trail with scores of scattered fallen Eucalyptus leaves under my stride. Down and then back up the steep, dusty, rocky, section….my legs happily aching…running over to a section I had yet never been…the sunrise trail that goes .7 mile out and then the same return. An easy runnable section with fantastic views (even with the cool foggy morning). Taking some deep breaths and smiling, happy to be home again…happy to move my legs, grateful for everything.
Back down the Dipsea steps after a slow 5 miles. Just what I needed.

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Part of the Dipsea Trail

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Part of Sunrise Trail

Take a ride on the Dipsea….

Posted in motivation, photos, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , on August 6, 2012 by afuntanilla

So…the week post race was a fun one…ya know, I had that happier than usual feeling..fun to have the memory and experience of last weekend’s race.

As part of my reward and just simply because i have been waiting, patiently, for these shoes to come out, I went and got these new Nike Shoes.

They are the Nike Flyknit Trainer and I first saw them online about 6 months ago. Nike said they would not be released until the Olympics and if you have been watching, you might have seen some athletes running in these shoes.
They are pretty damn sweet! They fit like a glove…very snug..like a nice sock. The shoe feels like it hugs your foot. If you can wear a light shoe, with minimal cushion, you might like it. I am a neutral runner so I wear it just fine. Been running on it twice now and love ’em. I must warn you…they are not cheap! I don’t mind spending $$ on running shoes. I’d rather spend there than on most other things. 🙂

The day I bought them was a super long day for me filled with lots of sitting and driving and so when I finally got home, i just HAD to take ’em out for about a 2.5 mile spin. Nice!

Yesterday, I went for a get-a-way by myself in Muir Woods. I just wanted to be in nature and be lost for a little bit. Craved the time alone to be quiet, without technology/distractions, etc… I strapped on my Nathan pack and headed out for the Dipsea Trail starting in Mill Valley.

This is a shot from a section of 1 of the many stair sections.

I wasn’t in any hurry so i walked/hiked much of the steep climbs and ran the downhill sections. And basically, that’s what it is…up, down, up, down…and it’s gorgeous as I have mentioned before.

As I climbed, the sun that shined in downtown Mill Valley was now gone and we had this:

It was pretty awesome, actually. Felt like I could breathe better, hear better, see better. All my senses were on high alert. I felt calm, peaceful yet with a insatiable desire to suck it all in…everything. It was as if I was starved and dehydrated for days…

I came across a few people hiking/running in both directions, but there were ample alone moments as well. I went til about 3.5 miles out and then turned around. I had a severely steep downhill section here that was cool, but man…my legs are still feeling it big time. SOOOORE!

I ran back into Mill Valley completely content with my time in the woods. When can I go back???? A NECESSITY!
Was about 7 miles total.

Today, went to the gym and ran 4 on the treadmill followed by lots of core exercises. Aim is to keep getting fitter, stronger.

As I write this, I know my quads are in some hurt and I have no Advil. Damn. Can someone send me some. Stat. Thx.

Follow your dreams. Aim high. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged by anyone or anything. You can make it happen. One step at a time!!

ONWARD!

hey little butterfly

Posted in road, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by afuntanilla

Did some short, high intensity workouts during the week on Wednesday & Thursday. Wednesday was treadmill + weights. Thursday was sprint hill repeats outside. The Hill sprints were also on a day when it was about 88 degrees, so i am especially pleased with that workout. I want to be faster. Bottom Line. Faster on flats, faster on hills.

Saturday – ran 3 miles at 8:43 pace. flat and some small up/down areas

Sunday – went back to Kennesaw and ran same 5 mile route I ran last weekend with Jeff. I pushed the entire way. Didn’t stop at all. (last week, i stopped about 2-3 times). My time was a full 3 minutes faster than last week. THRILLED. There was low humidity yesterday so that definitely helped! Those 5 miles are no joke.

I felt happy and free and had fun. I wasn’t smiling or nothin’, but i was happy inside. A runners happiness. You know what I’m talkin about…

I’m glad to see some of my different workouts paying off.

I had been thinking of going out to Bay Area to run Double Dipsea on June 26th…but flights are over $400. yikes. I might just take the $ and buy a new SUUNTO watch I have my eye on…

Lastly, I saw a very beautiful blue and black butterfly while I was on the trail. At one point, it was right on front of me, weaving right and left…as if it were my guide…

Cheers —

walk, run, hike

Posted in photos, random, road, trail with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by afuntanilla

Greetings! I deliberately did not run last week Mon-Thurs. Just wanted to see how my body would feel, react, etc..
It was an interesting experience. I definitely do not like to sit around. In terms of movement or exercise, I spent some time at the gym with weights, crunches, pushups, etc.. I normally do these anyway, but this past week was without the running. I WALKED 1 mile on treadmill with a steady incline. BORING!!! REALLY BORING!!
Friday, I laced up the shoes and ran for 30 minute around my hilly neighborhood. Did almost the same exact run both Saturday & Sunday. 30 min exactly. I’m sorta trying to tweak the running a bit…more later on this.

I also went on a 2 hour walk/hike early this morning with these fine folks. We went to Sweetwater Creek State Park. Approx 25 min drive from my house. I’ve been there for trail running before so was happy to be back there again.

getting settled in


momma & son


I can do it!

he's a charmer!!


ahhhhh

A great way to start the day; in nature with friends on a gorgeous Sunday.

I found out, I did NOT get into the regular Dipsea race. (i am not surprised) So, now I gotta decide if I am 100% gonna run Double Dipsea on June 26th.

I am also making plans for a new goal. A new dream. Stay tuned.

Treat your body well. Love it. Nourish it. Rest it.