Archive for heat

 Oh, Peachtree…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, running, travel with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by afuntanilla
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I have not found a way to successfully “race” the Peachtree 10k Road Race. I lived in Atlanta for 13 years and ran the race 4 times as a resident. I’ve now completed my 3rd time running the event as a non-resident. It was not “easier” as a resident who had the time to acclimate. My finish times were a bit better while residing in the languishing heat and sultry humidity, but the running the race itself has always been for me an experience of knowingly putting my body under duress. Because even though I haven’t felt like I was actually “racing” like I can in other 10k races, I have always gone out there trying to do my best and go as fast as possible on the given sweaty and patriotic 4th of July morning.
It had been a rain of frequent rain before Peachtree and the forecast for race time was 100% rain forecasted. I welcomed the forecast as I LOVE to run in the wet stuff in Atlanta. I love the feel of the large, heavy drops plopping on my skin in the hot summers. While a resident, I was caught in more than a few rainstorms on my training runs and I got soaked and SOAKED in the experience on all of them. It always felt a bit magical to me….running along a quiet Atlanta street, so many trees near and far, the green leaves glistening in the distance and the rain pouring down in front of me. AHHHHHH…..no where near a nuisance, but a gentle companion (except those FEW exceptions when there may have been hacking thunderstorms)
So, yes, I would not have minded the rain. Unfortunately, the rain did not grace herself for us; nor did the heat. The humidity did show up, though, in full force. Temperature on race morning was about 72 degrees, 95% humidity. Ouch.
Welcome to Atlanta!
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 PRE-RACE
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I walked the short distance from the hotel to the starting line. Along the way, the Elite Women had begun. They were the 1st group to start. A large group of us who were walking to our respective start areas all stopped, dead in our tracks, to watch these phenomenal women athletes. The small group of women ran swiftly by us, looking like a pack of gazelles….their strides so graceful, smooth, and fast! After they passed by us, we all kinda turned to each other and smiled that “wow” smile when you witness something great! Pretty cool!
Onward toward my starting wave, Wave C, start time to be 7:41 a.m. Well, as group A began, group B and C moved up, but my area of Group C somehow got lumped in with group B, so my start time moved up 5 minutes and as such, my Garmin was not ready when I started. I had been waiting for it to calculate my position for GPS purposes, but by start time, it was still “thinking”, which was frustrating. So, I began.
Mile 1 – from Lenox Mall and through Buckhead. Flat. Just feeling my way into it. PACE Unknown
Mile 2- by now, my gps was working so I began my watch at this time. This mile is flat to downhill. At 2.8 miles, my client, who is 88, had been along the route to cheer me on. How cool is that??! I was delighted to see him. I gave him a big hug and he said, ” go get ’em, kid!” PACE 8:44
Mile 3 – the gradual then steep climb up to Piedmont Hospital and then flat for about 1/4 mile. PACE 9:07
Mile 4 – really started to feel sluggish here. thinking i probably needed more to eat than just the 1 Powerbar for breakfast. Not sure what I was thinking. Legs didn’t feel too bad, just feeling like I needed some energy. PACE 9:46
Mile 5 – always a deceptively difficult mile. looong gradual uphill mile. more sluggish. they had water stations at every mile marker and i took a few sips at each one….slowing down a little bit more at each station. PACE 10:22 (ouch)
Mile 6 – flat, short super small incline, and then downhill across the finish line. PACE 9:17
Finish Time: 58:56
Happy to have completed another Peachtree, but a bit disappointed I did not have a better finish time. While running, I actually thought it was a little faster. I just went through my computer to see what my best result was here and I CANNOT BELIEVE IT, but my best finish time at Peachtree WAS in FACT when I was a NON-RESIDENT!! I ran the race in 2003 with a finish time of 54:09
Well…what does that tell ya??!
NOTHING! Just gotta laugh.
POST – RACE
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Thanks to my buddy in Sharon, in Atlanta, for hanging with me and cheering me on!
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numbers, et al.

Posted in photos, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by afuntanilla

I first heard about the Western States 100 UltraMarathon back on the eve of my first ever HALF-MARATHON in 1999. A friend was explaining the race to me and as i was about to embark on 13.1 miles the next day, hearing about this 100 MILE race was incomprehensible. I could barely wrap my head around 13.1 miles…100 miles…whew!!

It’s years later now and while I know 100 miles is a lot, it is no longer incomprehensible to me. I mention this because this classic, bad-ass annual race took place this past Saturday. The route starts in Squaw Valley, CA & ends in Auburn, CA covering some ridiculous elevation along with snow in the beginning and 90 degrees+ later in the day. I was following along via the web & twitter to get updates on some of the ultrarunners that inspire me. It is truly amazing what the top runners are able to do…what their bodies are able to do. AMAZING.

No, I’m not planning on running a 100 mile race…at least not anytime soon. 🙂 I just mention this because, there I was, saturday morning, all inspired and amped up!! Damn 100 miles. That’s a long way!!

Here are some tidbits from some recent runs:

Wednesday; 5.25 miles, treadmill
Thursday; 4 miles, 95 degrees
Saturday; 5.16 miles, 85 degrees, 68% humidity
Sunday; a.m. 10 miles, 74 degrees, 85% humidity; p.m. 3o min walk/run/hill repeats. 90 degrees

Diet: all vegetarian.

here are some pics of some of the training ground:

Heading west on Silver Comet Trail (below)

Trying to cool off afterwards in the creek!

It was pretty damn peaceful sitting there after 10 good miles!

At least a couple of days a week, usually after running on treadmill, I will run up these steps. They are the beginning of the 6 flights up to my place. I love running these!!

I know I talk about the heat a lot, but damn…y’all…we’ve had some RIDICULOUS weather here lately. I cannot remember the last time it WAS NOT 95+ degrees outside. Everyday the heat and high humidity. This is not too customary for June in Atlanta. July and August but not June. I don’t even think we had a Spring. Walking across the street in the afternoons to grab coffee just about knocks me out. I feel like my face is on fire. Seriously. Well….what are you gonna do, right?

Like they say, ‘that which doesn’t kills us, makes us stronger’.

Go to it. Get Strong. Get Stronger.

…on my way to 40….that’s almost HALF of a 100… just sayin’

hills, nutrition, shoes, etc..

Posted in cooking, photos, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by afuntanilla

Mid week I did some more speed and hill work. Here’s a couple of photos of the 2 hills I have been running my hill sprint repeats. These workouts are not lengthy, but they are strenuous and I feel damn satisfied afterwards.

The first Hill (pic #1) is longer. The 2nd hill (pic #2) is shorter, steeper. I’ve been running sprint repeats of both.

Saturday I ran a short, hilly, 3 miler. Sunday, I ran a flat 4.5 miles. The heat & humidity are creeping higher. You would think after living in Atlanta for 10 years it would be a non-factor, but it is very much still a factor. Mixed in with the small amount of miles has time at the gym. Just trying to get stronger & faster.

In honor of my beloved San Francisco Giants, I wore these KSWISS shoes today that i picked up on my trip in March for LA MARATHON.

I have 3 pairs of KSWISS shoes; the ones above which are KSWISS Tubes and 2 pairs of KSWISS K-Onas – one blue pair & one red pair. I love them all. The K-Onas are very light, but still have great support. The Tubes are heavier with more cushion. I wore ASICS for years, but over the last year, I have found a new love with these shoes.

One of the things I have written about in the past is nutrition. Often times, i will decide, for different reasons, to cut certain foods from my diet. Sometimes it has been sugar, meat, alcohol, etc…Well…as it has happened over the last month, I have just been “organically” (no pun intended) reading more about nutrition and understanding more about how different foods affect my body. So, in a nutshell, I have been eating almost entirely a fresh food/vegetarian diet. I picked up this awesome book called THRIVE by Brendan Brazier, a Vegan Triathlete. Its been a very informative & compelling read. I’m enjoying learning more about what I put into my body. One of the best things about the book is that it contains a lot of very SIMPLE recipes. (if you have followed me…you know i need SIMPLE!!) My goal is not to adhere to a Vegan diet — there are certain items i am just not willing to give up…like 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee. 🙂 The main thing for me is to understand what I am eating and why and make choices that are healthy for me. I’ve been enjoying putting together the new recipes and shopping for different items. One of the most glaring things i have noticed since modifying my nutrition is the “lightness” i feel. It’s amazing how eating certain foods just make one feel ridiculously heavy! I look forward to more reading, more learning and healthy eating.

I working on a new dream…a new plan. Will announce soon.

Stay strong. Train hard. Train smart. Love and Live BIG.

thank god i am not alone…

Posted in road, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by afuntanilla

was reading josh’s blog a bit ago and saw that he wrote, “I’ve been tired for the last few days. Really tired. The type of tired that makes me want to sit down in the shower, tired.”

THANK GOD I AM NOT ALONE!

i cannot pinpoint EXACTLY why I am feeling so tired, but i know it’s a combination of factors; many work hours, increase in training, increase in training in the hot/humid weather, not enough sleep, diet (maybe?).
What I do know is that I was feeling really tired last year in this same way. I had been training for the North Face 50 Miler. Not just tired. Completely fatigued. Exhausted. Wiped out. I actually had scheduled a visit w/ doctor for a check up and they found i could stand to use an iron supplement. i never did because by the time i had gotten that result, i was no longer doing heavy training. Anyways, I think low iron could be just part of the bigger picture. Maybe my body is reacting in this way as i am getting older. Who knows. Maybe its an accumulation of getting beat down in the heat. it really does suck so much out of you. I’m taking some Ultragen recovery drinks and eating well post heavy runs, especially, but still been tired. I keep playing around with taking a few days off, like 3, but I don’t know.
As i write this, I wonder how I will get the runs in this weekend. I am finished with day 2 of 4 for an insurance class. All day Thurs-Sunday. I know we will get out of class around 4 both days, but I don’t want to do long runs at that time. So, i will have 3 choices; 1) run in the morning 2) wait til 6-7pm to run 3) do 2 short runs per day. None of this is appealing. If I run in the AM, it will need to be on treadmill cause my place is not in a location conducive to getting out in the dark. I think i will just have to go in the later evening after it cools down a bit. Gotta do what you gotta do, right?!! YEP!

But, here is what I am thinking: for many years now, I have been training for a big race in the summer because I pick a race to do in the FALL. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I think i may just take next summer off, if i am smart!!

inching higher

Posted in photos, road with tags , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by afuntanilla

Whew! a much better week of running! Tuesday did something different and drove to meet jeff @ silver comet trail. going during week means after work, in rush hour traffic. well worth it. we ran a “fast” 4 in 90 degree heat. felt great!! so glad to have my buddy there to push me! thanks, jeffro!!
Wednesday was treadmill run w/ incline intervals at increasing speeds.
Thursday was outside again in some HEAT. It typically gets very hot in Atlanta in August and the trend continues. You may think “what is the big shock” being that it is summer, but lemme tell ya, it had not been ALL THAT hot here until recently. Did Thursday run through Emory University area, Druid Hills. So beautiful. 2nd time recently I have run through the campus; makes me wanna go back to school for a few minutes and be a student again…carrying my backpack, studying in libraries, being w/ other students and hashing over some tough material…only for a few minutes, then….the moments passes.
Beautiful campus. Quiet right now. Feels very scholarly. Anyways, good week-day runs and then the weekend came.
As has been the case for a while now, difficult for me to get up early on saturdays. Even with the knowing I will face hotter conditions, I just cannot get my ass outta bed earlier. So, I suffer. Suffered nicely for 5 miles thru Ansley, Midtown, Piedmont Park. Hadn’t run over there in a while. Missed it. Ansley – another gorgeous neighborhood. Wider streets, stunning older homes, impeccable gardens, etc.. From the first step til my last, there was absolutely NO relief. Felt like a wet oven right on my face. Very happy when it was completed. Felt like i “conquered” something..if even for a few minutes!
Sunday: Jeff and I decided when we were together earlier in week that we would go further out on Silver Comet Trail, just because. Rushed outta bed at 6:20am to meet him by 7am. Luckily, we were both a bit late. We had all our stuff; water paks, ice, gels. We drove to approx 20 mile marker of trail and headed west. Amazing how much less populated this portion of trail was….no other runners, only cyclists. It was just as beautiful as the other sections I have been on. Very peaceful. Lush. And it seemed like the trail could just go on and on forever. We started just before 8am and it was already Hot/Humid and it just kept rising. We didn’t talk as much as usual, which was fine with me…i think we were conserving our energy! We had aimed for 13, but at the 12 mile mark i stopped and jeff followed suit. I wasn’t in any real pain, I was just VERY tired and I didn’t want to keep running that last mile and have it be a shitty mile. Our pace was solid at 10:15/mile. perfect for a long run. It was a good change of scenery and good to have my buddy with me. After changing clothes and sitting for few minutes, we found an IHOP and devoured some pretty good breakfast! Here are some before and after pics.

Happy and Raring to Go!

Happy and Raring to Go!

why did u make me run that far?

why did u make me run that far?


damn, I am tired!

damn, I am tired!

you don’t need a reason, you need a road – Nike AD

Posted in quotes, road with tags , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by afuntanilla

Wow, last week is a blur. All I recall is that I worked a lot of hours, ran a lower mileage week and suffered on weekend runs. Each training day, each week, is a different tale. Some better, some worse than others. That’s the nature of any training, especially marathon training. I’ve done enough to know its easier to complete the race than to do the actual training week after week and forgive me, but its a helluva lot tougher when u train in summer and live in hot/humid conditions. This aint summer in san francisco, folks. And yet, it is also what makes it all the more gratifying. In no way am I complaining….you ought to know by now that I take some delight in what is difficult. There is pleasure in suffering. My soul thrives. Its not about someone else giving me any credit or patting me on the back. I can do it for myself. My life has been about overcoming obstacles and this is just another part, a CHOSEN obstacle. If I wanted easy, I’d plop down every day and do nothing. If I wanted easy, I would NOT TRAIN FOR MARATHONS in the summer. Believe me, I have enough time to sit around and I’m sure there will come a time when I won’t have a choice, so the time is now.
Here’s a recap thru last sunday:

August 2: 9.25miles outside AM; 4miles treadmill PM
August 1: 3.25miles – outside
July 30: 4 miles outside
July 28: 2×400, 2×800, 2×400
July 27: 3 miles