Archive for helen putnam

Sunday 8/3

Posted in photos, road, running, shoes, trail, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

Ran my “staple” route as of late…home/chileno valley/Helen Putnam park west side and back home via the east side of park. This time, I mixed in the steepest hill 2 times. I did it first upon arrival, then ran about another mile around park and looped back to the hill. Again, it is not lengthy, but steep. 2 times felt good and I kept rolling along other trails and then the backside towards home.
A solid 8 miles on top of the bike/run yesterday.
Feeling good and ready to start pushing the envelope a bit more after I return from about 10 days of travel.

Here’s what I call “baldy hill” at Helen Putnam Park;

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HOKA HUAKA: I’ve been using the shoe for about 2 weeks now and overall, like the shoe a lot. I’ve tried other HOKA shoes on before & did treadmill tests, but none of them ever felt right for me. Until these!
However, the big bummer I’ve come across is that the toe box seems to be tighter than I am accustomed to…this was evident by a huge blister the first day I did any trail running. It’s strange because the shoes do not feel tight at all….but for some reason, the right shoe toe box is causing me to get blisters. I’ve been wearing some Injinji socks and that has helped. Other than that 1st issue, which has not occurred again, my experience thus far has been quite good. I think there is something quite true about how the shoe “technology” is somehow lessening the impact of the pounding on pavement. I was very skeptical about this when I heard people talk about it, but I feel like I have experienced it too, so, I am now drinking the HOKA cool aid!

I do not wear the shoes on short, faster runs. I don’t think they are designed for that either. The HUAKA is not a specific trail shoe, but has been fine on the trails I have run, which so far have been non technical trails. Don’t know how this would do on heavy, rocky terrain. This is my new go to shoe for longer distance, road and trail.

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big ring, little ring and a lot of space

Posted in bike, gym, photos, road, running, trail with tags , , , , on July 17, 2014 by afuntanilla

My body feels tired. I just got up from an hour long nap. These types of naps are not uncommon…a few days a week, I take the pleasure of these wonderful opportunities to rest my body. I’m thankful I have the time to do so. I wake early for work and when I get home mid-late afternoon, if I can sneak in a 30-60 minute nap , I indulge. Even so, my body, right this minute, feels tired. Or, more accurately, sore. My legs feel stiff, heavy. My hips and lower back are tight and need stretching. My right upper leg/hip are are especially tight and generally feel out of whack….I know this is because of my cycling and more specifically from the session I did last week on an indoor bike at the gym. As I am new to consistent cycling, I now┬árealize, that riding on the gym bike was a bad rookie move. And, I am still paying the price 6 days later. For the last 6 weeks, I have been consistently riding my own bike and getting familiar with it…learning it’s ways, getting to know the feel of it under my body. The gym bike was, of course, a general bike for anyone. As soon as I took my seat and began pedaling, I physically felt all sorts of wrong. Especially in my seat area and I could not adjust it to feel better. So, being me, I just do what I do; hammer away and through the planned workout of 40 minutes cycling. This was after a fast 20 minute run on treadmill. (Why did I do this inside? Because for a shorter ride like this, it’s not really safe or easy to ride on the roads in town after work. I thought it would be easier to do this short back-to-back workout at the gym)

Anyways…I rode and when I tried to peddle a bit faster, I could feel a strain on my right side because I was just not seated correctly. When I finished the workout, I felt fine. I even thought maybe I should have gone longer or pushed harder….
Well, the next day, I was in a world of hurt. The tightness and soreness in my legs/hips were nothing I have experienced in quite some time. It was this unfamiliar soreness within a myriad of muscle groups that have not seen much action. I know what soreness from running is and what it feels like. I have been getting to know the soreness from MY bike….but, THIS…..this was the unknown and the wicked, wicked witch of the west! I was hobbling along during the day…walking in all sorts of crooked manners to try to deal with it. I needed help so got a last minute massage that definitely helped. Hips, hamstrings, gluteus, and back got all the attention!
So, it IS fair to say I won’t be riding at the gym again. Probably ever!
I took 2 days off from any exercise and then had a slow, a bit awkward, 50 minute run in Golden Gate park on Saturday. Awkward because the area in my upper hamstring/right hip area continues to feel off.

As the week went on, I realized how tight all these aforementioned muscle groups are and so have been trying to spend time daily to loosen them up with different stretches. Lots of hip flexor stretching! I’ve know all along for years this area was tight, but it’s a whole new level of tightness now! Anyway, was glad to get the Saturday run in and then on Sunday, I went for a bike ride with a friend. He is a pretty experienced cyclist who rides for a local team and races. This was the first time going out together. We spoke a few weeks ago and I said I could go with him when he needed a slow/recovery ride. He had ridden 85 miles on Saturday in the Sierras, so a recovery ride on Sunday was in order for him. I was excited and a bit intimidated, of course. I just wanted to not slow him down too much.

Let me preface this next part by saying I’ve had my bike for 10 years and it’s a nice bike with good components, however, I don’t know much about the “mechanics” or when to use what and why…a rookie, you know!
And for the past 6 weeks, I have been riding in the county with some slight hills, nothing major, but some rides have more rolling hills and such, so it is a challenge.

So, we leave from my house and after the first familiar stretch, instead of turning left, we decide to go on his loop so I can do something different, which is straight ahead. Up a nice long steady steep stretch…which was also a very bumpy and rough road. I’m riding along in my easier gear and going as well as I can and staying close. We finally get to the downhill and let it go and it is FUN!!! But also scary (for me) because I was going so fast over this bumpy ass road and my eyes were watering from the cool temps and I had trouble seeing a few seconds here and there through my glasses. I was holding on to my handlebars….holding on for dear life it felt like. I definitely felt out of control at some points because I couldn’t see the bumps in the road all that well and was freaked out I was gonna fly off the bike! Whew! A thrill! Crazy and scary and an opportunity for me to figure out my own comfort levels of speed on a road like such!
As we rode along, he was checking me out and how I fit on my bike, etc…he was asking me about my gears and telling me to switch to my smaller chainring. I’m like “what??”. He goes on to explain the whole OTHER set of gears I have on the left hand side of the bars. (Remember, I am a rookie) He proceeds to tell me what those are for…the small chainring is for me to use when I am climbing steep hills…like the one we did earlier. He could not believe I did that hill in my Big chainring because it makes it THAT MUCH HARDER! When I used it on some remaining hills, I was shocked and amazed at how much easier it was! DUH!!!!!!
We both got quite a laugh out of this!

It does beg the questions though of; what did I think those gears were for and why didn’t I ever think to look into it? I know I have 2 chainrings and know I had not been using the smaller one, so why didn’t I question this? All long, I was using my easiest gear on my BIG ring, but I could have made my experiences that much easier and more comfortable had I known about the other…

This lesson…it is not lost on me…the making things hard no when they could be so much easier.
I can’t help but ask; “how is that like my life?”

I’m laughing!!

It was really fun to ride with my friend who is quite experienced. Can’t wait to do it again! Oh, and he gave me quite a few compliments on my riding ability/strength so I definitely take that as a positive! ­čÖé

Later that day, early evening, I just felt like getting on the trails. I went up to Helen Putnam and ran/hiked for another 50 minutes. Loved and appreciated the beauty, quiet, and space of both activities right in my backyard!

Wednesday: 20 minute run, 40 minute bike

Saturday: 50 minute run, Golden Gate Park

Sunday: 25.5 mile bike ride (morning); 50 minutes trail run/hike (evening)

 

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March

Posted in motivation, photos, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by afuntanilla

As March 2014 comes to a close, just a few brief comments. Longest run was the Portland 15k race mid month. Continually working on my speed and absolutely love seeing the improvement. In addition, I have wanted and needed to get in some trail runs and I got 2 short runs done both last Sunday and yesterday on trails near home. Yesterday’s run was just one of those perfect running weather days….it had rained during the night and still drizzly as I had morning coffee & Clif Bar. By the time I got to the trail though, the rain had ceased and we were left with a gray sky. ┬áThe air was cool and everything was quiet, clean. I did not take my music with me so I could purposefully just listen to the surroundings….listen to the quiet! As I crested the first section, I looked around at the amazing beauty …all the hills in the distance glowing and glistening after the drops from the sky….all green, rolling hills beneath the gray skies. Was gorgeous.

This was only my 2nd time back on the trails since New Zealand last December. A most welcome change from the city pavement. Going serves 2 purposes; to get in some hill work and get off pavement. The trails were a bit soft from the rain and I had fun trotting thru various puddles. As I was coming around a bend on the opposite side of the park, I looked ahead and saw about 6 Cows in a line, RUNNING. The Cows, they were RUNNING. I have NEVER seen this before and I’ve seen a lot of cows! Honestly, I didn’t even know they could move that fast. It was quite beautiful. They were in a line moving south to north and they reminded me of horses as they trot along…it was startling, funny, and gorgeous. COWS.

The best part of the route I do at this park, Helen Putnam, is the last .85 miles. It’s down-slopping, weaving right and left and straight, etc… and I can really pick up my pace and unleash my stride. That’s the best feeling…a mixture of feeling most alive, most free, most abandoned in the moment. Truly awesome.

Happy Running!

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21 > 27 ?

Posted in photos, road, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

This was a little step back week and even though my total weekly mileage was only 21.54 miles, it felt more than the previous week’s 27.

Perhaps it was simply due to running some trails and a little hilly terrain. I really haven’t run hills consistently…most of my mileage over the summer (and longer) has been very flat. I did 2 short runs at Helen Putnam Park. 4 and then 4.5 miles. Awesome both times and i loved being off road. The park is not very big which is maybe a reason I don’t go there more often. If you go more than 6 miles there, you are doing repeat trails. But, still….a great place to go and very close to my house.

Also, this is the 2nd week in a row where I had booked a massage for Friday afternoon. Well, 2 Saturday’s in a row now, the runs have felt difficult and I’m sure in big part to the massage. Just not smart to get it on a friday before 2 days of running. Oddly enough, this past friday, my primary reason for the massage was to get some work done on my right shoulder and arm. I have been doing some strength exercises and such and apparently I tweaked something in my arm. I think it is a result of not using proper technique. Anyways, my right shoulder & arm muscles are super duper tight and tweaked. Still. Deltoid, Upper bicep, Trapezius. The therapist spent the entire hour just on those areas and I’m still not right. Better, but something is still off. Not sure what my next course of action ought to be….

Thankfully, this does not prevent me from running. ­čÖé

Sunday long run was just 10.  Ran all over the town. Need to go somewhere else next weekend. Feeling a little claustrophobic.

This week starts a new week of increasing mileage. Hope to get it all in and with quality!

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View from one of the trails…gorgeous day. After I was done, I sat on a bench and just listened. No music with me. Just listened to the slight breeze, the quiet of mother nature in all her glory. AHHHHHHHH — so awesome.

Oh — wore my ASCICS Trail shoes that I hadn’t used in a loooong time. They still work!

Happy Running!

Week 12 Run Report

Posted in motivation, road, trail with tags , , , , on April 4, 2012 by afuntanilla

Want to get caught up with a couple of posts, so this will be short.

Week 12 highlights: used a new local gym on a 14 day free pass. yay! Nice place and ample equipment, amenities, etc.. operative word: FREE!

Ran two days of 3.25 mile runs at 9:06 pace.
Ran Saturday at a local park/trail: Helen Putnam in Petaluma. Not a wide or large park, but steep and with beautiful vistas. Ran 5 miles in slight rain at the park. Felt awesome. LOVE running in the rain! Slow pace, but as expected with the terrain. Have a 7 mile trail race in a few weeks so trying to get in some race like conditional training. Not focused on ths upcoming race for “race” purposes. Mostly for fun and to get out on some Marin County trails that i love.
Sunday was another 5 miler thru town.

Week 12: Total approx miles 19