Archive for humidity

 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’

spontaneous adjustments

Posted in motivation, races, road with tags , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by afuntanilla

“Each of us is faced with the same challenge; to put on our shorts and shoes and get out the door” – D.E.

Earlier in the week, a co-worker mentioned he had an extra 10k race entry if I wanted it for today, Saturday. I accepted. I got up this morning, with full intentions on running the 10k race called The Possum Trot.

Morning began with a BAD cup of coffee. Yesterday, I shopped at Dekalb Farmers Market. That is THE place for cheap, healthy, organic food. It is NOT the place to buy coffee beans. I learned the hard way. 😦    (In 3 weeks, I will travel to LA and get some damn PEETS, THANK GOODNESS)

So, i dumped out the coffee and had a little green tea along with my Clif Bar. Then, i looked at the clock & it was 6:50am. YIKES. Race start was at 7:30am and I had at least a 20 min drive.

Well, off I went. Drove up to Roswell in search of race location. I found the area but then had to get re-routed because some roads were blocked off. By the time I found the parking lot, it was already a few minutes past 7:30am and I still couldn’t even see the starting line or anything.

So…i decided to just leave and go run somewhere else. My friend was also not running the race so I was not leaving him in the lurch or anything.

While driving back into Atlanta, I remembered that some people would be out running the traditional “Peachtree Prep Run” and so I figured I would join in somewhere along Peachtree. In case you DON’T KNOW, The PEACHTREE ROAD RACE is held annually on 4th of July in Atlanta. It is the largest 10k in the United States. 55,000 people. Running on July 4th in the Atlanta heat & humidity. The prep run is done a couple of saturdays in succession prior to race day. It’s pretty cool to go out and see so many people running along Peachtree as they gear up for the race.

I parked about 1.5 miles into the race route and started running. It was 80 degrees & 80 percent humidity by this time, 8:00am. Still, I was happy to find some people out there even if I said no words to anyone. I do most runs solo, by choice, but it’s always good to mix it up a bit. I ran along the course for 2.5 miles, incorporating the biggest hill leading up to Piedmont Hospital & then turned around and went back…this way, i would get the longer hill back to where my car was parked. I ended up only running 4.5 miles but since it was this particular route, i was fine with the outcome. It was brutal out there, but i still managed less than 10 min mile pace even with the hills. I added another mile walking around a neighborhood I had never encountered before.

One of the coolest things about the Peachtree Road Race that I was reminded of today is that ANYONE & EVERYONE participates; elite runners, casual runners, people who are overweight or obese are out there walking/running, military folks dressed in all their gear & boots, wheelchair racers, children, people who have never run before, people who run everyday…it’s a race for everyone…running does not discriminate.

Whoever you are, I support you to get your sneaks on and get those feet movin’. Get that blood pumpin’. This is life, baby! THIS IS LIFE!!

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.

to each his/her own

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, trail with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by afuntanilla

“Every single thing you ever achieve will come as the result of something you attempt. So get busy making those attempts.” RM

Everyone’s got their own way of feeling/being spiritual. You might go to church, temple, practice voo-doo, chant with monks or whatever….

A lot of times, Sunday running for me is how i get part of my spiritual need met. And when, it happens to take place at a track, well…you might just say that for me, that is holy ground!

Saturday did a challenging and invigorating track session here:

Talked a few minutes to a fella who had just finished his workout. He was 61 and only had his running shorts on. Looked as if he had no body fat. Chiseled legs, arms. Asked me; “why did you stop? you were crushin’ it”. Ah…he was so flattering! He said he only runs 2 races a year now. He has had 2 spinal surgeries. Could have fooled me. Dude was awesome.

My health fortune is not lost on me.

Spent some time on these after the track:

The good about the track: you feel fast and it’s over pretty quickly.

The bad: it hurts.

The best: my “church”

Sunday went up to Kennesaw Battlefield and met my buddy, Jeff. We ran what I thought would be an easier part of the trail….um…think again; it was harder. 5 good, challenging miles in the humidity. Well, i guess it’s back…like I told Jeff, “this ain’t no winter weather”

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!

go a little beserk

Posted in motivation, quotes, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2009 by afuntanilla

A good week or training. Finally got above 20 miles for week. Better yet, I ran in some serious heat/humidity. Hard, but always feel like a good accomplishment afterwards. Wednesday did somewhat of a speed workout; 1 mile hard, 4 x 1/4 mile hard, 1 mile hard. Man, my HR was really up there. Thursday ran 3 inside on treadmill, went outside and did some small hill repeats in the parking lot of a church. God was watching!  🙂

Just as I wanted, I woke earlier on Saturday and Sunday to try to beat some of the major heat/humidity. Still pretty tough. No way to really get away from it now. Jut gotta adjust. Saturday, a bunch of runners gathered at THE BIG PEACH in brookhaven to run the Peachtree Rd Race course, so I joined in and did a modified run. 3 out and 3 back along peachtree. Was pretty cool to have a bunch of runners scattered about along Peachtree! We are takin’ over!! LOL

Sunday, I made the drive out to Silver Comet and ran a good 7. As usual, devastatingly gorgeous out there this time of year with all the green! Whenever the day comes when I move away from Atlanta, i will surely miss that place! Did another 3 on treadmill Sunday evening. Again, felt great on the last run of the week!

I’ve got a new batch of ULTRAGEN. I totally believe in this recovery drink! It helps, big time. After both Saturday and Sunday morning runs, i took some dips in the pool. How refreshing and soothing.

Mentally, I feel like I am in a good place with the running. I’m feeling more motivated. More focused. I don’t think it’s any coincidence either that my “official” training schedule will kick off next week. SF Nike Marathon: here i come.

I only have to ask myself this everyday: “what are you prepared to do”

In the words of the great George Sheehan: ““If you want to win anything- a race, yourself, your life- you have to go a little berserk”

June 21: am 7 miles – Silver Comet; pm 3 miles – treadmill

June 20: 6 miles – outside

June 18: 3 miles treadmill, hill repeats outside

June 17: 1 mile, 4 x .25m, 1 mile – speed workout

Posted in road with tags , on June 16, 2009 by afuntanilla

Weekend runs didn’t feel too good. Felt strenuous and really slow even if the time didn’t necessarily reflect as slow as i felt. Both Sat/Sun runs were done about 9am when it was already 85% humidity. Maybe I have forgotten how tough that is….i got a quick reminder, that’s for sure! Sleeping in on the weekends is NOW OVER! I also think the runs didn’t feel too good cause I was in a totally different mode with my friend in town…much more relaxed, had a cocktail every night, just not as focused. Know what I mean. No regrets. Had a fantastic visit. Denise is a gem of a friend and very valued!!

I want to make sure I am heading into the brunt of the marathon training not tired run down or anything like that. I may take 3 days off this week and just chill. I’m getting a massage tonight so that should be an added help! I feel like i need some juice in my legs!

June 14: a.m. – 5.25 miles outside, p.m. 3.1 miles – treadmill

June 13: 4 miles – outside

June 11: 3 miles – treadmill

June 10: 4 miles – treadmill