Archive for inspiration

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

 

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accountability

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by afuntanilla

Accountability. Where do we learn this? How do we stay focused on this? Naturally, it is a learned behavior, pretty early on in life and then practiced throughout one’s lifetime. Often times, we have someone or someones to be accountable to….our parents/guardians, teachers, friends, loves, spouses, bosses, clients, kids, etc…

I believe the person we have to be accountable to the most is our own Self. Yes, with a capital S. Why not? If you are not accountable, what are you? If you don’t hold yourself in high regard, what are you? If you are not able to be there for yourself and hold your own, what are you? We are all more capable than we can imagine. I look around the world and see people accept and live with such mediocrity, such complacency….and all I want to do is get as far away from these things as possible. My life has never and will never be about either of those things…of settling for the mediocrity of anything. And, I am the one truly accountable for this. No one else. Even if I had tons of family or kids…it would still be me. No one else lives in my shoes, thinks what I think, has to go thru my day to day things. We are all on our own. Essentially. People fill in and can be and are complimentary, but no one else is gonna do it for us. We must do it. You want something? Go get it. No one will just hand it to you. Work for it. Earn it. Enjoy the “hunt”. Of course there will be times when we all wish it was easier. I am not immune from this. But if it was easy, chances are you wouldn’t want it. These words are not for everyone. Some people are just not very internally motivated or ambitious or driven or whatever. No judgement. We are all different. But if you are someone who is aiming, who is reaching, who is going for IT….Keep Going…Keep doing your thing. Get up every day and make a little bit of progress. It’s not about hitting a grand slam every day….it’s single after single after single. You will have success, whatever that means to you, but it must be earned. Enjoy the challenge. Let it feed you. Let it lift you up. You want something? Make a stand. Show up. Be accountable. To YOU.

Find Your Greatness

Posted in motivation, random, running with tags , , , , on January 31, 2013 by afuntanilla

The Underdog

Posted in browns, motivation, photos, random, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2012 by afuntanilla

Last night, I went to the gym for a run on the treadmill. I hopped on and turned the attached TV to ESPN. I saw there was a college basketball game on. I don’t have any real interest in college basketball, but I left it on because it was something sporty to watch. As I ran, I was in my own world, happy to be moving my body and listening to music on my iPOD. I was sort of watching the game and saw that it was unranked BUTLER vs #9 ranked North Carolina. Because I do follow sports in general, I know UNC is always a powerhouse basketball team and has a legacy of great teams. The game had only been on for a few minutes, but already Butler had a big lead..more than 10 points. And so, it caught my attention. How was this “little” team beating UNC? So, I started watching more closely and I clearly saw how Butler was in the lead; they were OUT HUSTLING UNC! Those Butler kids were getting to all the loose balls, getting the offensive and defensive rebounds and making many 3 point shots. They seemed quicker and hungrier. And this is exactly what I love about UNDERDOGS…whether it’s a team, an individual; whether its sports related of just LIFE in general….I love the EFFORT, the HUSTLE, the DETERMINATION. I love to see all those things put forth and watch it completely ignite a person or a team and be such a huge catalyst going forward. And, this is one of the reasons I love SPORT…because I don’t even have to care about the teams or know anything about them to gain something from watching. Sport teaches. Period. In a world where many negative news stories are out there about individuals and teams, etc…I prefer to pay attention and focus on the lessons, the inspiration, the motivation. And yes, I love the Underdog and will continually root for them.

Where did that come from?? Well, I grew up with 2 older brothers and one liked our local Oakland Raiders and the other one liked the Minnesota Vikings (have no idea why). We were watching football one day and The Cleveland Browns were playing. Brian Sipe was the QB and Ozzie Newsome was the TE. They had NO emblem on their Orange helmets and they were the underdog. Well, right then and there, when I was about 10 years old, i picked ’em to be my team. 32 years later, they are still my team. For those who don’t know, The Browns have been more bad then good. They are currently 2-8 this season and if they win 2 more games before season is over, that would be a victory in my mind. They have had losing seasons for MANY years now and yes, I still remain a fan. I don’t just mean sort of losing seasons, I mean real ugly losing seasons. It seems they have a new QB or a new coach every year. They had some of the best and most fun years to watch during the late 1980’s and some in the 1990’s.  I guess I really have 2 points to this part of my post; that I am loyal, loyal, loyal and even though I watch other football teams and am envious of the better teams, I am sure I will never switch my allegiance. I have even made about 4 different trips to Cleveland to watch the games. The fan loyalty is unreal and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I am proud to be a fan and even still, each week, I hope they will keep playing better and eek out some wins. Last Sunday, I watched the game vs Dallas and the browns surprisingly had a 13-0 lead at halftime. I was ecstatic, but I was not optimistic  it would last. But, I hoped. How had they gotten the lead vs Dallas in Dallas? Just like Butler, they were out playing their opponent. They were NOT the better team, but they were playing better. At least for half of the game. Dallas turned it around and tied the game and won in overtime. I guess this brings me to my 2nd point; you don’t ever quit before the game starts. It would be easy for someone or a team to think they are beaten BEFORE the game even begins…I mean just look at the records of the teams. But, the Browns don’t quit. They play hard and give all they have. As a fan, that is what you want to see. Sure, I want to see them win, but it will take more than the players…they need better coaches, better management and BETTER SCOUTS.

At the end of the day, I also view myself as an underdog. This characterization was much more applicable earlier in my life, but I still think of myself this way. I see nothing wrong with it. It has pushed me to be as successful as a person as I can be. It has kept my humble and to never take anything for granted. I am not someone who is the best at anything, but my mindset is the same today as it was 20 years ago: keep working hard. Stay positive. Don’t let anything keep you down or prevent you from succeeding.

-The Underdog

On Running…Tennis…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, running with tags , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by afuntanilla

The plan this morning was to wake up at 5am to catch the Gentlemen’s Singles Final at Wimbledon. Then, go run 10 miles. So, I got up at 5am only to see the match wouldn’t begin until 6am…yeah! more sleep. Re-start the engines at 6am. I watched the first couple of games between Federer and Murray and THEN decided to make the coffee, Peet’s GAIA Organic Blend. Yum.
I was thrilled to be able to watch the match on TV. This was the first match I’d been able to watch of the entire Wimbledon Tournament because I had not yet had my cable installed. I finally took care of that bit of business yesterday! Just in time to catch Federer!! I figured I would eat, watch the match and then go out and run. The match then had a rain delay and I decided to adjust my plans. Not knowing how long the delay would be, I decided I would go run on the treadmill at the club and watch the match whenever it resumed. I didn’t really want to run 10 miles on treadmill, but if I got to watch the match, I would be entertained! Thankfully, as soon as I arrived, the match re-started. First couple of miles, I was not too focused, but then afterwards, I was all good. Got into a good rhythm.
Watching Federer play is always such a gift, in my book. He is so composed, so talented and graceful. He is a beautiful athlete to watch perform. Like he is dancing out there…amazing footwork and touch. As I have begun to play tennis, I feel like I can appreciate even more his and all these other elite Athletes talents. Amazing. I was thrilled to watch him win another Grand Slam Final. Unbelievable. 17 Grand Slam Titles. Unreal. Talk about consistency.

So, as the match kept going, so did I. I ran the first 5.5 miles and then restarted the machine since it was going to stop soon anyway at 60 minutes. Re-started and ran for another 5 miles, a total of 10.5 miles. Felt pretty good almost the entire run. Like, i mentioned, had a little bit of a hard time getting going, but then had a nice pace. Ate 2 GU Vanilla Gels to keep me going.

10.5 miles/pace 9:02 per mile.

I finally signed up for the race I have been targeting; the SF Half Marathon on 7/29. Getting excited. Feels like I NEED to race. It feels like a long time since I ran a road race and I guess it sure has been! I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing what I can do come race day! All I can do is prepare the best I can and put my best self forward. A few more weeks of preparation and then it showtime.

Back to tennis: if you were not able to watch the match or the ceremony afterwards, you missed a great event. Murray’s comments afterwards were humbling, touching and gracious. He cried. He showed his humanity. You understood that he did give all he had and how much he had wanted to win. Much respect to him and how he played. I have a feeling these 2 fellas will meet again soon.

Catching Up

Posted in quotes with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by afuntanilla

So, it’s been over a month now since I last wrote and rather than try to cram in everything, I will simply touch base on the key points of what the last month looked like.

Late May: traveled to NY for work for a week; in “training” all week. Very little time to run or exercise. Made the best of it, but a rough go of it. No windows all week. Not good for the body/soul. Catch my drift!

Following Week: developed a tough chest/head cold. Couldn’t run. Had to try to rest my body for the upcoming trip to Atlanta & subsequent travel across country by car.

1st Week of June: one way to atlanta by plane. busy, busy week with friends, clients, etc. Small amount of running.
2nd Week of June: one way back to California in a 12 Ft Penske Truck. Drove for 7 days. Small amount of running. Tough trip to do, but I needed to get my belongings back with me. Long hours driving….made me nuts. It was not a sight-seeing trip. Basically made a bee-line back home to bay area.
3rd Week of June: finally feel like I am physically all better, but still trying to find my rhythm; a flow and routine…amazing how much I feel I need THAT, but I do.

It’s a wonderful time of year to be inspired. So much going on. French Open just ended and now we have Wimbledon about to start. The OLYMPICS are about to begin. Lots of races going on and people to cheer for. This guy http://www.jeffreyjmiller1.blogspot.com/ just finished (yesterday) running 100 marathons in 100 days.

But, mostly, the inspiration continues to come from within…being inspired by waking up and seeing what and how I will meet the challenges before me. We all have our thing(s). The SF Half Marathon is about 1 month away. I don’t yet know if I will be able to break that 2hr mark. Those weeks in June really threw me off schedule and way off balance internally. But, I will toe the line and see just what is possible. In the meantime, I’ve got work to do and miles to run.

There are a lot of good books that have been published lately. Ones I hope to read are:

Eat and Run – by Scott Jurek
Finding Ultra – by Richh Roll
A Life without Limits – by Chrissie Wellington

I just began reading “Running on Empty” by ultramarathoner Marshall Ulrich – am enjoying it so far and yes, inspired.

There is nothing you can’t do! GO GET AFTER IT!

“Running was the friend that never went away” – LOLO JONES U.S. Olympic Hurdler

for today, everyday

Posted in motivation, quotes with tags , on February 26, 2012 by afuntanilla

Have the vision to dream.
Have the courage to recover from adversity and
the determination never to be shifted from your goals.

-Kieren Perkins