Archive for kswiss

Week 9 Run Report

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by afuntanilla

Finally a week free from any kind of sickness, sluggishness or anything related to not feeling physically well. THANKFUL!

Since I had gotten my job, but had not heard on my start date yet, I decided to take some time to do more traveling. Made a spontaneous trip up to Ashland, OR for just 2 days. I left a sunny, warm Petaluma for a cold, snowy Southern Oregon. Who does that, right? Well…I needed it and it was much welcome as you can read in my previous post. 

I ran Wednesday morning in light snowy conditions. Wasn’t very cold; about 35 -37 degrees. I ran from my little place at Ashland Inn into downtown and down to Southern Oregon University, turned around and went up into some neighborhoods and zig-zagged my way though town. Cute homes in Ashland. Love the narrow, short streets with moderate hills. I could see far off into the distance to the neighboring white mountains. Beautiful. Don’t know how far I ran, but watch was 52 minutes. Was going a little slower than usual as I had a hard time loosening up. Sometimes that happens in the cooler temperatures. 

I thought of running the following morning before leaving, but it had snowed even more the night before and was coming down heavy as I woke up and enjoyed some coffee. I figured I would just enjoy it from a spectators point of view and go get some breakfast at a place that had been recommended; MORNING GLORY.

I packed up my stuff and off I went. MORNING GLORY was a great place for some grub. The portions were very large so I was bummed to not have RUN BEFORE eating. Large and yummy portions. Be sure to check it out of you are ever in Ashland. Off I went for my 6 hour drive back to Petaluma.

I ran again on Friday. 3 faster miles followed by 4 x .25 intervals at even faster pace. I did this on the streets of Petaluma, not a track. Quiet, flat streets.

Highlight run of week was on Sunday. 6.65 miles through Petaluma. Mostly flat but with a strong, steep long hill at the end. I was (happily) surprised to see my pace at 9:11 as I didn’t feel I was moving that well out on the streets. 

Funny thing happened. I was about 3 miles into the run when I looked ahead and saw a woman standing on a corner, looking in my direction. As I approached, I smiled, realizing it was a friend I had not seen in about 15 years. She lives in a nearby town. She had been driving by and said she saw my shoes and said, “that has to be Angie”

We had already been connected on Facebook, which is how she recognized my shoes. How cool is that!! Shout out to K-SWISS, baby!!

 

Looking at making some decisions today on races for at least the first half of 2012. Excited! Stay tuned.

Week 9: Total Approx Miles: 15

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Week 1 Run Report

Posted in motivation, photos, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by afuntanilla

The first week of 2012 started off pretty good with the running. I mixed in treadmill with street running and felt ok. I did start to notice my longest run, my 6.4 miler, didn’t feel too great toward the second half. That could be for a variety of reasons: 1) my weekly mileage was higher than lately 2) overall fatigue 3) stress effects

As mentioned in previous posts, I have been running steadily, but low mileage. I’ve been enjoying it and for the most part, having more quality sessions. I want to keep up both, the quality and enjoyment.

I have not yet decided on any races for 2012, but I know I will NOT be running the Birmingham Half Marathon in February. I should be already moved to California by then, so that race is out. A bit of a bummer as I LOVE that race! (hmmmm, maybe I should try to find a race to run while I am driving cross country!)

My favorite runs this week were the 2 days of treadmill running on Jan 1st and 2nd. 5 miles each time at 9:14 pace, which is good for me right now. A good pace to start the year and only get better as i train to achieve my main near term goal of running a half marathon under 2 hours!

I’ve been running some of the same routes lately…especially one in particular…a route thru the Druid Hills neighborhood/Emory University. It’s beautiful, quiet with various small hills both up and down and it just plain fuels me!! I am soaking in all my moments. Taking it all in.

My last run of the week was just a short 3.5 miler on treadmill on Sunday.


Afterwards though, I did some weights/strength training and then saw another opportunity.
I love running stairs! When I run stairs, I usually run the ones in our stairwell post run outside. 6 good flights.
But, I saw these and figured, “why not?!”
So, I got some good repeats on these bad boys done as well.


Felt awesome. It’s one thing to push yourself, but can you push yourself when it seemingly doesn’t matter, when no one is around but you. Can you? Do it. Push yourself. Amaze yourself. Feel freaking awesome!

The Shoes I’ve been running in most lately are these:

THE KSWISS KWICKY BLADE-LIGHT. Awesome Shoe! An incredibly light shoe coming in a 8oz. I love the feel of it. It’s the lightest shoe I’ve ever run in. I thought the K-ONA’s were light at 9oz and this is even lighter and I can feel the difference. My foot feels snug and comfortable and I feel FAST. FASTER. 🙂
I wasn’t sure I would like the color when I looked at it on website, but when I put them on, I loved the color and the feel of shoe.

I have been exclusively doing my road running in K-SWISS shoes for about 2 years now and I can’t see any reason to stop. They make some good shoes.

2012 Week 1 – approx 23 miles

Hope YOUR 2012 has started off well. Onward. Let’s go.

Running Renaissance

Posted in motivation, photos, random, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by afuntanilla

Not sure why or how, but lately it sure seems I am experiencing a running renaissance. This may come as a surprise to some of you. So, let’s look at what renaissance means: A renewal of life, vigor, interest.

As you might recall, I had such a tough summer of training. No need to go into any further details since it has all been already documented here.

The Fall rolled around and I felt I barely made it to SF for the half marathon on my birthday in Sept. Then, I thought….I am going to rest. Just chill and take a break from the running for a while. Well, what is “awhile”?

In my mind, I thought I would try to not run at all for about a month. Well, that didn’t happen. I just couldn’t sit still. Plus, the Fall is such an awesome time to be outside. The temperatures cool, the humidity falls away and becomes nonexistent. How could I not want to be running in this weather?? And, I feel that FALL running sorta adds it’s own natural/organic inspiration. The scenery, the environment completely changes and it’s such a natural time of reflection and contemplation. The air seems fresher, cleaner and like I can breathe deeper. So, I’ve been taking deeper breaths as I am rounding the corners and crunching on leaves and feeling the Fall air on my arms, face, fingers.

I feel my legs moving more swiftly as I tackle the hills of the Atlanta neighborhoods. My legs feel lighter, my entire body feels lighter, even weightless at times. I face the hills and I am running up them with a quickness that has surprised me. I am getting to the tops with less effort than I remember from the past. Most of my runs have all beeen with negative splits, which feels awesome! Where has all this come from?
I’m sure part of it is the volume has come way down! Today, for the first time ever, I thought back to the summer training and do believe I ran a bunch of junk miles. JUNK MILES = miles just to get in miles thinking I needed more when in fact I didn’t. An important lesson.
I didnt know it then, but I can recognize it now and apply this to my future training.
Perhaps part of this “renaissance” I am experiencing is also due to the break in a specific goal or a specific race in mind. I think I needed the break from that kind of self inflicted pressure. Looking back to the first 6 months of the year as I tried to break 2 hours in the half marathon distance….I put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish it. Came close, but failed. Then, immediately afterwards, signed up for the full marathon and summer training. More pressure. In the midst of all this self inflicted pressure was also dramatic changes in my work life that came with real external pressure. I think it all just got to me. Now, for the record, let me clarify: I actually like pressure. Like the challenge of it. However, like everything in life, there is a limit and I definitely bumped up against mine. And obviously, I like goals and setting them, etc…. I just needed a break from them since I had a specific running goal for about 9 months.

So, since my last race in Sept, I have been running, but without any specific goal. As of today, there is no race on my calendar. In the last month or so, I have not gone any distance over 6 miles. The coolest part about all this is that I am running FASTER without much extra effort. In fact, I feel like I have NOT focused on effort much at all. Just going out running…I have felt loose, free, light and my mind feels quieter while on the roads.

So, yes. I feel a renewal. See ya on the roads. Lace ’em up!

Palmetto

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by afuntanilla

Sometimes, a race, or even a training run, is simply about finishing. Yesterday, was one of those days.

Since my last race a couple of weeks ago in Clemson, SC, I had only run 5 days, with no run over 4 miles. Also since that time, I had traveled to the bay area and have been super stressed out from work. This was all not a good combination, but I took a gamble anyway and signed up for the Palmetto Half-Marathon in Columbia, SC.  I knew that my performance would be suspect given the circumstances outlined above. What I didn’t know is that it would be even more suspect given some extra circumstances;

1) I forgot my running shoes….my ROAD RUNNING shoes. (if you have seen my vast shoe collection, i’m sure you cannot imagine how I could have forgot the shoes, but i did. Instead of bringing any 1 of my many pairs of KSWISS running shoes, I ran in the only shoes I had. THESE TRAIL RUNNING SHOES

2) We left the hotel at 6:30am to get to the race start . Race started at 7am and I had totally miscalculated how long it would take to arrive at start line. I’m not sure why that happened. I woke up at 5:30am and my buddies were up too. I just fu&*&ed up. We get to the start at about 6:55am. I jump out of car while they go find a place to park. I get to start line, someone says a prayer and sings the National Anthem and we are off. No time to stretch, warm-up or nothing. I even had to scrounge around for a 2nd bobby-pin so i could attach my BIB # to my shirt. (i had only had 1 and an older gentlemen kindly gave me 1 of his, so at least bib was in tact w/ 2 bobby-pins)

And we are off….What was strange about the race was that the course was NOT held in downtown Columbia, which is so pretty and showcases the Capital, etc…The course was about 15 miles from there in a suburb. The route went along a couple of busy roads and then all neighborhoods. The course was almost entirely up/down small hills. A few flat sections. By as early as Mile 2, I knew this was not going to be a good day. My legs felt so heavy…likes someone had attached 50 pound weights to them and I felt incredibly lackluster, as If I had no energy at all. This could have been because

3) I did not eat enough the night before. All I ate at Outback was a small salad and a baked potato.

I saw my buddies at Mile 4 and ran over to their side of the street and told them i felt like crap (i really wanted to stop and just go to breakfast) but I said; “well, I’m just gonna see how it goes. maybe walk/run the rest of the course.”

I kept going. Slowly. Up/down/up/down. I thought to myself. “just make it to mile 6 and see how you feel.” Passed Mile 6. By this time, I had sucked down a GU Energy Gel and felt a little better. “Ok, just see how you feel by mile 9.” By 9.5 miles, I was back to seeing my buddies and I said, “Well, I will see you at the finish line.”

But, those last 3.6 miles were NOT easy. The race director must be sadistic. After a rolling course, they add in a STEEP, LONG HILL at Mile 10. Geez. THANKS. Then, some flat land until Mile 11. Another steep hill UP the freeway exit ramp. Ouch. Then some flat > downhill to the finish line.

For those of you who might recall, at my last race 2 weeks ago, my finish time was 2:02:08. Yesterday at Palmetto was 2:11: 21.

That might not seem like a big difference, but it is and even given the circumstances, I was disappointed. I was disappointed for many reasons, especially because most of what went wrong was me not taking care of myself. And so…I learn.

The good news is that I stuck it out. I could have had a shitty attitude and stopped but I didn’t and I am glad for it. Tasting Life. Still.

Hungry. Still.

Onward.

I’m thankful to Sharon and Parker who were there to cheer me on and cheer me up. Thanks, ladies!

Gear Worn:

Shoes: La Sportiva Trail Shoes ***by accident**

Shorts: Under Armour

Shirt: Nike Livestrong

Yellow Bandana

Watch: Origo Granite Peak

Getting to the Starting Line…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by afuntanilla

After 2 weeks of not feeling good, physically, it was truly a last minute decision to make the 3.5 hour drive from Atlanta to Albany, GA. Physically, my body has felt like a mess; major fatigue, stress, anxiety, not sleeping, etc…I have not gotten a fever or anything like that…my body was just shutting down, i believe, from stress….hence the major fatigue. Lots of things going on outside of my running life. 🙂

So, there I was at my office Friday afternoon, trying to decide if i should drive to Albany. Basically, I just said, “screw it, i’m going. make the drive and see how i feel in the morning.”

3-4 hours later, I was in Albany and at the small expo at the Hilton Garden Inn. For those who don’t know, Albany is a pretty small city in south Georgia with a population of about 80k. While there, I learned that Ray Charles was a native and they have a very cool statue of him playing the piano in the area.

The little expo was cool! Better than some of the much bigger expos I have been to…although maybe its just that I like smaller expos now. Less people. Less craziness. I really liked the small town feel of this one. I grabbed my race bag, some Snickers Marathon energy bars, a couple of GU’s and that was about all I needed. As I walked around, I became more and more excited; just being in the atmosphere was great! I was excited to run, body willing.

I decided to go to the pasta dinner right there at the hotel. While eating, I talked to my fellow table mates and got even more jazzed for the run. Then, runner/author/speaker, Scott Ludwig, gave a talk and that put me over the top. A serious runner who has run races such as Badwater Ultra, Western States 100, etc…He regaled his experiences from such races for us as we chowed down pre-race pasta. I was in runner heaven. For me, Badwater, is a true dream….(for those who don’t know what Badwater is, Goggle it!!!)

Thankfully, I got to bed fairly early and when I woke, I felt rested and ready to test the waters, so to speak. Going to the starting line, I felt better and better. Adrenaline was definitely my friend! Even as lousy as I had been feeling, I was still going to try to push it and go for a PR. This was to be a flat, fast course so why not give all I could and see what happens. Right out of the gate, I felt good. Miles were passing and I was doing ok. 9:00- 9:15 pace approx. By mile 6, I was 56 min and I just kept thinking, keep this pace and I will be ok. Aerobically, I felt fine but I could feel my legs start to get heavy. My mind was constantly going, checking my watch and trying to calculate my next mile, etc…I was so happy to be out there and to be doing as well as I was. The weather was perfect. A cool <60 degrees. The course was flat with quite a few turns through some quaint & pretty neighborhoods. The volunteers were abundant and amazing. I didn’t want to stop at all at the water stops, but I did to get the GUs down. Mile 7 felt ok, but now thinking there’s no way I can keep this pace up. Mile 8; right after the water stop, i “latched” on to a couple who were running faster than I. I wanted to keep up with them as much as I could — it lasted a little past mile 9. I could not keep it up, but I was thankful for that mile. After that, I knew I could not sustain the pace so I began to relax a little and I slowed down. Legs were getting tired. I stopped 2 times and walked about 1 min each time. I think somewhere around Mile 11, there was a great group of young, black, teenager girls who were volunteering and cheering loudly. They made me smile. Even so, I just slowed my pace and wanted to finish with a decent time.

Soon enough I was heading down the last stretch to the finish line right along the Flint River. Official result 2:06:27

Crossed the finish and was greeted with a smiling volunteer who put a medal around my neck. A good day.

Gear Worn:

Shoes: KSwiss K-Ona

Shorts: KSwiss

Shirt: RUNATL shirt from Big Peach

Blue Nike Bandana

Watch: Nike

Onward! Determined to get my body better and ready for a finish under 2 hours. I know what I need to do.

Run Smart. Run Strong. Enjoy every step.

I beat my secret goal…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

Here’s how  it happened.

After arriving in Las Vegas friday mid afternoon, me & my buddy, Lynn, walked around everywhere. Went to expo. Gambled. Walked. Ate. Walked. Saturday was more of the same. Gambled. Walked. Ate. Repeat. All FUN! We had a blast. I was trying to not be to concerned about how much i was walking around pre-race. This was to be a fun race and not super serious. Even so, I went to bed at a decent hour both nites and only had 1 alcoholic beverage on Friday nite. It wasn’t even very good, but that is besides the point.

Woke up on Sunday and I knew I’d have a good day. I felt good. Only place to get coffee at 5:30am was in the casino/hotel bar. It was um…drinkable. LOL I ate a Clif Bar and got ready to go.

I decided to walk the 2 miles from our hotel to the start line at Mandalay Bay. I figured that could be my warm-up. I have to say it was pretty darn cool walking in the middle of the stip, Las Vegas Blvd, at the break of dawn and seeing only other runners walking or running to the start line. The strip was all ready for us. I passed in front of Bellagio and a song was being sung in Italian. I don’t know…there was something about that moment…the cool air, the sounds, the way the lights illuminated from Bellagio…it was perfect.

I’m  glad I used the walk as a warm-up because by the time I arrived at the start line, it was almost time to go. I had to make one pee pit-stop and sorry to say, I didn’t go in the port-a-potty. I was in a rush and basically went on the side of the road. It was pretty funny. i could care less. you gotta do what you gotta do on race day.

At 7:10am, I was off and running. I took the first couple of miles very easy and just kinda wanted to see how my legs were feeling. I decided I felt pretty good and so I decided to push it and then see….well, I never stopped pushing. Lynn was a trooper AND my roving reporter. She met me at approximately 3 mile mark near the Wynn Casino. She took this pic of me.

She asked me how I was doing; “great”, I said. I think I gave her a hi-five and kept on moving. One thing I noticed was that the pack of runners was pretty crowded the entire way. I frequently had to slow down just a bit to find some room to maneuver. it never really thinned out. I think there were close to 30k runners. I had some Gu Energy Gels with me and was taking them every 30 min or so. The water stops were perfectly situated and there were lots of spectators. Before I got super focused, i was watching the spectators…it’s funny to watch their expressions. Some are cheering us runners on while others are simply looking at us completely dumbfounded. Their looks suggest these thoughts: “what are those people doing? They are running? Why?” But, the best spectators are the little kids who excitedly extend their hand for us the runners to hi-five as we run by. I love that.

As the miles passed, I kept looking at my watch to see how I was faring…I knew that if I could keep the solid pace up, I might have a chance at beating my PR of 2:01:44. Mile 10 came along and I was really starting to feel some fatigue. Legs getting heavy. Mile 11 was the slowest. I was surprised by the severe drop-off. Last 2 miles are back on LV Blvd and all the lights, people gave me some energy. I was telling myself, “just pretend you have JETS on your feet. JETS. JETS.” Well, those last 2 miles seemed to take a looong time. My face was pretty contorted the last mile. I can’t wait to see pics from that mile (if there are any). I was hurtin’ but kept pushing as much as I could.

Finish was 2:03:07.

My secret goal was to go under 2:05. Mission accomplished. Now, it’s on to really go after the BIG GOAL of breaking 2 hours. I know I am close.

My longest training run for this race was only 10 miles. That was the longest I had run since my 40 miler on 9/25. (Sorry, if i am repeating myself.)

I found Lynn under the F sign. (F is for Funtanilla, ya know!) I was so happy she was there to greet me and share in the experience. She was an excellent roving reporter and it was great to have her support.

Roving Reporter

Gear worn:

Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ona

Shorts: K-Swiss

Shirt: Long sleeve RUNATL shirt from The Big Peach

Hat: Adidas

Watch: Garmin 110

Funtanilla Forty: Part 2

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by afuntanilla

This will be a multi-part recap. So, grab your cup of coffee or whatever it is you enjoy drinking and get comfortable. I hope you enjoy reading as I recap my adventure of the Funtanilla Forty.

I feel compelled to begin by sharing about my feelings the week prior to the run. I was in last stages of tapering, which in itself is enough to drive me nuts. I go from lots and lots of running for months and recovery to hardly any at all.  It’s so important to do this to ensure fresher legs on the “race day”, but man, it truly is mentally challenging. Those thoughts creep in every day, “have I done enough? am i ready? do i need to get in another extra run?”

In addition to those crazy thoughts, i felt physically sick. or like i was gonna get sick. I realize I usually go through this same pattern before the big races. The last 7-10 days pre-event, I begin to feel extremely tired, kinda achy & super stressed. I realize, I bring most of it upon myself, but I believe there is something else happening too. I think with not only the physical tapering, but the “mental tapering” too that the body is thrown into shock.  It’s so focused and put through so many physical & mental demands for months and then there is a gradual decrease…but to me and my body, this is a shock to my system. So, i think how i feel in that final week is a culmination and combination of all of this and then the other life stresses that come into play.  Needless to say, I got myself on the plane and headed west.

I was super excited, anxious and overwhelmed. What began as an idea I wrote out on a piece of scratch paper became one of the biggest occassions of my life. What began as an idea of a very solo & quiet journey transformed into an epic adventure where so many people from all over were involved in one way or another.

The Plan

The first real planned event of the weekend was a dinner with about 10 friends at a restaurant near our hotel in San Leandro. We had to dine in Oakland simply because there are so few legitimate dining places in San Leandro. I’m not kidding.

On the way to dinner

So, a bunch of us met up at Francesco’s, about 5 miles away from our hotel, The San Leandro Marina Inn. The group included, 1 friend I met via the blogging world (SCOTT) , 5 friends I met through twitter world(JULIE, LYNN, KERA, SANDRA, SHARON & LYNN), 1 old high school friend(KRISTINE), and 2 old friends from my days living in SF(ALEC & HOLLY). What a great group! I felt so blessed to be there. I think I had a smile from ear to ear on my face the entire time. I tried to eat, but I just couldn’t. I probably ate 1/4, at most, of my pasta. I was so happy being with all my friends and I was in disbelief that they were all there to support me.

After helping Scott with a ride back to his hotel in nearby Hayward, I got back to my room, crawled into bed went to sleep. I knew I would wake up early and use that time to eat and get all my gear and food together for the long day ahead.

Saturday:

4:30am wake up call. Seriously? Yes. On my birthday, by choice, woke up at 4:30am to go run 40 miles. Seriously? Yes.

Actually, I had no trouble getting up. I quickly made the hotel room coffee which was not too bad. Far from Peets, but hey, you gotta take what you are offered, right?! (Also, there are NO PEETS coffee places in SAN LEANDRO)

So, me and a cup of Superior Brand coffee it was…along with my customary Clif Bar, water, and a banana.

I had some pre-race jitters, which was really cool because this wasn’t a race by any means. The excitment running through my veins was pretty damn neat. I was about to go to yet another “starting line.”

After getting dressed and getting all my stuff together for support car, I headed downstairs to the lobby. To my delightful surprise, there were 3 of my friends waiting for me to give me a hug and cheer me on; Neva, Holly, & Alec. And then there was the additional group of 3 who were to travel with me via support car; Kera, Scott and Sharon. All but Neva came to the starting line with me; the starting line being the old house I grew up in as a kid; 465 W. Broadmoor Blvd, San Leandro. That was the residence I lived in with my mom; a still very dumpy looking duplex at the edge of the San Leandro/Oakland border. One thing is different from 28 years ago, there were black bars on the windows. As I stood there in the darkness, surrounded by my friends, we spoke softly. I smiled as I looked around at what used to my driveway..the spot where my sister and I would lie on the cement after running through sprinklers or just getting wet with the hose on a hot afternoon. We would lie down in the driveway, on the cement and let the sun dry our little bodies. I can still feel the warmth of the sun on my cheek, my hair. When we finally lifted our heads, we would find our cheeks marked with the little ingrained gravel of the ground.

I turned around and looked into the street. I saw a memory of me, my 2 brothers and my uncle all out there in the middle of the street playing football. My uncle would be the QB and he would diagram plays on his palm for us. Nerf football or hard football, it didn’t matter. I could catch both and hang with the boys.

I took one last look around at my 5 friends who were all smiling at me. Each of them gave me a hug and then I turned and headed south into Mile 1. Aproximate start time was 6:15am, Pacific Standard Time.

I felt free and light at the beginning. No more heavy legs, no more tired legs.

I carried nothing with me except a little piece of paper with route/map abbreviations so I would know where to go. No water (had support car), no iPod (intentional). Temps were cool. Maybe 70 degrees. I started off wearng my long-sleeve technical tee shirt from LA Marathon, but I knew I would change tops as the day progressed. I wore my K-Swiss K-Ona shoes, aslo knowing that later i would change pairs. These shoes are good for about 20 miles and then my feet start to hurt and need more support, so I would later change into the K-Swiss Tubes.