Archive for marathon training

listening and letting go

Posted in motivation, photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2013 by afuntanilla

The training week — a lot less mileage than I “should’ve” run…my body needed it.

Monday: 2.5 mile walk

Tuesday: 3 miles Treadmill – 9:05 pace

Friday: 3 mile run outside w/ hills – 9:41 pace; 1.47 mile walk

Saturday: 14 mile run outside – 10:10 pace; 1.47 mile walk

Sunday: 4 miles Treadmill – 9:31 pace

Partly deliberate and partly due to work schedule, I didn’t run as much as i “should’ve”. I put this in quotations because as many training programs as I have followed in the past, I’ve learned that you REALLY DO have to listen to your body. My legs were feeling pretty beat so I ran lower miles during the week and took 2 days off in a row. I think being a runner for so long now, I have (hopefully) learned a  bit more of when to PUSH and when to REST. By no means, do i have this figured out…but, I am learning. 🙂

I would like to say that the strategy during the week made the long run on Saturday that much better, but it didn’t. And that’s ok. I decided to switch things up and run long on Saturday and “play it by ear” on Sunday. I also wanted to go back into SF and run part of the marathon course. So, I rose early on Saturday and after a quick cup of Peets Coffee, I drove into the city and watched the sunrise as i zoomed down HWY 101 on quiet morning. I parked in Golden Gate Park and off I went. I think i started around the 14 mile mark for the marathon. I didn’t follow the course exactly, but pretty close. As I ran along, I thought perhaps this could help me mentally as I will know and learn this part of the course, the back half of the course, and come race day, perhaps I will be able to push a bit more! That’s the goal. I ran about 4 – 5 miles through the park and then hit the Great Highway stretch. To be honest, around mile 3-4, my thoughts were these:

man, why i am not feeling “fresher?” why are my legs still feeling tired? maybe i should just stop. just stop all together. i mean not run the marathon. just take a break. maybe my body needs it. maybe. maybe just focus on the next mile. 

So, there you have it. Honesty. Before I knew it, I was at mile 10 and thoroughly in a zone and feeling free. These thoughts do creep up for me. And, I think, like anything else, when they happen, I just have to let them be…give them space…and NOTHING ELSE. And because I was able to do that at this particular time, I just kept on and soon forgot about it all. I guess that’s “letting go”. The cool thing is that i didn’t spend a whole lot of mental energy here…i didn’t have to tell myself to “keep pushing” or anything like that….after I said to myself to just focus on the next mile, i think i really just let go…

And, to be honest, i think it DID help to be running a different route. Right when I was kinda going thru this, I had turned onto the Great Highway with the Pacific Ocean right there and the healing, restorative power of the water. I ran along and then up and over to Lake Merced. Ran around the full lake, which will be different on race day. This year, they have us run half the lake and then back the same way. Anyways, pretty soon, I was done. 14 miles strong in the bank. I walked about 1.5 miles back to my car and immediately drove back to the beach. I went in, waist deep, and had my own personal “ice bath”. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Of course, there were a few moments of shock from the cold, but then, it felt great. I just stood there basically for 10 minutes and watched the waves come and go…gently crashing into me and my quads. As opposed to last weekend, the sun was out a bit and temps were again pleasant and no wind. Awesome.

Sunday: I wasn’t sure what the running plan for sunday would be. I woke up and was sore. Had a nice morning and just sort of went about my day. Around 2pm, I decided I would go for about 4 miles at the gym. So, I did. Felt much better than i anticipated and I 100% credit the “ice bath”. Dear Pacific, you will see me again, soon! 🙂

Dear reader friends: remember to be gentle with yourselves. Listen. Let go.

IMG_0247

 

IMG_0249

Sunday Run

Posted in motivation, photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2012 by afuntanilla

I love early Sunday morning runs. The streets are quiet. The air smells fresher. Possibilities seem abundant and my soul seems more open to take it all in. Life. As I have mentioned many times, this truly feels like my “church” time.

I slipped on my shorts, shoes, shirt, & iPod. I put 1 Hammer Gel in my shorts pocket and 2 GU Gels in my Nathan Water bottle pocket. I wrapped my Garmin watch onto my wrist and off I went onto the vacant streets of Petaluma. Headed West.

I ran a similar route as last Sunday, but with a little bit of change. The first long hill comes about 1.5 miles and takes me up and over a nice crest. I’m headed west, but then NorthWest onto Chapman Lane…a long, rolling street lined & scented with Lavender growing abundantly. As I head down the street, I can feel myself take deep breaths and I am just soaking it all in…this moment. This opportunity to move my body and do what I love: RUN!

Lots of homes on either side of me with lots of space between them. I see some horses, cows and hear the chickens off in the distance. Country.
I make my way onto Eastman and turn left and venture into new (hilly) territory. My pace quickens a little from the thrill of the unknown.

I come across folks walking and a few cyclists out putting their legs and hearts to work on this Labor Day Weekend. My legs are feeling good even with the hilly nature of these first 6 miles.

I look around and just see open spaces. So refreshing. I see the golden landscape that is synonymous with California. I live in such beauty. And, yes, I do miss my running routes in Atlanta. Such lushness there. GREEN! AHHH. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty!

I circle back and head East on Eastman, cross Bodega Hwy and off to Lohrman Lane…another long stretch of a new road for me. This takes me to Magnolia and I’m East headed back towards downtown.

I have a loved one who has a loved one here and I pay my respects as I run by. My footsteps seem to be a little more quiet, gentle.

I continue on and towards downtown where the traffic and activity has picked up. I finish out a few more miles on flatter ground and end close to home.

11.62 for the day. Happy.

Onward.

noticing

Posted in motivation, photos with tags , on September 6, 2011 by afuntanilla

Some of what I love about running is simply noticing the people out exercising while I am out too. Yesterday, I began my run at the Silver Comet Trail at 8am. Parking lots already packed with vehicles and lots of people milling about and getting ready for their training; cyclists pumping their tires, putting their wheels on bike, runners stretching and filling their water bottles….

I began my run and within the first mile, I recognized a woman who was walking in front of me. I recognized her because whenever I have seen her, she always wears the same thing; long blue pants, white top, and a funky looking hat…like one of those hats you see people wearing who are on safari. The previous times I have seen her, I have been running in the opposite direction and when I am close to her, she always smiles and says hello. As I ran by her, I said “HI” (she’s also always wears very dark sunglasses) I just dig her. She’s just out walking…humming along and saying hello.

A lot of runners were running in the opposite direction and many of them said hello to me. I wave or smile, i usually don’t say hello. I do my best to acknowledge other runners, no matter if they say hello or not. I saw a pretty heavy fella running along. He was listening to music and looked like he was struggling; came across 2 young gals who had stopped and taken a quick rest at 7 mile marker to down some gels and then they kept going; got passed by a petite gal who looked about as fit as can be and she was just zooming by, effortlessly, it seemed. At one point, a heavier woman was running in front of me, pretty slowly and someone, perhaps a husband, was riding bike behind her. She wore a marathon t-shirt. She was moving at a slow pace, but she was moving and he was there to support her. I saw them again on my return portion and he was running beside her.

Solo runners. Runners with friends. Runners with partners. People running fast. People running slow. People walking. Everyone out there just finding their own pace, their own rhythm, their own place. I absolutely love and get inspired by it all.

Over these last 3 days, I have run 28 miles. Making a final push and then taper for Half Moon Bay Marathon. It will be my own challenge.

To all who are out there….keep doing your thing. keep at it. keep finding your pace.

blessings in disguise ?

Posted in road with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by afuntanilla

So, if you have been following, you know how I have been feeling. No kidding, i really felt like I was done with the race training that Sunday Sept 20th. I was fed up, bummed out, pissed off, and somewhat confused. I tried to just let it all go for the rest of the day (not so easy when there are not many distractions). I also tried not to get too down on myself and not try to figure out the answers. Reading your posts DID help, so THANK YOU, fellow readers.

I just kinda let go for last Monday and figured I would see how Tuesday went. Tuesday came and I felt like running. So, I did. And had a good time. A good 5 miles with no expectations. Wednesday came and it was a repeat; another good 5 miles. Just kinda enjoyed it. Thursday swung around and i just did a little 3.1 on treadmill. By this time, I knew I would try again for a longer run on weekend so I didn’t want to push too hard.

All week long, I was in much better spirits. There were a couple of weeks there where it seemed like all I was hearing about was DEATH or those NEAR DEATH. Nobody directly in my life, but it still has an effect on me. And it was a bunch of news all together. For me, I am not one of those people who need to hear about death to start living or to do all those things you don’t do or say until someone dies. I really do try to live like that all the time. The losses I experienced in my early years taught me that…So, hearing about death now doesn’t strike me in such ways. I feel most struck by it in just the finality of it all. The true loss of life. The loss of breath. The loss of smiles. It becomes so heavy, ya know. And so, all that heaviness was weighing on me and i think some of my “disaster” run that Sunday was in part due to that heaviness.

And, nothing like a good ‘ole birthday to bring some levity. I turned a whopping 39 years last Friday! Who-Hoo! And you know, I feel damn good about those years… they have been characterized by many things both extremely heavy and wonderfully light and I am just glad to still be here. Glad to still have my fingers and toes. Glad to still have my sight, my hearing, my vision. Glad to still have a strong, beating heart.

The weekend came and I ran a short 5 on Saturday. Nothing too noteworthy there. Sunday was the big day. I went to the comet and started at zero mile marker and headed west. The temperature was perfect. Low-mid 60’s with a small breeze. The remnants of some earlier rain had left the trail wet in some spots, peppered with a few fallen leaves. The smells were fresh and delicious. I had to stop by iPOD every now and again just to be with it all…to hear the organic sounds around me. I was very surprised at how i felt, physically. It’s almost as if i was expecting my body to quit or really hurt with each passing mile. But, it really didn’t. I was pretty focused and felt strong. Sometimes my back will feel tired or my quads will feel heavy, but not this time. It really wasn’t until mile 15 when my hip flexors started to hurt some. I actually think i could have pushed for more miles, but during the final mile, i got a terrible know in my stomach. I think it was all related to my intake of gels. Sometimes, i think it might be a too much sugar thing. i am not sure, but it goes away pretty quickly. Nonetheless, still finished 16.25 and felt great. So relieved. So much happier.

I am glad. I am thankful. To be here for another day. To have had a better run. To be able to open my mouth and taste life. TASTE LIFE peeps. TASTE LIFE.

September 27: 16.25 miles – Silver Comet

September 26: 5 miles – outside

September 24: 3.1 miles – treadmill

September 23: 5 miles – outside

September 22: 5 miles – outside