Archive for marathon

Toeing the line…again

Posted in photos, races, running with tags , , , , on October 19, 2013 by afuntanilla

Marathon #9 awaits me on Sunday. Can’t believe it. Really. Who would have thought…so long ago that this would be such a significant path of mine…

I still remember marathon #1 in Chicago 2000 like it was yesterday.

 

Nike Women’s Marathon. Sunday Oct 20th, 2013

6:30am

 

Wow! More later…

 

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light and dark

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, random, road, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

Have missed writing for a bit, and instead of giving a total recap, will just give some highlights.

Last week, i was able to check off an item on my bucket list; i went to the US OPEN Tennis Tournament in NY. Going to see one of the Grand Slam Tennis events in person has been a desire of mine since I seriously began following tennis in the late 80’s. i finally made it happen and am thrilled that I did!

Here are just a couple of pics from midtown and central park

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While I was severely disappointed not to see Roger Federer play because he had lost on the day prior to my travel, I did get to see Victoria Azarenka, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawvrinka, and the Bryan brothers (play doubles) The Murray/Wawvrinka was the best match I saw. It had everything I wanted to see; drama, great intense tennis and an underdog winning. AND, the energy of the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium was thrilling. It was a gorgeous late afternoon match, the sun was beating down on us with not too much heat, and we watched awesome tennis. Perfect. Ashe stadium was the only stadium I watched matches so i don’t know what the others feel like, but Ashe was great. My seats were not very close, but in general, just to be there was pretty special.

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I was only in NY for 3 days and only ran once for about 3 miles. Went for a wonderful walk in central park for about 1.5 hours with 2 pals. Did a ton of walking just in general. Of course, NY!!!

Came home on Friday and was beat!

(Sept 2) Monday: 6 miles outside – 9:23 pace; 1 mile walk

(Sept 5) Thursday: 30 minute run – NYC

(Sept 7) Saturday: 4 miles outside – 9:07 pace

(Sept 8) Sunday: 16 miles outside – 10:14 pace

This last Sunday run was clearly the highlight. Longest I have run all year. And the best I have felt on all my long runs as of late. As mentioned in previous posts, I have felt sluggish, very heavy physically (+emotionally) and have just felt very weighed down! I’ve definitely turned a corner and the first thing that happened as I turned my Garmin switch to “stop” after Sunday’s 16 miler was a huge smile came upon my face. So happy with my effort. Grateful to feel my running VIBE again. If you are a runner, I think you GET what I mean. AHHHHH

Went for another “ice bath” in the Pacific Ocean afterwards!! AMEN! Felt so freaking great!!

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I cannot express enough how much “lighter” I felt while running, especially over the weekend. I attribute this to the following:

1) taking care of myself emotionally and getting thru my stuff

2) travel – having fun – complete change of pace

The hard stuff in our lives, the difficult times, we need it — for balance. Sure, it never feels good, all that hard stuff; but we gotta have the patience and the care for ourselves to get through it. It can be grueling. But…then….you get to the other side. There is light after darkness.

Thankful.

“Endurance is just not the ability to ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory” – William Barclay

gift from the sea

Posted in photos, random, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by afuntanilla

Last week’s training:

Tuesday: 5 Miles Treadmill – 9:23 pace

Wednesday: 2.25 mile evening walk

Thursday: 5 Miles Treadmill – 9:14 pace

Saturday: 4 miles outside – 9:31 pace

Sunday: 13 Miles -San Fran – 10:10 pace

Total Run Miles: 27

It was a tough week for me. Mostly due to personal things that were just very heavy for me and oddly enough, the running the felt extra hard. It grew frustrating that I could not often find the respite I needed while running. Hopefully, I have turned a corner. with this…

I found myself super tired on Monday and legs very tired so I decided to take it easier during this week. Works out well cause I have not had the time to exercise the past couple of days. Been focused on eating well and getting enough sleep. Super important!

The Sunday run in San Francisco was a nice change from Petaluma. Really needed some new scenery. I started in SOMA and ran from their over to Potrero Hill, Mission District and then over to the Dogpatch area which is an area south of A T & T park and is mixed Industrial/Residential. I really like this area because it is right by the Bay and had great views. While there is a TON of what looks to be commercial and some multi-family residential construction going on, this area is a lot more spread out than other parts of the city. I’m always trying to figure a way I could afford to live in this area. In a high rise. With a view…..Oh, and of course, it’s flat and on sunday mornings, it is pretty darn quiet! The final miles of the 13 were ran past A T & T park, the Ferry Building and further along the Embarcadero. I doubled back and ran thru the Financial District, and back into SOMA where I began.

After getting cleaned up, I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Ocean Beach. It was actually a little warm & sunny while I ran, but once i got to the beach, it was overcast and no sun.  Fine by me cause I had been hot and I knew it would be hot at home. I walked along the beach, felt the sand crawl between my toes and enjoyed the softness on my feet. I walked along the waters edge of the mighty Pacific Ocean and was immensely grateful I brought myself there! I needed it. The water was like a shock when i first touched it and it made me giggle, actually. Then, I really laughed. Out loud. Simple Joy. I really needed that, too.

I walked then just sat. Watched people. Dogs. Life.

Onward.

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“The beach is not the place to work; to read; write or think….The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceness as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

short & long term

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2013 by afuntanilla

T-9 Random drawing process for NIKE Women’s SF Marathon (race date 10/20/13)

T-22 San Francisco Half Marathon (6/16/13)

T-40 Peachtree Road Race 10k (7/4/13)

T-42 Registration opens for Kepler Challenge 60k race (race date 12/7/13 New Zealand)

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CAN’T WAIT

RUN HAPPY

Pressing on…

Posted in photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by afuntanilla

After last Sunday’s 16 miler, I received a massage about 1.5 hours after running. I have no idea what the optimal time is as when one should receive massage post run, but it sure felt good. I’m glad to have found a very wonderful massage therapist here in Petaluma. I felt like this helped me recover a bit better than usual.

Tuesday I went to the gym and decided to do some “speedwork”. I ran 4×400 and then 2×800 all at 8:00/min pace. Felt good and felt pushed. Legs still a bit tired from that 16 miler. Wednesday ran about 3.5 on the streets and then Thursday back at the gym for 5 good miles. Admittedly, my nutrition was not too good this week. Sometimes, like this, I just become lazy about making good dinners and eating enough. I really don’t have the luxury of doing this, especially when I am training so hard…so I need to get my act together this week. (i still wish I had a personal chef, a la Ellen!)

I wake up about 5:45am every work day. And most days this week, it was super duper hard to get my butt out of bed. I just felt super tired in the morning and soooo wished to sleep in. I actually could sleep in and go to work a bit later, but I don’t elect to do this because i would then be stuck in traffic. So.

Friday night I caught a movie in San Rafael. Arbitrage with Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. I love watching Gere and the movie was ok. Felt like I hadn’t been to a movie at nite in like forever! Made my way into San Francisco and had a late night soup and snack at The Waterfront Restaurant right along the pier along the Embarcadero. Enjoyed one of the best Cosmopolitans I’ve ever had and some yummy roasted heirloom tomato soup. I sat at the bar and could see SF Bay outside. Such a view. Such a sight. Never gets old. I walked outside and caught this picture.

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That’s a dock and then the Bay Bridge beyond. It was such a nice night. Not cold or windy. Awesome.

Made my way to pick up Sharon from SFO on a late flight. Happy she got home safe and sound from her journey to France.

Saturday — didn’t do much. Slept in some (THANK GOD) and then meandered down to Corte Madera for some attempts at shopping for clothing. Found nothing at my usual places of J. Crew and Banana Republic. I did, however, get something new at The Apple Store. (no, not the new iPhone 5 although I might in the near future…) It was crazy busy inside as you can imagine. I found an employee and said, “ok. So. I LOVE Apple. But, here is my one complaint…when i am running and i use my iPOD NANO, I can’t skip to the next song because it it touch screen and I have to pull it out and look at screen, etc..i wish it had the features of the big iPOD or the Shuffle so I can just touch the FF button”. Apple guy says, “Well, do you have the earbuds with the remote on them?” “Um…no…I had no idea.” “yes, you can use the remote to skip songs, volume, etc…” Me: “Oh my god, you just solved my 1 little complaint. Now I love Apple even more.”

Suffice it to say, I bought the earbuds. I also asked another employee if there was a way to sync my iTunes from my iBOOK G4 (older version laptop) onto my big MAC. Yes, was his reply and he showed me how. So…today, I synched all my songs. I have been wondering how to do this for about 2 years. I guess the lesson of today is “ASK QUESTIONS, ASK FOR HELP”. My level of happiness went up so much today because I got these 2 lingering things resolved. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG??? I don’t know why, but it is probably related or in the same part of my brain that has me only BUY ONE THING AT A TIME (see last weeks post if you are confused)

Speaking of which…you will be happy to know I stocked up on gels & gatorade this past week. So, Sunday morning. Woke up and didn’t feel good. Felt a sore throat coming on last night and it emerged this morning. Wanted to try for 18 today and as I woke at 6am, i knew it wasn’t going to happen. I took some Emergen-C and went back to bed. Felt like crap. Woke up again and thought it was about 10am. I turned on my phone to see it was 2:00pm. HOLY COW. I knew i needed to sleep! Woke up and made coffee and big bowl of Oatmeal with raspberries, blueberries, almonds, & walnuts. YUM. Started to feel better. Actually, my body was feeling ok. Just my throat and my head were a little suspect. A few hours passed and I felt like I could give running a try. My body felt awake and I felt like I wanted to run. Got all my stuff together and hit the road. As soon as I took my first few strides, i knew i would be ok for a while. The miles were passing and I was feeling ok. I was taking some Powerbar Gels and watered down Gatorade. Ran much of the same route on the east side that i have been running these past 2 weeks. I wasn’t sure if I had made the smartest decision by running today, but I felt like I had to try and it felt great to be out there. A beautiful fall day…about 5pm…the roads were getting quieter, the sun was descending, and the moon rising. I saw it all. Beauty. I called it in at 10 miles, which was better than I thought I could do. It wasn’t 18, but it was 10 and what i could do today. Rushed over to the club to soak in the hot tub for 15 minutes. Ahhh…heaven.

This week, my goal is to take better care of myself with nutrition. Given that the race is in 3 weeks, I now have no more time to try to do 18 miles and have good recovery time. So, my longest run pre-marathon will be the 16 I ran last week. I have no idea what this will mean going forward for the race. I’m trying to stay “loose and relaxed” mentally about it since I knew I didn’t have enough time to get all the proper training in…but…still…

I think race day will be tough and hard. And a damn worthy challenge. As it should be.

ONWARD…

P.S. It’s my birthday this week. Think I need a new pair of running shoes… 🙂

Training Update

Posted in races with tags , , , on September 13, 2011 by afuntanilla

Well…after spending some time being quieter and trying to really pay attention to my body…I realize that I am somewhere between “overtrained” and “very overtrained”. In the running world, below are the symptoms that characterize such a state:

  • sharp reduction in training performances; sluggishness
  • lethargy, loss of enthusiasm, energy, drive
  • irritability, loss of concentration
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of sexual energy and loss of libido
  • rapid weight loss
  • diarrhea
  • susceptibility to infections, allergies, headaches, swollen glands
  • increased resting heart rate
There are a few more I read about in the book, THE LORE OF RUNNING by TIM NOAKES earlier today, but i cannot recall them. All i know is that when I read the list and some additional description, it home! I was both strangely relieved and pretty bummed. Relieved because I have been struggling with the training for a while now…some weeks it has been better, but little by little, all these symptoms kept coming up. So, I feel like now i can be pretty certain i know what it is. For days and sometimes weeks, I have just gotten down on myself because I feel like I am not doing enough, not pushing hard enough…well, of course, that just makes you try to train harder and that’s exactly what is NOT needed. Here’s some additional description:

“”We believe the harder we train, the faster we will run, and we ignore the evidence that indicates that this is blatantly untrue. Thus, we train harder and run worse. And then, in the ultimate act of stupidity, we interpret our poor races as an indication that we have undertrained. Consequently, we go out and train even harder.”  Tim Noakes

This part below is all from an article by Rob Taylor in Running Times 2008

As I discovered–both from research and personal experience–the process by which overtraining manifests itself is deceptively simple. Every time you go for a run, your muscles tear. When you rest and allow them to repair, you naturally get faster. In contrast, should you fail to allow your body sufficient time to recover from its most recent work, you incur a recovery deficit. Should this cycle continue, and you consistently and repeatedly engage in excessive work without adequate recovery, the deficit grows until full-blown overtraining sets in and severely damages muscular and cellular functioning.”

Perhaps even more distressingly, recent scientific research has demonstrated that continued overtraining has deleterious psychological and neurological effects as well. Indeed, Tim Noakes, M.D., writes in Lore of Running that overtrained runners exhibit an impaired ability to release stress hormones in response to physical exertion as a result of exhaustion of the hypothalamus. As the hypothalamus is solely responsible for regulating the entire hormonal response of the body, such results are consistent with — and help to explain–additional symptoms of overtraining, such as insomnia, depression, and loss of libido and appetite.

In addition, Noakes notes that overtrained runner’s brains also display an impaired capacity to “recruit” the muscles used in the activity for which the athlete is trained, as well as reduced sympathetic nervous system activity both at rest and during exercise. In such a state of physical and mental exhaustion, it is little wonder that overtrained runners’ performance degrades.

For weeks now, I have thought to myself and said out loud to a couple of friends that i think my body needs a break. I’ve basically been consistently “training” for a variety of races since last November with no breaks. I raced 5 half marathons from Dec-May and then immediately went into training for the Half Moon Bay Marathon on Sept. 25th. I figured after this upcoming marathon I would give my body a long break. A physical and mental break from running. Long meaning about 1 month.

Then, yesterday after a very poor run, i was really beside myself. My pace was about 10:30 mile and my Heart Rate was 86% of maximum. THAT IS WAY TOOO HIGH. And so, I really struggled. Legs had nothing. I texted Kera that I was going to take all week off and not run again until next Saturday. I still think that is a good idea…but after more self-evaluation today, I have a sinking feeling I will need more rest. What’s the solution to overtraining? REST. REST. REST. The question is how much am i overtrained and how much rest will I need? At this point, I have no idea. I’ve read where serious overtraining is concerned, anywhere from 6-12 weeks can be needed for recovery. Sometimes, it may only be a short rest…all depends.

Um…I am supposed to run a marathon in 2 weeks.

So. During some of my quiet time, I realized that I just have to “let go” (always easier said than done, right?) I wanted to run another marathon and do it on my birthday. That was the plan. But, clearly my body is trying to talk to me…send me a signal…get me to pay attention. It needs something and the something is rest.

Right now, I have no idea what that means for the marathon. I will still make my trip out to the bay area as scheduled, but racing is totally questionable. I’m also going to make an appointment to see the doctor…something I have neglected to do for too long now. As much as I demand from my body, i must listen to it and care for it the best I can in ways that don’t relate to exercise. That’s just as important, right.

I’m trying my best to not feel defeated. These thoughts and feelings have been with me for a while now so it’s good to actually get them written out.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. If anyone has experience with overtraining and can provide feedback, please do. Thanks

love this…

Posted in motivation, quotes with tags , , , on August 11, 2010 by afuntanilla

“I think there is too much emphasis placed on the distinction between the people in the front and the people in the back. I happen to feel that the sensations are exactly the same for all of us.” – Kenny Moore, marathoner & writer