Archive for peets

A friday tale

Posted in random with tags , , , on February 21, 2014 by afuntanilla

If you know me, then you KNOW how much I love coffee. Not just the drink, but the entire experience of it. It’s  never just coffee. A few months ago, I heard a phrase by one of the co-owners of Equator Coffee. She said, “Coffee is a connector”. And it’s true. It is.

Here’s one such story from today. For much of the past 2 years, I go to Peets Coffee every morning for a small cup on the way to work. During this course of time, I usually arrived there at about 630am. When I arrived around that time, I would see 2 women who were there together. I would either see them in line, at the “condiment” area fixing their coffee or sitting, talking, enjoying their morning sips. By their attire, I surmised they had come to Peets after their gym workout, since the gym is across the street. They look the same every day…in post workout clothes. I am guessing they are in their late 50’s and I was just sort of curious about them. One day, I struck up a brief conversation while we were in line. They told me they go to the gym every day together and going to Peets afterwards is their “treat.” They meet each other at the gym and the morning is theirs to hang out. I applauded them for getting up so early every day to go work out! I think they meet at 5-530 at the gym! 2 friends with a routine. I liked it. They asked about me….always on my way to work.

So, after that conversation, when we would see each, we would always wave or smile. We had connected. One day last fall, they were in line in front of me and as they approached the counter to order, I went with them and told the barista I would like to buy their coffee. They were happily shocked and thanked me. Warmth all around. I just wanted to. We connected more. A bit more conversation.

Well, since the beginning of January, I no longer arrive at Peets around 630am. I arrive earlier now, around 530am. So, I miss them. My 2 steady acquaintances…I no longer see them out and about doing their thing….I noticed that I missed them both literally and figuratively.

Well, this morning for the first time all year, I decided to sleep in an hour and thus, I arrived at Peets around 630am. And, there they were at the condiment area fixing their morning brew. I opened the door and smiles and waves all around. Nice.

I got in line to order. I was a few people back when I saw one of the ladies approach the front counter and have a quiet, brief conversation with the barista. Strange, I thought….i wonder what she is saying…maybe telling them they need more Half-n-Half….

So, I’m now at the counter ready to order my small coffee and oatmeal and the barista rings up the order and tell me the amount. Then, she corrects herself and says, “oh, wait…that’s not correct, those ladies are paying for your coffee..”

Coffee…the great connector.

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LA Story

Posted in motivation, photos, road, shoes, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by afuntanilla

Race morning began with a 5am wake up call. Ready to wake up, i rose and immediately went into the hotel lobby for the complimentary coffee. It was no Peets, but I was happy to have it. I returned to my room and changed into my running clothes and made sure i had everything esle I needed; garmin, iPOD, gels, bandana. Yep, that’s about it. Then, it was off to the drive from Beverly Hills into Santa Monica.

I parked in Santa Monica because that’s where the finish line was and there were shuttle buses there to take us to the starting line at Dodger Stadium. Personally, i thought this part was a pain, but oh well. So, we are on the bus at 6am and trying to get to the race start. Traffic to the stadium was a nightmare. Traffic all over. Everyone trying to get to Dodger Stadium. It was now 7am and i had serious thoughts that we’d be running from the bus to starting line because race start was suppossed to be 7:20am. That didn’t happen, thank goodness.

I got off the bus and had to go to bathroom. Of course, there were LOOOONG lines at port-a-potties so i improvised. I saw a row of trash dumpsters and me and a bunch of other women just took matters into our own hands and went behind the dumpters. Hey, it’s RACE DAY and anything goes!!!

Made my way into the starting area and was getting excited. Lots of folks all around, huddling together for this adventure. Lots of people of all ethnicities, sizes, shapes…loved seeing the diversity.

I guess the race organizers were behind schedule because we didn’t end up starting until almost 7:50am, not 7:20am. I was ancy. I wanted to get started.

Finally, the race begins!

The first mile was weird in that it was basically a full lap around Dodger Stadium. Then another 1/2 lap and we were out on the roads. There were some small hills throughout the course…a pretty good sized one about mile 5. Yikes. Where did that come from? The course went along different neighborhoods and not being from LA, i did not know these different spots. First section I recognized was Downtown, then Hollywood. I was struck by the good amount of spirited spectators along the course. Even though I had my iPOD on, I heard them, saw their signs and even gave a bunch of high 5’s along the way. I love seeing spectators in races. It makes it more fun and it helps stay motivated. So, thank you, dear LA spectators!! I was also struck by the MASSIVE amount of volunteers! There were water and Powerade stops at every mile and there were a ton of volunteers. Really appreciate them!!

I can usually sense from the get go how my body feels and even though I was ancy to start, ONCE i did, my body was telling me something different. My legs were just not feeling it. They felt tight, heavy, tired. At mile 6, i thought, “well, I’ve got 20 more to go…damn”. I knew i was in for a long day. Aerobically, I felt great. My legs were the issue.

Still…i kept on and was thinking about all those that did my “adopt-a-mile.” With each mile, I had a different person from my life in mind and it helped me stay focused and keep truckin’. It was fun to think of the different people as the miles passed because everyone means something different to me…i have a connection with each person and it’s all pretty damn cool.

By mile 13, i was at about 2:07 and though I was physically not feeling great, i was pleased with my time and figured if i can just keep it up, i can maybe have a personal record. If I finished under 4:20, i would have a marathon best. Since the 2nd half was more flat and downhill, i really thought i had a shot. Well…it wasn’t soon after that where I started to deteriorate.

Ouch. Legs were hurting. Quads. I knew I was in trouble when we had a short steep downhill section in West Hollywood and I COULD NOT go fast. Legs were like OUCH as i tried to zoom down the hill. They would have none of it. I think that was the point where I started to get disappointed. Obviously, that’s not how I wanted to feel. I wanted to feel strong and fast. But, I kept on. I never thought I wouldn’t finish. I just knew it was gonna continue to sting.

We ran our way through rest of W. Hollywood, Bevery Hills and into Westwood. Again, lots of spectators and it seemed like they were growing in size. very cool!

I knew there was one last hill somewhere between mile 20-21 and then it was downhill to the finish. Well, lemme tell you….I never FELT the downhill. It all seemed just flat. The MAP shows the downhill, people KEPT SAYING,” IT’S ALLL DOWNHILL FROM HERE.” Not to me and my aching legs.

On the plus side, my nutrition was good. I felt fine. I was taking some gels and clif bloks and drinking plelnty of water. Also, the weather was good. It was maybe 60 at the start and never got too warm. it was overecast and actually pretty cool as we headed into Santa Monica and the beach! The last 3 miles seemed to take forever. I was looking at my watch and seeing the time get further away from what I had hoped.

2 friends who live in Santa Monica were gonna try and see me at about mile 24. I looked for them but didn’t see them, unfortunately. On the last mile, I tried to kick it up a notch and go strong. I crossed the finish line of my 7th marathon in 4:32. I was more relived than happy.

As soon as we cross the finish line, we are greeted by a volunteer who places a medal around our neck. That DOES feel gratifying. A medal for the battle just “won”. Four hours and 32 minutes of mental and physical battle. We all deserve the medal!

I looked around me and saw some people getting their finisher photo taken, others were on the ground, sitting with a glazed look over their face, drinking water or eating their bagel, banana. I really wanted to sit down but I feared not being able to get back up! Also, I had to   go to PLAN B to meet my 2 friends. We were to meet at the beach party tent area under F for my last name. The area was about another 1/2 mile walk from finish line.

Once we joined up, i fell down and for about 3 seconds i thought i was gonna lose it. But, i didn’t. I told them a little about the race. I was really happy to see them.

Soon enough we started walking down the beach to the parking lot where my rental car was located. It took a while to get there – maybe another 3/4-1 mile in total because we couldn’t find the car. I was so confused..could not remember where I had parked at 5:45am in the dark!

I dropped them off at their house and i went on to my hotel.

So, what happened? Why was I not able to perform better? I have a couple of thoughts.

One: given that my last marathon was in october, perhaps it was too much for my body to do another one so soon. this was the first time I had done 2 marathons in such a short time period. but remember, I felt so great at SF Marathon that I wanted to run another one. I felt like I could physically do it. Maybe I was wrong.

Two: my other theory is that i simply did not get in ENOUGH LONG MILE runs. I did not run much in Nov/Dec and picked it up in January. But, perhaps…the miles I’ve done since January weren’t enough to get me to where i wanted to be. It’s one thing to finish a marathon..it’s another to finish a marathon and still feel physically ok afterwards. I now know both sides.

Am I happy and proud to have finished? yes, of course i have those feelings. But, my disappointment is certainly the more dominant feeling. This is not marathon #1 for me and as such, I don’t have the same expectations and wishes for myself. i want to feel better. I want to perform better. That is part of what makes me who I am. That is part of the drive. I KNOW what a huge achievement it is to get out there and to finish. And I know in many ways it is not about the end result. Every race, every training teaches me something and therein lies some of the beauty. I know there are jewels to be found.

What I know to be true is that i did my best with what I had on race day. I could not have done any better.

There will be other days when  i can try to be better…to be a better me…As long as I have a body that works, i will keep trying. For me, that’s the juice.

Other TIDBITS and PICS from TRIP

Here’s my blog buddy, JOSH, wearing the cool-ass KSwiss Knit Cap. We met up at LA Expo on Friday. When he met me in line to get our BIB #’s, he gave me this KNIT cap cause he knew I loved it. WHAT A COOL GUY, HUH!!!

And here’s me with the same cap on next A.M. in my new LA Marathon Shirt at Peets Coffee in Santa Monica!

Here’s me again at Peets. yes, i’m in love. Yes, I am addicted.

Other highlights of LA TRIP:

Going to KSWISS Store in Santa Monica:

The guy helping me was SOOOO cool. I bought another shirt, shorts and yes, MORE SHOES. (just 1 pair) and He have me BART YASSO’S new book, My Life on the RUN.

Other great parts of the trip were eating at different restaurants. Have you ever noticed how you kinda get into a rut at home…eating the same things or at the same restaurants. I went to URTH CAFE on Melrose, which was fantastic, healthy and had outdoor seating. We don’t have enough healthy places as such here in Atlanta. Went dining at a great Italian place with 2 friends on Saturday night. Wonderful, simple, yet stylish restaurant called OSTERIA LA BUCA.

Obviously, had multiple trips to PEETS Coffee, but I also went to a new coffee joint: INTELLGENTISIA – a really neat little joint over in Venice. Watching the baristas make the coffee there was truly a pleasure and they delivered ART!

Met a friend for lunch in Beverly Hills. Man, i felt like such a star! HA!

My hotel was SOFIETEL on Beverly Dr. near Beverly Hills. A wonderful place to stay! Excellent service across the board! Highly Recommend this hotel! I also had a massage post-race which was exactly what I needed! The spa space was calm, empty, soothing, and peaceful. Very nice after the not-too-happy space I was in post-run.

Here’s the last photo share…taken the next day before leaving LA. It sure was not a pretty race, but it still counts. #7. Done.

running on veggies

Posted in races, road with tags , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

Sitting here on Sunday morning, drinking some Peets out of the only coffee mug I have ever gotten for running a race; the Woodminster X-Country Race in Oakland Hills back in 2002. Whew! That was a tough 9 mile trail race…but fun! And hell, I got a mug out of it soI am happy! Race organizers ought to think more about other things besides tee shirts, although if i had a mug for every race i’ve done, i would be in a world of hurt for cabinet space!

I did sign up for my first race of 2010. I will be running the Birmingham Half-Marathon on February 14th. Me and my love, together again. Coudn’t be happier.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been having a veggie eating experience. I could say I’m a vegetarian, but i’m not. I’m simply just going without meat for a while. The decision to do so is mostly rooted in the fact that I just don’t eat enough vegetables on a consistent basis and I feel my body really needs them. Morally, ethically, whatever…i’m cool with eating meat, but I feel that unless I go strictly veggie, for at least a while, until I get in some sort of groove, I would falter in providing myself with important nutrients etc…

It’s been interesting thus far. I few things i have noticed; it’s cheaper and i am preparing food and eating at home. If you know me, you know that I usually eat out a lot….at least 5 times a week. Obviously, that gets pricey, especially if you add in an occasional cocktail! I am enjoying my new place much more than my previous home, so it’s been a pleasure to prepare meals. My new place is much more cozy and feels more like a home….which probably aides my wanting to stay in more. One of the things I have noticed to the “downside” is that i might not be taking in enough calories. Hasn’t been too much of an issue yet, but as the training ramps up, it will if i don’t adjust. I can’t eat a veggie quesadilla one night and expect to run a good 10 miles the following morning. Won’t work.

I’ve eaten mostly veggie tacos, quesadillas. I even put KALE into the quesadilla. When was the last time I had KALE??? Last night, I made asparagus soup and pesto pasta. Pretty good.

As opposed to the stints of “no-sugar” or “no-alcohol” that I do from time to time, I don’t necessarily feel healthier with all veggies, i just feel like I am getting more of what I need. I don’t feel a huge difference yet, but I trust what’s happening “behind the scenes” in my body. When I go without sugar and alcohol, I feel the difference and i feel cleaner, healthier. It will be interesting to see if I notice anything differently as time goes on.

Been alternating the runs lately with treadmill & outside. Been brutally cold here in Atlanta. The weekend runs were the toughest, but I have to say, it feels refreshing to be outside….and then my cheeks, lips, and nose go numb…ah….hopefully next weekend it will be a tad warmer.

I hope your year has started off well and you are getting ready to kick some ass in all you do!

Here’s some of my latest runs.

Jan 1 4 miles – outside

Jan 2 4.75 miles – outside – 30 degrees

Jan 3 6 miles – treadmill – easy

Jan 6 3.5 miles – treadmill – fast

Jan 7 4.5 miles – treadmill – w/ intermittent incline

Jan 9 4.1 miles – outside 25 degrees

Jan 10 6 miles – outside 17 degrees

let’s break it down

Posted in races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by afuntanilla

Alright, lemme break it down for you. First, let me mention that I trained the least for this marathon compared to all other 5 run before. What that basically means is that I logged less miles over the specific training cycle. Normally, I get in at least one 18 miler and one 20 miler before tapering. This time, my long run was 16.25 and I felt that this alone could really hurt my race outcome.

Heading into the final 2 weeks of the race I was run down, traveling, and basically feeling like I wasn’t even sure I would finish the darn race. So, I really did not know what to expect from my body. Mentally, I was feeling so much better than a month or so ago so i was super thrilled with that part, but physically I wasn’t sure what to expect.

As  you might have read though in the earlier post, when I woke up on race day, I KNEW I was ready and I knew I would have a good day. Here are the mile breakdowns:

Mile 1: 8:45

Mile 2: 9:43

Mile 3: 9:41

Mile 4: 10:03

Mile 5: 9:31

Mile 6: 10:23

Mile 7: 11:00

Mile 8: 9:23

Mile 9: 10:29

Mile 10: 10:26

Mile 11: 9:47

Mile 12: 10:04

Mile 13: 11:17

Mile 14: 9:46

Mile 15: 9:58

Mile 16: 10:00

Mile 17: 9:40

Mile 18: 10:32

Mile 19: 10:21

Mile 20: 10:05

Mile 21: 10:13

Mile 22: 9:54

Mile 23: 10:22

Mile 24: 10:10

Mile 25: 10:17

Mile 26 + .2 = 12:44

OK. Here is where it gets tricky on my “official” time. I was wearing my Garmin, which is where I got my mile splits from, however, i noticed my mile markers on Garmin did not match up with race mile markers. Usually not a big deal because often it is pretty close. But, it was not close this time. When I completed the race, my watch read: 26.61 miles, 4:28:01. So that is .4 more than official race of 26.2. When i looked at my watch for 26.2, I was at 4:24. My RACE CHIP time was 4:28:10. Hmmm…what to do? Well, considering my Garmin has been off before, but never by that far of distance, i’m gonna split the difference and say I finished in 4:26. How does that sound? Fair?

In my age group Female 35-39, there were 742 runners. I was #171 out of 742. Not bad.

I’m cool with it! Like I said, a few days before the race i wasn’t even sure i would be able to finish. Comparing this time of 4:26 to my best of 4:19 is interesting. I trained less and didn’t fare too much worse. I wonder what i could have done had I got more miles in….lots of info to consider going forward. I did notice that for rest of day and next day, I felt the best I had ever felt after a marathon. I wasn’t nearly as sore or as fatigued. And I almost want to whisper this, but it kinda “felt easy”. Maybe it’s because I was “home” and feeling so awesome and loved. Maybe it was because it wasn’t in the damn heat and humidity of the south. Maybe it was all the Peets coffee. Maybe it was the Pacific Ocean breeze. Maybe it was “Rocky” on the iPod. Or maybe…it was just one of those days.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for cheering. Thanks for the support. Means more than I can say!!

Cheers!