Archive for races

Day 3 in Portland; The Main Event

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, travel with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2014 by afuntanilla

My 3rd and final day in Portland was the day of The Main Event; The Adidas Shamrock 15k Race.
My morning began at 5:30am. Made hotel coffee, and ate my customary Clif Bar and banana. I sat and looked outside my hotel window and the still darkened sky, the streets so delicate in their Sunday morning quiet….those same streets would soon be lit up and come upon by 35,000 runners participating in either 5k, 8k, or 15k mile distances. This gray, overcast morning would soon be adorned with bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and color wearing their traditional Green race shirts!
Time to get on with the party.

I walked the short 3/4 mile from hotel to starting line and it was a tad chilly. I wore nothing to keep me warm as I figured as soon as I began running, I would be fine. This was true, however the 30 minute wait until the starting line popped open was chilly. Thankfully, the gathering crowd of excited runners and the beauty of the morning along the Willamette River distracted me from being cold. These are the moments that are so fun and if you have ever done a road race or any race, you know what I mean….I love just taking it all in, absorbing the moment, and watching the congregating of a bunch of strangers on a street to go run their hearts out. Absolutely love it.
I looked across the river to the east side and smiled at the grayish-bluish sky emerging from the darkness. There is nothing quite like the beauty of a morning, is there?? I think that is why I am an early riser…I hate missing it!

The combination of the walk to starting line and some time warming up along the rivers pathway, I felt loose and ready to go. I was actually gonna RACE, not just go for a run! My goal was to have a finish sometime between 1:26-1:28 which would be an average pace of 9:15-9:28 per mile. Obviously, I was hoping to be closer to the 1:26 finish. I thought my chance was good if all went well, so we were about to see!
The first mile is headed south and flat, going in the opposite direction of downtown where race began. After mile 1, you make a left turn and head back towards downtown and it’s basically straight & flat for the next 2-3 miles. The crowds were sparse in the beginning but there were some festive folks out…a few fellas playing the bagpipes and another band I think. On the north side of downtown, the small climb started as we ran next to Portland State University and then up more to pass Oregon Health & Science laboratory and Marquam Park. These were miles 3.5-6 approximately and they were a steady incline along wide windy roads. Beautiful and serene atop the higher areas. I was doing well on time. My first 2 miles were actually less than 9 minutes each and I made a conscious decision to slow down or else I might have nothing left in the later miles. The total ascent was only 550-600 feet, but I could feel it as I have run nothing but flat in preparation. I did some repeat hill sessions, but nothing major. Anyways, I was feeling good as I was watching my time and passing the mile markers. I was taking a gel every 2 miles and this was perfect. I was pushing throughout, but as the descent started to occur I really took off and pushed harder. I had lost some time on the climb and I wanted to make sure to beat my goal since I was now so close !!
Heart pounding, legs aching….absolute total focus. I was single-minded and out of my crazy mind and nothing else mattered except my strides, one after the other….keep going you are doing good, you are gonna make it, you are gonna make it…. (hey, nice legs 🙂 

Breathe. Push. Keep going! I was aware of everything and nothing. Such a cool, amazing feeling.
Running the last mile, it was a straightaway and I could see the finish line. I never let up…push, push, push Ang…


Finish time 1:25:46
Average pace per mile: 9:13

Very freaking happy with this. It shows my training has paid off. Everything came together on this particular morning. I was happy and delighted and proud of my efforts!


Another cool thing in addition to the race shirts I received was this unique race “medal”…a bottle opener! i love it. IMG_0850

I happily walked back to hotel and spent the rest of my morning/afternoon back in the Pearl District. Enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Cafe Isabel and then roamed around with my travel pack before heading to the airport and home. IMG_0849

A fun and full weekend in this Pacific Northwest city I have been wanting to visit! Thank you, Portland!!

What’s next…….



Posted in motivation, photos, races, running with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by afuntanilla

So, I’ve gained a bit of insight into my physical funk feeling. It HASN’T all just been due to some personal stuff happening —

I’ve been having some lingering problem with dental stuff. Yes, dental stuff. I had a crown put on about a month ago, along with 2 separate fillings. I was in some serious pain afterwards for about 3-4 days. UGH! Then, I was good for about 2 weeks. Then, some newer pain emerged in same tooth. I finally went back to dentist 2 weeks ago and she thought it was my bite…so she worked on that and the pain was alleviated for about a week. Then, last Saturday, I encountered more pain and knew I had to go back and see what the hell was happening (probably need a root canal, i think). Then, I noticed my right cheek was swollen. (tooth is on right side) So…no brainer, swollen cheek has to do with tooth problem. All this while, I was noticing my physical self not feeling 100% — feeling sluggish on runs, unfocused, etc…and never did I link the 2 together….until, a friend of mine says….”well, you probably have an infection and need antibiotics.” So, sure enough, went to dentist today and confirmed that same tooth I just had the crown put on about a 5 weeks ago now needs a root canal. She gave me prescription for antibiotics and I’m already feeling a little better. Root canal is scheduled for Monday, the day after SF Half Marathon Race.

As soon as I left dentist office today, I felt better because I had an answer as to what has been going on. It sucks to NOT KNOW.

I still have no idea what to expect of myself on Sunday, but I’m excited. Tomorrow I will head on down to the expo and I’m looking forward to that event. Hope they have some cool swag!


my art

Posted in races, road, running, trail with tags , , on January 20, 2013 by afuntanilla



Posted in random, road, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by afuntanilla

I’ve been thinking about what races, what adventures I will undergo in 2011. At this point, I have no firm decisions yet. What I AM super clear about is that I want to have more adventures! I want to go to experience new places, new terrain. It’s pretty fun just thinking about the endless possibilities. I’m also considering running 2 races i have previously run; the Mercedes Benz Half-Marathon in Feb. Why? This has got to be one of my favorite races. I love the cool/cold weather. I love the varied route and it’s not too many people. They also give out cool long-sleeve t-shirts and nice medals. The other race I am considering again is the LA Marathon in March. Why? To put it simply, because my one and only race there in 2010 SUCKED. I was not feeling good going into the race and I did not have fun at all. So, i kinda want to erase that memory. Or…I might just let it go and move on…we’ll see. I love going to LA and Santa Monica.

I’d also like to get out and do more races on trails…just craving more nature.

I’m considering a big race in June. I’ll keep you posted. Not sure on this yet. Just brainstorming. I want to run in states i’ve never been too before like Utah, Montana, etc…longing to see more open and beautiful space. I feel like there is so much I haven’t seen. The clock is ticking…

My next race will be the Las Vegas Half Marathon on Dec 5th. How’s that for some nature?? LOL

If you know me, you know I go to Vegas at least once a year and I have not been in about 2 years. I dig it. Love to gamble. Love the bigness and craziness of it. Looking forward to running on some flat land and hanging with friends.

Stay tuned for the rest. CHEERS!

watching the men and other things

Posted in motivation, photos, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by afuntanilla

Thursday, I ran in and around Piedmont Park. I bought some new trail shoes around xmas time and had not taken them out running yet and there is a place in the park where I can run on crushed rock/dirt. It was so nice to be outside after the previous weekend of rainy, icky weather. As i was running along at my 9min-ish/mile pace, I was passed by 2 guys at different times. When they ran by, it appeared as though they were sprinting; their legs moving so fast, so fluid, so even and graceful. It was beautiful. I love watching men run fast. I find them more beautiful to watch versus fast women. Not sure why. Just do.

Just for a tiny bit of “speed work”, friday night i jumped onto the treadmill and ran 2 fast miles. Whew. That hurt. But, good hurt, ya know??!!

Solid running this weekend. Saturday, I wimped out of running outside as it was another rainy, cold, nasty day. I hopped onto thrillmill treadmill and ran 6.28 miles. I was actually gonna go for 6.5, but treadmill stopped at 60 minutes. Of course, I could’ve restarted it, but I took it as a sign.

Today’s run was outside. Clear skies, about 40 degrees. So nice to have the sun again on weekend. I popped into REI to grab some gels. One of the ones I grabbed was CLIF BLOCKS. I had some last weekend for first time and liked it a lot. If you have not tried, I would recommend. I feel a little burnt out on the true gels.

The first couple of miles were tough. This was my 3rd day in a row of running back to back to back with less than 24 hrs rest between runs. The downside is it takes me a bit to get going; the upside is my legs get used to running through fatigue. I finally felt good after about 4 miles. Ran all along Peachtree St -Brookhaven and Buckhead. Nearly 100% in the sun so that felt nice on my body.

Nutrition: so, i basically went a whole month with a vegetarian diet. I definitely discovered some interesting stuff, both “positive” & “negative”.


-ate a lot more at home >> forced me to get creative & cook for self

-cheaper to eat in, obviously

-because I ate in a lot, saved $$ on alcohol cause I rarely drink at home


-had some issues w/ not getting enough iron >> felt groggy & really fatigued at different points

-sometimes challenging to find good veggie meals at restaurants

So, net-net, it was a good thing for me to do. I feel like I will be better at getting my veggies into my diet on a more consistent basis. I’m not gonna put any “restrictions” on my diet now. I wanted to see how this would go for a while and know I now. I will say this: I am looking forward to having some steak tacos again. One of my favorite things to eat! If anyone has non-meat ideas on IRON (besides veggies), please let me know.

Here’s the last week of miles:

Jan 31: 9 miles – outside

Jan 30: 6.28 miles – treadmill

Jan 29: 2 miles – treadmill, fast

Jan 28: 4.4 miles – outside

Jan 26: 3.5 miles – treadmill

For the month of JANUARY 2010, I ran 97 miles. A decent start to 2010.

Next race is in 2 weeks. Looking forward to it.

I will end with a picture of a true class act. Congratulations on Grand Slam #16!

back to the battlefield…(sort of)

Posted in photos, random, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by afuntanilla

As you have seen from recent posts, I have not written about running. I’ve been taking a little break since the marathon in October. It’s been good, but I don’t have anything more in particular to say about it. Just been running a little. Like I’m sure many of you, I am thinking ahead to 2010 and what races I want to do battle with…so many to choose from. Isn’t THAT great. I’m also thinking of raising money for charity again. Last time I did it was in 2005 for the SF Marathon. I raised over $5000 so I was really pleased and enormously grateful to all who donated. The donations went to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA. I have a special interest in that place. Nevertheless, having said that, I am wondering what charity, what cause, do I want to put my energy and legs into? Do I chose the same one? As opposed to how great it is that there are sooo many races to choose from, it’s quite daunting to try and decide what CAUSE  to get behind. There are so many in need; so many causes that are all more worthy than I can even begin to comprehend. I’m not even sure I WILL raise money again, but all of this is certainly on my radar.  I will definitely post about it so stay tuned.

So, back to the battlefield. Kennesaw Battlefield, that is. I texted Jeff on Friday asking if he wanted to meet. We’ve been trying to meet up and just haven’t connected lately. We actually hadn’t seen each other since about September. Hmmm.. I wonder if he was avoiding me cause he KNEW that HILL pain would be involved… hee hee. He texted me back asking when and where. “10am. Kennesaw. rain or shine.”

It had been pretty ugly and cold out so who knew what we were in for on the trails. Actually, it rained all day on Friday but the trails were not as wet/muddy as I thought they would be. I purposely DID NOT wear my new Adidas Trail shoes. I JUST couldn’t bear to get them all muddy just yet. So. I had my old ones on.

Found Jeff at 10am right on the nose. Isn’t it wonderful when you can count on people??!! Love that about Jeff! Since we both have not been running much, we decided to just go 5 miles. And let me tell you, 5 miles at Kennesaw is pretty damn good. All hilly! And, oh…the hills make you remember quickly. I hadn’t been out there for about a year…not since I had done my training for the Chattanooga 50k Trail race. I commented to Jeff that it looked so different out there at this time of year….the trails in their winter dress..barren, still and almost an eerie quiet. We didn’t talk much as we plotted one foot in front of the other, up and down and up and down. How comforting it was to be there with my friend, running side by side in the cold of the Battlefield…each of us with our own quiet thoughts and experience, but still, together.

Soon enough, we were back at the start. I don’t know the mileage cause I was not wearing my Garmin, but time was 58:36…so I’m thinking 5.5-6 miles

I said to Jeff; “you know you’re a runner when you come and run tough miles and you’re not training for anything.”

Jeff: “oh, we’re training for something. we just don’t know what yet.”

Ahhh…so true!

Here we are post run. Thanks, buddy!

central park & office park(s)

Posted in races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by afuntanilla

haven’t had too much time or energy to write. on some whirlwind days right now and will continue to be up until race day this coming sunday. i am trying to take as good of care of my body as i can.  work/travel stuff going on. good, but taxing, ya know.

had a good week last week. obviously, shorter runs as race day approaches. arrived in NYC on saturday, checked into hotel, and went for a 7.6 mile run through central park & back to hotel. was a gorgeous fall afternoon; a scattering of changing leaves sprinkled throughout the park, a slight breeze now and then whenever my direction headed south or southwest, an array of people from various ethnicities doing a variety of activities; running, walking, skating, cycling, some walking just for pleasure, others for the sole purpose of a workout, kids playing in their designated areas, soccer games in session….LIFE in NYC on a FALL saturday. what a pleasure it was to be able to run there. My first time.

Decided to sleep in on Sunday and ran in the early evening after i checked into hotel in new jersey. my hotel is situated in an area flush with office parks and streets w/ no sidewalks. I slipped my iPOD on and headed out for an easy 5.4 miles. Flat as can be. After being in the heightened frenzy of the city, it was actually really nice to be where i was and run on a very quiet sunday among a whole lotta nothing. Very good for clearing the head and being with the Self. I know you know what i’m talking about…

Today, Tuesday, ran another 4 in the office park area. My body is fighting off a bug. Taking Emergen-C and hoping to stay strong. Just get me to the starting line. Pretty excited about the race and running in the city by the bay, my hometown, San Francisco!

Stay Strong. Restore the Roar.