Archive for rain

Peachtree. Again. 

Posted in photos, races, road, running, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2015 by afuntanilla

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We gathered on the 4th day of July.  the day so historically significant, marking the United States independence. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. I think of the many people who live in places where they are not so free….

We lined up. Some for the 37th time. Some for the 1st time. Or like myself, the 8th time. My 8th go at The Peachtree Road Race. The crowd so full, lively, ridiculously energetic on this early morning holiday. The famed start there at the corner of Peachtree and Lenox Ave…on your mark….

I felt happily light as I had no water bottle, no earphones, nothing with me or in my hands. The sky above was gray & a typical Atlanta thunderstorm was threatening. Bring on the rain, I said. If you know me, than you know I love running in the rain…especially a southern rain. Nothing. Like. It.

My goal was to run solid, have fun, soak it all in and push! All week my legs had been feeling heavy, but this morning, all was good. I had a feeling I would have a good day. Sometimes, I can just feel it as soon as I wake up whether I will run well or not….and this morning as I readied myself in the hotel room, I had a good feeling.

Off we went and the miles were passing by. I was keeping 9 minute mile pace, conscious to not go to fast as I didn’t want to lose steam later in the race as I have done so many times in the past. This course, this damn course…often times, it just gets me miles 4-5.5! I was determined not to let that happen. Well. The 3rd mile was even faster at 8:43. I didn’t want to go that fast, but that’s what happened…

As we started the initial climb up the major hill (Cardiac Hill), I was feeling strong and kept my pace strong throughout…up and over…and onto a flat stretch to mile 4 which starts the long, gradual ascent til about 5.8 miles. It doesn’t ever look difficult but often times in the past I have just really slowed down during this stretch….

Not today;  legs in great stride, pushing, feeling my breathing, my heartbeat beating….so happy to be alive and running as a harder rain fell on us all. Ahhhh….that was the moment, my moment…LOVE IT!

I turned the corner at Peachtree and 10th and headed fast on the last downhill stretch into the finish next to Piedmont Park.

Done, done, done. Another Peachtree in the books. One of the best races I’ve had here and happy with my finish of 56:08.

 

The shoes in the picture where new…bought just the day before and had no problems whatsoever. I was able to walk around in them a bit day before race, so all was good. They are NEW BALANCE 1400v3, a racing shoe. Good stability and enough cushioning for this day. Super light and fun to run in. Got ’em at The Big Peach Running (of course!) store in Decatur. Best running store ever! (multiple locations…i love the decatur store best)

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Happy to be healthy and out enjoying life on the roads….

What’s Next??

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me & the rain

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by afuntanilla

Me & the rain…we got a special relationship. Much more love than hate. Much much more. In face, no hate at all! I cannot recall exactly when I first fell in love here but I can tell you this love affair has been long. When I first got seriously into running in the late 90’s, I didn’t belong to a gym and therefore didn’t even have the option to run on the treadmill on rainy days. I put on a cap and a rain jacket and off I went. I remember the very 1st HALF-MARATHON I ran in SF in 1999 was partially run in rain….I couldn’t have been more delighted. The freshness, the challenge, the beauty of it all still sticks with me today, 15 years later. I ran MANY times in rain while living in Atlanta. How could one not with all the random yet not so random Thunderstorms coming down all around you. Not little droplets, no “light” rain there….heavy duty, gigantic raindrops thru the often thunderous crackling of lightening across the southern skies. Delicious, formidable drops that i could not keep myself away from….so many spring & summer days…the wetness would fall on my body and just wash over me — the warm waters felt like a soft sponge on my bare skin. There is NOTHING like running in the rain in the southern heat & humidity! The vast lushness all around that becomes even more so after mother nature gives an impressive spill. I remember days of running along Ponce de Leon, a main corridor in Atlanta, and being able to see off in the distance the falling drops in the sky and the awesome backdrop of the deep green that lined the famous street. I remember steps along the Silver Comet Trail when the wetness would create more space than usual…the walkers, cyclists and others would stay away on rainy days. Just me and the path that became my trusted, stable friend. And our other friend, the rain. Many miles I have run through such magnificent conditions.

And then running in the cold rains! I recall possibly my toughest race ever in terms of weather conditions; the Half Marathon in Chicago in May 2011. Damn that was tough. Rain and serious wind on a course that was out and back along Lake Michigan. 25-30 mile winds! It was ridiculous. It wasn’t fun, it was really freakin’ cold and it was so mentally challenging, but I still relished the experience. I still wonder how I made it through that one… it was one of those experiences where you tell yourself, “if i can run though this, i can run through anything!”

Following my jaunt today, I just stayed outside of my house for a bit. I removed my cap and glasses and just hung out on the corner….marveling at the elements and blissed out after my run. I forgot myself and just started to spin and twirl around a few times, head back, letting whatever wanted to come, come. My smile was huge!

I think there is definitely a spiritual element I find through running and even more so, in the rain. I feel more connected to myself, my truth, and a spirit that goes far beyond little ole me and my world. The quiet, abandoned  streets beckon me to come on out…the life that i feel pulsing through me on such days like during today’s 6 miles in steady rain is incalculable in its reward and how it fills my soul.

Why do I run? Well, isn’t this enough of an answer?

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Week 13: Run Report

Posted in motivation, running, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by afuntanilla

Week 13 —

Ran a couple more days on my FREE pass the local (NICE) club. Probably won’t end up joining though as my permanent living situation has yet to be determined. I may join if I find a place to live in town, but we’ll see. It’s not cheap to join the fancy club!! However, I do enjoy their facilities and all the equipment they have, so it might be worth it —

Legs were not feeling great all week. Did another trail run at Helen Putnam on Saturday. This was a 4 miler on post-rain trails. It had rained pretty hard the last 2 days and so parts of the trail were muddy and very slippery. I slid backwards a couple of times while I was on some uphill climbs. Fun, but it made me go a bit slower and be a little more cautious in my footwork. Overall though, my pace was better than last week (that was a 5 miler) Still…a great run on some tough trails that should give me good preparation for the trail race on April 14th.

Ran another 4.25 miles on Sunday through town.

Week 13: Total approx miles 15

***Tomorrow, April 2nd, I will officially begin my new Half Marathon Training Program put together for me by Nike. I will give more details on this soon! Very excited about it!

Week 12 Run Report

Posted in motivation, road, trail with tags , , , , on April 4, 2012 by afuntanilla

Want to get caught up with a couple of posts, so this will be short.

Week 12 highlights: used a new local gym on a 14 day free pass. yay! Nice place and ample equipment, amenities, etc.. operative word: FREE!

Ran two days of 3.25 mile runs at 9:06 pace.
Ran Saturday at a local park/trail: Helen Putnam in Petaluma. Not a wide or large park, but steep and with beautiful vistas. Ran 5 miles in slight rain at the park. Felt awesome. LOVE running in the rain! Slow pace, but as expected with the terrain. Have a 7 mile trail race in a few weeks so trying to get in some race like conditional training. Not focused on ths upcoming race for “race” purposes. Mostly for fun and to get out on some Marin County trails that i love.
Sunday was another 5 miler thru town.

Week 12: Total approx miles 19

Chicago:2

Posted in motivation, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by afuntanilla

After picking up race # from Loop Guy’s condo, I walked the mile back to hotel and enjoyed the rest of my Saturday in Chicago; went to Intelligentsia Coffee (some of THE best coffee around), went into an awesome Photo Gallery on N. Michigan Avenue. Cesar Russ Photo. His photography was gripping, mesmerizing & inspiring. His website does not do his work justice, but it is http://www.cesarrussphot.com. The CROWN FOUNTAIN SERIES was awesome to see in person.

My initial thoughts before flying in were to go to the Cubs vs Giants game. Having never been to Wrigley Field before and with my favorite team in town, I wanted to go. However, with the weather looking more awful by the minute, the last thing i wanted to do was go sit in a cold, windy stadium for 3 or more hours. So, I watched the game from the comfort of the bar area at restaurant across from my hotel. I had a nice dinner, felt cozy and cheered my team on from the comfort of my bar stool. Went to sleep early and woke up at 5am feeling ready to race. Feeling refreshed and limber is a great thing on race day. I feel like those feelings/conditions have eluded me the last few races.

Appropriately dressed for rain/cold, I walked out of the Raffaello Hotel and headed west for the mile walk to race start. Windy, heavy drizzle slapped against me as I made my way towards the Lakeshore. I was so glad to finally see some runners and took comfort that we are all a bunch of crazy and awesome people.

Soon enough, the race began. The course was entirely along the Lakeshore paved path. Out and back. The narrow path proved to be a bit congested in many areas, but it’s not like I was trying to run 7 min miles or something…I kept a good pace for the first 6.5 miles out with the wind at my back at times and other times, it was coming from the west side. It was truly like being pelted with sheets of ice. No protection whatsoever. Left side of my face was frozen. Head too. Ouch, man. That hurt. Then, the wind would whip up and shove me forward.

For the 1st half of race (about 6.5 miles) I was running about 9:18 pace per mile, which was ok and I felt encouraged until I made the turn to head back the other direction. WOW. How to explain running into 25-30mph winds? Nothing to compare it to. Holy Cow. That’s about all I can say. I’ve run in wind before, but I have not run in WIND OFF OF LAKE MICHIGAN. Because I wear glasses, I had to wear a hat which was blown off of my head several times. I could not raise my head much, so I just kept my eyes downward and kept on going. With each step, it felt like I was being defeated. I felt like I had to make soo much effort to even go 5 feet forward. Not Kidding.

Did I ever think about stopping and bailing out? No. What I thought was…”Wow. I cannot believe I am voluntarily doing this.”  Honestly, I couldn’t think about much other than getting to the next mile and the next one until I was done. I looked out at the powerful ocean and the white-capped waves a few times. I gained strength from the runners in front of me, beside me, behind me. We were all in our own worlds and yet so connected by our passion, our goal. I believe, in our hearts, we were all aiming to be our own hero, someone we could be proud of…

And, I was. Proud. It took maybe a full 24 hours for me to truly feel proud and get over the disappointment of my finish time of 2:14:34. I know it was the conditions, etc…but I can’t help it. (In case you are just tuning in…i’ve been trying for a new PR at the Half-Marathon Distance.)

I grabbed my finisher medal, which is really nice by the way, and walked back to hotel. A bit later, I get an email from Loop Guy, who lives in a condo overlooking the race course:

Did ya get ur ass kicked by my windy city 😉

ME: kicked my ass and then some! Brutal conditions. The harshest i’ve ever run in during all my years of racing. or even training. But, it does make the finish line more sweet.
thanks again, Dom! I will make the donation and let you know when finalized.
did you watch from the cozy comforts of your condo?

Yep … got that right … was good timing to be on the injured reserve list hehehe
I was sittin in my watch tower … hot cup of coff … toasted french bagel … cream cheese … fresh fruit … anddddd gazing over the diehards … hehehe …. being pummeled with sheets of icy lake sweat …

Just thinking … somewhere in that mass of red runny noses, blured eyes, chattering teeth, … stands Angie … taking one for the team … hehehe … you go girl! … 

Thank you to Loop Guy and to all of you who support and cheer me on in my quests…your kind words, your encouragement, your positive energy mean more to me than I could ever properly or adequately express.

Cheers.

Onward.

(Water for the) Water for the World Race

Posted in motivation, photos, road with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2010 by afuntanilla

Heavy rains woke me a few times during the night and pre dawn hours. Thunder and lightening too. Woke at 6:15 am for the scheduled 5k http://www.waterfortheworld.com/ and was wondering what I should do…will the race take place in such weather? Crazy storms expected all day. I know well enough that races take place rain or shine, but in thunder and lightening? Hmmm…

After grabbing a little coffee and banana, i noticed the rain had let up and I decided to make a go for it. If the race was cancelled, fine. If not, great. I would be there and ready to go. It was held in an office park north of metro atlanta…i.e… suburbia. I wanted to do the race because of the cause….water! A ridiculous percentage of water in developing countries is not even SAFE FOR HUMAN CONTACT. All the proceeds from the race went to a church ministry who do work in Africa to help with water issues, treatment, etc.. I know a little about the massive contamination and pollution problems of water in different areas, so if my dollars can help even just a little, i am on board! I also just wanted to run a little community race.

While driving to the location and up until the very start, it had stopped raining. As we crossed the start line, heavy rain came pouring down. I’m not talking about little pebbles; I’m talking BIG BIG DROPS. To me, it was wonderful and refreshing. and Healing. I enjoy running in the rain. Especially if the weather isn’t cold. It’s like I’m kid outside playing.

Since the route was in an office park, it was very quiet (except for many cool teens volunteering and cheering) and lots of trees. The short route began with a slight uphill and then flat. At approx. 3/4 mile, we began a steady semi-steep downhill. The heavy drops fell all around us creating big puddles everywhere. At one point, I looked over at the teenage boy next to me and said, “is this great or what?” He smiled big and said, “yeah”. On the descent, I thought to myself, are they gonna make us run back UP this road…that would not be too nice….

Yep, they did. At about the 1.2 mile mark, we turned around and went up the hill. Once we made it to the top, the remainder of the route was slightly rolling to the finish line. I didn’t wear my watch. I didn’t wear my iPOD. I wanted to be more present. Funny how it went by soooo fast.

I crossed the finish line, happy. Turns out I finished 3rd in my age group (remember, the race was small. LOL) Pretty neat. Got a nice plaque. The neat part about watching the award ceremony was seeing the faces of the kids who won in their age groups. I loved seeing their excitement, pride, and even shyness.

I might have had similar expressions on my face.

A great way to start my Saturday. Thanks to all involved in putting the race together, especially all the volunteers who had to be their early in the crazy rain.

Do what you can to make clean water possible for all. Cheers!

5k Time = 27:12 (not my fastest, but it wasn’t about that today)
Pace: 8:45/mile
Overall = 41st out of 224 total runners.

holding the line

Posted in motivation, quotes, road with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by afuntanilla

“One morning in Boston, it was snowing so hard that I didn’t think anybody would be going training, but I went down to the track anyway. Billy Smith was there, though. He opened the door and said: ‘the road to Mexico is out there'”.  -David Hemery – who won the 400 meter hurdles at Mexico City in 1968

I’ve always loved this piece! Can’t you just visualize it? I sure can…

Today, Tuesday, was group run day at the office. If you saw my last post, you will notice that 8 people joined me last week. Major Success! Well, when I looked at the weather report a few days ago, I saw that Tuesday would be the worst day; cold w/ snow flurries. In Atlanta. More snow. WOW. And it’s gonna be high 60’s by the weekend. Naturally, I thought it was gonna be interesting to see if anyone showed up to run. Even myself. I had good runs over weekend, but the weather forecast surely wasn’t making it easy to stay motivated to go outside after a long work day. But, I held the line. Inside, I feel like I have a responsibility to ‘hold the line’ of the group; to not miss a day, to not have any excuse to not be there. Usually, every Friday and Monday, I send an email about the run (as a reminder). I did the same thing this week so they would know I would be there, regardless of weather. By noon today, it was apparent that no one was joining me. Of course when I realized I would be going solo, I had thoughts of letting myself off the hook for the day or even just go run on treadmill. It was 37 degrees and snow flurries still coming.

I had been in the office all day and went out for coffee around 2pm. The little jaunt to Starbucks was actually refreshing since I had felt so cooped up all day. Decision Made. The run outside is on. Holding the line. Whether anyone was there with me or not. It’s perfectly understandable that people would opt out…for weather reasons or for whatever they’ve got going on. No problem. I will be there. I will be there again, next Tuesday at 5:15pm.

‘Cause for me…the road to LA MARATHON (and beyond) is out there!

TRAIN HARD. TRAIN SMART. BE BRAVE!