Archive for reflection

November Closing

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, trail with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2014 by afuntanilla

The long month of November comes to a close. Most of the heavy mileage was Nov 1-15, as since then it has been taper mode. Race day is next Saturday. Even though this has been taper time, I’ve been doing very little running since 11/15 for a few reasons…a) my nagging left hamstring, upper calf issue/injury b) just giving my body more of a rest as I sensed it has really needed it. c) mental break needed
It’s also been a time these past 2 weeks to try to get myself mentally in the right frame of mind to tackle 50k instead of 50 miles. I have to say, this has been challenging. Coming to the conclusion that this distance was the better choice, at this time, burst my excited-running bubble!! Some people might be relieved, but I….am disappointed. And, quite honestly, I just have to let it go now. Let go of being disappointed. I need to let go and embrace what I feel my body is capable of at this time. I have to let go and focus on what I believe is achievable rather than be bummed about what is out of reach right now.

I did get in some good mileage + elevation in my final weeks of pushing hard Nov 1-15.

All of these miles were on the race course. And about 90% of all my training runs have been on the course, which is exactly what I wanted. So, there will be no course surprises come Saturday.

A couple of people have asked me recently if I am excited for the race. Quite honestly, I am not that excited at the moment. But, as I wrote above…I know why and I need to let go. I fully believe that as the week progresses, I will be. I will pick up my race stuff at The North Face, I will go & listen to a talk with Rory Bosio & be around fellow participants….I believe my excitement level will be high by end of week!

November Total Miles: 107.5

Total TRAIL miles: 100 (7.5 road miles)

Total Elevation: 35,648

T-6

IMG_1731

 

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The After

Posted in running, trail with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by afuntanilla

When your body is caked with dirt, mud, sweat from the undulating, unrelenting, beautiful terrain.

When your pulse finally settles down, normalizes to others; rest of life

Your eyes move over in a quiet gaze, noticing the world; the people, their movements

It all seems kind of dreamy, doesn’t it?

Looking down at your feet,

Shoes removed

Tan line of dirt wrap perfectly around the edge of where leg meets ankle

& the protruding ends of Tibia, Fibula.

Toe nails slightly bruised

A small blister showing signs of life

Otherwise,

Feet look regular,

As if out for a stroll

Only you know

What they have been through

Where they have traveled

What they got you through

How they helped you

Climb, conquer

The trail, today

Tomorrow, awaits

A Slooooo Start

Posted in motivation, quotes, running with tags , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by afuntanilla

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know”

So. 2013 has not started exactly the way I had hoped…on December 26th, I got sick with the flu. It lasted for about 2 weeks and since then, I have been experiencing much achiness and fatigue. I feel like the damn thing just flattened me. And it did. I haven’t missed any work, but left early many days. My weekends, up until this current weekend, have basically been spent on the couch/bed. Not feeling the physical energy to do much for such a long time now has been quite the challenge.

I love being active. Of course, I love to run. But, I also love just having the energy to go about my day with some zest! During the past month, i have felt depressed, angry, agitated, cranky, irritable. I have done my best every day to be patient with my body as it clearly has a course of its own to run. I went to the doctor, had some blood work done just to be thorough….all came back normal. More patience with just what is….

I have not experienced this kind of sickness since about late 1990’s, so it’s been even the more challenging. I have been running about 3-5 days a week for about 15 years, so to have such a lengthly delay has been bubble bursting in so many ways. Some people will understand it and others won’t. And, that’s ok. Running makes me feel alive in a way that nothing else does. If you have read my blog for a while, you probably get it.

And…I’m trying to see the positives in all this. My flaw has been I do not give myself enough time to rest after big races and I had 2 big races last year. I know I am guilty of not enough rest. And part of me sees this delay as learning a lesson in this regard. I’m absorbing the lesson. Sometimes, after a big race, I’m so excited i just can’t wait to keep going for the next thing. But, there’s another lesson here too: to truly embrace my current self-accomplishment. Too often these past few years, I have not allowed myself to just “enjoy the after…” And, I think that is part of the nature of the mentality of runners…to keep re-setting their goals. Believe me, I am all for goal-setting, but i am getting the other lessons here too.

So, where am I now? Well, after a full month of little to no physical exercise. I am basically starting from zero. For example, I ran for 10 minutes on Friday and walked for 5 minutes.

Yesterday, I ran 2 miles and walked 5 minutes.

Hard to understand I ran a marathon in October. I could not run 5 miles right now. And….that is ok. I will get back. Smartly.

I remain positive and upbeat and ever determined.

Onward.

Running Renaissance

Posted in motivation, photos, random, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by afuntanilla

Not sure why or how, but lately it sure seems I am experiencing a running renaissance. This may come as a surprise to some of you. So, let’s look at what renaissance means: A renewal of life, vigor, interest.

As you might recall, I had such a tough summer of training. No need to go into any further details since it has all been already documented here.

The Fall rolled around and I felt I barely made it to SF for the half marathon on my birthday in Sept. Then, I thought….I am going to rest. Just chill and take a break from the running for a while. Well, what is “awhile”?

In my mind, I thought I would try to not run at all for about a month. Well, that didn’t happen. I just couldn’t sit still. Plus, the Fall is such an awesome time to be outside. The temperatures cool, the humidity falls away and becomes nonexistent. How could I not want to be running in this weather?? And, I feel that FALL running sorta adds it’s own natural/organic inspiration. The scenery, the environment completely changes and it’s such a natural time of reflection and contemplation. The air seems fresher, cleaner and like I can breathe deeper. So, I’ve been taking deeper breaths as I am rounding the corners and crunching on leaves and feeling the Fall air on my arms, face, fingers.

I feel my legs moving more swiftly as I tackle the hills of the Atlanta neighborhoods. My legs feel lighter, my entire body feels lighter, even weightless at times. I face the hills and I am running up them with a quickness that has surprised me. I am getting to the tops with less effort than I remember from the past. Most of my runs have all beeen with negative splits, which feels awesome! Where has all this come from?
I’m sure part of it is the volume has come way down! Today, for the first time ever, I thought back to the summer training and do believe I ran a bunch of junk miles. JUNK MILES = miles just to get in miles thinking I needed more when in fact I didn’t. An important lesson.
I didnt know it then, but I can recognize it now and apply this to my future training.
Perhaps part of this “renaissance” I am experiencing is also due to the break in a specific goal or a specific race in mind. I think I needed the break from that kind of self inflicted pressure. Looking back to the first 6 months of the year as I tried to break 2 hours in the half marathon distance….I put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish it. Came close, but failed. Then, immediately afterwards, signed up for the full marathon and summer training. More pressure. In the midst of all this self inflicted pressure was also dramatic changes in my work life that came with real external pressure. I think it all just got to me. Now, for the record, let me clarify: I actually like pressure. Like the challenge of it. However, like everything in life, there is a limit and I definitely bumped up against mine. And obviously, I like goals and setting them, etc…. I just needed a break from them since I had a specific running goal for about 9 months.

So, since my last race in Sept, I have been running, but without any specific goal. As of today, there is no race on my calendar. In the last month or so, I have not gone any distance over 6 miles. The coolest part about all this is that I am running FASTER without much extra effort. In fact, I feel like I have NOT focused on effort much at all. Just going out running…I have felt loose, free, light and my mind feels quieter while on the roads.

So, yes. I feel a renewal. See ya on the roads. Lace ’em up!

6.3.11

Posted in random with tags , , on June 9, 2011 by afuntanilla

Waves of Pacific,

In your beach house

I’m a beginner again;

Vulnerable

Fragile

Naked and Free.

Tearing up as I watch you build

Then burst,

Splattering all over…

You have such freedom.

Hard for me to open up here,

On your shore –

Harder not to –

Your force draws me in

Pulls apart my protected heart.

I cannot hide here –

So exposed by your windows of acceptance,

Your welcome mat of compassion.

In your company I see

I am big, yet tiny

Powerful yet weak,

Blissfully full yet staggeringly empty.

You remind me of Permanence

Of Change,

Of Booming Disruption

and Soothing Calm

Oh, Pacific…

How is it you give so freely…

I am to learn from you.

-AMF

Re-Set

Posted in road with tags , , , , , , on October 23, 2010 by afuntanilla

Time to reset. Click the reset button back to zero. I want to choose something new. A new adventure. Not to outdo what i have already done, but to simply have a new goal. It’s who i am. It’s in my make-up. I have been standing around in my house wondering what to do on some days. I have been tired. I have been a little sick. I have been still. I have sat with the uncomfortable. I have felt the post-big-run blues big time. And I have tried to just be with it instead of distract my way out of it with any variety of means. It has not been comfortable, but its what i needed to do. The post-run blues were expected but not to the degree that i have experienced them and so i was thrown for a loop. Now, its been nearly a month since the run and i am just now starting to feel somewhat back to normal, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I have had so many thoughts, reflection, etc…but will have to save those for another day. why? Cause I bought a new watch. A Garmin Forerunner 100 with a HR Monitor and I wanna go test it out. See Ya.

a cup of reminisce

Posted in random with tags , , , , , , , on April 4, 2010 by afuntanilla

During the years 1990-1992 (i think) I went to a coffeehouse called Aroma. It was a wonderful new coffeehouse in Santa Rosa, CA….in the downtown historic district. So, that was 18-20 years ago…wow…hard to believe…does not seem like it. Anyways, the coffeehouse opening was a pretty big deal. At that time, there were only a few places to actually get good coffee in town. But, this place, this place was new, different and special. For one, the colors were so inviting; burnt orange, brown, chocolates were the interior colors and a big RED coffee roaster was smack in the middle of the place. The coffee bar area was long and pretty, with a gorgeous Copper Espresso machine. There must have been about 20 wooden tables for customers — all perfectly sized for enjoying a seat/table alone or for intimate conversation with a friend/loved one..There were windows…one large for looking out into the square.. I loved sitting inside, especially on rainy days, and just looking out the windows…watching the raindrops fall on pavement, hear the cars swoosh by and check out the travelers come and go from the Hotel La Rose across the street. There was something simple and romantic about it…just sitting there.

The coffeehouse was opened by two women who had definitely done their coffee homework and were smart & savvy business women. It was the first time i was introduced to organic coffee & fair-trade coffee, not to mention beans from all over the world; Sumatra, Kona, Ethiopia, etc…They were educators as well as business women.

I truly was one of their first customers. 2 friends and I had discovered the place and ended up going daily, sometimes 2x a day! The owners knew us, the staff knew us. It was the beginning of a long and fun relationship. I would arrive right at 7am when they opened so i could just soak in the beautiful emptiness and quiet. In the mornings, they had wonderful music playing…Gregorian Chants or Enya or Nina Simone…but it was always a gentle tune to awaken the soul and greet the day. I will never forget those many mornings of arriving, getting my coffee mug, choosing which blend I wanted and going to sit at the small table in the corner by the little window. I would actually walk up a small ramp (for wheelchair accessibility) and pass the row or coffee bean containers…so pretty. There were a few items for breakfast i would typically order…a baguette w/ butter & jam or a scone with butter & jam. Those damn scones remain some of the best I have ever had over the years. I miss those….

The coffeeehouse became such an integral part of the community. So much happened there for so many people who came and went….so many friends made, loves found, loves lost, study groups, random conversations with random people, crushes made and dissolved and made again…deep conversations followed by flowing tears, breakups and breakdowns, giddy times and painful goodbyes. There were straight folks, gay folks, bisexual folks, questioning folks, parents, kids, teachers, writers, musicians, students, and even an occassional “celebrity” (Tom Waits, Tracey Chapman). It grew into a truly super gathering place and for those of us who were around for a few years, we have many memories and many stories to tell.

Thanks, Aroma!