Archive for road races

Of Late

Posted in races, road, running, trail with tags , , on April 11, 2014 by afuntanilla

The spring weather here in NorCal has been interesting these past 2 weeks. First we had quite a bit of rain where the temps were cool-ish, then this past week, the temps have been all in the 70’s….with a day or 2 touching 80 degrees. I mention this because I do think my body has some reaction to even just this type of change. I tried running last Saturday after 2-3 days off and felt horrible. After 1.6 miles, I just walked. Sunday ran 5, but still didn’t feel quite right. How did I feel? Tired! Lethargic, achy, sore. What surprised me was the degree to which I felt this way considering the level of exercise I had been doing which was not too much. Continued to feel a bit strange the next few days. Did some other short runs this week and am now feeling much better. Weird. Anyone else have really noticeable physical reactions to weather? Maybe I am just getting old, LOL….which is also something that has been on my mind. Age and our bodies and physical performance and all that!

I’m signed up to race a 5 miler this Sunday in the town I actually live in. Can you believe it? Actually doing a race where I live? 🙂
I’m not crazy at the course, but I volunteered for the race 2 years ago and enjoyed the atmosphere. Also, the proceeds go to a local high school and their athletic dept so I like to support that of course!

After this race, I believe I will start getting back on the trails. I’m thinking of racing Double Dipsea. Not signed up just yet, but thinking about it! In June, I think.

Go get outside and do your thing!

Advertisements

The SF Half Marathon

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2013 by afuntanilla

Image

And, so…the day began. 5:30am start in San Francisco. Starting line just south of the Ferry building. A gorgeous morning as you can tell from the photo. I had run down to the starting line as my little warm up. The city streets filled with fellow runners….love it! As I ran along to the start, became more and more awake, enlivened…to do my thing. RUN.

It had been a long time in between races…the last one I did was very different; a super small trail race in Pacifica. The starting line was packed with those running the Full Marathon and those like me, running the Half. (This was the 1st half of the course, last year I did the race but ran the 2nd half of the course, which is actually easier in may opinion.)

My “starting wave” didn’t actually cross the starting line until about 5:50am, so I had plenty of to stretch, warm up and get comfortable. I felt relaxed and at ease with my “game plan”….which s simply run, enjoy and do my best. In contrast to last year when I had specifically trained for a personal best, I did not train much this time. I mean, I got many runs in, but I didn’t focus on speed work, I didn’t get the specific training in that I would have needed to keep pace with my 1:58:42 from last year. And, I was ok with that. I knew when I signed up this would be the case. So.

There was a Cable Car bell ringing to signify the start and off we went. The first 5-6 miles are almost entirely flat as we run all along the Embarcadero, past Fisherman’s Wharf and along the Marina Green and Chrissy Field. Felt easy and comfortable. I kept looking out into the bay….feeling loads of gratitude and appreciation for where I live.

And, then the climbs started. The steep climb up from the marina and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not enjoy this part. I knew I wouldn’t as I remembered this portion from when I ran this Full Marathon back in 2005. To me, running across the bridge is very loud and it FEELS like a constant steady slight uphill in both directions! I guess the path is like a slight arc, but honestly it doesn’t feel easy. I guess I also feel like it’s a bit chaotic because the bridge is not closed to traffic. So, lots of cars swooshing by and other runners headed in the opposite direction since it is an out and back portion. The remaining 4 miles were not easy.  Once off the bridge, we made a steady climb into the Presidio which is followed by a nice downhill section into the final Richmond District neighborhood and finally into Golden Gate Park. I was not comfortable on the climbs as any climbing has been almost non-existent in my training. Ahhh… A good kind of hurt, eh? But, even around mile 10, I remember thinking, “I am actually feeling ok…i would be curious to see how i would fare for the FULL course today.” And then, something happened in the last 2 miles where i just started to feel very tired…like seriously running out of gas!! I was surprised but probably shouldn’t have been since my longest run pre-race was only 10.5 miles. So, as we made the ran the final steady uphill mile into the park and into the finish line, I was Happy I was NOT running the FULL course. Today.

My finish time was right along what I expected in 2:09:42

My main goal while running races is always to see what I can do on a given day. How will I show up? How will my body perform? How am I mentally? As mentioned in previous posts, I had not felt the greatest mentally or physically before this race and I did in fact, have some fears that I would just crack and not finish. But, as I woke and got prepared in my hotel room….as I made my way to the starting line….as I stood there with thousands of my fellow mates,  I knew I was instantly stronger in every way. THAT’S why I do this. It was great to get out and be a part of the race and feel the enormous energy and camaraderie. I needed that.

I never really care how I finish overall, but I do care and like to see how I fare among my sex and age group: women 40-49.

Here were my numbers from this year :

Females 40-49    121/618

Which I think is good, especially on the tougher part of the course.

To contrast, here are my numbers from last year when I ran the 2nd portion of the course and had a PR

2012 Females 40-49    54/415

Which I also think is good.

Some comments about the race logistics, etc: Race Expo was ok, but it was VERY, VERY hot in the building so that made it uncomfortable to stay long. I was also super aware of how commercialized it all is….seems like every year, the feel of an expo appeals to me less and less.  I used to love going to these things and now I have more like a “get me in, get me out” attitude. But, that’s definitely the nature of big races and I have to expect that….if I want something low key, there are plenty of options for that!!

The Race organization itself was awesome. Even their communication per-race, with sending emails and letting us know security would be enhanced and to arrive earlier than usual. And yet, there was no waiting or anything at the starting line, everything was clearly marked for each different starting wave and just simply well-organized. There was enough of water, Gatorade, etc on the course and the volunteers were terrific, as usual. Massive thank you to all the volunteers. I realize some were probably starting their VOLUNTEER shift at 4am or earlier. THANK YOU! The finish line and snacks afterward were more than sufficient. I took a shuttle bus back to the starting line and that was easy as can be. So, overall the WIPRO SF HALF MARATHON was terrific.

I made my way back to my hotel, changed and met a friend for breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley.  A great Sunday morning.

Thank you to my friends who cheer me on, near or far, in person or in spirit. Thank you!

IMG_0121

Shoes: Brooks T-7 Racer. super light shoe, felt good but would not want to run in full marathon, but good for this distance. Would want more support for longer distance

Also wore: compression socks for the first time. loved them and will use again.

Next up: The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4th!!

“Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary behond comprehension. But it also made him free.” –John L. Parker Jr.

Week 1 Run Report

Posted in motivation, photos, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by afuntanilla

The first week of 2012 started off pretty good with the running. I mixed in treadmill with street running and felt ok. I did start to notice my longest run, my 6.4 miler, didn’t feel too great toward the second half. That could be for a variety of reasons: 1) my weekly mileage was higher than lately 2) overall fatigue 3) stress effects

As mentioned in previous posts, I have been running steadily, but low mileage. I’ve been enjoying it and for the most part, having more quality sessions. I want to keep up both, the quality and enjoyment.

I have not yet decided on any races for 2012, but I know I will NOT be running the Birmingham Half Marathon in February. I should be already moved to California by then, so that race is out. A bit of a bummer as I LOVE that race! (hmmmm, maybe I should try to find a race to run while I am driving cross country!)

My favorite runs this week were the 2 days of treadmill running on Jan 1st and 2nd. 5 miles each time at 9:14 pace, which is good for me right now. A good pace to start the year and only get better as i train to achieve my main near term goal of running a half marathon under 2 hours!

I’ve been running some of the same routes lately…especially one in particular…a route thru the Druid Hills neighborhood/Emory University. It’s beautiful, quiet with various small hills both up and down and it just plain fuels me!! I am soaking in all my moments. Taking it all in.

My last run of the week was just a short 3.5 miler on treadmill on Sunday.


Afterwards though, I did some weights/strength training and then saw another opportunity.
I love running stairs! When I run stairs, I usually run the ones in our stairwell post run outside. 6 good flights.
But, I saw these and figured, “why not?!”
So, I got some good repeats on these bad boys done as well.


Felt awesome. It’s one thing to push yourself, but can you push yourself when it seemingly doesn’t matter, when no one is around but you. Can you? Do it. Push yourself. Amaze yourself. Feel freaking awesome!

The Shoes I’ve been running in most lately are these:

THE KSWISS KWICKY BLADE-LIGHT. Awesome Shoe! An incredibly light shoe coming in a 8oz. I love the feel of it. It’s the lightest shoe I’ve ever run in. I thought the K-ONA’s were light at 9oz and this is even lighter and I can feel the difference. My foot feels snug and comfortable and I feel FAST. FASTER. 🙂
I wasn’t sure I would like the color when I looked at it on website, but when I put them on, I loved the color and the feel of shoe.

I have been exclusively doing my road running in K-SWISS shoes for about 2 years now and I can’t see any reason to stop. They make some good shoes.

2012 Week 1 – approx 23 miles

Hope YOUR 2012 has started off well. Onward. Let’s go.

Training Update #2: Half of a Full is Half

Posted in races, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2011 by afuntanilla

So, at the end of my last post, I said a couple of things: One: that racing in Half Moon Bay this coming Sunday, would be questionable. Two: That I was going to see the doctor.

After my last “long” run that day, Sept 13th, I was feeling pretty horrible. Not just tired like I know “normal” tired to feel, but just absolutely flattened out. Legs felt like they were bricks and my entire body felt like it had to exert way too much energy just to keep barely moving. Yeah…not too good when this is suppossed to be a “taper run” as I head into the final weeks pre marathon. Clearly, my body was trying to tell me something.

So, yes…I think part of what’s been happening during this summer training session has been overtraining, as I wrote about in my previous post. It all makes perfect sense. The other part of what has been going on with me is something I just got confirmed by going to the doctor recently. I am anemic! I knew my iron levels were on the the lower side, but didn’t think Anemic. So, this actually explains a lot. It comes into play more because for about 1.5 years now, my nutrition has been all vegetarian. So, these 3 factors together, i believe, have all played a part in how (badly) I have been feeling.

overtraining + anemic + vegetarian.

***I am sure I can continue on with vegetarian nutrition to get my iron needs met, but i think i need to EAT MORE of the same food & incorporate more IRON RICH foods. I have been eating IRON rich foods simply by default of my overall meal “planning”, but obviously I have not been eating enough to satisfy my iron needs. I actually find the whole meal planning, nutrition aspect of my life to be quite challenging. Why? Well, here’s my reasons…or excuses or whatever…I live alone and we all know that cooking for one is challenging and to me, quite frankly, mostly sucks. Not to mention, I end up throwing a lot of food away and I feel guilty as hell.

Here’s a typical example of what i do: i get momentarily inspired to cook for myself. I got to farmers market or whole foods and get lots of veggies and other goodies and make dinner. It turns out ok. Just “ok” because I am not a very good cook, very recipe-following challenged and i do not enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating good, tasty, food, but i am not too good at preparing this type of food. So anyways….i make one dinner for myself. Next day, maybe I use some more of the food i just bought for breakfast or lunch or another dinner. And then, I get very bored with it and i still have lots of food left that I cannot use because I am tired of eating boring, bland meals. So, I go out. Make sense. See my problem!?! Anyways…i will have to keep working on this….nutrition! Please don’t give me advice to follow recipes….i have tried and tried. I suck at it. I really need to make more money or win the lottery to hire a personal chef.

Anyways, back to the training and running. So, after the last post on the 13th, I said I would not run all week. REST.

I made it to Thursday. Ran and felt ok. barely ok. Still struggling.

Ran on Saturday and felt very good. Only 4.2 miles, but really enjoyed the run and had fun. First time i felt like it was FUN in quite some time. Sunday ran another 5.25 miles and was ok.

So…after much thought and consideration, I have decided I will not race in the marathon, but I will run the half-marathon. It feels like such a big decision. And I guess in my world, it is. Why is it big? Because I have been training for this race since MAY. Because I have trained in the heat and humidity that is the summer in Atlanta. Because I have put many hours of sweat, heart and tears into this training. Because it was my goal since May.

And yet, making this decision to only run the half is a good, smart decision. Frankly, the way my body has been feeling, I think it will be more than enough of a challenge for me on Sunday.

So, i am changing races mostly because I’m choosing to listen to my body; because I realize that if i want to continue to run and have fun and enjoy it, i have to listen RIGHT NOW, not PUSH HARDER (which is what i usually do)

I’m changing races because I realize not running this marathon is not the end of the world and with the grace of God, i will run another one when the time it right.

I’m also changing races because this race day will be one not just for me, but for some friends who will be there participating in their FIRST EVER RUNNING EVENTS!! I want to be as present as I can be for them…not broken down and exhausted or injured or full of so much disappointment that i cannot enjoy them and be there for them and THEIR TRIUMPHS!

I’m thrilled beyond words that 4 friends will be there in Half Moon Bay and 1 more doing her own own race in Texas!! challenging themselves and their bodies…trying to see what they can do!! It brings me a great sense of joy and I can’t wait to see everyone.

I have so much to be grateful for…and gratitude for my body in it’s present state is a good place to start. I am where I am.

Thanks to all my friends who keep supporting me, who continue to cheer for me in my pursuits. Your support means so much to me.

Keep Movin’

-Ang

How I Got to Chicago…

Posted in photos, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by afuntanilla

After my last race on 4/16, I started looking for one more to run before the weather began getting way too hot. I found the Chicago Half-Marathon on 5/15. Flat, fast course right alongside Lake Michigan. Score.

I also took a peek at the SF Giants schedule to see where they were playing that weekend; in CHICAGO. SCORE Again!

I love Chicago. Ran my first 2 marathons there in 2000 and 2001. Pretty much a no-brainer decision to book the trip and enter the race, right?

Well…even with those good signs, for some reason, I still waffled.

I found yet another race in South Carolina. This would be my 3rd in a row in that state. The race was to be in a small town called Laurens, SC approximately 3 hours away from Atlanta by car. I can do that, i thought. So, I signed up for the race and was geared to go. I started checking the website on Thursday, the day before I was to drive over to the town. All of a sudden, I could not see any info about the race. WTH?

I saw they had a facebook link so i went there. I see the comment: “Due to low registration, we are cancelling the race.”

What?

So bummed. Also, a little irked they put the notice on facebook and not on the event website which was tied to the local YMCA. Or even send out an email to race participants. In my opinion, those things should be done simultaneously. Anyways, race cancelled and I was bummed. My first thought was, well, i guess i will just go try to “race” the 13.1 miles on my own at Silver Comet Trail. 

As i thought this, I was far from excited. It’s a bit tough to gear yourself up for trying to accomplish a personal best without the race atmosphere.

A little later on Thursday, i started thinking again about Chicago. “I could still make that race if I can get a decent fare for the flight.” When I had looked 3-4 weeks ago, prices were approx $250. Well., guess what….the prices were the SAME!! Unbelievable. Truly. Here I am about to take off in 2 days and price is the same as it was 3-4 ago. SCORE!!

Next: check race website for registration;

“Online registration has closed. No race day registration.”

Ok….what to do now?? How can i get a number? I emailed the race people early Friday morning, giving them my true sob story of other race being cancelled, etc…and could I PLEASE get an entry. They replied late Thursday that the race was sold out and they could not give me an entry.

I put the word out on twitter.

A friend checked Craigslist and found 1 entry. I emailed the individual & waited to hear. At that point, I just let go. I knew it was no sense in worrying. I’d either get a number and be legitimately in the race or I wouldn’t.

I heard back from Craigslist guy a bit later. Relieved he still had the number, but a little concerned — you know, a guy offers something, says come pick it up at his condo…hmm…wasn’t there some Criagslist killer out there somewhere…anyways…friend says, “Do not meet him at his condo, meet in public”. Of course, I knew THAT but glad to see I wasn’t thinking crazy. (it’s sad we even have to be concerned at all, but the world is what it is)

Anyways, before hearing back from CL guy, “LOOP GUY” his email said, I hopped on plane and arrived in Chicago. Upon landing, I checked my email and saw this:

This is a very nice half marathon … its small, and well organized … its the only half that offers a complete hot breakfast at the finish … mmmm

The number is yours if you still want it … but I do need to know asap, there are six other people who are very interested …

 You can pick it up at my building’s security desk, 360 East Randolph, “Buckingham” (desk is open 24hrs)

 I will leave it in an envelope with your name on it … you can pick it up today or Sunday before the race … which starts at 7:am …

 As far as the fee … I believe I paid $65 … this amount of money is not going to change my life, and Im sure not yours … but it can make a big difference to a charity …

Make a donation (any amount) to Deborah’s House … its my most fav charities … they do an excellent job in supporting homeless and abused women … you can make the donation via their website …

Happy running, and enjoy my great city 

Ok…Loop Guy does not seem like someone I need to be worried about…

I stayed downtown, in the heart of the hustle and bustle that is Chicago. The energy; so electric, fun, and energizing.

I dropped my bags off at hotel and made a beeline for Loop Guy’s condo about a mile away.

I love seeing all the people on N. Michigan Avenue; walking, talking, shopping, eating, drinking. Walking amongst the crowd I am able to hear snippets of many different conversations, many in different languages.

It was windy and drizzly and cold as I walked to the condo. Strong winds became even stronger the closer I got to the lake which is race locale. Of course I couldn’t help thinking how would tomorrow morning be..

Arrived at the condo and picked up the race#

Next Up: Race Report.