Archive for san leandro

Funtanilla Forty: Part 4

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

At approx Mile 22 mark, me and the fellow runners & 2 support cars, pulled into a gas station. I wanted to change my socks/shoes and refuel. A man in a large pickup truck pulled up to us and said, “Can I ask what this is all about.” I guess we were causing quite a scene. LOL

I got up and headed down the road. By this time, it was nearing mid-day and it was HOT. Temperatures were between 85-90 degrees and I was in the full sun. There is virtually no shade in San Leandro. Those temps were unusual, for sure, but you get what you get and move on. I needed a hat so I took off my Funtanilla Forty Orange bandana that Sharon made and put on an oversized cap from Sandra. (this was not my first choice, but i couldn’t be picky. left my own Brooks cap in the hotel)

 

Oversized Dodger Blue Cap (UGH!)

 

 

Scott, Neva, Kera & Me on walk break

 

 

Back to Work

 

I was also getting into high traffic areas and had to stop at a lot of traffic lights…that’s never fun but it was part of the course. After the marathon mark of 26 miles, it started to get tougher. I had not run past that distance in about 2 years and my legs were feeling it. And Feet! Scott was still running with me and offering lots of positive encouragement. “Angie, you are looking good. you’re looking strong”, he would say. I have no idea if he was telling me the truth, but it sounded good and I believed him. I can’t say enough about how thankful I am that Scott ran with me. (in total about 26 miles) He was solid! He was a great companion. We have only known each other thru the blogging world and met each other once before at a race. It was easy to run with him…no pressure to talk or anything…just be and run. He is a gem! Everyone loved him and his cute self.

We were coming up to a Taco Bell so I used it as an opportunity to make a pit stop to the bathroom. When I came out and went outside, I saw more friends to greet me; Denise and Jason! On the eve of their 2nd wedding anniversary, they were out there to cheer me on! Denise even ran with me for a bit which was a wonderful surprise. She has some disc problems with her neck that prevents her from hard impact activities, so I was so delighted to see her out there and she felt good!! Me & my friend of about 21 years out running in the streets of San Leandro. Sweet!

 

Denise & I

 

We ran through the mini “downtown” area of San Leandro and made a stop across from the Long’s Drug Store. I sat on the curb and i think at this point someone (can’t remember who, sorry) massaged my calves. A huge help. Grandma and I used to go to that Long’s Drug store all the time and I always enjoyed it. I loved walking slowly along the aisles and just looking at all the stuff…the greeting cards, all the medicine stuff, random things like slippers or clock radios or little fans. I remember when we would walk in during the holidays and they had all their holiday decorations out…for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grandma always seemed to buy a tin of those Butter Cookies, Andes Thin Mint Chocolates and Mon Cheri Chocolates. It’s a rarity that I eat any of those items anymore (mostly because I don’t wanna buy a WHOLE PACK or CONTAINER just for me) but they always make me think of grandma and the holidays. Ok. Get back to running.

There isn’t a whole to report on the next 10 or so miles. Some of it was back through some areas I had already been and other than that, not to noteworthy. Except to say, that it continued to be hot and Jason was a gem in getting me a bunch of ice cubes packed into a t-shirt for me to wear around my neck. That was a huge help. He also switched places with Denise and ran a bit with Scott and I. I really felt he was taking care of me and I appreciated it so much. THANK YOU, JASON!

These miles that were uneventful were mentally kinda taxing. They made me a little grumpy although I was also feeling the pain so those 2 feelings kinda mixed in with each other. We had to wait at a lot of lights/traffic and it just wasn’t nice scenery. But, again…i chose the route for particular reasons and I just had to keep on.

I got a great boost around mile 32. I am running along on this road full of nothing and I see these red car parked ahead all by itself and I see someone waving. I hear their voice. I cannot tell who it is yet…closer, closer, I see it is my old high school friend, Miki! WOW. CRAZY. UNBELIEVABLE. She gave me a big smile and hug and it was such an enormous boost. She had to get back in her car and would join us later that evening for the birthday party. How great was that, right!!!

 

MIKI!

 

Another big boost came about 2 miles later when Scott and I saw my best friend, Holly! She had swapped her car with someone and had her bicycle and was gonna be with us for a while. So happy to see her and have her join us. We were about 6 miles away from the Marina and the finish line. It wasn’t too long ago that Holly couldn’t even exercise at all. She had a serious back injury that was very painful and caused her to be extremely limited in her exercise. She couldn’t ride a bike, no tennis — nothing really except walking. She couldn’t even really sustain more than one hour car rides. Now, she is kayaking, riding her bike, etc..and I was so proud of her and happy she is able to be active again.

 

Denise, me & Holly

 

Once Holly joined me, Scott departed and went back with Kera in support car. He had run about miles with me and said his knee was starting to bother him. I would have thought he was a serious slacker, but 2-3 weeks prior, he had just run 93 miles across Idaho! So, i let him off the hook and told him it was ok to go rest. HAHAHA!

(read about his adventures at http://www.ikeeprunning.blogspot.com or click SCOTT on my links to the right of page) He is an awesome runner and a great fella!

Now, I’m about 3-4 miles from the end and what am i thinking? Well, I’m looking at my watch and seeing the hours keep adding up and thinking, “wow, i’ve been out here a long time.” You know, there comes a point where your thoughts are not really coherent and you are just functioning..just keep going…just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep pumping your arms…repeat.” oh, and keep drinking. what else do you need? another gel? keep going. I never thought, “i can’t finish”. Never even crossed my mind. Oh yeah, i few miles back, Kera had the Rocky Theme song playing on her Droid phone so gave it to me to listen to which was very cool. In case you don’t know, that IS my favorite song!

Finally, I’m on a straightaway into the Marina and I know I have about 2 miles left. I tell Holly, “I wanna do this part alone. I will meet you all at the finish line.” Off I went to run the final part which is into the Marina and onto the “fitness trail” portion which looks like a little island in itself. It’s a small loop on paved trail with dirt patches all around and the bay is right there with ya! I was running and looking across to San Francisco. I felt the soft breeze cool my face. I heard the sounds of the water gently lapping against the rocks. I heard children’s voices playing in the distance. I remembered all those times I came to this same spot as a teenager…coming there to find some quiet and some calm in my crazy life. I would run or walk around the loop and just think. I can’t remember what I thought, but I remember how I felt; i felt like i could breathe. Something about the openness of the area gave me perspective and some kind of hope that things would be ok. I think we all need that kind of place, no matter how old you are or where you are in your life. I hope you, dear reader, have that kind of place for you.

 

view of sf

 

 

my friends waiting for me!

 

I had been run/walking these last 10 miles and I had about 1 mile to go to the finish. I wanted to run all the way in…all the way in to my friends, my awesome supporters. As I exited the trail and ran along the main road, I could see some of them up ahead with cameras. I was smiling and digging in. I turned left into the hotel parking lot and saw some of them up ahead holding a banner for me…like a finish line banner. I ran until I touched the banner. I was smiling. BIG.

 

Happy. So Happy.

 

 

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Funtanilla Forty: Part 2

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by afuntanilla

This will be a multi-part recap. So, grab your cup of coffee or whatever it is you enjoy drinking and get comfortable. I hope you enjoy reading as I recap my adventure of the Funtanilla Forty.

I feel compelled to begin by sharing about my feelings the week prior to the run. I was in last stages of tapering, which in itself is enough to drive me nuts. I go from lots and lots of running for months and recovery to hardly any at all.  It’s so important to do this to ensure fresher legs on the “race day”, but man, it truly is mentally challenging. Those thoughts creep in every day, “have I done enough? am i ready? do i need to get in another extra run?”

In addition to those crazy thoughts, i felt physically sick. or like i was gonna get sick. I realize I usually go through this same pattern before the big races. The last 7-10 days pre-event, I begin to feel extremely tired, kinda achy & super stressed. I realize, I bring most of it upon myself, but I believe there is something else happening too. I think with not only the physical tapering, but the “mental tapering” too that the body is thrown into shock.  It’s so focused and put through so many physical & mental demands for months and then there is a gradual decrease…but to me and my body, this is a shock to my system. So, i think how i feel in that final week is a culmination and combination of all of this and then the other life stresses that come into play.  Needless to say, I got myself on the plane and headed west.

I was super excited, anxious and overwhelmed. What began as an idea I wrote out on a piece of scratch paper became one of the biggest occassions of my life. What began as an idea of a very solo & quiet journey transformed into an epic adventure where so many people from all over were involved in one way or another.

The Plan

The first real planned event of the weekend was a dinner with about 10 friends at a restaurant near our hotel in San Leandro. We had to dine in Oakland simply because there are so few legitimate dining places in San Leandro. I’m not kidding.

On the way to dinner

So, a bunch of us met up at Francesco’s, about 5 miles away from our hotel, The San Leandro Marina Inn. The group included, 1 friend I met via the blogging world (SCOTT) , 5 friends I met through twitter world(JULIE, LYNN, KERA, SANDRA, SHARON & LYNN), 1 old high school friend(KRISTINE), and 2 old friends from my days living in SF(ALEC & HOLLY). What a great group! I felt so blessed to be there. I think I had a smile from ear to ear on my face the entire time. I tried to eat, but I just couldn’t. I probably ate 1/4, at most, of my pasta. I was so happy being with all my friends and I was in disbelief that they were all there to support me.

After helping Scott with a ride back to his hotel in nearby Hayward, I got back to my room, crawled into bed went to sleep. I knew I would wake up early and use that time to eat and get all my gear and food together for the long day ahead.

Saturday:

4:30am wake up call. Seriously? Yes. On my birthday, by choice, woke up at 4:30am to go run 40 miles. Seriously? Yes.

Actually, I had no trouble getting up. I quickly made the hotel room coffee which was not too bad. Far from Peets, but hey, you gotta take what you are offered, right?! (Also, there are NO PEETS coffee places in SAN LEANDRO)

So, me and a cup of Superior Brand coffee it was…along with my customary Clif Bar, water, and a banana.

I had some pre-race jitters, which was really cool because this wasn’t a race by any means. The excitment running through my veins was pretty damn neat. I was about to go to yet another “starting line.”

After getting dressed and getting all my stuff together for support car, I headed downstairs to the lobby. To my delightful surprise, there were 3 of my friends waiting for me to give me a hug and cheer me on; Neva, Holly, & Alec. And then there was the additional group of 3 who were to travel with me via support car; Kera, Scott and Sharon. All but Neva came to the starting line with me; the starting line being the old house I grew up in as a kid; 465 W. Broadmoor Blvd, San Leandro. That was the residence I lived in with my mom; a still very dumpy looking duplex at the edge of the San Leandro/Oakland border. One thing is different from 28 years ago, there were black bars on the windows. As I stood there in the darkness, surrounded by my friends, we spoke softly. I smiled as I looked around at what used to my driveway..the spot where my sister and I would lie on the cement after running through sprinklers or just getting wet with the hose on a hot afternoon. We would lie down in the driveway, on the cement and let the sun dry our little bodies. I can still feel the warmth of the sun on my cheek, my hair. When we finally lifted our heads, we would find our cheeks marked with the little ingrained gravel of the ground.

I turned around and looked into the street. I saw a memory of me, my 2 brothers and my uncle all out there in the middle of the street playing football. My uncle would be the QB and he would diagram plays on his palm for us. Nerf football or hard football, it didn’t matter. I could catch both and hang with the boys.

I took one last look around at my 5 friends who were all smiling at me. Each of them gave me a hug and then I turned and headed south into Mile 1. Aproximate start time was 6:15am, Pacific Standard Time.

I felt free and light at the beginning. No more heavy legs, no more tired legs.

I carried nothing with me except a little piece of paper with route/map abbreviations so I would know where to go. No water (had support car), no iPod (intentional). Temps were cool. Maybe 70 degrees. I started off wearng my long-sleeve technical tee shirt from LA Marathon, but I knew I would change tops as the day progressed. I wore my K-Swiss K-Ona shoes, aslo knowing that later i would change pairs. These shoes are good for about 20 miles and then my feet start to hurt and need more support, so I would later change into the K-Swiss Tubes.

Funtanilla Forty: Part 1

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, road, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by afuntanilla

The Funtanilla Forty (40 mile run on 40th birthday) is done. I completed the run on 9/25/10 in a total time of 9 hours, 48 minutes. Here’s what the time included.

-waiting for support car to find me and Scott M at Lake Chabot for about 20 minutes

-waiting for all he stoplights throughout the city

-changing socks, shoes, shirt

-grabbing food, drinks from support car

-hilly 9 miles at Lake Chabot Trails

-mid-high 80 degree heat.

-bathroom stops

I mixed in walking, especially the last 10 miles, but I never took any rest breaks.

Very happy and proud. It was an amazing journey and  I can’t wait to share more of it with you all. Thanks for all the support and stay tuned for more of the story.

the daily route

Posted in 40 mile run, random with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by afuntanilla

I walked down the driveway and turned left. a quick left again and a straight stretch along Garcia Avenue. Walking along in my ponytail, with my Trapper Keeper Binder stuffed in backpack, I always thought the houses were soooo nice. All of them had neatly manicured lawns, pretty flowers, and well groomed shrubbery. The homes were not big (especially by today’s standards), they were very modest, but on the outside, all well kept. As I walked by, I often wondered about the people who lived there; what were they like, what did they do, etc…Some of them I knew just a little because I delivered their morning paper, The Daily Review. A lot of the residents were actually elderly folks. I liked some of them…especially those that game me $.50 or $1.00 tip when I collected the fees for the newspaper at the end of the month. Man, I was pretty damn excited to get 2 quarters, 4 quarters or a dollar bill.

The first break in the block meant that I came to Tim Chiu’s house. Tim was a tall, lanky, very smart and shy kid in my class. We exchanged “Hi’s” whenever we saw each other and I tried to draw him out in conversation a few times, but he never said much. I’m sure we never spoke more than a few words to each other all though Elementary/Junior High School. At recess time, I always saw him with his younger brother and no one else. I wonder what happened to Tim and what he is doing now. I hope he overcame his shyness because he seemed like a very nice person. I hope he is kicking some ass in this life…even though he beat me in the spelling bee! (Tim was 1st, I was 3rd)

The next big break in the block brought me to East 14th Street, one of the big main streets in town. I went into the 7-Eleven almost every day to get some candy; Lemon Heads, Jolly Ranchers, Now or Laters…those were some of my candy staples. I crossed E. 14th Street and on the the stretch of Sunnyside Rd. I didn’t notice the homes on this street because the CATS stole the show. There were a ton of cats sauntering around…more like creeping around…that’s how I felt. All the cats really freaked me out. I felt like they were circling me and getting ready for an attack…staring at me with their creepy eyes and slinky bodies. I couldn’t wait to get passed that stretch of road. Near the end of the street there was a small park that I cut through to enter the school from the backside. Soon enough I was on the blacktop of the schoolyard and then into the classroom. That morning walk always seemed sooo long….but now as I map it out, I’m shocked to see that door to door, it is just about 1 Mile.

Looking forward to being there one more time…

Let’s get it Started!

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, travel with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by afuntanilla

As I thought about my upcoming 40th birthday, of course i thought of how to celebrate. First of all, 40 is and has been a significant number because when i think of 40, i think that’s how old my mom was when she died. So, here I am…just 4 months away from being that same age. To me, that is just crazy. Wild. Weird.

She died on a late Sunday morning while we were driving home from a fishing trip. A peaceful Sunday along Hwy 580 near Castro Valley turned deathly silent after the crash, boom, and bang of the multi-car pile-up.

I got pretty well banged up in the accident. After 6 weeks in the hospital & another month or so in a full body cast, I literally learned how to walk again. I’ll never forget those first moments of taking steps on my own. Man, what a THRILL!! There I was in grandma’s living room, wearing my blue & bright pink pajamas, gingerly putting one foot in front of the other. I was walking again and I felt free.

I’m a runner. I have to tell the story above because I continue to feel much gratitude that I can run. I listen to folks all the time of all sizes, shapes, & ages tell me how they wish they could run, but cannot because of knee problems, back problems, etc… So, it is never lost on me how lucky I am. Every day.

So…what the hell does all this have to do with turning 40 and a birthday…?  Well, after many thoughts and ideas about how, when, and where I would celebrate,  I made a decision. I have decided to go back to where it all kinda began for me; San Leandro, CA. Even though I was born in San Francisco, most of my childhood memories are from days spent in San Leandro. To commemorate my 40th year, I have decided to run 40 miles starting in San Leandro at the address of where I grew up and go from there. I recently mentioned my idea to a friend and her response was: “wouldn’t you want to do something more fun?” – I think my response was: “well, i want to do something meaningful and this is meaningful.” And I actually think it will be fun….fun because my hope is that many of my friends will come out and support me at some point during the day, fun because it will be like some big trip down memory lane — and although some of those memories are difficult, they contributed to who i am and for that, i give thanks.

This will be a run of celebration. A celebration and reflection of 40 years and pay tribute to those people and places who have been with me along the way.

There will be many people to thank that day, including mom, for without her, September 25, 1970, would not have been possible.

I hope you will follow me as I train and plan for the celebration. Cheers!!!