Archive for shoes

This past week

Posted in motivation, photos, road, running, shoes, trail with tags , , on August 24, 2015 by afuntanilla

A step back week and found myself on 2 short trail runs mid week. 1 was on a trail i may incorporate into the big run. not sure just yet. part of it was new to me and lovely. was there about 5-6pm and the light and shadows and weather were all perfect. smells so good out there. i can’t quite name the smell…a mix of fragrant trees…need to investigate this! the part that was familiar to me was the part i have run many times in the past. I used to live closer to this trail years ago when i was began my love of running and ran here frequently. So, the delicious smell is even more welcoming. Went about 5.5 miles.

IMG_0381      Old, trusty ASIC Trail shoes!IMG_0386

Next day, went to trails near home. Was super tired/sore but I just had to go – you know that feeling, right??! As my legs and arms moved in unison and i felt the crunch, crunch under my feet, my level of happiness increased. Wasn’t tired anymore. Was another gorgeous early evening with few other beings in sight. The views, the gently swaying of the super dry grass/weeds, the hanging branches causing even my short body to duck a bit…all lovely and comforting. The last .75 of this one trail i like to do at the end is my favorite. It is mostly downhill with some twisty turns. I just absolutely love this part…i’m sure i’ve mentioned it before…i just feel like i can fly…my stride opens and there’s an awesome flow and freedom and i just wanna laugh or yell the whole way….it feels so much like the most natural self i can be. i’m not quite sure i can put it into words. I love when i am present enough to feel such a thrill. It happens often, but not all the time. the feeling is absolutely unmistakable and there is no replacement. this is part of the why. AND, the feeling lingered long after i was off that trail….

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Saturday: elected to do the longer run since i was gonna be out late in the evening. Ran more of the possible course and was a tough go even though it was only 13. Legs just felt heavy. Not surprised. Need a few rest days and a massage. Noticed during this route and last weekend I had to stop a lot for traffic which is not ideal, but necessary if i want to do this mostly on road. Need to start earlier. May also look for some alternate routes.

There are days when I feel certain and days of doubt. This week had both.

IMG_0403      New Hoka Stinson 3’sIMG_0398

XLV

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Modifying Goals

Posted in photos, races, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by afuntanilla

50 miles. I entered a 50 mile trail race. I’ve been training for a 50 mile trail race. Well, as I completed these last 2 weeks/weekends of training, I’ve come to the gut-checking decision that I’m going to transfer my registration to the 50K distance instead. There has been a ping pong match going on inside my head about this for about the last month. As each week increased, the speed of the the little white ball as it crossed the net in my brain became faster and faster and I’m sure I have suffered some kind of delirium in the process.

50 miles. The distance I want to run and finish. The distance that has eluded me. The distance I don’t just want to finish, but finish “strong”, upright, smiling, exhausted, thrilled and spent. I’ve come to the reality-check conclusion that if I try to do the 50 miles on Dec 6th, I will not have this kind of experience. I believe I will suffer greatly in the last 15-20 miles, spend most of it shuffling along, exhausted, unable to lift my legs to run any sort of uphill, and generally, NOT have any fun. Let me say that I certainly don’t seek these races out to have fun….FUN, is sort of what incidentally happens…but it doesn’t happen when the goal is too far out of reach and suffering takes over the entire picture. I’ve been in that place before.

In addition to accumulating a lot of weekly mileage, my longest runs back to back have been:

NOV 1-2
15 miles
10 miles
Total elevation gain/loss = 9,498

NOV 8-9
9.15 miles
17.2 miles
Total elevation gain/loss = 9,231

And then last Saturday:

NOV 15
18.2 miles
Total elevation gain/loss = 7,420

I think I can finish the 50 miles, but the experience will not be one I am after. If you would have asked me in July if I would take that experience of finishing, shuffling along, walking a lot in the later miles, I probably would have said “YES”, but my mind has shifted; my goal, I guess, has shifted. And, a lot of this has to do with being out on that course. I feel like I can offer these kind of pre-race assessments because I have spent hours out there on the stunning and heartbreaking trails. I know what they are asking of me. And now, I believe I know what I can try to answer.

Prior to 2 weeks ago, I kept thinking I don’t want to transfer to the 50k because I have already done that distance. And that’s still true. But, what I realized after these past 2 challenging weekends of training is that this 50k is a heck of a lot harder than the one I competed back in 2008! Hey, that was 6 years ago…that means I am 6 years older and I’m going for it again! How’s that for a rationalization plug!! Haha!

Seriously, here are the stats to support the difference on the level of difficulty. The Stumpjump 50k in Chattanooga has total elevation of 4,442. Well, as you can see, I have been already doing more than that in training. And believe me, my body is feeling it! The North Face 50k will have around 7,ooo elevation.

I have been encompassed by this race for about 4 months…each month getting more and more in the thick of it; learning more, putting my body thru more demands and then dealing with what happens as a result. Right now, I am trying to take care of some kind of left hamstring issue. It’s bizarre. I think I feel the pain mostly after switching from going long uphill to them sharp descents, especially on technical terrain. That’s when it bothers/hurts me the most…and then I’m just super aware of it the rest of the time. It is painful and I’m caring for it by the R.I.C.E. Method + massage. I’m aware of it, noticing some pain, even when not running so….
I probably need to have it checked out. I can’t quite figure exactly which muscle is the culprit: semitendinosous, popliteal, ??
It doesn’t really hurt throughout the run, just when I make the transitions and then it subsides. Overall, obviously, not good and I’m sure I need to truly REST but I feel confident about taking care of this after Race day.

Anyway, as I’ve been knee deep in all this preparation, I’ve been learning a lot :

1) how much it takes to prepare for this distance and do it well. I thought I was preparing correctly, but in reality, I haven’t. I should have been doing longer miles in the week and longer on weekends. (It’s tough to say this because I have trained more for this race than any other race!!) but, that’s part of the reality check.

2) still learning and getting much better at how to fuel; what to eat, when, etc…this is a  HUGE piece that I think probably doesn’t get enough attention for ultra running. You can be physically & mentally fit, but if you don’t have the nutrition thing down, there will be problems. All the willpower and determination won’t make you go faster if you are nutritionally depleted!

3) learning that I probably could have benefited from training with others sometimes. Just haven’t put in the effort to make is happen.
4) I should have had a better base going in to this training. Could have done a lot more strength work to help me more on the uphills.

So. There you have it. It sort of sounds like this is already a post-race report. Of course it’s not, I’m just in taper mode now and I can reflect and assess what has happened so far. I won’t get any faster in the next 2+ weeks. I certainly cannot go back in time and add in more weeks to add more miles. I’ve done what I could do so far and I believe the 50k is the distance I am best prepared for…I know how hard the 17 miler was, how hard the 18 miler was. 30 is going to push me. It’s gonna hurt. It will pull everything out of me and I will give it everything I can.

Time to take care of my nagging hamstring, get some massage, do easy running, and be as prepared as possible.

Oh yeah, regarding shoes; I’ve picked up The Hoka Stinson ATR shoes. These are a lot more specific to trail running than the other Hoka’s I’ve been using; the Huaka’s. The Stinson have better grip, but are also heavier. 9.3 oz compared to 7.8 oz on Huaka. I can really feel the difference in the weight and don’t necessarily like it, but…they are doing the job on the trails. The Huaka’s were getting pretty beat up (i need to see how many mile i have on those) and I really noticed the bottoms losing tread and i was sliding a lot on some of the trails that are simply loose rock. I like both these shoes, but man, they are not cheap! The picture below is of the Stinson…now much more appropriately dirty!  🙂

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The trails of Marin will humble you…that’s for damn sure. But, that’s what they are supposed to do. I sure as hell didn’t sign up for easy!

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Ramping up…

Posted in photos, races, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by afuntanilla

Been slowly ramping up the running as I prepare for my 9th Marathon, the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco on October 20th! This will be my 3rd time running this race and I believe they have altered the course a bit, but I don’t think the new route has been released yet.

I’m excited to run the race and continue to try to improve on my marathon finish time.

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Ran 27 miles for the week:

5 miles Tues. Treadmill + strength training

5 miles Thurs. Treadmill  + strength training

5 miles Sat. – bay trail in san rafael – first time running there…pretty cool. great views of the bay!

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(Richmond-San Rafael Bridge)

12 miles Sun. – Petaluma — a few hills the first 6 miles, then flat. Longest run since my Half Marathon at the beginning of June.

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(still lovin’ my Nike FlyKnits…now I just want a 3rd Pair! eek!!!)

Been focused on eating better specifically for recovery purposes. Specifically trying to make sure I take in enough protein, and IRON especially, since lack of IRON seems to be a culprit with me when I boost up the mileage.

Been steadily using my R8 Recovery Tool I mentioned a while ago. Love that thing!! Self-Massage for LEGS.

In other news, I am finally fulfilling on my bucket list and that is to go to watch the US OPEN TENNIS Tournament in NY in SEPT! I’m super excited. I’m have tickets for a couple of night sessions — all quarterfinal matches and I hope to see Roger Federer play! I’ve always wanted to go to a major and watch him play, so I hope this is the one. If he happens to get knocked out earlier than the quarterfinals, I will be bummed, but I know whomever I get to see play will be playing great tennis. I can’t wait to go to the venue and be in the energy of that place!! Every year, I have watched from my TV set and keep saying, “I want to go.”

Well. I tell you now; I am going!! Woot Woot!!

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an answer

Posted in motivation, quotes, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2013 by afuntanilla

Yep

“Stepping outside my comfort zones is the price I pay to find out how good I can be. If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult, I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting.”

-Des Davila

The newest

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short & long term

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2013 by afuntanilla

T-9 Random drawing process for NIKE Women’s SF Marathon (race date 10/20/13)

T-22 San Francisco Half Marathon (6/16/13)

T-40 Peachtree Road Race 10k (7/4/13)

T-42 Registration opens for Kepler Challenge 60k race (race date 12/7/13 New Zealand)

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CAN’T WAIT

RUN HAPPY

Running for Coffee and Fun

Posted in motivation, photos, random, road, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by afuntanilla

Yesterday I made a spontaneous trip down to Santa Cruz. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from where I live. I just wanted to get out of town and go somewhere fun. I needed to get away but I didn’t know how much until I actually arrived. I arrived, checked into hotel, changed into my running clothes and hit the road for a quick 3 mile jaunt to explore and kinda get my bearings. It was a beautiful late afternoon, just a hint of cool temperatures. I ran through the cute, packed in downtown, saw the coffee shop i wanted to visit (VERVE COFFEE) and just made a loop back to hotel. Felt great to move my body. I’m SLOWLY getting back into running….and being ok with that…

I felt myself excited and awakened by the new sights all around me. My senses were awakened. On alert. I wanted to take it all in. I love how a new place has this effect. I had been to Santa Cruz many times in the past….but i’m talking about 25 years ago….

After run, made my way back downtown to visit Verve and find dinner. If you don’t know, I’m a big coffee fan and love finding new good coffee and coffee shops. Verve did not disappoint! I went to 1 of their 3 Santa Cruz locations. Its located downtown on the main street, Pacific. The shop was spacious, tall ceilings and a large area for the baristas to do their thing! A decent sized crowd were sitting and doing THEIR thing. I ordered a Cappuccino and passed on the yummy looking Chocolate Chip Cookie. While my drink was bring crafted, I nosed around in the shop…looking at their beans, mugs, apparel (yes!) and other logo items. I knew i would spend more than a few bucks in this place! I picked up my splendid cappuccino and took a seat at the bar area that allowed me to watch the baristas. Love that! The VIBE in this place was a huge plus. Young, cute,  friendly staff. All of them. Welcoming!  Image

I also ended up chatting w/ a gal who works there and she gave me a recommendation for dinner. I asked for “someplace casual with a TV to watch sports”. She directed me to SurfRider Cafe about 1/2 mile away. It was pretty packed but I got a seat at the bar immediately. Ordered a house-made Veggie burger w/ sweet potato fries and an ale called Dragon’s Breath. All very good! And again, loved the vibe in THIS place. Young, casual crowd. Very good and pleasant service. I think the VIBE i am speaking about is just very much Santa Cruz. Always been a very casual, independent, liberal place. Love that!

Saturday morning got up and went back to Verve for morning coffee. using my iPad, i found one of their other locations about 2 miles away and figured that would be a fun out and back route. So, off i went. There’s a river that runs thru town, The San Lorenzo River, and the route carried me on a path next to the river. Mostly flat, with just a little bit of incline. Gorgeous day outside. I could see the Boardwalk Rides off in the distance. And the Pacific Ocean. AHHHHH — Soon enough the short 3.6 mile run was over and again, i felt like i couldn’t run much more. for now!!

Got breakfast, walked around a bit, got cleaned up and headed to the Boardwalk. I went straight to the arcade and played my old favorite video games; Ms Pac Man & Centipede. Fun! I could’ve played longer, but had only a short time to get a few rides in and head back home. I chose 2 rides; Double Shot – which is just a straight ride up 125 ft. Super fast up and super fast down. a few times. I was facing the ocean and of course, great views. I was screaming and laughing the entire time. Other ride was the classic Giant Dipper roller coaster. More laughing the entire time. I love rides…i love the feeling of being locked in but totally out of control. SOOOO FUN. I really needed it.

This morning (Sunday) I drove just a short distance over to Mill Valley to hit some trails I had yet visited. These were right off of Tennessee Valley Road. I really had no idea where I was going, but i thought it would be easy to get back to the starting point, and it was. I ran, hiked up and came to some amazing views of the bay! Picture does not justice. Image

The trail up was mostly single track with hard packed dirt. I could’ve worn regular road shoes but I had my adidas trail shoes on. Came to some fire roads also. A hefty climb, especially given my current level of fitness..but i sure loved being out there!

So…I am making progress with getting back to being as fit as i want to be. Here’s a snapshot of what i’ve done lately.

Feb 10: 6 mile trail run; Elevation gain 1,179 (highest elevation gain since last August!)

Feb 9: 3.6 mile road run

Feb 8: 3 mile road run

Feb 7: core workout @ home

Feb 5:  3 mile treadmill run

Feb 2: 4.25 mile trail run; Elevation gain 635 (makes me realize how this is really nothing compared to what i can do in muir woods)

Feb 1: 3 mile road run

So as you can see, February is off to a much better start than January. Thank God for HEALTH! I still have not picked any races. Basically, I’m just trying to get a base level of fitness back and go from there. I saw a lot of folks on the trails today and that also gave me a boost!

Also, these are the newest add to my collection:

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Brooks Pure Connect. These are one of the minimalist shoes. Not the least MINIMAL, but mid range minimal. So far, so good. I like the feel..like they hug your feet. Good traction even on the trail I used them for last weekend. Got ’em at a new specialty running store: San Francisco Running Company located in Mill Valley. If you are in the area, go pay them a visit. Good guys running the show!

Miles, ice cream and a semi-stalker

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2012 by afuntanilla

The highlight run of the past week was the Sunday run(s). For some reason, I FELT like running on the treadmill for the longer run. I think I actually just wanted to switch it up…switch up the route and because Petaluma is not very big, I have already run all over the place here. Anyways, I ran on the treadmill. Luckily, Sunday Football was on and I watched the 49er game. I thought I would go 10, but ended up running 12. Happily. For my nutrition needs, I had 1 PowerBar Gel, a few CLIF BLOKS, water and some diluted Gatorade. All was good. Since I’ve been experimenting with the Gatorade, at least I now know I can drink some during race and not have any stomach issues. Huge lesson here is not to try anything DURING a race you have not already done in training.

Post-run — just came home and ate, rested. Felt like I had it in me to go more miles later in the early evening, so i did. Just a short 3.25 in the neighborhood. At the end of the night, felt really good. Stretched & ate well. So, for the day a solid 15.25. Also, did some shorter runs during the week and a good 3 mile hilly hike at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland on Saturday with friends.

After hike, we went to Fenton’s and I had no problem finishing this long awaited Black & Tan Sundae! Toasted Almond & creamy vanilla ice cream, handmade caramel & chocolate fudge, toasted almonds, whipped cream & cherry! OMG! SO Freaking GOOD!

Race day is now less than 14 days away. I was looking back into my running journal from 2009 when I ran this race before. My longest run for that training block was only 16 miles (same as this block). My finish time that day was 4 hours, 21 minutes. If I can be in that ballpark on 10/14/12, I will be more than satisfied.

I know I’ve said before that for THIS RACE, I am not concerned with my finish time because I have not had enough time to train like I should/need to…BUT, it’s also the MARATHON and I know that deep down, I DO CARE. I can’t help it. It’s just my nature.

I bought a new pair of K-Swiss Shoes for my birthday present. They have not arrived yet. Fedex is trying to deliver, but need a signature. UGH. I got home today and JUST missed the driver…so i then got in my car to go see if i could see fedex truck somewhere in neighborhood. I drove about 1 mile and saw truck. No driver inside. I waited. Fedex guy walks towards truck. I then realize, my fedex sticker is for GROUND DELIVERY and his truck is EXPRESS. No luck. I drove back home, kept a watch for FEDEX GROUND. Came home. Deflated. Who knew I was such a stalker. What? You didn’t KNOW how much I love my running shoes???? Where have you been….

Run Strong and Stand Tall.