Archive for training

light and dark

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, random, road, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

Have missed writing for a bit, and instead of giving a total recap, will just give some highlights.

Last week, i was able to check off an item on my bucket list; i went to the US OPEN Tennis Tournament in NY. Going to see one of the Grand Slam Tennis events in person has been a desire of mine since I seriously began following tennis in the late 80’s. i finally made it happen and am thrilled that I did!

Here are just a couple of pics from midtown and central park

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While I was severely disappointed not to see Roger Federer play because he had lost on the day prior to my travel, I did get to see Victoria Azarenka, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawvrinka, and the Bryan brothers (play doubles) The Murray/Wawvrinka was the best match I saw. It had everything I wanted to see; drama, great intense tennis and an underdog winning. AND, the energy of the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium was thrilling. It was a gorgeous late afternoon match, the sun was beating down on us with not too much heat, and we watched awesome tennis. Perfect. Ashe stadium was the only stadium I watched matches so i don’t know what the others feel like, but Ashe was great. My seats were not very close, but in general, just to be there was pretty special.

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I was only in NY for 3 days and only ran once for about 3 miles. Went for a wonderful walk in central park for about 1.5 hours with 2 pals. Did a ton of walking just in general. Of course, NY!!!

Came home on Friday and was beat!

(Sept 2) Monday: 6 miles outside – 9:23 pace; 1 mile walk

(Sept 5) Thursday: 30 minute run – NYC

(Sept 7) Saturday: 4 miles outside – 9:07 pace

(Sept 8) Sunday: 16 miles outside – 10:14 pace

This last Sunday run was clearly the highlight. Longest I have run all year. And the best I have felt on all my long runs as of late. As mentioned in previous posts, I have felt sluggish, very heavy physically (+emotionally) and have just felt very weighed down! I’ve definitely turned a corner and the first thing that happened as I turned my Garmin switch to “stop” after Sunday’s 16 miler was a huge smile came upon my face. So happy with my effort. Grateful to feel my running VIBE again. If you are a runner, I think you GET what I mean. AHHHHH

Went for another “ice bath” in the Pacific Ocean afterwards!! AMEN! Felt so freaking great!!

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I cannot express enough how much “lighter” I felt while running, especially over the weekend. I attribute this to the following:

1) taking care of myself emotionally and getting thru my stuff

2) travel – having fun – complete change of pace

The hard stuff in our lives, the difficult times, we need it — for balance. Sure, it never feels good, all that hard stuff; but we gotta have the patience and the care for ourselves to get through it. It can be grueling. But…then….you get to the other side. There is light after darkness.

Thankful.

“Endurance is just not the ability to ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory” – William Barclay

gift from the sea

Posted in photos, random, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by afuntanilla

Last week’s training:

Tuesday: 5 Miles Treadmill – 9:23 pace

Wednesday: 2.25 mile evening walk

Thursday: 5 Miles Treadmill – 9:14 pace

Saturday: 4 miles outside – 9:31 pace

Sunday: 13 Miles -San Fran – 10:10 pace

Total Run Miles: 27

It was a tough week for me. Mostly due to personal things that were just very heavy for me and oddly enough, the running the felt extra hard. It grew frustrating that I could not often find the respite I needed while running. Hopefully, I have turned a corner. with this…

I found myself super tired on Monday and legs very tired so I decided to take it easier during this week. Works out well cause I have not had the time to exercise the past couple of days. Been focused on eating well and getting enough sleep. Super important!

The Sunday run in San Francisco was a nice change from Petaluma. Really needed some new scenery. I started in SOMA and ran from their over to Potrero Hill, Mission District and then over to the Dogpatch area which is an area south of A T & T park and is mixed Industrial/Residential. I really like this area because it is right by the Bay and had great views. While there is a TON of what looks to be commercial and some multi-family residential construction going on, this area is a lot more spread out than other parts of the city. I’m always trying to figure a way I could afford to live in this area. In a high rise. With a view…..Oh, and of course, it’s flat and on sunday mornings, it is pretty darn quiet! The final miles of the 13 were ran past A T & T park, the Ferry Building and further along the Embarcadero. I doubled back and ran thru the Financial District, and back into SOMA where I began.

After getting cleaned up, I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Ocean Beach. It was actually a little warm & sunny while I ran, but once i got to the beach, it was overcast and no sun.  Fine by me cause I had been hot and I knew it would be hot at home. I walked along the beach, felt the sand crawl between my toes and enjoyed the softness on my feet. I walked along the waters edge of the mighty Pacific Ocean and was immensely grateful I brought myself there! I needed it. The water was like a shock when i first touched it and it made me giggle, actually. Then, I really laughed. Out loud. Simple Joy. I really needed that, too.

I walked then just sat. Watched people. Dogs. Life.

Onward.

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“The beach is not the place to work; to read; write or think….The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceness as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

21 > 27 ?

Posted in photos, road, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

This was a little step back week and even though my total weekly mileage was only 21.54 miles, it felt more than the previous week’s 27.

Perhaps it was simply due to running some trails and a little hilly terrain. I really haven’t run hills consistently…most of my mileage over the summer (and longer) has been very flat. I did 2 short runs at Helen Putnam Park. 4 and then 4.5 miles. Awesome both times and i loved being off road. The park is not very big which is maybe a reason I don’t go there more often. If you go more than 6 miles there, you are doing repeat trails. But, still….a great place to go and very close to my house.

Also, this is the 2nd week in a row where I had booked a massage for Friday afternoon. Well, 2 Saturday’s in a row now, the runs have felt difficult and I’m sure in big part to the massage. Just not smart to get it on a friday before 2 days of running. Oddly enough, this past friday, my primary reason for the massage was to get some work done on my right shoulder and arm. I have been doing some strength exercises and such and apparently I tweaked something in my arm. I think it is a result of not using proper technique. Anyways, my right shoulder & arm muscles are super duper tight and tweaked. Still. Deltoid, Upper bicep, Trapezius. The therapist spent the entire hour just on those areas and I’m still not right. Better, but something is still off. Not sure what my next course of action ought to be….

Thankfully, this does not prevent me from running. 🙂

Sunday long run was just 10.  Ran all over the town. Need to go somewhere else next weekend. Feeling a little claustrophobic.

This week starts a new week of increasing mileage. Hope to get it all in and with quality!

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View from one of the trails…gorgeous day. After I was done, I sat on a bench and just listened. No music with me. Just listened to the slight breeze, the quiet of mother nature in all her glory. AHHHHHHHH — so awesome.

Oh — wore my ASCICS Trail shoes that I hadn’t used in a loooong time. They still work!

Happy Running!

Fog

Posted in photos, quotes, road, running with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2013 by afuntanilla

Howdy. So, I am on the heels of another race; the San Francisco Half Marathon 1 week from today. The event has 3 parts actually; the full marathon and then the choice of running either the 1st half or 2nd half marathon. Last year, the race was in July and I ran the 2nd Half Marathon and had a PR of 1:5842. I was beyond ecstatic. I was so jazzed! So proud. If you follow me, you know I had been trying to get under 2 hours for the half for some time.

So. As the race was approaching this year, I signed up. I didn’t sign up with enough time to properly train for another PR and honestly, at the time I signed up, my mindset was this: “I just want to RUN THE RACE. I don’t have a serious stake in how I finish, I just want to RUN.”

And, so. I’ve pretty much “trained” with that mindset too. Last year, I specifically trained to beat 2 hours and this year, I’ve just been running without a real focus on time. And honestly, as I sit here today, one week prior to race, I realize I don’t like that mindset at all. Here’s why; it’s left me without a REAL GOAL and REAL FOCUS. While this may be ok for others, I need this. I know myself well enough to know I absolutely THRIVE with goals. They make me feel like I have purpose and actually, help keep me sane. This all came into focus during this weekend of 2 short runs.

Yesterday, I drove down to San Francisco to run near the water and along a short portion of the course along Chrissy Field. It was clear skies  where i live and about to get super hot, but as soon as i crossed into Marin, I could see the lovely morning fog hovering over the Marin headlands and into SF. It was so foggy, once I was on the Golden Gate Bridge, I could not see anything. I’ve been to the city a lot lately and this was one of the foggiest mornings in a while. Anyways… I parked at Chrissy Field and began. My legs felt ok to start, but pretty quickly, I felt their fatigue. The first 2 miles had some uphill climbs into and around the presidio. I specifically wanted to run up this portion as it is the same on race day. Complete fog and gray skies all around made for perfect running weather. I love the cool breeze on my face and the usual smell of the towering Eucalyptus trees. But, all the while, I was not entirely focused. Not the way I like to be….focused in a way that actually allows me to enjoy the run. I was feeling sluggish, crabby, not focused and ran 5 miles. I was ok with the distance, just not with the way I felt.

Then today, I went out for what I thought would be 5 or 6 and ended up running 2. Yes, 2 miles. I can honestly say I was physically not feeling great and mentally even worse. Some of all this has to do with some personal things I have going on. They are definitely weighing on me and most of the time, running can be a great respite, but I am spending so much mental energy on other personal things, I could not push through today. And, yes, this bothers me. And I do think, if I had a SPECIFIC goal, my experience might be different, almost undoubtedly so…because without a goal, it becomes WAY too easy to stop, to go slower, to not push, to essentially slack off. Because the mindset is different.

Some may read this and think, well do you have to push all the time, have goals all the time, etc….and of course, there has been and will be time for that, I’m just finding that for me, right now, a goal-less mindset is not serving me best.

So, I have to adjust. I wish I was running better, faster, but I am not. And it is not lost on me that I have the ability to run. I have deep gratitude for what I am able to do with these legs, this body. Right now, I am probably running somewhere between 2:05-2:10 finish time. I will take this week to try to figure out what I think is realistic and shoot for that. At this point, I am not sure of anything. The goal may simply be to finish the damn race.

Need to get my mind and my heart right….sometimes, it ain’t easy.

A few pics from Saturday’s run in SF:

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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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Sunday in the Park

Posted in photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by afuntanilla

Woke up this morning knowing I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Not a good thing considering i had planned about an 8-9 mile run this morning. Thankfully, when I saw the sun was already brightly shining at 8am, I became energized and committed to the run plan. I decided to drive down to SF and either run along the Marina green or in Golden Gate Park. With Peets in hand, I hit the road. Leaving Petaluma, skies were blue as can be with no clouds. As I got closer to the Golden Gate Bridge, i could see the morning fog was still pretty heavy. I opted for running in the park. I parked, got myself together and hit the path at the Stanyan/Fell entrance. It was about 9:30am and still a little quiet out. Temps were cool, maybe low 60’s and then the high fog above. I wasn’t sure how my body would feel. This was to be my 3rd run in 3 days and I have not done that in a while…so….just wanted to have my legs!! I pressed start on the watch and music and off I went. As I ran along, within the first mile, some part of a song came on…i can’t be more specific because I cannot remember, but the important part is the SURGE I get sometimes. Like then. A part of a song comes on and I just feel like I get a HUGE boost. I love that!

The miles keep adding up and before I know it, I am at the other end of the park, along the great highway, and looking out at the great and mighty Pacific Ocean. I can barely see it because of the fog, but i can still hear the waves and feel the energy. DAMN, I LOVE THIS PLACE. The smells of Eucalyptus all throughout the park and the cool temperatures washing over my skin. So refreshing. So needed. And then, I think of mom. My Mom. Who loved the city. This City. This City where I was born. San Francisco. This place she held so dearly. And in these moments when my feet are traveling, when my body is running through Golden Gate Park, I am giving her my love and my silent Thank you for being with me as long as you could…as long as the world and God and all the rest would have it. Thank you for bringing me into this world, caring for me and loving me. Mom. May your star continue to shine. Bright.

I keep running and make my way up the small incline of the next 2+ miles. Passing by Stow Lake, traffic of both cars and people have increased. I’m nearing 7 miles now and i see my car up ahead. Perfect time to stop as I am tired. My legs, my quads are tired….But, I can’t. Push on for 8. I run right pass my card and onto the GG Panhandle and make it one more mile, as planned. Not easy. But, I made it. Stuck to my commitment. I was a happy gal!!

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ONWARD!!

enough said….

Posted in motivation, quotes, random, running with tags , , , on January 20, 2013 by afuntanilla

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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.

Pressing on…

Posted in photos, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by afuntanilla

After last Sunday’s 16 miler, I received a massage about 1.5 hours after running. I have no idea what the optimal time is as when one should receive massage post run, but it sure felt good. I’m glad to have found a very wonderful massage therapist here in Petaluma. I felt like this helped me recover a bit better than usual.

Tuesday I went to the gym and decided to do some “speedwork”. I ran 4×400 and then 2×800 all at 8:00/min pace. Felt good and felt pushed. Legs still a bit tired from that 16 miler. Wednesday ran about 3.5 on the streets and then Thursday back at the gym for 5 good miles. Admittedly, my nutrition was not too good this week. Sometimes, like this, I just become lazy about making good dinners and eating enough. I really don’t have the luxury of doing this, especially when I am training so hard…so I need to get my act together this week. (i still wish I had a personal chef, a la Ellen!)

I wake up about 5:45am every work day. And most days this week, it was super duper hard to get my butt out of bed. I just felt super tired in the morning and soooo wished to sleep in. I actually could sleep in and go to work a bit later, but I don’t elect to do this because i would then be stuck in traffic. So.

Friday night I caught a movie in San Rafael. Arbitrage with Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. I love watching Gere and the movie was ok. Felt like I hadn’t been to a movie at nite in like forever! Made my way into San Francisco and had a late night soup and snack at The Waterfront Restaurant right along the pier along the Embarcadero. Enjoyed one of the best Cosmopolitans I’ve ever had and some yummy roasted heirloom tomato soup. I sat at the bar and could see SF Bay outside. Such a view. Such a sight. Never gets old. I walked outside and caught this picture.

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That’s a dock and then the Bay Bridge beyond. It was such a nice night. Not cold or windy. Awesome.

Made my way to pick up Sharon from SFO on a late flight. Happy she got home safe and sound from her journey to France.

Saturday — didn’t do much. Slept in some (THANK GOD) and then meandered down to Corte Madera for some attempts at shopping for clothing. Found nothing at my usual places of J. Crew and Banana Republic. I did, however, get something new at The Apple Store. (no, not the new iPhone 5 although I might in the near future…) It was crazy busy inside as you can imagine. I found an employee and said, “ok. So. I LOVE Apple. But, here is my one complaint…when i am running and i use my iPOD NANO, I can’t skip to the next song because it it touch screen and I have to pull it out and look at screen, etc..i wish it had the features of the big iPOD or the Shuffle so I can just touch the FF button”. Apple guy says, “Well, do you have the earbuds with the remote on them?” “Um…no…I had no idea.” “yes, you can use the remote to skip songs, volume, etc…” Me: “Oh my god, you just solved my 1 little complaint. Now I love Apple even more.”

Suffice it to say, I bought the earbuds. I also asked another employee if there was a way to sync my iTunes from my iBOOK G4 (older version laptop) onto my big MAC. Yes, was his reply and he showed me how. So…today, I synched all my songs. I have been wondering how to do this for about 2 years. I guess the lesson of today is “ASK QUESTIONS, ASK FOR HELP”. My level of happiness went up so much today because I got these 2 lingering things resolved. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG??? I don’t know why, but it is probably related or in the same part of my brain that has me only BUY ONE THING AT A TIME (see last weeks post if you are confused)

Speaking of which…you will be happy to know I stocked up on gels & gatorade this past week. So, Sunday morning. Woke up and didn’t feel good. Felt a sore throat coming on last night and it emerged this morning. Wanted to try for 18 today and as I woke at 6am, i knew it wasn’t going to happen. I took some Emergen-C and went back to bed. Felt like crap. Woke up again and thought it was about 10am. I turned on my phone to see it was 2:00pm. HOLY COW. I knew i needed to sleep! Woke up and made coffee and big bowl of Oatmeal with raspberries, blueberries, almonds, & walnuts. YUM. Started to feel better. Actually, my body was feeling ok. Just my throat and my head were a little suspect. A few hours passed and I felt like I could give running a try. My body felt awake and I felt like I wanted to run. Got all my stuff together and hit the road. As soon as I took my first few strides, i knew i would be ok for a while. The miles were passing and I was feeling ok. I was taking some Powerbar Gels and watered down Gatorade. Ran much of the same route on the east side that i have been running these past 2 weeks. I wasn’t sure if I had made the smartest decision by running today, but I felt like I had to try and it felt great to be out there. A beautiful fall day…about 5pm…the roads were getting quieter, the sun was descending, and the moon rising. I saw it all. Beauty. I called it in at 10 miles, which was better than I thought I could do. It wasn’t 18, but it was 10 and what i could do today. Rushed over to the club to soak in the hot tub for 15 minutes. Ahhh…heaven.

This week, my goal is to take better care of myself with nutrition. Given that the race is in 3 weeks, I now have no more time to try to do 18 miles and have good recovery time. So, my longest run pre-marathon will be the 16 I ran last week. I have no idea what this will mean going forward for the race. I’m trying to stay “loose and relaxed” mentally about it since I knew I didn’t have enough time to get all the proper training in…but…still…

I think race day will be tough and hard. And a damn worthy challenge. As it should be.

ONWARD…

P.S. It’s my birthday this week. Think I need a new pair of running shoes… 🙂

this and that

Posted in quotes, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by afuntanilla

Sunday –  woke up early and caught the live streaming of the Ironman 70.3 world championships in Vegas. I was inspired and excited to be able to “watch”. The elite athletes are amazing…their bodies…their abilities…Amazing! I was rooting for reigning champion Craig Alexander and Andreas Raelert. Alexander came in 2nd and Raelert 8th. It was a great thing to get me up and motivated! One of my goals is to finish a 70.3 race someday. Guess I gotta start swimming! And biking! 🙂

Post race comment from Alexander: “I’m very happy with my performance. I think that was the best that I was capable of today. At the end of the day, i came up that much short to a guy who was just that much better.”

He is ALL CLASS! He came in 2nd place….1 minute behind the winner, Sebastian Kienle, who had a bike ride that was out of this world!

By 9am, I was headed out my door and onto the streets of Petaluma. I ran down my road and over to the East side of town. I rarely run in that part of town, but since I was going long, I had to expand my route. The East side of town is pretty much ALL FLAT, which was fine since I had been doing hills last couple of weekends. I pretty much just did a big loop. Nothing really exciting. (not much exciting on the east side of town) I didn’t have my iPod…just me and my thoughts. Was completely absorbed by that ironman race. Then, as the miles went on, i just don’t think about too much other than getting through the run as the pain starts to settle in. I felt my legs start to cramp up a bit around mile 10 and I am wondering if i should start thinking about adding more nutrition around this mile. During long races, I will often grab a banana or orange slices. But, during training runs, i only carry my energy gels. As I kept going, I felt like I didn’t have as much energy as I know I can. So… I want to play around with my nutrition now and see if it makes a difference. Anyways, I ended up running 13.25 miles in the morning. My goal was 15, so i was a bit bummed by not finishing.

I came home, ate, rested, watched tennis, ate some more. Then, I went to the gym and ran another 3 miles on treadmill. I felt like I had the energy to go so i did. It’s important to get time on my feet. Went slow, but felt good otherwise.

Did a few shorter runs during the week and overall feeling good. I’m ramping up the mileage as best i can, but also trying to be smart about it. As I have mentioned before, i do not have high expectations for this upcoming marathon. I just want to be there, have fun and push myself as best i can.

In other news, I am about to start volunteering at the local Boys/Girls Club. I’m really looking forward to this for several reasons. The bottom line is I feel I have a lot to give and I want to make the best use of my time. Looking forward to being around the youngsters!

ONWARD!