Archive for travel

Getting away….

Posted in motivation, photos, random, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2015 by afuntanilla

My desire to go to Boulder was born out of hearing numerous times over the years how cool of a city it is. Recently, it became more desirable as i follow some people on social media who live there and their photos of the mountains have been utterly ridiculous and i became hooked! Bought a ticket, packed a bag & went to see for myself! I needed a break from everyday life as I know it, and I yearned to be in some open spaces, but not remote.

What did I want to do while I was there? Hike, scramble on some mountains, run, find cool spots for coffee, food. That’s about it. Mostly, I wanted to be active and explore and I’m happy to say, mission accomplished!

The weather was cool the entire trip and mostly overcast with the most random drizzle falling. But mostly, just gray skies. The sun shone itself only 1 day during the trip. If there was any bummer, this was it.

For my 1st day after arriving and making the drive from Denver to Boulder, I found an easy trail to hike/walk/run. It was the South Mesa Trail on the south side of town. I saw only a few other folks out there and enjoyed the quiet. From the start, just lots of dry grass and shrubbery, and as I climbed in elevation, lots and lots of medium sized pine trees. The trail went from wide, loose gravel to narrow and very, very rocky. Lots of offshoot trails from the main one, but I stuck to just the one as I didn’t want to get lost on my 1st day. I took my time and walked/hiked the way out and pretty much ran the route back to the trailhead. On the way, I noticed this beautiful field of dry grass that was a very cool grapefruit color. The lovely quiet and the softest breeze swept thru the grapefruit leaves…

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Was about 1,000ft elevation change total. 5 miles.

Next day, I found the path to what the call is Golden Arch. This is in Chautauqua Park (also home to the Flatirons). It was a Friday and the trailhead was super busy and i could see lots of people on the trail. Came to learn it was parent’s weekend at Univ of Colorado so lots of people out and about.

With gray skies surrounding me, I headed up to find the Golden Arch. As I climbed higher and higher, I did notice the effects of the altitude, but nothing that felt limiting. Trail begins with a significant view of the mountains ahead and after the 1st mile, trail narrows and becomes more tree hidden and less populated. And more rocky. And then very rocky. Did I say rocky? It’s a full on climb up; maneuvering the changing trail conditions, making sure you’re on the right trail and watching your steps very carefully. FUN. & INVIGORATING. As much as I was breathing hard, I was smiling a bunch, too. With the overcast and grayness, it didn’t make for very “picturesque” photos, but the scenery still looked magnificent thru my eyes.

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Finally reached the Golden Arch peak at just under 7000ft elevation (from sea level). All in all, the hike was only 3.6 miles but with 1,679ft elevation change! Worth every step.

Getting up to the arch

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After arrival, I sat atop of the boulders and marveled at the beauty & stillness surrounding me. My breathing slowed and it was as though a hush fell upon the few of us there at the time…a collective knowing of sacredness and appreciation when you see it. We were essentially bowing down to nature, were we not?

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I took a break from hiking the next day and just tripped around Boulder and surrounding areas. I actually did not stay in Boulder, but in a smaller town just south, called Louisville (the S is pronounced!) A combo town of suburbia and quaint, artsy, cozy downtown area. Of course, I found the perfect place for coffee! Super small place in Louisville that’s only been open 6 months called Precision Pours. Cozy, simplistic, minimalistic…just what i like! Oh, and good coffee and a super cool owner, Brice!

A pourover of Brazil. Yummy

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Did a short 3 mile run later in the day and could feel the effects of both altitude & the previous 2 days of hiking.

Next day was the one and only day i saw the sun. Wanted to hit the Flatirons so that’s exactly what I did. The trail beginning is the same as it is to get to the Golden Arch. After the 1st mile, the Flatiron trails are in a different direction. A lot of the same type of terrain as it was to get to golden arch…it felt longer, but was actually shorter distance. Still, a decent amount of climbing for the distance. 1,394 ft over 2.7 miles. Got into a nice rhythm of following this one fella and letting him lead the way cuz some points are so full of rocks that you cannot gauge what is actually the trail. The best part was literally climbing/scrambling up some big boulders to get up and over particular areas. I noticed as I moving higher and higher that I was smiling outside and inside…how happy i was, how invigorated i felt and how i just kept wanting to keep going up and up. A fun, cool feeling!

From the Flatirons…

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It’s amazing how focused one has to be on trails like this where it is so thoroughly rocky. It’s true meditation…a total zone….beautiful. I was focused on getting to the top, but at the same time mindful of each step, the sound of my breathing, the amazing beauty surrounding me. The senses sharpened! Aware of my legs/quads….the muscles working in tandem with the rest of my body to propel me up, forward; aware of my heart rate climbing…climbing…sensing the sweat gathering on my brow and back. Life happening…there on the flatirons. Finally arriving at the top, empty water bottle in hand and plopping myself down on a rock and just looking out….noticing everything and hearing nothing…the quiet. Ahhhhh….

Last day: coffee and writing & Precision Pours, haircut by an awesome gal and went for a flat, fast 3miler thru downtown Louisville. Zoom to airport.

I try to make it a point to start my day with a gratitude list of about 5 things/people. Health is always #1 on my list. For me, it’s so important to be healthy….i want to nourish my body, treat it well…so i can continue to do things like this…I am aware of so many who have serious physical limitations and complications and i’m just so thankful to be in a position of good health. I don’t ever want to take it for granted.

I needed this trip. To get away from my usual surroundings, to be away from work and my office, while at the same time remaining thankful i have a job and a lot of flexibility with my work. I needed some different space, some elevation change, some different perspective. Appreciative of the opportunity and for meeting some neat people.

May your journey be filled with light, joy, fun, and challenge. Go get it!

P.S. I wore my Hoka Stinson ATR’s on the hikes. Perfect.

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Altitude & Attitude

Posted in photos, running, trail, travel with tags , , , , on November 29, 2014 by afuntanilla

Man, it’s not easy to run at altitude, but it sure is pretty looking and pretty damn awesome!

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I was up in South Lake Tahoe last weekend and went for a short 5 miler on Saturday. I was in heaven.

The steady light rain and cool air felt so needed & refreshing on my face. I could sense my innards smiling. The gray skies followed me along the High Meadow Trail and through the woods. Not another human was around. Just me & the mighty, lengthy pines, rocks of various shapes & sizes, and the occasional rushing sound of water flowing in the nearby Cold Creek. I heard nothing and everything. I was on high alert, but then also in a kind of trance. Nature does that to us, doesn’t it? Feeling so singularly focused & present in the moment, but also kinda in lala land….because we are…there is no judgement, no expectations, no deadlines, nothing but the pure and simple ecstatic beauty of just what is…

The trail I was on was going to connect with Tahoe Rim Trail, which I had wanted to see, but I didn’t quite get there….That will definitely be for another day. Today was the first time I have ever run on Tahoe Trails and I can say this; I will be back! Stunning! And I only saw 5 miles today.
The next day, I went for just a 2 mile hike on a completely different trail. It, too, was stunning. After about 1/4 mile of easy walking, trail gets difficult as you are climbing, climbing, and then that you don’t even know where it is because there are huge rocks, boulders everywhere….where is the path?? As you look up and to the east, you are gifted with amazing views of Emerald Bay and then Lake Tahoe a bit further. To the north & west are gorgeous views of the Sierras, some had a bit of snow, but not much just yet. (Phone battery died so no pics of this trail)

As I looked around, I was just in awe and again, so Thankful for my body, my health, and for living where I can see such beauty. I wanna keep finding more places. I wanna keep going….

GET OUTSIDE!

Catching Up

Posted in bike, photos, road, running, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

These past few weeks: Another awesome bike ride with Jason. Went out on an mid week early morning. Weather was cool, foggy. I added arm warmers to my body but other than that, stayed with just shorts and bike jersey.

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(Jason in fog)

We did our same 25.5 mile loop and I felt good. The route was the same but the scenery changed due to the foggy conditions. A different kind of beautiful. So peaceful out there…I love it!! Awesome way to start my work day.

The next 2 weeks I traveled to Kansas City, MO & then Atlanta, GA. Obviously, both not easy places to run in during the summer months. I also have learned that for me to try to run the day after a long travel day is absolutely useless. I ran the day after I arrived in KC after long day of getting there. Run was painful. I also ran the day after I arrived back in CA after super long day of travel. That was doubly painful. I think I have learned my lesson. I can do the run of course, I just don’t find it enjoyable after such long travel days….but I feel like I just have to exercise because of all the sitting, etc…hello….conundrum! Anyways, in between those instances, I ran 3 days (4 miles each) steadily in Atlanta and was glad to get those morning runs in before work. Did a lot of driving while there, so moving my body beforehand was perfect! Humidity/heat was not as bad as expected for this time of year. Bonus! I ran on the same path each day….a flat path with a gazillion trees hovering around. Ahhhh….THIS I miss very much!! The plethora of soooo many trees! Beautiful, luscious, invigorating, and yes, thank you for the shade! The last day of running there was eventful in that I tripped and fell AND then narrowly avoided a snake. I’m sure the snake was harmless, but a snake is still a snake. Also, no scars or nothing from the fall. A tiny bruise, if that. Darn it.
Much of the path is laden with wood planks because the area is basically akin to a swamp. Every morning, it was deliciously quiet out there with just my footsteps and the soothing & familiar sounds of the cicadas.

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(playing w/ the shadows)

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After a full travel day back home from ATL, I desperately wanted to move my body the next morning. I knew I would be sluggish, but I just HAD to move. You know that feeling, right?? Also, after the flat path in GA, I was hungering for the dusty trails of Marin. I opted for the Dipsea steps and trail. Ahhh….the steps I crossed with happy, gentle, tired feet…the steps that took my breath away….over to the windy trail with scores of scattered fallen Eucalyptus leaves under my stride. Down and then back up the steep, dusty, rocky, section….my legs happily aching…running over to a section I had yet never been…the sunrise trail that goes .7 mile out and then the same return. An easy runnable section with fantastic views (even with the cool foggy morning). Taking some deep breaths and smiling, happy to be home again…happy to move my legs, grateful for everything.
Back down the Dipsea steps after a slow 5 miles. Just what I needed.

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Part of the Dipsea Trail

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Part of Sunrise Trail

Day 3 in Portland; The Main Event

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, travel with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2014 by afuntanilla

My 3rd and final day in Portland was the day of The Main Event; The Adidas Shamrock 15k Race.
My morning began at 5:30am. Made hotel coffee, and ate my customary Clif Bar and banana. I sat and looked outside my hotel window and the still darkened sky, the streets so delicate in their Sunday morning quiet….those same streets would soon be lit up and come upon by 35,000 runners participating in either 5k, 8k, or 15k mile distances. This gray, overcast morning would soon be adorned with bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and color wearing their traditional Green race shirts!
Time to get on with the party.

I walked the short 3/4 mile from hotel to starting line and it was a tad chilly. I wore nothing to keep me warm as I figured as soon as I began running, I would be fine. This was true, however the 30 minute wait until the starting line popped open was chilly. Thankfully, the gathering crowd of excited runners and the beauty of the morning along the Willamette River distracted me from being cold. These are the moments that are so fun and if you have ever done a road race or any race, you know what I mean….I love just taking it all in, absorbing the moment, and watching the congregating of a bunch of strangers on a street to go run their hearts out. Absolutely love it.
I looked across the river to the east side and smiled at the grayish-bluish sky emerging from the darkness. There is nothing quite like the beauty of a morning, is there?? I think that is why I am an early riser…I hate missing it!

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The combination of the walk to starting line and some time warming up along the rivers pathway, I felt loose and ready to go. I was actually gonna RACE, not just go for a run! My goal was to have a finish sometime between 1:26-1:28 which would be an average pace of 9:15-9:28 per mile. Obviously, I was hoping to be closer to the 1:26 finish. I thought my chance was good if all went well, so we were about to see!
The first mile is headed south and flat, going in the opposite direction of downtown where race began. After mile 1, you make a left turn and head back towards downtown and it’s basically straight & flat for the next 2-3 miles. The crowds were sparse in the beginning but there were some festive folks out…a few fellas playing the bagpipes and another band I think. On the north side of downtown, the small climb started as we ran next to Portland State University and then up more to pass Oregon Health & Science laboratory and Marquam Park. These were miles 3.5-6 approximately and they were a steady incline along wide windy roads. Beautiful and serene atop the higher areas. I was doing well on time. My first 2 miles were actually less than 9 minutes each and I made a conscious decision to slow down or else I might have nothing left in the later miles. The total ascent was only 550-600 feet, but I could feel it as I have run nothing but flat in preparation. I did some repeat hill sessions, but nothing major. Anyways, I was feeling good as I was watching my time and passing the mile markers. I was taking a gel every 2 miles and this was perfect. I was pushing throughout, but as the descent started to occur I really took off and pushed harder. I had lost some time on the climb and I wanted to make sure to beat my goal since I was now¬†so close !!
Heart pounding, legs aching….absolute total focus. I was single-minded and out of my crazy mind and nothing else mattered except my strides, one after the other….keep going you are doing good, you are gonna make it, you are gonna make it…. (hey, nice legs ūüôā¬†

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Breathe. Push. Keep going! I was aware of everything and nothing. Such a cool, amazing feeling.
Running the last mile, it was a straightaway and I could see the finish line. I never let up…push, push, push Ang…

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Finish time 1:25:46
Average pace per mile: 9:13

Very freaking happy with this. It shows my training has paid off. Everything came together on this particular morning. I was happy and delighted and proud of my efforts!

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Another cool thing in addition to the race shirts I received was this unique race “medal”…a bottle opener! i love it.¬†IMG_0850

I happily walked back to hotel and spent the rest of my morning/afternoon back in the Pearl District. Enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Cafe Isabel and then roamed around with my travel pack before heading to the airport and home. IMG_0849

A fun and full weekend in this Pacific Northwest city I have been wanting to visit! Thank you, Portland!!

What’s next…….

Portland Day 2

Posted in photos, random, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2014 by afuntanilla

Day 2:
The morning was cool and overcast, but quickly burned off and later, sunshine and low 60 degree temps. I began my morning by walking back to the Pearl District

IMG_0820and over to a place called Yoga Pearl. It was a large yoga studio with a cafe; mostly vegan, organic, all healthy yummy good stuff. I ordered some oatmeal and the ingredients were; oats, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla, banana, cocoa nibs, & coconut flakes. It was delicious! I have made oatmeal before and added PB, but these other flavors were tasty additions that I will definitely add going forward.

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I took my time walking back towards hotel and went into a few more neat shops.
I noticed a salon that looked kinda cool so I spontaneously poked in and asked if anyone could fit me in. The gal said she could fit me in right then if I had time. SCORE! I needed a haircut badly and what fun to get it done in new city! Stylist gal was fun to chat with and had recently moved to Portland from Phoenix….just because she wanted to do something different and get away from the Arizona heat. LOVE IT! Love hearing people’s adventurous stories. Enjoyed good conversation and got a good haircut. Lucky me.
Hung out in hotel for a bit while watching some BNP Paribas Tennis and then headed out for a 1.5 mile run just to stretch my legs and run a bit of the course. Afterwards, I went into the nearby Niketown and not sure how I walked out not buying anything! Below is a picture from a display case at the store entrance. The shoe is an original Nike by Bill Bowerman (with the waffle iron bottom). I remember these shoes and wish i could get an original pair. I will never forget my first pair of Red Nikes which looked very similar to these!

IMG_0830Later in the day I went out for my afternoon cappuccino

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and then to dinner at a low key place called Grassa. It was very simple. Per their website, “GRASSA¬†PUSHES THE CONCEPT OF ARTISAN COMFORT FOOD SLUNG IN¬†A¬†NO-FRILLS FASHION.”¬†You walk in and place your order with the person who looks like they are the host/hostess. You then sit and food comes to you. It was limited menu of homemade pastas, salads, etc.. I grabbed a seat at the bar and watched the pasta makers as I waited for my meal. I had a tasty arugula, fennel, & goat cheese salad as appetizer.

IMG_0832As an entrees, I just ordered the very simple pasta I love; spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, breadcrumbs. So damn delicious, minimalistic and simple. Want to replicate this dish at home.

IMG_0833Zig zagged my way back to hotel through more downtown streets I had not yet been on. For the most part, my venturing out encompassed only about a 5/6 mile radius, but there was plenty to see in this area.
Once back at hotel, I got my race gear all together and set up for the morning. I realized I did not have any safety pins for my race bib #! Oops. Not sure how I missed this at the expo, but hopefully there would be some available at the starting area.
Another fun day and so glad to just wing it and not have any agenda. I never travel with an agenda. Just not my style.

As you can see, I have been eating and enjoying my stay in Portland! Day 3 and race report next!

Portland Day 1

Posted in photos, running, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2014 by afuntanilla

Arrived in a gray, wet Portland after starting my day at 4:00am. Only one hour earlier than my usual beginning, and soon enough, I was moving fast to get myself out the door and down to SFO. Small plane, short flight and 2 empty seats next to me made for a very pleasant morning travel experience. I only have a few essential belongings with me, snugly packed into my Marmot Kompressor Plus pack. I love the traveling lite, don’t need any unnecessary items weighing me down. I love that my life is in the pack. I strap it on and off I go. Simplicity. Gratitude.
Opted to not use the services of a car rental agency as I heard from multiple sources that Portland has a very good transportation system. So far, that advice has proved correct as I have been able to get wherever I need to by foot or by the local rail system. With only a half cup of coffee and a banana in me so far, I was energetic and ready to go explore. I rode the rail from airport into downtown and then transferred to a different line to head in the direction of a cafe that was recommended to me. Fortunately, I exited a few stops too soon and ended up walking through a cool neighborhood called The Pearl District. Lots of galleries, eateries, etc…Lovejoys Bakery was recommended and it did not disappoint. I opted for a breakfast sandwich; fried egg, blue cheese, tarragon, bacon, fris√©e on a ciabatta roll.

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Um…YUM! I had to resist the many other tasty items from the bakery, such as the scones, cookies, etc…my day was only just beginning and I wanted to keep exploring. Walking around, the streets were a bit quiet, still a little wet from some early rain, but the air smelled good and fresh and the sun was beginning to shine through the clouds. I was delighted to be spending my Friday morning tripping around a new city in my jeans, sneakers and feeling free. I love my job, get a great deal of satisfaction from it, (but, it’s always nice to take a break) and I truly appreciate that I am afforded the means and flexibility to take a short trip as this….

Sauntered into a gallery that showcased some abstract paintings in the window. Inside, it was actually a 3 part gallery; part paintings, blown glass, wall hangings, sculptures, and lots of other cool creative art. I become mesmerized when looking at abstract paintings….they are my favorite and one of my secret or now not so secret goals is to have some kind of space to see what I can create in this fashion. Need everything; space, paint, canvasses, etc…and I know, just like everything else, when I become committed enough, I can and will make this happen.

Making my way back towards the hotel, I also needed to go to the Apple store because once again, I forgot my outlet charger! Grrrr
Oh well- I also needed some new headphones cuz one of the earbuds had lost sound. So, found the store near my hotel and got what I needed. Talking to the guy who helped me, told him I was here to run the race on Sunday. He says, “I am too. Half the store is…it’s a big race, like 30,000 people.” Whoa! Had no idea there was gonna be THAT many! (Btw, once I dug around in my bag, I found my phone outlet charger…so now I have 3! )
Checked into my hotel and just chilled out for a bit. Great corner room on a top floor with a nice view.

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Later in the day, I took the train over to the convention center/expo to pick up my race bib #, t-shirt and peruse. I had also pre-ordered another race shirt they had for sale so I picked that up too. I love both my shirts! I can’t recall the last time I loved an actual race shirt….but I love this one and the one I purchased!

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Afterwards, I walked about 1 mile to a coffeeshop I had wanted to visit: Coava Coffee! It did not disappoint. They are located on the east side in a quieter area and the place is very industrial: huge tall ceilings, very open space, limited seating and a nice, chill vibe. The rear of the space was occupied by a guy who does woodworking and some pieces were on display for sale. The whole place oozed art and creative expression. And, my cappuccino was excellent.

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Later in the day, I was back on the west side and went into Powell’s Bookstore. Pretty overwhelming for the mood I was in, so I just picked up a few cards and left. Need to go back…
Next, dinner!
I got a recommendation to try Tasty & Alder, and once I looked inside I knew I’d like it. Dark wood colors, cool bar area, semi open kitchen. And BUSY by 6pm. I waited for 45 minutes just to sit and eat at the bar area. Well worth the wait. Service was very good, from the hostess to the wait staff. It was loud and bustling, but I didn’t mind as I loved feeling the energy all around. Directly in front of me were two of the cooks, moving fast and doing their art! The happenings of a kitchen….the rapid movements, the individual touches and signatures….love it.
I ordered my customary cosmopolitan, and to eat, 2 Alaskan Cod tacos with Fresno aioli and escabeche. Yum, yum, yum. Also, a side of grilled broccolini with grated Parmesan on top. More yum. A delicious and fulfilling meal.

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After dinner, I made a spontaneous decision to attend a play on the east side. I had seen a flyer for it earlier when I was tripping in and out of some stores. The play was called “Independent Women”. I hadn’t seen a community play in about 20 years so it was nice to be back in that kind of creative space and atmosphere. The cast was 7 women and it was part dialogue, part singing, part performance art. All very cool, interesting and poignant. All subject matter touched on what it means to be a woman and the types of messages we receive, how they have changed and not changed over the years. They did a very powerful segment on their bodies. Our bodies. Women’s bodies. I just want to say this to any woman who might read this; you are more than ok. Just as you are. You don’t need to be prettier, thinner, fatter, taller, lighter, happier, more serious, married, coupled, with child, not with child, straight, gay, whatever….you don’t need to be a stay at home mom and you don’t have to work 60 hours a week. You don’t need to be anything more than who you are at your core. And, you CAN do, be and create anything that YOU want.
If you want to be tattooed from head to toe and sell flowers on a corner, go for it. If you want to be a lead prosecuting attorney in New York, go for it. Just don’t settle. Ever.
Took a taxi over the xxx bridge, looking out into a beautiful Portland skyline and called it a night.

Day 1: most complete.

Post race musings

Posted in photos, quotes, races, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , on December 12, 2013 by afuntanilla

The race was 5 days ago and as I’ve been recovering and traveling along, I’ve had some post race thoughts I wanted to put down and share.
To not finish: it SUCKS! No other word for it. Period.
Having to tell people, even strangers, who ask how you did: SUCKS!

The morning after the race, there was a post-race breakfast that I attended and met a few people and swapped stories of our experience. I knew I would say, “I didn’t finish”, and I knew that I would have to have a strong stomach as I did so….
I’m sure no one cares, but I care, and it just isn’t the most pleasant thing to report to people. But, it definitely comes with the “territory” of running and doing these kinds of things. It is part of the running experience. Every race can’t be smooth, easy, predictable. Gosh, how boring would that be!! I understand, it’s the opposite side. The opposite of setting a personal best at a time or a distance. It’s the opposite of finishing and finishing strong, which I have had many such experiences.
2 days after the race, as I made the drive from Te ‘Anu back to Queenstown, I was stuck with the thought that ‘I should have finished’. During the 2 hour drive, I really let it bother me. 5 days later, I am more at peace. I did all I could on that particular day.

In evaluating what could have helped me or what I could have done differently, I have some thoughts;
Nutrition; I really need to get a better handle on this. By nutrition, I mean race day nutrition. If I plan on doing events that take me over 5/6 hours, I cannot rely on energy gels alone. I need more solid food and I need to train with different things and see what works best.
Training; I’ve already mentioned some of this in earlier posts, but for this particular race, I needed to run longer with more elevation. I needed to have incorporated more tough back to back days on weekends. Plain and simple.
Why didn’t I train more? Honestly, I just wasn’t motivated enough. And my body was tired. Some people who know me on a daily basis know I’ve been talking about fatigue for awhile now and how I need to give my body a good break from running. I was tired going into the marathon in October and I was tired going into Kepler.

I don’t regret either experience, just being honest with how I was feeling. That is why even though it sucked to not finish Kepler, I was not surprised.

Sometimes my enthusiasm to participate in events really takes over and I cannot contain myself. I see something or hear about a race and I wanna do it. And then I see another one and I want to do that too. I realize I can’t do everything AND have the kind of experience I want. My body can only take so much.

I am looking for answers to questions that are important for me to have answered; how can I recover better? What are the best things for me to do? Is it nutrition related? Is it training related? Is it rest/recovery related?

I believe it is a combo of all those things and it means something different for me than it does for the next person. And the next person. We all have different bodies with unique requirements and capabilities. My goal is what it always is, to get the most I can from myself.
And to know what’s possible, my body needs resting time. I made an agreement with myself that after Kepler I would not run for 30 days. And more, if I feel like it. Just take a break. Heal. Rest. Repeat.

I have not run, but I’ve been walking a lot and sometimes with elevation. Soon, that will change. My vacation will come to an end and I will be back home and in a work routine. I plan to NOT run, but I do plan to stay active by getting in some cycling, swimming and just plain old workouts at the gym. I can very much feel how I need both the mental and physical rest.

There are running related goals I very much want to achieve. And I’m coming to understand more and more how it’s about smart planning just as much as dedication and commitment.

I will continue to strive to be the best me…to keep pulling out the best me that I can find!

Onward and upward!

RACE GEAR

Shoes: Brooks Cascadia trail shoes. This is my 1st pair of brooks trail shoes and they worked out fine. They are not too heavy, with a good bit of cushioning. They feel a bit wide and roomy, so they actually feel a bit loose on me. I compare this feel to some old ASICS trail shoes I have and still wear. They feel much more narrow. I also had quite a bit of small pebbles in my shoes during the race and I don’t ow if it’s because they do fit a bit loose on me or what…but, overall, no complaints.

Socks: Injinji toe socks. I love these socks. Been wearing them now for all my long runs and have had no blisters.

Pack: Salomon Skin S-Lab race pack. I love this pack! The only other pack I have had is an older Nathan pack with water bladder and just a few pockets. This Solomon pack has MANY pockets, both zipped and some unzipped. It has 2 clasps in the front so you can tie across your chest which gives a very compact/form fitting feel. It doesn’t restrict or interfere with arm movements either. One of the best parts might be that the bite valve from the water bladder can fit snuggle across your chest and really all you need to do for a sip of water is barley move the tube to your mouth. Very seamless and convenient. They thought of everything!

Shorts: black North Face running shorts. I love these too, they fit well and are simple. 1 small pocket in the rear if you need it for gel, or key. I didn’t need it for this race since I had my pack but I use the pocket at other times.

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