Archive for women

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, frisée on a ciabatta roll.


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.


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!



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.


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.



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.


See Jane Run

Posted in motivation, photos with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by afuntanilla

See Jane Run is a women’s athletic clothing store in the Bay Area. I reached out to them for any support they could give me with the 40 mile run. They read my story and said they could send me a running t-shirt! It came the other day in the mail. It’s awesome! A pic of the front:

Here’s what the back says:

Here’s to you.

The broad-shouldered, the knock-kneed, the pigeon-toes, the small-breasted, the wide-hipped, the long-waisted, the short-legged, the stocky, the skinny. And yes, even the perfectly proportioned.

may you live long, enjoy dessert and never stop laughing.

Blisters heal. Muscles recover. Friendships last a lifetime. High heels have their place in the very back of the closet. If you can run a mile, you can run a marathon. There comes a time when you really need to replace your sports bra. No, really. consider this. Only one person wins. everyone else should have a rockin’ good time. yes, you can talk and run at the same time. chewing gum is the hard part. a little chocolate goes a long way. be yourself.

There’s a little bit of jane in all of us.

Pretty freaking cool, huh!

Race Reflections – Part II

Posted in photos, races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by afuntanilla


Can you find my name?

Can you find my name?

Race day wake-up call at 5:30am. I promptly changed out of PJs and into some other clothes and went into the downstairs hotel lobby for some coffee. Good Coffee. Came back up to my room, opened the curtains and looked out at the stunning clear morning in San Francisco. All was dark still except for the flickering lights out in the streets and those i could see from the Bay Bridge. It seemed so serene and so romantic at the same time. (in fact, i would definitely describe SF as a romantic city).

I sipped my coffee and chowed down on my Clif bar. My body was awake and I knew i was ready. It’s funny how that is…the KNOWING. More often than not, even before I take the first steps of a race, I just know if it’s going to be a good day for me. I don’t get this feeling at any other time. Just on race day. And on Sunday between 5:30-6:00am, I knew.

I looked online a bit, read the newspaper a bit and finally it was time to put the shorts and shoes on and get out the door. I had my iPod, 2 gels, and those Luna things i mentioned in previous post. I was a little worried about not having more gels because i knew there wouldn’t be more on the course. It still baffles me how they didn’t have any. Oh well, i figured i would grab whatever there was long as it wasn’t anything too different.

I made the quick walk over to Union Square and found the place to line up. Again, the place was ELECTRIC. TONS AND TONS OF WOMEN and a few men. Looking around, I saw smiling, excited, exuberant faces. I saw young, old, asian, white, black, latina, tall, short, thin, pudgy…women of all shapes, sizes, etc… AWESOME….all standing around just waiting for the clock to tick, for the opportunity to pass GO!

I stood there and while I ran, I kept thinking that everyone was out there for their own reason. While watching some of the fellow women near me, I saw their faces; some with pained expressions, others just simply focused and I felt so proud to be out there and in their company. I felt like i wanted to give everyone a HIGH-FIVE or a PAT ON THE BACK!

While participating in a race, especially a marathon, one is truly taking on something big. There’s not a whole lot of thought that goes into running a 5k, but when you sign up and commit yourself to the marathon training, you are definitely in for an amazing journey. That journey is long, grueling, demanding, and very solitary, no matter if you train with a group or not. At the end of the day, YOU have to put one foot in front of the other, YOU have to keep going when your legs start to cramp, YOU have to keep climbing that damn hill that seems like it has no end in sight. And so, yeah, I looked around and wondered about what some of those reasons were of those mighty women surrounding me and my own reason…