Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I received the nice book HARRIERS from the publisher and I found it inspiring and interesting. I like this book because it reminds my youth when I was a member of the Navy South Department (Maridipart Naples) cross country team.
Book Description:
A fresh perspective enlivens this classic story about a losing team with an energetic new coach. Written by two Ohio teenagers about their high school's cross-country team, this account offers engaging portraits of the kids and their coach, passes on lessons of hard work and sacrifice, and follows the ascent of the Salem Quakers cross-country team to a first-place ranking in their conference and third place at the 2003 state championships. Along the way the teenagers learn the unromantic truth about the athletic association that regulates their high school sport—legal wrangling and uproar ensue when officials find scoring errors in a postseason meet. As they develop their talents and teamwork, the teens also learn valuable lessons about sports rules, bureaucracy, and true success.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The program

The time is coming and the funny workouts will be soon only nice memories. This is the program to run the Florence Marathon under the 4 hours:
In the schedule I didn't include speed-works because they are pointless for my goal (sub 4 hours). Now the question is: can I enter any running events if I am following a running program? Perhaps I will solve the problem in these ways:
a) Oct. 1st. Scheduled 28 km - Race: Montalto half marathon. As the Half includes 3 laps, I will run 4 laps. The last one in a very slow way.
b) Oct. 8th. Scheduled 25 km - Race: S. Marinella 10 km. As the 10km includes 2 laps, I will run 3 laps and after I go home running again (the distance between S.Marinella and Civitavecchia is 10 km).
c) Nov. 12nd. Scheduled 20 km - Race: Civitavecchia half marathon. Of course no problem.
Suggestions?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The gift

Today when I got home from work I found a package from Australia "To the Black Knight of Italy" and, what a nice surprise, it was a gift from the far friends iliketoast and IHateToast (I don't know how they can get well together with such opposite nicknames, but better I mind my own businness).
Inside there were a Nike singlet + scarf, hat and a bag of the aussie rugby! I will wear all of them with pride.
Thank you, thank you very much, in this way you have satisfied my 2 passions: running and rugby. By the way I have already the tickets for the rugby test match Australia-Italia on 11/11/2006 in Rome.
The training is going on despite the hot weather. The meteorologists said that it depends by the warm winds from Sahara. At the moment I am not following a special program: only 4/5 weekly workouts of about 12/14 km. (7.45/8.7 miles), at a relaxing pace, following the feeling of the moment. In this way I am ready to prepare at the best the Florence Marathon by the 4th of September.
In this picture you can see the photo of the Black Knight Army, italian legion, celebrations. From left: Alessandro, Gianni, Sir giorgio, the Black Knight's wife, the Black Knight and the Alessandro's wife. Completely hidden are the wives of Gianni and Sir Giorgio. Why are they hidden?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The raid

Yesterday the Black Knight Army, italian legion, spent a day all together. What a pity we have a big problem to solve: Long Joe didn’t join the Army and now, for us, he is officially a deserter. We need your help to find for him the appropriate punishment.
Anyway, at 06.00 p.m., the glorious Knights met at the Black Knight’s castle to start a hard workout of about km. 13 (8.1 ml): 2 hilly km.; 5 km through the country where we could see ancient roman bridges and enjoy the shadow of the typical mediterranean wood and the final 6 km (half terribly hilly) in the northern part of the city. We began on the sea level to reach a hill 100 metres high to come back on the sea level.
This raid was essential and important because the people, in the city, didn’t show anymore the right respect to the Black Knights. In the last times many runners occupied the streets for their pointless workouts, many cars crossed the roads boring the Italian legion, many children played in the gardens disturbing the concentration of the glorious warriors. As you can understand we didn’t stand anymore this unbelievable situation so we had to show our strenght to all the citizens. Now the Black Knight order rules again!
At 08.00 p.m. there was the official banquet with the wives. It was a great celebration and you can see the pictures on the Sir giorgio’s blog.
War council:
War council. The lady is the Sir Alessandro's wife (the first on the left):
Before the glorious raid. From left: Alessandro, Gianni, Stefano and Giorgio
After the victory. From left: Stefano, Alessandro and Giorgio:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The end

With this post finishes the report of the cruise. Despite the hectic life due to the many activities, the Black Knight and the Queen succeeded in running on the ship twice in one week. The next year we will repeat the experience on a cruise ship and for us it is easier because this is the first and the last port of call where the passengers do the turn around.
Here are other pictures. The fruit market of Barcelona:

Pompei: the Queen with a dog that pretended to be sick. But after some cuddles and a little of food he "came back to the life".
The Black Knight in the aquarius of Barcelona:
The Black Knight outside the Barcelona cathedral:After the cruise the mith of the Black Knight Army increased a lot and, after many celebrations in the cities where the B.K. brought his glory, now the tourists can buy a souvenir of his glorious adventures:
Running update. These are the last days of relaxing runs, mainly one day of rest after 2 workouts of 11 km (6.8 miles): the distance between my house and the beach. On the 4th of september the Black Knight will begin the 3 months training for the Florence Marathon. The goal is a sub 4 hours by 4 workouts every week. During this period only 2 races are scheduled: 01/10 Montalto Half Marathon and 12/11 Civitavecchia Half Marathon.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Chapter 6: Villefranche

The last port of call was Villefranche, a beautiful town between Nice and Montecarlo:
These are 2 views of Eze a village on the hill behind Nice where Tina Turner has a house:
On the left Villefranche and on the right Nice:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Chapter 5: Barcelona

The forth port of call was Barcelona:

The Black Knight on the bridge between the water-front and the city. On the left there is the Cristoforo Colombo column, from there the famous Rambla begins:

A typical Gaudi's building:The Sagrada Familla:

Running update: despite the temperature in july I ran 216.5 km. (134,5 ml) but because of the heat it is impossible to plan a specific program to increase the speed. I entered the last race 3 months ago and I don't know when I will be able to run the next. Maybe on aug. 20 (a 10 km) but who knows?

Meeting: on aug. 16th the Black Knight Army italian legion will meet for a workout and a dinner all together.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Chapter 4: Palma de Majorca

The third port of call was Palma de Majorca:

The castle of Palma, suddendly conquered:
The shame of Spain: the plaza de toros (bullring arena). This is the triumph of the human cruelty. A poor bull, with the horns blunt, enters into the arena with a long knife inside his neck. The people scream and he is scared. The picadores torture him by long lances until the moment they see the blood flushing from the body. Later the banderilleros enter and stick the unlucky animal with short lances. When the bull is weak and tired the "heroic" matador kills him!!!! If you want to help the bulls please sign an appeal against the corrida, in internet you can find thousands of associations that fight against this "sport" (???).
I would like to see picadores, banderilleros and matadores naked, no matter if their horns are blunt, inside an arena against an angry bull! Coward, cruel, stupid people!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chapter 3: Malta

The second port of call was Malta:

It was a very hot day in Malta, so the Black Knight left his armour in the wardrobe: On the right side the jogging track; narrow and often crowded:
The Royal Promenade: a deck with shops, pubs, bar, casinò ecc,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Chapter 2: Naples

The first port of call was Naples and the Black Knight with his Queen went to visit Pompei.
The street for the chariots:

In this place there was a roman "fast food" (the B.K. wears the t-shirt of the Roma-Ostia half marathon):

A very special signal on the road. It showed the way to the "red lights district" (lupanare in ancient roman language):

The jogging track on the ship. It's possible to see a running Black Knight:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chapter 1: the ship.

On the last busy morning of july, the Black Knight saw a beatiful ship in the port named Voyager of the Seas and decided to conquest it for the glory of the victoriuos Army. Hidden among the passengers he assaulted the garrison (crew) and the surrender was total. After a fast inspection he was so kind to save their pointless lives. Here are some pictures.
The ship in the port of Malta. The B.K. wears the t-shirt of the italian rugby team:
The B.K. on the deck under the Royal Promenade suddendly renamed the Black Promenade:
The B.K. and his gracious Queen in the Coinnosseur Club suddendly renamed the Black Club:
The rest of the warrior. He cannot spend all his time fighting.
Despite this long adventure the Black Knight doesn't forget to run. The local antibiotic is working very well on the injuried big toe and today he could run the 11 km. (6.8 miles) from home to the beach.
At the moment he is thinking to enter the Florence Marathon on November 26th. Is there any blogfriend interested to wear the glorious black armour in Florence (Firenze)?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Prologue

The Black Knight and his gracious Queen are glad to present

the adventures on the seas by many pictures. After this prologue the following chapters: the ship, the battle of Naples, the battle of Malta, the battle of Palma de Majorca, the battle of Barcelona, the battle of Provence and the end.

During the cruise the Black Knight (see photo) had the possibility to run on the deck 11 (5 laps = 1 mile) but he could only make 2 workouts (1 hour each) because he got an injury on his big toe to cut a painful nail. Now the toe is black and swollen and in this condition it is impossible to train.
The places that we visited are wonderful and we had a lot of fun. However the Black Knight was kind and generous with the people who suddendly surrended. In the photo Villefranche, a little beautiful french town between Nice and Montecarlo.

But not all the people surrended and the Black Knight had to remind what could happen......

I want to thank all the warriors who defended the Black Kingdom during my absence. I will never forget.