Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

One month later the leg is healing but the Black Knight walks slowly even if with no crutches. The problem is the knee that is painful and difficult to flex. I think that I will be able to start the running workouts in early february. However by monday I will begin to swim to recover the muscular strenght.In the photos you can see the long scar, very short compared to the one after the first surgery.

The black Black Knight Army's cat, always ready for an ambush, wishes a merry Christmas to all of you!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The last of the Black Knights

(father and son)
Many things happened in this period of silence. The most important is that the Black Knight is grandpa, the last of the Black Army was born on nov. 24th, his name is Leonardo. Now in the Black Knight kingdom there are celebrations and days of happiness. The proud grandpa gave him his first rugby ball because he must become a flanker in the local team before the definitive glory!
On nov. 28th a medical equipe, by a surgery 2 hours long, removed all the iron inside the Black Knight's leg. Everything went well but I have a little of pain again and I am terribly weak: days and days of fever and tons of antibiotics are the reason. A scar of 25 cm. is the memory of this ultimate adventure.
My dear friends enjoy this Christmas time and best wishes to all of you.
The Black Knight is back, the bionic period is in the past now!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Delay

The surgery, expected on 31st october, was deferred to a later date because of a long waiting list of patients. This is a problem for me because I planned many activities basing myself on that date.
For example the Black Knight accepted the offers, after many persistent requets, to go in tour with the Nightwish and the Queen playing the keyboards (see the photos). He agreed because he wants to show to his subjects also the best part of him and not only the invincible warrior.

The training for the triathlon is going on, I swim 1500 metres easily and I can run 10/15 km. The only problem is the bike because at the moment I have a good pace for only 30 km. (18,6 ml) but here there are roads with much traffic and many uphill, so I can go only when it's possible.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Montalto 10k

Official report:
The mighty Black Knight never satiated with the victories, always looking for new glory, marched pride to the Montalto battlefield to remind to the subjects who rules on those savage lands. As the coward enemy army saw the Black Knight to appear on the horizon, the dread became irrepressible. After a bloody fight 57'40"long, the battlefield filled up of white flags. The enemy surrendered and peace and justice came back to Montalto. This is the photo of the loot of war:

Real report (Confidential -Not to share please!!!!): The official distance was 10,550 km (half - half marathon) but I think it was a little bit more because my pace was regular (split km per km: 5'22", 5'28", 5'26", 5'22", 5'22", 5'18", 5'35", 5'20", 5'25", 5'15") and how is it possible that I covered the final fastest downhill 550 metres long (0,34 ml) in 3'47"??? 3'47" means 6'53" km (11'05"ml)!!!! However the final official time was 57'40" (5'28" km - 8'40" ml). The score was 47° of 56 overall and 3° of 3 in my age group (51-55 y.o.). I could not make more than this in a competitive official race. My leg is heavy and I cannot push or I feel pain. I must be patient and waiting for the surgery with the hope that I will become a normal runner. At the moment I am disable at 17% because of the kind of the fracture and all the "iron" in my leg. However I won (???) a lot of food for the 3° place (see the photo) - even if last in my age group -

Ciao a tutti!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Queen

Hectic period for the Black Knight: many riots to put down, new lands to conquer and victories to celebrate.
As the Black Knight will remove the prosthetis inside his left leg on oct. 31st, the Queen came to Rome to celebrate the event. In a very crowded Palalottomatica they dedicated the unforgettable concert to the invincible Black Knight Army. Here are two pictures that I took during the wonderful performance.
After the celebrations I had to go to Bruxelles to bring peace and justice. After one and half day the city surrendered. Two pictures of the city:
The last but not least: on Sunday the italian black legion will enter the Montalto 10 k. This will be my first real race on a “normal” distance because at the moment I am trained to run 12/13 km (7,45/8,1 ml) at 6’/km (9’39”/ml). I cannot wait for running again on my legs without all that iron inside!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Surgical Operation

The time has come and the Black Knight began the tests and the medical examinations to remove the prosthetis inside his left leg before the end of this year. It is another long surgical operation because the scar will be very long and in the same place of the first one. The doctor said that in the future this will be only a bad dream, but in my opinion it is again a nightmare. In this photo, by a local newspaper, you can see the press conference of yesterday where the Black Knight (on the right) announced his triathlon debut.In the meantime the Black Knight doesn’t surrender and in a total secret way, not to reveal his plans to the enemies, is preparing his first triathlon competition. Swimming and biking are good, only running is slow: between 06’00”-06’20/km (09’39”-10’11”/ml) for no more than 12 km (7,45 ml). He hopes that after the new surgical operation the things will go better.
What a pity, vacation time is only a beautiful memory and work calls! Here are other 3 pictures of the last cruise (Istanbul by night, Mykonos and Capri).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The battle of the Mediterranean Sea

Istanbul (Turkey)

Black Knight and his wife at Efeso (Turkey) - The yellow cap is an Ihate-Iliketoast's gift

Mykonos (Greece)


Onboard

Athens (Greece) with an unknown lady

After a long period of peace the Black Knight decided that had arrived the right moment to expand his dominion towards east. For this reason he sailed by the cruise ship Celebrity Galaxy across the Mediterranean Sea. He conquered day after day Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Athens and Naples. The war campaign lasted 11 days, by August 11th, with Civitavecchia (Black Knight's kingdom) as port of departure and arrival.
During the cruise was very difficult to run because on the ship there were only 5 treadmills and the jogging deck was too short (12 laps = 1 nautic mile) and crowded. Moreover the excursions were long and under a very hot weather so, at the end, we (my wife and I) were too tired to train in an appropriate way. However we ran 3 times for 1 hour on the deck. Bad times are coming, work calls: on monday I will be back to my office and the holidays are only a wonderful memory.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The winner is ....

The contest: I am sorry for the delay in communicating the name of the winner of The Outdoor Journey's competition but I was very busy to finish in time my job for the Nomeports project. I had a lot of reports to fill within the dead line on july 31st.
As 21st Century Mom made, I took the names of the people who are interested in winning the Dan Millman’s book, “Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior", put them on little pieces of paper, shook them up, picked one and ... the winner is .... Lady Anne!!!! Congratulations.
The celebration: To celebrate the Lady Anne's victory, the most famous italian rock progressive band, Le Orme, offered a concert in a little town in Tuscany, Civitella Marittima, to pay honour to the Black Knight and the kind winner. This was another unforgettable concert.

Training: This is a great summer of sport. Swimming across the sea, biking and running in a row. Running is slow again, about 6'30"/km, but I have to wait for the surgery before pushing....if I will be able.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wisdom of the peaceful warrior

I am the proud forth winner of The Outdoor Journey's competition having been picked by winner number 3, 21st Century Mom. CurlySu was the first and Triboomer the second winner. There is still one chance to win the book-- just leave a comment here and let me know if you're interested.
This is your chance to get one of five autographed copies of Dan Millman’s fantastic book, “Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior”. (click here to read hak's review)
Here’s how it will work:
1) From July 2 to July 15, 2008, post a comment at the bottom of the post stating that you want to enter the contest. Make sure to include your blog’s name and URL.
2) At the end of the month, one winner will be randomly selected. Let’s call this winner "Blogger July"
3) "Blogger July" will get two copies of the book: One copy signed by Dan Millman that he or she can keep and one book that CurlySu, TriBoomer, 21st Century Mom and the Black Knight will sign.
4) At this point, "Blogger July" writes a review of the book on his her blog, linking back to the blogs of TheOutdoorJourney.com, CurlySu, TriBoomer, 21stCenturyMom and Black Knight (who in turn link to each other throughout the tour). The passed along book will have everyone’s autograph on it and we’ll ship it back to Dan Millman to add to his personal library…the book that has gone around the world.
Are you game?
Hop on in! Leave a comment stating your interest, the name of your blog and your URL and I'll pick a winner at the end of the month!
Summer activity: Waiting for the surgery in october, the Black Knight enjoys this season running slowly, swimming across the sea and biking (in this photo there is a ridiculous Black Knight on his bike).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Sorcery

The scared enemy, taken good note of the Black Knight’s rising, understood that the battles were pointless against the powerful Black Army. So after many bloody and humiliating defeats they decided to try new strategies, for this reason the evil enemy hired a cruel wizard who organized a dirty trick.
The day after the Race of the Cure, that wizard made a sorcery and the Black Knight, during a workout, put both his feet into a rope and felt heavily on the ground. He spent all the afternoon in the emergency room for the check up and the x-rays said that he had a strong contusion on the forearm, the elbow and the ribs and an abrasion on the knee. It was very painful and the sleeping was difficult. The Black Knight had to rest for 20 days before coming back to run and bike as the “bionic” leg permits.
To celebrate the end of the bad times the scottish minstrel Mark Knopfler offered a concert in Rome to pay honour to the Black Knight. This was the list of the songs: Cannibals, Why Aye Man, What It Is, Sailing To Philadelphia, True Love Will Never Fade, The Fish And The Bird, Hill Farmer's Blues, Romeo & Juliet, Sultans Of Swing, Marbletown, Postcards From Paraguay, Speedway At Nazareth, Telegraph Road, Brothers In Arms, Our Shangri La, So Far Away, Going Home [Theme from Local Hero].
The Black Knight was so kind to applaud the unforgettable performance.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Race for the Cure

Today the Black Knight Army entered the Race for the Cure, the famous 5 km to raise funds against the breast cancer. 8 brave Black Warriors conquered the capital running through a wonderful route in the heart of the ancient Rome: the most important and beautiful monuments are there. As usual the enemy Army, about 40.000 people, surrendered in less than 30 minutes!
(36804 the Black Knight - 36802 Elisa the daughter - the Man in Black the son)
The report. 5 crowded km with uphill and downhill under a heavy rain. The “bionic leg” didn’t have a good support on the wet characteristic cobblestones but the Black Knight didn’t mind and finished the fastest run after the surgery: 29’10” (real time) – 29’55” official time. The split km per km: 06’00” – 05’55 – 05’48” – 06’03” – 05’23”.
Recovering update. The Spanish doctor told that I can remove the hardware because my body is “strong” but I must not run before the surgery. Indeed I don’t follow his advice, it would be a tragedy for me, so I decided to run 3 days a week on the soft ground and the other 4 to alternate swimming, biking and lifting weights. This could be a good solution.
Summer is coming: happy running!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Coming back to life


Recovering update. Another month has gone and the “dreadmill” is a good therapy to rehabilitate the broken leg. Every other day I run (???) on the dreadmill or on the soft ground of the parks not to overload the knee, again weak because the vast femoral muscle is not totally rebuilt. At the moment my running autonomy is 30 minutes but at only 8 min./km (12’50”/ml), walking fast is not anymore a problem. The other 3/4 days of the week I alternate swimming (1250-1500 metres in 45 minutes) and lifting weights at the gym.
On april 18th I will have another medical check in Rome (with a very famous surgeon who cared the soccer player Ronaldo in Madrid) to know if I can remove the “hardware”.
Coming back to life. This morning the Black Knight entered a not-competitive 3 km. race in his kingdom. He was angry because many enemies believed that he would have not anymore fought against the barbarian tribes. What a bloody mistake. He was there ready to defeat all the swindlers and the cruels enemies. The battle was fast and glorious, after 19’45” (real time) 20’40” (official time) the rebels surrendered.
The serious Vivicittà race report. It is a path mainly flat but with a long uphill in the middle. The not-competitive runners were only 40 persons mostly walking people, but never mind, I had to test my condition for the first time on the asphalt. The split is: 6’43” (official time 7’28” for the crowded start) – 6’45” and 6’28”. The difference due to the uphill between the 1st and the 2nd km. The strategy was only to maintain a regular pace to finish without damaging my knee.
The special guest. My wife Daniela was so kind to run with me all the whole race.
The Black Knight is back!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Gift

Healing update. In this last period the Black Knight had many medical checks and the responses were good for the man but not for the runner. The surgery was perfect and the thigh bone heals fast but the fracture is complicated, the scar is long and in the leg there is much "iron". The doctors advise not to remove the hardware not to risk an infection. As the incident occurred while I was coming back home from my office, I claimed the damages and the recognition as a "job accident". The doctor of the Public Institute I.N.A.I.L. established that I am disable at 16%. The same said the doctor of the Insurance. Now I know that I can walk without problems but I will not be able to run as fast as before that damned Sept. 18th, 2007.
Training. Of course I don't surrender and now the training routine is more complete. I rest only one day a week and on the other six I work hard in the gym lifting weights (also with the injuried leg) and in the swimming pool. But the great news is that I run even if only one minute for 8/9 times during a fast walk on the "dreadmill": in one hour I succeed in covering about km. 6,200 (ml. 3,85). Running on the road is again painful for my knee.
The gift. Yesterday I received this beautiful gift, a wonderful memory: the picture! It was shot on Oct. 16th, 1974 (yes, 34 years ago!) before the rugby match Civitavecchia - Ile d'Oleron. Civitavecchia is my home town and the Ile d'Oleron is a french navy team. The final score was 43 - 10.  The Black Knight (under the arrow) was a young wing 18 y.o.
The picture is moving because now 4 of those Civitavecchia players are playing rugby in heaven. Ciao Gianfranco (flanker), ciao Giorgio (wing), ciao Cecco (lock), ciao Sergio (the best scrum half who I have ever seen), I will never forget you.
                                                    (The B.K. is under the arrow - click on the picture to enlarge) 

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Battle of Dublin

(Wicklow County)
(War cemetery after the victory of the Black Knight Army)
(the mythic Temple Bar)
IRELAND: The Black Knight and his son Paolo went to Dublin to watch the rugby match Ireland - Italy. It was the occasion to visit the city and the beautiful County of Wicklow. The final score was 16-11 for Ireland and this got the B.K. very very angry so he decided to conquer the Emerald Isle. The battle was bloody and after 4 days under siege the enemy surrendered.
TRAINING (???): 5 months ago I broke badly my femor and at the moment I don't succeed in running because the muscle over the knee is again too weak. The rehabilitation program continues: every week 4 days swimming (1500 metres + exercises for the leg) and 3 days working hard in the gym. Plus electric stimolations for the quadriceps. I left the "dreadmill" to start to walk again on the road as fast as I can.....dreaming my first real run.

Happy running!!!!!

(Ireland - Italy 16-11)








Friday, January 18, 2008

Ireland

Day after day the leg heals and the Black Knight must walk without the crutch: this is a strong order of the orthopaedic surgeon.
At the moment I am learning not to limp counting the steps as if I marched: one-two-one-two!
But the Black Knight doesn't forget that the enemy is on the borders always more arrogant and cruel; for this reason he follows a drill program on the ground and across the water to be ready to fight again.
Five days a week he swims 1500 metres and after he makes the rehabilitation into the swimming pool (jumps, runs and walks).
Everyday he works on the "dreadmill" walking as fast as he can, sometimes getting a little help resting his hands on the guides.
In the meanwhile he has planned an expedition to submit the enemies who live in Ireland. He will also be there to watch the match Ireland - Italy of rugby.
I am sure that the Irish Black Legion, after the enemy's surrender, will support the Irish team but....the Black Knight is a good fearless leader and will forgive his brave allied (indeed at the moment the only Sir Thomas).