Saturday, May 02, 2009

Goodbye to race (sorry for the long post)

My running life changed on 18 Sept. 2007 when the motor-bike incident broke my leg. I had the illusion to come back to a normal running life, for this reason I decided for another surgery to remove all the prosthesis (28 Nov. 2008). The recover was long and I began a running program; day after day the run was easier and faster but on 29 Marc. 2009, during a hilly race I damaged my left knee (the injured leg). By that day I could not run anymore. I tried with the bike but the pain is always strong. Only swimming helps a little to stay in shape.
I am sure that the knee heals but I need time and I will always be scared of injuring again the leg.
After many thoughts and considerations I made the sad decision to say goodbye to race. I cannot risk to rest for weeks because of an effort to finish a little bit before. I am not so wise to slow down when the pain "calls".
Now I want to stay fit and when possible I will begin to alternate running, biking and swimming but without pushing.
I think that this is the right moment to weigh up successes and failures of 24 years of running and 172 races. In this period the Black Knight conquered Athens (10k), Edinburgh (10 ml), Berlin (half marathon) and many italian cities.
  • 15 oct 1989: For the first time 1st in his age group;
  • 18 nov 1990: My first marathon (3.48.04);
  • 09 dic 1990: The first race under the 4'00"/km (6'26"/ml);
  • 01 apr 1991: The best marathon in 3.34.09;
  • 17 mar 1991: The best half marathon in 1.31.58;
  • 13 feb 1996: Qualified for the National Navy cross team (8 members) The B.K. was in the Navy in the period 1977-1997;
  • 12 nov 2006: Half marathon italian champion of the port workers (age group).
  • 14 apr 1985: The first race and ... last at the arrival;
  • 17 mar 1996: Italian championship of cross (La Maddalena naval base as member of the official Navy tem) 80° of 90;
  • 1993 and 1998: no races;
  • 1994 and 2002: only one race.
However this is not the end but the start of a new different sport life. The Black Knight never surrenders.
Here you can see the Black Knight (making "hi") with some collegues in Barcelona:


  1. celebrate your victories and accomplishments. Sorry to hear that you won't race anymore, but you're making a good decision. If in time you can run again, then do it for fun, not the competition... if you can. All the best :)

  2. A toast to the many accomplishments of the Black Knight!

    Fitness is an admirable and worthy goal in and of itself. So train as you can ... but remember you never truly know what the future will hold.

  3. Yes, a toast, and I second what Wendy says - you do not know what the future may hold...

  4. Impressive running history! Congratulations to you for that.

    More congratulations to you for being smart and strong enough to know when it's time to start new challenges!

    I'm sure you'll do very well at any sport you decide to conquer!

  5. i have found with my injury that i am lopsided. i none of us are symmetrical, but those who have had serious injuries come out even more uneven.

    i think it's good that you swim. i was wondering about your kingdom's safety from the water's edge.

    i hope you keep us posted on your fitness. ... and the safety of the kingdom and the queen.

  6. So starts a new chapter in the life of the mighty Black Knight. Remember, the Black Knight has many other challenges to face and defeat before he sets down his sword!

  7. I can understand what a difficult decision it was to decide not to race. But, you know, there is something very pure and beautiful in running just to run and enjoy and not with fear. I think you've taken up a noble cause, which must be how you acquired your knighthood initially. You have not let racing defeat you; you've only taken up a new strategy to make it your friend again.

  8. it's probably a very wise decision to prevent further damage so that you can continue to rule the other events!

  9. Congrats on all your accomplishments and best of luck with your new direction. I ran for 25 yrs without ever considering running a race. And I still enjoying just running for fun, perhaps more than competing, actually.

  10. I think that's something all runner's fear. You've had a great race life, celebrate it and enjoy your new sport life - with less stress and more fun!

  11. Sorry to hear of your setback. They do say when one door closes, another opens. I know you will find that open door while you heal and who knows what the future will bring if you stay motivated and upbeat. Good luck!

  12. I'm sure that was a very difficult decision for you to make. I agree that it is difficult to not be competitive in a race, but it is more important to be able to walk when you are eighty years old. I hope your knee heals soon. And I second what I Hate Toast said; please do keep posting about your life.

  13. so sad to hear but I know you are doing what is best for you at this time. Let me tell you a little secret my training runs are the slowest, I may be a race addict but I feel my best when I'm on my traning runs. the mind is free the body is free and you go with the flow at least that is just how I do it. I hope every thing goes well for you. Please continue to post about your activities.

  14. Just enjoy being able to ride, swim and run for pleasure. You have some fantastic achievements and deserve to be very proud. You are in my thoughts. Take care and please keep us posted about your activities. We have such wonderful memories of your beautiful country.

  15. Although a wise one, you have made a very difficult decision for you have enjoyed racing. You will see that you'll find a balance and will enjoy running without the competition and in time, running will give you again what it always did, peace, happiness, the sense of being alive. Look for that balance and conquer again.

  16. I think it is great that you have decided never to race because you are competitive and only race to win.

    I think your leg will need a long time to heal and by not racing you will give it that time.

    I'd also like to say that 'never' is a very long time. Sometimes never is longer than it needs to be. Enjoy your long rest but if you get tired of resting before 'never' is over it's okay.

    Happy swimming and easy biking and please keep us updated on the state of your kingdom!

  17. Buonasera Cav.Nero!

    I am alive and running still.
    This past weekend i raced a 100km race and came 3rd!I will write a report soon!!

    Primo Assassino

  18. That's a fine list of accomplishments (you're fast!); and I don't see any failures. More like a few campaigns of disinformation, to keep the enemy guessing. You'll do well and conquer many territories with your new regimen.

  19. The warrior within you has led you to make a wise choice so that you may carry on to win in other ways against the woeful wanna-be warriors of this world! Whoo!

  20. you have done great! lots ot be proud of. Thanks for following my blog I am on the tapper part of my training and feeling good. Been sort going through some tough stuff since I moved out of my boyfriends home but overall I am doing well. Time to go run a marathon LOL

  21. I'm glad to hear the Black Knight isn't surrendering! Races are just one piece of the running experience, and it sounds like swimming is a good outlet for you, too. Can't argue with no pain!!

    I look forward to seeing what adventures you'll experience next.

  22. I am sure the decision was not an easy one to make, and I feel for you. Nevertheless, I am certain that the Black Knight will find many other realms to conquer.

  23. It looks like you had a very good run for many years. Sorry that you won't be racing anymore but we know you will stay fit and still enjoy life and what running you partake in to the fullest!