Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hell's bells

Scotland again. One week ago I was in Scotland with my son and here are other photos of the trip:
Rosslyn Chapel:
The Crypta of the Rosslyn Chapel:
St. Andrew:

Flowers of... Scotland in St. Andrew
My son Paolo outside the Castle of Edinburgh:

The Black Knight at Murrayfield:

Training and races. The things go better and sometimes I can carefully run 2 days in a row so, now, my schedule can include more workouts and less swim. This week I have run 3 times (15.1 km - 10 km and 16.9 km; in miles 9.4 - 6.2 and 10.5) and only one training in the swimming pool (1400 meters). April and May are months full of race events: the first will be the Vivicittà 12 km. next sunday. Sir Giorgio and I live 5 minutes walking from the start.

Hell's bells. Yesterday night I received a call from a friend of mine, proud member of the Black Knight Army roman legion. He said: "I have just found the appropriate hymn for our Army: it is the AC DC Hell's Bells, because when we are on the battlefield the other runners must hear the hell's bells"!!!! Laughing I agreed.

The worst race. Until now I have ran 187 races and I remember again the penultimate (Ladispoli 10 k - 13/03/2011) how one of the worst (see the report below) because of the 1500 runners and the narrow path. Here is the picture of the start: see the narrow start, the parked cars and the queue.

Question: What is the worst race you have ever run?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Edinburgh Park Run 5 km.

The Place. A well organised race by volunteers on Cramond. We (my son Paolo and I) arrived 30 minutes before the start and we could not believe how beautiful is the place: it is a seaside village located in the north west corner of the city of Edinburgh at the mouth of the river Almond where it enters the Firth of Forth. We didn't bring the cameras because the runners had to leave the bags unattended on the road.
The Report. It was a flat lap 5 km. long, near the river and through a wonderful green country. The finishing time was 23'13" (4'38"/km - 7'27"/ml), 104° of 252 overall. I was included in the wrong age group 5 year younger (8° of 16), in my a.g. I would have arrived 5° of 22. My son Paolo ran a good race with a finishing time of 27'02" (5'24"/km - 8'42"/ml), 166° of 252 overall.
In my opinion the 5km is the toughest distance to run because we have to push from the first to the last step.
Pics from Scotland. The first in the medieval burgh of Anstruther, the second in St. Andrew, the third and the fourth (crazy!!!!) in Anstruther again.

Rugby: Scotland - Italy 21 - 8. We made this long trip to see a shameful defeat against the brave Scottish. I think we have an inappropriate head coach. However Murrayfield is a glamorous stadium with a special atmosphere and friendly home-supporters (see the photo before the match):Question: What is for you the toughest distance to run?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ladispoli 10 km. - The Anger

The Prologue. A nightmare, a very bad organization on a rainy and windy morning. The list is long: too many runners (1500) for a race through narrow trails and narrow streets with cars parked on both the sides. The last passage in the country was a gate so narrow that only one runner at a time could pass. But the "cherry on the cake" was the chip-time that worked only at the end to record only the finishing time and not the start. After the run it was impossible to get a warm drink because there was only one little crowded desk for the 1500 runners!!!!!

The Report. I began the race in the last pack because I trusted (what a big mistake) the chip. It took me 68" before starting to run but .... I must run the first km. through the gardens and the flower-beds to overtake the slower runners confined in a very narrow street full of parked cars. The finishing real time was 47'41" (4'46"/km - 7'40"/ml), official time 48'49", 800 of 1479 overall and 63 of 132 a.g. The wiser Sir Giorgio ran a fast race starting with the first pack.
In the first picture the Black Knight is on the left with the n° 413, in the second on the background (the last). Both were taken in the last km.

Italia!!!! Last sunday, in a sold out Flaminio stadium (Rome), the italian rugby team defeated France 23-22. It was an unforgettable afternoon and the Black Knight was there!!!! On Friday I will leave for Edinburgh with my son to run the Edinburgh Parkrun and to watch the rugby match Scotland -Italia: come on Azzurri!!!!!! In the last 2 pictures you can see french supporters outside the stadium before the game.

Which is your favorite sport? Of course running doesn't count.

See you next week. Ciaoooooo

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Thank you Lady Angie Bee. I found in my mail box this wonderful gift from Lady Angie Bee I won the "Real Men Wear Kilts t-shirt giveaway". It arrived just in time because next week I go to Scotland with my son, so I will be able to wear this shirt with proud.

Virtual 5k. Detroit Runner(Jeff) organized the "I just felt like running virtual 5k". I have ran that distance yesterday as second part of my 10k workout. The route was easy, flat and with a perfect weather: sunny and warm morning. The finishing time was 24'10". Thank you Jeff.

Training. This week I could not swim because I got a little surgery to remove 2 dangerous moles, however I made 4 workouts: a 20 km. long run with Sir Giorgio and his group, a 12,2 km. tempo run, a 13.4 km. slow run and a 10 km. run including the virtual 5 km.

Ladispoli 10k. Tomorrow the Black Knight Army (Sir Giorgio, the Black Knight and their squires Massimo and Francesco) will march to Ladispoli to subject the rebel people. The invincible Army will meet the regiment led by Sir theyogi coming from south. It will be a deadly tongs: we don't take prisoners. The race is crowded but easy, totally flat with part inside the beautiful natural park of Palo. I think that this time the loot is poor, we will see.

Rugby. I am leaving for Rome to watch the rugby match Italy-France and, as usual, with no chances because we don't have a specialist kicker. Before going to the stadium we will eat this pizza (pictures taken the last time we went to that restaurant near the Pantheon).

Spring. Here it is already spring as you can see looking at the trees of my garden. I am a bit allergic so for me this is not the best period to run. Which is your favorite season?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Roma-Ostia Half Marathon

Prologue. This was my second half after the surgeries (the first one was a 1h56'16" in november 2010) and my goal for the Roma/Ostia was 1h49'49". I followed exactly the scheduled program and on sunday morning I was in Rome, with my new squire Francesco, ready to race. Unfortunately I had to wait in the last corral because that 1h56'16" was not considered sufficient to get a bib to be included among the "real runners"; this meant to begin my run 20 minutes later than the top runners (and 15, 10 and 5 later than the other ones).

Report. Finishing time 1h46'12" at the pace of 5'02"/km (8'06"ml); 5238 of 9486 overall and 363 of 781 a.g. The route was not flat and the pack always crowded. Thanks to this finishing time for all the 2012 I will start my halves in better corrals. As you can see the loot was rich and I also got a k-way. The sunglasses (on the right over the 2 bottles in the picture) are the prize for the business run included into the Roma-Ostia (special category for manager).
The Treadmill. It is a rainy period in this part of Italy. Monday I took a day off to recover after the race, tuesday I went to swim because of the stormy weather, wednesday always storm and thursday heavy rain again, so I prepared my treadmill for the training. Very sad and bored I ran for a long minute on it but immediately I decided to go out and to run under the storm: it was a nice tempo-run 12.2 km long!!!!! I hate the "dreadmill"!!!!! At last today there is the sun so I could run a slow 10 km.

Which was your best "loot" after a race?