Friday, April 29, 2011

Tuscany

Tuscany. I spent 5 days in Tuscany with my wife in an ancient villa, now hotel, built in the late XVI century. It is located in the green country near Florence and situated upon the hills overlooking the upper Arno Valley. Here you can see part of the pool and the wood:
We had relax, we ate good tuscan food and we came back to visit Florence (photos: David in Piazza della Signoria; the Dome and a window outside the Certosa)

and Siena: here is the Black Knight in Piazza del Campo. As you can see all the people were seated on the ground not to disturb the Black Knight during his walk around the square.
The Injury. This is my second week off to recover. Tomorrow I will try to run again. Keeping the fingers crossed.
Did you eat special food for Easter?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The gift and 15 days off

Thank you Jenny. Jenny Davidson was so kind to send me a wonderful gift: her book "The Explosionist" a novel set in Edinburgh. Thank you again Jenny.
The tragedy. I was imprudent, I asked myself too much. Last year I ran 9 races at the pace/km of (in chronological order) 5'03" - 5'05" - 4'55" - 4'51" - 5'06" - 4'46" - 5'07" - 5'31" (half marathon) and 4'49". This year I have already run 6 races improving my speed: 4'59" - 5'02" (half marathon) - 4'46" - 4'38" - 4'52" and 4'40". To achieve this goal I made more workouts at a faster pace and I pushed in every race except the first one. For this reason now I feel a deep pain into my groin and the doctor diagnosed a groin pull. The radiologist said that it is pointless to investigate because all the part could be inflamed and the bone covered by an oedema. To make a note of both the doctors are runners. The cure: 15 days off (not even swimming) and pills for 7 days.
The future. The radiologist, a very good friend, went to check by himself all my x-rays and exams from the date of my incident and he said that I must not anymore run 2 days in a row, I must not anymore push during the races (no more than the 80/85% of my possibilities) and I can only enter one race per month (no marathons). My injured leg has permanent damages: bone broken in more parts and ligaments and muscles cut during the first operation. On the other hand 4 years ago the medical college established that I am disable at 16% and this is the reason.
Another gift. Few days ago a friend of mine gave me this picture (click to enlarge) where you can see the Black Knight (first on the left) and Sir Giorgio (third from left) both in black, of course. The fair-haired woman is the president of our official running team Anna Baby (she is Anna, the owner of a shop for babies and kids).

Easter. Have a very good Easter full of happiness and .... chocolate. I will spend the holidays in the green country of Tuscany with my wife. Do you have any plan for Easter?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Montalto 10 km - Near the podium.

The Legend. Last Sunday the Black Knight Army invaded and conquered the medieval town of Montalto (see the picture):

The platoon was the same of the last year: the Black Knight, Sir Giorgio (9° in his age group) and his squire Massimo. The Giorgio's running mate Paola (4^ in her age group) arrived by herself to close the enemy into a bloody tongs. We didn't accept to take prisoners but we didn't destroy the ancient castle.

The Report. Another tough route because the town was built on a hill but the organization succeeded in finding an acceptable lap. The results: 9.6 km (5.96 ml) in 44'50" at the pace of 4'40"/km (7'31"/ml). 83° of 136 overall and 4° in my age group. the split: 4'42" - 4'40" - 4'26" - 4'40" - 4'37" - 4'33" - 4'30" - 5'12" - 4'56" - 2'33"(600 meters)
At the start I saw that we were few runners and, as usual, the others are fast so I decided to push from the start but I had to slow down during the 8° and the 9° km to recover and to be ready for the final rush.

The Loot. The loot was very rich, there were awards for the first 10 in every age group. I got a big medal, a bag with wine, coffee and pasta and a wooden box with special wine (lambrusco), cheese, fine chocolate and famous cookies (cantuccini of Siena). Even if I am teetotal I am curious to know what is your favorite wine.

The Injury. Now I need a week off from running (but not from swimming) because I have pain into my groin. For this reason I will not enter the Appia Run on sunday.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Vivicittà 12 km.

The Black List. Last Sunday the Black Knight Army (The Black Knight, his son Paolo, the grandson Leonardo, Sir Giorgio and his running mate Paola) ran the Vivicittà 12 km (7,45 ml). This race now is in the black list. It is very tough: 4 laps with a terrible uphill to run 4 times. We live in a city where it is easy to find a better path but the organization perseveres with this one, so we took the decision to say no more!!!!! Other reasons to say "no": we run into the traffic (see the pictures), no swag and many other races around here. How it is possible, in a city of 65.000 people, to gather only 135 runners? I hope that a bell rings in the hears of the organization.

My son Paolo and grandson Leonardo before the race:

The Score. More than a score this is the report of a bloody defeat. Finishing time 58'31" at the pace of 4'52"/km (7'50"/ml). 117° of 135 overall and 107° of 119 men!!!! The women were only 16. Last year I was 122° of 135 with 1h 00'38". My PB in this race is 51'34".

The Mistake. Trying to follow my plan (5'00"/km) I became immediately the last and I had only the ambulance at my back. Because of my stupid pride I pushed and now I have pain into my groin. Have you ever made a similar mistake? The first photo below is a gift of a friend of mine, you can see his works on Album di Angelo Bonarelli.

Here the Black Knight is the last
Here the Black Knight is not anymore the last

Friday, April 01, 2011

The doubt

Training. Last week I wrote that the things go well and I can also run 2 days in a row but I must learn to shut up. Since monday I feel pain on the back, into the neck and in the operated leg, for this reason I have only made 2 slow workouts (11.9 km and 12.1 km) and 1400 meters in the pool. To heal I am following a series of physiotherapy and thermal baths.

Memories. When I changed house I lost all the cups, the trophies, the plaques and a lot of medals. Yesterday I took this photo of the "survivors" and, as you can see, I received the unexpected visit of an alien.


The races and the doubt. From may to june, every sunday there are many events and I have to choose carefully the best. On sunday the Vivicittà (12 k) in my city, on april 10 the City of Montalto (10 k) and on april 17 the Appia Run (13 k). The first (Vivicittà) is a question of honour because it is in my city; the second (Montalto) is the main event because I can enter in the top 10 of my age group; the third (Appia) is a wonderful lap through the most ancient road of Rome, near roman monuments and through a beautiful park. My plan could be to save energy in the Vivicittà (goal 5'00"/k - 8'03"/ml); to push "over the limits" in Montalto (goal 4'43"/k - 7'35"/ml) and to enjoy the sunny morning in Rome (goal 5'05"/k - 8'11"/ml).

What would you do? Is this a good plan or do I have to push in every race?