Monday, August 31, 2015


August 2015 - This month both the swimming pools have "vacation times" and open in late morning for few hours. For this reason the only possibility is the open sea .... but my wife loves the sand beach and with such depth it is difficult to follow a direction while swimming. I prefer the rocks because the water is cleaner and I can see where I am going. Never mind, less swim more runs.
Stats: Run 150 km (15 workouts) at the pace of 6:00/km (9:40 m). Swim who knows? I think 7/8000 meters in open sea.
Programs: a monthly race but only for fun, to spend a different day in some beautiful town and eat special local food. I could say "running tourism".
Here are 2 photos by night that I have taken this month:

August 1987 - On august 30, 1987 I ran the Vivicittà World, the event that opened that IAAF Championship in Rome. You can imagine the heat: the start was at 10.00 a.m., crowded and all the route under the sun. Because of a mistake of the organization, the 12 km became 13,7 (wrong indications) and they didn't succeed in filling the ranking. I remember how tough it was, the divings into the historical fountains of Rome to refresh the body and the high number of dnf. A nightmare not to forget. My finishing time was 1:02:08 (4:32/km - 7:18/m).
   Have you ever lived a nightmare like that?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Running Update. I keep on running cautiously every other day with no special works to avoid injures and no long distance runs because of the unusual heat. The pace is quiet (6:00/km) and the workouts are always a little bit more than 10 km. Usually I run from my house to the beach (11 km).
The swimming pools open late so my swims are in open see when possible.
In July I ran 113 km (11 workouts) and swam 11500 meters.

Clandestines. In these latest days I received the visit of 2 gentlemen. The seagull now is the owner/guardian of the garden and the cat, more courageous, found a comfortable accommodation inside my dining room.

Vacation again. Here are other 3 photos of the trip to Valle D'Aosta.

Nice week to everyone or as Jill says: run strong my friends

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A short vacation in Valle d'Aosta

I just got home after a short vacation (one week) with my wife in Valle d'Aosta (northern Italy). We also did 2 stops at half way in Chiavari (Liguria) before and, on the way back, in Montecatini (Tuscany).
The places are wonderful and we could see, from short distance, the highest mountains of Italy: Monte Bianco and Cervino. I also had the possibility to run twice through the city of Aosta but, both the times, I never met other runners. The workouts were easier because of the perfect temperature and the altitude. Unfortunately I didn't find "normal" swimming pools.

Here are some images of the trip:

1) While feeding a blackbird and a sparrow outside the hotel:

2) The castle and the promenade of Chiavari:

3) A rainbow over Aosta after a rainy storm:

4) The mountains over Courmayeur:

5) The medieval Fenis castle:

6) The Blue Lake near Cervinia:

7) The ancient town of Montecatini:

8) Monte Bianco, the highest mountain of Italy:

9) The Prè St. Didier river:

10) The Cervino mountain over the town of Cervinia:

11) And this is a shame, a slaughter of rock goats in the Sarre Castle (former property of the italian kings until 1946).

Where will you spend your summer vacation?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

S. Marinella Running Trophy

The Race. Last saturday I went to run with Giorgio the S. Marinella Running Trophy, 7.150 km on an impossible path full of uphill (see the elevation chart). 

The evening was hot and humid and we had to race through some crowded streets full of people (there was a fair) and near columns of cars with the engines running. After the 1st km I understood how tough could be to push so I was so wise to take it easy like a normal workout. I made the right decision because many runners "surrendered" and someone needed the ambulance. I remember one of them 1 km far from the finishing line sitting down on the ground with the head between his hands and another one fallen after the end of his run. I don't understand how it is possible to organize such races. Moreover there were not appropriate drinks to recover the lost fluids but only water and, of course, no official photos. This is the only one I have found on a local magazine: 

Never mind, later we enjoyed a good dinner with pizza and coke.
Stats: 128 of 180, finishing time 39:11 (5:29/km - 8:49 m).
I spent all the day after to rest: the morning lazy on the beach, a nap in the afternoon and evening at home. 
Have you ever had similar experience?

Marc Knopfler - 3 days after I went with my wife Daniela to the Marc Knopfler's concert. Two hours of great music!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The visit

Yesterday I received the welcome visit of Marcia and her family: the husband and 2 beautiful girls. They arrived here on board the Emerald Princess, a big cruise ship. We spent a nice day together in Rome where we met Sir Giorgio who planned with me the "touristic tour". Unfortunately our wives could not come with us for last minute problems. 

We visited Piazza del Popolo,  Spanish steps, Trevi fountain, the shop streets (Via del Corso e via Condotti), the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Coliseum (see photos below). We had lunch near Campo Marzio, the historical place where Julius Caesar was killed. Thank you Marcia (and family) for your much appreciated visit.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Orbetello Night Run

Prologue: At last I have raced. Last friday, with Sir Giorgio, I went to Orbetello, in the green part of Tuscany named Maremma, to run the Orbetello Night Run, 6.9 km (4 laps) through the narrow streets in cobblestone of the beautiful ancient town. The start was at 09.00 p.m. but the weather was still hot and humid. Of course I have run only for fun and I was so wise not to push to avoid possible injures. After the race a good italian dinner in a typical restaurant.
Stats: 6.9 km in 35:14 (5:06/km - 8:13/m) my PW on the distance. 141° of 162 ... almost the last.
Here are some photos of the place, before and during the race, the well deserved swag.
I hope to race again soon, but no more plans!

Thursday, July 02, 2015


June 2015. June started well with regular sessions of swimming and running but, in the second half, I had a 4 days stop for a little injury on my back due to a stupid effort to lift my scooter. For this reason I couldn’t participate the duathlon in Tuscany. Now the things go well but the weather is very hot and I am a little bit tired because too busy at work. I don’t want to shedule races, I will do them when possible.
Stats: Running 126,9 km/78,8 m (12 workouts) – Swimming 9300 meters (6 workouts) + a swim in open sea.
During the stop I spent one day in Rome with my wife. Here you can see a wonderful pizza and pepsi that I had for lunch and a very welcome guest who appreciated a lot a cookie with ice cream.

June 2005. The glorious, invincible, fearless Black Knight Army was founded 10 years ago. This is the photo of the first official dinner (see the “uniforms” on the table).

Have a good July

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Idiot in the pool and a little bat

Running/swimming update. Summer is coming and now it’s hard, because the hot weather, to run after 08.00 a.m. and before 06.30 p.m. However I always choose paths with fountains to refresh myself during the second half of the workouts. In june I have started again to train regularly  even if the pain on the lower back is not completely disappeared. Slow runs of about 10 km in 1 hour and 1500 meters of swimming. Races: I am thinking at a duathlon on june 28th in Tuscany: 7 km trail and 1900 meters swimming in open sea.
Idiot in the pool. In this period the swimming pools are full of people (maybe because most of them think to be in time to look fit on the beach in the near future) and it is very easy to meet stupid and rude persons. For instance a woman keeps on complaining, screaming against everyone, because she pretends to stay alone in the lane. The reason? She is “too fast compared to the others”, yes it is right but only why she wears very very very long fins and large hand paddles. While swimming she doesn’t care, she knocks every person ahead. I only said: "next time I come back in this lane with a pair of fins, I overwhelm you and the slower leaves the lane". I received a standing ovation from the other swimmers. Believe me, I will do it!!!
The bat. On Sunday I found this little (for size, but adult) bat with a slim rope around his wing. After the first cures my wife fed him with milk and water and the day after we brought him to the bat shelter where we got bad news: his right wing is in necrosis. We hope he can survive to come back to freely flight in the night.

Monday, June 01, 2015


May 2015. This was another not so good month because I had to take 2 weeks off: the first after a little surgery to remove a mole and the second for a painful lumbar sprain. At last yesterday I have made the first workout after the forced rest, a slow relaxing 10 km in 61:00.
Stats: Running 92.9 km/57.7 m (9 workouts) - Swimming 5200 meters (3 workouts).
However, during the break, I made a short trip for pleasure visiting some places in Marche region (photos 1-2) and a wonderful town built on a rock named Vitorchiano (photos 3-4-5).

May 1989. 26 years ago I run a half marathon through the beautiful green Tuscany country around Grosseto. My finishing time was 1:33:51 (4:27/km - 7:10/m) and I was 92° of 148. In the photo I am the n° 153).

Have a good month of running, biking, swimming and hiking.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Tag your IT

I was tagged by Karen of Fair and Freckled to share my running favorites with you.
She has many great posts about running on her blog
Thank you Karen for tagging me.
I will tag Amy, Giorgio and all the blogger friends who would like to join.
Favorite running place. My favorite running place is a path who runs between my city and S.Marinella inside the green country and near the sea. The scenery is wonderful and the only noise you hear are the singing birds.
Favorite RaceI don’t have a favorite race even if I miss the races of the past (no more organized now) with few runners when we were pioneers of this sport: I mean early 80s. Below a photo of a race I have run in 1986:

Now I like to run where I can enjoy the scenery and the atmosphere. I can say: some races in Rome near the ancient monuments or inside green parks, the Florence marathon most of it through the historic centre, Edinburgh 10 miles and Parkrun, Athens 10 km and Berlin half marathon. Below the photos of my Marathons in Rome (1991) and Florence (2006):

Time of the day. I would like to run in the middle of the morning to enjoy the warm sun (obviously not in summer) but as I must work as the common humans have to do, I usually run at 07.00 a.m. before going to my office.
Ideal weatherConsidering the local weather: not summer because too hot and not spring because I have some allergies. Winter and fall are ok but I give my best at sunset under a light rain: it reminds the glorious time when I played rugby (middle 70s). Below a photo after a workout under the snow in 2012 (rarely it happens here):

Fuel. During the workout/race only natural water, after the effort a simple dose of magnesium and potassium to recover:

Rewards. At the end fresh water, but I also consider a special reward the fountains during a workout in summer. After a race Coca Cola with lemon. However a good swag is always well accepted if it contains nice memories such as t-shirt, keyring or something else.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April (and the trip to Tallinn)

April 2015. This was a not so good month because a painful prostatitis that lasted 20 days but, despite the problem, I didn't give up and I kept on training. Of course the treatments with antibiotics made me become weaker, so I ran shorter distances at a slower pace (a little bit under the 6:00/km - 9:40/m).
Stats: Running 94.7 km (58.8 m) in 10 workouts - Swimming 11.200 meters in 7 workouts. 
Tallinn. I also spent 3 days in Tallinn (Estonia) to attend an ESPO meeting on the sustainable development in the maritime transports. Here are 3 photos of the city: 

And here are some memories of the "Medieval night" organized by the local Port Authority: what do you think about the "orbs" in the 2nd photo?

April 1987. 28 years ago! See how different my outfits, the cars and the building were. My shoes were the famous Nike Elite Classic. The stats of that race: 11 km in 50:47 (my slowest race of the year). I was 61° of 73.

Have a good running, swimming, biking May