Friday, January 23, 2009

Following the schedule ..

Wow .. how nice to be able to write that things are progressing as per the scheduled program (lately it hardly happens to me)

Last week the three main (I mean the obligatory) training sessions have been completed as I should have done them and with some extra margin too (how uncommon). This means that the 10x400. This meant all the 10 repeats under the scheduled time, then the 12 km of the "medium run" .. i had to ran them in in 5:15 and I completed them in 5:04/km avg time. The long run on sunday was a 22km to run in 5:45/km, it became for me an unforgettable 21 km in the fog and in hilly woods at the avg time of 5:27/km

This week I luckily did not feel heavy from the past week and so I completed well the very feared 25min warming + 10x800. The first repeats were slightly above the scheduled time but rpt after rpt the time got better and from 5 to 10 i was solidly on time or below. Mid week I have run a "medium run" of 15 km. Again I had to run them at 5:15/km. I completed them with a smile at the avg time of 5:07/km and with the last three km below 5mins / km. On top of this the course was not flat and this makes me feel doubly happy. Now I let myself rest for 24 hours (maybe short runs or bike) and I am really looking forward for sundays long run - 26 km.

Next week is going to be quite tough as I am reaching the moment of maximum load .. we will see.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just few words ... and .. a RUN

The throat was better today and .. how could I avoid running ?
So as the rest of the family decided to get a short afternoon rest to be more awake tonight I went out for a run.
5 miles very hilly and pumping, there was basically noone around and I felt good. I admit that it was one of those days in which as a runner You 'feel' the road and every stride You take, and it was like this for 40 mins. Just wonderful.

I ran in progression and now I am back home, time for a shower after this update, and ... tonight ... a dinner with friends
I love life.

In the meantime .. I decided for the running goals of 2009.
I'll post them in the next blog

Happy new Year to EVERYBODY

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve Run

On the 23rd afternoon, after the kids went to bed and the wife decided to take a couple of hours with them I decided it was the perfect time to string my shoes and go out for a run.
At first i wanted to pick the car and go somewhere for a relaxing run in the woods (also because of the wave of cold that decided to hit our region), but then, also considering the duties and the limited time before we had to get ready to visit my parents I decided to start from home and head uphill.
So Christmas turned out to be the time for a course that I wanted to "explore" since a great deal of time. One mile km up and I reached the university campus that stands on the hills of Trieste, and then from there I kept running uphill to reach a very narrow "shortcut" that basically climbs the hill with no mercy to reach very top of the hill of Trieste. The road is the "infamously steep" Via dei Baiardi. A place that I like a lot and one of the many steep road that surround Trieste and indigenous people here loves. Actually it is also a very good place for living as You have a gorgeous view to the Bay and the city. After the Milano Marathon I did not really hit hard on any running session and from Jan 1st I will be training again for the next Marathon so I wanted to test myself and .. feel that pain that we, runners, seems to love so much.
I had to really slow the pace and pant and mumble but I made it. Once on the top I decided to keep running till the summit, but at that point the slope was muuuuuch less, As i reached the obelisk statue I turned 180 and headed back home, this time trying to push a bit and taking the less steepy and much longer route.
Overall 13 km that made me happy because once I looked at the split times I realized i was pretty progressive
Very happy about the run I arrived at home to have my two little creatures waking up and wanting to jump on me and pillow fight.

Now THIS is a wonderful way of celebrating Christmas !!

Cheers and enjoy life, Merry Christmas, to anyone who decides to run this clumsy lines written in bad english by a crazy italian


Monday, December 22, 2008

Trieste - Christmas Run - 5k Race

Trieste 14 Dec 10:30 AM is the scheduled time for the "Corsa di Natale" (Christmas Run).

This is THE classic 5k city run that year after year has consolidated itself as the fun-run of the Xmas Period in my city. The race takes place around the very center of the City and so, at the end, even if for most it is just an excuse to run 5k with kids and friends that normally does not run this is an event to which few die-hard runners of the city says no.

And I admit I DO fall in these temptations quite easily :-)

After the Milano Marathon - (and I promise I am going to post a looong report about that soon) - I had not run a race so I was somehow excited and boiling at the idea to stand behind a starting line.

Unfortunately the weather as i woke up was not exactly what you hope to find for such a race. VERY grey sky, and a thin constant rain, that type of rain that seems to tell you .. "Dont count on it, I am going to keep falling all day long, man".
Ok, I say myself, at least there are no doubts about what I am going to wear. Being a wet day and not being freezing cold I decided to go for a no sleeves upper section and running shorts (I like having the legs free, for a short race in particular). On the head i decided to wear a (TA DA !!!) a Santa Klaus hat, and leave the option of not using gloves.
As I arrive in the Main Square (Piazza Unità), the situation seems to be rather desolating and non inspiring :-( I queue with few others, under the rain, to register for the race and receive the bib. The faces are the ones that I know and encounter often in city races, we proceed slowly in the queue, wetting our jackets. After the ritual I walk back to my car (stopping for a tight espresso). I take out one layer of clothing and do some warming up and then getting back to my base where I change my clothes to the race outfit, to complete the warming all ready.

As I do this the rain gives us a break and so I look up at the sky and realize that we could be lucky and I could eventually enjoy a run in shorts and no wind and rain ! wow

20 mins before the race I am ready and I start the final warming. Very slow run, some easy sprints just to let the legs go and then i gather to the starting line with friends. The normal pre-race routine that I do have and to which I am attached and bring me good sensations. This times we are there under amused looks of passengers, strangers, city tourists .. who seems to enjoy this cheerful group of people wearing strange hats of red dresses and getting ready for a running race.
As I am there I realize that a lot of people has actually gathered. Good, it is going to be a real race too, there are members of the small running group I belong to (alot of them). There is also Lorenzo (a physicist who started running many years ago) then Graziano and all those faces of the TRieste runners, old and young who does not miss a race.
Ok, I get my place in the crowd but this time not really behind because there is also a good number of people who seems to be there for a walk and I dont want to have to zigzag too much.

Ready - Set - Go. Started, and you never know how fast you go at start in these races, unless You are free to run at your pace. After the first half mile I hear two persons saying they wanted to start slow but we are going at 4min/km. Good i say to myself, more or less what I wanted. Then I feel we are going faster respect to what i also wanted but i am not figthing at all. I see Pino that slowly gain respect to me and being a much faster runner I like seeing him getting space like that, bit by bit. As I run a girl is keeping my same pace, I hope she feels comfortable with that pace so that I can have a reference point. First km is passed, 4:11 min. I keep running with her but half of the second km i give a look at the chrono and i see we are going too slow !! i push a bit in the second half and i close the second km in 4:24 (grrr). Km 3 is the toughest part as we are going for uphill constantly for 600 mt. I nkow this is the focal point point because ending this in good condition is the key to end well. After having left behind the running girl uphill I am reaching Lorenzo (that normally in these short races is always ahead of me) and this gives me good morale. I run the 3rd km together with Graziano, which is much more experienced than me and has better PBs. Good. As we descend Graziano moves in front of me and I dont know if i have to follow or not, I decide to let him go because I feel it is starting to be tough. 3rd km concluded in 4:16. As the descent is finished I see Graziano still only 10-20 meters ahead and I start thinking that maybe I did a mistake and should have stayed with him, because he is not gaining on me now. I decide to keep the distance between us as much as I can. I close the 4th km in 4:10 and I still have the same gap with him. I know there is not much to run left and I keep telling myself I can keep this pace. i keep Graziano there while Lorenzo is not behind me anymore.
In between my grasping for air in the last km I smile thinking I came to this race for having fun and I am indeed having tons of fun. As we turn the last road to approach arrive in the Main Square again I see that Graziano has only 10 15 mt max again. i let my legs go without really sprinting but he is doing the same, and so I just concentrate on running easy and faster, just that. I arrive and i see Leila and the kids there, cheering me. Final km in 4:06.
Summarizing the average per km was - 4:11 / 4:24 / 4:16 / 4:10 / 4:06

The final time as i watch my Garmin is 18:40 but the display shows 4.5 Km. I am happy anyway,, with a better 2nd km and a more daring descent in which I would have not just let myself go I could have taken out 10, 15 secs to this time, today this was what I had to give, but i am overall very happy about the condition after the Milano Marathon. And .. besides this .. I arrived ahead of people to which usually I am behind, and Graziano normally is VERY ahead of me, and .. and there there sun came out ! and then .. in the race bag there was coffee and pasta ! And a glass of wine !

and then .. life is great and running is a blessing

Ok, time to dry my sweat and go home and prepare the luggage.
Tomorrow i leave for Paris (work)).