i woke up yesterday to realise that my legs were just FINE! got on the bike to go to work and ....no, nothing, no pain. i got up and down the steps at work and no, still nothing! what's wrong people??? i thought i run a marathon on monday but maybe i just dreamt about it?! oh no, no...i know what it is...it must be what NUTELLA does to my legs :-)

oh dear...i am aching all over this morning and the official time is ever crapper than i thought: 4:39! there you have it...crap race, crap time :)

yesterday i woke up at 5.20am, in the car at 6am. I felt really exhausted and my eyes were closing. i was so happy i wasn't driving. evelyin though was very energetic. i don't how she does that. i should ask her what she's on :-) when we got to newry we met with some fetchie and once more i forgot to take pictures, silly me! there's one with me and eveylin but i think that for the sake of both of us i should NOT make it public! then off we went. i was supposed to run with geprig who wanted to finish in around 4 hours but wanted to take the first half easy. we knew about the hills, but maybe we didn't know them well enough. i lost him at mile 5 as i had to go to the loo. after that, i put my crappy mp3 on and i did the whole race on my own. at times i didn't see anyone in front of me. i tried to focus on the amazing views of the hills and valley surrounding us instead of the hills we were running on but that wasn't easy. they were tough and never ending. once i thought great this is done now we go down hill another one started. contiunously. i walked twice. i started to feel tired at the 10k marker!!!

half way through we headed back even though not on the same road (thankgod!). we run the second half on a beautiful towpath. we were a bit isolated, there were very few runners around but every now and then the marshalls on the bike would ride along you to ask you if you were fine if you wanted any water or gel. i thought that was a really nice touch. the day was beautiful, sunny, nice breeze and great temperature, at least for me. there was a nice shade on the towpath, which made it easier. well...a bit.

just half way through i started to get a nasty headache, which is very unusual for me, really. i started to think why that was. i was well hydrated, i ate properly for breakfast. i thought, maybe it's the wall, the dreaded wall is coming to get me. i was supposed to take a gel at 13miles but my tummy was a bit upset as usual. i had two choices: take the gel and run away from the wall but risking to upset my tummy too much; not take the gel and risking that my tummy could get worse anyway and the wall will hit me completly. it took me another mile to make up my mind and then i made my decision: take the gel and hope for the best.

my tummy strangely calmed down, but not my headache. my legs were getting tired, my glutei were very stiff. from 13 to 18miles i had to fight my demons. they were telling me to give up, that it was not for me, that i couldn't do it. but i kept going and i won. i crossed that line and got my medal! i kept running all the way through, slowly, grunting but i run. i walked very little, i kept going. the last two miles were hell. my ankles were hurting. the twopath was never ending. the last 800m was more than hell (what's more than hell i don't really know, but you know what i mean). we got into town again and the finish line was not in sight. at the last 200m i saw it. i heard people clapping, loud music and the speaker. i took off my crappy mp3 and i sucked in the nice atmosphere, people screaming when the speaker said my name. i run the bloody thing on my own, i run the last 200m minute on my own and on my own i crossed the finish line.

at the end HowFar? from fetch was waiting for me and that made my day. he had finished in 2:48 in fourth position! amamzing!!! the I met up with BS ans waited for eveylin to cross the line. and she did it in great style taking home her second best time. she and BS will be doing cork next monday....they're barking mad.

when i got to get changed i found out that my periods had arrived during the race. so maybe, after all, it wasn't the wall to give me headache and to take away my energy.

i am disappointed, but not defeated. the 4h mark seems far right now. but, since i've started to train for the 4hs in january i have improved so much. I took off:
3min my 5miles pb
4min my half marathon pb doing by best race to date
17' min my marathon pb

now i'll have to work on my speed and try to get my weight down to 60kg (now i'm 64.5kg). i know that i can do it. the 4h wall will be destroyed. i'm stronger. I WILL WIN, i know it :-)

i haven't got much energy left now to post a complete report. i finished the hardest marathon i have ever done in 4:38. i am a bit disappointed now, but i am sure that after a good night sleep i'll feel a bit better.

i went to put my nick on my fetch vest today but they couldn't do it before friday :-( anyway, I am sure peeps can easily recognize me among 346 runners. I have just found out that there is a guy with an italian name running tomorrow. I'll try to look for him and nag him a bit ;-) i am very good at that!

the weather forecast for tomorrow seems promising so i have decided to admit to myself that it is not true that timeit doesn't matter how long it'll take to finish it....hell it does! i've printed out from the internet a wrist pace band for 4:15 (which will effectively be a massive pb). i'll do the first part quite slowly (@9:47min/mile) since it is the hilly bit and then i'll try to pick the pace up to 9:39....and see how it goes.

right. i did my last run on friday. 40 mins of pure pain! it looks pretty good for monday doesn't it.

this morning 83togo from fetch came to pick me up at 7:20am (!!) to go to newry to register, collect number and chip. it was the first time i met her and we had a lovely journey. she challenged me to spot the sign that says we are across the border which apparently is very difficult to spot and i did!! it was a small one saying that the speed limit was in miles....i'm bloody clever ain't i?? we got to newry quite early so 83togo, who knows the area quite well, drove along the first half of the marathon just to see how hilly it is. they were making fun of me on fecth by saying that it was vey hill that we'd reach a glacier and the snow must have melted by now and stuff like that....as if....but i was getting worried anyway, i so hate hills. well, it is quite ondulating, lots of ups but then lots of downs too....and the second half seems quite flat. so i can relax a bit... until monday morning that is.

the registration was in a shopping centre and i realised only then that we were actually in uk and that i could have brought some pounds with me. instead i had to resort to my card to buy a nice coffee for me and 83togo. at the registration we met HowFar?, another fetchie, and we had a nice chat. then we were back on the car and home in dublin.

i am very excited now about the marathon. the route seems really beautiful. i forgot to take pictures but this one taken from wikepidia gives an idea of the area, i hope:
it is called newry city marathon but in actual fact it starts in the city only to leave it behind and go in the countryside. we'll then turn and head back into town along a towpath which looks quite cute from where we were. so i guess that overall we'll do 4/5miles in the city overall. it's actually almost a rural marathon :-)

i am off to bed now. i should get some rest. i have a(nother) marathon to do (OMG!)



Verse 1

I remember way back way back when
I said i never wanna see your face again
Cause you were loving yes you're loving somebody else
And i knew oh yes i knew i couldnt control myself
And now they bring you back into my life again
And so i put on a face just like your friend's
But i think you know oh yes you know whats going on
Cause the feelings in me oh yes in me are burning strong

Chorus

But I will never be your stepping stone
Take it all or leave me alone
I will never be your stepping stone
Im standing upright on my own

Verse 2
You used to call me up from time to time
And it would be so hard for me not to cross the line
The words of love layed on my lips just like a curse


And i knew oh yes i knew they'd only make it worse
And now you have the nerve to play along
Just like the mistro beats in a song
You got your kicks you get your kicks from playing me
And the less you give the more i want so foolishly

Chorus
But i will never be your stepping stone
Take it all or leave me alone
I will never be your stepping stone
Im standing upright on my own...

No i will never be your stepping stone
Take it all or leave me alone
I will never be your stepping stone
Im standing upright on my own

Never be your stepping stone
Take it all or leave me alone
I will never be your stepping stone
Im standing upright on my own

I am ready (NOT)

yesterday I found out that there would be only 350 people running newry marathon. there are more running the half, but they'll be starting after us. I can see how this is going to develop: I'll be running the whole thing on my own. not sure how I feel about that. for the first time in a race I would have to resort to using my crappy mp3 which I am not sure will go on for 4:30 hours :(

I am not ready I don't think. I feel tired and bloated and I guess the nutella didn't help. my legs feel tired. last saturday I attempted interval training (3x3k) and it was pure pain during the last one even though I got to run for half an hour with my friend simone, winner of connemara marathon simone. so while I was suffering at 9:00min/mile he was basically walking next to me.

monday I did my last long run before newry: 18k, approximately 11 miles. I set out with a new route in my mind 'cause I was tired of running in the same places and simone suggested to go to the red lighthouse in sandymount.

I also decided to set my garmin to give me splits only every 5k (3miles more or less). this is what simone would do and I guess he knows what he's doing since he wins marathons. for the first 5k the route was quite familiar as I go to sandymount for my runs quite often. I felt very tired from the beginning of the run and I was hoping that I would feel better as the run carried on. I was wrong. the second 5k was hell. the path to get to the lighthouse is an off-road one and it goes up and down until it gets to a road with long bits of sand. I found it quite hard and I stopped looking at my watch and just enjoy the landscape which is truly breathtaking. I got to the lighthouse just when I was half way through my run so I decided to stop and have a look around. there was a group of guys doing kite surfing and I was mesmerised by that. it looks really fun!! maybe I should give it a go. I breathed deeply. I love the smell of the sea. I am a sea girl. I grew up on beautful seaside places in italy as my dad was in the navy and I really miss it. so it was great to be at the lighthouse. you can't actually see it from the pic but the sea is on both side of it. beautiful!!

when I turned to go back home my legs felt strangely lighter and so was my breathing. I started to speed up and I felt really strong. I finished faster than I started which doesn't mean that it wasn't tiring, but it was that kind of tiredness which makes you think how great this running madness is!!

this is the graph of that run in km:


not sure what will happen on monday. it's an experiment for me so whatever comes will be good, I guess. I am not looking to pb. I guess I'll finish it in around 4:30 which it's ok. I just want to finish it and learn how to race properly with a smooth and constant pace without too much walking. so there you have it. this is going to be interesting.

I will be meeting (hopefully) some nice fetchies and that will be the best part of the whole experience.

oh dear oh dear!!!

this is that time of the year where everything I do is marking exams, calculating averages, putting marks on the system...blablabla....but this is also a post-marathon period in which everything I do besides marking is....stuffing myself. I guess my body hasn't registered yet that there's another marathon looming and the extra-weight will do us no good.

how do you guys stop opening the fridge and eating everything in it? I try not to buy fatty stuff, but yesterday I bought a small glass of NUTELLA and ate it all in half an hour: I guess I've set some sort of record on that .... oh dear....

off to do intervals in a bit. at least I can try and burn it all off....hopefully!

mind and tummy

there's no point in hiding it. i'm concerned. this idea of doing 2 maras in 1 month is perhaps...
WRONG! my tummy has been playing up recently and my long intervals on saturday became A long interval. i felt sick half way through and i had to finish plodding on. the first interval though went quite well: 5k in 26:54...

yesterday i went for my last long run. i planned 15-18miles and i managed 15 in 2:36. my legs generally feel really fine, they give me no problems. i should be very pleased with that. may last year i managed to do 25 miles. up to now i have done 65 miles this month and it ain't over.

i should be very pleased. BUT I AM NOT, REALLY! things are not going as well as they should because of my tummy. but that's not it. my mind isn't working either. during the LSR yesterday, at avery little twinge or discomfort i had the most stoooopid thoughts: "i shouldn't be doing this", "this is not working", "i should go home"....i resorted to walk even when the pain or tiredess was not that bad. but this is what happens when your mind plays up with you. should I really be doing another marathon?

here i am, moaning about 15 miles when SHADES is running her fifth consecutive today. she'd doing great despite the heat and the pain. GO SHADES GO!!!

the biggest challenge has started yesterday...10 in 10. Today is number 2!
11 participants, 8 men and 3 women, will do the same route every day for 10 days....I can't even imagine how that'll feel. SHADES finished yesterday in 5:24 and on RW and Fetchie there's a great buzz around this event!

Apparently no women have completed the challenge yet (this is the second edition) and SHADES is hoping to be the first. I know that she can do it!!! GO SHADES GO!!

this is the link to the event: Brathay Challenge. The course must be spectacular and if I am thinking of doing it next year.... :-) no the whole challenge, but the marathon that closes the event. that'll be so cool!

this is the video of last year's event which was broadcasted on BBC:

with 2 weeks to go for Newry I am paying attention to how my body is reacting to this new experience of 2 maras in a month. I am very tired and I don't know if that's because I haven't stopped since padova or because I am taking those kind of medication that makes you feel kinda sluggish....it might be a bit of both...
when I go out for a run, though, I feel very good and my legs are fine. I went out yesterday and did 7.69 miles in 1:10 (9:06 min/mile). I was very pleased 'cause I managed to start slow and finish faster. I am trying to learn how to control my pace so that I can finish stronger. This is the graph of yesterday's run (in kilometres)




Not only do I feel tired. I am also starving all the time. I am trying to do some damage control but I am not very successful :-( If I keep eating like this, I'll do the marathon rolling instead of running!
I have decided to postpone the interval training to tomorrow. I'll have enough time to recover for my long run (18miles) on monday.

today SHADES from RW and Fetchie has started her 10 marathons in 10 days. GOOD LUCK to her...she's insane but I love her!

after a week in italy being spoiled by friends and family I came back to dublin yesterday afternoon. I was meant to do 12 miles but I was too tired and I thought....well tomorrow is bank holiday I'll do it tomorrow.

tomorrow was today and today I was in a strange mood. a guy was beaten up in italy by 5 skinheads who got upset 'cause that guy did not have a cigarette! the truth is that they must have seen in him something strange. apparently they had already beaten up immigrants, people from the south of italy, gays etc etc. when I moved from the south to the north of italy I was subjected to various forms of racism (not violent though). some people made me feel like a foreign in my own country, it was actually worse than living in a foreign country. anyway, the news upset me. and before going out for my run I found out that this guy had died!

my legs were feeling fine. I took the route with hills, 'cause I have found out that newry is ondulating...don't know how much though. then, at mile 7 my tummy got even more upset than I was. I couldn't find a loo....I took a taxi and went back home. 8.60 miles at 9:32min/mile. and you know what? I don't care. there are more important things in life than a run gone wrong!

when I saw what my training programme had in store for me today, 5 days after a marathon, I was certain that it wasn't going to happen: INTERVALS....3x3k at around 8:40min/mile....yeah right, I thought.
It normally takes me a couple of months after a marathon before I start training seriously again; but of course things need to change if I am going to do newry in 24 days (OMG!). On top of that it's TOMT and I am exhausted 'cause I have been running up and down (even though I'm on holiday): hospital visits (to try and get rid of a silly eczema that I have had for far too long), trying to spend some time with my gorgeous nephew, with my friends etc etc.

Anyway these are my splits:
first interval: 8:35
second interval: 8:39
third interval: 8:32

I am simply amazed...let's hope it lasts :-)

...not for a man, no. not for a woman either. but for marathon running. this time though I don't want to wait too long for my next randevouz.....I'm going to Newry, on May 26th! 2 marathons in a month is a new thing for me. I want to get more used to the distance, and suffer less. I don't care how long it'll take. I just want to try and run all the way through. no walk breaks. no thoughts of pulling out. none of that.

today first run after padova: 5miles in 45'. my legs felt fine, I am recovering well :-) I just forgot that I am not in ireland right now, but in Italy and going out for a run at 11.30am is not such a good idea! it was bloody hot...again!

;;