for the first time in 3 years and 6 marathons I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the end. my training had been poor and my motivation quite low. the weather forecast had predicted rain and indeed the night before the marathon I could not sleep because of the noise outside: it was pouring down and the wind was strong too!! I said to myself that if the weather was going to be the same in morning I was not going to race.
when I woke up, though, the weather was really nice and I had no other choice than walk to the start line in piazzale michelangelo (there's a beautiful view of florence from there). but once there, I got literally soaked before I set off for my 7th marathon. fate!
From the first minute of my race I knew I was going to finish...not matter how!!! I had a friend along the course who cheered me on on 3 different occasions: 12km, 25km and 41km; I had certainly something to look forward to. my parents were supposed to come to florence too but decided not to the end, because of the weather.
I adopted the same strategy of my dublin marathon: 5 min run and 1 min walk and despite my lack of training, my lack of sleep and the rain I closed my race in 4:56. not my best time, but not my worst either.
The course was nice, even though the stretch from 32km to 38km was pretty boring and looooooong. I had started to get tired by then but at that point I was determined not to pull out. so I kept repeating my mantra ('till the finish line) and alternating walk and run...by then it had become 4 1/2 min run and 1 1/2 min walk. It was a bit discouraging not to have much support by then and some of the people I met along the route kept saying "they must be the last ones", nice!....but I tried to keep positive and I crossed the line with a big smile.
now I am in Italy, at my parents', until sunday and I am eating a lot and relaxing a bit before I start marking exam!
it's really cold here!!!