Riccardo's useless Marathon blog

Pains and gains of my training.

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Oh, hiya.

So the first good news of the night is that today I finally got the parcel I was waiting for. Another brick in this marathon-wall. Sound!

On my way home from work I met Marcus at Sainsbury’s and we bought dinner.

The second good news of tonight is that we had pizza. To share. And then pasta. One bowl each. Actually I had it in a bowl, he had it in a dish. And bread with Parma ham, as a starter. And coke and vanilla cheescake. Which we bought yesterday but we forgot to eat last night. Classic.

Anyway while opening the door of the flat Marcus told me “You’ve got mail!” and I Lonely Islanded the moment. My package had finally arrived. My packages had finally arrived. I was overexcited.

Me, overweight and overexcited

Once we got in and we chucked all the stuff in the kitchen I ran into my bedroom and found the two parcels there, waiting for me. I was over the moon. There it was, The Parcel. While opening it my hands were shaking, tears of joy streamed down my face: I’ve waited for it for so long and now there it was. Right in front of me. I stared at it for a few moments – that seemed hours to me – and then somehow it was finally open. I carefully pulled its contents out and leaned it on my bed. Wonderful!!!

The parcel's contents: the two A.C. Milan tops I bought online two days ago.

I’m in heaven! I kept saying to myself while trying them on one after the other and having consistent Lonely Island moments.

What I am going to do now is hang the red&black one somewhere in my room – probably next to the one from last season – and wear the black one when training for the marathon.

Right, the marathon! I then opened the second package as well and found all the stuff that Save the Children sent me: some papers and leaflets that will help me fundraising – in addition to my justgiving webpage – and of course my running vest! Which, believe it or not, doesn’t look that bad. Oh no wait, I’m still staring at the A.C. Milan top…

My Save the Children Running Vest. Yes, it says "RUN"...

Can’t really wait to put it on – the A.C. Milan top of course – and go for a run!!! I am sure that it’ll give me some extra-energies and it’ll definitely help me looking less ridiculous than last time I went running. Which by the way it’s yesterday, but let me explain.

Let me briefly tell you first about the second last time I went for a run though. It was last monday – the very next day my 4,7 miles solo sunday run – and it was warm and sunny and life was beautiful even though that was my last day of holiday. James and I ran 5,3 miles in 47 minutes. Route-wise we did something similar to what we did on the previous wednesday – we even managed to get lost at one point but he’ll never admit it… – but we stopped at his this time because his ankle was a bit sore and because – after a pint of water – I just couldn’t be bothered anymore. I then walked home, stretching my legs every two seconds and pretending to walk with a limp everytime someone gave me those eyes like why are you not running, you twat?

Monday's route

Now back to what happened yesterday. I got home from work at 5:20 pm and got ready to start in something like ten minutes: blue shorts and a plain white t-shirt on, laced shoes, some tunes pumping through my mp3 player and I was ready to go and run 10 – TEN – miles. Not even a minute after leaving the building I had to go back to the flat and change my outfit: in spite of the blue sky and the shining sun, it was windy as fuck and pretty cold too. That’s why I went back in and put something more appropriate on.

Me, wrapped up warm, ready to go.

Then I was ready: I walked up the Grassmarket, got on the Cowgate and at exactly 5:40 pm I finally started running. I ran all the way to Holyrood Park, circumnavigated Arthur’s Seat, went through Duddingston and then turned right till Portobello’s border with Joppa, turned right and sprinted all along the Promenade until its end. I then took Portobello Road which quickly began London Road, turned left and got right in front of the Scottish Parliament through Abbeyhill. A bit of uphill on Canongate then left – St. John Street – then right – Holyrood Road/Cowgate – all the way back to the Grassmarket.

Thursday's route

It took me 1h20m to run this 9,6 miles and at the end I was exhausted but happy. And proud. And sweaty and smelly and a bit stoned too I would say. But mainly happy.

What I’ve done yesterday is one third of what I will have to do on May 27th and I must say that I feel quite confident. There are eight more weeks to go and things can only get better. Wish me luck. Or touch wood. Actually touch your balls, because that’s what we do in Italy, like Danny Bhoy – which I love – says here (from minute 2:27).



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Dear fans,

In spite of appearances – being on holiday (yes, again…) all week and being so hungover (yes, again…) all yesterday – and despite all opposition – we’ll get there – I actually had what we may consider the most prolific week so far. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about my fundraising but training-wise it was a really productive week. Nine more and I’ll be done. Not bad!

Now I know that I’m not exactly the living image of an athlete – unless you’re thinking about legends like Paul Gazza Gascoigne, or George Bestie Best, or Iron Mike Tyson… – but with my new personal trainer James’ help I’ll get there. Riccardo Hank Lenoci…

James, the way I see him while training together

Yeah, I forgot to tell you: my pal James is giving his big contribution looking after me and training with me. And even though sometimes he’s a total dick and he speeds up because he forgets that we’re not running the real marathon and he always takes me uphill when he knows I hate running uphill and his chat is shite when he tells me that there’s a quarter of mile left when he knows there is one mile and a half instead I really have to thank him for his help which is much appreciated. Thank you Jim.

So as I said earlier on this week has been really productive: I ran 4,7 miles on monday, I cleaned my room on tuesday, I ran 6,5 miles on wednesday, I went bowling on thursday, got completely drunk on friday, slept all day yesterday and finally ran 4,7 miles again today. A really good week, let me tell you.

To support what otherwise would only be a pointless chatter here’s the route we did on monday, covering 4,7 miles in just about 45 minutes.

Monday's route

Starting from right outside the Scottish Parliament we ran all around Arthur’s Seat, passed the Sheep Heid Inn – the oldest pub in Edinburgh – but unfortunately didn’t stop for a pint, crossed Duddingston – not much to say about it – and ran all the way back to the bottom of Arthur’s Seat via Willowbrae Road and London Road. I then had a pint of their finest tap water at The Last Drop and finally passed out in bed.

On wednesday James and I decided – actually just him because apparently I don’t have the right to speak and all I have to do is run – to change our route and went all the way to the pleasant Portobello.

Wednesday's route

This time we ran 6,5 miles in 55 minutes – pretty good if you ask me – starting again from just outside the Scottish Parliament and running around Arthur’S Seat this time going West. Got on Portobello Road pretty quickly and ran all along the Promenade – where we met loads of other runners that James of course decided to challenge, especially that presumptuous girl that we really couldn’t let escape that easily, and other annoying people such as those stupid little chavs that God help me I would have happily dumped in the sea to swim with the jellyfishes – then turned right on James Street – yes, we did it on purpose – and then all the way down Portobello High Street, Portobello Road and London Road back to where we started. It was a really good training session and I must say that once at home I felt much better than the way I felt after monday’s run.

After a pretty messy weekend I decided to go for a run today. James couldn’t make it but I still managed to get my arse off the couch and go training. Here is where you smile and say “Well done ma boy!” and then go to my justgiving webpage and reward me with a donation.

Thank you.

Sunday's route

Now because I’m a lazy cunt and I couldn’t/didn’-want-to think about a different route to do and because Sergeant James and I and maybe my friend Paolo – yes, that Paolo – are going for a run again tomorrow, I just repeated monday’s route with a couple of little diversions. No, I didn’t stop at the Sheep Heid Inn this time either. Other diversions, but it was mainly the same thing as monday, just with a better soundtrack. Speaking of which I will need your help making one up for the marathon, but we’ll talk about it another time. Today’s report: ran 4,7 miles in 40 minutes and feeling great!

Now if you want to excuse me, while you save your money to make a donation here, I’ll go for a quick and well-deserved pint at the pub. No, not the Sheep Heid Inn, can’t be arsed going that far!

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Dear fans,

We all knew when I wrote that a more serious and more detailed post would have followed soon that I was lying right?

Good, thank you Jim. Thanks for your off-site enthusiasm too.

Of course I was lying about the following-soon-thing, you should know me by now, as for the more serious and more detailed part – well – I’ll try my best but I can’t guarantee. Start watching this video – please – and the serious part will be probably over. Then it’ll be my turn to speak. In fact, it’ll be my turn to write. – I know. It was terrible but I couldn’t resist... –



So here we are, eleven days after that last post, talking about Save the Children and why I chose to run the Edinburgh Marathon for them. Run the marathon for the Children.

Real children and not invisible children” I could say but I’m not going to: some of yous could take that wrong and I don’t want to create any misunderstanding here. – Yeah I know I wrote it anyway but that was just to say that I don’t want to talk about Kony over here. You want to talk about that with me? Meet me at the Drop or wherever and we’ll talk about it. And-if-you’re-hot-enough-maybe-we-can-talk-about-it-the-morning-after-too-waaaayyyyyyy!!! – All I care about at the moment is explain to you all – my dear supporters – why I am going to run twenty-six miles with a red Save the Children tee on and why and how I need you to help me helping Save the Children help children all around the world.

How you could help me helping them help the children is pretty easy so please do it.

Just to let yous know that twenty quid are better than both a penny and a smile and that I trimmed my beard even though eleven out of fifteen girls from Sneaky’s said that beards are hot.

OVER HERE you can safely donate online through my justgiving webpage. Another way is meet me, have a chat with me and probably a drink or two and I can collect your cash sponsorship and provide you a sponsorship form. Either ways it’s pretty easy so it’s up to you.

Cheers, that would make me even happier than I was on my twenty-first birthday, day this picture was taken.

Now you can only see my left shoulder but I swear my face was pure happiness.

Right, I ain’t no hypocrite. I know that what I am trying to do here – with your help – won’t change much. There will still be children, all around the world, struggling for survival because of hunger, poverty, war, disease, illiteracy, tsunamis and it won’t be my fundraising the solution to the World’s problems but every little helps. Unfortunately there’s not much we can do – we’re not Batman – however donating something to independent organizations such as Save the Children anytime we have a chance is better than nothing. Isn’t it? I don’t want to be too rhetorical and I don’t want to force anyone: I am just giving you one of the above-mentioned chances. I really believe in what Save the Children is been doing all around the world since 1919 and I am more than happy to contribute to it through this whole marathon thing. I would be even happier to have you on our side giving me all the support you’re already giving me and some little extra too. But then again, it’s your money and you’re absolutely free to do whatever you want with it.

Myself, for example, I like to spend most of my money in food and drinks but I’m gonna say no to a few pints and give myself a few quid. Exactly like Chris just did.

Thanks Chris.

You’re a good man. Except when you drink and become a total fanny and you keep pissing me off telling me I’m a nine-till-five cunt and you don’t answer when I repeatedly ask you how many kilometres you’ve run today.

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My good friends,

It’s been a long time. Too long. So many things have happened since the last time you heard from me but no training at all. How many things have happened? HOW MANY? A lot… Same old reason for not running though –shin splints– plus holidays –was in Milan for a week– plus lazyness –have had it for 25 years now– hence no training. All my genuine apologies for not updating this blog and leaving all my fans without any news. How many apologies? HOW MANY? A lot, I swear.

I do have some news though. How many news? HOW MANY? Just two, actually. I finally am an official Edinburgh Marathon runner. And that was one. Got the confirmation e-mail at the beginning at the week and I am now waiting for further information from the charity I am running the marathon for. Which -drum rolls- ismore drum rolls- Save the Children. And that was two.

How many children? HOW MANY? AS MANY AS POSSIBLE!!!

A more serious and more detailed post will follow soon. I will there explain to you the reason why I choose to run for them and also how you can help me. Yeah, I need your help. I need your coins and notes. How many coins and notes? HOW MANY? A LOT!!!

-I know you were all expecting me to post that song I need a dollar…a dollar… but I am not gonna do it because my friends already did it and I’m not a copycat. By the way check this out, please.

One thing I have to understand though is if Save the Children will give me a t-shirt together with the running vest or if I will have the chance to wear my own tee. Because I have a few ideas about it. How many ideas? HOW MANY? Just one, but it is a great idea.

Whatever. I like it…

Now talking about my training –or not training if you prefer– you might be happy to know that I am planning to start again from monday. It is gonna be a full-time training –no more bullshit-training I promise– that will see me running four times a week this time en plen air. No more treadmills –maybe just sometimes– but open air. No more fixed speed and inclination but just the streets of Edinburgh and its hills and meadows. Which are quite a few. How many? HOW MANY? Fuck knows. It will hopefully help me with the shin splints thing. Will keep you posted.

So this is my plan and you have my word I will do my best. 27 May is getting closer and closer and things are getting serious now so I have to be prepared. It’s time to sweat. Sweat, sweat, sweat.

Now some of yous asked me about this best video ever I was talking about. How many of you? HOW MANY? Three. And some of yous already text me asking me what the fuck is with all this how-many-shit. How many of you? HOW MANY? The same three which I happen to think are the only people that actually read this blog. So here you are. Enjoy.



I am gonna go get wasted now. As a good friend of mine called Rebecca always says: it’s friday, friday, gonna get down on friday.