Riccardo's useless Marathon blog

Pains and gains of my training.


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I’M ALIVE, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Dear fans,

Hiya!!!

It’s me again, sorry it took forever.

My dog, telling me that it's okay and calling me bro.

My dog, telling me that it’s okay and calling me bro.

After spending the last 7 months in bed trying to recover from this epic thing, this majestic venture, this legen – wait for it – dary act of force, this unique and unrepeatable feat that I accomplished on May 27th 2012 – a day that humanity will never forget and that in most country is now known as Riccardo the Marathon Runner’s Day – I finally found some strength and managed to reach my desk, switch on my laptop, check my favourite websites – if you know what I mean… – did some business and at last updated this magnificent blog without parallel.

As I already said: I am sorry. This seven months had been really tough for me: ever since Riccardo the Marathon Runner’s Day’s night my sleeps had been haunted by unuterrable nightmares and my days had been a continuous and exhausting succession of inexpressible pain. Over the past 184 days I have been through what the experts call the Marathon Blues – or Postmarathon Depression (PMD) and its symptoms consumed my mind and my body, made myself the bad copy of the extraordinay athlete I was, turned me into a wretch and culminated with your favourite person in the world – me – finding himself sleeprunning at night.

Yes, that’s right. I now sleeprun and I hate it and it’s not funny. My fan’s dog’s impression of me sleeprunning that you’ve just seen is funny but me sleeprunning it’s not funny.

But that was the past.

Today it’s 2013 and if it wasn’t for this massive hungover I would feel great. If the room wasn’t spinning and my mouth didn’t taste like a dead rat and my whole body wasn’t aching and my head wasn’t hosting a drilling and drumming jam session I would feel great.
But hey, there’s not much I can do about it now and in the end last night was amazing. You see last night the Edinburgh Council decided to celebrate me and my glorious accomplishment – that made everyone’s 2012 the best year of their lives – instead of Hogmanay and 75 thousand people gathered on Princes Street to honour me and there were bands playing awesome music and bottles of champagne were popping everywhere making everybody all wet and there were fireworks above the Edinburgh Castle and everyone was happy and drunk and then sick.

The fireworks above the Edinbrugh Castle to celebrate my magnificent endeavour

The fireworks above the Edinbrugh Castle to celebrate my magnificent endeavour

I was also very happy and drunk and then sick.

Also, apparently they’re thinking about putting up a statue of me in my marathon outfit in the heart of Holyrood Park but it’s not a sure thing yet. I’ll let yous know anyway.

So 2013 has started and I hope that you – my dear fans – will all have an amazing one and I hope your dreams will come true – unfortunately I won’t be able to meet you all you know but that doesn’t mean that your 2013 won’t be a great year nevertheless – and that you’ll get the chance to spend quality time with the people you love doing the things you love. Maybe get a room though.

As for me, my new year resolution for 2013 is NOT to run any marathon but to upload all the pictures of me running the Edinburgh Marathon 2012 ASAP instead and keep you posted with news and fun shit about me and my new role as a Marathon Trainer.

You, right now

You, right now

Yep. Since I am this awesome – FYI I am spreading my arms very very very wide the now – and I always do awesome things in an awesome way now loads of people – two – are gonna be running a marathon this year. My great pals Ale from Milan and Craig from Edinburgh will be running respectively the Madrid and the London Marathon and I will try my hardest to help them training, sharing with them all my knowledge about marathons and giving them all sort of tips in order to smash an amazing time but most of all not to die.

Posts will follow, maybe. So stay tuned.

Goodbye for now my friends and once again, happy new year.

bye bye

Bye bye

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I DID IT!!! OF COURSE.

Dear fans,

I did it: I ran the Edinburgh Marathon!!!

My big fan Quagmire “Oh yeahing”

In your face!!!

My big fan Nelson “Ha-haing” you.

And I got sunburnt.

My awesomely bearded sunburnt face

In my face.

But wait, one step at a time. Let’s start from the beginning.

  • Sunday 27th May 2012

6:00 am – Waking up & getting ready: As I promised I did get up at 6 am. Ridiculous 6 am. And as I promised I had scrambled eggs, a bit of bread and a banana for breakfast. And water. A lot of water. I also waited – and waited and waited – and then finally took a big dump. As I promised. And had a hot shower, always as I promised. I then wore my awesome outfit, drank a Lucozade, chatted with an incredibly-early-awake Marcus and reconsidered the whole thing. I decided to do it anyway and finally made my way to the start line of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Regent Road. As expected, there were fans everywhere and I had to sign a few thousand autographs before I got to the start line. Of course. Consumed two bananas and then finally met James. A really hungover James.

James and I, at the start line

9:00 am – At the start line: By 9 o’clock James and I were there, at the start line of the Edinburgh Marathon, both in a shit state. Him, rough as fuck and probably still drunk from the night before, and me, already shattered and eager to be somewhere else. Anywhere else. But still, both there. It was already hot and it could have only gotten hotter. Twelve thousand and six hundred people taking part in the Event were already waiting – between Regent and London Road – to start and another God-knows-how-many-thousand people were there too, giving the runners all the support and the last-minute tips they needed. Speaking of last minute tips: at 9:20 am I had to take a little walk and take some time for myself, as James wisely recommended me.

Me, before the start, pissing out the three lucozades and all the water I had drunk by then.

I then rubbed some vaseline on my thighs, focusing on the groin, taped up my nipples – not a big fan of bleeding nipples – and covered my face and arms with some awkwardly borrowed suncream which I of course sweated off pronto, hence the sunburnt face. Stretched my legs for a bit, took my time to reconsider once again the whole thing, got threatened with death by James in case I bailed out, decided to run and therefore didn’t get killed by James, made my way to my pen, smiled to the ladies and prayed the Lord. It was 9:30 am and there I was: trapped inside the orange pen: the one at the front. Of course. The one the fit runners were starting from. Of course. No need to mention that I was totally out of place. Of course. But they didn’t know it. Maybe.

Me, at the start line, showing some confidence in an awkward attempt to impress the ladies.

At 9:50 am the Edinburgh Marathon 2012 officially started on London Road as the professional runners started hitting the road. Their route and ours would have joined after one mile or so, but we would have had to wait till mile 13 or 14 before we saw them – running in the other direction after the turning point at mile 18 – making their way to the finish line. At 9:55 am on Regent Road we were all set up and ready to go.

The start line of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2012 on Regent Road.

One for the fans.

“Oh, hiya!”

10:00 am – Here we go: At exactly 10 o’clock the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2012 started on Regent Road as well. A lot of excitement and a bit of tension during the countdown and then just excitement as soon as I started putting one foot in front of the other. Behind James taking this pictures there were two hundred thousand fans of mine shouting my name and cheering me. I swear to God.

Me, actually doing it, running the Edinburgh Marathon 2012

What happened during the 26,2 miles between the start and the finish line is hard to explain. Some pictures will be available soon and they’ll show you the state I was in while running all the way to Longniddry and back on the hottest day of the hystory of the whole United Kingdom. But let me tell you that in spite of the shit load of miles you’re supposed to run, the hard training you’re supposed to go through, the stupid diet you’re supposed to be on and the lovely drinks you’re supposed to say no to, I highly recommend everybody to run a marathon. During those 26,2 miles I went through a lot of different feelings and pains. Mainly pains. I learnt about muscles I didn’t even know as soon as they got sore and I learnt new coarse words as soon as I made them up. But I also learnt a lot about people – let me be gay for a second and thank every single member of the crew for being there the whole time giving us water and energy drinks and a slap on the back and good words everytime we needed and also every single person that was there, all the way long, in their own garden, or on the street, or on their bike, or on a walk with the dog or the children, cheering us up, singing for us, supporting us, giving us water and candy and helping us going through the pain and the tiredness – and please let me tell you how awesome everybody has been. Finally, I learnt a lot about myself not only when I crossed the finish line but during the whole marathon but that’s – forgive me – my own business. –

14:19 pm – At the finish line – After 4 hours 19 minutes and 51 seconds I crossed the finish line, in Musselburgh where five hundred thousand supporters of mine were waiting. I swear to God. No need to say that I was knackered. Knackered but insanely happy and so so so proud of myself. And looking awesome. Of course. Finishing my first – but not last! – marathon and doing it in such a good time and with such weather was – and still is – awesome. I crossed the finish line in the middle of a sprint that started 1,5 miles before and finished just a few yards after it when I collapsed on the floor of the football pitch where the finish line was, straight after being given the medal and the finisher t-shirt and a goody-bag with water and other stuff. I don’t want to talk about the three miles I had to walk because my legs were literally not working anymore so I won’t. But I will focus on the fact that I am awesome and I ran a marathon and you didn’t.

A really really really tired but happy me, at the finish line

It did then take me about two hours to find/be found by James and Louise and another two hours to get home but – believe me – I was – and still am – the happiest cunt alive and even though my legs are still pretty fucked today I have to say that finishing the marathon is one of the best feeling ever and it is a big achievement that makes me proud of myself. Especially because it got me free drinks at the pub all night – yes, I went to the pub the very night of the marathon, that’s how awesome I am! – but I’ll get there…

So now once again I want to thank everyone who believed in me – family, friends, blog followers – and also everyone who didn’t – family, friends, blog followers – , everyone that supported me donating money through my justgiving webpagewhich is gonna be online for three more months so that you can all still donate to Save the Children – and everyone who didn’t, everyone who was there – Marcus, Michele, Junio and Louise thanks for coming and of course James thanks for everything you’ve done – and everyone who wasn’t but wanted to be and is happy for me – mainly because I didn’t drop dead – and everyone who gave me free drinks all night – Chris and Robbie, cheers! – and everyone who shared a drink with me – at the Drop first and at Opium then – and of course all of yous for reading this blog and supporting me.

James and I at the finish line

So yeah, another post will follow soon and I will hopefully be able to publish some official pictures so that you can all see how fucking tired I was and of course looked – still awesome though! – during the 26,2 mile run. For now, I’ll leave you with this picture of mine I took on the bus home between an autograph and another.

Me and my medal.

Catch you later.

Love, Riccardo.


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OVER THREE HUNDRED

“Now, you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. But I can run like the wind blows.”

The wind, blowing.

Yes, it means “I can run fast”… And no, those are not my words. And yes, I put a picture after the first line of this post. Any problem? Uh? Anyway. Those are Forrest Gump’s words in that bit at the beginning of the movie when he’s sitting on a bench with that black woman telling her how it all started. Remember it? Yes? Yes? No? Well if your answer is “No”, go watch the movie and then come back. And I’m not asking this to you. I’m telling you. Really. Go. Go now. Anyway. No, those are definitely not my words. My words would be more like Lieutenant Dan’s ones halfway through the film. More something like “Look! Look! Look at me! Do you see that? Do you know what it’s like not to be able to use your legs?”. Yeah, totally more like that. But let me explain.

Since last time we spoke a few things happened. First of all somebody must have published this useless blog somewhere on the web because I now have over 300 different visits a day from all around the world.

Three hundred of those over-three-hundred different visitors I get every day.

Now, to whoever did this, I don’t know whether I should thank you or tell you to fuck off. I really don’t know. Of course, Wow!! I mean up to two weeks ago the only people who actually gave a crap – and even there we have to see how true is that… – about this blog were just my friends, mainly from Italy, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, some other few European countries and of course New Papua Guinea. Twenty, sometimes forty, sometimes ninety different visits a day. But for sure not three hundred. – For sure not over three hundred... – Some days it was just five or ten of yous checking my blog and that was fine. Some other days, when I published something there was like an increase and it was eighty, ninety, maybe one hundred of yous. And that made me happy.

Me, happy, celebrating a day with forty-seven visits. Long time ago.

It really did. But now? Now I’ve got over three hundred different visitors every single day. From all around the world. – I am not showing off, you twats! I am just rambling on because I don’t have much to say about me running… – Over three hundred different visits a day from all around the world and I feel a wee bit under pressure. Not gonna lie, a lot under pressure. – Dun Dun Dun Dududun Dun, Dun Dun Dun Dududun Dun, Under Pressure… – People visit my blog every day from all the five continents and that’s kind of a big deal. Yes, I said five. FIVE. CINQUE. CINCO. CINQ. FUNF. PIEC. BES. GO. WU. PET. VIJF. VIIS. OT. FEM. CINCI. I know what you’re thinking but I’ve been taught that there are five continents in this world and all your stupid theories about six or four or seven – good one… – continents are just crap. A big steaming, stinking crap.

Five continents. Period.

Anyway. You know how hard it is to write something and make it so that over three hundred different people – from all the five different continents there are in the world – would find it amusing? Or at least interesting? You do realise how fucking stressed out I am right now? You do have a fucking idea??? No, you probaby don’t. But then again, neither do I then no big deal! So, that’s the reason why I am gonna thank you, rather thank telling you to fuck off. Thank you because now I know that I really have to finish this marathon, and I have to do it because people from all around the world support me and believe in me. – Believe in me, more than support me, but we’ll get there won’t we? Yes we will. We’ll get there. We’ll get here, and therefore there. – I have to finish this marathon for Save the Children. I have to finish this marathon for all the people who sponsored me already and also for the ones that are going to. I have to finish this marathon for me, because otherwise I will have to move to another country straight away in order not to face such a public humiliation, and I don’t want to. I have to finish it because you’ll be all waiting for a post the very minute after I cross the finish line. And I will give it to you. I will give it to you.

It really is.

Anyway. I did go for a couple of runs since we last spoke. Once with James. A couple of times by myself. James and I ran 6,6 miles at the beginning of last week in almost an hour but then had to stop because my knees were giving me troubles. Even though I was wearing two knee supports – which are helping a lot, by the way – and I looked like a twat – more than usual, I mean – the knees were really sore at one point so I decided to stop. But I was expecting it and that run was more of a test rather than a proper training session and it went pretty well, if you ask me. Went again during the week, this time on my own, and ran 5 miles in 40 minutes. And again just before the weekend for another 8 mile run in one hour and five minutes.

My huge fan Obama, telling me that I’m doing “Not bad”

Then I decided to take this whole thing to the next level. It was time for it. It was time to go for a real run. It was time for a 15 mile run. Fifteen. Something like 24 kilometres. E non è male… So I went for it. And long story short, I did it. I ran 15 miles in two hours and three minutes. And I felt great. Inside. – I don’t want to talk about the fact that I was in so much pain all night and all the day after… – Was feeling shit for the first 3/4 miles but then I found my pace and I just kept going, taking a wee break for some stretching any time I felt like I needed one, till I finished my tenth lap – every lap is exactly 1,5 mile – around the Meadows. Now I would have gone for another run today but after work I had pizza waiting for me – not Two For Tuesday tho!!! – and so I decided not to. I’ll go for it either tomorrow or thursday anyway. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just save my energies for the big day – Sunday – and see how it goes. I’m pretty excited – and nervous too, not gonna lie… – and even though I do realise that I haven’t been training enough and that I had far too many drinks and junk food during the past five months and that my knees may collapse any time, I am confident: I know I will finish this marathon. Even though there are just three days left. Three days to the marathon. Three days.

Not one, not two, but three. Three.

Three fucking days.

And I wish they were over three hundred…

 

 


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BORN TO RUN

Dear fannies,

Sorry, fans. FANS!

Dear fans,

This post is for you. About you and for you.

I know I called it “Born to run” and that’s clearly about me because I am the one that is running and you are just sitting on your couch all day eating crisps and drinking Irn Bru while watching Britain’s got talent because it always takes me ages to update this blog but trust me, this post is for you.

You know, I realized that I don’t thank you enough and that I don’t spend enough time with you so I would love to make it up to you. But then again if you think about it God himself doesn’t spend much time with his fans so you can’t really be too mad at me. It’s just that is too many of you and – I’m not gonna lie – some of you come from country I didn’t even know they existed until I read their names – Yes, I can see the country you visit my blog from! – in the stats. Like Papua New Guinea. P-A-P-U-A-N-E-W-G-U-I-N-E-A!!!

Now don't do that "Aw.. THAT Papua New Guinea..." to me...

Well you, my friend from Papua New Guinea, are my favourite fan.

I don’t know you and I don’t know how did you happen to come and read this blog but I love you. I mean I love you all guys but seriously, Papua New Guinea? I have to love him/her more than anyonelse.

Yes, more than anyonelse. I love him/her even more than Bruce. My good old friend Bruce. Bruce who wrote a song – and named an album after it – for me, Riccardo Hank Lenoci, celebrating my love and passion and dedication to this marathon. Bruce who sent me a signed copy of his great seller album and didn’t even charge me for the delivery. Bruce who became millionaire thanks to this song and promised to sponsor me.

The signed copy of "Born to Run" I got from my good pal Bruce Springsteen.

Yes, my Papua New Guinean friend, I love you more than him.

I definitely love you, all of you, more than Junio. It doesn’t matter that he’s got a cool blog. I just don’t love him that much anymore after he told me that he still doesn’t believe I will run this marathon. According to him I drink too much. I don’t eat healthy food. I don’t train enough. And again I drink too much. He thinks that if I will really take part in this marathon I will end up like this.

Me, according to Junio, halfway through the marathon, at best.

He appreciates my efforts though – that’s what ladies tell me too… – and I always make sure I go and visit him at work on my way home from my run – all sweaty and stinky in my super-cool running outfit which by the way looks awesome and it’s even better now that I bought some professional-ish stuff to wear underneath the t-shirt and the shorts – to show him that I am totally going to do it but, still, he reckons I won’t. Luckily most of you believe in me and I am sure that you’re all just waiting for the next pay day to sponsor me with a donation here or by cash. Smiley face.

By the way I want to thank my sister Valeria, together with my mum and dad, Ale and his family and Robyn – Robyn darling I am waiting for some more cash sponsorship to send a reasonable cheque to Save the Children 😉 – for their donations. Thank you all guys I really appreciate your support!!!

I promise I will… sorry I just got an email from my second biggest fan that would love to tell Junio that I am totally gonna run the marathon and that I am awesome as well and that his blog is quality but still he would love him to see this.

My second biggest fan supporting me at his best.

Right what was I saying? Erm… Well I don’t really remember and anyway The Gladiator just started on the telly and my laptop’s battery is dying and my pizza is almost ready and my can of Tennent’s is almost gone so yeah, I’ll talk to you soon.

Love, Riccardo.


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VOX POPULI

Dear fans,

Today I would like to spend some time telling you a bit more about what people around me think about this whole marathon-thing.

 

 

Done.

Now let’s move on.

Nah just kidding…we’re not moving on yet!

As you might have noticed, one of the latest and most popular trend on facebook –and web in general– is to share those graphically awful pictures about what you do and what society thinks you do and what your mother thinks you do and what your mates think you do and then what you think you do and all that shit.

Now since this blog is as popular and trendy –and graphically awful– as those pictures, actually even more –it’s already known by at least two people other than me as the “Holy Graphically Awful Bible of the marathon runners”-, and because I’ve received so many e-mails and letters from supporters from all around the world asking me one of those, my team and I decided to work on it and make a picture up too.

The shit load of letters from my fans I've received in the last month.

First of all we had to find an appropriate title.

After thinking about it for a while we came up with two ideas that immediately split our team. On one side there was me with “Marathon runner”. On the other side there was the rest of the team with “Running twat”. We eventually found a compromise: I fired them all.

I then phoned my mum and asked her what her idea about her son running a marathon was. After hers it was my mates’ turn, then my neighbour’s, my doctor’s, my colleagues’, my therapist’s, my dealer’s, my dog’s, my personal trainer’s, my invisible friend’s, my own reflection in the mirror’s, my uncle’s, my aunt’s, my first grade teachers’, my cousin’s sister in law’s, my lawyer’s, my accountant’s and that guy’s who was sitting next to me on the bus earlier on and a few more I can’t remember. Most of them though told me they didn’t have a son so I had to phone them back specifying that I was talking about me and that’s why it took me so long.

Anyway once I processed the data I opened photoshop and did this.

After showing it to my closest friends looking for their opinion I had to hire a professional graphic designer –I am a graphic designer too but apparently my photoshop skills aren’t good enough– who finally managed to do it for me. That was quite an easy job, hiring the guy I mean, considering that on sunday I flew back to Milan for a few days and –just in case you still don’t know it– here everybody’s a fecking designer

The graphic designer with better photoshop skills than me that I had to hire.

So, by popular demand, here you are the small and low-resolution version of his piece of art. If you want the big and high-resolution one ask my graphic designer because I ain’t got it. Or just click on it.

Marathon Runner, What I really do

Not much left to say for today apart from the fact that at the moment I am still not training –of course…– because of a small injury called shin splintsyep, the one I was talking about in the last post– that I am trying to cure. I will talk to you later anyway so stay tuned because the best video ever is coming soon…just a few days wait. How many? How many?? HOW MANY???


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WINNING!!!

Dear fans,

I’ve just come back from the gym and I’m just about to go the pub to drink off the 7.5 km I just ran but first I’d like to take few minutes to tell you what happened since my last post on this blog.

First of all I’d like to praise my new shoes highly: they’re awesome. Today I ran 7.5 km in 45 minutes –I voluntarily took it easy, trying to work a bit more on my stamina– but I could have kept going. –Yeah, sure.– I had to stop though, because my mates were waiting for me at the pub. Like they’re there right now, waiting for me. Really.

My mates, getting older, waiting for me outside the pub.

Anyway this shoes are the best purchase I’ve ever made. Even better than that incredibly awesome hawaiian shirt that I bought last year for a few quid and that I proudly and drunkenly wear here. Not lying.

The main point of this post though is about telling you what happened no longer than two hours ago outside the gym. A bunch of supporters of mine were waiting for me eager to show me all their disappointment. They said they’ve been waiting for me since last night: they were furious, they were yelling at me and they were ripping up pictures and posters of mine. Some of them, by the way, were signed and No, I’m not sending you a new one if you tore yours.

A bunch of silly fans waiting for me -and yelling injurious phrases at me- outside the gym.

Once I reached the main entrance where the promoters were standing, I tried to calm them down talking to them but it didn’t work. I tried to calm them down telling them funny jokes but it didn’t work. I tried to calm them down giving them a tenner each but it didn’t work. With two of them it did work to be honest but I only had twenty quid on me and I couldn’t keep going. Eventually they calmed down and three representatives came to talk to me. Long story short: they’re still supporting me and they appreciate what I am doing and all the efforts I am making but there’s one thing that they can’t really take: lies. “What are you on about?” I peacefully asked. “You lied. -they said- You don’t know Paolo Nutini!!!” And they all shouted “Paolo Paolo Paolo!!!” several times. “HA! -I laughed- I don’t? I DON’T? -I then isterically shouted- Well check the blog later on you cunts!” Then I left and went inside for a nice and useful training session with my awesome shoes, ignoring them and their stupid insults.

So here I am my dears, enjoying my crushing victory on those twats posting a photo of Paolo and I.

Paolo and I.

WINNING!!!


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Useless post #1

Dear fans,

I am sorry it took me a while to bring you up to date about my training but as you (should) know I am not training yet.

An untalented, but cheap, actor playing an ugly ,but accurate, version of me not training.

Yes, that’s why I didn’t update this blog. Until now, of course. Now I am updating it. Right now. Yes.

You happy now?

Some happy supporters of mine, in Singapore, celebrating in real time this long-awaited post.

That’s a yes, right?

A more comprehensible answer from a less cryptic and less Singaporean supporter of mine.

Anyway, I thought that would have been pretty easy to understand but then a few hours ago I received a phone call from my fan club. My demanding fan club.

My fan club.

They were worried, really worried, and wanted to make sure I remembered that next monday I will have to start my training. I reassured them about it, downed my rum&coke and then changed my number straight away.

This is it, not much left to say for today but stay tuned: the charity I am willing to run the marathon for (still waiting for their reply) and a preview of the outfit I may wear on the day (still considering the options) will be soon revealed.

Smell you later my peeps.