Riccardo's useless Marathon blog

Pains and gains of my training.


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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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WHO’S GONNA DRIVE YOU HOME?

Dear fans,

Here I am again. Ten days after my last post. What a wanker.

I would really like to begin – once again – by apologising for my absence from this blog but as you can imagine I have been very… erm… very… – what’s that word again? Oh yeah… – busy! Very very busy.

Another untalented actor playing me, being very busy.

Being a full-time boozer, a full-time worker, a full-time celebrity blogger and a full-time runner is not that easy. Especially in that order… I am trying my best though, and you should know it. And just in case you’re wondering: my best is good enough. Ask your sisters. Waaaayyyyyy.

Now that you’ve asked them – … –  it’s time to move on and talk about the marathon.

May 27th is getting terribly closer: both my knees are pretty much fucked up- we’ll get there -, I am not even close to the £500 Save the Children asked me to fundraise, the weather in Edinburgh is shite and going for a run at 7.30 pm or even later after a full shift at work most of the times is just wrong.

At that time – and especially after a full shift at work – all you – Me, in this case – want to do is to go for a pint. But it’s never just one pint. It’s never just two pints either. It’s not even three, to be honest. You know that it’s more than likely six or seven, and a couple of double rum&cokes, and some shots inbetween. But you still think that’s acceptable. Until you find yourself – Myself, in this case – a few hours and a shit load of pounds later at the casino, sipping Tennent’s at the bar with your arse glued to a stool while your mates waste their money and hopes at the blackjack table, with a brand new nine-hours shift at work in something like two and half hours and an extremely annoying Talking Cricket next to you – mine looks exactly like the Fresh Prince’s mom… – reminding you that you should be training and not getting Charlie Sheened and asking you how did you get here? and who’s gonna drive you home? and where did you put the keys? and where’s the nearest chippie and would it still be open? and shit like that.

What a shame that you don’t have any of those answers. Especially the only one we all care about: the one about the food…

So yeah – long story short – I don’t have idea when or how or why I got home from the casino the other night but I do remember how I got home from my last run exactly a week ago.

It was last thursday: April 10th, 47 days to the marathon, 8-ish pm. I am on fire and I am halfway through the training. I’ve got almost all the way to Musselburgh – almost – via Arthur’s Seat and Duddingstone – same old route – and I am literally flying home. A big smile on my face, an amazing outfit – as always -, good tunes in my ears and I am loving every single second of this training session. Especially the bit on the Portobello Promenade: cold wind, rough sea and a bit of rain just the way I like it. Not joking. I am on Portobello Road now and I’ve put 8,2 miles under my heels in 1h10m. Not too bad. There’s only one problem: for the last 10/15 minutes my right knee has been a bit of a dick and for the last 5 minutes so has been his left pal. Annoying but tolerable. I am still on Portobello Road – almost on London Road – when I run past Morrisons and suddenly they both collapse. Both my fucking knees stop working at the same time!!!

Thursday's route, up till the moment my knees decided they'd had enough.

I am raging. Raging, scared as fuck and in a lot of pain. I am on the other side of Edinburgh – kind of -, something like 4 miles away from home, with no money and no phone on me, covered in sweat, wet because of the rain and immobilized.

How I felt at the time.

After a wee break at a bus stop I somehow make my way to James and Louise’s flat. Here I get a pint of water, a knee support – which I was meant to get anyway since my right knee has been giving me troubles for about 7 years now… – and a good chat. Thanks guys. When I leave the flat I am still in pain but I manage to walk and I get to the Scottish Parliament. It took me a good ten minutes but still… Then – believe it or not – the mp3 player plays this song. I swear to God it did. I wish I could tell you that a cab appeared straight after that but I can’t. I had to wait a couple of minutes – while it was still raining, I was still in pain and I was still sweating like Walter Pandiani in his memorable press conference – but eventually I managed to get one and got home safely and I can asnwer the question in the title. HIM!

Unfortunately I still don’t know how I got home from the casino but I want to say that the cabbie was sound and waited for me downstairs while I was getting the money – Cheers Marcus! – and wished me luck and everything.

So yeah: I went for a run and I got home by taxi.

A fucking celebrity, that’s what I am.


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I’M SORRY, THIS TIME FOR REAL.

Right peeps.

Once again I have to start with a huge I’m sorry. Sorry if I kept you on tenterhooks for such a long long time, such a long time… (if you don’t read it singing like The Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake do in here it’s not funny…) but I have been very busy. Yeah, like last week. Exactly. Veeerrryyy busy.

Anyway I am sorry if last night I missed what by now has become our weekly-blog-updating-appointment -weekly like every monday’s last episode of How I met your mother, or Domino’s Two for Tuesday, or the random shag we all get every wednesday when horny student shlags go out and get pished and can’t wait to sorry what where we talking about?

My mind, right now.

 

Erm…

My mind right now, this time for real.

 

Oh yes the marathon!!! Right. Do you guys know what a marathon is and its origins? No? Neither do I but I’m sure that everything we (don’t) want to know is on wikipedia. Have you opened wikipedia in a new tab? No? Me neither.

What a bunch of lazy cunts we are.

So yeah I keep saying that the reason why I don’t update this blog more often is because I’m always busy so it’s probably time for me to explain to you what is it that keeps me so busy -no, it’s not youporn! Not entirely anyway…-. All you have to know is that training for a marathon is not an easy job. Especially if on top of it you have to work, be socially active (basically drinking and trying to get laid), fix your social actions (basically being sick and wanking) buy food, cook food, digest food, expel digested food, wash up the dishes, clean the flat, wash your clothes, iron your clothes (seriously?), call your parents, call your mates, go to the bank, cry outside the bank, be a twat with that girl you like, be a twat with that girl you don’t like, not committing suicide, drinking –yes, again!-, watching telly and farting. Yes, farting. It is really important to fart regularly in order to avoid spontaneous combustion, didn’t you know it?

So hopefully you will excuse me if in the remaining time I have better things to do than updating this blog.

What I do in my spare time, instead of updating this blog, shown to you by my dog.

Thank you.

My actual dog -this time for real- showing you what I do in my spare time and what he does in his whole time.

Anyway talking about my training for the marathon, finally, I must say that last week can be considered the worst, so far. I’ve been to the gym three times but once it was just for a few minutes. As soon as I stepped onto the treadmill -after running 10 km in 45 minutes the day before- my legs collapsed so I had to go home. You can imagine my disappointment -which is probably yours- but trust me you can’t imagine the pain. The day after it all went fine though and I managed to run another 10 km in one hour after 40 minutes of cycling but then it’s been all yesterday and today that my shins are once again sore as fuck: it feels like both tibia and fibula are about to come off and sometimes it even hurts when I am just walking. Not ideal but hopefully it’ll be over soon.

I was telling some friends how my legs feel but I couldn’t make it easy enough to understand so here’s a video of how I felt all day yesterday and today and how the marathon would go if this doesn’t go away.

 

 

If you find it funny you’re bad people and therefore my fans and friends. If you don’t find it funny, seriously, go see a doctor.


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DAY ONE

The day has finally come. Day one. DAY ONE! Feels great just saying it. Just saying it though, because living it is a nightmare. I’ll give you a wee summary of it.

  • 00:00 – Last drop – Drinking
  • 00:30 – Bar Salsa – Drinking
  • 01:00 – Sneaky Pete’s – Drinking
  • 04:00 – Pizza Paradise – Eating & Drinking
  • 15:30 – Home – Waking up hungover
  • 16:00 – Home – Killing the hungover playing FIFA
  • 18:00 – Home – Feeling shit because of the hungover and because I am shit at FIFA
  • 19:30 – Gym – Humiliating myself on a running machine
  • 20:30 – Grassmarket – Crawling to the flat
  • 21:00 – Home – Eating unhealthy food as a reward
  • 21:30 – Home – Not feeling my legs and updating this stupid blog

So, long story short, I got to the gym full of good intentions but evidently good intentions aren’t enough.

Me, walking to the gym, like a boss

First I stepped onto a broken treadmill, then I had to wait something like ten minutes, ten neverending minutes, for a fat guy to get off the one he was using and when I finally managed to run the 3,1 miles I had to run I realized that the treadmill worked with kilometres and not miles. So, full of enthusiasm, I had to jump back on it and run 2 more stupid kilometres.

The stupid treadmill that pretends to work with miles but works with kilometres instead

It took me less than half an hour to run the 5 kilometres I had to run and a lot of sweat and curses but apart from the not-feeling-my-legs thing I was pretty satisfied. Getting back home though wasn’t an easy job as I can’t still feel my legs now that I’ve been on the sofa for a good hour but I bought some nice greasy, fatty, unhealthy food from the chippy and I am pretty happy, all things considered.

A healthier replica of the awesome kebab I had for dinner

Yes, happy. Especially because the gym was full of clunge. And that’s always good. Always good.