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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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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HOW MANY? HOW MANY?

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.


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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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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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IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME…

Hiya.

It’s been a while, I know, and I’m sorry. Genuinely sorry. It’s just that recently I’ve been incredibly busy and didn’t have enough time to dedicate to this blog. I’ve tried, but then when I was just about to write something in a rush I was like “Nah, I can’t do this to you…you deserve more. I really care about you…It’s not you, it’s me. I swear!” so I just didn’t write at all –when I say “you” I’m talking about the blog, of course. Not you you. HA! Just kidding, I love you. Yes, you. No not you, you. Yes, you.-. I had a few drinks though. You can probably tell. Yes, you.

Another untalented -but this time cheaper than the other one- actor playing me, drinking.

So yeah, I haven’t written anything but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I haven’t been training. In fact I’ve even run 17,5 kilometres this week. Seventeen and a half. “How many have you run? HOW MANY?!?” -One day, not a long way off though, you’ll get this quote, I promise-. Went to the gym on wednesday and thursday and I totally nailed it. Ran 10 km in one hour on wednesday and 7,5 km in 45 minutes on thursday. Really wanted to go again today but then I placed my award-winning arse –yes, I won the best bum competition at work– on the armchair as soon as I got back from my ten and a half hours shift and nae fucking chance.

Sorry what was that?

Don’t you believe the whole best-bum-thing?

Really?

All right, here you go.

The misspelt award I won.

Happy now?

Anyway, as I said, I had two prolific training sessions and I feel pretty confident about the near future. On wednesday I went to the gym after a shitty day at work -shitty but not because of the job: had some bad news from Italy and needed to take my mind off it- and run for an hour. Just run. Not as if I was training for a marathon but more as if running would have helped me leaving it all behind. It turned out that it worked more as a palliative treatment rather than a cure but it still perfectly worked training-wise. Ran for an hour and felt great.

Thursday was a bit different. Decided to go to the gym again straight after work but as soon as I stepped onto the treadmill I realized something wasn’t really working. In me, not in the treadmill. My mind and my legs were fine but I had a weird wee pain in my chest, where the ribs are. Every little bounce on the treadmill was causing me pain and I was feeling a bit breathless but it wasn’t that serious to make me stop and eventually, within a few minutes, it started fading away and then disappeared. What happened then though is a bit harder to explain so I’ll let this really badly-recorded video explain it to you.

I still managed to run 7,5 kilometres though –only half of them rolling senseless– so I can’t really complain. Will go back to the gym again tomorrow and will let yous know how it goes together with some other news about the charity I am running for and a few options about my running outfit for the marathon.

Ciao.


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WE NEED TO TALK

Dear fans,

We need to talk.

As you might have noticed I haven’t updated this blog for a wee while and we all know what that means. Yeah: I have been to the gym just monday and tuesday -that’s it!- and yeah: we need to talk.

Things are a bit different from the way I thought they would have been and maybe this whole marathon-thing isn’t just right. I mean let’s face it: running for 26 miles? Really? What for? That’s like running for four hours, isn’t it? Why the fuck should do such a ridiculous thing? Why? Uh?

My big fan Will's -and probably your- reaction

Now that’s what a loser would write on his own marathon blog but I ain’t no loser. I think. I mean I have a marathon blog, I know, but I am not a loser. It’s true that 26 miles are shit load of miles and that I haven’t been to the gym since tuesday but that’s just because I have been really busy doing other stuff such as working or drinking or ironing -first time in my life- my best shirt -took me ages-. The main reason why I haven’t trained for that long though is because -basically- I was running with the wrong shoes -and probably in the wrong way- and that made my legs really sore. Like a lot.

My amazing Air Max 90 that are great for everything but not for running

So I’ve been told about this shop in town where they put you on a treadmill to see how you run so they can help you improving -or learning if you’re a complete twat- how to do it and then recommend you the best shoes for you and all that stuff. I’ve got this funny feeling that the best shoes for me are gonna be the most expensive in the shop but I may be wrong… Anyway I will go there tomorrow morning before work -Ha! Good one…- and will let yous know. Hopefully they’ll find a -cheap- solution to this inconvenience and I will be able to start running again soon. I’ve also checked online how to run -I’ve checked how to iron a shirt too by the way and for some weird reason I found this video here particularly instructive- and I came across this.

 

Barney Stinson -a well-rounded role model- with such a brilliant speech gave me back all the enthusiasm and the charge I needed. Thank you great -not to mention fictional- Barney!

And now, if you want to excuse me, I really have to go. It’s 9:30 pm: time to put some other Barney Stinson’s words of wisdom into practice. Yes, I’m talking about pulling birds.