Riccardo's useless Marathon blog

Pains and gains of my training.

1 Comment


Dear fans,

Here we are: in less than 12 hours I’ll be finally running the Edinburgh Marathon.

My awesome Race Number, which is also my predicted time: 5684 hours, and my super relaxed expression.

In fact: in less than 12 hours I’ll be already out of breath. In less than 12 hours my knees will be sore as fuck. In less than 12 hours I’ll be sunburnt. In less than 12 hours I’ll be asking myself “Why???” every two seconds. In less than 12 hours I’ll be somewhere along the coast, lost and depressed. In less than 12 hours I’ll be hating my life.

Yep, here we are.

I still don’t know/remember how this whole marathon thing started. I don’t know how I got into this but to be honest I’m happy I did. Not sure I’ll still be happy tomorrow though. Or monday, or tuesday… I don’t know why I haven’t been training enough. Don’t know why I drank so much. Don’t know why I didn’t eat healthy food. Don’t know why I didn’t change my mind. Don’t know why I started this blog. But what I know is that I am happy I am here – doing or not doing the all above-mentioned things – with less than 12 hours to go and a lot of excitement and a bit of worry. Excitement because it’s something I have been working on – kind of – for five months and it really is a big achievement – if I finish it… – and I can’t wait to see the faces of all the cunts that still don’t believe I’m doing this. Worry because it is a 26 mile run – and I am probably not ready for it – and my body will be well fucked after it but especially because of the weather.

Edinburgh, right now.

I am also a bit worried about my knees and my reputation but then again: my knees probably need surgery anyway and most of all what reputation? And then again: in case I won’t be able to finish the marathon – but hopefully I will – I’ve already got a plan anyway. Geoffrey the Butler’s one. Oh, yeah.

Also, because I don’t know how long it’ll take me to update this blog after tomorrow – I don’t even know if I will still be alive after tomorrow… – I seize the opportunity to thank every single person that supported me donating to Save the Children through my justgiving webpagelet’s not forget that the reason why I am running this marathon is charity! -, and every single person that will do it over the next days. Thank you! I want to thank everyone who’s been an encouragement and everyone who’s been a twat as well. It’s thanks to your support/mistrust that I kept going. Thank you! And of course I want to thank every single person that read, followed, shared, liked and talked about this blog. Hopefully some more posts will follow soon. So thank you too!

How I feel, right now.

So yeah, the day has finally come: tomorrow – May 27th – I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon and we will all see who will laugh last. Probably you though, not gonna lie.

You, when you laugh.

But let’s talk about today. Today I finally behaved as a proper athlete. Finally. Except from the fact that proper atheltes don’t have to work. But I had to. On a saturday. After pay day. With 25°C outside. On a saturday. If you know what I mean. Anyway, I finally behaved. Had proper food for both lunch and dinner – granting that sainsbury’s pasta can be considered proper food – , drank 3 litres of water – so far – and not a single drop of alcohol – so far – , have been peeing Highland Spring Water all day – went for a wee something like a million times – and I am planning on going to bed soon – ish – . A proper athlete. Oh, yeah.

But in a bunch of minutes it’ll be tomorrow: the big day and I now have to go and get some sleep. Will get up at 6am, eat some eggs and a banana and drink some more water for breakfast, wait until I take a big dump, take a big dump, take a nice room-temperature shower, wear my awesome running outfit, drink a lucozade or two on my way to the start line, sign a thousand or two autographs, run the marathon, sign another thousand or two autographs, go to the pub, get people to buy me drinks, get steaming – totes -, get laid – maybe – and wake up on monday in a shit state. A proper athlete. Oh, yeah.

So fellas, wish me luck!

…Because I need it!

I really do.



Leave a comment


“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…



Leave a comment


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.

1 Comment


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).


Leave a comment


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!

Leave a comment



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?


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.


Leave a comment


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.