Monday, 13 December 2010

Cramming for a marathon?

Do you remember the days when we were at school and we had a test the next day and of course we had to put in an all-nighter because we hadn't prepared well enough during the whole semester? Fortunately I did not have to do many of these, I was one of the diligent ones, but those that I did were so traumatic that I will never forget them!
The fatigue, the stress, the overcaffeinated body... Not for me, thank you very much.
So, why did I get that horrible feeling of cramming when I was doing one of my last runs before Pisa marathon today? I only had to run for 50 mins and on these final sessions I don't even have to keep the pace, they are free runs as much as that is possible.
But there I was, running through the foggy and freezing University Parks, my lovely and faithful Lisa following me around when she wasn't busy chasing squirrels. And all I was doing was to remember my cramming days at school.
"Am I supposed to be feeling light and in top form now?" I was thinking. 
Because I don't think I felt like that. I felt a bit heavy, a bit struggling with myself and the cold. And all I could think was that my running schedule for the past few weeks has been less than smooth. The necessary rest after the Athens marathon, then the seriously freezing temperatures in Oxford, the snow, then another bout of the flu, the skiing weekend, the long run on the treadmill last week that endowed me with a huge toe blister... All these obstructed my running and made it much more difficult than I like to.
Less than ideal preparation for a marathon, I am sure.

But what is done is done. I don't think that these next few running sessions are going to contribute much to my physical conditioning anyway. Hopefully they can contribute to my self-confidence, though? That would be really something!
I need some good running for the rest of the week. Really! I am running a MARATHON on Sunday!


  1. Where are you running it this time? Good luck from your friends in NYC!

  2. Thanks so much, friends in NY! It is Pisa time! :)

  3. Hi Natasha!
    Yes, all is already done and just try to relax and run at a comfortable pace on sunday. I just have checked the Pisa's forecast. You'll probably will run at 0/+2ºC Perhaps living in Oxford makes you think you are already used to it!
    In my city we are now at some pleasant 9ºC but on sunday 00 a.m. we'll be among 3/5 ºC. I'll tell you about my marathon on the track. Remember us each other when racing!

  4. Hi Natasha,

    I don't know anything about your marathon race yet. The Pisa's marathon webpage doesn't show any news.

    I 'm now a bit recovered from my race some hours ago. I rediscovered how limiting the stitches are! Well I finished, I did 3:11:53 and I kept the pace at a steady 4'32''/km all the race pushing hard at the end.

    Which follows are all the 2 km splits I registered every 5 laps so to keep my mind busy.
    48'' (195 m) / 9'13'' / 9'07'' / 9'05'' / 9'01'' / 9'10'' / 9'11'' / 9'08'' / 9'13'' / 9'07'' / 9'08'' / 9'01'' / 9'09'' / 9'13'' / 9'11'' / 9'07'' / 8'58'' / 8'50'' / 9'02'' / 9'07'' / 9'12'' / 8'54''

    I'm quite satisfied. This is my best marathon in the last 4 years and I consider this time honourable because we ran at midnight (I slept before as much I was able but I felt so drowsy for the first hour I thought I was going not to finish the race), I ran the whole race alone as I didn't have any colleague running at my pace rate (eventually we were only 8 of us), the track is a difficult surface to run for several hours and of course running 105 laps is not a environment you are used to. So, it seems I still have the last word!

    I will mail you some pictures as soon I have them!

  5. Dear Daniel,
    Congrats on your amazing feat! I can't believe you ran a marathon in the track! And after midnight too! That is an extreme race, not just a marathon! Well done! And running alone as well! I definitely can't wait for a full update when you are better rested!
    Unfortunately my news on the Pisa marathon are not as good! I am actually giving more details tomorrow in my blog, but the essence is that the race was cancelled all together because of heavy snow in Pisa. I can't believe it still but it is true. More details to come soon!
    Congratulations again and now you definitely deserve a good rest. I on the other hand now need to plan my future course of action!