Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Naples' San Martino Museum

At first, thanks to everyone for the kind Christmas wishes. When I wrote my last race report, on December 19, I couldn't show the photos of the Orbetello's 10 km Christmas race.
Fortunately, I've just found a photo through the web. I'm with the number 29 near the Black Knight .
Yesterday my family and I came back from Naples where we spent our Christmas holiday. Although the weather was rainy, we visited the  Naples' San Martino museum, which contains a number of particularly special exhibits of inlaid marble and many splendid paintings, interesting collections, costumes, ship models and other Italian curiosities.

After Christmas time the training is always harder than before and this afternoon I ran 10 km. Of course. I tryed to burn off a few calories :) The photo on the right shows a Christmas present. My wife gave me those winter running clothes :)
Happy new year to all my blogger friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Orbetello's 10 km Christmas race

This morning I ran the Orbetello's 10 km Christmas race  along a tongue of  land projecting westward into the Orbetello's lagoon. The organization was good and while we were running we saw a beautiful scenery.
It was a sunny and cold morning: perfect for winter running. I finished in 45:26, 3 minutes later compared with the previous 10 km race that I ran in October. But I think it was a good time taken considering that since October I haven't followed a specific running programme and I haven't done a tempo run every week. Next year I will try to do a tempo run every week because we  are running the Ostia's 15 km race in January.
Stefano ( Black Knight ), who is writing his race report, ran a great race this morning. As request by Julie, from Maple Grove (Minnesota), I  show below a photo which has been taken before  the race, while I was doing the warm up.

Congrats again to Christina from Phoenix (Arizona) who ran the 5 Km Jingle Bell Run and was first in her age group! 
Tomorrow we are going to Naples (South Italy) where we'll spend our Christmas holiday.

I think that I belong to a wonderful  running community :)
Happy Christmas to all the blogger friends!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rome and surrondings covered with snow

This morning the snow come back on Civitavecchia's rooftops. Of course, this afternoon I did a small relaxing  run along a beautiful path covered with snow, although it wasn't the same snow as some blogger friends can see in Minnesota or Quebec  :)

One of the things I love most about running is its simplicity: we don't mind running when the weather is snowy, windy or rainy.
We simply need our motivation.
Next Sunday I'm  going to run the Orbetello's 10 km Christmas race.
I hope that all you blogger friends will have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Mental imagery

Two weeks ago I wrote something about those shoes which are designed to strengthen the back and improve posture.
Char from Brisbane (Australia)  wrote that she has been curious about them. She'd like to know if those shoes do what they're supposed to do. So I decided to write Cindy's  comment: "These shoes really do what they say. I worked for a shoe store that sold them so have several pairs. They help tone up the legs and relieve pressure from the knees and back. I know some people that have run in them but don't think I would do that.

Anyway, since the 18th of November we've worn those shoes for walking, shopping and working. It's OK ... until now  :)

The 30th of November Ewa wrote a post about motivation and it ispired me this small post. I am thinking mental imagery. Can it help our race result? When I'm hurting or tired I often run thinking I can't do it or I'll never finish. I'd need to make an internal perspective. It can be positive, for example, to be a little excited before a race rather than feeling dread.  In the photo you can see the happiness of a runner who was running the Grosseto's 12 km in October. Somebody suggests to inhale strenght and confidence through our nose and exhale nervousness and tension through our month.

Today we've made our Christmas tree and  next Sunday we are making the nativity scene.

Nice running to all my blogger friends.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Running socks

We (my wife and I) are trying to wear this kind of shoes. I'm sure that my blogger friends who live overseas know this kind of shoes which  are designed for many purposes, such as walking, working, shopping. Moreover,  they might help our muscles. They are designed to strengthen the back, improve posture and reduce stress on knee and ankle joints. The frst time we could wear them 1 hour, the day after two hours and so on.

I'd like to show you these running socks which wick sweat away from our body and keep you cool, dry and confortable. That kind of running clothes aren't imported from China, Thailand and Indonesia :) They are entirely made in Italy! You can see these "Italian" running socks in the second photo (on the right).

Of course, running socks such as Nike and Asics are good too.
A lot of running socks which are made in China hit the shelves in U.S. and Western Europe. You can be sure that there is a big difference in quality and they are as expensive as American and European running socks.
Nice week to all blogger friends!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Short running post

I'd like to show you that image below although I know that Eastern Canada and Northern region of the United States are famous around the world for the brilliance of their "fall foliage". Last week I took it while I was travelling by helicopter. From right to left, you can see different fall colours of Central Italy (I'd suggest you to click to enlarge the photo below).
After I had run a nice tempo run (last Wednesday), time taken 45 min. and average pace of 4,35 min./km. I ran this afternoon with the group. We met at 06:00 p.m. and the weather was good. We did 1 hour and 5 minutes relaxed run.
Thanks to the blogger friends who sent me wishes for sunny weather :) I needed that kind of wishes after two rainy weeks :)
A beautiful running weekend to all blogger friends

Monday, November 08, 2010


This week the weather will be rainy here in Italy and I'm afraid I can't run.
Normally, runners don't begin the training while it is raining :)
This afternoon I ran 55 minutes. At the beginning I ran against the wind and then I ran the last 20 minutes in the rain. After I had done the training it rained again and I saw a rainbow through the clouds.
I was at home when I took the photo above posted.

Congrats to Meg  who ran a the NYC Marathon. She said that a lot of Italian runners did that experience. Four people from my town ran the NYC Marathon yesterday and they are coming back in Italy tomorrow.

I hope that all you blogger friends will have a nice training ... and a sunny weather :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Märklin model railways

Last week I was busy again between family and job, so I couldn't increase my training. Morever, I'm sure I got weight while I was working in Southern Italy, at least 1.5 kg. Although the weather wasn't perferct this afternoon I did 50 minutes relaxed run in the rain.

Now the weather is rainy again and I stay at home. So I've decided to clean our model railways. Five years ago my son and I played with this German technical toys and in the photos posted you can see our Märklin model railways. In some parts of Germany,  Märklin is almost synonymous with model railroads. In 2009 the famous German company celebrated its 150th anniversary.              

The Märklin system is the technique of using a third rail concealed in the roadbed with only small studs  protruding through the ties of the track.  The 2nd photo shows these studs (click to enlarge). I'd like to make a small village along the railways, with tipical German buildings. If I'll make it I show the photos on this blog.
This week the weather will be rainy again and I'm afraid I can't run. But we aren't running races this month.
I hope that all you blogger friends will have a nice and happy running!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Southern Italy, Itri

Yesterday morning  I came back from South Italy where I spent one week  for job. Unfortunately I ran once only because during last week life has been crazy busy. On Wednesday, the 20th of October  I tryed to run 45 minutes through olive trees. The landscape was beautiful although the weather was cloudy.
I arrived back home Saturday evening and I was tired. Of course, this morning I didn't  run the Grosseto's 12 km  race and I look forward to reading Stefano's report. I'm sure that the Black Knight's flag is waving  on the rooftops of the conquered town.. 

As request by Ewa, I show some photos of Southern Italy where I went for job last week. The photo on the right shows the last raisin of this season  that I saw while I was running next to wonderful wineyards. In the third photo below you can see the hills surronding a small town in Southern Italy. Its name is Itri. That old small town is situated at 170 m. above sea level and its population is a little more than 10,000.
In the same  photo above mentioned  you can see the limestone composition of the hills, which is cause of the absence of  trees and watercourses. It's a territory of a great naturalistic interest which has recently been incorporated into a National Park.

Cheers to you all blogger friends!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Sunday

I didn't run a race this weekend. On this cloudy Sunday I ran 16 km (long run) with the group along the North side of the town and through a fall countryside. That long run went well although we ran the last 5 km against a strong wind.

Next week I won't write a post because I'm going to South Italy for work. But I'll try to follow the running challenges of our blogger community. 

Nice running and biking to all blogger fiends!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tough race

On a cloudy Sunday we ran the Montalto's race along an odd and tough track of 9.6 km. My time taken was 41:17 minutes and I was really delighted with my average pace of 4:18 min./Km, considering the hilly route. The town of Montalto and its old castle are situated on the hill, of consequence the running path is always tough. Stefano ran a good race and his average pace was 4.46 min./Km. You can read the Black Knight's report. He didn't destroy the biggest tower of the Montalto's castle which you can see in the photo below :)  

As request by Char from Brisbane, Australia, I show the loot here below.

Nice week to everyone!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bacon spaghetti

Four months ago some blogger friends suggested writing Italian recipes related to the prerace dinner and I'm sure that they like making recipes healthier, not making complicated dishes. As you know, the night before the race we need energy. Of course, we have to find a recipe that provides plenty of carbs without too much fat or protein.  Next Sunday I'm running a 10 km race and the night before the race I'll have a  simple pasta dish. It's "Bacon Spaghetti". At first, you need "garlic oil". To make it, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic (finely sliced). Remove from stove and let infuse for one hour, then discard the garlic. Cook pasta  (8 ounces spaghetti) according to package directions. In a separate pan, fry the bacon (4 ounces finely diced bacon) in two tablespoons "garlic oil" until cooked (about 3 to 4 minutes). Drain pasta and add to the bacon. Garnish with parsley. There are 2 portions.
This is an interesting week considering our running and blogging community. Johann from Johannesburg, South Africa, will be back to 100% normal by the end of the week. The 3rd of October he wrote kind words on his blog about our blogger community. Last Sunday Julie from Minnesota, United States, ran a great Twins Cities marathon. It was her fist marathon:  final time 4:09:45. Congrats again Julie! And then there's martin briars from Mont Saint Aignan, France, who is running the Barcelona Triathlon. Good luck Martin!
A special good luck to Char  from Brisbane, Australia, who is running a marathon this weekend!
I'm running a 10 km race  next Sunday.
Nice running to everyone!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Relaxing thermal bath

Autumn hasn't come early to many parts of Italy. What I'm trying to say is that the weather is sunny again and we can simply wear a shirt while we are running. 
I post here below a photo of last race in Tuscany where I ran with the number 37.  I'm sorry Char , unfortunately after I had run last race  I didn't take a photo of the loot :)  The  Black Knight  showed his loot on his blog.  I show the loot next time ... if I'll get it :)

Yesterday we did 16 km long run with a workout  7 x 5 minutes fast with 1 minute recovery.  Of course, this Sunday I  didn't run a race and  I decided to relax with a thermal bath, which is believed to aid in relaxing the muscles.  It  is especially suitable for athletes after sport activity.
This small center with thermal baths is situated near the town and its name is Ficoncella 
We have planned to run some interesting 12 km races in Tuscany next months. Of consequence, I'd like to lose weight. At least 2 kg!
Happy training!  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thank you Julie!

I've just received the beautiful present which you can see in the photos. Thank you Julie for the nice gift and for your kind words. The present is a wonderful Minnesota Twins t-shirt and it is a Cooperstown Collection product. It has the n° 7 on the back, which is the Joe Mauer’s number. I will wear it in your honor Julie, with proud.
Thanks again Julie ( ).

The n° 7 on the back of the t-shirt, which you can see in photo below, is Joe Mauer’s number. Julie explained that this player, originally from St. Paul, is the catcher for the Minnesota Twins.

This morning Stefano ( / ) gave me the official race report of the Grosseto's 12 km race which we ran last Sunday: I was 453 out of 845 runners. But the most important thing of that race was the good organization and the beautiful track. Moreover, after the race we got a "heavy" loot :)
Have a nice training!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tuscany, Grosseto's 12 kilometers race

First of all, thank you so very much to everyone who commented on my last blog post about salt preventing cramping.
This morning I ran a nice 12 kilometers race in Grosseto (Tuscany), less than 200 km from Rome (2 hour drive, direction north). It was a sunny Sunday, perfect for running through nature and landscape of Tuscany countryside. The track was flat and the organization was very good. I was delighted with my time taken: 53 minutes and 1 second (average pace 4.25 min./km) and after the race we got a nice loot (wine, pasta, cheese and milk) :) I and Stefano are planning to run other running races in Tuscany next months.
I hope all you'll enjoy the rest of this Sunday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How much salt should runners ingest?

While we are cooking something we sometimes think how much salt we have to add. If we read a recipe we'd see 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or more simply "salt". We could read on runners magazines that the loss of salt is connected to other running problems, including cramping. On the other hand, too much salt is linked to high blood pressure.
I've recently read that sodium isn't a big concern for runners unless they know they are hypertensive or have a family history of high blood pressure. Therefore, eating something salty after run can help the body rehydrate better.
That's why several manufacturers have recently developed sports drinks with higher sodium levels. But I'm sure that a salty snack such as black olives or salted almonds has more micronutrients, including zinc and iron, than regular sports drinks.
This week I ran three times. I did tempo run on Monday, 16 kilometers long run on Wednesday and 50 minutes relaxing run yesterday. On September, 19th, I'm running the Grosseto's 12 km race.
As I wrote last week, the Summer is almost over and with the cold weather I could slightly increase my speed. It really is much harder to run fast when it's hot!

Although the end of the Summer is near I can eat fresh figs again. Delicious Breakfast! In the photo you can see the last figs of this Summer. They're black and white fresh figs. Unfortunately, since next week I'll have only them dried.
Nice weekend to everyone!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Can a Muslim woman find a place for running?

I think we would have to dedicate races to the girls who live in some countries such as Iran and Pakistan. They're girls who can't know their own strenght.
I took the photo which you can see above in 1990 while I was travelling through a small town called Jayce, which is situated in the middle of Bosnia (former Yugoslavia).
Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is an European country, are a little under two million in number and constitute 40 percent of the country's population (2002 estimate). The modern Bosniaks, often referred to as Bosnian Muslims, descend from Slavic speakers who converted to Islam in the 15th and 16th centuries.

I'm not running a race this weekend and I'll do tomorrow 8 km tempo run around the Oliveto park. You can see above an image of this park where there are a lot of olive trees. The 19th of Semptember the Grosseto's 12 kilometers race will be held. I've planned to run it.

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cherry on top Award

The end of this beautiful and sunny Summer is near and talian boys will go back to school next week. In the image here below you can see a cloudy sky. It shows that the Summer is going to finish.

Thanks to Anne who tagged me with the "I'll take that with a Cherry on Top" award. She's a "nice writer" of our blogger community and I remember her interesting post, which she wrote five months ago, about lifestyle changes. She wrote "every chose is a new beginning! Your lifestyle is the sum result of all the choises you make, both consciously and inconsciously". Thanks again for that Anne .

The deal with this award above mentioned is you gotta do these 3 things:
1) Answer this question: if you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?
2) Pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the persons that they have got this award.
3) The third and the final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award.
I got my political science degree when I was 40. If I could change something I would get my degree about 16 years before.
The tagged bloggers of our running community are: Char , Ewa , Christina and Sherri who are running women, martin briars who always posts reports of his triathlon races and Alexandra who sometimes shows us wonderful images of that special part of the world where she lives.

Nice running to all my blogger friends.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Short and odd track

Last Sunday I ran the Ladispoli's 6 km race along an odd track while the weather was sunny and pretty hot. The race started at 09:30, so we didn't run during the heat of the day. Although I enjoyed the race and my average pace was 4:35/Km, I've understood that I have to increase my speed. We ran about 1 kilometer through a soft "green" path and the garmin highlighted that the track was less than 6 kilometers. It was 5.8 kilometers! I'm sure that my friend Stefano will post soon an accurate report about that race on the Black Knight 's blog.
We are running the next race in September, 12 km in Grosseto (Tuscany). A nice week to everyone!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The night before the race

Today it was a wonderful afternoon and I relaxed with my family on the beach where there was a soft wind. Now I’m ready for the Ladispoli’s 6 km race which starts tomorrow at 09:30 a.m.
As you know, the night before the race we have to have carbohydrates. Some months ago we wrote about this matter on our blogs and we said that a lot of runners like pizza or potatoes the night before the race. This time I had pasta at dinner: penne arrabbiata, that’s its name. I write here below the recipe of this classic spicy pasta dish.
Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon (4 ounces finely diced), ½ small onion minced and 1 large garlic clove, minced. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon begins to turn pink and the onion is translucent (about five minutes). Add crushed red pepper and cook until the bacon starts to brown. Add tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. Season with salt and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and bring to a boll. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook partially covered about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the “penne” (12 ounces) in plenty of salted water until al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Add half of the sauce and cook, stirring, for one minute, Spoon into bowls, serving the remaining sauce and the freshly grated parmesan.
The recipe above written is something you can make in 30 minutes or less and you can get ingredients in a supermarket.
I hope all you’ll have a running and relaxing weekend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The lost luggage

21 days after we had come back from Paris, Air France Baggage Claim Center found my daughters’ suitcase. The lost luggage went from Paris to Skopje (Republic of Macedonia). Then it came back and Air France sent it us from Paris to Rome. I don’t understand why 21 days! But it’s important that my daughters are happy.
Thank you to everyone for all of your support about the lost luggage. In that suitcase there are all the presents and souvenirs which my daughters had bought when we were in Paris. After vacation time they’ll give those presents to their friends who come back from other parts of the world. Then, in the lost luggage there are some trousers and T-shirts which they bought at Champs Elisèes, where there were interesting sales. As a consequence, this afternoon my daughters were very happy when the lost luggage was delivered. All’s well that ends well!
The photo above shows the lost luggage and I can't describe my daughters' happiness while they were opening the suitcase which had travelled through Europe: Rome - Paris - Skopje - Paris - Rome. While they were opening their luggage they saw that everything was perfectly in the suitcase.
When I came back from Paris I forgot to show you some particular masks which we saw while we were walking through St-Germain-des-Pres. In this intellectual quartier of bistros, bookshops, coffee-houses, galleries and nightclubs, there are nice masks on the walls of some houses. The intellectual center of gravity of St-Germain des Pres is at the intersection of rue Bonaparte and boulevard St-Germain and I took some photos there. You can see above and below two of those particular masks which I saw in that interesting districs of Paris. I found other masks in the district of Marais .

The photo below shows Notre Dame on the river Seine.
Yesterday I ran 16 km with the running team and next week I’ll do a training with fast laps. I need it because I’m running the Ladispoli's 6 km race the 29th of August with Stefano and his son Paolo.
I hope all you will have a nice running weekend.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's vacation time again

Hi blogger friends! I am happy to report that I have been on holiday until now and the vacation in South Italy has been AWESOME. In the first photo above you can see my daughters' rabbit.
After we had gone to Paris my family and I left for another summer vacation and I had not computer and internet use. The last week of July which we spent in France was beautiful but it's a real pity that my daughters' suitcase went lost. Air France haven't found it yet and I'll ask them to pay damages estimated at € 15 per kilo, considering that our lost luggage weighed 14 kilos.
South Italy's beaches were nice, the sea wasn't polluted and the weather was sunny and beautiful. Perfect! When we arrived we saw a burnt hill and it was a big damage. Unfortunately, a lot of olive trees had been destroyed! The photo above shows the burnt hill.
During the vacations I ate different meals. French cakes were very good: in Paris we had "pain au raisin" and "tartre aux pommes" at breakfast and in South Italy we had almond cake (you can see it in the photo below). Moreover, in August there're a lot of figs in South Italy and they gave a big contribution to my weight :)... as a consequence I have to lose weight now. At least 2 kilos! But this isn't a problem. Next week I'll begin a running plan and the 29th of August I and Stefano are running a short 6 km race. We'll run it as training.
I have just read that a lot of running friends of our blogger community are on vacation again. I hope all you enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


As suggested by Martin, I ran on the quays along the Seine. It's a nice place to run and last thursday at 07:00 a.m. I saw a lot of people who were running next to that beautiful river.
We stayed five days in Paris and while we were walking on the night through the square of Notre-Dame we met a nice pair from San Francisco (California). They were very kind and took a photo which you can see here below.
The weather was beautiful and sunny. Visiting the Louvre Museum takes on overage 1 day! I suggest you should buy tickets the day before. After we had visited Notre-Dame, which is the symbol of medieval Paris, we walked up 400 steps to the top of the South tower of the Cathedral. 46 metres above the ground and from there we saw the whole of Paris and a lovely view over the river Seine and its bridges.

During the last two days we went to the left bank of the river Seine where we visited the oldest houses in the latin distict and Saint Germain de pres. There is a very useful river boat shuttle service along the Seine.
Unfortunately, after we had come back from Paris I and my wife didn't find a part of the luggage. The biggest of our three suitcases wasn't in the Rome airport. We were really disappointed with this and "Air France customers assistance" here in Rome said that they will send us the luggage as soon as it arrives from Paris.

Tomorrow we are going to Gaeta, in South Italy.
Have a nice summer!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On holiday

I'm on holiday now. So I'm going to France with my family and tomorrow the flight to Paris starts at 08:55 a.m. My daughters are so excited because they would like to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame. But first of all they would want to go to the Galerie La Fayette. Of course, I'm taking my running shoes :)
Nice Sunday to all blogger friends!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


In this half of the world that is North of equator it's summer time now. This means biking, riding, beach and swimming. Of course , swimming on the sea. Although I'm not running a race in July and August I wouldn't want to lose my speed. So I'll do only one quality workout per week and in the same week two days of easy work. Moreover I'll sometimes run a long run.
Now I feel that I have to maintain my desire to run. In this perspective I go swimming once or twice a week. I think that if our running isn't fun, we have to make same changes. For example, run fewer days (during this summer I'll do it), try trail running or join a running group. We always need to find motivation which is a powerful force that can help us enjoy our running more. Motivation is more than a feeling. It's important that we'll feel better after a run than before it.
I hope you'll enjoy the rest of this weekend.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hilly training

Last week we planned a long run along the coast (path flat). So yesterday I met the running group at Oliveto's Park at 06:30 p.m. and began the training. But after we had done the warm up we suddenly decided to run our long run through the hills behind the town. Although it was hot there were a lot of trees along the wonderful hilly paths. We ran 1 hour and 25 minutes and I didn't run fast down hill. I decided to be careful.

An old fountain, which we found on the top of the higher hill, helped us. It was built in the natural reserve about 40 years ago because wild cows and donkeys live there. You can see the fountain in the photo below posted. The landscape was beautiful and the paths of that natural reserve weren't dangerous. Once again, running gave me a nice picture of the environment.

This week began with the hilly and hard training above mentioned and, as a consequence, today I didn't swim and didn't go to the beach. I was tired. During this week If I have time I'll go to the ancient roman thermal baths where there's the hot sulphur water. Stefano showed on his blog a photo of this interesting place

I hope everyone will have a nice training.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Swimming on the sea

This week I ran three times and I swam once. Yesterday I swam on the sea 20 minutes at 06:00 p.m. after working. The water wasn't polluted and the beach was wonderful. Perfect! Next Sunday I'll swim again on the sea and next week I'll do a long run training. Of course, I always choose a different route on long run. If our training is stimulating we'll enjoy it. What I'm trying to say is that we don't need to run the same 16 km on the same course at the same time of day as always. In other words, we could refresh our enthusiasm and we would have to change the distance, the speed, the route, the landscape and the hills. Moreover, new hilly paths make us stronger :)
In the pictures I show the beach which is situated in the Southern part of the town. In the photo below I'm on the right and the skin of my friend is more tanned because he is on holiday :)

I hope that all you blogger friends will have a nice running and swimming weekend!