Sunday, December 18, 2011

Liberty Run Christmas

After I had followed a running program  (tempo run and repeats workouts twice a week  for more than a month), this morning I didn't run the first edition of the Liberty Run Christmas 10 km race :( Two days before the race I had had a temperature so I didn't run this moning although I fell a bit better.  On  Wednesday, December, 14th, I went  to a small village called Civitella for job. That's a small town of 2000 inhabitants, situated on the hills in the middle of the Italian peninsula. The weather was rainy and I stayed there with no umbrella and no waterproof boots because I left my house on a sunny morning. So I wore wet socks all the day. That's why I had had a temperature until yesterday.
Moreover, that small town wasn't pleasant and the buildings were very old and badly maintained as you can see in the third photo.
On the other hand, in that village there was a good thing only :) it was a Christmas cake made with walnuts, orange, chocolate and pumkin! The photo below shows that characteristic Christmas cake.

This morning I felt better, so I decided to see my friends on the starting line although I was a bit angry because I couldn't run that race.  I'm addicted to running! I enjoyed seeing the race and taking photos.  Stefano  ran this Christmas race too and he will write a race report on his blog (I sent him two photos). The two photos here show the runners while they were running the 3rd km.

Meanwhile, in my house Santa Claus hits the bookshelf :) ... as you can see in the photo below.

Happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday season to all my blogger friends!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

10 km race to help charities

On Sunday, December, 18th the Liberty Christmas run starts in my town. It's its first edition and it will be organized to help many charities. I hope that hundreds of runners will run this 10 km race although in the same day another Christmas race starts in Orbetello (Tuscany).
Today I ran with the group along the race's track which is situated around the industrial area in the northern side of the town.
After the warm-up (25 mins) we did 8 x 5 mins repeats at a average pace of 5.10 min./km. It's a good pace considering that the track was hilly and it wasn't easy. At this point, I would need to lose weight, 3 kg at least. It's always the same problem before every race. So, I'm going to increase healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables ... and of course, less both red wine and beer ... in the Autumn I love having red wine with chocolate and chestnut :) Moreover, carbs (bread, pasta, pizza and potatoes) are really dangerous at dinner. Although I enjoy the kitchen table, I'll try to monitor calories ... until Sunday, December, 18th :)
On the political front, while economic newspapers in the world are writing that Europe stands on the brink of disaster, in Italy there are people who predict disaster, quite routinely, in order to justify the distruction of social security and other popular programs: I hope that conservatives in the world don't exist any more. And if they were to resurface today in the policy world they would be taken seriously by no one
The second photo shows the Mignone river, situated 100 km North from Rome.  Last week I was here for job.
I hope all you blogger friends will have a nice week and a happy running!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

17 km long run on Sunday, November, 20th

Hi to everyone,
On Friday, November, 18th, Stefano sent me this photo which was taken last summer while I was running a 6 km race. He found this photo through the web.
My training is going well and today I did 17 km with the group. I was delighted with the time taken which was   1 hour and 25 minutes because the track was hilly. I'm running a 10 km race next month so I'd like to increase my speed on that distance.

In the meanwhile, all the politic scenario is going to change around the Mediterranean area: from Italy to Greece and from Tunisia to Libya and Egypt. I hope politic and economic conditions will be better soon! The photo above shows  Muammar Gaddafi, former Arab nationalist  leader of Libya.
I hope you'll have a nice week!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Italy's economic turmoil

Here are my thoughts about Italy's economic turmoil. Is the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, a simple cause of the Italian illness? He is a symptom of the a political system who does not offers alternatives to the right or the left. It happens in many other countries, but in Italy it is more blatant. He is obviously without conditions to lead a country in crisis, but Italian politics don't come up with other names.
The picture below is the cover of the economic British magazine "The Economist" and it was published three months ago.
Since January, 2011, French and German Banks, such as Deutsche Bank and BNP, haven't bought Italian bonds. Consequently, people's Bank of China has followed them. That's the domino effect!  This week the Italian Prime Minister said: "Italy does not feel the crisis" and he described the Italian bond sell-off as "a passing fashion ... the restaurants are full, the planes are fully booked and the hotel resorts are fully booked as well". But, while he was speaking the Italian bonds were (and are now) near the danger zone and Europe's stock markets decreased. Anyway, getting rid of Berlusconi is an essential (and first) step in getting the Italian economy back on track.
I'm boring you with Italian economic issues :) On the running front, I haven't plan to run any race this month, although my training is going well enough. The photo below was taken while I was  running  the Ostia's 30 km race, on October, 9th.
I hope my blogger friends will have beautiful running adventures!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Since October, 10th, I have been working in Ostia, 80 km South from my town. That's a small town, situated next to Rome, where I ran a 30 km race four weeks ago. I enjoyed that long run race around Ostia  because the running track was really beautiful and the weather was sunny.  But visiting the same place for job is very different: in Autumn the town is humid and every morning the smell of the thyrrenian Sea is swallowed by a thick fog (as you can see in the first two photos).  

The 3rd photo below shows the tired faces of the two black knights while they were crossing the finish line of the Ostia' 30 km race, on October, 9th.
On November, Sunday, 13rd, the Fiumicino's half marathon starts and I haven't sent the registration yet. I'll decide next week!
Nice running!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ostia's 30 km race

I would have never thought I could run a 30 km race without a specific training. This morning I did It! Two weeks ago  I ran teh Grosseto's  half-marathon and  last Sunday I ran 21 km again as training. I'm very happy because it was the first time that I ran a 30 km race.  This race is in the middle between a half marathon and a  marathon.
This morning more than 1,200 people ran the Ostia's 30 km race was well organised: beautiful   track and a lot of refreshment points. This time the loot wasn't heavy enough :)  ... an orange running shirt only!
We ran  the first 5 km along the river  and next to  green fieds and pinewood. From the 5th to the 8th km we ran next to the beautifully preserved roman ruins of Ostia. Wonderful! After we had run next to naval factories situated on the  Tiber river we ran along the Tyrrhenian sea from the 11st to the 19th km. The wind was strong enough and we ran against it!
Finally we ran through the  Castel Fusano Park, which  is characterised by a typical mediterranea coastal environment. The landscape showed me the colours of Autumn and I enjoyed them while I was running.
During the race Stefano  helped me to maintain the average pace and our goal was under 3 hours. I was delighted with my time taken: 2 hours, 52 minutes and 47 seconds.
I have never run a marathon but now I've just run a 30 km race :)
I hope all you blogger friends will have a nice weekend!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grosseto's Bio Half-Marathon 2011

This morning, on a sunny Sunday,  I ran  the Grosseto's  "Bio Half-Marthon". It was really  well organised: four refreshment points, running path flat enough, good loot and a lot of food after the race (cakes, bananas, pizza, bread with bacon and cheese, tea, orange juice and some healthy drinks).
I enjoyed the 21 km race although the weather was hot (considering that it's Autumn here in Central Italy! :) ). Moreover, from the 8th km until the finish line I had foot pain. Anyway, we ( Stefano and  I ) thought the Grosseto's 21 km race as long run related to the Florence's Marathon training: in this perspective, this morning we ran it as training.
So I ran at an average pace of about 5 min./km.: my time taken was 01:46:07. After I had run the race I put ice on my injuried foot and now I feel a bit better

In the 1st photo I'm with the blue outfit. The 2nd photo shows the finish line.
The finish line
As requested by some blogger friends, I write the recipe of the Baklava, a sweet Turkish cake with walnuts and honey.
1/2 lb. phyllo pastry sheets
1/2 lb. walnuts, chopped fine (Be careful do not make them powder but small chunks)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
150 gr. butter or as in my case margarine, melted (but we didn't use it, we used olive oil)
¼ cup corn oil
For the syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
Peels of half a lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Then we followed the instructions posted on Katerina's blog:
The site mentioned shows a Greece's recipe. On the contrary, the ingredients which I've just written  above are referred to orginal Turkish recipe of Baklava.
At the beginning, before we had mixed  the walnuts with sugar and cinnamon  until everything is incorporated, we added 2 tbsp honey too. We added  honey when we made the syrup too.
You can be sure that Baklava is useful as pre-race breakfast :) This morning I had had it before I ran the race and yesterday, the night before the race, I had a small piece of strudel (you can see it in the photo). Obviously, we made it. 

I hope all you blogger friends will have a nice week!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Marathon training, 23 km

View of Valmontone's park

On this sunny Sunday I ran 23 km long run related to Stefano's  marathon training and the average pace was about 05:50 min./km. The weather was hot enough and I had rehydration problems although we had drunk three times along the track. It isn't easy to drink enough water before the run at 07:00 a.m.!   
I got energy for that long run from a Turkish cake with walnuts and honey which  I had the night before :) We made this cake (It's name is Baklava) and you can see it in the photo below.

Baklava, Turkish recipe
The photo below was taken last Sunday, on September, 11st and it shows my daughters Laura and Simona with their friends on the Valmontone's roller coaster, which is situated 40 km South of Rome. Laura is the first from right with the black shirt and Simona is the first from right with the white shirt.

My daughters with their friends on the roller coaster
 They're 14 and today, September, 18th is their birthday. I'm happy for that!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I'm trying to do a long run once a week and this afternoon I ran 19 kilometres. The time taken was 1 hour and  42 mins.
The photo posted shows the starting line of the 6 km race which I ran last Sunday. You can see my  hidden head only :) I'm the fourth from right.
The weather is hot here in Central Italy although the Summer is going to an end and I sometimes don't drink enough water before and after running. Of course, I try to hydrate before a workout but I think I should also drink before sitting down to eat.
At first, drinking before meals helps to hydrate my body. Then, It helps me to lose weight: I simply eat less because my stomach feels full :) It's true! I've tried it and it works. Moreover, we hydrate our running body :) How much water should  we drink before meals? A glass or two of water, I think. Or a cup of tea. Do you drink before a meal?
Nice weekend to all my blogger friends!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Used running shoes

On Monday, August, 29th, I wrote a post about throwing away old running shoes. Do runners argue that used running shoes are waste? Of course they don't! My small survey, which I made through my running blog, showed that environmental awareness is developed enough among runners.
Most runners use old running shoes for lots of stuff and don't  throw  away them as waste.  For example, Amy  from Leuven (Belgium)  uses old pair of running shoes for hiking and  Emmy Ann Horstkamp from Munich (Germany) usually donates her used running shoes to the recycle center.
Recycling old athletic shoes decreases the need for virgin rubber and other materials, decreasing the environmental impact of using new materials when building courts, tracks, fields and playgrounds.
Thanks to my blogger friends who gave their answers about this matter!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer is coming to an end

On Friday, 26th, I did a relaxing 18 km long run with Stefano who is following a marathon schedule. He is running the Florence marathon on November and have planned a long run every week. We are running the next long run on September, 2nd.
Last Saturday and Sunday  I went swimming and surfing although Summer is coming to an end. In the photo you can see my daughters and I on the beach. I swam one hour while my daughters were surfing and they enjoyed it although the waves weren't big enough. That beach is situated in the Southern side of  the town, five km from my house.

As you can see in the first photo above, that's a particular beach with small stones on the ground. We couldn't walk barefoot on that beach, so I wore old running shoes and my feet were pain free. Used  running shoes aren't waste! Some people  wear used running shoes while they are working in their garden or countryside. Otherwise,  we could find recycling and donation alternatives for  our used running shoes:
Do you consider your used running shoes as waste?
In the two photos above  you can see my daughters, Laura and Simona.
Nice week to all my blogger friends!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Yesterday after my daughters had picked some blackberries we made a delicious jam. Ultimately, we only made a jar of jam. Better than nothing :) But the most important thing is that they enjoyed walking through that wonderful countryside. They found the blackberries along a path which is a beautiful place to run too. I sometimes go running along that path because the environment is really great and ... it is flat :). You can see it in the photo below which I took while my daughters were picking the blackberries. If we had had enough time we would have  picked figs too. We will  do this next time!

The running path through the countryside where my daughters picked the blackberries

The jar of blackberry jam which my daughters made yesterday

I've come back in my town and next week I'll come back at work. We were on vacation in South Italy on relaxing beaches, green hills with olive trees and old villages. So we visited a small town where most houses were built with white stones. That small town is called Ausonia and it is very old. It's a characteristic place and I would never thought there were so narrow streets. In the photo below you can see one of these houses above mentioned.

One of the houses of Ausonia (South Italy) which were built with white stones
Now I'm trying to improve my training and I'll help my friend Stefano who is following a marathon schedule.
Nice running to all my blogger friends! 

Sunday, August 07, 2011

My mother's birthday

On August, 2nd we celebrated my mother's birthday. She's 74. The cake which you can see in the photo was made with almond and chocolate.
I will be in vacation with my family here in South Italy until the next weekend.
The photo below was taken last month while I was running the first kilometer of the Santa Marinella's race. I'm in the centre of the photo with the white and red outfit.
Since the 1st of August I'm in Formia, South Italy. After I had run a race in the dark around a small Tuscanian town called Porto Santo Stefano, I left my town on July, 31st. The photos below were taken before that race.
The photo below shows the port of that Tuscanian town where we ran.

I hope all you blogger friends will have nice runs!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hilly race around Capalbio (South Tuscany)

Last Sunday I ran a hilly race in South Tuscany through the Capalbio’s valley. The race started at 06:00 p.m. from the hystorical centre of that small town and I ran the first three kilometers down hill along a slippery road. I was afraid I could slide! From the 4th to the 7th kilometer I ran past old farms and along vineyards and olive trees until I came back by 4 kilometers up hill. That scenery was really beautiful but while I was running the last three kilometers up hill I didn’t enjoy that landscape around me. I felt tired enough and I needed concetration. I crossed the finish line after 53 mins and 44 seconds (the  track was odd: 11.350 kilometers!!!) and my average pace was 4.44 min/km. I was happy with my pace considering the tough up hill and … the slippery down hill :)

There were two refreshment points along the track and after the race runners had tea, orange juice and red watermelon, which was really useful for rehydratation. You can see it in the photo below.

Before I ran the race I had walked across the old side of Capalbio where I took photos. There were a lot of English and Dutch tourists. 
Yesterday morning I was delighted to receive an e-mail from Molly, a blogger friend, who is coming to Italy from September, 25th to October, 5th, 2011 and she would love to run a race during her visit. She looked for a race through the link on my blog ("Next races in Italy") but it is written in Italian. So she asked me some information. I advised her three races (two in Rome and one in South Tuscany) which will be held on October, 2nd.
Next Friday, July, 29th, I am running a race in the dark through another old Tuscanian town. That race starts at 08:30 pm. (the link of its website is here below).
Beautiful runs to all my blogger friends!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Short post

Last Saturday I ran a hilly and tough race in the afternoon as training. The track was 9.5 kilometers and my time taken was 45:35 minutes.
The photo shows the warm up before the race.
I've planned to run another race in the afternoon next Sunday. 
In the photo below you can see one of my favourite summer dishes.  If  I were able to eat that delicious meal without bread it would help me to lose weight :)

Ham and melon
 I hope all you will have nice runs!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

5 km race on the night

This morning after I had read last Johann's  post about Africa's big five (Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo) I met two couples from South Africa. They were visiting Mediterranean countries and travelling by a cruise ship with other South African people. They were looking for the beach and asked me some information. Moreover, they were trying to change their currencies and I helped them. So I discovered that the big five, which Johann showed in his post on July, 8th, are on South Africa's currency.
Today is independence day for the Republic of Southern Sudan. They celebrates Independence from North Sudan. This is a country that should have golden prospects related to its agricultural resources, large oil reserves, gold, and other minerals. There is a relatively small population too. Best whishes to the 54th State of Africa!

Yesterday I ran a nice 5 km race on the night through the old part of Orbetello (Tuscany). The atmosphere was really nice and during the race I felt good. I was delighted with my average pace which was 4.15 min/km. But the track was easy enough and completely flat. Stefano ( Black Knight ) enjoyed that race although he decided to run it as training. I'll post some photos as soon as possible.

Next Saturday I'm running a 10 km race in the night  near my town.
Nice weekend to all my blogger friends!

Monday, July 04, 2011


Last weekend I went to Itri, 180 km South from Rome, where I met my mother and my two sisters with their families. My mother usually live in Naples but she has recently moved to Itri because there are a lot of  protests in Naples related to the urban waste emergency.
Along the freeway I saw a landscape of sunflowers

My mother has a small house in Itri situated on a hill next to the see and she sometimes spends summer time there. The photo below shows the landscape which I saw from her house.
I really had a relaxing time there and walked along olive trees and  through Mediterranean shrub. While I was walking through the valley which you can see in the picture, I saw a lot of British and French families who spent their holiday there. They like that part of Italy and sometimes British and French people  buy houses with garden there.  The two photos below show a view of my mother's small house, her barbecue and ... hartichoke's flowers :)

View of my mother's house

Hartichoke's flowers


The last two days I didn't run although I've planned to run a race on July, 8th. So next Friday I'm running a race with Stefano in Orbetello (Tuscany) and that race starts at 09:00 p.m. I have never run a race in the night!

Nice running to all my blogger friends!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Almost 95% of Italian voters have rejected nuclear energy program which was issued by Italian Government. The same voters also rejected other laws:
  1. Water privatisation;
  2. A law allowing Mr. Berlusconi (Italian Prime Minister) to avoid court appearances.
As you know, Italy's image has recently been damaged by Berlusconi's sex parties and his sexual friendship with a minor. In my opinion, the Rubygate trial has been useful to hide other Berlusconi's crimes such as fraud, false accounting and bribery. That's why he always try to change the penal law!
The Italian Prime Minister ran a Media empire and became the richest man in Italy. Since 1994 he has dominated politics and now he don't leave the position of power. Last week a very interesting article about Italian Prime Minister was published by a British newspaper: Silvio Berlusconi's record, the man who screwed an entire country.  You can read it on the website below: .
Thanks to my blogger friends who wrote comments on my blog about the Referendum and the nuclear power program .
Once Italian people reject the nuclear power program the Government will need to develop sustainability and improve renewable energy.
In this perspective, this year four photovoltaic stations will begin to produce renewable energy in the U.S. Mojave desert and a new big photovoltaic station will be built in Australia (Mildura). The Australian photovoltaic plant will be built on a 600 hectare site about 10 kilometres south of Mildura and it will generate enough green power to run 60,000 homes each year.
Moreover, there are important projects about the production of photovoltaic energy in South Africa (Upington) and Israel (Negev desert). Anyway, the development of renewable energy isn't  related  to a desert or a sunny country: I saw photovoltaic panels on the rooftops in the centre of  Munich! You can see them in the photo above which I took three months ago while I was in Germany.

On the running front, this month I am not running any race and I've planned to run two races in July. I'm trying to lose weight although it isn't easy :)
I hope all you have nice runs! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Environment and Democracy

Today Italy began to vote to decide about a new nuclear power program. The previous referendum had been held in 1987 and it brought Italy in the stoppage of nuclear production. Since July 2009 the Italian Government have worked to define a new nuclear power program. Italy is bounded in the north-east by Slovenija, which is a small country where there are 2 (two) nuclear power stations, the north  by Swiss, where there are 5 (five) ones and the north-west by France, where there are 58 (fifty eight) nuclear power stations!!!
On the other hand, last month Germany has decided to suspend its activities nuclear.
In my opinion we need to improve energy efficiency because a more consistent effort to develop sustainability and an increased contribution of renewable energy production (green economy) would prevent the need of nuclear production. But, from a strategic point of view, nowadays Italy needs at least a small share ( 5% ) of nuclear production, although there are the high radioactive waste disposal costs. The world energy demand will grow in the period 2012-2020. Of consequence, the price of carbon and crude oil will rise too!
Today Italian people have to chose about the new nuclear power program!
What do you think about nuclear production? I'm curious of your opinion!
Nice Sunday to all my blogger friends!