Monday, March 15, 2010

2008 Trieste Bavisela Marathon: a live experience

This post describes a live experience for the 2008 Trieste Bavisela Marathon and gives you insight of what it is really look like. Below you can find a translation from the original Bavisela Trieste Marathon live experience. Trieste Marathon is in the top 20 of the Italian ranking (number 16) from the number of participants, and it is very international in term of partecipants.

It is since several years that I want to be able to complete a marathon. In December I made the "Karst cavalcade”, 52 km along the heights of the Karst plateau. This was a tough race but a marathon road is something completely different when I was riding my Camel back, uphill walking and eating. Marathon requires a different effort, hopefully my ankles can handle it.

At 7:15 I find myself on one of the buses that, departing from Trieste, brings all the participants at the Trieste Marathon departure in Gradisca d'Isonzo. I think that the road we are now traveling at high speed, when done by running will not be painless! 42 km on street roads are not few: two years ago I tried to do it but, at the 30th, causing pain to my various thin little legs, I had to retire. DNF: Did Not Finish. This is a pretty bad acronym. The route is fast and, compared to two years ago is much better (last year I was in the Atlantic sea sailing: Bavisela, I was not thinking about you).

I mentally divided the marathon in 4 sections.
1) Gradisca - Monfalcone: a pair of up and down the street, but I do not know my way. Then I will keep a slow pace. 2) Monfalcone - Sistiana: some uphill climb that may be "critical" if not managed well. Be caution to the small uphill leading to the beginning of the coastline. 3) Sistiana - Bivio Miramare: pretty much downhill and a splendid view over the Gulf of Trieste. 4) Bivio Miramare – Unity of Italy Square: straight line and then the finish line!

In Gradisca d'Isonzo I found quite some people. Somebody does stretching, some other run. People like me take advantage of a bar for breakfast (which of course I have not got at home. This is pure laziness; I would better decide to do some shopping when the fridge is empty). 
I find myself with Manuel and other characters in the Running World. We are chatting and running in the alleys of the beautiful park of this quiet town in Gradisca. I put tape on my nipples kindly provided by Vido to prevent friction. However I made the mistake of not spreading the Vaseline at critical points.

It comes then the moment of departure. We all arrange in grids, I "choose" the 4 hours one. This is the time that I take as a reference in the Virtual Trainer GPS (Garmin Forerunner 305). The GPS I use it always, in every workout and the Virtual Trainer (which is nothing but a sort of virtual opponent that serves as a reference for the times and distances that you set) is a good training partner.

I settle behind the two 4h pacers with blue balloons. We start. We cross Gradisca, the bridge over the river Isonzo, Sagrado, Polazzo, Redipuglia, Ronchi de Legionari and Monfalcone: people applaud and encourage. The group behind the pacers is running compact and makes jokes and mess around. But after Redipuglia the sight of the blue balloons annoys me. I decided to speed up a little bit, and I left the group behind.
Then I took advantage of the refreshments: Gatorade, banana pieces, and a few slices of apple tart. I stop and drink with calmness. The first 10 kilometers pass quickly. 30 only are missing.

Fatigue is starting to be felt before Sistiana. In the uphill sections I will naturally accelerate: the workouts I do are never entirely on the floor, for me the most is to run the trails along the beautiful Val Rosandra, breathing in the air much better than the shit that is where I live I, in the industrial area of Trieste. In these areas I overtake different groups of runners; I try not to overdo it. I am better off reducing the pace.

Passed Sistiana it begins the most beautiful area, the Coastal Road. Nice not only because it is downhill, but especially for the view over the area: the Gulf of Trieste. I'm lucky to live in this city: the sea in front and behind the green Karst. We arrive at the crossroads of Miramare, near the Castle.

I am above schedule: about 600m ahead of the virtual partner. If I continue like this, I will finish the first 4 hours. For me it would be a good result. There are only 7 km from the junction to reach the goal of my first marathon: the legs are in risk-cramping. I have to reduce the pace a bit, I take the last refreshment. It is hard to restart, I encourage myself with two "whipping" the thighs. "One, two ... go!"

I am missing one kilometer, but the GPS still gives me missing 2k to the finish. I do not know, something does not come back. Near the train station I increase the pace, overtaking as much runners as I can. I cross the finish line of this wonderful marathon with a time of 4 hours and 50 minutes.
After the goal, although I felt fine until recently, there comes a beautiful fall. Weariness comes suddenly, I walk a bit, but I feel sick and I feel dizzy.

I sit, with difficulty: the legs have become marble. Here come the chills and skinned due to rubbing the shorts. Making 26.2 miles with little training and without paying then the bill was evidently unthinkable.
I got up and sit several times, first on the shade, then on the sun. I spend a couple of hours rather painful. I'm afraid I could not drive the scooter back home but the pain, as they came suddenly disappear so quickly (apart from bruises). Let's see what happens in the coming days.

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