Friday, March 19, 2010

2009 Lucca Marathon: a live experience

This post describes a live experience for the October 2009 Lucca Marathon and gives you insight of what it is really look like. Below you can find a translation from the original Lucca Marathon live experience.
Although in October 2009 it was at the first edition, Lucca Marathon is already the top 20 of the Italian ranking, and will likely increase the number of participants in 2010.

Saturday, not early morning, but almost, I went along with a teammate and friend to pick up the race bib in Lucca. I was already full of enthusiasm, already proud to be present at this first edition of the Lucca Marathon. Lucca is a wonderful city that I love so much, the sky has that color of blue that is typical of the seaside city, the city is full of history, culture, charm, squares are wonderful as well as its beautiful shops. These are some of the reasons that led me to run this marathon, I would like to live here again if I could. Immediately the adrenaline raises, we enter the Expo and see other fans like me, hear their talk, breathe that air,
made me a bomb of serotonin, better than nutella indeed. Eyes whirling, I absolutely had to see everything, nothing should escape me, stored images as a computer stores data, some would say that I was the "navigator" and so that was the way I felt. Meeting Andrea Maggini, a rock of this sport and these events, along with many other famous faces such as Poli, another stronghold. An expo a little strange, full of not only race and in fact at that time, much to the delight of the gentlemen runners, there was an ongoing fashion show, I withdraw the bib, 931, and then again a little bit around Lucca, coffee, and then "run" at home.

Always on Sunday morning Marco picks me up. Marco is teammate and friend, beautiful person, but he is not running, despite the enrollment due to a flu that had weakened this week.

Too bad, Marco is really strong right now and 3h15 was very possible for him. But it is only right to thank him, was an excellent 'aide' in every sense, both psychologically and as companion. Fully loaded, I was indeed afraid of this extraordinary euphoria that I felt inside me, I was hoping not to fall into the trap of taking the famous "marathon" in the leg, I knew from personal experience that you will not forgive the inadequacy and superficiality, but I knew I improved a lot, the only thing that worried me was my usual back pain, even though I had brought two Flector patches throughout the week, the leg was still there to throw bad signals.

Departure from the walls, a beautiful sight to see the city from above, the first kilometer run, and with them the city around us, I leave immediately the pacemakers of 4 hours, they are running too fast for the first two kilometers far below the 5min / km. It would not be good, neither for me nor for others. I stay back, then slowly past them and reach them too. I was really good, steady pace, no fatigue, even had to reduce my speed. With hindsight I think that maybe I could instead get something at that early stage, since in any case I was aware that the blow would come.
Switching to 13.1 miles sign in approximately 1h54m, then starts a little fake piano (not so fake!). And we go in the adjacent municipalities, an endless series of hairpin turns round and certainly do not help. But the shift to 30 km is 2h45m, I am still going well, I am still good, I still had some margin, even if I had dropped a bit, I could stay there in 4 hours.

Little crew in this part of the race, but the little there is so much cheering that it seemed to multiply. Then comes the pain, the usual, now I know it very well and I know what should I do to make me succumb to it. Tingling in the foot, the hip is asleep, the leg pulling, anyone suffering from sciatica know the symptoms, so you may know what I mean. Despite everything I was extremely happy, I ran alone, but I knew to be accompanied by a special person, I could never give up, I was aware.

I slow down dramatically, I run relying only on the left foot, I try to focus again on another part of my body (a kind of autogenic training) for not thinking about the leg. I also began to sing, a beautiful music in my ears that I was accompanied for much of the race. 35th km, then the wall? No, absolutely not, apart from the leg (and I think little??) No fatigue, yet I did not see double, no cramping, only that I still had to slow down. Despite everything I was very happy, adjusted the desired time, I knew it would nevertheless have been PB. Sudden rush of pure adrenaline, the last two kilometers, acceleration, we rang the legs. Better: one leg is performing double work, I hop toward the center of Lucca, at some point there is a crossroads, with gestures well I still wonder if I go in that direction (you never know, always better to ask), then from a distance I see the arrival, my usual sprint sprinter, with two runners in the photo finish, I left my legendary team-mates and that leads me finally arrived. I was sure that in different physical conditions we would have been under 4 hours. Anyway, it went okay, sooner or later I will succeed. I promised that this time I would not say a word throughout the race and so it was a real pain for me, other than back pain!

The final timing was 4h08 min, PB, however, I got an immense happiness and a dedicated medal.

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