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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Where's the Tuscan Sun? aka The Tempest Firenze Marathon

A year ago Demetrio made a pact with his childhood friend, Stefano. They both wanted to run the New York Marathon, so last summer Stefano began training in NY and Demetrio and I began training in Seattle. It was a glorious Seattle summer, with 5 weeks of vacation, I was looking forward to enjoying some quality time outdoors. After approximately three months of training Deme was up to 20 miles and I was up to 10. We were both looking great, eating well and feeling great. When November came though, Deme got very sick and could not make it to NY. Stefano had already gotten their bibs and everyone was very disappointed.

Fast forward to today, Enzo also wanted to run the NY Marathon this year but his olive groves needed tending and so he and Deme set out to run the Firenze Marathon. (Stefano ran it again and made great time.) Deme has been training for four months, he's been eating carrots, fennel, and lost a total of 8 kilos. I was nervous for Deme because I felt deep down he still had not trained enough, usually it takes up to six months to train for a marathon, that's 26 miles and 42 kilometers!

Enzo busy with the harvesting has not had much time to train but plays soccer religiously, runs on the treadmill but all in all is a very "in-shape" type of guy. He also began eating a bit differently and lost 5 kilos. Claire was also nervous because Enzo had not had the time to do really long runs, his max was somewhere around 25 kilometers.

Well, they both decided to go ahead with it. We arrived in Florence on Thursday night. There had been a cold snap in Torino and our first snow came that Wednesday. I was hoping Florence was warmer but it was not. The temperature hovered around 0-4 degrees Celsius and plenty of rain. On race day the temp. rose to 8 Celsius, that's 46.8 F. with light mist, a bit of sun at noon and so happily the ladies, Claire and I headed downtown to see the men finish the race. It had been four hours and as we waited the skies grew a bit ominous, the wind picked up, it began to rain, then hail, then rain again. We had no umbrellas just hats on so we bought an umbrella from the peddlers that always seem to have what you need at the right time and for the right price. As we waited and waited, our fingers grew numb and my hand basically froze itself to my camera as I lurched and looked for Demetrio. Finally I saw him coming down the red carpet and before I could call his name he ran past me. He reached his goal and so did Enzo, we were all relieved when it was over and headed home for great steaming bowls of hot pasta, a cozy fire and a possible trip to the sauna or hot tub for the men.

Deme is up and dressed my 7:45 a.m. The race started at 9:18 a.m. and we decided to let the men go ahead on their own as many streets would be cordoned off and blocked. He's wearing hi-tech everything right down to his wicking underwear. The race brochure had some handy racing tips; on included putting Vaseline on your nipples, under your arm pits, between your thighs and even between your toes. All this to avoid chafing and friction, who knew?

Enzo and Deme head to the center of town on the Vespa. It's easy to park and their plan was to park it near the end of the course so they could ride it back home again after the race.

Deme is just about to cross the finish line, he does not see me and so I only get a rear view shot of him. My darling does wonderfully in 4 hours and 35 minutes.

Enzo crosses the finish line and miraculously is still smiling and waving. We were all worried about him finishing but after mile 20, the I-Pod really helped him find his second wind.

Deme is so proud of his medal. I would be too, I am!!!!

After the race, everyone that finishes gets a medal, they drop off their microchip and later that afternoon their official time is sent to them via SMS text message. While we discuss our exit strategy out of the center of town, I overhear the words "Rome Marathon". Hmmm, it's this April...

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At 4:12 PM, Blogger darlamay said...

Wow congrats to your husband! I ran the Seattle marathon 3 Decembers ago and I know what a MENTAL challenge it is. My hubby is starting to drop the word "triathalon". . . we'll see. . .

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Congratulations to your husband and his friend! That's great. They look very happy.

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous J.Doe said...

Tanti Auguri for Demetrio and his friend.My brother runs marathons. It takes a lot of committment.

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Congrats to Deme and Enzo! What a great accomplishment. I don't think I could even WALK the marathon! hehehe

I used to work EMS at the races in Indy and believe it or not, I saw a lot of people for chapped nipples (even bleeding)! I don't know what they want me to do about it, by then it was too late. Band-aids are no help because they won't stick to the sweat. OK, too much information.....

Auguri e complementi!

At 6:48 PM, Blogger H. (aka. NC_State_Gal) said...

Please forward my congratulations to Deme and Enzo. It takes a lot of mental stamina for endurance events. I am training for a marathon that I will be running in October of next year, so I can't imagine how hard it must have been with minimal training. I would DEFINITELY be proud of finishing and with good times, too!

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous paz said...

Super cool! Congratulations to all!

I wanna know more about the wicking underware??!! Also very interesting about where to but the vaseline. Hmmm...


At 8:35 AM, Blogger MeatEater said...

That's cool. I have a friend who ran in that marathon! we didn't go down to florence though. what a small world!


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