Monday, 22 September 2008

Therapy, thy name is running

Saturday I finally got in my much delayed speedwork. On the docket was 2 x 1600m at 9:51 pace. Here were my times:

1 – 9:25 (whoa nelly!)
2 – 10:03 (uhuh, that’s what I thought)

Yeah. As you can see, I continue to pace myself as poorly as Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The running gods are still thwarting me. In my frustration, I shook my fist at them and screamed, “KHAAAAAAAN!

It appeared to have no discernible effect.

The rest of Saturday was spent walking all over creation and attending a dinner party which lasted into the wee morning hours of Sunday. My roommate and I ended up catching the last bus of the night home. Turns out last buses are pretty notorious in Rome. The drivers want their shifts to end as soon as possible so they drive like complete maniacs, running red lights and likely pedestrians in their efforts to punch out for the night. Apparently, one such driver ended up cutting the usual 40 - 45 minute commute time down to 11 minutes in his haste.


Knowing this, I clung to my seat for dear life and was thankful when the driver bothered to slow down to let us off at our stop. A harrowing but rather thrilling experience. Next time I’ll bring a helmet.

With the combination of sore feet and lack of sleep, I said to hell with running on Sunday and pushed back my long run till this morning. However, Sunday wasn’t spent entirely resting in the flat. We visited the Pantheon (another building I research) and a few other ruins. While we were out and about, I took some fun pics I thought you guys might enjoy.

The Pantheon. Innit perty?

Location from which Pantheon photo was taken – a McDonalds. A total abomination, but sadly, I have eaten there a time or two in my life which is odd since I never eat McDonalds in the US.

Classy souvenir #1: The David apron. Also available: The David boxer shorts, now with less shrinkage!

Classy souvenir #2: Hot Priests of Rome calendar. Hubba hubba! (Crap, am I going to hell now for thinking that?)

Another blogger sighting! Look everyone, it’s Viper! All he did was try to bum money off people and get shitfaced. Somehow I get the impression this is standard practice for him.

This morning I slept later than I should have, but I set out for my 12-miler a little after 7 am. I ran two 6ish mile loops beginning at the flat and following a similar course as my ten miler last weekend – north along the river, south along the Via del Corso and the Via dei Fori Imperiali, then west-ish past the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. After the first loop I had to run up the three flights of stairs to the flat to use the toilet and grab a cereal bar, which my roommate found quite amusing and then I was off again.

The only problems with city running are the number of times I have to stop because of traffic and all the smog, exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke I inhale along the way. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need my lungs scraped out soon and this is coming from a person who grew up with a smoker in the family. Any tips from those of you who run in cities?

All in all, my weekend, but especially my runs, was quite therapeutic. I had plenty of time to think and remember which was exactly what I needed. When I visit my mom in December, I’ll probably get a bit sad again, but I’ll worry about that when the time comes. Thank you all for your kind comments on Friday’s post. The support and condolences were much appreciated by both me and my family.

This week, there’s a big conference, so I’ll be busy schmoozing and somehow trying to get some more research done. Thankfully the conference venue has free wi-fi so I won’t have to pay for internet access for the time being (woo hoo!!) and will still have the opportunity to post some throughout the week.

With that said, I hope you all have a great week. Catch up with you later.


Marcy said...

OMFG HAHAHHAHAHAHA I am DYING of laughter over that Priest calendar!! WTF is that?!? That's fo really? The the third homie on the top (the one with the beard and slicked back hair) looks like he came right out of the pages of Play Girl (I'm going to Hell now, aren't I?)

You are amazing getting in the running while traveling. Rock on chica!

Ms. V. said...

So glad I'm not Catholic, so as not to fry.

Where can I get the David apron? Heh.

Roisin said...

I try to hold my breath when dodging traffic and smokers, but I think that's not too good for you either. I guess you just have to get used to it.

And there's NOTHING wrong with a Hot Priests of Rome calendar!!! If fact, I was enjoy owning one. Nor is there anything wrong with admiring them :) No one's going to hell for that one!

Meg said...

Oh goodness those priests ARE good looking. Why don't they send them over here to make up for our lack of men going into priesthood?
Great job on the runs this weekend!

Blyfinn said...

You're so good at being able to get in your runs when you have so much going on. The priest calender just didn't do it for me. I think that's a good thing.

Tiger Lily said...

Holy smokes!

None of the priests looked like THAT when I went to catholic school!

RazZDoodle said...

I too like to visit the Pantheon on the weekends. It's either that or Adventureland in Des Moines.

BeachRunner said...

The Pantheon, and the little piazza in front of it, is on my list of all time favorite places.

Girl on Top said...

Interesting apron...

Great job on the run. I live in the suburbs so no tips here. I hate running with a lot of cars around anyways.

Nitmos said...

America: Classing the World Up One McDonald's At A Time!

chia said...

What?!?! No alter boy edition?

I too have a sick proclivity towards worldy shots of Mickey-D's ;)

Ted said...

The picture of Viper is perfect !!! You are sure getting a lot of wonderful experience in Rome. It is so fascinating with all the pictures you have taken. I feel like you are giving me a grand tour of Rome.

Running Knitter said...

I can't believe they actually have a priests of rome calendar! LOL!

Jenn said...

I love the apron and totally am putting it on my christmas list. That should really freak out my man!

I should start keeping track of all the places that you tell us about while you are there. Should make for an interesting list of must see's for when I go to Rome. Of course by the time I get there I will be old, blind and toothless but hey at least I can tell God that I went.


Viper said...

I knew my flight seemed long.

MizFit said...

and I NEED therapy so why caint I get runningaddicted?

Steve Stenzel said...

Please bring me that apron. And I loved the Willie Wonka reference!!

P.O.M. said...

That apron is just too funny.

Save some room for later Agustus!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to find your blog! My husband and I will be vacationing in Rome in February, and I'm already trying to figure out how/where to run. I can't WAIT to run by the Colosseum!! You know you're living a charmed life, right? :)

Paint-Me-Dioxazine said...

I hope those are real preists, because that would be fantastic! My first full day in Rome I went to the Pantheon and called my parents from the payphone at that very McDonald's to tell them where I was. They were only mildly amused as it was 4:30am est. In Philly I've found it easier to just run with the lights so I don't have to stop - or take detours around blocks with too many people on them. Unfortunately that may not work for you if you're judging your run based on distance, it's more suited for the timed run. When I'm done running I track it here: and get a general idea of how far I went. Good Luck!