Milano City Marathon

I ran another marathon. I know, I know, I always profess that running back to back marathons is not a good thing. I know. But I didn’t race Barcelona and the day after I was fine. I did yoga, long walks, bike rides or both. I diligently walked during whole week without running.

But when day eight hit I was out running again and felt great. Then my good friends at the Milano City Marathon asked me if I wanted a bib for their race.

Other years I had deliberately run until the halfway point and then pulled out. This time I asked the Guru Running Coach Husband, “Where should I pull out?”.

He answered, “You could do the whole thing…”

So I ran another marathon. I wanted to use this opportunity to get a good mental framework and re-learn to buck up when the going got tough so that I could use that again for Ironman Zurich in July.

Me and Carmela

Sunday morning was hot. I was already sweating at 7AM and knew that I’d have to drink a lot of water to keep myself as cool as possible.

At the start I got stopped by the lovely woman in the photo above. Her name is Carmela and she started running with one of my first love training clinics in Milan in 2001!

I asked her what time she was aiming for and though she wanted to run 4:45, when I told her I was aiming to go under 5:00 she decided to run with me for as far as she could.

casual crazy snapshot behind me without looking!
casual crazy snapshot behind me without looking!

I have to say the first half of the course was not my favorite. The whole course (except for maybe one bridge) is perfectly flat and PR material, but there was also no shade at all. No trees or tall buildings. I tried to compensate by sponging myself with water at every station (every 2.5km) and totally soak my head and hair to keep cool.

relay racers waiting for their teammates
relay racers waiting for their teammates

Along with the marathon race MCM also organises a charity relay race which is quite popular. I thought it would bother me to have people running by me but it was actually entertaining. There were four relays so we had four different moments when everything around the marathon race changed.

The coolest part was when I saw our very own Up & Running teammate, Nico! Actually she saw me, screamed my name, then I screamed back and had to have a photo with her.

Nico & Julia
Nico & Julia

Before Nico’s Up & Running courses we’d previously worked together at the Turin Marathon in 1997 and I hadn’t seen her in person since then. I was crazy happy that we recognised each other after so many years!

Il Duomo di Milano
Il Duomo di Milano

I love this photograph! We were around the 28°km (maybe!) and the sight of the Duomo took my breath away. I tried to make sure that I got the angel at the tippy top in the shot. Not an easy feat while running low on energy.

The second half of the race had more shady spots since we were now in the centre of Milano and there were more trees and buildings to help out. At the same time it was also warmer, getting up to 25°c, and now we were into the last 10km of the race.

I did have to dig down a little, but it seemed an easier dig than Barcelona. I just tried to stay cool, relaxed and move forward.

Finish line mission accomplished in 4:56:07. Carmela came in just a minute later.

The purple circle are shoelaces...took me a week to figure that out!
The purple circle are shoelaces…took me a week to figure that out!

My husband missed my finish line arrival. He said I came in “too fast”. Since it was so hot he was expecting me later. I think he was actually having too much fun with the food and drinks at the special VIP area…

A little tired

So here I am weeks later and I am still doing great. I did crash a little the week after and made up for it by sleeping a lot more. A few people criticised my doing two marathons in such a short time (“not the way to prepare for an Ironman!”) but my husband is a professional, he knows me really well and I trust his judgement 100%. Make that 10000000%. There’s not enough zeros here to say I much I trust him.

My training has taken a total turn for the positive after these 84 kilometres and that’s what counts.

Well, that and I have another marathon medal. Number 35 !

  1. Bella
    Lovely photo of you two at the end. Even though the caption says tired, as always, you look pretty fab!
  2. Cels
    Love this race recap! Congratulations on marathon number 35. In that photo at the end, you look, dare I say it? - refreshed from your marathon!
  3. Sarah Sweeny
    What an inspiration! Congratulations on #35, that is quite a feat. Glad it went so well!
  4. Nicoletta Vair
    Julia, what a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing our photo. And what a wonderful day it was, meeting you after so many years and see you running a marathon. Girls, I can swear that our coach still looks absolutely beautiful, just like in 1997.
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