Monday, April 28, 2014
All Roads Lead to Rome
For many years, it has been my dream to run the Maratona di Roma, so you can imagine how excited I was to be there this year. In anticipation of the race, my running partner and fellow LVTC member , Steffen Schneider and I signed up for a running tour of Rome the day before the race. I thought it would be the perfect way to see some of the sights and get in a short run. I was right. Our tour guide was a company called "The Roman Guy", in honor of the company's owners running their first marathon, the guys had decided to put together a "Shake Out" tour for us marathoners. We met our group at the Colosseum for an extensive tour of Ancient Rome, we then moved on -running- to the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps and the Via Condoti. We made stops at the Piazza Navonna, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon-it was a wonderful way to see the city, although a little dicey dodging tourists and traffic as we ran from place to place. The next morning we awoke to clouds and the threat of rain. Sure enough, as we walked to the starting line, the downpour started. There we were in the Eternal City, soaked, but undeterred. We ran 26.2 miles in the rain on wet, slippery, cobblestones past some of the worlds most famous sights. The race is the Grand Tour of Rome, unlike many major cities, this marathon began in the heart of Rome, every mile was filled with beauty (even in the rain) as well as history. It was one of the most memorable marathons I've ever ran. Unfortunately, the following morning it became it bit more memorable-we were out on what was to be a few miles recovery run, when I was distracted by a black and white dress in a store window, as I pondered whether or not it would need a belt, my foot caught what I later saw was a plank, I went crashing down onto the Roman sidewalk and landed on my knee. I tried to shake it off and run/walk back to the hotel, unfortunately that became more of painful limp. I spent the rest of the day in the hotel icing my knee and watching our one English channel-CNN, which replayed the same 3 stories all day. Not wanting the entire trip to be a bust, the next day, I hopped and hobbled to the nearest pharmacy and was outfitted with a "stampelle". Our next stop was the Vatican. Needless to say, handicapped accessibility does not exist in Italy. I struggled more than in any marathon just to get from the subway to the Basilica. Luckily, I found that because I was on crutches, we were able to skip the hour and a half long wait in line to go inside. When I got home, it was confirmed by x-ray that I have a fractured patella. Unfortunately, no running for me for a few weeks. I'm sorry to say my "marathon a month" streak of 54 months will likely come to an end; however my plan to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states for the 2nd time is still in place. With just 2 more states to complete, I'm hoping to finish in June at the Hatfield McCoy Marathon in West Virginia, the 50 States Club reunion race.