Monday, June 26, 2006

Pasta-Rice-Curry Party

While Linda went to lounge at the pool and walk on the beach I went and did a course inspection in the morning and then a press conference in the afternoon. The course inspection was pretty uneventful though about three or four miles of it was on the beach area where the Tsunami hit the hardest. This is low tourist season on the island 'cause it's technically their winter, so there were few people out in their hut/shops. In the afternoon they held the press conference at the Dusit Laguna Resort where a very cute and sweet Naoko Takahashi, gold medal marathon winner at the Sydney Olypics talked about her involvement in the Phuket race. Apparently the japanese won't travel to Phuket because anyplace that has had many deaths is considered bad luck. It's true that countries hit by the tsunami received a lot of monetary support to reconstruct damaged buildings, but only 50% of tourists have come back to the island so the real people suffering from all of this are the common workers that live off of tourism. Naoko Takahashi brought about one hundred Japanese runners to the race plus a handful of journalists and two television crews. She's hoping to bring more next year and show her country that all the "evil spirits" have left.
At six o'clock that evening we went to the pasta-rice-.curry party. It was held at our hotel which made it even better. I didn't eat pasta, but plenty of rice and a really good chicken dish. There was a great dessert spread too and everything was in bite size pieces so we indulged there too. Yum.
Our wake up call was to be at 3.30 am so we skidadled on out of there right after we were finished eating.

Fantasy, oops, it's Fantasea Land!

On the first night we were in Phuket the Thailand Tourism Agency offered us a dinner and show at "Fantasea Land". This photo with Linda is really dark and you can't see much but I'm sure you can make out all the neon lights in the background. The entry was FILLED with neon lights and we sort of thought it might be like a fun park with rides...but it wasn't. They had all sorts of booths where you could knock down pins with balls and other assorted '50's type carnival games. We went straight to the buffet dinner which was actually kind of nice. Well, to me anything with curry and hot sauce is great so I'm not a very good judge on that. Also if just plain steamed thai rice is involved I'm okay. Plenty here too. After eating and getting to know a really nice journalist from Singapore (Wayaong was his name, not so sure on the spelling), Linda and I feigned sleepiness and asked to be taken back to our hotel. The others stayed to watch the "Fantasea" show of elephants and plenty of thai dancing with chimes. What we actually did was get dropped off at the massage place next to our hotel and had a foot massage. Two Thai ladies spent one-whole-hour massaging and pampering our feet. If you haven't ever had this done you have no idea what you're missing...

(picture of yummy chicken curry and fried noodles)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Take off

I have this thing about goodbyes. I hate them. Has to do with never getting to say goodbye to people that then never came everytime that I have to go on a long distance trip I just relive it all over again. I'm a mess, I cry, it gets really bad, and I pretty much don't get over it until I'm on the airplane and practically in the next country. I had to say goodbye to Evan and Piero at the Rome airport where they dropped Linda and I off to take our flight. Evan just waved and said "Bye Mom!". I told Piero to message me even if I was on the plane so that when we landed I'd get all the messages. The flight was pleasant, all eleven hours of it. They showed a bunch of bad movies that I didn't watch 'cause I was busy reading "The Da Vinci Code". I think I'm the last person on earth to read that novel. I was captivating and I finished about three quarters of it on the plane. There was a plane switch in Bangkok and then the next flight down to Phuket. We got picked up at the airport and swept off to the Laguna Beach Resort. It is so so beautiful. Tropical and calm and beautiful...

I had to go to a lunch right away where I met all the other journalists. There were most of the RW's from around the world (except the US, surprisingly), plus Running Times and many Asian publications. Lots of Japanese since there was a huge Japanese contingency running the marathon. After lunch I went back to my room where I hung out for an hour and then I went down to the pool...which is right in front of the beach. The pool is huge and has all sorts of places you can go: caves, waterfalls, slides, a jacuzzi corner. Very very cool. Tomorrow I'll tell you about this freaky place we went to for dinner called "Fantasea land".

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We're off!

Thai Air said that Linda could get on the airplane, no problems (if it had been her leg, the answer was no). So, I'm scrambling to get everything together. Tomorrow is a huge busy day 'cause I have to bring Olly up to Milano, then go to the physical therapist in Parma on the way back. We've decided with the broken arm dilemna to spend the night in Rome, where we leave from Fiumicino airport at 15:20 on thursday.
Linda was feeling bad about coming and being a "burden", but I'm so happy that she CAN come I really won't mind cutting up her tropical fruit for her. Positive points: 1) good thing she didn't break her leg 2) good thing she wasn't planning on running, cause then she would have done all that training for nothing. See you on the other side of the world!

Monday, June 12, 2006

OUCH! Oh no!!

Yesterday I had my last long run before the Phuket Marathon, 2 hours for a total of who-knows-how-many-kms. Linda, my travel companion, was ever so nice as to offer to follow me on her bike so that I'd have company and she could hand me over my water/gatorade. We were in the last half hour when I need to stop for a second, so I said "stop!". She did, but she wasn't able to get her right cleat out of the peddle so she fell to her left. She wasn't moving when it happened and instictively put her left hand out to break the fall. A little bruise, nothing bad...until this morning when she saw that it was swollen. She want to the hospital to have it x-rayed. The wrist is broken. She's in a cast up to her armpit. She's calling around to see if they'll let her on the airplane on thursday when we're supposed to leave for Thailand together. I feel so bad...I've never broken anything but I can't imagine being restricted in a cast like that.
I hope she's still able to come with me. Ten days in Thailand ALONE would really be, well, lonely.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


We bought Evan a bicycle last year and for the last twelve months he's just sat on the seat. No matter how many times we tried to get him to peddle, it just wouldn't connect for him. At school they told me that he would try all the tricycles by sitting on them and then saying, "Nope, this one won't go", as if they're supposed to magically move by themselves. Last week I noticed that he was getting on the bike by himself. He'd just sit there, but it was already a step ahead that he was able to get on and off without calling me a million times to do it for him. A few days later I saw that he was able to move the left peddle. He's back track and then move five inches, backtrack and move five inches. A couple of neurons must have clicked together in that baby brain of his 'cause all of the sudden he was peddling! What freedom! Now he peddles around and around and around the building for twenty minutes at a time (which is a lot for a two year old). Today he even dared to wave to me with one hand! The helmet is mine, he insists on wearing it rather than his Mickey Mouse helmet.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday the 6th

I have so much stuff going on I don't even know where to start!
Last weekend was a three day holiday here in Italy, so no school on friday and the kids were home with me. I practically slept for three days. Friday morning I slept in until 8.30 am (as opposed to the 6.00 am wake up) and then in the afternoon I took a three hour nap with Evan. Saturday, um, the same. By Sunday I was feeling pretty rested but I slept in until 10.00 am 'cause Piero was home and could take care of Evan in the morning. I decided to not feel guilty anymore if I need to sleep. I'm nicer, don't get as sick and am much more pleasant to be around if I get my sleep. Sunday afternoon I had a 2 hour long run scheduled. I was a little apprehensive about this since my running has been going so bad lately. But I put my Heart Rate Monitor on and decided that for the first hour I would not let it go past 150 bpm and then on the way back I would just do fartlek work between 150 and 160 bpm. I'm happy to report that I never had to stop and I made it back with no problem. I think I'm finally getting over the anemia bout. Yay!
The other thing I did was finally go see a physical therapist. I've been having a lot of problems with my back and the muscles down the back of my legs , from the gluteus maximus all the way down through the ham strings. I can barely get out of bed in the morning without some sort of strange maneuvers. Then I warm up and I'm fine. Doesn't hurt when I run, but on the other hand the "injury" involves such an important muscle group that it couldn't NOT have some effect on my sports.
So he looked at me and figured out that my pelvis was blocked and slightly twisted to the right. This, probably thanks to the last pregnancy and consequent explusion of junior (which is when I started having the pain). I also have a vertebrae out of place and he asked me to have an x-ray so that we can see if it's hereditary or not. He did a osteopathic type treatment and then showed me some exercises that I'm supposed to do every day at home. I already feel about 20% better, which doesn't sound like a lot, but for the type of pain I was feeling is really a lot.
I'm also thinking that maybe this is why I was finally able to run continuosly for the first time in a few months.
So, in short, things are looking up :-)