Monday, March 30, 2009

On thinking positive

Last week after I was on the national radio show to talk about my book, I stopped by the offices of the running magazine I work for to pick up a stock of my books. I went into the editing room to say hello to my collegues. They were every excited about the book, my main editor even talked about it becoming an editorial "case". He asked me how many books I hoped to sell. I really have no idea, it's nothing I ever thought about while I was writing it. I thought it was already such a miracle that I even finished it. One thing is for sure: I would have never started or finished without the insistence of the magazine owner. He pushed, pushed and pushed...for years. Selling them is just the icing on the cake. But as we got into the final stages I could see that the book had shaped into something special and that maybe I WOULD be able to sell a few of them. For all you "foreign" readers, please remember that Italy is not a large country. A total population of 60 million, not many runners. Selling 5000 copies would already be a big triumph for them. But I believe in positive affirmations and I certainly don't believe in "fitting" in to any statistics.

I told him I hoped to sell 100,000 copies.

He laughed. Then he asked, no, really, how many copies do you want to sell.

I replied 100,000.

Later in the week we exchanged emails where I tried to explain my point of view.
If I aim low, I will settle for low numbers. If I aim high I might not get to the top, but at least I have a better chance of getting there.
He quite enphatically told me that I had to come back to earth and stop dreaming. He told me that I had to adjust my expectations, that not even (very-well-known-trainer-in-Italy-who-wrote-a-book-a-few-years-ago) sells a fraction of that number of copies. Plus, the book doesn't go into mainstream bookstores, only specialized ones or by request.

Well, I'm not him. I am me. I am different. I have no idea the number of copies I am going to sell but I sure as hell am not going to conform to someone elses selling numbers. Besides, I have a different audience than the marathon group. This is a book for women, and when we want to, we show up in droves. You just wait and see!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A question for the girls

This weekend I presented my book at the Rome Marathon. We sold out all the copies brought to the expo by the afternoon! Unexpectedly, it's being bought by a lot of men who want to convince their wives and companions to run with them.
The big question that everybody is asking me is if I plan on publishing it in english. Apart from the fact that I'd have to find a publisher in the States or U.K., I don't know if it's translatable or if there's a market for yet ANOTHER women's running book. On my behalf I can say that my training technique is different, even for beginners. I just don't know if my articles would translate well in english. So I thought I'd ask y'all! Can you give me an opinion? Should I translate a central chapter (chapter four?) and then have you look at it and let me know? Any, all suggestions are welcome.

I'm running the Paris Marathon in 2 weeks so yesterday I needed to do a longer run. I got two free entries and invited my friend Patrizia to run with me (she's coming to Paris too!). We decided on 30km constructed like this: 6 x (1km walk/3km @ marathon pace/1km @ half marathon pace). That worked out really well; fun, relaxing, easy. The only problem was the wind and cold. It looks sunny in the photos but it's really in the low 50's. Here we are at the 20km mark with the Vatican in the background. The pope was giving mass and we could see the maxi screen as we ran by!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The calm before...

The book should be arriving in my hands tomorrow. In the meantime I'm getting ready for the first big presentation in Rome next Saturday. Everybody in the running world knows this book is coming out and I've started to get reservations for other book presentations. The first one, without the book, was in Trieste. I love Trieste. From my house it takes about 3 and a half hours to drive there - which is where I had to go on Saturday. I had the family stay home since I knew that it was going to be a long drive up, a quick presentation (one hour) and then the long drive back. I really like driving by myself. I listen to audiobooks and music that I can keep putting the same CD on over and over again. From Venice up to Trieste you don't really see the water until you actually get to the city...and then you get this beautiful shot of water. I stopped the car and took a picture (above). It just took my breath away. I want warm weather SO much...

Monday, March 09, 2009

R O 2 0 0 9

I signed up for the Roma Ostia Half Marathon at the last minute. I love Rome, not so crazy about the half marathon course. It starts out nice: downhill! But then up and then down. And then up again. And it's a straight shot from Rome to Ostia. No curves, no real interesting monuments to see, just straight ahead. Added to this is that the weather, or rather wind factor, plays a big part of the experience. One year we ran against the wind and all posted a PW. The next year we had the wind at our backs and had our best best race. This year when we started the sky was grey. Not threatening rain, but grey and heavy. Oh, I forgot: the thing that makes me come back every year? I get to see my Girls...

The other reason I like this race is because the temps are higher in Rome and you can feel spring in the air. Except that Sunday. The sky started to get darker and darker as race time was nearing. We did our annual pre-race photo next to the bathrooms before the start...

I was really excited to run this year. It wasn't like the last two years where I had back problems and THIS was my clue race. This was a stepping stone for Paris next month. I'd also done something I need to blog about but haven't had time. Since NYCM I've lost 13 lbs. I revamped my eating habits and lost 5% body fat. The girls above? Not one of them said anything about it, but I can feel it while I'm running. I'm lighter and it just feels great to run again. I couldn't wait to start the race.
I usually have a nice finish photo since Piero waits for me at the 18km mark, but this year the wind was so strong and then it started raining, that he and Evan waited in the car. I finished in 2:04:32 with the last two kms striving to run against the wind and rain. I was happy about the time, but even more because I could have kept running after the finish line.
Four more weeks to Paris...I'm really enjoying these last moments :-)