Note for my non-italian friends: my english sucks, really. But I wanna just communicate and share something with you guys, so appreciate my attempt. :)
Aaaannnnd...here we go!
Today's run was the last relatively long run before going deep in the pre-SDW50 tapering, which I've actually already began this week, with a cut of 30% of the peak mileage I ran in the last months (yeaahhh, admit, I've read more and more times "Relentless Forward Progress", the awesome ultrarunning-guide by Bryon Powell, chef and founder of irunfar.com).
In the coming week I plan to run still a couple of times (veeery easy by the way) and essentially to try to gain the more rest I can, through nutrition and hydration and, of course, napping and sleeping like hell! Then, next Sunday, I wanna already go to England, and enjoy the SDW-week as a little holiday period with my wife, and of course as a sort of acclimatization to the awesome atmosphere of Sussex, before...running my first 50miler ever on Easter Saturday (or...try to do it).
I've decided to write this brief pre-race post for a bunch of reasons, many of 'em are bullsh@t maybe, but I still fermly believe in them.
First of all, I wanna just trace a line at the end of this long training period. When I decided to register to SDW50 (in July 2014) I was essentially searching for a sort of revenge after my pretty bad DNF at the 100k in Ulm (due to IT-Band injury the weeks before, and I wrote about that). But immediately after these "I'm gonna kick you in the ass"-feelings, wich are pretty negative and not so adapt to my personal point of view and running-philosophy (man...what am I writing?!), I reflected about the amazing opportunity I had. Try to bounce back from a bad experience of my run, enjoy a new challenge and the training experience, and try to visualize a chance of redemption in it.
So I've put a lot of hard work in training in these months and yes, can say that I've really kicked myself in the ass. And it was awesome, really.
This Winter I could run a lot of long runs, and this was maybe the biggest change in my running habits. I've made a little statistic of them (don't worry, I don't want to trash your head with numbers and maths) and I've just seen that in the last 6 months I've run a total of 18 over-20k training runs, with 5 times over-30k, 4 times over-40k and 3 times over-50k (ok, I trashed your head with numbers, sorry guys!). And timewise (and time on feet was always the most important statistic for me) I could hit 2 times the 5 hours, 2 times the 6 hours and one time the 8 hours run, which was for me by the way a record in terms of duration and distance.
I've also run all my long runs on trail here in Schwarzwald (another big change for me, because I was used to run essentially on paved roads) and it was good, because I could finally find a "proper" trail running form (proper for me, obiouvsly..), and test gear and nutrion strategy on a terrain that is pretty similar to SDW (ok, I know, it's really impossible to replicate the exact same race conditions, but I did my best to do it).
Another reason to write this post...well, I just wanna say "thank you" to the amazing runners and friends I've "met" on this way to SDW, by reading race reports and blogs, or simply by asking a pair of tipps via social network. Particularly, gotta say "thanks" to my buddies Davide and Luigi (future partner in crime at the NDW50 in May), to Gemma Carter and Mark Perkins, which I hope to meet "live" in Worthing, and to Tim "FromSofaToUltra" Lambert, a real running-blogging legend and a great source of inspiration. And, last but not least, to my crew and Terzoristoro friends, for being my first (and maybe only) readers! :)
And last reason, maybe the most important. I wrote this because I just wanna to put in a pair of "mantra" that I know I'll need when I will be on the SDW.
Man, this is really a beast, for me. I've put miles and hours on my feet, tried to figure out nutrition and gear, but the throuth...is that there's a lot of unknown outhere. And this is maybe what I love of ultrarunning.
I know I'll be in front of a big leap into it, I know I'll have many ups and downs during it, there will be a lot of demons and doubts, but, must say, I want it. I want to reach that finish line.
Yeah, of course I'm already satisfied with the training experience (and I think that essentially it's always about the journey), but I'll try to do my best to put all into it, and then some. I can't wait to embrace this challenge.
And then, I can't wait to live and breath the amazing and unique UK-ultrarunning culture and community, and I think that the best way to "honour" the course, the runners and friends around of me, the organizers and everybody believed in me, will be puttin' my ass on the SDW, move a step at a time and reach that track in Eastbourne!
So, South Downs Way 50, here's the deal: I'm coming to get you.
Race bib #46. See you in Worthing.