Saturday, May 23, 2009

05/23/09 Jesolo Night Marathon, ITALY

Italian Lesson One: "Dove Piazza San Marco?"
(Do-vay Pee-yaht-sah Sahn Marrr-ko? Roll the "RRR" in Marco)
Translation: Where is Saint Mark's Square?

After six months of Italian lessons, we arrived in Venice and immediately got lost.
But fortunately, the very first thing we learned was how to ask for directions to Saint Mark's Square in Venice. In my best Italian, I politely asked a man for directions.
He responsed with, "Es tut Mir Leid, aber Ich kann nicht Italianisch."
Which means "I can't speak Italian" IN GERMAN.
Lorenzo promptly stepped in and had a five minute conversation with the guy, IN GERMAN.

Good thing we spent all that time learning Italian.
And it was even better that Lorenzo mastered German back in high school...

The palace in Piazza San Marco.

Lorenzo at the Grand Canal in Venice.

I had to get in a little climbing!

It almost sounds edible in Italian, but it's still McDonalds.

Sun about to set before the start of the Night Marathon.

Seriously, this is NOT a postcard.

Lorenzo rented a bicycle towards the start and took some of these great pictures before the runners came along.

The pace car, a Lamborghini of course!

The lead pack coming down the street.

The first big wave of runners.

I started in the purple short sleeved shirt, but was sweating even before the start in 75 degree temperatures with about 80% humidity.

It was completely dark by the time Lorenzo was able to work his way through the crowd and catch up to me. But it was still warm and humid, so the shirt had to come off.

Even in Italy, they have Super-Size French Fries.
Mi dispiace! (I'm sorry!)

For those of you who know him, you'll agree that this looks EXACTLY like Keith!

The road was lit with candles for much of the course making it the most romantic marathon that I have ever run!

After running Vancouver and Toronto, I'm starting to get the hang of this Kilometer thing.
Marathons are 26.2 miles which is 42 Kilometers, so the course marker in this photo means there is still an eternity left before the finish!

When "FINISH" is written in big bold letters across the course, it means the same thing in Italian as it does in English!

My shorts were so sweaty that I had to repeatedly grab the hem and wring them out as I ran! This was by far the sweatiest I have EVER been!

Smiling in the internet cafe when I saw the marathon results.

Tenth female, first American female!

After the marathon, it was a perfect opportunity to rent a scooter and enjoy some Italian countryside scenery. It looks like Lorenzo was enjoying the scenery... of himself!

This is my "Perfect Italian Photograph" - the scooter, the Adriatic Sea, and cappuccino!!

Italian port-o-potties are "jolly" in Italy!

Our gracious hosts and their family at the beach, thank you Ivan & Franchesca!

Every meal was amazing, especially when staying with local hosts who were related to the owner and the chef!

A kiss in Venice IS even more romantic. In fact, the captain of a ferry pulled over and waited for us to take this photo before boating behind us. Afterwards, he gave us the thumbs up, the universally recognized sign for "Vita e buona" (Life is good).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

02/08/09 Melbourne Florida Marathon & Mom's Birthday!

The innaugural Melbourne Music Marathon was 2/8/09, and more importantly, so was my mom's birthday!

The course was made up of two laps around a 13.1 mile loop. It was mostly flat except for two bridges over the water, which each had to be done twice. Every few miles, we were treated to some musical entertainment.

It was so great to see Mom at the halfway point!
I can't remember if this was the first lap or the second... But it was so great to have Lorenzo keep me company and more importantly, he kept me smiling!

Mom and Grandma cheering at the finish made me feel like I could run the whole thing all over again!

I was shocked to see my results!

Due to the fact that this was the first year of this marathon, the organizers seemed a bit unorganized at the awards ceremony. We had to wait over an hour, but it was worth it to receive my first gold medal!

The next day, we took our Couchsurfing host Rhonda to the rock climbing gym in Melbourne.
Then Lorenzo and I drove down to Key Largo.

John Pennekamp state park.

Feeding the tarpon.

Then it was back to Cocoa Beach to spend more time with Mom and Grandma. This is their "backyard" - the Atlantic Ocean.

Thanks to Grandma and Mom for all the homemade meatballs and lasagna!