Last night of the tour here


It’s time to say good-bye to Italy for now. We are flying back tomorrow. My route goes through Germany where I stop to pitch Tuxera once again for investors and fellow entrepreneurs.

Last night I ran the last major effort here in Montabone, the standard 450m uphill course in 1.14 something. A week ago I did my PB in 1.12 something. Avg heart rate in the PB was 154 and last night 149. Not much change to what I had when we arrived. The only major difference is that my leg muscles can now take the hills without any pains, as if the course was flat. Unfortunately I could have run much more during our stay here. Mainly because of time constraints I’ve done perhaps 50k per week and sometimes even less. Wonder what happens when I return and try again tempo runs on a truly flat course with a stopwatch…

How to enter Jimmy’z?


We’ve been driving around the places the last two weeks. Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Firenze, Siena, you name it. I’ve also done some interesting runs, like for example the F1 route in Monaco.

The above pic is taken in the front of Jimmy’z, the infamous night club. We stayed in the adjacent Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, which is highly recommended. Legendary Usva — now a local — lead me through the night. We arrived at Jimmy’z around midnight with a Q7. Which was pretty lame as the professionals always enter with a helicopter… So next time (GP night?) we’ll do it in style!

Bright night


The nature here in the Italian countryside simply surprises. Last night we had dramatic thunderstorm in the skyline. Tonight it is bright skies with beautiful starlight. With very little light pollution it just amazes me to see so many stars out there. Mmm… perhaps this excellent Barbera del Monferrato has been of help.

Training camp in Piedmont

View Larger Map

I’ve been the last 6 days in Italy. This place is Montabone, Asti region, some 10 kilometers from Acqui Terme. Today I had a feeling this could be my training base camp for the next 2 months. It is basically countryside from the front door in a very hilly region known for the vineyards. Roads are great for running with very low traffic.

This morning I made the longest run so far here: something like 19-20K in 1.23. I have to buy an altimeter because I must have climbed hundreds of meters in that run. Montabone where I started is in 386m and Bistagno, the lowest point, in 180m. In between I climbed at least 100-200m more. Legs were aching after 10K like hell. Wonder if I can run anything tomorrow. Yesterday was off, and the previous days 5-10K. I really need to build strength now.

I think the run today clearly showed I cannot imagine a sub 1.15 half or sub 2.40 marathon anytime soon. It will take obviously months to get myself back on track.

Pääkaupunkijuoksu 1.18.10 – facing the crossroads

After start, my running felt strong. Unfortunately it did not last.

It was a disaster end for a disappointing season. I simply failed the half marathon. First 5K in 17.30, 10K in 35.30 or something, and after that it was like 3.50+ Ks. After the run I took a fast taxi to the airport and left Finland behind.

I am writing this from a house on the hills of Montabone, near Acqui Terme, in Piedmont, Italy. Now it feels like I am at crossroads with the running hobby. I have basically slept one season over, and I’m already 33 years. It will be hard to get back to the condition where I was a year ago. Can I ever run half marathon in 1.12 again? I have to face the fact that such a day may never come.

Well. I still have Boston and 2.40 in sight. A lot of miles are needed in order to even think of starting with that 1.20 pace…