Month: August 2015

Marathon 3: race report

(Para a versão em português clique aqui)

After a month of uncertainties, knee pain, two physiotherapy sessions and only a few short runs to test the knee, it finally came the big day! The third marathon of my fundraising challenge and the first in my hometown.

Joe, a friend from work, and I left the hotel at 6:45 and walked to the beach. On the way, I tried to set up the app that tracks my position in real time for those who would like to follow the run, especially for those who would meet me somewhere along the way. There was no connection though. We ran back to the hotel and I set up the app and posted the link on the blog and on Facebook. The app seemed to be tracking our position on the screen but, as I would discover only later, nothing was being broadcasted because the internet on my mobile was down. I used that pre-paid sim card the whole week and it failed exactly when I needed the most!

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Ipanema 7 am. Views from Leblon and Vidigal (left) and Arpoador (right).

Ipanema-Copacabana and back (10 km  with Joe)

But let’s get back to the beginning. Posto 10 in Ipanema, just after 7 am and Joe and I started our run towards Copacabana. The day was gorgeous and we followed our plan of running at around 6:30 min per km. Arriving in Copacabana we saw the preparations for the cycling test event for the Olympic Games in Rio.  We took photos of the athletes, the support cars with all the bikes on top, and Joe even posed in front of the tens of police motorcycles that were there to escort the cyclists.

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Copacabana beach: us, the runners, the sunrise, the teams preparing for the road cycling event, and Joe posing. 🙂

We kept going until we completed 5 km and it was time to go back. Back in Ipanema we were forced to leave the main road by the event organisers but we were already a few meters from our starting point: first 10 km completed and it was time to say goodbye to Joe, thank him for the company and head to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas where I would meet Debinha (or Debbie), my sister.

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Getting back to Ipanema.

Loop around Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas  (with Debinha and Crass)

I got to the lagoon and didn’t see them. I ran slowly looking around when I heard: “Hey, Wait for me!” I was relieved that she found me as we ran a bit in the anticlockwise direction to meet her husband, Crass, who would also run with us. We changed directions and increased the pace to something around 5:40 per km. We ran at this pace for most of the loop, enjoying the view and taking photos.

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Lagoon loop: Debinha, Crass an me.

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Views from Lagoa.

Just before the helipoint, I saw someone that looked like a cousin of mine. I yelled his name but the person didn’t even look back. I didn’t bother in the end since we were not supposed to meet for the run. I was really looking for Rafa and Ramon, my wife’s brother and cousin. By the end of the loop I found odd that they were not there and asked Crass to check his mobile. As I mentioned above, the links were correct but the connection was down and no data was being broadcasted from my phone. I don’t know whether the problem was with my phone or the telecom company but that was the only issue that I had during the run.

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Final course and elevation profile. Full stats can be seen here. Below, the signal sent by my mobile. Clearly I had no connection for the first half of the run and lost it again in the forest. From the final point on the map on, the  culprit was the battery…

I left Debinha and Crass after a nice full loop around the lagoon and went through the process that I’m getting used to in these runs: hugs, kisses, thanks, and the “see you at the finish line”. I kept going and passed by the orange tent of “Filhos do Vento”, a running group in Rio, when I saw the guy that looked like my cousin again. I approached and yelled: “Bibigo!” It was him in the end! We hugged, jumped on the spot, and swore quite loudly in joy and excitement. I quickly explained what that run was about, we ran together back to my sister, took more photos and I followed my way, this time alone.

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Top: with Debbie and Crass. Bottom: with Bibigo and Debbie.

From Lagoa to Horto (with Rafa and Ramon)

Just after the Monte Líbano club, I was surprised by Rafa and Ramon. They had finally found me! Despite the lack of connection, they knew more or less the time I would be passing at the lagoon and waited until I passed by them. We ran together until the Piraquê club where I would turn left in the direction of Horto. I invited them to join me for a little longer since they missed a big chunk of the Lagoa segment. The three of us followed the road partially closed for the cycling event towards the mountains. At the beginning of the ascent, it was again time to say goodbye, thank them and ask someone to take our picture. Ramon had traveled from another city the day before just to join me. I really appreciate their support and the persistence they showed despite the communication problems. Thanks guys!

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From Lagoa to Horto with Ramon and Rafa.

Me, the forest and the climb

From there I began the tough and solitary journey to the Christ statue. I love the forest and I felt energized, happy and at home. In any moment I thought about fatigue and was simply enjoying the sounds of the birds and the monkeys. I even interpreted their noise as yells of support and encouragement. At some points these sounds were replaced by the company of people that were there to watch the cycling event: the athletes would come from a different direction and go down following the road that I was climbing. I should thank the volunteers, tourists and spectators that helped me taking photos and supporting me after listening to the ten seconds explanation about my run.

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Views of the forest.

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Map with the ascent difficulty level. While climbing I noticed the two line colours on the road and assumed that they corresponded to the levels of difficulty on the map. To be honest, my legs couldn’t tell the difference between the white and red segments.

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More forest. I swear there was a monkey when I took the photo on the right!

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Vista Chinesa.

I hadn’t felt the knee until the downhills just after km 28. I sped up a bit to avoid braking and landing on my heels, which would put more stress on the knee. Was just a discomfort and the descent was actually welcome. I was already over 29km and a break in the climbing effort made me feel even better. I got to the bifurcation where to the left one goes to São Conrado (where the cyclists were coming from) and to the right one goes to Corcovado. I was tempted to wait for the athletes but heard from the volunteers that they were at least still 20 min. away from that point. I continued towards my goal and it was time to climb again. For the first time I saw the north side of the city with Maracanã and Rio-Niterói bridge at the back. Again, some nice people along the road took pictures for me. Thanks!

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Left: the beginning of the second climb. Right: view from Maracanã and Rio-Niterói bridge.

I passed by the bifurcation between Estrada Redentor and Estrada do Sumaré and entered in well known territory. When I lived with my parents in Laranjeiras, I climbed a few times up to that road. I knew I was close. The view is sensational and I took some nice photos. I had my last drop of water at km 38 but was already feeling at home and didn’t worried about it. Just after that I passed by a fountain, put my head under it to refresh, and had my last sip of water before the end.

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View from the last kilometers.

These kilometers were fast as there were no hills and I was impregnated with that extra energy that you get when you know the goal is really close. I took many shots of the Christ as I approached the target.

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Final goal from different points of the run.

I got to the base with 41 km on my legs and knew that I had to climb even further. I asked for information and was directed to the road that leads to the monument. These were the most cruel 2 km of the whole run. I could see the statue and started to feel the heat and the thirsty. I could only think of a cold bottle of water. After more than 43 km I finally got there. I bought my ticket, climbed the stairs and walked without much problem around the tourists. They were many but were all trying to avoid that weird guy dripping in sweat. Those who were too distracted to avoid a collision would just make a face of disgust and keep going. I couldn’t care less. In fact, if I had the chance I would have hugged and kissed them all, so happy I was with my feat.

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Top left: gate at the beginning of the last 2 km climb to the Christ. Do I need legend for the others?

I was found by Debbie, Crass and Joe that had arrived there before. Later I learned that Rafa and Ramon also went there but arrived a bit late and missed me. At the statue a tourist came to me to congratulate for my run. He had seen me going up that last hill. He was even more impressed when Joe told him that those were the last 2 km of a marathon. I finally drank the cold water I was dreaming about, took some photos, left some more tourists disgusted with my sweat and had a can of guaraná. We didn’t stay up there for long as we had a table booked for lunch. The three would go back to the base in a van but my ticket didn’t included the transportation up and down those last 2 km. So, I decided to go down running. Two km downhill at that stage would be nothing. Not only did I ran down, but I also got a course record for that segment on Strava. Well, I wasn’t expecting that!

We went back to my sister’s place, I took a shower and went to the restaurant. I ate a lot and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to digest the “mineira style” food. Recovering from lunch was harder than recovering from the run! 😉

Everything was perfect, the course, the people running with me, the lunch to celebrate the race and to say goodbye to family and friends as I would be catching a plane back to Australia the next day. The only thing that didn’t go as I expected was the fundraising. I’m still behind the goal that I had set for the third marathon. Anyway, there is still time to donate. I have 9 more marathons ahead! 🙂 .

Now i is time to recover and plan the September one!

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Maratona número 3: como foi.

(for the English version click here)

Depois de um mês de incertezas com dores no joelho, duas sessões de fisioterapia e poucas corridas curtas devido à contusão, finalmente tinha chegado o grande dia! A terceira maratona do projeto e a primeira na minha cidade natal.

Saímos as 6:45 da manha, eu e Joe, um amigo de trabalho da Austrália. Caminhamos até a orla e iniciei o aplicativo para enviar minha posição em tempo real para quem quisesse acompanhar a corrida. Tentei postar no blog e no Facebook mas algo nao estava certo, parecia que estava sem conexão. Voltamos ao hotel e de lá consegui iniciar tudo e partimos novamente. O aplicativo (chama-se Road ID e é excelente por sinal) acompanhava meus passos mas mal sabia eu que, apesar de mostrar minha posição na tela, os dados não estavam sendo enviados do meu celular. Só teria certeza disso bem mais tarde, por volta do quilômetro 18.

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Ipanema às 7 da manhã, no momento da largada. Vista do Leblon e Vidigal (esquerda) e Arpoador (direita).

Ipanema-Copacabana (10 km ida e volta com o Joe)

Mas voltemos ao começo. Do Posto 10 em Ipanema, eu e Joe iniciamos nossa corrida rumo à Copacabana. O dia estava belíssimo e seguimos o planejamento de correr num ritmo em torno de 6:30 min. por km. Chegando em Copacabana vimos os preparativos para o evento teste de ciclismo para as olimpíadas. Tiramos fotos dos ciclistas, dos carros de apoio, e Joe ainda ficou correndo sem sair do lugar para posar para a foto abaixo em frente às motos da polícia rodoviaria federal que fariam a escolta dos atletas.

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Praia de Copacabana: os corredores, os nascer do sol, as equipes se preparando para o ciclismo de estrada, e Joe fazendo pose.

Seguimos até completar 5 km, o que marcava o momento de voltar. Já de volta à Ipanema, fomos desviados para fora da pista pela organização do evento. Nada que atrapalhasse muito pois já estávamos a poucos metros do ponto de partida: 10 km completos e hora de despedir-me do Joe, agradecer pela companhia e seguir em direção à Lagoa aonde encontraria Debinha, minha irmã.

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Voltando de Copacabana à Ipanema.

Volta na Lagoa (com Debinha e Crass)

Cheguei à Lagoa e não a vi. Comecei a correr lentamente olhando para os lados quando ouvi: “Ei! Espera por mim!” Fiquei aliviado por tê-la encontrado e corremos poucos metros no sentido anti-horário até encontrar o Crass, meu cunhado, que também correria conosco. Mudamos de sentido e aumentamos o ritmo para algo em torno de 5:30 min. por km. E assim fomos, correndo, apreciando a paisagem e tirando fotos.

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Volta na Lagoa: Debinha e Crass me acompanhando.

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Vista da Lagoa.

Na altura do heliponto, vi alguém que parecia meu primo Bibigo. Gritei mas a pessoa não respondeu. Deixei pra lá, afinal de contas não tinha combinado de encontrá-lo. Quem eu procurava mesmo era o Rafa e o Ramon, irmão e primo da Marcele, minha esposa. Já chegando ao fim da volta na Lagoa, estranhei o fato de não encontrá-los e pedi ao Crass o telefone dele para checar o link para a app. Estava no blog, no facebook mas como já adiantei acima, não havia conexão e os dados não estavam sendo enviados. Não sei se o problema foi no aparelho ou com a operadora (Vivo) mas foi o único transtorno que tive durante a corrida.

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Percurso final e perfil de elevação. As estatísticas podem ser vistas aqui. Embaixo, o sinal enviado pelo meu celular para o acompanhamento em tempo real. Claramente fiquei sem conexão na primeira metade da corrida e também em uma parte da floresta. A partir do alto a culpa foi da bateria…

Deixei minha irmã e meu cunhado depois de uma volta completa e segui meu caminho. Olhei para a tenda dos Filhos do Vento, um grupo de corrida no Rio, e vi aquele mesmo cara que parecia meu primo. Aproximei-me e gritei: “Bibigo!!!” Era realmente ele. Nos abraçamos, pulamos, xingamos de alegria! Expliquei para ele o que eu estava fazendo e que a Debbie estava a poucos metros dali. Corremos juntos de volta ao ponto em que tinha deixado minha irmã, tiramos fotos e segui meu rumo sozinho.

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Acima: Eu, Debbie e Crass. Abaixo: Bibigo, eu e Debbie.

Da Lagoa até o Horto (com Rafa e Ramon)

Logo depois do Clube Monte Líbano fui surpreendido por Ramon e Rafael. Enfim haviam me encontrado! Apesar da minha falta de conexão, eles sabiam mais ou menos o horário que passaria na Lagoa e esperaram por mim. Corremos juntos ate o Clube Piraquê, ponto onde viraria à esquerda em direção ao Horto. Convidei-os a me acompanhar até onde quisessem já que não tínhamos nos encontrado a tempo de dar uma volta completa na Lagoa. E assim fomos rumo à subida, cruzando as ruas parcialmente fechadas devido ao evento de ciclismo. Na base da subida era novamente hora de despedir-me dos companheiros, agradecer pelo papo, pelo apoio e pelo alto astral. Ramon veio de Cachoeiras de Macacú no dia anterior só para a corrida. Obrigado Ramon e Rafa pela persistência em me encontrar!

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Esquerda topo: ainda incorformado, tentava ver o que havia de errado com o telefone. Esquerda abaixo: Ramon e eu. Direita: Rafa, eu e Ramon pouco antes de nos separarmos.

Eu a mata e a subida

De lá foi só pauleira: comecei minha jornada solitária rumo ao Cristo. É dificil descrever como me senti durante a subida. Adoro a floresta e sentia-me energizado, feliz e em casa. Em momento algum pensei no cansaço e até interpretava o som dos pássaros e dos macacos como gritos de apoio e encorajamento. Em muitos momentos a companhia dos animais era substituída pela presença das pessoas que ali estavam para observar o evento teste: os ciclistas subiriam pela Estrada das Canoas e desceriam por onde eu estava subindo. Devo agradecer aos voluntários, turistas e espectadores que tiraram fotos para mim e ouviam curiosos e surpresos a versão relâmpago da minha aventura.

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Vistas da floresta.

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Mapa com a dificuldade da subida. Enquanto subia notei que havia marcações com cores diferentes na estrada. Assumi que elas correspondiam ao grau de dificuldade no mapa mas, sinceramente, as partes marcadas de branco não me pareceram tão mais fáceis assim…

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Mais floresta. Eu juro que tinha um macaco bem ali quando tirei a foto da direita…

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Vista Chinesa.

Não havia sentido o joelho até chegar ao trecho de descida pouco depois do quilômetro 28. Senti um pouco mas apertei o passo para evitar a aterrisagem com o calcalnhar, tîpica de quem freia na descida, e que põe ainda mais estresse nos joelhos. Foi só um descomforto e na verdade a descida veio em boa hora. Já estava na casa dos 29 km e a quebra na subida me fez sentir ainda melhor. Cheguei à bifurcação onde à esquerda vai-se a São Conrado (de onde viriam os ciclistas) e à direita segue-se para a estrada do Alto e rumo ao Cristo. Fiquei tentado a esperar pelos atletas mas, segundo os voluntários, estavam ainda a uns 20 minutos daquele ponto. Segui pelo Alto e entrei na estrada que leva ao Corcovado. A trégua havia acabado e era hora de subir novamente. Pela primeira vez via o lado norte da cidade, o Maracanã e a ponte Rio-Niterói lá de cima. Contei com a boa vontade de pessoas que subiam a pé para tirar as fotos. Valeu pessoal!

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Esquerda: começo da segunda etapa da subida. Direita: vista do Maracanã e d aPonte Rio-Niterói.

Passei pela cancela na bifurcacao da Estrada Redentor e a Estrada do Sumaré e entrei em território bem familiar. Quando moravamos na Rua Alice em Laranjeiras, subi em diversas ocasiões até a Estrada das Paineiras e sabia que estava perto. A vista dali é sensacional e valeu algumas boas fotos. Minha água acabou no km 38 mas eu já estava me sentindo em casa e não me preocupei. Ainda passei por um cano de onde jorrava água e enfiei minha cabeça embaixo da fonte para refrescar. Meu último gole de água antes do fim, pensei.

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Vista nos últimos quilômetros.

Esses quilometros foram bem rápidos já que não havia mais subida e eu estava com aquela energia extra de quem sabe que falta pouco.Tirei várias fotos do Cristo para registrar minha aproximação da meta!

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A meta final vista de vários pontos da corrida.

Cheguei na bilheteria com cerca de 41 km e sabia que deveria subir mais. Pedi informação e indicaram a estrada de subida até a estátua. Foram os 2 km mais cruéis da corrida. Eu podia ver o Cristo e o calor e a sede começaram a pesar. Só pensava numa garrafa de água bem gelada naquele momento. Depois de mais de 43 km finalmente cheguei lá! Caminhei até a entrada e comprei meu ingresso. Caminhei sem muitas dificuldades por entre a multidão de turistas que faziam de tudo para desviar daquele ser suado que se misturava entre eles. Quem não conseguia desviar fazia uma cara de nojo mas eu não estava nem aí. Por mim eu saía abraçando e beijando todo mundo, tamanha a minha satisfação!

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Esquerda topo: entrada do trecho final de estrada para o Cristo. Demais fotos: precisa de legenda?

Encontrei, ou melhor, fui encontrado, pela Debbie, Crass e Joe que lá estavam fazia já algum tempo. Fiquei sabendo depois que o Rafa e o Ramon também foram até lá mas chegaram um pouco tarde. Aos pés da estátua recebi os parabéns em inglês de um turista que tinha me visto subindo a estrada. Tomei a tão sonhada água, tirei umas fotos, deixei mais alguns turistas enojados com meu suor e finalizei com uma lata de guaraná. Não fiquei muito tempo por lá porque tinhamos um almoço marcado. Os três iam descer de van mas meu ingresso nao dava direito ao transporte. Ao invés de comprar novo ingresso, resolvi descer correndo. Afinal de contas, pra descer todo santo ajuda! Não só desci como bati o recorde daquele trecho no Strava. Por essa eu nao esperava!

Fomos pra casa da minha irmã, tomei um banho e fomos comer comida mineira. Comi como há muito não comia e passei o resto da tarde tentando digerir aquilo tudo. A recuperação do almoço foi mais complicada que a recuperação da corrida! 😉

Foi tudo maravilhoso, o percurso, as pessoas que correram comigo e o almoço de celebração e despedida com os amigos e a família. A única coisa que poderia ter sido melhor foram as doações. Ainda fiquei abaixo do meu objetivo para a terceira maratona mas ainda há tempo para doar (tenho ainda 9 meses pela frente 🙂 ).

Agora é recuperar e planejar a de setembro.

Knee testing and course familiarisation

The past few days were marked by planning the marathon day, going easy with my knee, and jet lag. Today(*) I was up at 2:30 am and after failing miserably to get back to sleep, I decided that the knee had had enough break and it was time for it to be tested. So, I jumped out of bed and went for an early (5 am) run around the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. Two laps with a progressive increase in pace was my plan and that’s what I achieved:

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Loops around the lagoon and 1 km split times. Red arrow indicates the road leading to the nasty climb for the third marathon (see photo below).

It was the first run over 10 km since the second marathon a few weeks ago and I was quite happy with the run. The knee is still a bit uncomfortable but I managed my pace well and was able to run fast even after a decent distance. This gave me extra confidence that the knee will be able to cope with the challenging course that I have set for marathon 3.

A few hours after the run and the knee pain came back. Not severe but annoying enough to make me want to check the hardest part of the planned course by car. It was also a great opportunity to show Joe, a friend from work, great views from Rio. As soon as we started the ascent and the forest begun to dominate the surroundings, I was sure that I have made the right decision about the course. I felt so good already! Not even this sign that we found on the side of the road would made me change my mind:

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Information sign just in front of the Vista Chinesa. The feeling of running surrounded by the forest certainly surpass any fear of hills (I say this now…).

I can’t wait to run up there on Sunday!

(*) the post was written on Monday but due to a problem with the internet at the hotel I could only post it today.

Marathon 3: preview

One week to the third marathon and it is time again to write a post with the race preview. I’m jet-lagged in a hotel room in my home town, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My last work trip this year and my last chance to run a marathon overseas. My goal of coming up with a course full of challenges and beautiful views was made easy by this blessed city that is Rio. So here is my first draft of the marathon course:

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Planned course (in red) and elevation profile at the bottom. In blue there is part of the road cycling course of the event in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

I’ll start at the Museum of Modern Art and finish at the top of the Corcovado, the most iconic landmark in the city. To get there, I’ll run together with my friend Joe on the bike path along Aterro do Flamengo and Botafogo beach before reaching the base of the Sugar Loaf cable car. There, we’ll meet my sister. From there the three of us will run towards the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and then make at turn to run half of the loop around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Somewhere around the Lagoon, Joe and Debbie will stop and I’ll be by myself to start my big climb towards the Christ the Redeemer statue through the roads of the Tijuca Forest, the largest urban forest in the world. On my way I’ll pass by the building of the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA) (home of Brazilian’s Fields Medalist Artur Avila), Mesa do Imperador (Emperor’s Table) and Vista Chinesa (Chinese Outlook) before reaching the top of the Corcovado mountain. I’m really looking forward to this run!

Since I came up with this astonishing course, some things happened. First, my knee injury. Even though I’m confident that I can get through the marathon, depending on how my knee reacts to the medium distance run that I have planned for the week before the marathon, I may be forced to reconsider the climb to the Corcovado. The second issue is that Rio is going through test events for the Olympic Games and my route has a considerable overlap with the road cycling event on 16 August (see the blue course in the map above). I have to check whether there will be road closures enforced, otherwise I may appear on TV running side by side with top cyclists as those crazy spectators on Tour de France.

If you’re interested in joining me at any part of the course just send me a message. As in marathon 2, I’ll post a link on the race day with my current position so that people can find me and join at any point. The more the merrier!

Ah, and don’t forget to make your donation for cancer research!

The scary “I” word

What is the word that no athlete wants to hear in the eve of a race they’ve been training for a long time? Yes, you guessed it right. Injury!

Many people have been asking about my training and how my body is coping with the marathons. I’ve been feeling great after the runs and recovering surprisingly well, so my answer has always been on the positive side until a few days after my second marathon.

I ran the second one on a Sunday and travelled to Sydney for a conference the day after. Being away for work meant that I would not have a pool or a bike, and that I would not be able to swim or ride as part of my active recovery after the marathon. So I rested on Monday. On Tuesday I felt this incredible urge to exercise. With no trace of soreness on my legs and the beautiful Coogee beach a couple of blocks away, I decided to go for a light run. Just over 8 km with no problems. After another rest day on Wednesday I decided to go for a training session on Thursday.
That day, when I got down from the bunk bed and landed my right foot on the ground, I felt pain on my knee. I’ve never had problems with my knees before and I didn’t know how to react. It didn’t seem too bad and certainly wasn’t enough to stop me from changing into my running clothes and getting ready for the interval session I had planned the night before. More importantly, I wanted to know if there was something really wrong, so I went to check it out.

On my way from the house to Coogee beach I felt some restriction on my movements and decided to just walk. At the grass area in the south part of the beach I began my easy jog. It didn’t last long though. Less than 1 km and a sharp pain made me walk again. Now I was taking it seriously and started to worry about the whole 12 marathons project. Have I messed up at such an early stage? Have I been too ambitious with the degree of difficulty of the first two marathons? Was it a mistake to go for so many climbs? My knees have been making weird cracking noises for about 15 years but I’ve never felt pain. Now, suddenly, after a rest day and a good night of sleep this happens?

With so many questions on my mind I decided to try jogging again. The pain had eased off to the point that running became comfortable. Great! Maybe something was out of place when I woke up and while moving it got back where it should be, I thought. I gained confidence and decided to continue testing the knee with my interval training: 400 m fast along the beach front with 200 m easy recovery, always paying attention to any sign from my right knee.

Walking back to the house after the effort I felt a discomfort. Not too bad but the yellow light turned on once again. The next 48 hours were terrible. The pain has never reached the level of the sharp pain before the run but was enough to make walking uncomfortable and to mess up with my mind again.

No running on the weekend but instead I was helping some friends to move houses. Their new two storey house didn’t help to give the knee a break but, to be honest, apart from a slight discomfort while going downstairs, everything was fine. I felt no pain during the Monday swimming squad and there was no effect in my performance during the Tuesday RPM class at the gym. But I knew it wasn’t 100% so I kept my appointment with the physio for the next day.

The physiotherapy session was awkward. You know when you book an appointment with a doctor and the pain and symptoms disappear? Well, that’s what happened.  Despite my physio’s effort to reproduce the sharp pain from a week before, there was nothing but a feeling of a slightly stiff joint. Hard to give a diagnostic…

With a second physio session booked for Monday morning, I decided to run on Sunday afternoon. If running was making it worse, then that was my best chance of getting to the physio in pain. You may think that that’s a weird strategy to get back in shape but finding out what the problem was was my priority. Two km warm up, 5 km fast, and 2 km cool down. Very mild discomfort again the day after and another disappointing attempt at reproducing the pain. The good thing? It may be healing and going away. The bad thing? I still don’t know what it is and can’t focus on a proper treatment.

So, where I am now? Just ten days from the third marathon and I haven’t put any run over 10km since marathon #2. I know that he injury has not damaged my ability to run fast (actually the 5km run that I did on Sunday was a PB!), but I have no idea on how the body will react during the long run. I am now hoping for the best in my next marathon in Rio…