Monday, April 25, 2016

Rome Marathon Recovery

Monday, April 11:   Post-race day morning, I woke up and lay in bed, reluctant to get up. Doing so would reveal the "collateral damage" of doing a marathon. I delayed as long as my bladder would let me, checking my email, browsing Facebook, responding to posts.

But eventually I knew I could put it off no longer. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up. Not too bad. I walked to the bathroom. Not bad at all. I had initial stiffness but the few steps to the toilet worked it out. I never know what ill effects I'll experience after a race. It's with seeming randomness that I may experience a stiff knee, aching hips, or sore feet. I had only one small "hot spot" on the top outer edge of my right big toe, most likely where the sock may have been a little bunched up.

I decided to just go ahead and get showered and dressed and downstairs in time for breakfast. So by 9:30 I was enjoying a nice cappucino, Genoa salami, cheeses, yogurt and a croissant. I needed to make a plan for the day, one that would get me out doing a little recovery walking but nothing too strenuous. I sat at my table and ordered another coffee, this time an espresso, and browsed my Michelin Guidebook and pocket map, see what would make for a nice little stroll.

There was a chocolatier, Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio, just a few blocks away from the hotel, so I thought I'd make that my first destination and then just ad-lib the rest of the morning from there. It's supposed to be the oldest chocolatier in Rome and gets high reviews for the quality of the chocolates, handmade in their own shop.

Piazza Minerva and the lovely Hotel Minerva. We stayed at
this hotel when my husband, son and I visited Rome in the 1990's
On my way to that chocolate shop, I walked through Piazza Minerva and past Hotel Minerva. When my husband, son and I came here in the 1990's, we stayed at that hotel. At the time, it was part of the Holiday Inn-Europe hotel group. It was very luxurious and of course in an excellent location (just a block away from where I was staying this trip). I looked into staying there again on this trip but it is no longer in the Holiday Inn portfolio, now belonging to a luxury hotel group, and the rates were double what I wanted to pay. But walking past this hotel brought back such fond memories.

Chocolates in hand - and expensive ones at that! - now what? My walk so far made me realize that walking just wasn't what I wanted to be doing today. I remembered that a few days ago I'd postponed an interlude at one of the trattorie on Piazza Navona, so began strolling in that direction. I passed the Pantheon (still crowded as ever), passed a gelato shop (and thought I really should do that after lunch) and then entered the piazza. It wasn't as crowded this day as it had been, and I easily found an outdoor table at one of the trattorie. I had only just eaten breakfast a couple of hours earlier but it was noontime, so might as well get myself back onto a meal schedule. I was still in calorie deficit from the marathon the day before, anyway.

Pizza lunch at a trattoria on Piazza Navona. The view from my table

I ordered a traditional Neapolitan pizza margherita with salami and a bottle of sparkling water, then sat back and enjoyed the beautiful weather and the view of the piazza and the four rivers fountain. The pizza came and it was massive! It was typical Neapolitan thin-crust and easily 15" in diameter. I began hacking off chunks to eat, and got about 1/4 of the way through before I was stuffed full. I ordered an espresso then paid my bill and left to wander a bit before heading back in the general direction of the hotel.

I had to admit to myself that I was wiped out. The marathon the day before combined with the on-going calorie deficit - and being an old lady - had taken its toll on me. As I neared the Pantheon, I stopped at a gelato shop and got myself a small cup then sat on the low wall along side the Pantheon and enjoyed the treat and the people-watching.

So full and tired, I returned to my room and relaxed and read for the rest of the afternoon.

Late that afternoon I rallied a bit and went back out for a little stroll around the Pantheon and to drop off my postcards at a postal drop. Along the way I found none other than Geppetto and Pinocchio!

Continuing on, exploring the little alleys around the Pantheon area, I found myself close to my hotel, so I stepped inside that same wonderful little wine bar on the corner I'd stopped in a few days earlier, Vino & Cucini, and had a glass of white wine and a plate of prosciutto and mozzarella. I just cannot get enough of that wonderful proscuitto. And the mozzarella was so fresh and creamy with just the right amount of liquid cream just underneath the surface. Oh my goodness, it was perfect!! It was served with a little wax paper bag full of to-die-for Italian pan bread. Sigh! I didn't want to leave!! I wanted to sit here and eat and drink myself silly on wine and Italian ham and mozzarella and pan bread.

Quite possibly the best meal the entire trip!

Eventually I paid my bill and wandered back to the hotel. I was so full and so tired and so fulfilled and so happy.

Tomorrow: Some more ambitious plans to venture a little further out, see some more of Rome.

1 comment:

  1. The food all sounds delicious. I think I'd like to eat my way through Italy.