The Ladybug is a charity runner for Lierac

The Ladybug Chronicles Lierac Beauty Run (1)

A few weeks ago I finally run 10K at the Lierac Beauty Run in Milan.

I say finally because last year I missed the first edition because my legs were too sore for running. I was so disappointed because the event is really great and it is for a very good cause as you can donate part of the cost of the run to the Umberto Veronesi foundation for the research against breast cancer.

“Pink is good “ is the slogan of the run, and indeed Milan was all pink that Saturday night! A real party and a great event completely dedicated to women.

The Ladybug Chronicles Lierac Beauty Run (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Lierac Beauty Run (3)

Pink tees, pink bags (full of amazing Lierac beauty products…maybe one of the best race kits ever!), pink everything! At the event before the race you can have your tee customized with your name or you can get your hair done (like I did!) everything for free!

I was not really trained to run 10K this time and it was very hard (I think I did my worst time ever!!).  It was not too hot but my lack of training was crucial!

But what is really important during these events is that you totally enjoy yourself: I was there with some friends and colleagues and we really had a great time together in a pink-colored Milan summer night!

The Ladybug Chronicles Lierac Beauty Run (2)

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The Ladybug’s new running challenge completed: Deejay Ten 2016!

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The last big run of the year in Milan is probably also one of the funniest: the Deejay Ten is such an event in Milan!

Almost thirty thousand people participated this year and it is always a great party during and after the run: music, tons of gadgets and all the deejays from the radio are there to support the runners! There is always a relaxed and festive atmosphere even if this year the weather was not as nice as last year. It didn’t rain but it was quite chilly and grey…typical Milanese weather!

It was this year my second Deejay Ten, ten kilometers all around the city center of Milan passing by the most iconic areas of the town: departure from the Duomo, then Teatro alla Scala, Liberty area, Fashion District, new Business district and then Parco Sempione, the most famous park for runners in Milan!

This year it was a real challenge for me: I didn’t train enough to prepare for the race and the last time that I managed to run 10K was probably before summer. When I was there I said: Ok Angela, it doesn’t matter if you cannot finish it, just enjoy it!

This positive thought made me forget about pace, timing and other mental constraints and put me in a mood for just enjoying the run! Well, the result is that I really enjoyed it: I unexpectedly completed my 10K, probably not with my best result but very satisfied and happy…isn’t it the real goal of a run?

There was no personal after party with the running crew this year: some friends couldn’t participate and we couldn’t organize our usual after-run feast but I closed the running season by celebrating the results with some after-run shopping…not bad after all!

The Ladybug on how to start the day with great energy (and sleep for the next two days!)

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When a friend of mine had the idea, I was very skeptical: as I missed the 5.30 morning run in Milan because I was still recovering for surgery and couldn’t run for about a month we had a second occasion to do an early morning run, the Breakfast Run organized by RDS (one of the most famous Italian radio stations) starting at 5.45 am.

I said ok anyway as I was curious about the experience, but I regretted it immediately that Friday morning when my wake-up call rang at 4.30 am!! I used to run at 7 am when I was in Dublin but 5.45 was too much for my old soul!

Somehow they brought my body and soul totally asleep to the Arco della Pace, the weather was awful and you could read on my face that I needed to sleep! I couldn’t even think that after that I needed to run back home, get quickly showered and dressed for the office instead of going back to bed and sleep!

The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (3)

But something happened when I started running my 5K in a wonderful town, almost empty and showing its beauty in the first morning lights. Incredibly the sun showed up, I felt a lot of energy and I finished my run with my best time on a 5K! We also enjoyed an healthy breakfast offered by the event team and I can say that I started my day full of positive energy and ready for a long day at work.

I started thinking that I should do that more often, but after lunch I started yawning and that same night I went to bed early and totally destroyed! I also spent the whole weekend sleeping and trying not to fall asleep when I went out so I guess that this is cool if you do it once but the early morning routine is definitely not for me!

The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Breakfast Run (5)

The Ladybug is a Strawoman runner in Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (2)

This year most of women runners in Milan were very disappointed about the fact that our favorite run organized by Nike every year will not take place in 2016. Running with women has always a different flavor, there is a kind of sorority spirit that is missing during mixed runs. For this reason we decided to try the Strawoman this year, a 10K run (actually they were only 9 in the end!) completely dedicated to women!

Although our faces are clearly destroyed about the fact that again we woke up early for running on a Sunday morning, we enjoyed the run very much especially because for once we run in a new city background. The starting point was the new Piazza Tre Torri and the whole run was in the modern area of City life with its new skyscrapers, green areas and modern architecture (including an unexpected rise – with a more unexpected surprise on top of the hill!!).

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (4)

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (3)

Personally it was my first time in this new area and I enjoyed a lot to try a new path as most of the runs in Milan have a similar one around the city center and Parco Sempione. Also we loved to run in pink tees for once…we are just women!

PS. If you wondering about the surprise on top of the hill, it was two half-naked muscled young boys to cheer you up after the great effort!!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Strawoman (1)

The Ladybug is a Stra-Milanese runner

The Ladybug Chronicles Stramilano (1)

It is hard to explain to a non-Milanese what the Stramilano run means for a Milanese (or an adopted one!). We could say that the Stramilano is a run (5, 10 or 21K) usually happening in March and opening the long series of runs in town, but it is more than that. Stramilano is a huge celebration party first. What do we celebrate? Basically we celebrate Milan and the upcoming spring as we know that there is no better time of the year to live the town than spring! This is indeed the most representative run and also the one with the greatest participation. It is not just for runners. It is for everyone! Families with kids (and strollers!) who walk for 5K, groups of friends who want to enjoy the party and have an healthy Sunday, serious runners and…us, passionate runners who also want to enjoy the party and have fun while performing our favorite activity: running!

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The Ladybug Chronicles Stramilano (2)

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny and warm day which made it perfect (even if we were dressed for a cold day!). Despite of my poor training due to the fact that I still find it hard to properly train in winter, I was quite proud of my performance, actually my best one on 10K!

We created a small group of workmates, all passionate about running (but with different levels and paces) and we achieved our first goal: enjoying it all!

There was also a personal after party but I will tell you more in my next post…

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(Last picture is taken from Stramilano Official Facebook page…can you spot me?!?)

The Ladybug’s “friendly” weekend in Rome

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My weekend in Venice was not the only one out of town in March: I also spent a great weekend in Rome to visit my adorable friend Simona and with her my new bunch of friends in town.

The great thing about it is that each of them has their own special feature: for example one is a great runner, which makes sport an important part of the weekend, one is specialized in great restaurants and music selection in the car (yeah, you know who you are!) ensuring at least a great dinner and lot of singing especially on the way back home, one knows (and makes) the best cocktails so that drinking is covered as well and Simona is the perfect pair for running, drinking, eating with special bonus for shopping and art.

Art was indeed the first excuse for this trip: the exhibit on Henry Toulouse-Lautrec was at the Ara Pacis museum (it is still there until the 8th of May) and we planned a lovely visit on Sunday morning. It was my first Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit and I was totally amazed by his art including posters, illustration and photographs. What I liked most about the exhibit was the way it managed to re-create the world in which the artist worked: the Paris of the Belle Epoque, the bohemian city of the late XIX century.  After the visit we walked to Piazza di Spagna, had a healthy stop for lunch at Ginger in via Borgognona and enjoyed some window shopping in this amazing city.

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (6)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (7)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (4)

I never get tired of walking in Rome: on Saturday (after a morning run with the girls and a classic dance class in the afternoon!) we headed to Campo de’ Fiori for a drink. It was a special occasion in Rome that day: the rugby match between Italy and Scotland turned the whole city into a great party venue. Handsome Scottish men in kilt were hanging around playing the bagpipes (it happened also in the restaurant where we ate later and it was AMAZING!), drinking beer and making it even easier than usual to chat and have fun with strangers in the streets! It was the funniest thing ever!

By the way, if you want to try a good restaurant in Rome we went to Casa Bleve, in the courtyard of wonderful XVIth century building in via del Teatro Valle where you can also visit the Roman ruins of an ancient wall, have a great quality dinner and be sure to find the perfect wine that goes with it.

(For the visit to Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit I wore Stefanel camel coat, Acne Studios jeans, Prada sweater, Lazzari brogues, Miu Miu bag and Momonì scarf).

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The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (2)

The Ladybug Chronicles Rome (1)

The Ladybug “Runs like a Deejay”: Deejay Ten Run, Milano

The Ladybug Chronicles Deejay Ten Run (2)

This was possibly the last big run of the season: winter is coming and I find it really hard to run when the days get shorter, darker and colder. I know that I should give it a try but I also know how hard it is for me to keep motivated during winter times.

It is hard to stop running for a while especially after a great day like this. I heard about the Deejay Run a few years ago, it is a huge event in Milan and in other cities where Deejay Radio organizes it during the year. Linus himself (a famous Italian deejay, for those who don’t know him) is a passionate runner and he puts all his love and passion for running in this yearly event. He couldn’t run it this year because of an injury but he was there to motivate the thousands of runners running the 5K or 10K in Milan.

It was my first Deejay Ten, last year I heard about it too late and it was already sold-out: 10 km around the center and the parks of Milan (of course, we passed by Deejay Radio studios) that I really enjoyed. I wasn’t well prepared but maybe the company of my favorite runner-friends, maybe the laughter and fun, I ended up doing a better result than my Nike women 10K run in June! The weather was great, a sunny Sunday morning and even if it was hard to get up early (you can say it from our faces!) we really had a wonderful day! It was perfectly organized and we died for our “Run like a Deejay” new tees!

The Ladybug Chronicles Deejay Ten Run (1)

 

 

The Ladybug on why Running is a serious thing: the Fluo Run in Milan

The Ladybug Chronicles Fluo Run Milan (4)

Since I started running and enjoying the loads of runs happening during the year in Milan, I started a kind of personal list of my favorite ones. Those with the best course, or the ones with the most interesting goodie bags and tees, and so on. This may be the reason why this year we are trying many different runs, just to have an idea of how they feel and to make sure that we just pick our favorite ones!

I must confess that I was not impressed by what we call the “fun runs”, meaning those runs where the funny part of it is more important than the running itself. The reason of my lack of interest was the fact that all those funny things (you getting colored with powders or you hanging around in fluorescent bracelets and heart-shaped glasses) could just distract you from your real objective: running (possibly fast). Running itself is a funny thing to me and I don’t feel the need of disguising myself to make it funnier.

The Ladybug Chronicles Fluo Run Milan (5)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fluo Run Milan (3)

This is why when my friend Marina insisted for running the Fluo Run in Milan I wasn’t sure it was a good idea but I accepted anyway just because we couldn’t run the Energizer together so it was “fun” to share a night run together in Parco Sempione.

Maybe it’s because I was distracted by the funny side of it, maybe it was the heat (and the mosquitoes) or even my fluorescent gadgets but I didn’t run my best time, even though I enjoyed the run pretty much! I must say that it was a good practice and that the Japanese food following the run was the best part of it!

Once the Fluo Run is done, now I want to see who will convince me to run the next Color Run…(hard job!)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fluo Run Milan (1)

The Ladybug Chronicles Fluo Run Milan (2)

The Ladybug runs again: Energizer Night Run in Milan

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I know I’ve been talking about running and what it means (and meant) to me so I won’t start here again but let me share one of my favorite running events I attended this year in Milan, the Energizer Night Run.

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This was not the first time for me as I run the Energizer last year (it was my first run ever if you don’t consider the cross-country races in the middle-school!) but it was completely new in a certain way as I enjoyed it more this year: maybe my good results, maybe the good company of my friends-colleagues or the fresh air but I really had a great time. You can never forget your first run, I guess this is the reason why the Energizer Night run is always so pleasant to me!

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It is also one of the most famous running events in town, a charity run for Unicef during the night in Parco Sempione, wearing a small flashlight that illuminates the night, creating a great view in the dark, especially if you think that about 7000 people were running in the park. It’s a short one (5K) but it’s fun to see so many people of every age joining the run for a good cause!

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Run Ladybug, Run! Nike We Run Milano and How to Cross Your Goal Lines

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The first Friday of June was a first for me and I was really proud and excited about this: my first Nike Run which means my first 10K run.

When I arrived in Milan and heard about this run I really felt that I wanted to participate in it, but I also knew that it was nearly impossible simply because I had never even tried to run 10K before. Even if I’d been a little athletic and even run before, I was really bad at running and 10K (in my mind) was just too much! Also I was pretty much convinced that running was boring and I couldn’t even bare the idea of doing it for about an hour!

But here comes the first reason why I love running: it doesn’t matter how trained you are and if you’ve never run in your life, you can become a runner if you really want and train for it. It happened for me, so I guess it can happen for anyone! I cannot train as much as I want, but twice a week is enough to get good results in a relatively short time. People have been telling me this for a long time, but I didn’t believe it until I decided to give it a try: in a few months I managed to run 5K. And even if I wasn’t proud of my pace, with time, motivation and effort I reached my goal!

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Nike Run Milan 03

Last year I missed the run because I wasn’t in town, but this year I managed to be there with my crew and participated in this great event: the Nike We Run is not only about running… indeed, there are so many things to do after the run! And since it’s only for women, you’ll find a lot of glamor. Starting with the beautiful goodie bag (this year designed by Paula Cademartori) and the lovely things inside of it (Kiko blush and nail polish for example!). It started (and ended) in one of the most glamorous areas of Milan (Piazza Gae Aulenti) and it crossed the whole city center including Duomo, via Montenapoleone, San Babila and believe me it was a nice show to see all these women (it seems around 10.000) dressed with orange fluo shirts, having a lot of fun!

Because (and this is reason two of why I love it) running isn’t boring at all: it helps building new friendships. You make new friends, meet people with the same passion (and believe me there are a lot!), and if you find the right place to train you can discover new things in your own city or wherever you decide to have a run.

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The Ladybug Chronicles - Nike Run Milan 05

I run with some friends. One of whom I trained and continue training with, and it is incredible how this passion got us addicted. But the great thing is that running makes you addicted to success, to set new goals and to be able to reach them and then to set new ones: it is a way of thinking and of living life that becomes your thought and your action. I’ve come to find myself more positive, strong, willing to accept challenges and more able to reach my goals, which I do and now I take time to celebrate them!

We Run Milano was my own personal celebration of all the things that I achieved this year regarding my health and fitness routine, and I couldn’t celebrate it any better! It was also the occasion to set new goals with the certainty that I will reach them, again.

This is indeed the greatest reason why I love running: it helps you believe in yourself and in your capabilities. It makes you stronger because it makes you understand that there is no limit to what you want to be except for the limitations that we create ourselves. So girls, be proud, be you, be whatever you want to be and run for it!

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