The fear that I might not participate in the marathon

It’s been a while since I did a running post, so I thought that I’d update how it went so far.

It’s now about halfway through the marathon training and I’m still feeling relatively good so far and I feel a sense a relief somewhat each time I cancel out the trainings that I’ve already done.


Yesterday I jogged for 18 kms and interestingly, I didn’t feel like dying as I did last year for the half marathon training. I did feel very tired though.  While my heart and upper body felt fine, my thighs and knees were complaining badly!


I remember last year, after running this distance, I just wanted to slump down on the floor as soon as I reached home. But this time round, amazingly, I still had a bit of energy left to go grocery shopping afterwards (albeit very slowly)

At this point of typing, I just came back from the San Giovanni Addolorata hospital (Which isn’t too far away from San Clemente by the way)

In Italy, it is a requirement to be certified by a sports doctor before you could participate in the half marathon/marathon. It can be tedious as it involves a lot of steps and is rather costly.

This time round, I found out that this can also be done in public institutions, which may be cheaper for some as they could claim a percentage of what they paid from their union.

The first step is to go to your family doctor for referral as usual. You will be given two slips : one for the sports check up and the other for urine test.


Be sure that your urine test slip have the code ‘1OU’. With this code, your urine test will be free. Or else, you’d be required to pay an additional 16 euro on top of 50 euro for the sports doctor visit.

Anyway, when I got the results back, I was alarmed to see that the haemoglobin and red blood cell levels in my sample were much higher compared to the one last year.


When I showed this at the sports doctor last Wednesday, she gave a quick glance and said, “There is blood in your urine“. And asked me do do another pee test after doing the ECG and the Spirometry test.

Imagine my shock and horror, to find out that there is blood in my urine. I mean, it looks normal to my naked eye, but apparently not, according to the data analysis.

I learnt later that a high level of haemoglobin and red blood cells in urine could be affected by women having their menstrual cycle. It is also common for long distance runners to have it as they stress their body and cause the haemoglobin and red blood cells to increase. It might also be an indication of cancer. I really hope that I don’t have cancer.

rinaz cry

All throughout the weekend, I kept thinking that there is a possibility that I might not be able to participate in the marathon after all. I’m actually okay with it. If the doctor says that I am not fit enough to participate, I wont. But I’d feel like I’m giving up on my goal and in a way, that’ll make me feel like a defeatist.

So imagine my relief when I reached the hospital this morning and found out that the second urine test went well, which means that I finally got my sports certification. I’m good to go!


As excited as I am, I have to be honest though, I do feel nervous as in a couple of weeks my training will go beyond the half marathon mark. Further than I’ve ever been before. But step by step … we’ll get there.

6 weeks done, another 10 more weeks to go before #rinazdoes42km!

8 Replies to “The fear that I might not participate in the marathon”

  1. Good luck, and I’ll keep the hemoglobin info in mind if this ever happens to me or my wife. We haven’t been training for a marathon because we’re too busy right now, though we might in the future. I know my wife hope’s to run at least one marathon.

    1. Thank you! And all the best to Margee and you too 🙂

      By the way, about the haemoglobin, it’s a possibility that it was high because I was sick about a week before the test and then started on my training again. I did walk a lot prior to that, but I guess my body was still in shock.

      1. Ya? I saw in your picture of your training schedule that there were a few missed training sessions. I was surprised you jumped right back into it like that, but I suppose if you didn’t you would miss the marathon?

        1. Probably not the best thing to do, but I didn’t want to lose the momentum too much because the gap really widens the longer I wait. Also, if I wait too long my nerves will kick in. I’ve been walking a lot prior to that, and hoped that that was enough. I guess it wasn’t.

          But Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no try”

  2. Marina, next year you may consideralo the “F. Bernardini” sport stucture ( i can give the exact cohordinates to Roberto) they tale 40€ for full maximal test ( not just ECG + sphyro) +5€ urine. Ciao Lor.

    1. Ciao Lorenzo,

      Grazie per l’informazione. E’ piu economica andare il posto che hai raccomandato. Un anno fa, ho pagato 40 euro per la medica sportiva privata ma dovevo pagare un altro 16 euro per analisi di urine.

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