Italy seems to be all the rage at the moment - just saw IP's report on Naples!
We have friends over from Africa and I am eating and drinking way too much - but I'm also determined to keep running. This week we are on holiday with them in Italy and we headed off from Munich yesterday with our first overnight stay in Sterzing, Italy, just over the Austrian border in South Tyrol. I love this area, surrounded by mountains, it's like being in Germany but with an Italian flair. Good food, good wine, they understand me and the countryside is stunning. I planned a vague route for this morning during our meanderings last night. We walked along a little stream at dusk, wandered through woods in the dark and were very pleased to finally find our hotel.
And then the bad news - the driver wanted a 7am start . Now I really wanted to run in the Alps so I set my alarm for 5:45 (is that dedication, or what?) and was out of the hotel before 6am. It was dark, so I rejected the idea of the woods and just headed along a cycle-path along a valley. The mountains reared majestically ahead of me, really high, misty and only vaguely silhouetted against the night sky. There was a castle on one of the outcrops, ancient, but still inhabited, towering over the valley , ensuring its medieval owners gained their fair share of the tolls on all the goods that passed below. I was in this valley, on a flat meadow, pounding along towards this fantastic backdrop, alone in the world - and God it was beautiful. But after about 1 1/2 k I decided to head back and go towards the town. I only wanted to do 5k - 7am breakfast was beckoning. So back it was and into town. I've walked this route a couple of times and being the person I am I chose a different road - it's boring going the same way all the time. So far, so good - sense of direction honed, nipping down roads that look as if they're leading me in the right direction. This is a small town - I can't possibly get lost. Famous last words? Thank goodness for smartphones, Google Maps and the EU-roaming laws. When I finally conceded I hadn't a clue how to get back and seemed to be well on my way back to Austria I was very glad I had my phone with me. One little wrong turn had taken me well out of my way and my 5k bimble turned into a 7.6k run with a great sprint towards the end as I tried to make up for lost time and get down to breakfast for 7am. I must admit I was about 10mins late, but our friends were loading the car as I came steaming back, bursting with enthusiasm and energy, babbling about mountains and castles. So they forgave me.
And now we're in Tuscany, near Sienna. Do you think it's alright if I run every day?