I have a love-hate relationship with running. I love the feeling of finishing a five or six mile run. I hate the agony I get in my calves the next day. I love pushing myself to run a distance further than I’ve ever run before. I hate pushing myself through that first mile after foolishly taking four months off during the winter. Currently, I’m learning to find a proper balance in my on-again off-again relationship with running. Since living abroad, I’ve discovered a renewed commitment to running. I am lucky enough to have some of the most amazing routes in my own backyard – a benefit that definitely keeps me on the trail a little longer.
|“Please, come join me along my run”|
|Julia loves to join me on an occasional run|
We have been really lucky with some wonderful weather this fall. Just this morning, I went for a jog in shorts and a lightweight jacket. I understand it’s a lot colder at home, so I would like to invite you to “come for a run with me”. I have several routes that I take on a regular basis depending on how long, how far, or how much of a vertical climb I want. Or sometimes, I’ll just go out and try to find something new.
|Running along the trail|
|“I want to go for a run with you guys!”|
|“Here I go!”|
One of my favorite routes (and probably the one that I take most consistently) is a 5K loop (3.1 miles) around the neighborhood. I have taken many of the friends and family that have visited with me on this very same run. And now you can join me! I’ll map the distances, using mapmyrun so that you know how far we’ve gone.
Let’s get started…
WE TURN RIGHT OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD, HEADED DOWN STRADA PROVINCIALE – WATCH OUT FOR CARS DURING RUSH HOUR
SOON WE’LL COME UPON A BEAUTIFUL COLLECTION OF ITALIAN CYPRUS TREES
SUBSEQUENT TO THE TREES WE’LL SEE THIS FIELD, WHICH MEANS YOU WON’T HAVE A PLEASANT AROMA FOR THE NEXT 1/10 OF A MILE
WE PASS A LAVATOIO (WASH BASIN) THAT IS AT LEAST 120 YEARS OLD – THIS WAS ONCE USED TO CLEAN THE CLOTHES OF THE PEOPLE NEARBY
AT THE TOP OF THE HILL WE COME SMACK INTO THE DANGER ZONE! THE DOUBLE ROTONDA (ROUNDABOUT) – BE CAREFUL HERE!
THIS IS ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PARTS OF THE RUN, WHERE THE VIEW SPANS FOREVER AND AN ANCIENT VILLA REACHES FOR THE CLOUDS
WE START A MILD DESCENT
QUICK! LOOK LEFT – THERE IS A BRIEF OPENING WITH A STUNNING VIEW
KEEP ON MOVING, BUT BE SURE TO HUG THE FENCE LINE TO YOUR RIGHT. CARS ARE LIABLE TO FLY BY
GET READY TO ROUND THE BEND – WATCH OUT FOR CARS AND BICYCLES
CONGRATULATIONS – WE JUST FINISHED OUR FIRST MILE! PEEK TO YOUR LEFT FOR A UNIQUE VIEW OF THE VILLA
DON’T FORGET TO LOOK LEFT INTO THIS OPEN FIELD AND BEYOND TO THE MOUNTAINS…
NEXT, LOOK AHEAD AS THE VILLA MATERIALIZES IN FRONT OF YOU
I OFTEN WONDER HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF TRAINS THIS LITTLE HOUSE HAS SEEN PASS BY
CROSSING OVER THE RAILROAD TRACKS – BE CAREFUL
YOU’RE JUST AS LIKELY TO PASS A TRACTOR AS YOU WOULD BE TO PASS A CAR
I LOVE THIS GROUP OF UNIQUE TREES ON THE PROPERTY
NEXT, WE WILL START OUR ASCENT UP AN ANCIENT ROAD
A GLANCE BACK OVER OUR SHOULDER LETS US KNOW WHERE WE’VE RUN
HERE, WE CAN CHECK OUT THE LOCAL EVENTS FOR OUR COMMUNITY
LOOK TO YOUR LEFT TO SEE ONE OF THE MANY CHURCHES IN THE AREA
WE HAVE AN IMPORTANT DECISION TO MAKE HERE… I DON’T SUPPOSE MY LEGS WILL CARRY US THE 40 KM (24 MILES) TO MILANO, SO WE’D BETTER GO LEFT
THE ROAD CROSSING IS A LITTLE DICEY HERE – LOTS OF BLIND SPOTS. I ALWAYS HUSSLE PAST THE CRYPT TO OUR RIGHT
HERE, WE PASS A BAR THAT IS “ALWAYS” OPEN
THE BAR – FEEL FREE TO STOP FOR AN ESPRESSO IF YOU FORGOT TO HAVE YOURS BEFORE OUR RUN
WE WILL NEXT PASS A SECTION OF TOWN THAT EXPERIENCED IT’S HEYDAY 50 YEARS AGO… 100 YEARS AGO… 200 YEARS AGO?!
BE CAREFUL – THE ROAD IS VERY NARROW – TOO TIGHT FOR TWO CARS TO PASS AT ONCE. IT’S NOT UNCOMMON TO GET PINNED AGAINST THE RIGHT WALL
LOOK TO YOUR RIGHT – QUITE A VIEW OF THE VALLEY. TO OUR PREVIOUS GUESTS… DO YOU RECOGNIZE THE BENNET (OUR GROCERY STORE)?
WE HAVE TO MAKE A SHARP LEFT OFF THE MAIN ROAD AS WE APPROACH ANOTHER FAVORITE STRETCH OF THE RUN
THIS TWO LANE ROAD BECOMES EXTREMELY NARROW – I PREFERRED WHEN IT USED TO BE MUCH MORE RUGGED. THEY RECENTLY PAVED IT… WELL HALF OF IT
CONTINUE ALONG THIS REMOTE ROAD
WE PASS A CORNFIELD ON OUR RIGHT – THIS WAS JUST HARVESTED THREE DAYS AGO – I THINK THEY USE IT AS CATTLE FEED
WE APPROACH AN INTERESTING PART OF THE RUN… ANOTHER SECTION OF HOUSING WHOSE HISTORY ENDED LONG AGO. I OFTEN WONDER WHEN A NEW STORY WILL BE WRITTEN FOR THESE ANCIENT PROPERTIES
WE PASS THROUGH OUR FINAL STRETCH OF OLD, VACANT PROPERTIES
NOW WE WILL TURN ON TO VIA KENNEDY, WHICH ALWAYS CRACKS ME UP
NOW THAT WE’RE BACK IN TOWN, IF YOU GLANCE OVER YOUR RIGHT SHOULDER, YOU WILL SEE OUR FAVORITE FRUIT STAND – YOU CAN SEE THAT ZUCCHE (SQUASH AND PUMPKINS) ARE THE SEASONAL VEGETABLE
OK – DIG DEEP. WE’VE GOT AN UPHILL CLIMB, BUT WE’RE IN THE FINAL STRETCH. WE’RE GOING TO RUN RIGHT THROUGH THE CENTER OF TOWN
LOOKING LEFT, YOU’LL SEE MY FAVORITE STREET IN OUR TOWN OF ALZATE BRIANZA
THIS IS IT… NEARLY HOME. A SLIGHT DOWNHILL DESCENT HELPS US – TIME TO PICK UP THE PACE… MY BROTHER-IN-LAW CALLED THIS MY FINAL “KICK”
WE’VE ARRIVED AT THE ROTONDA BY OUR HOME – FULL SPRINT NOW WITH WHATEVER IS LEFT IN THE TANK
TURN RIGHT DOWN OUR STREET…
WE DID IT!! WE’VE ARRIVED HOME JUST IN TIME FOR LUNCH. PASTA IT IS – HEY WE EARNED IT!
|3.10 miles – nicely done|
IF YOU’D LIKE TO REWARD YOURSELF WITH A NICE DRINK LATER IN THE EVENING, HEAD BACK INTO TOWN TO THE AB CAFE
|The best “happy hour” in town|
|Don’t forget, gang – there’s always time to stop and smell the roses|
I hope you enjoyed coming with me on my run today! I certainly appreciated the company!