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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

First run in Italy

After a weekend of decompressing (jet lag and yesterday's disappointing election here in Italy... more on that in a moment), I took to the Val d'Pesa trail today, which runs along the Pesa River (Carlo calls it a river; I'd call it a nice-size creek) from the local vvillage of Cerbaia, which will be something like my home for the next few months.

As you'll see in the pictures, it's a spectacular day. Even the earth (fresh-turned in some fields) smells different here, and the aroma of herbs permeates all. I did an out-and-back, and was greeted on the way back by an older (my age?) gentleman in a uniform. He spoke no English, but managed to convey to me to keep on my toes because there are hunters (pheasant? boar?) hereabouts. He was very kind, and we shook hands before I trotted on with a "...giorno!"

I saw some decoratively in Richmond, but this probably is the first time I noticed bamboo growing along my running path.

Here's the river. It is nice and clear. I wonder if it contains trout? I should have asked the game warden (were my Italian sufficient).

From more or less the same spot, this is the view up toward Carlo's house (north) from the river. I heard pheasants and saw, of all things, a magpie. I have several of those in my yard in Montana.

While I shuffled along the trail, Carlo got a haircut, bought some crusty Tuscan bread and the newspapers. I had the bread and some fresh (truly) olive oil in the warm sun on his back porch. I sat next to the pool for a while, but had to watch it (sun burn!). What a day!

3; 3; 3; 192.5

(To anyone mystified by the numbers at the end of these posts: they are mileage, by day; week; month; and year. This was the first run of the week and the month; thus all the 3s.)
Posted by Mose, 7:57 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Last Virginia run?

The creeks in the Robious Landing Park are much higher today because it's been raining. Supposed to rain more this evening so tomorrow will be interesting, if we run again (may not ... I have to leave for Dulles International by noon for my flight to Italy).

The trail was pretty wet today because of the rain, but it didn't rain on us when we were running.

I had to be a little extra cautious on the downhill stretches because the wet leaves were slippery. They reminded me hauntingly of the footing on the mountainside when I blew up my knee last April (see earlier posts).

Probably also because of the rain, the moss on deadfall and snags was more noticeable today.

I felt good — much better than yesterday — so we ran more than an hour. We skipped yesterday because both of us felt stiff and tired for some reason. Below my mileage numbers I'll post a couple of pictures of some cool wood sculptures someone has done on stumps in the park.

4; 4; 32.5; 189.5

Posted by Mose, 9:21 AM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Loosened up!

Tall man says good morning from the banks of the James River on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My friend and I took a couple of days off from running to drive to Raleigh, N.C., Saturday to watch Nebraska's football team get the snot kicked out of it by Iowa (at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Steve, who went to school at Iowa) and to play some music with Steve and some of his NC State colleagues. That was a blast; I got to play keyboards and it was as much fun as I've ever had playing music. Good guys.

Today, we returned to the Robious Landing Park and plied the trails there. I felt much better, and I think it might be because I've been doing lots of knee-bending while standing around, loosening up the aching (and injured) joints.

I started on the loop east of the main road, then returned to my single-track trail and did a full around and back.

Saw a few other people out with dogs, and I heard, then saw, a pileated woodpecker. It definitely was a pileated, though it seemed a little smaller than the ones I have in Montana.

I also was interrupted into shutting off my story by a loud rustling noise. At first I thought the creek had been diverted into a rapid or waterfall, but then I figured out that it was a huge flock of some kind of birds high in the forest canopy. As I watched, they rousted themselves and took off across the river to the north.

3.5; 17.5; 28.5; 185.5
Posted by Mose, 8:24 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey trot

More or less repeated yesterday's trot, only in reverse direction so I had no trouble finding the single track. Quite a few people out today, Thanksgiving. Most were walking, many with dogs. One other runner besides us.

This is the view of the James from a clearing near where the single-track ends.

Today was a little warmer (49 according to the car thermometer), and I felt good except for the knees, which still are stiff. May have to double down on the naproxen and see if that helps.

3; 14; 25; 182
Posted by Mose, 7:21 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Staying loose

This burl marks a big old tree near where the single-track splits off from the main trail in Robious Landing Park. Swi and I both felt a little like the tin men this day, so we ran a little shorter and slower (which for me is very slow). An old friend said they used to collect such burls, called quinine conks, for their quinine content, but the Interweb says that happened, but that there actually was no quinine in the burls. Whatever.

It was a slower trot today, but not much shorter. Cool day, but sunny and calm.

3; 11; 22; 179
Posted by Mose, 9:16 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Surprisingly good day

This hollow specimen on a trail near the west edge of the Robious Landing park is the only one of its kind that I've seen. Today, after a bout of, shall we say, illness born of a dinner of Buffalo-style chicken last night at a sports bar, I wasn't expecting to go far, but surprised myself with how good I felt.

Swi and I both laughed at the idea of a guy using a leaf blower in the park over the weekend. Just two days later they're ankle deep in many places and falling fast. I can see how the trails might be a little treacherous (i.e. slippery) if it rains. Now, though, they're great, as long as you watch your footing.

Today I explored a single-track path that headed west near the park's southern edge. I ran into a woman with her dog there, and when I asked she obligingly pointed out the two spots were I could take a small trail north toward the river. One of the paths she pointed out followed this creek and came close to park's western boundary. Eventually it reached the river.

I went back the way I'd come, and did the small-ish trail three times.

Beautiful day, in the mid-40s and sunny. By my time, I'm sure I exceeded 3 miles today, but I'll be conservative about how slow I run these days.

3; 8; 19; 176
Posted by Mose, 10:19 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, November 21, 2016

No photo from today's exercise ...

... but I couldn't resist the pretty arrangements Ann (my host in Virginia) made out of a grocery-store bouquet yesterday. I was impressed.

Anyway, it was cold today (34 when we went to the gym), so I ran on the treadmill (full 2.5 miles, including some speedy segments, around 5.5 or 6 mph).

Also did a full routine of leg presses, calf curls, abductors etc.

2.5; 5; 16; 173
Posted by Mose, 6:27 PM | link | 0 comments |