Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuscany Day 7: trail running and Pistoia

Time to say goodbye to Tuscany and I knew it would have to be by running. The very moment I stepped my foot on this beautiful terrain I knew I wanted to go trail running. We already did small trainings around and they were all very lovely but I wanted more than that. I wanted some real mountain run. And I got it!
I don't know what to start this story with, there are really plenty of emotions I would like to convey. I planned this trip ahead, I can't imagine otherwise. It was a completely new terrain for me and I couldn't just walk out and run where my legs take me. I prepared a route, a map, a gpx and all that stuff. Radek drove me to a starting point and I took off. I was like in Nirvana :) I really like running, I love mountains - the perfect match for me! Of course, I lost my way a couple of times and I had to constantly check  my position on a gpx which was a bit annoying but seriously, it's a small setback comparing to all that fun and exhilaration I felt on the trail.

I also had a funny situation. Well, it's funny now but gave me a bit of a thrill back then. As I said, I had a route prepared. It wasn't very strict, I had a couple of options, but as a rule I knew where to go. And around my 7th kilometre (so almost exactly in the middle) I encountered an obstacle... The route I was running was closed. It went through a private property and the gate was closed so I couldn't proceed. I was in a very bad position because so it happened, there was no possibility to somehow pass it otherwise, there were no other routes around and one glance at a map told me that if I didin't find a way out I would basically need to turn around and came back by the same route. That would have been a disaster! Well, I went for the second option that came to my mind. On that road there were actually two properties and the other one was an open one (without a fence). So I went down there to find a bypass of some sort or any kind of help. And so it happened, there was a man on that property. And what was even more astonishing, he spoke fluent English! I guess it was the first person during the whole trip that was Italian and spoke fluent English. So I managed to explain to him my situation and he was very helpful. He invited me to his property which turned out to be huge and he showed me the way I could proceed. It turned out I needed to first pass by his orchard, then climb up a hill in a little forest, then climb down the hill and cross another orchard and then I should get to the other side of the road I couldn't cross because of his neighbour who decided to block it. Complicated, I know! But I followed his directions and managed to find the route. But I was in a bit of a doubt because I was basically hacking through bushes...

After this story I had no other problems. Oh no, that's not true. Like 3-4 km before the end my gpx device reset and I didn't know where I started from and where Radek would wait for me :) It cost me a bit of a stress but in the end we found each other. It was a great run, I would say the best 2 hours of the whole stay in Tuscany. It's so true that once you start running in mountains you would never want to come back to tapping the tarmac.

While I was running, Radek took the kids to Pistoia where there was a festival of some kind. Children liked it, Radek said it was a nice place to have a walk. All those Italian little towns are so quaint and lovely...

Bye, bye, Tuscany, it was fun!

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