Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My other home - SI...e' Siena

Things have been moving along slowly since my last post. I have slowly been doing more decent runs in the mornings. It has been enjoyable and I keep asking myself, why do I allow myself to be overcome by laziness, lack of motivation and general malaise? True, there is no one answer, but then along came this week, and I have not run at all.
I am no wallflower of timid mind, and yet, there is no clear reason why I cannot overcome the mental barriers that seem to be haunting every footstep this year! Decisive action is being called for, so I am going off to my other home - Siena, to try and re-enervate my joy and passion for running.
OK, truth be told, I have a few bits and bobs to sort out in Geneva first, but then I am going off to Siena. I am looking forward to running in the Tuscan hills, but I am also so looking forward to seeing my friends again, having the aperitifs and walking up and down the main drag decked out to the nines! Now whilst this might sound a bit superficial and provincial, it is not. It is a really quick and easy way to greet old acquaintances and see those one only knew in passing. It is also the opportunity to meet a whole lot of new people too.
I am still trying to find a race in or near Siena. I know there is a 8K on Monday night in Florence, called "Corri lungo le rive del'Arno" or Running along the banks of the Arno. That would be a lovely race, but in reality I do not think I can make it. See, Monday night is the first "prova" or test of the horses participating in the Palio That happens around 7pm, and then the contradas who have been drawn to participate in this running of the Palio will start with dinner immediately thereafter. One of my friends belongs to the contrada of the Torre, so I will be there Monday night. Considering that Florence is at least 1 hour away, I think it will be slightly challenging to do the race! I have seen different websites advertising different days, so I am going to have to ring them.
Still, all hope is not abandoned (to paraphrase Dante really badly). My second option would be the night time run in Sinalunga. Sinalunga is a tiny town on the edge of the province of Siena. This race is being hosted at the Festa' de l'Unita'. My friends seem game to go down to the festa, so that would be very good indeed. Night time races are quite fun. I have only done a few, but running under the newly dark Summer sky is fabulous, and then going on to a hearty meal of pici or strozzapreti pasta with cinghiale (wild boar), is just the best. I do not care much for the frogs legs, which are a must and yes they do taste like chicken, but the pastas and the other courses are amazing. Not to mention the atmosphere.... ah yes, I do miss my second home - especially during the Summer. An important distinction is that pici are Sienese, whilst strozzapreti (priest chokers) are Tuscan. Both are equally yummy.
Anyway, I am just looking forward to finding my running mojo for real, and I am hoping that being in the place where I first started running, will awaken some long forgotten muscle and other memories. This trip was an unexpected gift, and I am so thankful that I get to do all the things I most love, with my second families in Siena. Ciao, and I will try and give an update next week on whether the magic is working! By the way, if anyone knows of any races in Tuscany, please let me know.


  1. To find a race in Toscana go to
    click on the region, after "vai alla pagina" and on pag.9 there are the races in July.
    Anyway I love Toscana, every year I spend a week around Siena to get relax. My favorite place is Valdorcia. if you come to Lazio please join the Black Knight Army for some race or workout.

  2. posti stupendi anche per un italiano (più abituato), figurarsi per gli altri... e non parliamo della cucina! :P l'anno passato ci ho corso il giro della valdorcia, una stupenda gara a tappe che ti consiglio......

  3. @ Black Knight....thanks! Yes, it is quite stunning, and I am looking so forward to it. si, mi sa che ci sono delle cene in programma....ho letto il tuo bellissimo racconto della gara fatta in Valdorcia....e' proprio un posto molto suggestivo. Belle sono le foto...fatte pure con la Nokia!

  4. I'm glad you're friend with Black Knight. Giorgio may also have some ideas on a Tuscany race

    I hope you have a wonderful trip and go without expectations...just enjoy whatever happens.