Last Sunday, I ran my longest distance yet- 26 kilometers. I took it easy on Saturday, eating lots of carbs (like I do everyday) and walking the dog, Basquiat (my love), to an aperitivo with a couple friends. I’ve been hanging out with a new couchsurfing crew, and it’s added a little spice to my life here in Bergamo. I’m constantly meeting new people from all over the place. Last Friday night, one of the couch surfers had a groupon for seven people to have unlimited beer at a pub near Bergamo. Our group of seven consisted of me and the only other American girl in Bergamo, a guy from the Czech Republic, some Italians, a Hungarian, and a Canadian from Poland (who was fluent in Polish). Anyways, we came across a deck of cards and the other American and I decided to break out some drinking games. Game of choice? Circle of Death. Unsure of how to explain this game with the massive language barrier sitting at the table, we wrote out each rule and took it slow. I drew the nine of rhymes. This will be fun. Okay the word is it, trying to pick the simplest word possible. Next person shouts, FEET!!! Next person, MEAT!! Needless to say, most rounds ended in social, where we all clinked pints and said cheers in multiple languages.
Sometimes, I miss my friends from home. Sometimes, I miss familiarity and being around English in general. But then there are nights like this one, nights where people just come together, and despite the multiple spoken languages and cultures, there is always a common ground of fun that no one needs to translate. Nights like this, I wouldn’t even trade for an iced coffee or a trip to Barnes and Noble.
So, back to my Sunday race. It was raining upon my arrival, and they broke the heartbreaking news that the race would only be 11k. I was bummed, knowing if I didn’t get my long distance in today, I would have to do it tomorrow by myself around the city, which is not only difficult, but so boring it’s near impossible. I ran the 11k in the rain, splashing through hilly trails of mud and slosh, blasting Eminem and feeling kind of a badass. Now when I think about it, it’s such a strange concept that I run through the mud and rain voluntarily. Why would anyone want to do such a thing? But I finished the 11k, and was thrilled when they said people were going around again. This will knock out 22 of my 26k goal. I ran the next 11k with an Italian man who has run…wait for it…263 marathons, and a handful of ultra-marathons (two marathons in a ROW). After I finished the 22, I ran another 4 on my own to reach my 26k goal (16 miles!! ) I think the marathon man was an inspiration.
The next day I went to Verona (the city of Romeo and Juliet!) I saw Juliet’s house, touched Juliet’s left boob for good luck with my love life (yes, this is an actual tradition), ate pizza, drank cappuccinos, and strolled for hours. It was a lovely day of sightseeing until departure, when I saw a guy on a bicycle get hit by a car. People rushed to his aid. He was speaking, but completely out of it as a puddle of blood leaked from his head exactly like it happens in the movies. If only he were wearing a helmet…
Now, I’m sitting outside at my favorite cafe with free internet, thinking about the 10 miles I need to go run right now. Ahh, I don’t want to go. But it is time. I apologize if I have bored you with the rambling of my week.
Here are some pics from Verona!