Monday, March 06, 2006

Anybody ever been to the Toscany region in Italy?

Many people suffer from nervous energy during the taper period. This “taper madness” can be quite…well…maddening if left unchecked.

My marathon is less than a week away and I am pretty high strung. The worst effect this has had over the past week or so has been a perceived “need” for high-sugar food. Cakes, chocolate, ice cream, nothing has been safe in our house lately as Jack the Human Vac has made his way through the house. This morning I swore off all sweets until race day and what does my coworker do – he has a birthday and brings cake to the office – I mean I didn’t want to offend the guy, so I made sure I had my three pieces.

My wife has not been helpful, yesterday she baked a zillion red current muffins – baked lightly brown on top, light fluffy, fruity, sweet, and easily fit in this human vac’s nozzle.

So in an effort to contain this new side effect of tapering I have been trying to keep the mind occupied. Here are a few diversion that I came up with:

1. I updated my genealogy homepage ( You all can help me here – go to your neighborhood cemetery and take a picture of all the Niles family headstones that you find. I have a rather large database on my homepage listing where Niles are buried in the world. Yes this really is a project that I am working on!

2. My wife declared yesterday that for her birthday in September she wants to go on a guided bus tour to Toscany, Italy. I have been warned not to make any race plans during this time. On the other side she didn’t say anything about leaving my running stuff at home ;-) In any case I am spending some time looking for tourist information for Florence, Pisa, Lucca and other cities in the Toscany area. Anybody ever been to this region?

3. I am spending time cleaning up my long-neglected office at home. This week I need to do my taxes, do some filing etc. I also need to plan our garden, home improvement projects for the year and of course tweak my running plan.

Gosh I’m tired already, I need to go for a run.

Speaking of running, this week will be light: A 9K run tonight and on Wednesday; a 5K easy jog on Friday night to loosen up.

Jack, you crack me up. Hope you unplug the vacuum soon. :-)
I've been to Tuscany a few years ago, though I'd prefer to drive myself rather than go on a Bus tour. I absolutely loved it.

The "big" sites, i.e. Florence, Pisa and Siena are great. I also liked Lucca.

Make sure you visit the Chianti region.

There are plenty of amazing little villages with loads of history: San Gimignano with its medieval skyscrapers, Montalcino, and Monteriggioni. Don't miss out on them.

And the food! And the wine!

Short, I can recommend it :-)
Well Tuscany is only 1 hour far from here and I know that region very well. Firenze, Siena, Lucca, Pisa, Arezzo, many medioeval towns, the wonderful country, the hills of the wine ecc. ecc. deserve your visit.
Tuscany is in my dreams...maybe for my 50th! I like your wife already!!

I love to read that you're human!! I struggle with a sweet tooth also--but life is short and sometimes only sugar can make ya happy! So I say go for it and don't have any guilt!!

BTW--there's a Niles, Illinois not far from me...any chance ya think it's connected to your family???
no sweets, period? yowza! ;) good luck! have fun planning your vacation, sounds like fun!
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