Running the Rhodes

Afandou Beach RunningI’m back from my honeymoon with my lovely wife and we’ve been chilling out at home with our little boy. I’ve got another week off work so this week we’re concentrating on spending time with the little boy and spoiling him as much as possible.For the honeymoon we went to Kolymbia on the island of Rhodes in Greece (pictures are on flickr if you want to take a look).

The wedding went off without a hitch except for the fact that my wedding ring is too tight. This is odd considering it felt okay when we bought them. I suppose my fingers have gotten fatter; they certainly have this past week at an all-inclusive hotel with us eating ourselves to death!

I managed to do a bit of running whilst in Greece. I ran twice on the treadmill at the hotel gym (strangely enough nobody else used the gym) and twice on the roads along Afandou beach to the next town of Afandou.

Afandou Beach RunningRunning was difficult in Greece because it was much warmer than I am used to (even at 6am) and because we were eating so much each day (more than we do at home) that I was never actually comfortable. I even started to get heartburn all the time, which I haven’t had (up to that point) in ages. Damn you delicious hotel food!

The morning runs were amazing though because there was nobody on the roads and the sunrise was fantastic. It was nice to run around and see the streets and the beach.

I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Greece; I’ve been there quite a few times to various different islands. Greece always appears to have buildings in various stages of a) just being built, b) half finished but being used anyway, c) run down and not used anymore and d)fully completed and in use (not many in this category).

That’s one of the things I love about Greece. It’s always a wonder walking around and seeing a massive hotel being built or one next to it that looks like it was lovely at one time but is now falling apart (surely the new neighbor building the new one would ask themselves what happened to the one next door before starting the same venture).

Afandou Beach RunningWe also found out from one of the locals in Kolymbia why there are so many houses on the Greek islands that look unfinished. She said it was because they were a dowry for the women/daughters. Fathers would start building the houses for their daughters for when they grew up and got married. As building a house is expensive, they would do little bits to it over the years as and when they had the money and materials. It seems to me that the men in Greece are getting a great deal when they get married and that couples who are expecting a new child must be shitting themselves that it will be a girl!

I’ve taken a few pictures of my run on my mobile phone camera (so they are not that great) and they are the ones you can see here. Even with the horrible picture you can tell the sunrise was amazing.

We didn’t spend lots of time lying around on sunbeds but we did spend some time doing that – my wife loves it. We rented a hard-top convertible micra for three days to explore as much of the island as possible. The only place we didn’t bother exploring was the north of the island because that is where you find Faliraki and Rhodes town. I have no interest in visting places that try and adapt to a “british” sort of experience with their mini Asda shops, mini Morrisons, McDonalds etc. I hate that about places. That’s one of the reasons I hate the Canary Islands so much.

Afandou Beach RunningWhat is the point of going abroad to another country if you aren’t going to try and immerse yourselve in the other culture as much as you can; learn about the people and eat their foods. If you want a “full english breakfast” and “sports bars” then stay at home cause you’re messing up these places.

One of the best places we visited when we had the rental car was called Profitas Ilias. There was a hotel at the top which was originally built as a headquarters for Mussolini. Across the road and just up some old stairs is a villa and church that were also built for Mussolini. My other half and I walked up (we had this place mentioned in our travel guide) the stone stairs to the church (we hadn’t paid much attention to the villa at this point) and noticed that behind the church the path kept going up the mountain (in it’s usual zig-zag sort of way) but looked like nobody had used it (except goats) for a very long time. We made the decision to keep climbing and we would dig out the guide book (it was in the car) when we got back down.

Afandou Beach RunningWe walked and climbed for about 40 mins or so and we were trying to figure out how old the path was and we sort of felt sorry for whoever the people were that built it and laid all those rocks and the edging. Finally we came to the top and it was beautiful. Quite flat, rocks, grass, pine trees and lots of wild flowers. You could see for miles and it was fantastic. My other half and I were really happy to have continued to the top, especially as it seems it was just us that had discovered it recently (most places we went to had lots of tourists doing the same thing). We were the only ones there and we sat and enjoyed it for a while before heading back down.

When we got back to the church and the villa we realised that all the tourists go as far as the villa and the church and that’s it.

We wandered around the villa and added our own grafitti to the writings on the wall. Who knows how long it will be there considering there was some from 1992 and earlier.

I won’t bore you anymore with my ramblings about our trip because you probably stopped reading ages ago!

This week I need to get some running in and concentrate on getting back to normal life.

I’ve got the Woodley 10k run this Sunday and it should be okay. I’m not looking for a personal best or anything. In fact, the only 10k run I really want to aim for a PB on is the Great Capital Run at Hyde Park in London, but that isn’t until July (registration hasn’t opened for it yet though).

So here are my runs for last week and I’m off running again tomorrow:-

01 May 2009 – 14.06km (8.73 miles) at a 05:40 min/km (09:09 min/mile) pace
04 May 2009 – 6.67km (4.14 miles) at a 06:01 min/km (09:41 min/mile) pace
05 May 2009 – 7.64km (4.74 miles) at a 05:57 min/km (09:35 min/mile) pace
07 May 2009 – 6.92km (4.29 miles) at a 04:49 min/km (09:23 min/mile) pace
08 May 2009 – 9.52km (5.91 miles) at a 05:41 min/km (09:10 min/mile) pace

I haven’t really had a long run since the 1st May (my wedding day) but I think I’ll go for about 9 miles tomorrow and some short runs the rest of the week.

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One Response to “Running the Rhodes”

  1. Beth 12/05/2009 at 00:34 #

    Congrats on your wedding and beautiful honeymoon. Wonderful pictures and nice that you got some running in, too. Greece sounds lovely!