September 22, 2015
It has been a busy old year for me so far with little time to stop and take stock and as I am sure you will agree as women we just get to a point where you are like I need a bloody holiday. Not a city break, not a weekend away with the girls, literally a week of doing nothing but relaxing and recharging the batteries…but with the business still in its infancy I was worried that it simply wouldn’t be possible.
That was until one of my lovely followers and fellow blogger Elizabeth Cass Konti contacted me and suggested I came and visited her in Rhodes for the week, where I could stay with my family in one of her villas and perhaps even manage a sneaky run. Elizabeth is the brains behind Boutique Greece a small hands on travel agency and recently she became an official too fat to run blogger now that she is in training for the Roads to Rhodes half marathon which is coming up soon.
I was of course a little apprehensive about flying out on a whim with a 2 year old to meet someone I had never met, but after getting to know Elizabeth or Cass as she is known locally I realised we had a lot in common and perhaps this was the break I so desperately needed.
Besides sometimes things are simply just meant to be.
I asked her why she started writing a blog on her business website in the first place and she said,
to try to give my customers a more personal insight into our villas, their locations and the destinations they are found in. A beautifully photographed villa which ticks all the boxes can evoke enough desire to press the ‘book now’ button, but I wanted to go the extra mile and give you a more personal knowledge of what we bring to you and how it can enhance those precious days of rest and relaxation that we all desperately need!
So Sunday last week we (myself, Rose who was flying for the first time and her dad) headed out to Rhodes in Greece for a much needed week of rest and relaxation. Elizabeth met us at the airport with one of her friends Karen from Glasgow that was over in Rhodes on holiday. We had a run scheduled for Tuesday morning, as Karen is training for the Loch Ness 10K too.
Villa Pefki was awesome. We arrived under the cover of darkness but the pool was all lit up and the inside of the property was immaculate and just so homely. It had been a long day so we got our heads down feeling completely blessed to have been given this opportunity.
At 6am I was wide awake and dying to see what outside looked like.
Leaving everyone else asleep I popped down stairs and headed outside, WOW. The views were spectacular and the heat could already be felt as the sun started to peep up from behind the mountains. As I surveyed the scenery I noticed a massive hill which would be great for some hill training later in the week. I took full advantage of the peace and quiet and did a bit of yoga…OK it was just a bit of stretching, but it felt good after the day of travelling yesterday.
We spent the first day pretty much knocking about in the villa, Rose loves to swim so she was in her element and I soaked up the sun. The fridge and cupboards had been stocked with enough provisions for the morning, including some beers and a bottle of wine so we didn’t really need to do anything on our first day other than de-stress. In the evening we joined Karen and Elizabeth for dinner at the quaintest restaurant just in time for sunset…a few glasses of wine was consumed, but not too many as we had a run to get up for the next day.
My alarm went off a 6.45am and I thought crikey what have I let myself in for? I hadn’t really done much running since Richmond and my knee although much better is still not 100%, plus I had a feeling these ladies would be much faster than me, and able to deal with the heat.
We headed off for a 7K run down the hill from my villa and in through Pekfos town, we spotted a few other runners out and about but other than that it was reasonably quiet. The pace was good, Elizabeth and I were able to chat about stuff, and the rocket that is Karen (who runs with JogScotland) back home was looping back doing intervals. About 3K in we spotted two guys and a moped up ahead and they were crouching over something, when we got closer we realised it was a young girl.
Elizabeth swung into action and spoke to the girl in Greek, we thanked the two guys (tourists) who had tried to help her. The girl was disorientated and a little worse for wear but we walked her back into town and called the police, who came and helped us to find out who she was and why she was in the road. She was a Slovakian girl who worked in a hotel in the area and the combination of too much alcohol and an argument with her boyfriend had left her sleeping in a ditch by the side of the road, her boss came and picked her up and we headed back out to finish off the run.
Talk about drama…I am sure I bring this kind of mayhem with me wherever I run.
By now it was 9am and the sun was up and ridiculously hot, but we carried on back past where we had found the girl to a prearranged turning point and then back to where we had started, this time up hill rather than down…and didn’t I know it. The run was great, the company, the views…all amazing, and even the heat was bearable…just. We managed just over 7 kilometers in total.
I simply couldn’t wait to get back out for another run.
A few days later after spending some quality time with the family, I headed out again in the early hours to fit in my run. I headed straight up that big hill or “The Mountain” as I prefer to call it, I didn’t quite make it all in one burst of running, but I made it to the top and spent a few minutes admiring the view under the watchful eye of the local goat herd.
I then made my way down the hill towards the town and back again mesmerised by the epic views and the solitude. When I woke at 7am this time my motivation to run wasn’t that great, partly because I knew nobody would make me do it. Plus we had had a late night in town enjoying a music quiz and a few beers, and I could quite easily have rolled over and gone back to sleep.
But something dragged me out and made me do it. The acronyms FOMO (the fear of missing out) or maybe YOLO (you only live once) come to mind. Opportunities to run in locations like this are far and few between, and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t get out again.
Rhodes is simply a runner paradise (although I am not sure it knows this yet), loads of hills, long stretches of quiet roads, spectacular breathtaking views and mornings and evenings that are cool enough to run in. There was something about being in nature in all that silence that was just so transformational.
I can see why Elizabeth is such an advocate for both the island and for running here.
Which got us both thinking about the possibilities for bringing a group of ladies here to get a full on Too Fat to Run in the sun experience….exciting times, so watch this space.
I had an incredible week, it had a bit of everything, excitement (riding the black hole at Falaraki’s water park sure as hell did that), luxury, relaxation and most importantly time to reflect on the year so far and look towards the future. It was a real pleasure to meet Elizabeth and to talk to her about her blogging and her running, and basically her unorthodox life as an English girl living in Rhodes. I am incredibly grateful for her generosity, and cannot praise enough the attention to detail and the passion she has for her villas.
On the plane home Rose who is 2 and a half turned to me and said “Mummy, can we go on holiday again to Greece” and I said “yes, maybe” to which she replied “With the two ladies?” meaning Elizabeth and Karen (who she took a particular liking to)
So it appears we really do have have some unfinished business in Rhodes…so see you soon Elizabeth and good luck in your race next month, you will smash it xxx
We stayed at Villa pefki in Pefkos, Rhodes with Greek Boutique. You can see full details of the villa here: http://www.boutiquegreece.com/villas/villa-pefki-rhodes/ Bookings can be made for summer 2016 and a 10% discount is offered to all Too Fat To Run fans when they quote ‘TFTRRHODES’
Our car hire was provided courtesy of JD rentacar