I actually wrote this blog back in August when i got back from holiday in Cyprus. I didn't publish it as it has taken me this long to get the photo's off the camera that i used!
I recently went on holiday to Karsiyacka in, Turkish, Northern Cyprus. Like most runners I know I pretty much always take my running shoes and kit on holiday with me. Read any running magazine and the letters page will contain a submission from someone running on holiday that discovered something stunning that they would have ordinarily missed. this is very true, on foot you will see things that you would otherwise miss. Roads that may lead nowhere may lead somewhere interesting or even exceptional, when you are alone on foot you can make this exploration.
My runs in Cyprus were, in one word, hot! The temperatures through the day were high 30's and in the second week topped out around 42C. Personally I love this, the heat doesn't really bother me. Sure I sweat but in terms of feeling uncomfortable or struggling to function it doesn't bother me. Running in this heat takes some acclimatisation and I would generally run later in the afternoon when temperatures had dropped to 32-34C.
My first couple of runs weren't great. As we were pretty rural I did out and back routes as wasn't sure of my bearings. I started by running up the hill to the local mosque that was visible from our villa (and that we could hear the call to prayer from) and then back. Then I did a run along the main road and back. Mileage sure but pretty unsatisfactory from an enjoyment perspective. That then started me thinking about the rate your run stuff on MarathonTalk. I had downloaded a number of their podcasts for entertainment whilst away, one of their items is to rate your run. Basically give a score for your run. At this point I was barely at a 7. Whilst I was enjoying the running and the weather there was something missing.
It was then that I changed direction and instead of running up the hill I ran towards the coast. What a difference.
From a 7/10 to suddenly 10/10! Within half a mile of the villa was the coast and a coastal path. There was a mix of trail and road, roads with housing, farms and a military base. Once I had done this run once that was it I ran it for the remainder of the holiday. There was actually enough trail that one day I ran it in my vibram FiveFingers. Then towards the end of my holiday I took a camera, my daughters little Samsung, to capture the route so that I could blog about it and keep it.