Giving London a chance…

I always try to be honest here and this time is no difference. And even though it is not #FridayTruths time I do have a few truths to share 🙂

ALERT – not a fitness related post so it’s totally OK to be bored to read about me mumbling away 😉

It has been a few tough days around here lately. This past weekend @mymamus and I started a conversation – you know one of those eye opening ones that happen once in a while in every relationship… the ones that aren’t always easy but they do always worth it… This made me rethink a few things and re-evaluate. So here are some of those thoughts 🙂

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When we first moved to London (about a year and half ago) I had absolutely no expectations from this city. Coming from New York – for me one of the most amazing places on the planet!!! – I knew that it would be hard to love anything else as much but I did promise myself to try and have an open mind. Well I completely messed up and broke this promise… I am so sorry London, it’s not you it’s me!

I admit that I never gave London the fighting chance it deserves.

I admit that missing NY made me (literally hate) everything about London.

I admit that this turned me into a pretty miserable person who all I did was complain day in day out about everything I didn’t like.

Well, I admit that this is OVER now! I am not sure how I got here, I used to absolutely love new adventures and I used to always see everything in life as an amazing opportunity. Somewhere along this journey of mine though, I think I lost sight of what matters the most… So thank you @mymamus ❤ for this eye opening conversation!

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-08-22-51So I promised myself that from now on I WILL give London the chance it deserves because I am sure it’ll live up to the challenge 😉 I might have forgotten for a bit to be grateful for all the experiences I’ve gained, the amazing people I met and the fact that I have an incredible job, that allows me to be independent and creative everyday but not anymore and not ever again 🙂

So I might not be able to run for the time being, but I sure as hell can walk! And London, I am about to walk the hell out of you and find out all of your secrets 😉 This week its the first time since we moved away from the states that I feel like myself again, I feel like the girl I used to be, the adventurous girl, the fighter, the girl who sees opportunities where others see problems ❤ 😀

-Not the best selfie but I totally love this photo… It’s way before I had a blog and I remember that I woke up feeling happy and full and I snapped this and sent it to @mymamus!

 

I believe an apology is in order…

To London, I am sorry I hated you for the past year (apart from the “tube” which I still hate 😉 ) you are an interesting and beautiful place!

To all my friends here, I am sorry I’ve been this person that no one likes because all she does is complain all the time and thank you for sticking it out with me. I ‘ve met people here that I know they will be friends for life…

To @mymamus, you rock 😉 – I know i am too stubborn and thank you for having the patience to make me listen 😉 😛

To all of you, thank you everyone for following my journey, you have been an amazing support network!!

To me, I am sorry for not letting you fly and be yourself all this time! Go ahead…

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Vacation in Greece (part #2)

Hi friends 😀

Apologies for being MIA the past few days but internet has been sparse around here… As promised more photos from our (amazing) time in Greece!

I think I’ll stick to my previous ways of writing these vacation posts… Photos, photos & photos…

So here we go 😉

First of where about are we – it’s a (not so small) village in Peloponnese called Vartholomio. What a beautiful place! We are staying with @mymamus’s parents in their incredible house! I mean come on look at this garden!

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And this cute little house!

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Oh and of course we did go swimming… not too shabby eh?? 😉

–> (despite the heat) I couldn’t not run! I went twice already. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place…

I had the best running-walking buddy along with me! @M&M_taleoftworuns came along and walked while I was running!

Chilling on the porch by the garden after my run wolfing down my new found post run snack (@M&M_taleoftworuns found it for me and I ❤ !!) It’s a raw/vegan hazelnut cocoa bar yum! And of course my new friend Grace the cat 😀

Let’s talk FOOD, shall we?!?! Oh I can’t even describe how tasty food is around here!

Yup, this huge fish became an excellent fish-soup (probably the yummiest ever!!). Also please look at the size of this olive…yes this is an actual real olive! It took 5 bites to eat it all!

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Fresh fruit right from the garden! Pears and (probably the sweetest) strawberries I have EVER tasted! This weird looking like flower by the strawberries is called a “clock” flower… 🙂 So pretty!

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And finally just me writing this post 😉

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Well, that’s most of it for now 🙂 Sorry for not saying more but we are off to the beach (don’t hate 😉 ) now for some sun, fresh food and swimming 😀

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Vacation in Greece (part #1)

Hi friends 🙂

I am writing this one from Athens! It is so beautiful here! I am so glad we made it! So since we all know that a picture worths 1000 words that’s what i got in stock for you! 😀 Plenty of pictures!!

The view from the plane…

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The food from the plane…. And OMG have a look at those little salt and pepper sets! Adorable!!

And we finally landed at about 11pm local time on Friday after having to wait for our luggage for about an hour… wasn’t very impressed about that one 😛

First thing the next morning, enjoyed a cup of (cold) joe at our favourite coffee place 🙂

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And then what else?? FOOOOOOD!!! If there is one thing that always always happens when I travel back home … is me -happily- eating my face off! Family breakfasts, lunches,dinners you name it as long as we get to eat and of course have a glass of wine with our lovely (and loud) Greek families 😀

Oh and then another coffee to our second favourite coffee place! Yup, you guessed it right! Coffee in this part of the world is more like a “ritual”, a “let’s meet our friends and catch up” thing! Awesome coffee in adorable places is just a bonus LOL!

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I have been out twice for a run the past couple of days. The first time it was me and my brother (i asked him to come along since I really don’t remember the area) and I was too busy trying to figure out my new Garmin and also adapt to the heat and UPHILLS! OMG there are so many uphills in my area!!!! My second run – i was brave and went by myself! LOL – was a little better and I only got lost once!

And in other news, @mymamus and I celebrated our

*** 2 years anniversary ***

on the 13th of June! The place where we met (and wanted to go to originally was closed) so we decided on this really cute old style tavern in our area. The tapas style food was delicious!!! And we had a great time!

I also got a rose (and breakfast in bed) that morning! Speaking of being spoiled eh?!?! 😛

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Finally look at our awesome visitors this evening! Aren’t they the cutest little things???? They are strays (plenty of those in Athens) 3 little ones and one very sweet protective mama!! I am so excited to see them every morning when we give them some food!

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And last but not least! This dress!!! I think it was one of the best purchases i ve made this summer!!

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More to come soon!! Now i’m off to meet my coach in person for the first time!!

MAJOR EXCITEMENT!!!

I’ll tell you all about it soon!

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“Running around the world series” – NORTH POLE MARATHON!

Hi friends 🙂

I hope everyone is having a great week so far! I am so excited today…!! Because today is the day where I get to share with you my new blog series “Running around the world”!

The inspiration for these series came to me from all my travels! I ‘ve had the amazing opportunity to run in so many different places around the world and the differences are so striking… to aspects that some times we – runners – not even think about. Also wouldn’t it be great to go on holidays somewhere and already know where to run or what the proper running  etiquette of this place is?? That could happen through these series!!

And to kick off these series on a high note, our first “Running around the world” post could be nothing else but the coldest marathon on earth! The NORTH POLE MARATHON story comes to you from the first Greek contester to run and complete the race – Zacharias Daniilakis!!

  • Where are we travelling today?

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So here is his story 😀

I had the honor and joy not only to participate in the coldest marathon in the world, but also to be the first Greek runner to take part in this race since its conception.

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The North Pole Marathon course is atop the frozen sea, with the temperature fluctuating between -25 to -35 degrees Celsius (-15 to -30F). It isn’t a point to point race. For safety reasons the course is a loop about 4 or 5 km long, with suggested stops after each loop to get checked out in the medical tent, which also doubles as a holding spot for our energy drinks and anything else we might need during the race. Oh, and there are snipers posted around the perimeter, in case a Polar Bear decides to drop by to see what all the commotion is about.

On the competition side of things, your biggest challenge obviously isn’t  the clock, but the weather. The more you can adapt to the freezing cold during the race the better you’ll do. You can control and skip some pit stops, but not ignore them altogether. You have to warm up, avoid frostbites, change your thermals and of course refuel with snacks and energy drinks, which you can not carry on you cause they will freeze! The organizers suggest that athletes take stops every loop both for replenishing their energy and for safety reasons. Personally I believe that the winner will always be the one to judge perfectly the amount of stops they need, threading the fine balance of risk vs time.

The medical personnel keeps a close eye on all the runners during the race, and they won’t let you get back out if they judge that its not safe at your current condition, not till you regain your bodily balance. Frostbites are a common occurrence, but the real danger is hypothermia. Don’t forget that the race takes place at the planet’s most remote spot, and the closest hospital is a long and dangerous way away. The experience of the organizers is invaluable, not only taking all the conceivable precautions but going to great lengths to explain the danger of that endeavor, but ultimately its up to every participant to judge the risk they are willing to take.

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In order to prepare, I trained under my coach Nikos Dimitriadis. The schedule was three to four runs a week, one of which was a long training session in the Greek mountains with the MyAthlete team. The challenges I faced during the race were relatively low. After the 23rd km I had small frostbites on my cheeks and the doctors had me wait for about 15 minutes till my color returned to normal. Same thing happened at the 28th and at the next stop I had to change my thermal layers since my sweat had frozen and it felt like I had a block of ice wrapped around my body. I could feel the cold numbing me and I didn’t want to risk hypothermia. Closing on the 38th km I realized that the same thing had happened to my shocks. My toes were freezing but I only had 4 km to go and I didn’t want to lose more time. In the end I made it through with just a small frostbite on my toes.

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I’d gladly take part again, this time better prepared thanks to my experience. I want to wish to everyone good health, inner strength and thirst for adventure that are the seasoning of our life.

–> Q&A with Zacharias 🙂

Q: How did you get all the way to North Pole?

A: Athens – Copenhagen – Oslo – Svalbard – North Pole.

Q: What about accommodation arrangements?

A: At Svalbard you can stay at various Hotels , in North pole you stay at the Barneo camp at specific tents but this is only for 2/3 days .

Q: Did you have sponsors ?

A: I believe that ultimately fulfills us is reaching for our goals, things we want to achieve. It is something I’m doing for myself, and in my view not something that I need a sponsor for, or reason enough to seek one. And from that view point it doesn’t seem morally right: It’s like wanting to go to the Cinema, the Theater or just out for a night dancing to have the time of your life and seek a sponsor to cover your expenses. It is something I do for me, for my pleasure, my fulfillment and I don’t want someone else to pay for it.

Q: Any advice for runners that would like to try it?

A: Train well , decide it, believe in, it dedicate your self and go for it. Every second of it it’s worthy it!!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about running in North pole as much as I did! It is a jaw-dropping story isn’t it??

Till next time with other exotic (and not) running destination!!

Any one who has a running story from ANYWHERE in the world that would like to be part of these series is welcome!! Shoot me an email to taleoftworuns@gmail.com or send me a tweet or a Facebook or an Instagram message!

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