Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Adventures in Cambodia: Angkor Wat Half Marathon

As I previously mentioned, our trip to Cambodia was put into motion as a result of our friends, Peter, and I signing up to run the Angkor Wat Half Marathon.  Never having been a strong runner, this was a huge challenge for me--before this race, I had never run more than 3.5 miles before!  I began training the end of the summer and ran very consistently up through the beginning of December until we left for Cambodia.  And, after months and hundreds of miles, I have to say . . . I still do not love running!  Ha!!!  But, it was a great goal, and really helped me to stay fit over the last several months.  I felt myself getting stronger, both mentally and physically with each training run (especially the long ones), which was worth all the effort in itself.  

The race was awesome.  It was in one of the most beautiful and incredible settings in the world . . . but it was HOT.  The race was supposed to start at 6:00am, but we didn't end up actually taking off until about 6:40!  With every passing minute, I just kept getting more and more stressed about having to run that much longer in the heat of the day!  Almost all of my training runs to prepare for the race had been at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning in Japan throughout the fall, meaning that I was used to running in temperatures in the 40s or 50s and in a much, much dryer climate.  Combine that with then spending the two days before the race walking, hiking, and sightseeing in 90+ degree heat and very high humidity, and I pretty much set myself up for a rude awakening on race day!  And that's pretty much what happened!  I was hot and hurting!!!  But, I eventually made it to the finish line, and even though my time wasn't as good as it had been in my training, I did it!  I ran a half marathon, something that I never thought in a million years I'd be able to do!

Peter was awesome.  He felt great and was entirely supportive and in great spirits.  He took tons of pictures throughout the race; I especially love the ones of the local kids that came and lined up along the race route to watch.

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