Dec 07 2011
Anyone who knows me could tell you that I am passionate about running. I think that this passion has really been fueled by having a strong support base both in Team Hamada but also in the local running scene in Hanoi. I love knowing that other people are out logging their long runs on Sunday mornings or squeezing them in between Saturday soccer and the Saturday bath time with their kids, it is all a matter of balance.
So, the Angkor Wat ½ marathon was advertised way back, and I had heard from previous years’ participants that it was one not to miss. I talked to Clint about this, the early mornings up and me running on weekends, and once he gave the green light, I was off. I developed an 18 week plan thanks to a great book by Chad? About coaching yourself, something that I do anyway, but great to read about things that I am doing that he is highly recommending and also new ideas about training that I have been embracing. Since this was a whole body effort, I decided to try going vegetarian for this training period, which has been a great challenge in itself, but I have to admit that it has made a great difference for my body. I now have to wean myself off the sugar, I have also lowered my carbonated drink intake and have trialed race gels and power bars/drinks to see if they would help me fuel up early in the mornings and out on long runs.
I registered for the run, booked the tickets, got training. And was running well. [well except for after the Vertical marathon I got sick and found motivation lacking, but things picked up 2 weeks later – will have to remember this for next time]I left for Siem Reap on Friday 2nd Dec, uneventful trip, arrived and felt like I had walked into an intimate town, very lovely locals, quaint hotel and the town was laid out all within an easy walk. I was very fortunate to come with my good friends, Meg and Drew, who I have been doing longer runs with and moaning about illness and all other race related issues! (Thanks for letting me enjoy this weekend with you two!).
We met for pasta and pre-race nerve calming at L’Orsa ? an Italian place that had been recommended to us, the food was pretty good, but we were all a bit nervous about the night/morning ahead. Early to bed, and a long night turning and waiting, anxious about missing the alarms or not getting a wake up call. But I shouldn’t have worried, my body does nervousness well, I was up at 4.45am, having had a long night checking my watch every 1.5 hours. A quick bite to eat and then off we go in the Tuk Tuk (arranged driver failed to show up) to pick up M&D and then out to Angkor Wat for the big race! As soon as we arrived it was clear that this was a BIG event, people everywhere but the temples and the scenery just made up for all of the negative things that come with big crowds. I of course needed the toilet and made my way for the queue. And waited. And waited. And pushed ahead of the 10Ker’s in the line… 15 mins went past, it is getting clear to me that I am going to have to miss my warm up… and then I finally waited so long that I missed the start of the race. Yes. MISSED IT. 18 weeks of training… but I had a race timing chip on my foot, so I made my way to the line, fought with the officials (not just me had had this issue) and I decided (quite clear headed really) that I would go over the chipping mat and just go. So I did, (this sounds easy, but acutally it meant running through 400 runners who were lined up for the next race start as their race went the opposite way to ours…) so after pushing people aside left and right, I was off. Free and running. Nothing like it. Adrenalin rush. And I was loving it.
I didn’t get to run with the fast legs, but it felt so good to pass people all the way around. I didn’t get over taken but I also had to fight my way through the whole crowd. So, the race was amazing around Angkor Wat and through 2 archways it as just so beautiful, a great green jungle lives around the temples and it smelt amazing. I stuck close to my race plan but had another major setback when I ran out of music. Dead battery on the ipod shuffle, really I hadn’t planned this so well. But I had a great run, my goal was to keep under the 4.30min/K mark and I almost did that, I wanted to get under 1 hour 35 mins as I felt this was a good goal for me. The disappointment set in for me at the end, I didn’t get to run with faster legs (always a bonus when racing as they pull you around faster) and I didn’t get to start on time and I am not even sure that my time registered (did the chip work?) and I am waiting in the airport with M&D to see if our results are true and up (am I there?) and we have already decided, we will be back next year – this was an amazing race and I am not done yet. Oh, and yes a PB for me 1.33.50 (by my watch). I have a new plan for next year, I just hope for a better execution of it. Damn toilet lines.
Next weekend – the Song Hong (Hanoi Red River Runners) 10K and ½ marathon – I am co-organizing this event, and yes we have lots of toilets!
UPDATE: Results are in – official time is 1.33.57 and 6th Place (out of 631 Women )
14 responses so far