Almost three months after my PTT injury, I am finally going to do a Half Marathon this weekend. Sure I trained all summer before my pace came to an abrupt halt and sure I’ve only managed one 21 km training run since, so I’m in nothing near the shape I thought I’d be in when I signed up back in April, but there is still much to be excited about because the race is the Angkor Wat Half Marathon. I’m thinking of this as more of an ‘experience’ race than an ‘achievement’ race; I know it will be a special experience, not least because it’s my first trip child-free with my husband since July 2008, our second in over 12 years.
We were lucky enough to have a family holiday in Cambodia around New Year 2012/2013. We visited many temples including Angkor Wat which dates from the 12th century and is the oldest religious monument in the world. Back then my husband and I decided that we’d return for the race, a very popular event amongst running expats in KL. In fact the first time I heard about it was three years ago while eavesdropping on a conversation between a friend and a lady who had just returned from the Angkor Wat race. I was truely flummoxed as to why anyone would want to travel to another country to get up before dawn on a Sunday morning to run 21 km. I still very distinctly remember how my pre-running mind boggled. And here I am now – packing.
Today is a day for logistics and final planning (for my kids). My nerves are in shreds at the thought of leaving them even though I know they will be in very safe and capable hands. I won’t really start thinking about the race until tomorrow on the two hour flight to Siem Reap on which I will meet up with an old friend, from my Aberdeen work days, who now lives in Jakarta. When she did the Singapore Half Marathon two years ago I was in awe, never dreaming that it might be something that I too would be capable of. Yes, and here I am – packing.
I had my last pre-race session with Akmal, my physio, yesterday and I’m very happy that my foot is now in great shape. My new Brooks Adrenaline trainers feel very comfortable while offering arch support too.
I’m really going to try and run the Angkor Wat Half Marathon with gratitude, gratitude for the fact that I get to participate in a unique running event in a beautiful country that most people will never get to see in their lifetime, gratitude that I can run pain-free, and gratitude for all the familiar and unfamiliar faces, smiling, possibly grimacing at times, that I’ll see on Sunday morning under the rising Cambodian sun.
I’ll keep you posted.
Irish expat writer and mother-of three who discovered a passion for running at 40. Since 1993, has lived in the Aberdeen, Houston, Singapore, Manila, Oslo, Kuala Lumpur & Perth, Australia. Athletics Australia Certified Level 2 Advanced Recreational Running Coach. 16 Half Marathons and 2 Marathons...so far.