Saturday, September 24, 2011

Not Treading Water in Siem Reap


With the streets around the hotel submerged due to flooding from the adjacent river and the rain refusing to stop long enough for these waters to subside I reluctantly decide to use one of the treadmills in the hotel's fitness center.

Hoping to avert boredom, I turn on one of the TVs.  The first one has sound, but no picture...so I switch treadmills and try the other.  This one works, but I fail to find anything worth watching.  I leave it tuned to a channel showing 2012...and start my run.

I hate running on treadmills.  I feel like I am going nowhere fast.  I set the pace to 12km/hr to guarantee I complete 10km before Valerie's massage is done. This machine's display is annoying because I can only display distance or time...not both.  I leave it on distance.

Around 1.1km, I lose my footing and  accidentally pull on the emergency stop cable (which I had clipped to my shirt).  Great.  The machine has completely reset, so I have no idea how long I have been running.  I set my distance goal for 8.9 km and start again at 12 kph.

I accidentally swat the emergency stop cord with my arm around 3km into the run.  I decide to not clip it to my shirt when I continue.  But before I do, I look too se what the temperature in the room is set to.  The humidity is really getting to me.  Sweat pours down my face and my shirt is sticking to my chest.  I find the thermostat..the air conditioner is not even on!  I flip the switch, set it to 25, and restart the treadmill with 7km as my distance goal.

By 5km, I feel the temperature has reached a more pleasant level...but the damage has already been done.  I am struggling to maintain the 12kph pace.

Another hotel guest looks in the window of the fitness center.  She appears to be staring at me, perhaps in total disbelief that someone is actually running here. I haven't seen anyone use the fitness center since we've arrived.

As I approach the 7km mark, I decide to stop.  I probably could have continued if I was willing to reduce the pace...but didn't want to do so because I can still easily compute my total running time.

35 minutes.  Not bad.  12kph is roughly 8 minutes per mile, a decent pace considering I hadn't run in over a week.  If I had run outside, I surely would have been compelled to run further.

That said, I would have really loved to have run around Angkor Wat.  Perhaps I should return here for the (half) marathon.


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