Monday, 13 August 2012

Love Running. Live in Phnom Penh. Two Incompatible Ideas?

I feel gross. 

Hooray! So happy you tuned in, right? See ya next time!

JK. Elaboration: as you may or may not know, I've become something of a passionate runner over the past year of living in Seoul, knocking out a couple of races and topping it all off with a half marathon in my hometown.

Then I moved to Cambo and have been hopping about like a crazywoman: setting my life up, meeting new pals, getting multiple jobs, being in denial about jet-lag and acclimatization, and figuring out this gorgeous city. Which all makes perfect sense, but doesn't change the 'feeling gross' bit above.

I've always felt like my motivations for running are a bit for body health, but a whole lot more for my mental health. A running Lady E. is a cheery, stress-free Lady E. Lately, I've been proving this true in the worst way by being grumpier and sluggish (um, sorry, P.I.C.). 

An optimistic person might see an obstacle course?
Four weeks in, and one thing I've figured out is that Phnom Penh is not quite Seoul when it comes to ease of slipping on the trainers and bolting out the door. No sidewalks, very loose traffic rules, some fairly 'rugged' road conditions: all these things add up to intimidation in a newbie and a feeling like any runners high would be dampened by irritation. I'm also not keen on being the odd one out, seeing as how I never spot other runners kicking up the dirt in the daytime or eve.

Thus concludes my detailed list of rationalizations for lack of running... Except the most crushing one.

People who are in the know
keep pointing out the thing that I keep pretending I don't hear: if you're going to go running in Phnom Penh, the time is in the early-morn. Like, pre-6:30.

Can I do that? I honestly don't know! I'm a night owl in the extreme, and would probably just turn nocturnal if I didn't love reading in the sun so much. I've always admired (slash been confused by) morning people, and the willpower they seem to have swimming round their bloodstream.

Could I become a morning person? Moreover, a morning exerciser? Could Phnom Penh be the site of such a shocking personal transformation?!

Right now the battle between wanting to run sans risk of being run-over versus wanting to enjoy luxurious sleep is playing out in the back of my head. I should just stop whining and try it. Suck it up, princess, etc., etc...

(Deep breath in.)

I'm gonna do it. Er, try it. Tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 6am, I pledge to have my laces tied and be somewhere outside the 3 block radius of my house. Possibly even following Moire O'Sullivan's logical and beautiful running route.

Oh dear.. what have I gotten myself into... 

My gear laid out in a pile. Is there any more serious a declaration of intention?

xx Lady Expatriate