Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A run in the cold and sacrificed footwear

It's been a while since we've been able to get away for a weekend or even for anything longer than a day. My school schedule and Pae's flying schedule rarely line up and when they do, we don't dare leaving Bunbun alone for more than half a know, the whole food and water thing.

This past weekend, all of the pieces fell into place. Eric brought his kids over to our home for a few days, a couple minutes twice a day to feed and water Bun. I called in sick on Friday to school (luckily that is my light teaching day) and Pae had the whole weekend off.
Pae's parents came to town, knowing that she had the days off, and planned on heading up to Ratchaburi, a farming and livestock area with vineyards and lots of nature, with or without me ;) It was great that I got to go with them, as well as p'Nut.

I cut a bunch of carrots and stuff for Eric to give Bun twice a day, packed a bag with shorts and t-shirts and we were off! Pae told me that I should pack some warm clothes so I grabbed a very thin sweater that I had worn in Korea and Hong Kong the last time we went. I mean, come on, it's Thailand! How cold could it possibly get? I was soon to find out...

In fact, I usually see people's Facebook photos  on my feed and see them at some hotel or waterfall in Khao Yai, wearing their scarves, mittens and winter jackets and I scoff..."They are just trying to look cute" I joke, rolling my eyes...Yeah...for all of those negative thoughts towards those posers, I must say that I was wrong! I froze my butt off in low teen temperatures between dusk and dawn. In fact, while Pae and p'Nut sat there is their warm clothes, I sat shivering in my "manly" thin sweater...I ended up, the second night, bringing the comforter off of my bed and sitting on a small chair, hanging out, cuddled up like I had just been pulled out of arctic waters after my crabbing boat had sunk...Needless to say, I WAS FREEZING!! Many of you are probably reading this right now, sipping hot chocolate in -8 degree weather (Celsius here, btw) but again, Bangkok has been in the mid 30's lately so the teens are very cold for me!

I also planned on getting in two morning runs when others were still sleeping...Plenty of trails in this area, plenty of hills, lakes, fields, dirt, rocks, etc. Basically everything that you need to practice for running trails. This plan was partially snuffed out when we found out that our hotel (resort) didn't really have hot water. There was warm water to shower with, but  the showers in the room didn't have a ceiling and the owner told us that when the resort was full (10-11 tent rooms) that there wasn't enough electricity to power everything, including the heaters that heated the shower water!

I had packed two sets of running clothes, plus there was certainly going to be some fog on the lake at around 6am, so I had to at least go run the first morning there. I figured that not many people would be at the hotel on a Saturday morning, and I'd likely be one of the first folks to be showering. I put on two t-shirts and went out in the cold to run anywhere between 4-10km around the lake that was near our resort. I took a lot of pictures of the cool air, the lake, the dam, and basic nature pictures of fields, etc. as I was running for the first few kilometers. There was plenty of light, so I didn't worry too much about twisting an ankle.

I did have one small issue, a familiar one. As I was up early, I didn't want to wake up Pae or p'Nut by using the toilet and flushing. I figured a short run wouldn't mess with my insides too much. Yeah, when I think things like this the running gods decide that they need to prove me wrong. I started feeling "the push" as I crossed the dam across the lake. I turned around figuring I would jog the two km back to the room and finish early, but the body had different ideas. I ducked behind some shrubs, within sight of two fishermen on the dam, and did my business. I returned to the room with one sock less than I had begun my run with. Sad about that as the socks cost me about $10 a pair...I tried to rip my underwear off and use them to instead (they only cost me a couple bucks) but it was just too risky considering the uneven ground and the little ballet/yoga act I'd have to perform to remove them!! Last thing I wanted was to lose my balance and end up soiling half of my ensemble!! A shirt was pretty easy to take off as well, but I was wearing my Bangkok Runners shirt and my Banana Marathon wasn't happening! The no cotton, arch support Nike sock worked fine...although it was tricky turning it inside out for the final maneuver ;)

I felt great after dropping a few ounces of weight and I cruised down some farm roads at a brisk 5+ mins/km pace with two small encounters with dogs roaming the roads. If I ran, they ran at me. If I walked, they stalked me growling! I picked up a few big stones and walked briskly to a right turn in the road, once they couldn't see me, I chucked a rock into the corn field to shift their attention, then took off back home with one eye on the road and the other to my read...watching for the killer dogs! I made it back to the resort, looking forward to a cold shower...NOT! I got back, and to my surprise, Mom, p'Nut and Pae were already awake and taking pictures of the fog outside. Mom teasingly said "Take a picture of me and the athlete" and one lens of my glasses fogged up and we took some photos. I woke up for a run on Sunday morning as well, but the memory of the cold water shower and the footwear casualty from the Saturday run kept me firmly planted in the fetal position, under my comforter...enjoying an extra hour of sleep!

The rest of the weekend was great, lots of nature and just time away from the big city. Pictures of that and of some of the places we saw and things we did in the next blog post. It was a great weekend with family. Thanks to mom and dad for inviting me. Thanks to Eric and the kids for taking care of Bunbun. Thanks for everyone who reads, and keeps reading even after poop stories in a majority of my running posts ;) Aloha!!


Naomi Hanks said...

Hahahaha! Sorry you froze your "manly" butt off in your skinny sweater brother! Glad you survived! Also, your pics are off the hook! I always thought you were a fantastic photographer, but those shots are amazing!

mardenheyjude said...

It is nice that you and Pae could get away together with family. It sounds like you had a pretty good time. I must say you always keep me laughing with your poop stories. ;-) I really enjoy reading your posts. The pictures and the stories are always interesting and I love the humor that you add to them. I look forward to your next post. Hi to Pae and Bunbun. Love always, Auntie

Pae and Guy said...

It's nice to be able to carry an iPhone and pull it out to take pix when a moment presents!

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