Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cambodia Run-Cation: Day 3

Monday (7th Dec)

Before the year comes to a close, here’s day 3 of the Cambodia run-cation! Never too late to complete a post!


Monday was our last full day in Cambodia. We did not want to waste a minute of it and so, we seized the day (literally). We went all out by signing up for a 10 hour tour of Angkor Wat. WHAT?!

Special thanks to Agnes and Sue for all the arrangements. I didn’t know what I signed up for. All of us just paid and we were guaranteed a full tour of Angkor Wat.


 

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We were up by 8am. Had our breakfast (with loads of coffee) at the hotel and boarded the mini bus that was waiting for us.

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These guys. Hilarious.

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The journey was filled with laughter, loud chatter and one too many “wefies”.

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We stopped at the ticket booth to purchase our tickets and had our photo printed on those tickets! Pretty cool! We had to use our passes to enter the temples.IMG_0720

First Stop: Bayon Temple (within Angkor Thom)

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We were given about 1 hour to walk around Bayon Temple and to take as many pictures as we please.FullSizeRender(2)

I had to use the bathroom before entering the temple so the rest went ahead. I was left to explore Bayon Temple on my own!

IMG_0732 IMG_0647Bayon Temple was not very big with rubble marking its rather square perimeter. There were huge chunks of stones everywhere and one must be careful not to slip. The stones had been weathered and some of them were covered in moss.IMG_0653

I entered through the side where there was no one in sight. After climbing up some steep stairs, going through tight doors and dark alleys, I came to a quiet opening in the middle of the temple. It was so fun, I think I had an Indiana Jones moment.IMG_0654

Took a few self-timed shots!FullSizeRender(1)

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Peek-A-BOO!  FullSizeRender_2(1)IMG_0657

Second Stop: Ta Prohm

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After 1 hour, we met up, boarded the mini bus and headed to our second stop!

It was quite a distance away. But it was okay because that meant we could cool off a little longer in the air conditioned mini bus!FullSizeRender_1

Ta Prohm was where Tomb Raider was filmed! It was huge, much bigger than Bayon Temple. It also had a lot more character to it.IMG_0800

From the main gate to the temple, it was a good 5 minute walk with thick trees lining the wide sandy path.IMG_0664 IMG_0674 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender(3)

Obligatory JUMP SHOT before leaving the place!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHad to cool off with JUICE! Mango + Watermelon + Dragon Fruit

Third Stop: LUNCH!

It wasn’t a lot of walking but I was tired after just visiting 2 temples. I was probably feeling the fatigue from the race the day before. Plus, the sun was scorching hot! But thankfully, the air was dry. So, you don’t feel icky and sticky like in KL.

Being tourists, the mini bus dropped us off at a touristy restaurant that served touristy food for touristy prices!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI had the same thing, BEEF LOKLAK! SO GOOD!

Fourth Stop: Angkor Wat

IMG_0797This was the REAL DEAL! What I had been wanting to see (Okay, not really. I didn’t know what to expect)!

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IT. WAS. MASSIVE!

I stood in awe at the foot of the temple. It took me a moment to soak in my surroundings and to try to grasps whatever I saw before my eyes.

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At my finger tips.IMG_0717IMG_0716The entrance.IMG_0723The picture-perfect-spot where you can capture all 5 peaks and the reflection of the temple on the water.

It was an even longer walk from the main gate to the temple. And this time, the path was not lined with thick trees that covered everything in gloomy shadows. We were directly under the afternoon sun with its rays piercing through our skin. IT WAS HOT! I was feeling a little exhausted but I was excited to explore the place.

IMG_0803#SoMUCHCULTURE! 

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Climbing up the steep flight of stairs to reach the highest point of the temple. You had to be in long pants to enter!

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The view from up there was breath taking!

We spent a good 2 hours at Angkor Wat! It was so big, we needed every minute of the 2 hours to explore the place. By then, everyone was really feeling the heat. We went across the road for ice cold coconut water and beer (not for me)! SO REFRESHING!

Fifth Stop: Bakheng Temple

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It was about 3:45pm and we had one last stop at Bakheng Temple to watch the sunset.

The rest decided to call it a day and ditched the tour by riding Tuk Tuks back to the hotel! I was tempted to hop on the Tuk Tuk to head back to the hotel but decided against it. I didn’t come all the way here to walk this much only to give up at the end! IMG_0790

THE TOUR MUST GO ON! #moumantai ! So, the 3 of us (Agnes, Amanda and myself) stayed back for the rest of the tour.IMG_0786

The thing about Bakheng Temple is that there is a limit of 300 people. So even though the sunset was not until about 5:45pm, we had to go a little earlier to avoid the queue.

It was a 10-15 minute hike up to Bakheng Temple. We entered at around 4:15pm. We had loads of time to kill. Thankfully, we had our powerbanks and 4G connection!

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We waited until 5:45-6pm for the sunset. It was nice, nothing special but the view from up there was amazing!

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When we came down from the temple, there were about 100 people queuing to get in! PHEW!

It was a long day. We hopped on the mini bus and headed back to our hotel.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWithout much rest, we had to get ready to head out for dinner! Had to stop for juice for one dollarrrrrrr!

FullSizeRender(4)Authentic Mexican dinner courtesy of Tom, Dick and Harry.IMG_0805

Full body massage to end the day (FINALLY!).


So, that’s day 3 and also the end of my Cambodia run-cation! It was my first overseas run-cation and it was an AWESOME one! So many good memories and I had a lot of fun with the MMT gang. Once again, special thanks to the crew of Tom, Dick and Harry.

Thank you for topping off the year 2015 with a fan-fricken-tastic run-cation. It was a BLAST! Great ending to a good year. Love ya’ll.

Looking forward to 2016! 🙂

xoxo

The Holiday Season: 3 Things to Do

1. Be Grateful

Whatever situation you’re in, however crappy your life is right now, BE GRATEFUL. You’re still alive, you’re still breathing, that heart of yours is beating every millisecond.

My younger self always craved for more. More money, more stuff (more like junk), more clothes, more food, more pleasure, more more MORE…… I guess that’s human nature. We are never satisfied with what we have.

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I am not saying that we should not have goals in life or that we should settle for what we have. But while we are chasing those goals/dreams/the ‘more” in life, appreciate and be thankful for what you NOW have. Someone else out there is dying to have what you have, someone else out there is fighting for their life.

If you have more, give back. Always give within your means. Whether it is 10 ringgit or 1000 ringgit, a gift is a gift. There is no gift that is too small or too insignificant. And no one should judge you for it. It may not even be monetary. It may be as simple as a helping hand, a listening ear or a warm hug. What matters is that it is a gift from the HEART.

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This is also a reminder to myself. I tend to “forget” what God has blessed me with and what He has done to wipe out my sins. Taking this time to STOP, DROP and just be GRATEFUL.

2. Eat to Your Heart’s Content  

The holiday season means LOADS of parties and FOOD. I’ve had a few people asking me how to curb cravings during this season. Well, my answer is just enjoy yourself.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCalories do not count during this season. HAHA! Have a bit of everything but that does not mean that you should stuff yourself silly or feel sick after.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFamily gatherings are always centered around food. Instead of worrying about what you’re eating, focus on having a good time with the people you love. Enjoy the time with your family/friends, eat whatever you want AND JUST HAVE A GOOD TIME!FullSizeRender_2

If you want that slice of cake/cookie/pie, JUST EAT IT! You should be more concerned about what you eat on a daily basis and NOT just during the holiday season.

3. Sneak in a Workout   

I know, everyone is busy preparing for the holiday season. Working out is usually the first to be cut out from the list of things to do. But don’t! In the midst of the hustle and bustle, take some time out for yourself. Get in a good workout or just MOVE. You may have decided to take a break from your usual routine (which is okay!) but that does not mean that you do ABSOLUTELY nothing. You might want to turn down the intensity or duration but don’t completely remove it.

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Opt for something light and easy and something that is also enjoyable. You can go for a family walk/jog, play some outdoor games, try a new sport/class, walk your dog etc.FullSizeRender

JUST GET MOVING. You may feel sluggish and tired from all the food at first, but I promise you once you get going, you’ll be fine. PLUS, you’ll feel super and more energized right after!

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Something to think about 😉

Happy Holidays!

xoxo

The Running Journey – My Story

I’ve always wanted to write about this but my thoughts have been in an organised mess! I hope this is not too confusing. Here goes!


How Did You Get Into Running?

I always get questions about my running journey. I didn’t think much of it until I was required to write about it.

If you’ve always wondered or are a little curious, here’s the story, straight from the source!

*I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard this side of the story!*

I wish I could say that I was an athlete back in high school. I was not. In fact, I hated running. But I was very active in everything else (rock climbing, basketball, table tennis, swimming etc). I had to be active because I had an appetite of a dinosaur (still do). I was a bottomless pit. My high school “DBKL” nickname still stands!

I had no problem with the way I looked. Thankfully, social media had less of an influence during my younger days. We did whatever we wanted, ate whatever we wanted and just focused on having a good time.

My whole perspective changed when 2 people (one was my friend and the other was a complete stranger that I met through an event) commented about the way I looked and that I should change to fit the people around me.

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I was surprised that I was affected by what they said because I don’t usually give a hoot. What more, it came from a total stranger!

Watch what you say to others, words cut deeper than razor blades

The Bible says “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Proverbs 18:21

It is true. Those few words were barely a sentence or two but it tore me to bits. My life was never the same.FullSizeRender_2(1)

Running

I picked up running for “health reasons” (as I would like to call it. Haha!). Losing weight played the biggest role in this equation.

I am quite the determined and focused sort. If I set my mind and heart to it, I usually get it done. And in this case, I did. I dedicated 30 minutes of running 4 times a week and watched what I ate. Of course back then, I didn’t know much about exercise and nutritionIMG_3199

I managed to lose weight, a LOT of it! Within 2.5 years, I lost 15kg. My lowest at 35kg!

Looking back, those were some really crazy times! But back then, I thought it was pretty normal because I was running/exercising  and I guess that sounded OKAY. What I didn’t know was that I was overdoing it without proper nutrition.

The Hate

Hate is such a strong word. I think I prefer dislike. I ran because I didn’t like the way I looked.

I remember my first race at Putrajaya with some friends. I started from the back, made it through the crowd and finished within the top 20. I was shocked and felt a sense of achievement.

I started joining bigger events (Nike, Standard Chartered, Energizer, Shape etc). Still, I didn’t have it in mind to compete. I didn’t care about the timing, goodies, medals or race tee. I was just there to get in a good workout.

Wanting a good workout doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, right? But my mind wasn’t in the right place. I ran for negative reasons and that should NEVER be the way. Your mind set is very important. Your perspective of something affects how you feel and what you do about it.

Let’s fast forward to the love of running part and sweep my internal battles away. You can drop me an email if you want to find out more or need any help.

The Love

December 2015 would mark the second year of better running years.

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It all started when my boss challenged me at the Desa Park City Run 2013. Despite starting 8 minutes later than everyone else (fashionably late as usual!), I overtook him at km 7 and I got a month’s pay for that! Fun times!

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Learning to have some fun!

I picked up running again (I stopped running/jogging for about a year during my final year in Uni). This time, a little seriously. I committed my time to the Puma Running Club.

 

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I found a bunch of very dedicated runners and I made a lot of running friends along the way (I knew NONE of them).

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Through the running club and my friends, I understood the technical side of running. It was still all too technical for me because I didn’t really care about the numbers. Whenever they get too geeky, I’d roll my eyes (jokingly!).

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWith the right mind set and focus, I’ve never missed a podium position (within the prizes). And I thank God and everyone around me for all the support.

I also started reading a lot about health, fitness and NUTRITION! Nutrition was a vital part of it. For me, it was a whole new world because I’ve NEVER fuelled myself properly.FullSizeRender(2)

Through running, I was able to see how capable my body was. And I loved that. The focus was not just to get in a good workout. 😉

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Think Like An Athlete, Train Like One

In mid-July 2014, I had the opportunity to train with Coach Mark for the Standard Chartered Full Marathon distance. It was something VERY new and exciting. I never knew what “proper training” was. I was exposed to how athletes train, eat and recover.

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It was not “diet and exercise”. It was “train and fuel”! And I started to play around with what worked and what didn’t.FullSizeRender(1)

A lot of discovery there!

The Journey

As you can see, it was a very long journey (over 6-7 years). And I struggled. Everyone comes from somewhere and everyone has a story to tell.FullSizeRender_2This Christmas, I am reminded that Jesus was born and because of Him, I am free. 🙂

From what someone said to hating myself to running in a negative way to loving every bit of running to making it part of my future career, everything came together perfectly.

 

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I questioned every struggle I had and then, I realised God had it all planned out. Were it not for what that person said, I probably wouldn’t have started running! So, THANK YOU!

IMG_4357If you are currently struggling with something, keep pushing and keep fighting. Bad times don’t last and pulling through just makes you STRONGER! Ignore the negative noises around you. 🙂


Gratitude, Purpose, Passion

In whatever you do, do it with gratitude, with purpose and with passion!

Currently, that’s why I’m running.

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Because I CAN

It is still pretty much a love hate relationship. It gives you so much pain and satisfaction at the same time. Knowing that you can pull through the pain during a race and reaching that finish line is GOLD. It takes every inch of will power, strength, determination and a little insanity to go through the pain. And that spills over to your daily life.

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I am blessed to be able to walk/run/move. Looking back, I hate myself for hating myself in the first place! Every cell in my body is working HARD towards keeping me alive and YOU have every reason to love it (love yourself that is. You can love me too :P).

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If you have nothing nice to say, I’m going to pull this face and continue running! 😛

Falling ill from dengue this year threw me into a deeper realisation of life and made me realise (even more) how blessed I am to be alive and healthy.

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Concept of Self

That concept will always be evolving, with time, with experiences and with people. With every encounter (good or bad), comes a deeper understanding of who you are. You won’t have it all figured out. You may THINK you do until you come face to face with a new encounter that forces you to reassess everything you know about yourself. It is OKAY! You will get there.

I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I was healthy, I thought I was happy. But I was not.FullSizeRender_3

And I have come a long way, falling hard time and time again only to climb back up. I don’t expect you to understand where I’m coming from. Everyone runs for a different reason. So, don’t try to shove your running dogma on someone else. Not everyone is out there to run like an athlete or chase their PB. 🙂

If you’re in a similar situation, let me tell you that YOU can do it (with help from God and the people around you!). FullSizeRender_1(1)

Because with every setback, comes a greater comeback.

So, there you go.

This is my story.

What’s yours?

RecoFit: Ice Cool Compression

When I first started running (a little seriously) last year, my calves suffered the most. I am a forefoot striker (very) and back then, my strides were very wide.

It had gotten to the point where I had to take 1 week off from running for it to recover. That was when I sought after every possible recovery/injury prevention method known to man. My friends suggested that I try compression garment.

IMG_9421 The compression garment that I was using certainly helped in supporting my calves and enhancing the recovery. I wore them during my runs, races and even to sleep. But after a while, I stopped because I had some skin irritation.

It was also around the same time when I started piling on the mileage in preparation for the marathon distance. With the increase in mileage, I increased my cadence and decreased my stride length. Since then, my calves have been A-Okay!

Until……

This year! 2015! They were still doing great for the first half of 2015.

After the dengue attack which left me mileage-less for 2 whole weeks, my body had to “relearn” a thing or two. All my “old” pains and injuries started cropping up again, especially those that I suffered from when I first started running!

RecoFit to the rescue!

And then, RecoFit compression sleeves came along.IMG_9423 RecoFit is designed by Susan Walton of Move Sport. As an active person, she was battling injuries too (shin splints).

She decided to create her very own product by cutting and sewing this sleeve using carbon based performance textile from Italy (Resistex). This product offers gradient compression and post exercise recovery treatment with ice packs!

Susan basically stuck with the R.I.C.E healing concept.

R-Rest

I-Ice

C-Compress

E-Elevate

As she suffered from shin splints, the design of this product was geared towards that. For runners suffering from calf strains, you can just turn the sleeve so that the ice pack sits behind your calf muscle. You will know what I am talking about after you watch the video!

My Thoughts:

Very innovative. Compression garment WITH ICE PACKS?! WIN! I love putting them on after hard training or after a race and it feels SO GOOD!

It fits like a glove. It doesn’t suffocate your muscles and most importantly the seams are soft and they are light on your skin. I have slept with them without skin irritation.

If you happen to suffer from calf or shin splints, you can check them out.

The best part is that there’s a DISCOUNT for my readers!

The Details:

Flash my blogpost from your mobile device at the counter before purchase

*Valid for one month from the date of this blogpost*

Address:

ION Concept Store,

Lot G-10, Ground Floor, Jaya Shopping Centre,

Jalan Semangat, Seksyen 14,

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Tel no.: 03-7931 4662

Where: Look for the Recofit rack inside the store!

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/ionconceptstoreJSC/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Official Website: https://recofit.co/

Cambodia Run-cation: Day 2

Day 2 – Race Day (6th Dec)

After the late dinner on Saturday, we went to bed at about 12am. I shared a room with Amanda and we both set multiple alarms to make sure that we GET UP!

Our alarms rang at 4am. I was doing the half marathon so I had to get up a little earlier to have some breakfast. I had a small wholemeal roll and a banana.

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Wearing the #MMT running tee!

Surprisingly, I was feeling okay, after having only 7 hours of sleep over 2 days!

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The 21km warriors!

We met up at the lobby and left at around 5:30am. The flag off for the half marathon and 10km was at 6:00am and 6:20am respectively. The traffic was bad as everyone was in town for the run! It took a little longer to arrive (than what we had planned). We had little time to spare when we got there!

*Eye of the tiger was our jam!*

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The 3 of us (Bruce, Ben and I) were doing the half so we headed to the start line first. It was so crowded, I couldn’t see the start line! Everyone was just standing around, some from the half marathon and some from the 10km and no one knew where the actual start line was. There were some signs here and there but it wasn’t very clear! Good thing we had to wait for the VIP to arrive and during that time, I figured out where the start line was. I made my way through and stood next to the barrier which was about 8-10 meters away.

I didn’t have it in mind to race that day. I decided to run by feel. I ran a little faster during the first few kms to pull away from the crowd. There were a few women ahead but I was unsure of my current position. There was one U-turn at km 3 and that was when I started counting! I was in 7th place and slowly dropped to 10th before the 4th km. There was no one behind and I held on to this pace (and place).

We ran through the Angkor Archaeological Park. It was very picturesque! I took quick glances of my surroundings.

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At km 6.5, we passed the Siem Reap River. It was very refreshing and with the trees lining the entire way, you could barely feel the sun’s rays. I took a moment to soak up everything that was around me. The feeling of running along the river with the wind in your face and your legs feeling fresh and strong – super! I wouldn’t say it was perfect PB weather, but if you’ve been running in KL long enough, it won’t be anything that you cannot handle!

In between km 10-15, we ran passed Sarah Srang, Ta Prohm and Ta Keo. Another thing I loved about this run was the KIDS that were out on the streets supporting us and giving hi-5s! I stretched out my hand whenever I saw them! SO CUTE!

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Before we entered the West Gate into Angkor Thom (km 15), I was feeling the birth of blisters on my biggest and smallest right toe. It was hurting and my paced dropped.

We passed Bayon temple at around km 18. I turned to look behind and I saw a girl catching up. She eventually overtook me between km 18-19. I could have pushed if I wanted to but that would scream torture for my feet! Since I was there for a run-cation, I decided to stop/walk/jog and enjoy the rest of the run.

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If you want to have a run-cation with decent weather and a possible PB, try this in 2016! It was FLAT all the way! Definitely a PB route. This was at km 20 ++.

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The exit from Angkor Thom!

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I was also running back and forth, trying to see if I could spot Jose who was aiming for a sub 2 half marathon!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe finally met up and we crossed the finish line together! According to his Suunto, it was a PB! It was good to see him pushing the last few meters. Awesome stuff!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMet up with the rest of the MMT gang who did the 10km!

IMG_1052In Cambodia, the run never ends. There is no finish line. In Bruce’s case, LITERALLY! They were packing up by the time he arrived. This guy right here deserves all the claps and praise for completing the 21km, in STYLE! Good job man! 🙂 Keep it up!

We took the hotel shuttle back and we devoured the entire buffet line. WE WERE FAMISHED! HUNGRY PEOPLE!

After breakfast/brunch, I knocked out for the entire afternoon.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFinally got out of bed at 4pm and went out for coffee! Spent the next 3 hours exploring Cambodia city on foot!

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Cocktails on WHEELS! 1.50$ for shots! IMG_0620By dinner time, we were too tired to head out again. Had food and drinks by the pool!

It was a FULL day for me. Running the half, having a good time with friends and exploring Cambodia city! Definitely a good day. 🙂

Day 3 coming up! 🙂