On The Road Again

I’m actually counting down the days until I’m cleared to really begin exercising. According to my Doc, I have to wait a full eight weeks before taking on any challenging workout regimens. And there are several that I’m aching to try.

I found a new blog (finally, it’s been a while since I’ve come across one I’ve liked enough to follow) the other day via one I already follow. The writer there, Jennifer, has challenged her readers to a plank-a-day. Or as she calls it, “Merry Planksmas.” I’m so ready to take on this challenge… starting Friday.

jenn_plank

And there is the 5k to [half] marathon Jason and I want to start training for. I’ve even found a pretty good training schedule for us–mind you, I’m guessing we’ll start even slower since Jason’s NOT a runner and it’s been almost forever since I ran.

In the meantime, my shoes are itching to be used. I’ve got so many pairs of walking/running shoes, too. While waiting for the all clear, I’ve started going for walks around our neighborhood with the baby.

walkin
View from our walk.
photo-2
1.67 miles in 46:26
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Walkin’ on Empty

WHAT a day.

I should actually begin with yesterday. At around 4pm Jason skypes me to let me know that the landlord has put our apartment up for rent. OK. Right at the moment, there were people at our front door calling to get the pass code for our Seoul-standard electronic door lock. Not OK. First of all, hello short notice. And as such, there are clothes, dishes, even cash kinda lying around. The place is far from tidy.

Second, I don’t know these people, Jason doesn’t know these people… and we’re suspicious. So, no, we don’t want strangers (even if brought over by a realtor because we don’t know her either) walking about in our house without some sort of warning.

So, HOORAY, were packing up everything by the end of the weekend. Calling the shippers on Monday, and sending all our stuff, except clothes and some other essentials like toiletries, home ASAP.

Back to today…

I was up at 5:30 am to do my long walk. My regular week-day walks take me about 45 minutes. I figured today’s would be about an hour, which was pretty dead on.

I had originally estimated my Monday, Wednesday, Friday walk at 2 miles. When I came home this morning and told Jason that I did 3 miles at an hour, I was happy. He was…concerned.

“That’s a long time for just 3 miles, Babe.”

“Oh…yeah, I guess it is. Let me check it.” So I log into this site (which I LOVE) and find my neighborhood.

Oops...

So yeah, not three miles, but just under five (I say five because this wasn’t as accurate as I could have made it, with the few additional side streets I needed to navigate before getting onto the bridge).

This also means that my weekday walks are not actually two miles, but three and a half. And my time is not a 20-minute mile, but a 12-ish-minute mile. These new developments make me happy if I can up my speed before my “race” in October. That would give me a better finish time than when I ran it the last time, or the one previous in 2008.

A few hours later we were on the bus, to Gangnam to run some errands and snag a quick brunch before meeting some of Jason’s co-workers across the river. We were going to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D.

The movie was cute. Seeing it with a writer (Jason) and a designer (Karen, one of Jason’s Korean co-workers) was a trip…well afterward it was fun hearing them discuss the creative aspects of the plot and animation.

The theater was inside a mall/train station, so the building was HUGE. After seeing the movie, we had lunch at some fusion place called Pasta Amigo. Randomly, and without reason, I ordered the Salmon Fettuccine. It was really tasty. The Alfredo sauce was a bit sweet because of the onions and fishy (obviously) because of the salmon. The pasta was actually spinach pasta, and therefore it was green… a nice touch.

After leaving Jason’s co-workers to wonder the giant mall, we found a few items at the E-Mart there, and made our way home.

So, what began at 5:30 am with a 5 mile walk, turned into a very long day of more walking with a cute movie and a nice lunch thrown in the middle. It’s also VERY hot these days, and while it’s still not as humid as it could be (think walking though a heated swimming pool while staying mostly dry), it’s pretty miserable none the less when you have to hike back from the subway to the apartment.

Don’t worry. We bought giant bottles of water (will be recycled) and popsicles to help cool us off.

 

Hey Seoul Sister

As I mentioned before, I want to walk the Duke City half marathon in October. I actually started “training” two weeks ago by walking a two-mile loop near my apartment. Last week I didn’t walk. I know, I’m lame. But, moving right along, I did walk this morning (I’m shooting for 3 times a week at 2 miles, and one day where I walk 3 miles) even though it looked pretty close to raining. But, whether it was mist, fog, haze, smog, or just cloudy, it still looked like it was going to rain.

South Korea used to be called “The Land of Morning Calm” due to its high mountains (which is still has) and clean, clear waters (not so much nowadays). This fact is pretty well ironic now, what with being one of the largest cities in the world and all. The hustle and bustle of big city life is far from calm.

That wasn’t the case this morning, however. If you wake up early enough here, it doesn’t seem quite so “large.” Sure, the amount of cars on the road at 5:30 AM probably exceeds the amount of people in my hometown, but it’s a stark contrast to what you would see twelve hours later.

But, I digress. What I really wanted to write about was a few of the things I saw on my 5:30 AM walk.

For starters, cloudy skies. But I continued along my path and once I had crossed the road toward the middle school, it was easier to tell that I wouldn’t get rained on. As I was walking, I was passed by this guy, who was riding a bike, rather than walking, as I had become used to seeing last year. I saw him again for the first time two Mondays ago. It was really inspiring.

As I passed the middle school, I noticed what looked like a broken down bus. As I passed it? Lady Gaga’s. I kid you not.

On the bridge I observed the fallen trees, which were knocked down in last September’s typhoon, which happened the day we were supposed to go to Jeju Island (we still made it there, but on a later flight). The trees were still green and thriving, even though they were pretty much 90% horizontal with the ground. Nature: FIGHTING!

Then, finally, as I was heading back, I caught a glimpse of the orange sun, I blame pollution. But, I guess it’s just random particles in the atmosphere… Let’s go with that.

Anyhow, it was a lovely walk. I feel refreshed and almost ready to be at work today.