A new record! I've finally passed the 40,000-step threshold!
19.47 miles * 1.15 = approximately 22.4 real(-ish) miles, so I'd put my distance at somewhere over 20 miles walked today. Yeah: my feet hurt.
I started out this morning, waking up around 3:45AM, leaving my place around 4:30AM, and walking my usual 32-staircase creekside walk. The staircases were tougher than normal today: I had walked up my building's huge staircase twice on Friday evening, so my legs were still sore. Much more than the creekside walk, the building-staircase walk is about cardio plus strength, and even after all this time, I'm not convinced my legs are all that strong. I can make it up 52 floors without stopping at all (if you don't count the elevator ride down after the first 26 floors), but I do the climb slowly.
There were several interesting things about today's walk.
First, two Korean men, completely independently of each other, said hello to me in English. The first, an older gentleman, said, "How are you this morning?" The second, closer to my own age, simply said, "Hi!" and waved. On the trail, I get stared at sometimes, but I almost never receive any greeting such as happens when you're on the trail in the US (one major exception: I've received frequent greetings—nods, or quick bowing, or even verbal salutations—on mountain trails in Korea, whether it be a greeting from a lone hiker going the opposite way or a greeting from a group of hikers).
Second, I saw how much the creek had flooded when I noticed the plethora of tiny, silvery fish that had been scattered all along significant stretches of the walking path (see photo in previous post for just two of many such fish). I don't know what sort of fish they were, but they reminded me of sardines.
Third, there was that duck (scroll down and see previous post), which was making these rather un-duck-like, guttural chirping noises. The duck was on a bench, patrolling its length, almost as if it were watching over something. I'm no duck sexer, so I have no clue whether I was looking at a male or a female, and I have no idea what sort of caretaking role ducks have: do the males watch over the eggs while the females go looking for food? Vice versa? I'd be happy just to know what kind of duck I was looking at.
Fourth, this was the first time I had walked this particular route during the day. It made a difference, especially in terms of figuring out which staircases sat closer together. As it turns out, Staircases 4, 5, and 6 all sit about 100 m apart from each other, thus forming a sort of triple-whammy, giving me very little time to rest between them. Same goes for the double-whammy of Staircases 7 and 8. Things start to spread out after that point, though; I'd estimate that the distance between staircases, from 9 to 14, averages about 150-200 m. It gets even wider after 14: the distance between 28 and 29, for example, is probably more than half a kilometer. Then suddenly, from 29 to 30, it's barely 50 m, and 31 and 32 are unevenly spaced.
I brought water with me. I may have to do that throughout the summer months: the humidity leaves me even sweatier than usual. Speaking of sweat: when it rains and you have no umbrella, being sweaty makes no difference. It was raining at 4:30AM, even though my Weather.com app insisted that it was only cloudy. I sat under a bridge for twenty minutes (Yeongdong 6-gyo), hoping the rain might let up. That was, in fact, the main reason why I'd chosen to hike Saturday morning instead of Friday night: I had thought the rain would stop around 2AM. It didn't, so I said "Fuck it" and headed out into the drizzle. Given how warm the air was, I didn't worry about catching a cold.
Luckily, I had started out early enough that midday heat never became an issue. Because I hadn't done my usual 6,000-7,000-step routine at work (I walk maybe 30-40 minutes a day, total, while at the office, thus racking up steps before I take my long walk), I knew I'd have to do some extra walking when I got back to my apartment building. I barely made 30,000 steps by the time I returned, so I did three loops around the local park's track (it's about 1,200 to 1,300 steps per loop), thus bringing my step total up to about 34,000. I then went to my Golden Goose office briefly, after which walked a few hundred yards to D'Maris to have an expensive buffet lunch. From D'Maris, I walked back to my apartment building, and it was during that walk that I topped 40K steps. An auspicious day.
It's going to be a long time before I can top this, and if I try to do so, it'll have to be by doing a similar kind of walk, i.e., done in segments throughout the day—one big chunk in the morning, then a few smaller chunks in the afternoon. My pedometer puts my walk at 396 minutes—about 104 steps per minute, which is fairly brisk for me. 396 minutes is also 6.6 hours' walking; today was a long, long day, and since I'm prepping for a big KMA workshop this coming Monday to Wednesday, I have lesson plans to make, and miles to go before I sleep.