Thursday, October 05, 2017

Incheon Walk, Day 4 assessment

I'm back at my place. This felt like a long day.

Pedometer stats:

446 min of walking time
45,940 steps (103 steps/min—brisk!)
22.71 miles walked (dubious)
3570 calories burned (gross)

Weight: 116.0 kg (where I was on May 17 this year)

If I'm not mistaken, today's walk was just under 30 km by a hair. I didn't get turned around in Yeouido, so I don't think I added any distance to what Naver had calculated. As you see above, I didn't really lose any weight during the trip: I was 116.5 kg for my cousin's wedding on the Saturday before the walk (9/30), and after four days' walking, I appear to have lost only a half kilo. That's largely thanks to eating and drinking a lot of junk—sodas and candy bars and whatnot. As I mentioned earlier, I was wrong to think I could "eat with impunity" this time around: I wasn't wearing a huge backpack, and there were no challenging hills to complicate my day, so my daily calorie burn was much lower than it had been during the spring.

Lots of rude assholes along the Han today. The bike path normally has three lanes: two lanes for bike traffic and one lane for pedestrians. Many Korean bikers, however, bike the way they drive: they seem unable to hold their lane, and they constantly swerve into the pedestrian lane.* As if that weren't enough, several ajummas walking toward me insisted on walking on their left side of the path, i.e., my right side of the path. There are signs spray-painted on the ground every few hundred yards saying "Walk on the right." I think I'm going to design a tee shirt that says "WALK ON THE RIGHT" and start carrying one of those startlingly loud spray-can horns that you hear at ball games as a way to get people walking on the proper side of the fucking path. Much of the rudeness, as is true in other countries and cultures, seems to be an urban-versus-rural thing. Once you're out of Seoul, people are generally more polite, although there are still some lingering dickheads even out in the middle of nowhere.

Overall, though, despite the occasional rudeness along the way, this was a good walk, and I'd like to do it again. A half-scale version of the walk is doable on any given weekend: I can start on any Saturday, finish on Sunday afternoon, take a cab to a nearby subway station, and train back into Seoul by evening. While the walk's endpoint is fairly anticlimactic, that final 20-kilometer stretch along the Ara Canal is quite beautiful, and definitely worth the hike.

The weather turned out better than I had thought it would: before the trip, my phone's weather app had been forecasting "partly cloudy" for all four days of the walk, and while there were indeed clouds, most of those days were fairly sunny, too. Temperature-wise, I couldn't have asked for better conditions. This was a far cry from the beginning of August, when my original attempt at walking to Incheon ended in disaster. Today, an easterly** breeze blew in my face nearly the entire way along the Han; at times, the pleasant air currents distracted me from the pain radiating out of my poor, abused feet.

I suppose the lesson, here, is that long-distance walks need to be coupled with fairly strict diets if the goal is to lose weight. Along with that, there needs to be some way to make such walks more energy-consumptive: add some hills and/or wear a heavier backpack.

Thus endeth another walk, and I can now say that I've trekked along the entire Gukto Jongju, from sea to shining sea. Alas, back to reality: we proles have to be in the office tomorrow. Joy. I'm planning to make massive amounts of budae-jjigae for my coworkers, but I'm going to rest first before I get up again and go shopping.



*For what it's worth, I kind of understand the rationale behind swerve-happy Korean driving: it's a function of opportunism. If you settle into any given lane, you're more likely to get blocked in by traffic and to lose the opportunity to break out of a slow lane and slip into a faster one. You see this same sort of "maximizing of probability" in many flying insects like gnats and mosquitoes, which buzz erratically in an effort to maximize the chance of landing on warm, mammalian flesh. It's a shame, though—not to mention damn annoying—that Koreans take this zigzaggy behavior onto the bike path. But that's Korea: nothing is linear here.



3 comments:

Surprises Aplenty said...

"Weight: 160.0 kg (where I was on May 17 this year)

... As you see above, I didn't really lose any weight during the trip: I was 116.5 kg for my cousin's wedding on the Saturday before the walk (9/30)"

I have found myself skipping the word 'not' when I type fast. That makes a huge amount of difference in what i meant to say!

So now we are clear I am commiserating and mocking, you might want to fix your weight. Unless you gained 44kg in a few days! Dang it, "...and not mocking."
I drove for nine hours on Thursday - it felt like as much a workout as your own. If I'd been driving my manual transmission car, I could have recorded a similar number of steps, i think. Oh, the good traffic time for that trip is less than five hours.

Kevin Kim said...

You're right: I'd better fix those numbers, which should both be around 116.

Kevin Kim said...

Fixed now! Thanks.