Wednesday, December 24, 2014

almost 37K tonight

I bought those cleats on Monday, but for my Tuesday walk I decided not to attempt any dangerous routes, sticking instead to the flatter areas of Jongno, Samcheong-dong, Gwanghwamun, City Hall, and all the streets connecting these districts. The weather has warmed up a bit, which is both good and bad news: it's good news to the extent that larger dry patches of sidewalk are now visible, but it's bad news in that the ice-covered parts of the sidewalk end up with slippery surfaces, making them more precarious than when they're frozen solid.

Tonight's walk (well, technically, Tuesday night's walk) was 36,925 steps—almost 37K. I have to do three 35K walks in a row to help me make up for lost time, so I've got one more such walk before Christmas, then another set of three 35K walks right after Christmas. Wednesday's high temperature is supposed to be over 40ยบ Fahrenheit—positively warm by current winter standards. I expect there'll be plenty of melt by the time I hit the road Wednesday afternoon, but I'm going to take along my new cleats, anyway.

I spent a good chunk of my Tuesday walk inside the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, or DDP. This is the UFO-shaped building close to what used to be known simply as Dongdaemun Station, but which is now called the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station. I'm not sure how I feel about the building's interior, which strikes me as looking a bit like something from the American 1970s—plenty of streamlined white corridors and bland staircases. To see anything interesting, you have to purchase tickets, and that can set you back W6,000 or more. A few exhibit spaces are open to the general public for free, and there are both shops and restaurants—all overpriced, of course. You know right away that you're in an artistic space because of all the goddamn track lighting. Overall, I came away from my trip inside the UFO with rather mixed feelings. The interior struck me as already outdated-looking, and I'm not much into designs that don't marry form with function: if a design isn't somehow useful, it's just not that interesting to me. If I want to see designs with no obvious utilitarian purpose, I can go visit an art museum. That said, I did see some rather cool form/function marriages among the various overpriced products on display, so my visit wasn't a total loss.

Tuesday's walk was tiring. I can't believe I'm doing to this again later today, but it has to be done: I was averaging barely 8,000 steps a day for most of December, so the only way to make up my average, at this point, is to pile on the steppage. Happily, getting my heart and lungs back into condition hasn't been that hard: although I did feel myself de-conditioning over the first two weeks of December, my body has remembered all the gasping, heart-pounding misery of the previous months, and has woken up quickly from its cardio slumber. I hope my third such long walk won't be as tiring as the first two.

On Christmas Day, I'll try not to do more than 20K steps. On the 29th and 30th, I've got KMA work, so I won't be able to do more than 15K steps on those nights; on the 31st, I have to work at the Golden Goose all day, so that's another 15K steps. By the end of the month, my average ought to be higher than November's—not by a lot, but by enough to keep the trend moving upward. And by the beginning of the year, I ought to be 3 million won richer, which puts me all the closer to getting a real apartment.


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