Saturday, September 08, 2018

and what are your Chuseok plans?

The Chuseok holiday, this year, is slated for a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (in a three-day string, this usually means that the actual harvest moon is on the middle day—in this case, Monday): September 23-25. There's been some discussion, as there always is every year, as to whether we Golden Goose staffers might get an extra day off. The hope among us R&Ders was to get Wednesday the 26th off to make for a five-day weekend, but that's not looking likely. Our company's teachers are also obliged to work at an event called The Amazing Race, named after a TV show, apparently. The event will occupy several hours on Saturday the 29th; no one is looking forward to it, as you can imagine: all the expats have something better to do with their time than be saddled with obligatory "fun."

For myself, I never got the memo about The Amazing Race (which I learned about from the native-speaker teachers in our office), so I'm not doing it. For Chuseok break, though, I'll be heading out on a hike to Incheon—my third such walk since last year's long périple. That means I need to practice for the walk, which in turn means a six-or-so-hour walk this weekend (slated for tomorrow morning) plus another long walk the following weekend.* During the week, I'll be fine doing 25,000-step walks, which is close to what I'm already doing, anyway. My new New Balances are holding up okay, but they're not quite as cushiony as I'd hoped, if the proto-blister below/behind the ball of my right foot is any indication. Tomorrow's long walk will tell me a lot about how I'll need to approach the Chuseok/Incheon walk in terms of rest breaks, i.e., breaks to rest my feet, not to rest my legs and lungs.

So—120 km for my Chuseok break! If we did get Wednesday the 26th off, I'd do something I've never done before and not cheat on Day 2 of the walk. As I've already confessed multiple times, I normally take a cab to my hotel on Day 2 because, after reaching the western shore and the end/beginning of the Gukto Jongju bike path, it's another 10 km to the nearest neighborhood with hotels. Going back inland always feels like going backward, and I'm also dead tired by the time I reach the shore. Those factors put me in a lazy, cab-craving mood, so I use Kakao Taxi to summon a cab and ride to my hotel. If I had a five-day weekend, however, I'd seriously contemplate reaching the shore on Day 2, then slogging the final 10 km to the hotel on foot that same day—no cabs. It would make for a severely painful day, but with an extra day of vacation, I'd spend an extra night at the hotel to recover, then head back to Seoul on the last day. But I don't think we're getting the 26th off, so the plan will be my standard 4-day trek to Incheon and back, with a tiny cab ride in the middle.

*Dirty secret: although my long walks involve schlepping for eight- or nine-hour stretches (including rest breaks), I find that practicing with six-hour walks is sufficient for getting my feet ready for the abuse of a full-length day of walking. And as always, training on stairs is the way to go. I've been pretty rigorous about walking up to my apartment on the 14th floor every weeknight, and it's definitely helping with both strength and cardio.

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