Sunday, January 27, 2019


This coming Lunar New Year's weekend, which goes from Saturday, February 2, through Wednesday, February 6, is when I'll be doing another four-day walk—this time going east past Hanam City and Paldang Dam, then stopping in Yangpyeong City and turning around to go back to my place. On Sunday (i.e., today), after meeting up with a friend in Yeouido, I'll be doing a six-hour walk as part of my ongoing program to keep my feet conditioned for long-distance trekking. Come New Year's weekend, I ought to be ready to head out for another 120-kilometer hike.

But I'm a bit apprehensive: this hike will recapitulate the route I took during the first two days of my big Seoul-to-Busan walk. It was on Day 2 that I ended up with a huge blister that stayed with me for the rest of my 26 days on the path. Day 2 took me from the Hanam/Paldang Dam area through a series of tunnels, and finally to a modern-art museum in Yangpyeong City. I was so tired, by that point, that I cheated and took a cab for a short ride to the yeogwan I had chosen: the River House Motel. From my walk blog, I saw that I had walked a whopping 12.5 hours that day, at 56,917 steps,* which is probably why I had the blister, and why I elected to stay in that motel for two nights.

So the problem is this: if I do do this eastward walk this coming Lunar New Year, the second and third days—which are essentially the same stretch between Hanam and Yangpyeong—are going to be brutal. One possible solution, though, is that I can follow the Namhan River more closely this time without having to go into downtown Yangpyeong. Why? Because this time, I don't have to look for that damn certification center (which I never found last time: that center's stamp is the only one missing from my collection). When I use Naver Map on my phone to calculate the distance from the Baro Hotel in Hanam City to the River House Motel in Yangpyeong, I get a figure of only 34.63 km, which is far less than I actually walked that fateful day. So with this new route, things shouldn't be quite so brutal.

ADDENDUM: because I also won't be looking out for the certification center on the first day of the upcoming hike, that day's distance will be markedly shorter as well: only 25.22 km, according to Naver Map. So, in total, I'll be walking 119.7 km, which I believe will be slightly shorter, overall, than the walks I've done to Incheon and back. That's good to know.

*If you're doing the math, you see that 56,917 steps over 12.5 hours is a pitiful 4,553 steps per hour, far down from my usual 6,000 steps. I can only think that this was partly because I had rested a lot on that day. Assuming a 6K steps/hour rate, I would have walked a total of 9.5 hours, which means I would have spent three whole hours resting. I don't recall resting quite that long on that day, but I do recall resting a few times and walking very slowly and painfully toward the end of a long, long day of trekking. It's possible that the figure of 12.5 hours' walking is off. When I look at what my pedometer recorded for that day—April 23, 2017—well, it does put me as walking between 6 a.m. and about 6:30 p.m., so maybe 12.5 hours is the correct figure, and maybe I really did take that long to rest along the way. Hmmm.


John Mac said...

"only 34.63 km"

You are on a whole other level of walking my friend. I admire your dedication and sense of purpose in achieving your goals. Good luck on this latest trek!

Those step counts do have variables, that's for sure. It takes me 1.5 hours to walk 10,000 steps. I can look at my watch and know when my fitbit will vibrate in recognition of achieving the step count goal. But that's on flat ground. Hiking up the mountains is much slower going, so all bets are off.

Kevin Kim said...

I haven't been anywhere near as consistent or dedicated as you've been, though, which is why I'm not losing much weight. True, I've lost 3 kg over the past couple of weeks, but that's only after having regained 7 or 8 kilos. The yo-yo'ing will continue until I actually make a lifestyle change, but I'm such a lazy bastard that I don't see that happening anytime soon. I'll doubtless lose weight during the upcoming walk, but keeping that weight off will be the real challenge, as it always is, alas.

Charles said...

35+ km in a day is a lot of walking.