Thursday, April 30, 2020

90% no mas

What a contrast between yesterday and today. Today's total distance was about 5 km shorter than yesterday's, but subjectively, it felt longer and more arduous. A relatively small ache from yesterday, in my left foot, bloomed and magnified into something major today, and it was only after limping heavily into my apartment and peeling the socks off my feet that I got a look at the damage: I have blisters all across the bony front ridge of my left foot, from the ball of my foot to the area just behind my pinky toe. (I might even upload a nice pic of the damage for you foot-lovers.) Worse, the whole area feels tender and bone-bruised, which makes me hesitant to do tomorrow's walk to Hanam City. That walk is relatively short, being only 25 km, but the walk right after it, to Yangpyeong, is a beast at 35 km. In my current condition, I know I could hack tomorrow's walk, but I think my feet might be too tender for the longer, more brutal walk right after that one.

I'm wrestling with the notion that my feet simply aren't in the right condition for this kind of walking. If I'm honest, then I have to admit that I didn't do enough training to get my feet into fighting shape, so what I'm seeing now are the results of placing a sudden demand on my dogs. Karma is what it is, and just as the Catholic Church talks about sins of omission, karma will bite you in the ass if you're negligent in your training.

So it's not looking good for tomorrow, and if I wanted to do this four-day jaunt, I'd have to leave tomorrow because they're predicting rain on Sunday (40% chance as of this writing). Resting an extra day therefore won't work: I either go tomorrow and finish the walk, or I call it quits now, after about 65 km. I can comfort myself with the rationalization that I'm coming off a stress fracture and haven't had the proper time to condition my feet. I can also tell myself that discretion is the better part of valor. It's funny: I had thought that my right foot might prove to be a problem. Instead, it turned out to be ol' Lefty.

I'm going to sit on this problem tonight and make my decision at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning. If my left foot feels as if I can walk on it, then I'll head on out. If the comforts of home and hearth prove too tempting, I'll cancel the rest of the walk and keep on binge-watching "Burn Notice." I'm a third of the way through Season 5; if I binge hard enough, I can finish the rest of the season before I'm back in the office again.

Otherwise, tonight, I might upload some more photos from today's walk. I took only 46 pics today, but I'll slap up only a few of them. If I elect to cancel the walk—and I'm 90% pro-canceling at the moment—I'll dump all of my Day 1 and 2 photos over the next 48 hours.

Did I mention my various sunburns?


John Mac said...

Well, that didn't go as planned. So, I guess the good news is the fractured foot didn't prove to be an insurmountable problem. That's progress! I'm curious though, do you have a theory on what caused the blistering? If I recall correctly, you had footwear problems in the past. Or maybe you were unconsciously favoring the injured foot putting additional pressure on the other foot?

Still, it's good that you were able to abort the mission from home. Relax and give yourself a break. You've got Everest to climb!

Daniel said...

Speaking of the proverbial Everest. How does stair climbing affect your feet?

Kevin Kim said...


The blistering was probably caused by two factors: lack of proper conditioning to toughen the skin, and simply being overweight.

Unconsciously favoring one foot might also have been a factor, but I don't think it was a huge factor in this case.


Stairs became painful during the walk (there are some very small staircases at random spots along the Han River path), so I'm going to have to let my left foot heal before I can start my Everest project. Ultimately, stair-climbing will prove less abusive to my feet than distance-walking.

In thinking about my pain levels during my original 2017 walk, I realized that things were pretty bad during that walk's first few days-- about the same as now. Were I doing a cross-country walk, I'd probably just soldier on through the pain. As things are, though, I can afford to stop and heal, so that's what I'm opting to do.

Daniel said...

Let the healing begin!