Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Long and Boring Road: Injury Recovery is the Pits!

"The function of the press in society is to inform, but its role in society is to make money."

A. J. Liebling

       Let me start by saying, everything is calm and normal here in South Korea. It appears the US news media is having a field day with doom and gloom over the exchange of live fire, but nothing has changed for us here since the initial alert last week.

       Running wise, I have had very little to blog about. The orthopedic surgeon said my foot is not yet healed so he wants me to give it 6-8 more weeks and see him again before I try running. He also told me to knock off hiking as there is too great a chance of re-injury if I step on a rock wrong or stumble on a rut. That was hard to hear as the last tolerable days of weather slip past me on our way into a dark and cold winter.

       My one bright note is that I have a group of beginners that I am working with. This past week 2 moms and a gaggle of kids joined me on the outdoor track to learn how to run and love it. I’m teaching them about form and how to run slowly and smoothly to develop good habits that can keep them running for a lifetime. It was a great experience and everyone left with a smile on their face. I can’t wait for their first spring 5K! With a little luck, I will get to run it with them.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Buraksan Mountain: My New Home Trail Run

I am so excited! I have found a wonderful new trail that will come very close to my love for The Noland Trail in Virginia. It is Buraksan Mountain in Songtan, South Korea.

       Today was my second foray onto the mountain so I was able to go further than last time. I also took my Garmin with me so I could follow the map back home when I got lost and turned around (it doesn’t take much for me to get lost!) Once again the trail was bustling with hikers and power walkers, although I don’t think I saw any actual runners. My dog and I wandered over single and double track and finally found the main trail. The big surprise was that in the middle of the trail was a huge fitness park full of gym equipment!

       Although I have just over a week before I am allowed to run again, I have to admit to letting myself run down a couple of little slopes, mostly to keep my dog from puling me onto my face, but I didn’t need much encouragement. It felt SOOO good to run even a little. I know my foot isn’t quite ready though. The bone may be pretty much healed, but the lazy muscles are not quite ready to go full force.

       I know there are many spectacular trails in Korea and I can’t wait to tackle them all, but having a lovely trail within walking distance is a huge treat. I think I only made it about 1/3 of the way up the mountain because my round trip was 4 miles and the guide map indicated it is over 5K to the top from the trail head, (I live about a mile from where the trail starts.) It will be a great goal for me to be able to run a full round trip to the top of the mountain. That should be a total of about 8 miles round trip with 3 miles up steep track. If the weather holds, next week’s goal will be to make it to the top!

       I should add that I wore my new Vibram Treks and they were awesome! No one even seemed to notice them, although the very large Poodle commands most of the attention when out and about in Korea so I could have been wearing clown hair and no one would have noticed.

       Here are a few pictures from today.

Part of the fitness park and look out tower

The Trail

There were mirrors in several places, but I can't figure out what they are for

I love the Spirit Poles.  They are meant to scare away evil spirits, some are scarier than others

I think the squirrels are way scarier than the poles!

We cal them Bunny Squirrels, Lucy calls them a reason to pull Mom down the trail

Lucy meeting some school boys

The girls usually just whip out cell phones for pictures

   For my take on the Korean fitness culture and a few more pictures, please see my guest blogger post on: