Half-Marathon in Seoul

Before coming to Korea, the longest distance I’d run was maybe a little more than five kilometers.  But when I arrived I began running more and more.  In May, I ran my first 10km race at the seawall here in Gunsan.In the summer I ran through the heat and decided that I needed to go up to the next level – half marathon- 21.1km or 13.1  through several times to light up some nice vmiles.Like a lot of things in life maybe, training isn’t particularly hard (if it’s done right), you just have to go out and actually do it no matter what.  It’s more a test of will than a test of strength.  At least that’s how I feel – I would always think of all the elderly and disabled people who run full marathons, and think if they can do it…Unlike my other race in Korea, the KM Marathon was rather quiet.  They tried to have that same carnival atmosphere and electricity but it was too cold, too gray and there weren’t enough runners.  Even though it was cold and gray, the weather was not terrible for December;  there was a nice hush over the Han River and the Sun broke through several times to light up nice views of the city on north bank of the river.However easier running had become for me in these last few months, the last three kilometers of the race were pretty rough.  I had to force myself to go on despite a massive blister on my right foot and tense exhausted legs.  I dropped my pace, but I still managed to get across the finish line just three minutes past two hours.

I am taller than most Koreans.

At the finish line I was rewarded with some rice wine – konbay! – some tofu soup, and a banana.  It was delicious but nothing good really have satisfied my hunger at that point.  I ate a lot in the evening after the race.  And alcohol had increased potency.On one hand I’m glad it’s over – training as it got increasingly cold became significantly less enjoyable, but on the other hand I’m going to miss having that goal to work towards and to give me discipline.  On to the next exciting thing!

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