Saturday, December 31, 2011

10km descending hike

Gwangju. 10km. 3hrs

Caught an ROK Air Force bus up to the top of the mountain which usually only occurs if you are actually a member of the air force. This took us up to the highest point on the mountain, about 1200m. Absolutely freezing, but spectacular views. We then descended the mountain with family and kids which made slow going before my brother in-law and I went on a detour along a trail.

Its much more rewarding to walk/run up a mountain rather than just down it. But nevertheless a bit of time on the feet and outstanding views.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

16km Hike

Avg Pace: 10:10min/km

A little bit of a failure in that I spent a good proportion of today on the roads. About 11k which is much more than I would like. Was exploring a new area and saw a hiker coming the opposite direction head down a road, so when I came back through I thought I'd see where it went, thought it may have connected to another trail, but instead just took me through some semi-rural area.

The positives are that I now now a few different trails and I will be able to explore that area more next week. I can see on the maps that there is are two peaks, 548m and a 567m, that I want to try and reach. I can also potentially see where the trails behind us might link with those - but I'm not 100% on that. Another positive was that I was able to jog a reasonable amount, but the minimus on road, wearing a backpack and me being wary of hurting something kept the pace pretty low.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

3km Hike + 2km Run

3.77 km
Avg Pace: 20:33min/km

A very easy going walk in the hills. Went with my wife (her first time) and walked to her level of fitness. Still, found another way into the south mountains as I couldn't remember how I got up that way the other day. Probably best I took it really easy, I'm starting to get a little over excited and my shin feels a touch sore. I really can't place what's causing the pain though. I might go see an acupuncturist here and see what happens. The KT tape seems to help a little so I will reapply that too. There's no specific area of pain, sometimes its high in the anterior tib and other times lower, and its not pain as such anyway, more just a dull soreness.

Looking out over Pangyo and further to Bundang.

2.67 km
Avg Pace:5:40 min/km
Avg Temperature:-3.0 °C

First real run at a normal pace.  Took a walking break at 5mins for about 200m. Around 5:10 pace, probably a bit faster than I should have but anyway - that's always the story. Hard to guage actual pace because looking at the garmin map it looks like its done something very wierd at the beginning. Should start/stop in same area. Will see how I feel tomorrow.

Finished with 2 x 40 sit ups, 2 x 20 push ups.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

6km Christmas Hike

Avg Pace: 11:46min/km

Merry Christmas. Took the new Minimus out on the trail and was very pleased with them. So much grip on the dirt it makes it so much easier to climb and descend.

New Balance Trail Minimus first 'run'
 Actually went out with the intention of hitting the trail with some more intensity. Also not stopping for as many photos and knowing where I'm going helps. Took a right turn instead of a left and started to make a descent northwards. Not sure where that goes exactly, but I'm sure I'll find out someday.
Another day, another view
Again, tried to run a bit where I could but am wary of the shin. It's a little achey again. Finished with a couple of pull ups and dips, 2 x 30 sit ups, 2 x 20 push ups.

Weeks totals: 29.24km/6:03:17 time on feet.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

4.5km Hike

Avg Pace: 14:17min/km

Had a reasonable snow fall last night which has put about 3-5 cms of snow on the ground. First time I've been out in the snow, Adios aren't really suited. Went up a different mountain today, I think its the south of us. The peak that I could find is about 320m. Was much less defined trail and ended up just having to follow someone elses foot prints otherwise would never have known where to go. Did a bit of arse skiing on way back down as it was easier than slipping down. Jogged parts where I could and shin seems to be feeling ok. ITB needed some serious rolling out though as the downhills are hammering it.

Adios not designed for trail running in the snow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

14km Hike

Avg Pace: 13:38min/km

Longest trip up the mountains so far. Hit the three peaks (540m, 545m and 596m) that I've been eyeing off on the maps and one smaller one at the beginning of the hike.

Ice covered stairs. Frightening.

A tiny little bit of snow on the trail.
View from the first peak where I'd been last week and the phone shut down.
Apparently a bear escaped from a local zoo here in 2010.
 They caught it.

Second peak. Had only seen two people the whole way up
and then there was a crowd of koreans that had set up what looked like some kind of small shop.
I think they came up from the other side of the mountains. God knows who has
to carry the tables and teapots up.
Just before the third peak. This doesn't look so bad here. I wasn't prepared to go up
this way and even less prepared to come down this way. I found an easier way up.

View from the top

Good hike, great views, cold weather (-10c to -3c), a bit of snow around the place. Rolled my ankle on a rock somewhere just after the first peak and landed on my knees and took a bit of skin off my left palm. Luckily didn't hurt my ankle cos it would have been a long walk back.

Bought some NB Trail Minimus yesterday but am yet to take them out. Still had the KT tape on from the other day and shin felt relatively good. Jogged where I could and jogged last km home on concrete.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4km Jog

Avg Pace: 7:14min/km
Avg HR: 155

Jogged the whole way (except for some of the sharper hills when my HR was hitting 179). Was intending just to do an 'asian' style jog at 7 min k's on the flat by the river but felt a) that I was not going to be able to restrain myself at that pace and b) that I probably shouldn't be on concrete for too long, so decided to take a short trip into the little mountain here.

Bought a roll of Kinesio Tape and am playing with that on the left shin as it pulled up with some soreness again. Felt pretty good, will see how I pull up afterwards. Also used my Adios which is such a nice shoe compared to my Nike Lunar Glides.

Finished with 2 x 25 sit ups, 2 x 15 push ups (actual push ups)

It snowed about 10mins after I came inside.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

3km Jog

Avg Pace: 7:09min/km

Well, what can I say - first "run" since being told I had a suspected stress fracture. Will see how I pull up, but there wasn't any discomfort during. I figure at that pace it probably can't be that much worse than walking. There's still some muscular ache in the upper part of my anterior tibialis from the last week. It was pretty cold and I didn't take my gloves stupidly, the gore tex kept me warm enough but my hands were very cold. I ran beside the stream here and parts of it are beginning to covered with ice which is pretty cool.

Finished off with 2 x 25 sit ups on the bench and 2 x 15 elevated push ups.

Brings me up to a grand total of 22k on the feet for the week (4hr15 and 1139m of elevation). That's a substantial increase on the level of activity over the past month.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

4km Hike

Avg Pace: 12:30min/km

Much more urban (a fair bit of sealed trail) but with one very steep section on one side of the mountain made for some tough going on the quads going down and the heart rate when going up. Went over the mountain twice for good measure. No where near as exciting as the mountain here, but still good to get out and get some exercise. Had a nice view out over the suburbs at the peak.

Looking over the suburb where my sister in laws family live
Did nine pull ups (5 + 4) and four chin ups. Did 2 x 15 elevated push ups, 2 x 15 incline sit ups and 1 x 5 dips on paralettes. They had a cool little free gym in a plastic shed half way up the hill which I didn't use but had free weights and benches plus a squat rack I think.

Quads are hammered from friday, shin pulled up a bit sore as well. Still doesn't feel like what I would imagine a stressie would feel like though.

The gym is in that structure that looks like a greenhouse. The concrete
in front is torture on the feet but apparently good for you. Don't know
what the tyres are used for.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

8km Hike

Avg Pace: 12:46min/km

Looking back towards our place in Pangyo

Great hike now that I know how to get to the mountain trail with minimum fuss. Turns out we are only about 200m from where it starts. Its 4k of uphill to get to an elevation of 540m at the peak.


I wore my HR monitor and it was interesting to see my heart rate climb right up to 170 - 180 during some of the steeper sections. Managed to jog here and there and the shin felt ok. Its a great climb up that seems to keep on going and going. Just under an hour to cover 4k with a few photo stops.

I was mostly sheltered for the first 3k and was only waering a long sleeve top and trackpants. When I hit the first ridge a crazy cold wind hit hard and I had to get the gore tex North Face jacket out. The ambient temperature was just below zero I think and the windchill must have been at least -10. Ears and nose took the brunt.

Once I finally hit the peak it was an amazingly great view out over some of the city that is about a 30 minute drive from where we live. Mountains all over the place and buildings. Hard to describe how cool it was and unexpected too. I took a few photos but the cold shut the iphone off and seemes to have deleted those pics. Below is the rock at the peak, not sure what it says, but it noted that I was at 540m.

The peak. Looking towards Anyang.
Coming back down I took a turn downhill which I assumed would take me to the point where I was trying to get in before. It was a pretty steep ascent and I half jogged it and could feel my quads getting hammered. Nice thing was getting to go through some pine forest whereas most of the mountain is bare now due to winter.

Pine forest

Turns out I was about 50m from finding the entry point the day before, but then its a 2k road walk back to the house. There's another peak which is apparently a bit higher nearby, so hopefully one day I will be able to hit both peaks in the one hike soon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

6km Hike

Avg Pace: 12:00min/km

Walk around the neighbourhood trying to find the access point to get up into the bigger of the mountains near here, but was unsuccessful finding what I wanted. Put my HR strap on top of my bag so I 'wouldn't forget' and of course forgot to put it on. Walked around 25mins with it on my bag before it must have fallen off. Because I couldn't find the track I walked back the same route and luckily found the strap lying there.. Jeesus...

I did however (eventually) find an entry point which I'll be able to use tomorrow. Went up to about 270m of which 140m elevation was covered in about 600m. On the maps it says the bigger peaks are at around 545m.

View looking back towards Unjung, Pangyo

When I got to the highest point I heard this strange 'shhhhhh' sound on all the leaves on the forest floor, at first I thought it was rain but then noticed some tiny grains of snow on my bag. Pretty cool. Temperature was around zero degrees celsius. Good views back over the town one direction and views over mountains the other.

Tiny snow

Finished up with 2 x 15 sit ups in the fitness area downstairs and some bodyweight leg presses.

The orange shirt

Strength Training

Went to Yangjae Citizens Forest today where they had an outdoor fitness area complete with two benches and barbells and parallettes as well as the usual korean fitness equipment.

Busted out the tiniest strength session ever:

3 x 10 20kg bench press
2 x 5 pull ups
1 x 15 sit ups on the bench thing
about 10 sec L-sit hold on the parallettes

Plus some insame barefoot stone walking and some other Korean fitness machine stuff like twisting...

Friday, December 9, 2011

8km Hike

Avg Pace: 10:55min/km

We had snow here this morning. The first time I have seen it since I was about 8 years old and I barely remember back then. It was light and only lasted for about 10 minutes and melted quickly. I was hoping I'd see more snow up on the trails, but I imagine there will be much more snow as Winter progresses.

Got lost in some part of town which was slightly disconcerting with no language skills or phone. Used the Garmin map to get me back on track. For that reason I spent much more time on the feet than I probably should have. Some slight twinges in the shin, but it still feels muscular to me - anyways, hopefully haven't set back the recovery by doing some slight jogging downhill here and there. At one point I saw my pace go up to 5:20min/km. Super exciting.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I've done virtually no exercise since injuring myself which has been really frustrating and disappointing. When I first hurt my shin I was on a clinical placement at Liverpool Hospital for two weeks and was unable to get decent rest so was in quite a bit of pain at the end of each day (i.e limping) so didn't feel inclined to do anything much at the end of the day. Towards the end of the second week I picked up a cold which put me out of action for at least the next week. So that, and exams, took me three weeks into November. I did manage two 10k rides that week - one in rain and one in 35 + degree heat. At the end of that week I moved house which took time and sapped motivation. In the week before travelling over here to Korea I managed one 12k ride which was hot and I felt very unfit doing.

At the end of November I flew out to Korea where I have somehow manged to pick up that same cold bug about a week ago. The symptoms have been exactly the same, beginning with a sore throat and ending up with mucosy lungs and again hardly any energy.

Korea is full of mountains, and hiking is a very popular pastime and can be done virtually anywhere. Every day I see older Koreans around in their hiking gear. Everyday I look out and think about how good it would be to get out and run/hike around. There's a gym here which is $35 a month, mostly machines with the stationary bike and a few dumbells which I need to get into to start getting some fitness back.

My nutrition is atrocious to say the least and I have managed to put a few kilos and am looking and feeling pretty crap. Ah well - will pull it back together soon I hope.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2.5k Hike


A very slow and fairly easy walk up into the hills around where I'm staying in Pangyo, South Korea. Looking forward to getting some good walks around here.

T-shirt despite it being 5 degrees celcius