Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

Race Report: We Run Seoul 10K and Season End Marathon (10K)

Been awhile since I wrote a race report, so I figured since the racing season is just about over, it's past time.

First, an addendum to last season - about a week after I finished my second half marathon, I read about this guy named Martin Rees. The guy is a friggin' beast. He's over 60 but still runs a 71 minute half marathon, one of many world records he holds in his age group. I wouldn't be surprised if he has all the age group world records from 1500m through marathon within a year or two (if he doesn't already). Anyway, I'm inspired when I hear about people getting super good at something they started later in life, so I read that article, got pumped up, and less than a week after my second half marathon, stupidly went out for a long run (~9-10 miles). With less than a km till I was home, all of a sudden, my left knee really started hurting, enough to make me stop running immediately and limp home. The next day, walking was very painful. I completely stopp…

Race Report: Seoul Sinmun Marathon and Hangang Marathon

You can skip this post unless you care about running/exercise physiology/silly athletic endeavors.

Back in late February, I went snowboarding for the first time in four years. It was a truly awesome weekend. Aside from getting some great boarding in, my friend and I were welcomed with amazingly open arms by a ski/snowboard 모임 (like a club), and we ate, drank, and partied merrily into the wee hours with sixty total strangers. Honestly one of my favorite weekends in Korea.

Unfortunately, the second day of boarding, I sustained a bit of a setback. Before heading up the mountain, we bought a small flask-shaped beverage for "nourishment" in the cold. I put it in one of my many pockets, and on the way up the first gondola joked that I was going to fall on the bottle and crack my ribs. As if the Fates heard me calling, on the first run of the day, I took a really nasty, really hard fall on rock hard ice and landed directly on my rib cage (probably because I'm scared of breaking…

Young People Of Korea: It's Up To You

It was a clear morning on a peaceful late summer day in New York when I returned home from a pleasant jog with my Dad and found the answering machine beeping urgently with an unusually high number of unheard messages. We only got through a couple ("Where are you? Call when you get this") when another call came through, this one from my older brother. Before hello, he simply said, "Turn on the TV." The date was September 11, 2001, and both of the Twin Towers had already been struck by planes. While we dizzily tried to catch up on what had happened from both the TV newscaster and my brother, right before my eyes, I saw (on TV) the first tower just completely disintegrate and collapse.

It was a shockingly surreal moment. How could the Twin Towers just ... disappear? How could terrorists launch such a successful coordinated attack on multiple high-value targets simultaneously? The illusion of safety and security was instantly shattered, and for the next few days, we fl…

Defeating The Runner's Stitch, aka Letting The Bad Stuff In Is The Best Way To Destroy It

I had run less than 500m in my second ever 10K road race when I started to feel it - an uncomfortableness on my right side, just below the rib cage. The beginnings of a stitch. To say that this was an inauspicious start to a race would be an incredible understatement; this was the beginning of a disaster.

A stitch is essentially a runner's cramp, and I've been prone to them for as long as I've been running. Before I became aerobically fit, I used to get stitches nearly every time I would try to run "hard". Since then, they've become much less common, but every now and then, when I least expect it, one maliciously emerges from dormant muscle memory and sabotages a workout.

Zooming back to the race, the weather was perfect - clear and cool. My legs were feeling a little heavy at the start, probably from the weightlifting session two days before, but condition-wise I should have been fine. The gun went off, and I set out about 20 seconds per mile slower than my …

Thirteen Things I've Learned From Going To The Gym In Korea

These are some of the things I've learned from going to a paid fitness club in Korea:

1) Gyms are friggin' expensive here. But if you're expecting Sports Club LA/Equinox, you will be sorely disappointed.

2) Everyone is so incredibly important that they need to carry their phones around with them while they workout. If a phone call comes in while running on the treadmill, it is imperative to immediately take the call outside, but leave the treadmill operating.

3) Hanging upside down is oddly considered exercise.

4) So is this strange machine with a "belt" that vibrates, but I deliberately chose a gym that didn't have one of those things, in order to reduce the ajumma quotient.

5) Korean men never, ever wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Ever. #1 or #2, doesn't matter. There's soap in the bathroom, but it never has to be replaced because I'm the only one who ever uses it. Remember that, ladies, next time you're holding hands with a Ko…

Running Sucks (But It's Not Supposed To)

Today I jogged a 10k. It was kinda a bummer, because I was looking forward to racing, but apparently I overstressed my body the last few weeks, and ended up coming down with a cold. Since it's not worth getting really sick just to race (while already sick), I decided to go to the race and just chill. It's kinda crazy to think that a year ago, there would have been no way I'd be able to just go out and run a 10k without really thinking too much about it, let alone jog one in under an hour (with a cold). Sometimes it's nice to put the ego aside and just enjoy the weather and companionship of running alongside a whole bunch of strangers. Plus, I got to collect a new bridge!

Yet while I was running, it struck me that a lot of the people seemed to be having an absolutely miserable time. The 10k merged with the full marathon after about 1km, and it was as if we merged with a mob of zombies. People looked like they were dying on their feet. Many people were not even really &q…

English Translation of Today's Chosun Ilbo Kim Yuna Article

Translation is hard! But I just spent a little bit of time making a rough translation of today's Chosun Ilbo's article about Yuna's homecoming party/fan meeting, because I realized that the official English translation left out some good stuff.

Note: I am 100% sure that I mistranslated some stuff, because I did this really quickly, had to look a lot of words up, and certain nuances just don't translate that well from Korean to English. But it's reasonably close. Enjoy!


“I've Been Tired Of Skating For Awhile … But I Don’t Have Any Regrets”

2014.03.05 03:07

(Kim Yuna’s first fan meeting after returning home to Korea)

  - “Hometown decision” was absurd, but happy that everything is over
  - Spine injury, but won’t affect everyday life
  - Ready now to qualify for the IOC Athlete’s Commission

“A gold medal in our hearts!”, “Like a key to my life’s existence.”

On the 4th of March in Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo-gu Times Square, at the “E1 Homecoming Party for Kim Yuna”,…

Follow Up To Health Upgrade, Part 2

More stuff about becoming an aerobic beast that didn't fit in the last post.

First, a few people have asked me how much cardio I actually do. The answer might surprise you: on average, I've been doing between 2.5 and 3.5 hours of low-intensity cardio per week. That's it, and that's all it took to see the massive benefits. That's not a lot, people. I'd like to get that up to around 5 hours per week (I don't think 5 hours is necessary for health - I just want to see if my aerobic pace will improve), but it's tough to do that along with the lifting I do.

However, I do walk a ton. I live in a large city, and I love walking. My gym is a 15 minute walk away from where I live, and the nearest subway stations to me are 7 and 10 minutes away. So along with the targeted cardio, the constant movement also needs to be taken into account when analyzing your own fitness regimen. That being said, I was walking a ton before I got healthy, so while I'd say constant …

Give Dennis Rodman a Break

I've been watching the media firestorm over Dennis Rodman's recent visit to North Korea, and I gotta say, I'm solidly on the pro-Dennis Rodman side. This post is not satire - I seriously think the media should give him a break.

First, let's talk about the press conference. It was obvious to me from the get-go that he was drunk (which doesn't excuse anything - just an observation). His "spokesperson" should have pulled him away from the mike before he said anything dumb. But if you listen to what he did say, he actually made a reasonable point - Chris Cuomo from CNN probably doesn't know a damn thing about North Korea, whereas Dennis Rodman has actually set foot in the hermit nation four times in the past year. Yeah, what he said could easily be interpreted as implying that Kenneth Bae did something wrong, and that's why he's in prison, but what he actually said was (courtesy of CNN itself), "Do you understand what he did in this country? …