Tick off the 5K

One of the resolutions (the 1. of the 2.0.1.4) has been achieved.

I have run a 5K. I chose the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon as my venue for this resolution. Who wouldn’t want to frolic through falling cherry blossoms overlooking a lake!?

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I have ‘trained’ by running on a treadmill for a few months. It wasn’t until a couple of friends mentioned (back in March) that I should probably train outside since the elements were different than inside. DAMNIT. They were so right. While I went from not being able to run .25 mile on a treadmill, I had built it up to 1.5miles straight! Everyone says ‘it’s easier to run outside!’ BULLSHIT. BULL f*%^ing SHIT. I could barely run a kilometer. Which is about .6 miles. The air was hurting my lungs, the people were in my way, the ground was uneven. And I couldn’t just press buttons to help me get to a certain steady speed. It was terrible.

But, I had to do it in order to continue training.

Week of the marathon comes and I am a nervous wreck. My running is terrible, my breathing is weak, and it’s cold outside. Plus I realized that I was going to be running at 8 am.. which meant waking up at 6am. Which I don’t do. Ever. IMG_3111

Marathon day. I’m staying with an awesome chick (sister of a coworker) who is also running the 5K. IMG_3120

 

 

 

Luckily it was a nice big group of us running together.

IMG_3121And everyone was so nice and encouraging.

 

 

 

I had my 100,000Won shorts on over my running pants… which prompted a friend to tell me I have never looked more Jewish! IMG_3119 IMG_3114

It probably didn’t help I was wearing a scarf over my head like a shmata!

 

Which of course fell off in the first minute of running.

 

So the Full marathoners started, followed by the halvers, then the 10Kers, and at last, all the gajillions of us running the 5K.    I’m pretty sure I was dancing crazy-like for my warmup. and… while i was running… which is hard to do.

The start of the race was signaled with colored powder and fire crackers. IMG_3122 The Start.

IMG_3127 IMG_3126                                                                            The gals starting the race!

 

 

 

 

The start was strong. As always. I hit the 1km mark before I knew it! The flowered trees were so beautiful.. that these freaking people would stop in the middle of the race to take selfies and pictures with the trees. GUYS MOVE! Ridiculous.

I had to walk a bit here and there. Sometimes it was because people were blocking the way, others because I couldn’t breathe. At one point I walked with a new friend when she was suffering from sore feet. Another point I stopped when I caught up with another new friend who was waiting for others in the group.

IMG_3129 She wanted a picture.. and here it is!! WITH the cherry blossoms in the background.

Unfortunately, every time i tried to take a picture, my Nike+Runners would pause without indication. I would start running and a few moments later hear “you are resuming your workout”. WHAT!? #damnitnike

IMG_3135Anyway, I finished the 5K somewhere between 32:14-37:00ish  It depends on the Nike+ timer. Plus, there was an extra .5km added at the end which is stupid.

After, we all went to the free beer and makgeoli tents and had our fill. IMG_3143

 

IMG_3137 My medal!     IMG_3141  Soju mascot. He was happy.

 

5 months for a beach

Born in Florida (The Sunshine State)

Lived in Hawai’i (The Aloha/Rainbow State)

Worked in Thailand (hot a fuuuuuuuuu**)

Currently working in Korea (what’s that white stuff falling from the sky and freezing my skin off?)

– – – – Sad fact: I have been to the beach twice since I have come to Korea—–

The first time on the beach was in Busan back in September during Chuseok. Unfortunately it was so windy that I ended up getting a microdermabrasion treatment courtesy of Mother Nature.

The second time was this past weekend during the frigid month of February. This month has seen more snow in Ulsan than in the last 20 years (allegedly).

Sunday was a beautiful day and my PIA (partner in adventures), Ashley, and I headed to Ilsan Beach. It’s pretty much ‘the’ beach of Ulsan. It’s an hour bus ride away but probably only 30-40 min in a car/on a motorbike. The sun was shining, the temperature was cool, and there was a slight breeze blowing my stray strands into my mouth. Then we got off the bus and suddenly it was a double jacket kind of wind. 

We grabbed a coffee and headed onto the beach. It was a nice, small bay-ish inlet. Upon arrival we were greeted by a Korean totem-pole who seemed to mock our double-jacket response to the weather:

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There was thick and coarse sand-colored sand with multi-shaded rocks littering the beach. Along with the litter. But it wasn’t as bad as some beaches I have seen. Children were playing, dogs wearing sweaters and bunny-outfits were frolicking in the sand. It was cold, but it was refreshing. If Superman gets recharged by the Sun, Floridians get recharged by the beach (and sun and summer and margaritas and flipflops).

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We walked along the beach and I collected a beautiful shell. Then we headed to the end of the beach and Ash subtly throws in, “Get ready to walk some stairs.” Um what? There was no mention of stairs. . .

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So we walked the stairs, stopping now and then to cater to our slightly pathetic asthmatic issues. Halfway up we found a nice rest stop with a beautiful view OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And we kept going. and going. and (think energizer bunny). Then we finally reached the top and a beautiful park was overlooking the bay! There were multiple walking paths and a children’s play area. The trees up here were magnificent!

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And then the first totem pole’s cousins made fun of us for taking so long to get up there:

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And we walked. And we sang about what we saw. To christmas songs… because we are weird. And that’s what makes us awesome! fa la la la la     la la la laaaaa

then we walked to the viewpoint area. More stairs, up high, really cold, really really windy. But beautiful. We looked at the ocean and were serenaded by some sweet Korean Kenny G sounding guy from the other side of the other beach. We took a lot of pictures, and saw cats that live on the rocks like crazy mountain lion descendants:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrazy people were climbing the rocks. And by crazy people… i really only am displaying my jealousy and not being mentally able to handle doing things that they did… i could barely climb the rock I took the picture from… thanks mom for that fear of heights crap!!

 

Anyway, it was beautiful and cold and windy and finally the music got to us.

We walked along a rocky beach, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

slowly climbing stairs … enchanted by this serenading saxophone… it was like karaoke being sung by a reed instrument… I was lured up the stairs onto a cliff like Christine Daae being lured by the Phantom. .. and I literally walked like it (Ashley can confirm this).

We watched the krazy Korean playing the saxophone for a song or two. Then we walked along a mysterious road to what we only hoped would be the entrance… and then we came upon the greatest child’s playground toy ever…It was

 

a see saw. But it was a 6 person see saw!! WHATS!!!! Amaze-balls.

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We had found the children’s play area… which meant we were back at the beginning. Then we ate some dope Indian food after walking through a 3-story Daiso and went home and passed the F out.

 

Overall, for having gone to a beach without requiring a bathing suit and leaving paler than when I arrived, it was a pretty good time.

 

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