Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just got back from a night run, and it felt GREAT!! I'm still a bit afraid to even say that- given my history of running, not running, and so on. But this was 43 minutes of the best running I've felt in the past few years. I can't believe I'm able to say that, finally!! I think that because I'm finally able to let go all those anxieties and expectations about running, it's falling into place...well, that and a little (ok, a LOT) of help from an excellent PT :)

It's been a whole new experience again to me, being able to run even just a few days a week. I've mostly been running at night, after school. Right now, it's getting dark out around 5:30 or 6, so before we even leave school for the day. Once it hits 8 or 9 o'clocl though, and everyone in Suji is getting home from work, the walk/bike paths by the stream are packed. I like being outside at that time- it's comforting to have so many people around. There are lots of families out this late, pushing their babies in strollers or walking alongside their children on bikes (you'll see these families out as late as midnight, even during the week- apparently, kids do not have bedtimes here!). There are groups of women, all dressed identically in nylon windsuits, gloves, and visors, pumping their arms vigorously while speedwalking and speedtalking in Korean. There are tons and tons of teenagers out, walking the paths with linked arms and hands, still in their school uniforms: plaid skirts and sweater vests for the girls, white collared shirts and ties for the boys. I always wonder what time these students actually go home...they'll be out walking, carrying bags of chips and street food on sticks, dressed in their uniforms, even when I'm walking home from the gym at 11 pm.

The other great sight to see is the Korean businessmen drinking and smoking their lives away- late at night, every night. They sit on plastic patio chairs, huddled around small tables outside of the Korean restaurants and convenience stores, puffing cigarettes and getting drunk on soju (the hard liquor) and cans of Cass beer. At 11 pm on a Monday night, dressed in their suits and ties, probably fresh off the bus or subway from Seoul, they seem to be just getting started.

But the good thing about all of this (and Mom and Dad- this is directed at you) is that it's very safe to be out so late at night. When you're running alongside a family with toddlers on tricycles, or walking in back of two elderly women, at 10 pm on a weeknight, you get the feeling that it's okay to be out on the streets so late. I also like how the city looks at night- there's so many bright lights and colored lights, but all the worst of the city becomes hidden in the shadows. Even the sewage stream becomes pretty and peaceful, with the colored lights on the bridges reflecting off its glass surface. The air is much, much cooler, too, so you can't smell that odor that is Korea quite so intensely. Despite the lights and bustle and crowds of people at night, I still find it the most peaceful and calming time of day to be out- and with the added bonus of being able to run in the cool night's the best thing to end the day!

No comments:

Post a Comment