Sunday, July 18, 2010


The skies opened up on Friday and Saturday, giving us torrential Floridian downpours of Ithacan duration. By late morning Saturday, the Yangjae Cheon (stream) on whose path I do all of my running and most of my biking had wildly overflowed like a toilet into which a toddler had dropped a sumo wrestler. (Stick with me here, I'm the Wizard of Metaphors.) The cheon is usually ten feet wide; now it was fifty.

The torrential rain made it dicey for all of us from school to get to the Shinhan Bank Building near City Hall, which, you know, ordinarily wouldn't matter a whole lot because there's a Shinhan branch in the E-mart in our neighborhood, but Michelle (our wonderful school receptionist) wasn't getting married at E-Mart, was she? No, she wasn't; she was getting married at the wedding hall on the twentieth floor of the Shinhan Building.

As the school yacht was in for repairs, we all made our way there by taxi, and it was a lovely affair. (The wedding; the cab ride, not so much.)
Me and Michelle, la belle. Sadly, I left my tux at the Nobel ceremony.

A few hundred people, all Korean but for the school's contingent, attended the Western-style ceremony. What caught my eye were the differences between Korean and American weddings: Michelle's posing for endless pictures with individual guests before the ceremony, the table with framed pictures of the happy couple, the fact that only the groom got to say "I do", the omission of a kiss, the groom's touching his forehead, hands and knees to the floor as he bowed to his parents, the serenading by a bemiked lounge singer before the couple came back down the aisle, most of all the way a lot of people in the back of the room talked throughout the ceremony.

Afterward, the guests adjourned down the hall to the buffet; the nuptial couple never appeared there, at least not before many people, including me, had departed. The bride and groom were in a little room, having a private Korean wedding (or some family ceremony, I couldn't tell) with their parents. I looked in and saw them both in hanbok, the ancient ceremonial Korean clothing; Michelle was lovely in scarlet.

The happy couple is honeymooning in the Philippines; with luck, SPPA can survive a week without Michelle.

Finally, by dawn this (Sunday) morning the rain had stopped, and it was time for my 15-mile "run". I'm following Jeff Galloway-de Sade's marathon training plan, and that's what he had in store for today. Two weeks ago, when I ran 13 miles, I was really toopid: I didn't eat first, I didn't take my energy gels with me, I assumed I'd find water on the way, I ignored J G-deS's stricture to go much more slowly than my planned marathon pace. I made the 13 miles, but great googly-moogly, the last few miles weren't pleasant.

Today I actually played it smart. I had my Utility Belt(tm), loaded with two bottles of water (which I refilled at every opportunity, which I made sure I'd have by first going down the path four miles west to Gwacheon City before doubling back toward the Han River) and two energy gels, carried a bottle of Pocari Sweat (Japan's oh-so-attractively-named answer to Gatorade), and ran two minutes per mile slower.

The vegetation on both sides of the cheon had been smooshed by the current; I'd expected to slip-slide away on dead earthworms, but apparently they'd built rafts and escaped. There was a lot of mud and glop, however.

...and did the whole 15 miles in fine form, never hurting (other than a few creaks in my knees). (I should have called this blog post Dancing Creek to Creak.)

Oh, and the second toe on my left foot now has a grayish-purple nail, which may yet fall off.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...

So that was my weekend. How was yours?

Yeah, I don't really have an ending for this. Let's go to commercial.

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