I've made progress, but it's been really physically tough, and I realize I'm just not too good at this "trekking" thing. I've taken many rest days, including presently.
I began walking from Jungsan-ri [중산리) on Tuesday, September 17th at about 7:20 AM. I passed through Jiri Mountain National Park over the next few days, staying in the efficiently-run mountain hostels at night (which are reservation-only), and then emerged into one of the highly-remote parts of the trail outside the national parks.
I don't have much time now to write. Here is a photo I took in Jiri Mountain National Park [지리산국립공원]:
It's now 9:00 AM on Tuesday, October 1st, or two weeks almost to the hour after my trip began. I am now in a town called Hamyang, a ways north of the Jiri Mountains.