Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weekly Workout Recap 2/20/17

Well, this post is a little behind schedule because we traveled to the US on Sunday!! As usual, we arrived feeling upside down and dove right into running errands and visiting family. Now I'm using all my super powers to fight jet lag and write this post.

Monday - Not yesterday. Last Monday. :) Bodystep is fun but it's better with friends. I'm so happy that I met a couple of ladies who are fitness junkies like me!

Tuesday - Since it was already a FASTING day, I scheduled a physical for myself. Not long after returning home, I got a VERY SPECIAL delivery from my BFF! She sends me the best birthday boxes.

Wednesday - I decided to do an interval run for a couple of reasons. 1) I wasn't hiking this week and 2) I wanted to see how my knee would feel if I did two runs this week. I did the same interval run that I've been doing except I ran the promenade two times. We spent the evening at the AWA Charity Pub Quiz Night in Central. Our team did not come in first or last, but we did have a lot of fun!

Not from my run. I was practicing using our Go Pro for my next run.

Team Fabulous Roosters (it's the year of the Rooster!) 

Thursday - We went to the dermatologist for a skin check (all good!) and then laid low the rest of the day. There was a hike, but I couldn't go because of my evening plans to see James Taylor! It was a great show.

Friday - After two late nights I was not moving super fast on Friday morning. I did make it to Bodystep and BAM! I love seeing that calorie burn.

Saturday - I had big plans to do a second interval run, but woke up to rainy and cold weather. I don't mind running in the rain, but I do not want to slip and fall and hurt my knee. Instead I went to the fitness center. I used the Motiontraxx app and tried a new elliptical workout that was AWESOME! Motion Traxx is like having a private coach whenever you want! (Check out the Groupon deal for 51% off a year membership here)

Saturday night went to a friend's Mardis Gras party ---> beads, masks, hurricanes, Gumbo, King Cake, fun!

Sunday - USA or Bust!! Hong Kong to Chicago to Hartford. Red eye flight. 18 hours 42 minutes. 8577 miles. One rental car. Two orders of Mexican to-go. One king-sized bed.

Since we are only in the Hartford/Springfield area for a couple of days before heading to Delaware for mrC's work week, I'm taking the time to enjoy family and try to acclimate to EST. My workout routine will resume once we're in Wilmington.

PS - My Utah Valley Marathon giveaway is still open. Get all the details here!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Interval Running and a Race Entry Giveaway!!

Hello, hello, hello my fellow runners!

I'm happily writing this post because I just finished another interval run and I have a great race entry giveaway for you! (you can skip to the end of the post for giveaway details)

Lately I have been testing my knee a little more, although still slowly, using the walk/run method that my PT introduced to me during my rehab after my last surgery. My method is completely low intensity and focuses on increasing my run time without putting too much strain on my knee.

When I first started doing intervals I was doing one per week along the promenade because it's flat and it looked like this: run 20 seconds, walk 20 seconds, x 20

After a couple of weeks of running that interval without pain during or after, I bumped up the run time and the number of intervals: to 25 to 30 to 40 seconds x 25.

Once I was up to 30 seconds of running, I decided to try running around my neighborhood instead of just back and forth on the promenade. I picked a route that has a gradual downhill because my knee feels funny just walking downhill. I recruited mrC to go with me and we ran a nice easy interval loop together.

Today I added another run day to my schedule. I'm going to see how my knee feels doing two interval runs per week.

It's been so awesome getting out, even if just making little adjustments to the same loop, to see where I live and share #whereIrun with you.

I even had a sunrise run!

It's a far cry from the half marathons I used to run, but I AM RUNNING. That is the most important thing to me right now. And I can follow all my running friends who are running races.

Speaking of races, the good people from the Utah Valley Marathon reached out to me about running their famously scenic race in June.

I would love to run this race for a number of reasons:
1. The Utah Valley Marathon was named a TOP 10 race in America by Runner's World in 2014
2. They are giving out a nice race jacket instead of a shirt in 2017 due to this being the 10 year anniversary
3. It's a super fast downhill course ---> for all you BQ chasers!
4. They have very large race medals

I can't run in any of their events because a) my knee - no more long distance for me and b) I live in Hong Kong now. But they did say that I could share two free race entries with my Running Escapades friends!

There will be TWO WINNERS. Each winner will receive a promo code for a free entry in the 2017 Utah Valley Marathon event of his/her choice. Winners will be randomly selected on March 3, 2017.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me WHY you want to #runuv (run Utah Valley). 

For extra chances, leave a comment telling me if you shared this post. If you shared more than once, tell me that too.

Did I mention that they have A LOT of events besides the marathon? Run with your kids or run with your dog! Check out the race website for all the details.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 3 & 4

It was finally time to continue hiking Wilson Trail in Hong Kong with my hard core hiking friends from Shenzhen. We finished stages 1 & 2 a few weeks ago (before everyone scattered on Lunar New Year vacations) and were ready to take on more of the long trail.

We began the 17.3km hike with a nice walk from the MTR to the trail head.  The views across the harbor let us put off the inevitable climbing for a few extra minutes.

#17strong hard core hikers at the stage 3 start ---> these feet were about to take a beating!

We found the steps at the start of stage 3 after walking through the alleyways of the seafood district along the water.

The trail led us to this huge Chinese Permanent Cemetery overlooking the bay.

The climb continued up to Devil's Peak. Although we did not take the path all the way to the summit (222m) we still had great views.

The trail then continued up to Black Hill (304m) where we had great views of Kowloon.

We weren't the only hard core hikers out that day. Here we are with another large group also hiking stage 3.

Near the end of stage 3 an interesting trail art gallery distracted us briefly from the fact that we still had 8km to hike and we hadn't eaten lunch yet!

We had to walk through a village to stage 4 - this part of the trail was tough between the rocky, rooty terrain and the peaks of sun made it harder to see the ground. It was a welcome reprieve from the bright sun with plenty of shade. Along this part we also passed another large group of hard core hikers.

When we found a large shaded spot on the trail, we finally stopped for lunch. I really needed more than half a sandwich and grapes. It's hard to know how much to pack and my backpack doesn't make it easy. I'm on the hunt for a better pack ---> maybe this one, this one, or this one. Do you have a favorite? I'd love suggestions.

After passing through another much smaller village we began the climb to Tate's Cairn (Pass) and lost all cover of shade. We were lucky to be doing this hike in February when the temperature was only 65-70F, otherwise we would have definitely struggled a lot more.

The open trail did provide amazing views though, especially of Sai Kung and Hebe Haven Harbour.

Although it is a common feng shui practice (graves facing water and high up to avoid evil spirits), it was still shocking to see horseshoe graves along the ascent knowing how hard it is to get to them.

We eventually made it to our last peak of the day at Tate's Cairn/Pass (577m). The afternoon skies were not as clear as the morning, but the views were still pretty.

We followed the road to the end of the trail at Shatin Pass and were excited to get our first monkey sightings. They were scavenging in the trash and aggressive so after a quick photo we moved out of their space.

We found a little shop selling overpriced bottles of water there so many of us were able to resupply before walking DOWN the never-ending very steep road to the MTR.

Sadly I will miss the hike on Wilson Trail stage 5 because we will be in the US for a couple of weeks, but I hope to hike it on my own asap!

Other Hong Kong long trail hikes:

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Workout Recap - A Week of Love

Tough Love.

DOMS...yoga love...hard core hiking...HIIT...running. All things that make my heart race, get me sweaty, and put a smile on my face. This is where I put my heart this week.

Monday - I love that Bodystep was offered on a Monday this week (normally only on Fridays). I was still sore from Saturday's GRIT class, but I was able to keep up during most of the class. I thought my legs would feel better after from all the movement, but...not so much!

Tuesday - mrC was home for the day, so we spent it together fasting. We took a walk to pick up dinner ingredients and did some Valentine's Day #loveyoga on the Love Locks Promenade because we walked right by it.

I'm so excited to have an extra pair of Oofos to wear outside!

Wednesday - My stomach woke me up about 2AM (not fun) and my quads were still very sore from back-to-back-to-back GRIT, running and Bodystep, so it was a slow and easy day. No matter the reason, I love that I'm ok with an unscheduled rest day.

Thursday - I love spending time with my Shenzhen hard core hiking friends. They came over to hike  Hong Kong again. We finished Wilson Trail sections 3 and 4 together: 38,000+ steps, 17.9 miles, and 264 floors climbed! We killed it!

Friday - Hard to believe my legs were up for Bodystep, but I'm happy they were because I love the calories I can burn in this class. It is quickly becoming my favorite class at The HIT Room.

Saturday - I was back at The HIT Room for another workout. GRIT strength is seriously hard, but I love the high intensity interval workout and it's a perfect match for low carb days. Today we did about 35 minutes of HIIT and 15 minutes of core work.

Sunday - The day I look forward to the most because running is my first love. I'm soaking up every moment of my interval runs including the post run stretch.

What got your heart racing this week?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekly Workouts - Another Week, Another Year!

Last week I completed another trip around the sun and I don't feel any older! Ha! Seriously though, I enjoyed an easy week with a little exploring, a little fitness, and a lot of fun!

Monday - I was supposed to go to Bootcamp at 6:45pm, but I skipped because as much as I thought I could do an evening class, I just couldn't. I'm pretty sure I burned a few calories jumping up and down while watching the Super Bowl though! What a crazy finish! I heard people were disappointed in the commercials this year, but I loved this one:

Tuesday - Fasting = the best time to get my hair cut and colored. 

Wednesday - My Bday Day! I was super excited that my bday box arrived in time. I love my new Oofos (shared on Instagram) and my new Sherpani Sadie crossbody bag (I ordered it from Amazon). It's the perfect size for when I go for a walk and don't want a backpack. 

Thursday - I went on a local shopping trip to Kowloon with a group from AWA. It was fun to browse through the shops together and try on shoes and jeans. Then we had some lunch at a local Chinese restaurant.

Friday - I took another trip with a group from AWA to a Heritage Festival. The celebration included a procession to the village temple and a lantern lighting ceremony. They use the lanterns to notify ancestors of newborn boys in the clan. It was very interesting to be a part of this celebration.

SaturdayMy Bodypump instructor recommended the GRIT strength + core class to me. I love trying new classes and this one did not disappoint! There was a lot of jumping/hopping moves and oh man were my legs sore. 

Sunday - I went on another interval run. mrC was on a trip so I was out the door early enough to see views of the sun rising over the water. I increased my intervals to 40:25 which gave me 2.59 miles. I'm so excited to be running again at my age and with my knee injury history.

Speaking of running and getting older. Liz is trying to make a documentary called The Human Race about runners in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s. Check out her project and help her if you can.

Crowdfunding Video aka The Ask from The Human Race on Vimeo.

Did you watch the Super Bowl? Favorite commercial? Did your team win?
Do you buy your own birthday presents? 
Last exercise that made it hard for you to walk?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hiking: Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau is one of Hong Kong's 200 islands and is a great place for a day trip. It has a mix of hiking trails, shopping and waterfront eating. Cheung Chau is home to a thriving fishing village making it a very popular spot to get seafood.

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a group of AWA hiking friends to explore the island. It was very easy to get there on the fast ferry from Central (pier #5) and only took about 40 minutes.

The hiking trails are mostly easy with a couple of moderate climbs thrown in. If you follow the trail around the entire island, you will walk about 14km. We did about 8km before deciding it was time to eat!

Notable sites along our hike:

1. The fishing boats. There were so many colorful boats filling the harbour and all along the waterfront.

2. The Lookout Pavilion. This is the highest point on the island, so naturally there are great views, especially of the southern part.

3. Tung Wan Tsai beach ---> with lots of sea glass.

4. The Mini Great Wall, a quirky name from the granite railings, is the name given to a section of the Family Trail. I did not see the visual similarities the China's Great Wall except that the wall did seem to go on and on and on.

5. The many interesting rock formations including this one that looks like a dog gazing out over the water to me was actually named Vase Rock by the locals.

6. Views of the South China Sea. Even on a cloudy winter day, we stopped to enjoy the views. I think there is just something about water and waves and beaches and rocks that makes everyone happy and calm.

7. Shops ---> selling everything from handmade products, touristy souvenirs, boutique-y clothing and more.

8. Waterfront dining - there are so many options with outdoor prime people watching seating but also indoor seating if you happen to visit on a not so flavorful weather day. We choose the popular So For Kee and it was delicious! I'm still thinking about the sweet and sour chicken ;)

There is still more to see and do especially when the warmer weather returns!

Other fun day trips in Hong Kong:
Lamma Island