Monday, July 31, 2017

There's Just Something About Mondays

Sprint ladder and Tabata. I have to admit I was looking forward to my FASTer Way to Fat Loss® workout when I read the schedule for today. The last two weeks I had to miss my low carb speed burst workouts for one reason or another. There's just something about starting the week with a good, tough workout.

After Skyping with my dad and stepmom, I headed to the fitness center. mrC had some errands, but he walked me there. I jumped on a treadmill for the first part of the workout: sprint ladder

I was going to do this outside on the promenade, but thought it would be too hot. It wasn't so bad on the treadmill. It probably would have been harder outside, but it felt good to sprint. After the last sprint, I continued an easy run for about 10 minutes more. I was surprised at the end to only see a total of 1.56 miles, but I did walk the rest between sprints. It gives me a goal for next time to try to run the rest breaks. 

I looked around the fitness center for a place to do my Tabata workout and came up empty. It's really my only complaint about the place. I wish they had a separate room for floor exercises or yoga. I headed outside thinking I would try to find a space or go back to our tiny Hong Kong apartment and do it. I texted mrC to let him know that I was attempting to do this part outside and if it was too hot, I would go home. I found a great little area just around the corner from the fitness club front door that looked promising.

Ironically, I ended up doing the whole Tabata workout outside. The bench was a perfect spot. I could put my bag and water there while the Interval app on my phone guided me through the exercises.

At the end I was so sweaty that my hair looked like I had just stepped out of the shower and I had my typical very red face. I wish I had braved the warm weather and done my sprints outside, but now I know that I can. Other than that, I was feeling pretty awesome about today's workout.

I was going to walk back to the apartment (which means up a very big hill), but the bus came just as I was walking by the bus stop. I figured it was meant to be and took the bus. After a shower, I spent the rest of the morning working on my Hong Kong Host duties and then watched Big Brother.

PS - I re-read my workout schedule and the sprint ladder had been removed from today's workout! 

Low carb day - the meals

Broke fast about 12:30

Dinner -

Snack -

Do you look forward to your Monday workout?
Where would you workout: small indoor space or warm outdoor space?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Weekly Wrap: My Effort

It's true what they say about effort and success...

I started the day with the goal of fasting as long as I could, which I hoped would be at least a couple hours longer than my normal extended fasting window. So if I made it to 2 or 3pm, I'd call it a success.

It would all come down to effort.

First of all, I woke up hungry (which is unusual). It's like my body knew what was about to happen. Like waking up right before the alarm goes off or getting a headache when a storm is coming. Needless to say it was kind of annoying that my stomach was rumbling and I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee. Like a good carb-cycler, I ignored the feeling and went about my morning.

It was going to be another scorcher (heat warnings were predicting temperatures at 94 with feels like above 110), so after doing some chores around the apartment mrC and I took a walk. This is always a good distraction from thinking about food. We were hoping to beat the heat, but the heat had an early start.

The first part of the walk was not bad. We cut through the trees and took the shaded steps down to the beach. There are two storms brewing out in the China Sea and they're bringing pretty nasty air quality to Hong Kong, but that hasn't stopped people from braving a day at the beach.

Despite the feels like temperature of 104, we saw runners, walkers, bikers and even full tennis courts.  People around here are way more hard core than we are. There is no shade or breeze on those courts.

We did a a one mile loop and that was enough for us. The final stretch is all uphill and mostly unshaded. We hung around outside for a few minutes because living at the top of the hill has the perk of being what we call the windiest spot in DB. In other words, it's a great place to cool off, most of the time.

After the walk, I tried to distract myself with laundry and even put on one hour express teeth whitening strips, but by 12:30 I broke.

I was hungry and I knew I had left-over buffalo chicken quinoa. (Have you tried this recipe?)

I did not give 100% effort today.  I knew my 24 hour fast would not be successful and I'm ok with that. I adjusted to what would work for me, today. Carb cycling and intermittent fasting does not mean that I must do a 24 hour fast or I fail. That's why this program works for me. I can modify it to my needs and still be successful. Maybe I didn't complete my fast for as long as I originally planned. I still fasted. My body still experienced the benefits of an extended fast and that's what matters to me.
**Want more information about carb cycling and IF? Click here for FASTer Way to Fat Loss® info.

Here's a look at the rest of my workouts from the week. I think my overall effort is excellent!

Monday - Laser hair removal day - took a walk

Tuesday - took a walk

Wednesday - strength training

Thursday - Bodypump

Friday - Bodystep

Saturday - strength training

Linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!

How would you rate your effort this week?
Can you think of any other examples of when our bodies seem to know something?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

My First Stride Rate Test and Leg Day

Saturday mornings mean leg day at the gym.

We like to walk to the gym. It's a good warm-up, but today I also wanted to run on the treadmill. I usually run for 10 minutes using some form of intervals, but today I went for a full mile without stopping.

While I was running, I started thinking about my stride rate. I read a Runner's World article this morning that talked about how to be a more efficient runner. 

I also read somewhere that more efficient running will help decrease injuries. I probably should have thought about this a long time ago, but figured it's never too late to make improvements! For two minutes, I counted my steps. Both times I came to 95. There is probably a difference between treadmill and outdoor running, so I will do another stride rate test the next time I run outside, but I'm happy with that number today.

My FASTer Way to Fat Loss® leg day workout was organized into three parts: 

One-Minuters: wall sit, plank, and mountain climbers for one minute each. Mountain climbers for one minute pretty much stink. I had to take two breaks mostly because my arms needed it. 

Weights: This is the part I enjoyed most. leg press, leg curls, front squats, deadlifts, lunges. No problems with any of the exercises and I felt good about my weight choices.

Finishers: Curtsey lunges, side lunge with squat, squat jumps and lunge jumps. My knee hates curtsey lunges and lunge jumps. Instead I used the adductor machine and skipped the lunge jumps.

I love that the fitness center has a pool. Cool downs are just so much better there.

We spent the rest of the afternoon indoors. We went to 6:30 Mass and it was still super warm. We took the bus to try and stay cool.  Then we had trouble finding the temporary location and ended up walking around getting hot and sweaty. Ugh. 

Regular Calorie Day - the meals

Broke fast about 12:30 - turkey breast rollups, celery, hummus, and Cheez-its

Lunch - protein fruit smoothie and PB&J apple cinnamon rice cakes

Dinner - leftover buffalo chicken quinoa. This stuff is so good!!

Snack - My first Siggi's vanilla yogurt. On the fence about this. It was strong? Not sure the right word for it. I didn't hate it, but I couldn't eat the whole container either.

Have you ever done a stride rate test?
Do you like Siggi's yogurt?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Not My Typical Low Calorie Workout

Fridays are low calorie, active recovery days. This means taking it easy, letting muscles recover and low intensity workouts. I started the day very low key. While my coffee was brewing, I foam rolled and stretched out my sore muscles from yesterday's Bodypump class. This time my legs were feeling it.

Since I already had the yoga mat out, I played this silly how-to-get-thinner-legs-even-if-you're-lazy video that I saw on Facebook. It was quite amusing and surprisingly, not all bad!

On Monday I missed the cardio party, so I made up for it by doing Bodystep class today. It didn't really fit the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® workout plan for the day, but I figured it was ok since I had two extra rest days at the beginning of the week. No over-use problems to worry about.

The class was AWESOME! How do I know it was awesome?

1. I burned nearly 600 calories in the hour long class (598 according to my Apple watch).
2. I was so sweaty at the end that I could barely hold onto my legs during reclined pigeon stretch
3. My hair was so wet you would think I had showered.
4. My face was bright red even after riding the bus back to the apartment.
5. It was a super fun cardio party!!!

mrC and I ran some errands after lunch and I was quickly reminded why people stay indoors in the afternoon around here. It is seriously hot!

 Low calorie day - the meals

Broke fast before class again (about 9am). One PB&J apple cinnamon rice cake.

Brunch around 12:30: two scrambled eggs with ham (topped with my favorite seasoning) two PB&J apple cinnamon rice cakes and orange juice. 

Snack - mini bag of Cheez-its

Dinner: left over buffalo chicken quinoa and corn. Followed by a bowl of watermelon.

I was about 200 calories over --- probably the Cheez-its, but my macros were almost perfect!

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

What is your typical active recovery workout?
Ever skipped your recovery day for something awesome?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thinking Out Loud #1

This is my first time participating in the Thinking Out Loud linkup with Amanda at Running with Spoons. Since the theme is always something random, I figured it was a perfect fit for me! You can learn more about the linkup here.

For my strength training workout, which was back, biceps and abs heavy, I signed up for another round of Bodypump at The HIT Room. After being away from this class for a couple of months, it feels good to be back (minus that I was seriously sore after my first class last week). I'm still trying to figure out the best times to take classes to "match" my carb cycling workout schedule, but I think Bodypump is going to fit in there.

Even though we receive hot weather warnings every day here, if it is cloudy I try to walk to and from class. Without the sun, it is a nice walk and I won't want to take a walk after I get cleaned up. I hate getting sweaty after I just showered.

I never burn as many calories in Bodypump as I do Bodystep (which is one reason I love Bodystep), but I have to remember that strength training means building muscle and as muscles repair themselves throughout the day, I'm burning more calories for longer after class. This is one of the key parts of FASTer Way to Fat Loss® and I want to keep moving in the right direction after my sneak peek at my results the other day. 

I spent the rest of the day inside working at my volunteer job (we have another US Naval ship coming to visit Hong Kong), reading (I'm loving this new book on my Kindle about being a fitness junkie) and eating!

Broke fast earlier than usual. The last time I went to Bodypump I felt a little lightheaded during class, so mrC recommended that I eat a little something before class. I chose PB&J apple cinnamon rice cake.

Lunch - our groceries from the American store were delivered and we splurged on Cheez-its. The go great with chicken breast and cheddar cheese sandwiches. Not pictured: Greek vanilla yogurt with some chocolate sauce.

Dinner - Buffalo chicken quinoa and corn. This is one of my favorite meals.

When I'm not working, eating or reading, I like to window shop internet style ---> browse all my favorite online stores and fill my shopping bag. Sometimes I will eventually buy something, but often times things just sit in my bag. Athleta is having a HUGE sale and I couldn't resist placing an order with these prices! I already have one high neck chi tank and I love it!

How do you schedule your weekly workouts?
Do you internet window shop like I do?


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fitness Restart and Positive Sneak Peek!

My big plans to jump into post-vacation carb cycling with FASTer Way to Fat Loss® 100% to start off the week fell apart before the week even got started. Here's why:

1) I realized that I had round three of laser hair removal on Monday. If you have had this before then you know that the doctor recommends not sweating or being in the sun for 24-36 hours. I wish I could workout without sweating! Heck, I wish I could do anything around here without sweating! Not going to happen. That meant no low carb day workouts. Instead I ran some errands (including finally getting my hands on this cute HK tee from The Gap) and got my nails done.

I figured I would still EAT a low carb diet on those days, but...

2) we brought back some Hawaiian sweet rolls from the US and decided it was a good time to make crab dip ---> and we finally found all of the ingredients. It is not low carb but serious deliciousness. I guess you could say we splurged a little ;)

So my carb cycling re-start didn't go exactly as planned. It wasn't a complete failure though. I did continue to shorten my eating window and extend my fast each day.

On Tuesday afternoon I figured it was safe enough to go for a walk. We decided to check out a couple of villages (aka different residential development phases) that we haven't really explored yet. It was a beautiful day and we found some great views.

Just because things didn't go as planned doesn't mean I was giving up. Today I was back with a regular calorie day and a strength training workout. I did a double warm-up: first a 15 minute walk to the fitness center and then an easy run on the treadmill. I planned to run 10 minutes using 4:1 intervals, but after the second interval I just finished the mile.

The workout was a mix of legs, chest, triceps and shoulders. Today was the first day I was feeling back to normal after my big return to Bodypump last week. I made sure not to go too heavy on the weights.

On our way out the door, mrC decided to do a weigh-in, so I did too. I'm down 6 pounds from my FASTer Way to Fat Loss® start weight back in June! I'll be taking full measurements in about a week and a half, but I'm excited by the sneak peek. This program really works!

I really liked today's workout. It was a perfect way to jump back into strength training. A little post-workout cool down at the pool was also nice. It's so hot and the sun is so intense that I can only read about two chapters (and they're short) of my pool book between dips in the water and it's a really good book. It's my pool book because I only read paperbacks at the pool. I'm actually reading a different book on my Kindle app.

Here's a look at my regular calorie meals:

Broke fast around noon: turkey and Swiss roll-ups and pb&j apple cinnamon rice cakes.

Dinner: gluten free spaghetti and meatballs

Snacks: 3 mini York Peppermint Patties and some vanilla greek yogurt.

Have you ever had to restart a fitness plan?
Do you read two books at at time?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Runday Favorite Moments

If more than a week goes by between runs, I start to get anxious. I shared my last run with mrC and dC at the Cape on Instagram. I love running with the kiddos, but hate when it's the last one for awhile.

Fast forward to today. Tropical Storm Roke threatened Hong Kong this morning. Every few minutes a new alert would ring through the apartment: high wind warning, tropical storm warning, ferry service suspended. I knew that if I was going to run, I had to do it before the bad weather actually arrived.

Here are my Sunday Runday Favorite Moments:

2 miles using a 4:1 interval. This is such a big improvement for me. Not that long ago I was running 20 second intervals. PS ---> my face was on fire (almost as bright as my tank) because it was so humid!

Morning runs in our little neighborhood. Although the clouds were moving in quickly, it didn't rain at all during the run. Lots of people were out running and biking. We even saw the mad dash of people trying to get off the island before the ferry service stopped.

Neighborly doggie greetings. This little guy lives in the apartment next to ours. We usually only hear him greeting his owner, but today he said hi to us.

Lacing up my Mizunos. It always feels good, especially after a longer than normal break. (available on Amazon)

My running partner had a good run today. We probably would have made it to the top of the hill without stopping if I hadn't called for a walk break. His Mizunos are pretty sweet too (shown here in red).

Post run breakfast. Gluten-free protein pancakes. I use Bob's Red Mill pancake mix and add in BRM protein powder. Easy peasy and oh so yummy!

Biofreeze! My right bicep is soooo sore that I had to try this. It isn't a miracle worker, but it definitely allowed me to straighten my arm without bursting into to tears! (great price on Amazon)

Today was a great way to end my quieter than normal week ---> quick recap:

Monday - Got in an airplane in the US...

Tuesday - Got out of an airplane in Hong Kong (we lose a day when we return)

Wednesday - took a walk

Thursday - took a walk

Friday - Bodypump!

Saturday - Active recovery yoga

Tomorrow I'm diving back into carb cycling eating and workouts 100% to make up for my two weeks at the Cape. I'll be sharing my results after that.

BTW - it barely rained today. The tropical storm fell apart as it got closer, so by 2:00 things were back to normal around here.

Today I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What hurts most? Active recovery day!

My Bodypump workout left me dealing with DOMS. As the hours passed, the delayed soreness increased.

First it was my back muscles. I had a brief meeting in the morning and I just couldn't get comfortable while sitting in the coffee shop because everything was feeling so tight.

Then my biceps. I did some grocery shopping after my meeting and every time I reached out to grab an item, my biceps screamed at me.

Oh, my legs! I'm pretty sure it would be easier to just stand up all day.

Does any of this sound familiar? Midday I broke out the foam roller and yoga mat.

I did ten passes on my hamstrings, hips, glutes, quads and back. Then I did a nice and easy yoga flow to stretch out. This definitely helped my legs and back, but my biceps (and triceps) are still screaming today.

I wear my Oofos all the time in our apartment and I'm sure this helps the recovery of my legs too. I was excited to find so many options (including the style I wear) available on Amazon.

We are currently under Tropical Cyclone warnings here in Hong Kong as Tropical Storm Roke approaches a little closer than originally thought.

Hopefully I can get out for a short run!

Tell me about your worst case of DOMS!