Showing posts with label ShopStyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ShopStyle. Show all posts

Sunday, April 1, 2018

4,475 Meters | Weekly Wrap

About three weeks ago I ran. 

Here's what has been going on ---> I did a couple of really big hard hikes with big descents and my knees said time for a break. Even though I have really wanted to run, I knew that I had to listen to my body.

So instead of running miles, I have been throwing on my Athleta tankini and swimming meters. It was was hard for me the first day and it was humbling, but the more I did it, the easier it became. After three weeks, I'm getting the hang of my breathing and even started doing an interval workout: 200 meters freestyle + 25 meters breast (froggy) x 5 = 625 meters.

Three weeks of swimming and my knees have recovered from the post-hiking aches. My usually cranky and kind of puffy bad left knee is actually feeling kind of normal these days. Sadly, that means it prefers no running, but deep down I've always known this. I haven't been on a scale or taken measurements, but it feels like my body is leaning out and toning up a little from the swimming too.

So even though I only ran 3 miles in March...I swam 4,475 meters!

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

Weekly Workouts:

Monday - Swam 625 meters and a couple of walks

Tuesday - Swam another 625 meters and a couple of walks 

Wednesday - Pier Volunteer day for the visiting USS Sterett followed by an afternoon of walking around Central - over 6 miles total (in my Oofos flip flops ---> that's how awesome they are!)

Thursday - Swam 625 meters and SUP for 45 minutes

Friday - Stations of the Cross walk 3.60km

Saturday - Sports massage - ouch, I have A LOT of tight spots and a walk

Sunday - Yoga, a walk and Opening Day at the Pool 

Heading into April, I'm ready for more swimming, maybe some running, and lots and lots of watermelon.

How was your week? March?
What are you looking forward to in April?
Anyone else obsessed with watermelon?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hiking: Maclehose Stage 4

They say that stage 4 is one of the toughest of the Maclehose Trail. I sure hope so, because it was hard hiking. Thank goodness for compression socks!

The hike starts with a strenuous climb up to 540 meters (we started around 80). At the top, I stared at the towering peak of Ma On Shan (702 meters) and thought about the day I might conquer it.

The reward after that big first climb is getting to spend time in the uplands and walking along the ridge. I thought this would be a great place to sit and enjoy a packed lunch while taking in the panoramic views over Sai Kung and Ma On Shan.

The ridge eventually takes a big descent down to Ngong Ping viewing area which is where we found loads of paragliders. This was an excellent spot to take a little break and grab a snack.

You would think that big climb is what makes this stage so challenging. For me, it was the big descent after and the multiple ups and downs after that. Descents are hard on the knees, and REALLY hard on mine. The final descent was the toughest, but we did get some amazing views all the way toward Central.

Stage 4 ends in an awkward place. If you are hoping to find public transport at the finish, you either decide to do this hike backwards with a big walk-in or carry on to stage 5. Our hiking group opted to have a big walk-out at the END...this was about another hour walk down a sloped road through the land of monkeys.

View from the top and the elevation chart. The view makes all that climbing worth it!

In a couple of weeks we will be moving on to the next stage and I'm hoping the hard part is behind us.

Previous Maclehose Trail hikes:

How do you rate difficult hikes? (Length, ascent, descent, terrain)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February Miles | Tuesdays on the Run

My February miles got off to a slow start after being down with the flu for about 10 days, but I think I rallied back pretty well.

I'm still logging all of my miles on my trusty Wave Sky (affiliate): 7 runs (I even ran three times in one week like the good old days!) and 17.32 miles total. This is just a little less than I ran last month and I lost a bit on my average distance during my big post-flu comeback ---> it was slow and painful.

When I wasn't running, I was (recovering from the flu, ha!) working on strength training, hiking, doing yoga...all my other favorite things to do. I even played some tennis with mrC!

I took on a couple of challenges this month: FAB AB FEBRUARY has been going all month and focuses on core with sit-ups, push-ups and planks. MIND BODY PILATES is a ten day challenge that focuses on strength and mental wellness. Sometimes I need a good challenge to keep me motivated and both of these are helping me do the core work that I tend to slack on.

I also started using a BCAA prior to and during my workouts. I am definitely leaning towards the positive. I have more energy during my workouts and my recovery time seems shorter. I'll do a proper review a little later.

Overall, despite missing the first 10 days or so, February turned out to be a pretty good month.

PS - here's a challenge for March from Aly in case your looking for one. I'm undecided because of all those burpees. Then again, maybe that's a reason I should do it...

How was your month? What are looking forward to in March?

Today I'm doing the link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Weekly Wrap - When everything clicks

I love when I have good workout weeks. When everything just clicks. The workouts are challenging but fun. I'm motivated. My knee is happy. The weather cooperates. These are the fun weeks.

This week mrC and I also started carb cycling again. Using what I learned from the Faster Way To Fat Loss Program (affiliate - I get a small fee if you sign up using my link), I planned my workouts and food days for the week. It felt good to be following a plan again. I've been needing some purpose to my workouts even though I really enjoy just winging it.

Here are my workouts for the week:

Monday - Run with sprints

One mile warmup and 10 sprints at 20 seconds work 40 seconds rest. This was an awesome workout, but tough because it was later in the day and warmer.

Tuesday - HIIT workout 

At home session ---> Class Fitsugar video. This was challenging but hit all the good parts. I will be doing this video again.

Wednesday - Run and upper body strength 

I took my workout to the fitness center because I wanted to have the right weights. My options at home are limited to two sizes. Started with The Lazy Runner's Short and Sweet Workout from Lisa and then did the Dirty Dozen Arm workout (another oldie that I'm bringing back). Then I started a pilates 10 day challenge, because there's an Athleta gift card up for grabs!

Thursday - Full body strength 

Another at home workout ---> Fit and Sexy Full-body Workout Class Fitsugar video. I went with another video mainly because I couldn't decide what gym workout sounded good.

Friday - Hike

This was supposed to be a rest day but I switched it up so that I could try out my new hiking shoes. First impressions are good but we will see after my BIG hike today.

Saturday - Rest

Unplanned rest day after a late night out at the Chris Botti concert. I was tired, my body was tired, so I listened and took the day off.

Sunday - Tennis fun

It was a nice day so we went to the courts to hit the balls around again. We even played a couple of games at the end for fun.

Do plan out your workouts for the week or wing it?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I Love Running, But...

What's not to love about running? If I scroll through my Instagram feed, I see pictures of runners with smiling faces talking about their happy runs and how they're rocking all kinds of personal bests. BUT, we all know that running isn't always a bed of roses. There are a lot of things that make running hard. Things that keep other people from actually doing it or sticking with it.

What do you like least about running?

Here are mine...the things that I like least about running are:

It's two-faced - One day running feels so awesome and it's my best friend. I laugh and smile and float along. The next day it sucks and stabs me in the back. The struggle is so hard that it almost hurts. I really wish it just felt easy every time I laced up my Mizunos (affiliate).

Pubic sidewalks - There are no running trails where I live, so I have to play dodge the clueless pedestrians. When did giving space become such a hard thing to do? It's even worse when the dog walkers come out and they think making me hurdle a leash is acceptable.

Personal safety - I do not like that there are times when going for a run scares me. Where I run now, I mostly worry about aggressive dogs/animals. Sadly in the US, I worry about being alone on a trail and being attacked which is why I wear my Wearsafe tag when I run.

HILLS - Hills are so hard and now they are doubly hard for me. I've never been a fan of running them except I knew that it would help me be a better runner. Now, my knee is not a fan of running down them. So the only good thing about hills has become the worst part.

You have to really love running to get past the challenges!

Today I'm doing the link-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

All My Favorite Shoes | Tuesdays on the Run

Today I'm linking-up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! (This post has affiliate links)

mrC is always laughing at my shoe dilemmas. I never seem to know what shoe to wear or have the right shoes for the occasion socially. I swear if I could wear flip-flops for every event, I'd be in heaven! On the other hand, I always know which shoe is right for my fitness needs. I feel like I talk about my footwear a lot on this blog, but today I'm getting specific and sharing my favorite shoes for every fitness category: running, cross training, recovery and athleisure.

Running Shoes

I have logged most of my miles this last year in my Mizuno Wave Sky and have been very happy with how they feel. This was a brand new shoe from Mizuno that is neutral but with more cushion than ever before. They have definitely worked for me.

I also have a pair of Mizuno Wave Horizon that still have plenty of life in them. They are one of the few stability shoes I have ever worn for running. They were my go-to shoe when I started slowly making my running come-back.

Cross Training

This summer I bought a pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus just for indoor workouts. When I started taking classes like GRIT and Bodystep, I realized I needed a shoe with better traction than my running shoes. Even though these Nikes are running shoes, they have great traction. I wear them for walking tours and hiking too.


I started wearing Oofos in 2013 and now I practically live in them (and I have more than one pair). These are the best shoes to make your legs and feet feel better after a long workout or a long day on your feet. When I put them on, I feel like I'm bouncing. I wear them all the time in our apartment to keep my feet happy from walking on the wood floors. I like them so much I've started buying them for my family as gifts!


Most of my time is spent in casual shoes like my Keds Chillax Slip-On Sneaker. I wear these on short errands or out to lunch. These shoes are great with a pair of casual pants or jeans. Slip-on shoes are my favorite and if I can get away with not wearing socks, I'm a happy girl.

Another pair that I wear that are more sporty-athleisure are my Skechers Go Walk Sport Rush. These are perfect for a longer walk or when I'm wearing athleisure to get my nails done (like today), but I don't want to mess with socks.

Hopefully you've enjoyed the tour of my fitness shoes.

Do you wear shoes for different fitness reasons too? I'd love to know what you're wearing these days.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Weekly Wrap - Blah, I Need Sunshine

I really am a sunshine person. A bright, sunny day kind of person. Nearly a full week of gray ugly skies and bad air has me feeling kind of pissy-pants. Do you ever get that way?

What I'm wearing: top, shorts (similar), shoes, headband, bag

Other than the dreary weather, the week wasn't bad. I had a couple of fun social events (Bunco night and listening to classic rock bands) and spent a lot of time with mrC before his trip. I don't know why it feels like I'm complaining.

I worked out every day. I got to one strength class and I did a bunch of yoga and other cardio at home. I even ran two 5Ks ---> this alone should have me feeling head over heels.

The only explanation I can come up with for my Scrooge-like attitude is that I need sunshine.

My workouts for the week:

Monday - Yoga

mrC and I had interview appointments to get our Global Entry passes and a bunch of other errands to run, so it was morning yoga for me. Plus I don't get my hair wet or sweaty for two days after a keratin treatment, which I got on Sunday.

Tuesday - Rest

I went mrC to his doctor appointment and then we went on a hunt for winter boots for me to wear on our trip to the Ice Festival in Harbin, China. It's a pain to have to buy things like this that we have in storage in Massachusetts, but what can we do? It's really cold in Harbin (windchill of -20s) so I will be getting a taste of winter for real this year!

Wednesday - Run

With a morning finally free, mrC and I went for a run. The air quality was horrible (you could see it when you looked out the window), so we ran on the treadmills at the fitness center. It's not my first choice since the temperatures are perfect in the winter for running, but we're glad that we have the option to go indoors when the air is bad.

Thursday - Bodypump

Finally made it to The HIT Room for some strength training. I'm still trying to figure out the weights thing. I have trouble finding the happy weight for biceps, triceps and shoulders (although I am getting better on this one). Since form is pivotal, I worry about being too heavy but then I don't get the same post-workout soreness that I get on the leg tracks (even though I push to failure). I need to figure out a better weight selection strategy asap.

Friday - HIIT workout

I had to go to Central again for a lunch meeting with other AWA volunteers, so I did an uncharacteristic afternoon workout. I haven't been doing the SWEATADAY challenge recently, but after writing about it I looked it up. I chose six exercises from the 20+ days and made up my own HIIT workout. 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest: curl & kick burpees, runner's crunch, superman pull (tough), plank to pike, reverse table crunch (really tough), foam roller side plank (modified because I don't have TRX). I felt good about putting this workout together, but dang it was hard! Harder than I thought it would be. PS - you can see the moves on Instagram.

Saturday - Run

I was disappointed to wake up to ugly gray skies, but I did my run outdoors anyway. It was humid and it has warmed back up to the high 60s which put me on the struggle bus especially for the second half of the run. That's also when all the dog walkers came out in force to clog up the sidewalks! Dodging dogs and leashes while running up a big hill is not really my idea of fun.

Sunday - Yoga

I was out late with some friends, so I slept in for the first time in forever. That usually only happens when I have jet lag. I did a nice session of video yoga and a couple cardio SWEATADAY exercises. It was another gray day and I was happy to spend it indoors.

As you can see, I'm not lacking workout motivation or dealing with an injury, but I'm still feeling a bit underwhelmed at the moment. The forecast for tomorrow looks good and hopefully the effects of my sunshine withdrawal will come to an end. I'll keep you posted.

Does prolonged cloudy/gray weather affect your mood?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Three Running Guilty Pleasures

Sometimes I think running is my guilty pleasure since none of the friends I've made in my Hong Kong neighborhood are into running or have stopped running because of a bad knee, ankle, hip. Being able to run and get that "me time" definitely feels like it should be a guilty pleasure because it makes me so happy.

When I think about it, my running guilty pleasures (the things that I like that maybe not everyone else does) not only make me happy, but also motivate me. 

1. New Running Gear

Spending money on new running clothes that I absolutely do not really need but find a way to justify is definitely a guilty pleasure. Fortunately mrC does not give me a hard time about this. I only feel guilty until I actually go for a run in the new gear though. Like today - it was really cold and I almost gave in to my body's desire to stay in and stay warm, but then I remembered that I had a new top from Athleta (affiliate) to wear along with a new pair of Lululemon tights. Since they both kept me warm and cozy, I can now justify the purchase.

2. Reality TV

One thing I loved about running on the treadmill (which could be my least favorite thing at times) was watching trashy TV. There's nothing like a good reality tv show to make the miles fly by. Since I used to have the basement TV (or laptop) to myself, I never felt bad for watching multiple episodes in a row. Especially Real Housewives of ANYWHERE. I love the ridiculousness of these shows because they are real, but not really real. If I could get the Bravo app to work without a cable subscription, I would still be watching whenever I run on the treadmill.

3. The Runfie

This is sort of my way of saying, hey look how far I ran today! Or look where I got to run today! I'm 100% a visual person and I love taking pictures, so I love my selfie run pics. It's fun to scroll through my Instagram and reminisce about runs at the Cape or with littleC in Budapest. It's totally a walk down memory lane. I also love looking at other people's pics too. Seeing their photos can motivate me to get out there if I'm in a run rut.

Every runner has guilty pleasures right? Music, food, pricey race photos, bubble can be anything. You can check out the Tuesdays on the Run link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia  for a bunch of us sharing ours this week.

What is one of your running guilty pleasures?

Friday, January 5, 2018

3 Accomplishments and 2 Goals

Happy Friday! I'm jumping into the Friday Five 2.0 Linkup with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel and talking goals and resolutions today.

Before I can set goals for a new year (which I do not always do), I like to reflect on the previous year ---> what did I do? what did I achieve?

1. I ran over 200 miles! Almost all of them on my Wave Sky (affiliate). For someone who had a meniscectomy and has very little cartilage remaining in one knee, this is a BIG deal. And when I see that the previous year (which I will now call the year of the cranky knee) I only ran 29.25 miles, I'm so happy that I figured out a way to bring running back into my life.

2. I ran THREE races (recaps here, here and here)! As soon as I was able to run 5Ks on my own and after joining a night running group, I started seriously looking for races. Finding 5Ks in Hong Kong with a relatively flat, road course was harder than I expected ---> many are on trails with rocky downhill terrain.

I love seeing the smile on my face!

3. I tried new things: SUP racing, archery, GRIT ---> loved them all! Archery was a fun group activity to do. SUP racing was the most exciting and seriously hard work to go just 500 meters out and back. I'd love to do it again. GRIT has become my favorite workout class. I love the cardio and strength combo.

EXTRA:  I'm pretty proud of the variety I kept in my workouts. Running, hiking, yoga, SUP, Bodypump, Bodystep, GRIT, strength training, HIIT workouts, sprints. I have my favorites, but I was open to doing any and all types of workouts in 2017.

So, my goals for 2018 are pretty simple.

4. Be happy where I am. I'm going to continue to do what feels right and good on any given day. I'm going to run when I feel like it, not to meet a schedule. I will accept what I can do today, not worry about what I did in the past.

5. Keep moving. No matter what, I want to stay active. I love getting out and doing things. I will keep doing the things I love, but I will also keep trying new things. Anything that comes my way.

What accomplishment are you most proud of from 2017?
What are your goals and/or resolutions for the new year?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Last Week's Workouts

Last week started off completely normal and then my knee decided to present a new pain. I took a couple of days off from high impact training and I think that did the trick.

Here's how my week shaped up:

Monday - I made it to The HIT Room for another session of Bodystep.

Tuesday - I got myself to the fitness center to do a treadmill hill repeat workout that I got from the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program (affiliate). The workout basically went like this: walk @ 3.5 speed on 15% incline for 2 minutes, jog @ 6.0 speed on 5% incline 1 minute, walk @ 3.0 speed on 5% incline for 2 minutes. Repeat walk/jog/walk for 20 minutes. Finished with 15 minutes LISS on the elliptical (they really need more upright bikes).

---> I LOVED this workout, well, once I figured out the speeds (Hong Kong uses kph). Talk about getting an intense heart rate going. PS - I love that my Apple Watch (affiliate) keeps track of my heart rate during workouts. You can see where I finally got the hang of the right speeds.

Wednesday - Bodypump for my strength training. I'm slowly getting better at this part of my fitness, but I'm still a cardio junkie.

Thursday - When I woke up my knee was hurting right above my knee cap. I almost went to my GRIT class, but then decided to play it smart and called in. Instead I did some a session of deep stretch yoga.

Friday - Originally I thought I would be signed up for another Bodystep class, but I opted for low impact yoga again to give my knee another day off. This time I did a power flow and it felt so good.

Saturday - My knee was feeling better, so I decided to go for a run. Normally I would go to GRIT again, but thought it would be easier to bail on a run than to bail in the middle of a class. I did my favorite 5K route through the park and it was ok. It was a cool morning, but the humidity put me on the struggle bus.

---> Kicked off the holiday season with a festive manicure and then went to The HIT Room Christmas Party where instructors and members could put down water bottles and pick up a glass of wine/beer to celebrate our fitness accomplishments in 2017 together. Even though I hate going to these things alone (mrC is still on a trip), it sounded like a fun night. There was a really good turn out. Besides meeting several spouses, it was fun to see everyone in non-workout gear for a change!

Sunday - I went to morning mass (and met a very nice neighbor on the way) and then enjoyed a nice quiet day of rest.

How was your week?
Does your fitness center/gym plan holiday parties?
Do you do holiday nails?

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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Love the Run and My First Race Day Costume

Yesterday I had to dig deep to love the run.

Mentally I was not strong yesterday. I was excited to run but then my legs felt heavy and I got in my head. It was warm. I felt stiff. There was a big hill at the end. I was all over the place in my thoughts.

Some runs are like that.

But I still love the run.

I must have sweat off my sunscreen again on Monday's hike because I had another sunburned forehead. I don't normally wear a hat because they make me feel even hotter (I have a lot of hair on my head creating my very own insulation!).

My reward for not quitting on my run ---> a little pool time because we still can and who can pass up views of the sea like these? It's pretty cool that the pool is right next to the water.

On Saturday I will be running my first Hong Kong race. The race is Zombie themed and combined with Halloween weekend it kind of seems like a good time to wear a costume.

I've never worn a costume for a race (I don't count the Santa Shuffle I did one year since we were all wearing the same thing and the race gave it to us) so I had to do some online research. There are a lot of choices out there! I decided to do something on the simple side.

My inspiration:

Today I had an appointment in Central which gave me the perfect opportunity to look for costume pieces. I went to Pottinger Street which is one of the best spots to score Halloween costumes and supplies in Hong Kong.

First I found a cheap t-shirt at GAP (affiliate) to pair with my black capris. A little searching among stalls on Pottinger Street and I scored a plain black hat and an eye mask. At home I turned a plastic bag into a bag of money to complete my Bandit look.

Do you wear a hat when you run?
Ever dress up for a race?

Today I’m linking up with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner and I'm linking up with AnnmarieNicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sweaty Saturday 5K, GRIT and a Walking Tour

Today I improved my 5k time.

Five thoughts during my run:

  • the weather was amazing - only 70 degrees and practically no humidity. The change in the weather makes a run feel soooo much easier, doesn't it?
  • it had been over a week since my last 5k run. I couldn't believe I had let that much time go by. My last 5k was the Thursday before last! I was sick on Monday and had to skip the night group run and I ran a one mile warm-up before strength class last Saturday. Wow!
  • I love my Mizunos (affiliate) - they feel so light on my feet and I think they just look good.
  • I only stopped for a break twice ---> once at the beach to stretch my legs and keep my knee happy and second on the final big hill at the end. mrC came along and pushed me to start running again. It was my best run in a LONG time. 
  • every muscle is still sore - the ones I could feel the most during the run were my glutes and trapezius (back of my neck/shoulder area). I could really feel the soreness of my glutes when I was heading up the final hill. I guess I know my glutes were activating ;)

I was sore from Thursday's GRIT workout. I took this class a couple of times in February, but I didn't remember much about it. This class was about 30 minutes HIIT strength and 20 minutes core. I actually liked this class better than Bodypump. I used lighter weights, but the repetitions were much faster.

There was a good mix of cardio strength, supersets, and a bunch of core. It was challenging, but that is exactly what my body needs. I didn't burn as many calories as I expected, but hopefully they were burning long after class was over.

I walked my way through Friday's active recovery day on a history of Hong Kong walking tour with mrC. Even though we have lived in Hong Kong for nearly a year now, it was fun to learn more about the history and politics from a local.

Our guide was very open about the way Hong Kongers see events from the past as well as things that are currently happening. It was very helpful to hear a local explain the effects of past wars and post-war agreements made with the British and China on everyday life in Hong Kong.

It was also interesting to learn new things about places that we have visited many times. For example, the HSBC Bank building has two lions made out of bronze flanking the front of the building symbolizing protection and security. What we didn't know is that the holes in the lions are from bullets and that the lions were actually stolen by the Japanese during the war.

We wrapped up our successful run today with some pool time. I will never get tired of this place. It is impossible to NOT relax here.

Then part of breakfast included a big Bob's Red Mill protein (affiliate) smoothie. I've been making more of these lately and getting better at using my Hong Kong blender (I really miss my Ninja (affiliate).

Any improvements or PRs you want to share?
Have you ever taken a tour of your own "home" town?
Do you love/hate your blender?

I'm a little late and off topic, but still linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!