Showing posts with label SweatySaturday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SweatySaturday. Show all posts

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!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sweaty Saturday: 4.15 for Boston and SUP time

I jumped right into the day today.

It's the holiday weekend, so instead of doing the pre-run coffee routine I decided to beat the sidewalk rush and get an early start. I was reminded that running before 7AM has more perks than just extra elbow room. It's peaceful. Instead of worrying about how to avoid crashing into commuters and dog walkers, I was able to just listen to my music and enjoy the scenery.

Speaking of music ---> I downloaded this Nike Run Club playlist and found a few new favorites in the lineup. Everyone is loving Ed Sheeran's Shape of You (me too!), but I also like Let's Go (Calvin Harris) Action! (De La Soul), 24K Magic (Bruno Mars) and This Is What You Came For (Calvin Harris).

I finished my run at 4.15 miles. 4.15 miles for Boston on #OneBostonDay. No runner will ever forget the events of 2013 (whether you were there, watching on TV, or heard about it later) and every year I donate my miles to my running community.

After a quick shower and some scrambled eggs, I returned to the beach with my SUP paddle to meet a member of the DB Ladies SUP group for the first time.

My board! My board has been stored on the rack at the Lantau Boat Club for about a week now. As soon as mrC and I got it inflated (I mentioned it here) and stored the weather turned rainy and then he had a trip (figures, right?).

I couldn't wait any longer and luckily Sue was willing to be my paddle buddy and help me break in both my board and my confidence. It felt really good to finally get my board in the water, but I was SUPER nervous because the last time I was on a board was last summer at the Cape. It is a lot like riding a bike and it all comes back to you. As we paddled around and out and back, I was getting a little braver and more confident, but my legs and feet were in nervous clench mode for the whole hour!

The picture I took after our paddle makes the water look deserted, but there were a few outrigger canoes going and at least one row team out practicing. Every 25 minutes or so the ferries to Central would come and go. Plus there was this whole Easter egg hunt on the beach thing going on.

My sweaty Saturday was pretty much perfect (except that mrC is away on a trip). I love that I can walk out my door and go for a run or walk down to the beach for a little SUP time or a ton of other active options.

Do you prefer to run with people around or while everyone is still sleeping?
What songs are on your favorites list lately?
Do you like to SUP?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Our Hong Kong Apartment + A Workout

I'm getting used to living in Hong Kong day by day.

We are settling into our nice, little Seaview apartment and the cleaning, decorating, endless grasping to get things just right is winding down, finally. I'm pretty sure that I spent the first two weeks walking around with my hands full of things that needed a home and mumbling, this place is so small! 

The apartment was originally unfurnished (more common in HK than Shenzhen), but the owner agreed to furnish it for us. Little by little we have blended our few belongings with her choices and then picked out other items to complement and help us get organized.

The main living space is my favorite because it's filled with all my favorite comfort colors (love my blue pillows). It may be small, but the amazing view of Discovery Bay makes it feel much bigger.

It's been challenging at times to figure out how to make small spaces work for us, but it makes me happy to see that we can. I just have to teach mrC to watch where he walks so he doesn't break any toes! This is by far my favorite duvet cover.

We have an awesome window BED in the second bedroom which saves the floor space to be used as the office. It'll be fun when our first guest arrives and sees the sleeping arrangement with a view from the 20th floor.

The kitchen is actually pretty spacious. We even have a dishwasher! There's tons of storage, just not a lot of counter space. It's been interesting when mrC and I try cooking together.

It's still a work in progress, but I'm happy with how it looks.

Today's workout:

I think I was the third person to arrive at the fitness center after it opened this morning. I went early because it looked like it was going to be a rainy day and I wanted to walk there and back without getting rained on. Success!

Sprints: 15 sets, 20 seconds work, 20 seconds recover
Planks: 2 sets, 30 seconds each forearm and both sides.
Bridges: 2 sets singles leg lifts both sides

Three things that made this workout better:

1) This interval app. I love the versatility that it offers. I created an interval program for my sprints and another for my plank workout. All I have to do is push start and then the app talks me through the workout.

2) These wireless earbuds. They are so easy to link to my phone and then I can hear my music and the interval app commands to work or rest and I'm not bothering anyone else in the gym.

3) This view. Seriously, that is the view from the elliptical when I look to the right (the new ellipticals have a TV attached). I'll show you the view to the left another day ;)

Have you ever rented a furnished apartment/house?
Would you sleep on a window bed?
What's your workout today?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

SurfSet Fitness Hong Kong: Balance

If you have read this blog before or know me IRL, then you probably know that one of my favorite fitness activities is SurfSet. I've been going to classes off and on for over three years. I say off and on because I used to go every Saturday before we moved to China and now I haven't been since last fall.

That all changed when I found SurfSet Fitness Hong Kong while scrolling through my Groupon app (they have a great deal if anyone in Hong Kong is reading this). Today I'm super excited to talk about my first class at SurfSet Fitness Hong Kong!

In case you haven't heard of it, SurfSet is a 45 minute workout based on the movements of surfing. The comprehensive routine centered around the RSX board is designed to build core strength, burn fat, and create lean muscles. Other gear such as jump ropes and kettle bells can be incorporated into the routine as well. What you don't need are shoes. This workout is done completely barefoot.

So, about today. Getting to the class is no easy task. For me, coming from Discovery Bay, I have to take the 25 minute ferry to Central and then walk about 20 minutes to the metro for a 20-ish minute ride. A final 5 minute walk and I'm there. Phew! Clearly I REALLY wanted to go to this class. (and a BIG thank you to mrC for tagging along and helping me find my way!)

SurfSet Fitness Hong Kong offers all four signature programs.

Because you have to reserve a board in advance to join a class, I was closed out of my first choice (Blend) and instead took the Balance class.

Balance is yoga inspired and reminded me a lot of pilates. Pilates made a lot harder by the instability of the board. We started with a quick muscle warm-up on the board followed by some stretches. Next our instructor guided us through a few core exercises. What I loved is that we worked the abs and the glutes which are so often forgotten. We ended with yoga hold poses that made my muscles feel like they were screaming.

Even though I was looking for a fast-paced cardio workout, this low impact class was surprisingly challenging. Besides the core exercises, the movements from high to low and trying to hold a pose on the board called on every single stabilizer muscle that you don't think twice about on an average day. I got sweaty and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sore.

I still miss the fast-paced, gasping-for-air feeling that you get from a Burn or Blend class, so I will definitely be trying to get into one of those classes soon.

Have you tried SurfSet? Which class is your favorite?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sweaty Saturday Workout and New Feast Day Treats

The gym is a good place to be on a rainy day. I started my workout by catching up on my #ultimateplankchallenge. The full plank heel lifts are tough.

My main workout can be broken into three parts: arms with body weight only, arms with weights, and legs with cardio.

The first part, arms with body weight only, is actually the hardest for me. There are three exercises to do 10 sets of 10: push-ups, forearm plank push-ups, and tricep dips. I've been doing these one at a time to completion, but today I did a circuit hoping it would make it go faster and be easier. Nope. Still hard.

What I ate on Feast day

Breakfast: fruit, French toast, and hash browns 
As a treat, we decided to have the breakfast buffet at the Hilton after our workout. With our membership, we get a 10% discount and well, I was too tired to think about cooking when we got back to the apartment.

Snack: GF "cheetos"
A new gluten free snack created by Luke, who has Celiac's disease, that I found in Hong Kong yesterday. 

Lunch: smoothie bowl and turkey slices
This will always be a treat!

Snack: crackers and cheese
More treats from my Hong Kong shopping spree. Mary's Gone Crackers are gluten free (so happy to have found them) and the port wine cheese is a favorite from time spent with my grandparents. 

Dinner: quinoa pizza bake and green beans
Sadly that was the last of my favorite pasta sauce brough here from Cincinnati.

Dessert: strawberries 

Macros: today was a good day. A couple hundred calories short, but I did very well on my carbs. 

This carb cycling plan encourages participants to do a gluten free and dairy free diet for six weeks. I admit that I think I'm seeing positive effects from staying away from dairy, but I'm weak. I love my cheese! 

Do you prefer circuits or completing each exercise one at a time?
What is your food weakness?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sweaty Saturday

Back in January I posted about having a non-running back-up plan. Little did I know that yoga would become a big part of that plan. I've been doing Instagram yoga for years (the I don't really know what I'm doing, but I'll make myself look like that picture kind), but had only taken a few classes before moving to China.

As much as I would love to be back to running, I am loving my morning yoga. It's not the same as going out for a run, but it is invigorating. And, I love seeing my progress. Taking classes has definitely helped, but I've felt the most change since I started doing the daily yoga camp videos.

After yoga, some coffee and breakfast (prepared by mrC), we took a walk to see the Shekou School Maker Faire hosted by the Shenzhen American International School. If you are not familiar, a Maker Faire is a showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness in a DIY way. If you have chance, visit an event. It's pretty amazing.

On the way there I showed mrC a yoga studio that I have been trying to find for months. We walk past a billboard advertisement for this place all the time, but could never figure out the address. They let you try a class for free, so I signed up for one next week.

It was such a pretty day that after the Maker Faire, we decided to get our bikes out. We headed to the Shenzhen Bikeway hoping to reach the Futian Mangrove Ecological Park. It was very crowded so instead we turned around after 5 miles and headed back to the apartment. We'll try again on a week day.

Between yesterday's leg workout and today's 10 mile bike ride, my butt was feeling sore. Doing this version of a pigeon pose helped with that. I think it might be my favorite.

Ever been to a Maker Faire?
Favorite way to do pigeon pose? (Supine, seated, or prone)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sweaty Saturday: Hatha Yoga + More in Pictures

I eased into my Sweaty Saturday because my very first yoga class in China wasn't until 9:00. After a small breakfast and some coffee, I was off to meet my friend Young.

The studio was already bustling with activity (which I thought was a good sign) and after a little confusion at the door over shoes, we were directed to room #2 for Hatha class.

The website describes Hatha as:
The most ancient, complete and popular form of yoga for mental and physical health.  Hatha yoga with simply yoga breath and deep relaxation to finish.  This class is perfect for those who are new to yoga or just want a gentle stretch.
A gentle class, ideal for beginners, that focuses on sun salutations, the 12 basic Shivananda postures and a final deep relaxation. The basic asanas in the Shivananda sequence are traditional postures that have been practised for centuries.
When we entered the room, our instructor waved us and one other new girl to the front and told us her English was not very good so she would only be speaking Chinese during instruction. Not what I was expecting, but ok. I can watch and imitate. Then she added that most of the class were regulars, so there might be some poses that we couldn't do. Again, no big deal.

Our instructor was very helpful during the class, often coming over to us (and others) to adjust our poses. But since the class had mostly repeat, experienced participants, she included many challenging and some difficult poses. Even though there were several that I couldn't do at all, I still had a good workout and can now work on improving.

After class mrC and I had lunch.

Cheesy quinoa and tuna

I read a little.

We ran some errands and bought some pre-cooked corn for dinner.

Gluten free Skyline chili spaghetti :)

After dinner we walked for Gelato.

We stopped at our favorite bike store for a new bell for my bike.

The weather tonight was so nice. Nice enough to run. If I ran at night.

Have you ever taken a "beginner" class that wasn't?
Are you a morning or evening runner?