Showing posts with label running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly Wrap - Independent and Keeping Busy

For some reason it has been almost a month since I wrote a Weekly Wrap post and linked up with Tricia and Holly. Wow! I've either been super busy or super lazy. Honestly, it's been a little of both. mrC has been on a trip for about ten days now and my I can do it on my own attitude is faltering.

I actually learned that there is a term for this situation in the expat community: orphan spouse. It refers to spouses that spend a large chunk of time apart thus creating a living separate lives feeling. Yes, we have friends/coworkers to fill the void, but it is not the same as having your spouse there to share the day-to-day stuff. Thank goodness it is temporary and mrC only has these longer trips once in a while.

A big part of my survival when he's out of town is to keep busy. Besides all the normal day-to-day stuff that needs to get done, I try to wear myself out with as much fitness as I can. That way I'm too tired to start feeling sorry for myself (this works most of the time).

Monday - AWA hike and rooftop lunch at Beef and Liberty ---> this will be a great place to take the kids when they visit next month.

Tuesday - REST day. My new exercise bands came and I'm super excited to use them.

Wednesday - I went to a NGO Workshop at the AWA office to learn more about what the American Women's Association does and then ran some errands.

Thursday - My very own Turkey Day 5k and GRIT class

Friday - I finally made it back to Bodystep class after about a month of conflicts on the calendar.

Saturday - More GRIT ---> this class is so challenging but that is why I love it.

Sunday - Walk to plaza for some shopping. After three fitness classes in three days plus running a 5K, my body was ready for a rest. I did some foam rolling and stretches, but really gave my muscles a day off.

And just like that, another week is done!

Don't forget to check out the Weekly Wrap link up with Tricia and Holly.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Infected Zombie Run 5K in Discovery Bay Recap

I'm so excited to write a race recap ---> even if it was an un-timed fun run!

It was almost two years ago when I ran my last race in Shenzhen, so I was pretty excited to finally be in a place where I could run again. So over Halloween weekend I ran The Infected Zombie Run 5K.

The Infected Zombie Run 5k is a charity run for an organization called Soap Cycling. This organization recycles hotel soaps and distributes the new soap to children in disadvantaged communities around the world, especially Asia.

This event was a perfect way for me to see how I could do in a 5K event. 1) It was right in our neighborhood, 2) mrC was available to join me adding to the comfort factor (and he invited his co-worker who was in Hong Kong), and 3) since it was a fun run, I figured there would be a lot of non-competitive people running.

(I had originally planned to wear a costume, but it was way too warm for my idea. Instead I went for Halloween colors in my black shorts and orange racer back (affiliate).

The theme of the run is to escape zombies that have invaded your neighborhood. Here's part of the email we received prior to the event:
Dear Runners,

A zombie virus has emerged and spreading rapidly across Discovery Bay, putting the entire human race at risk of extinction. Details of the evacuation are as follows:
Each runner received a belt with three flags attached. Each flag represents a life. As you run, zombies (volunteers dressed in zombie makeup wearing red shirts) try to take your flags. The goal is to finish with at least one flag (that means you lived).

This was the first time the Zombie Run was being held in Discovery Bay. It had a few hiccups (it didn't start on time, the organizer tried to explain the rules and route to about 150 people without a micro/megaphone and the set up at the finish had people stopping before the final loop through the park), but most people were happy to overlook these bits and have fun.

The course was a simple out and back with a loop through the park at the end. The Zombies were waiting for runners along the promenade and in the park. It was quite fun trying to avoid them. I actually had all three flags when I entered the park, but the zombies waiting there were much more eager to grab them.

At the halfway point, runners received dog tags. One dog tag was placed in a draw at the finish line for a chance to win a prize. mrC's co-worker won a t-shirt, but it was too small, so he gave it to me ;)

The goodie bags we received included several coupons, a race tee and a sweat towel (which comes in handy living in Hong Kong).

Even though we had to run up and down two hills, the race went really well for me. My knee felt good and I saved my walks for when I needed them (up the big hill) and when I ran out of gas near the end. I don't think much about my times anymore, but I was excited to see that I had negative splits for the first time in FOREVER.

I really hope this event returns next year. Until then I will be looking forward to another 5k in Hong Kong sometime soon.

Have you ever run a Zombie Race?

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!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Thoughts About Workouts and Other Stuff

Things that make me go hmmm. (I'm linking up with the Friday Five 2.0 - join the fun here)

It was leg day on my workout schedule. I started with a one mile warm-up run on the treadmill. I had already walked to the fitness center, so my legs felt good during this run. For some reason the Nike Run Club app on my watch thought I had run for 50 minutes? Hmmm.

Another thing that makes me go hmmm...why doesn't the treadmill and my watch distance ever match up?

My FASTer Way to Fat Loss® strength training workout was broken into three parts:

LEGS: squats and deadlifts
SUPERSETS: thrusters/plie squat jumps and scissor step-ups/calf raises
GLUTES: kickbacks, clamshells, bridges, abductors

It was a good workout, but I had trouble figuring out how to do the scissor step-ups in the fitness center. There are several weight benches that are the right height and some low step platforms that are kind of too low. I used the low step platform today because I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to put my shoes on the weight bench. I did wonder though, do people step up on weight benches? Hmmm.

Another thing that makes me go hmmm...what is the proper etiquette for wiping down mats in the gym if you didn't leave sweat marks?

After our workouts (mrC ran a 5k on the treadmill, yay!), we walked back to the apartment for our cool down and enjoyed the amazingly pleasant fall-like weather we are having right now.

Let me side-track for a minute...The nice weather actually started yesterday. Here I am all dressed up and waiting for the bus to go to lunch with the girls and NOT sweating to death. (PS - I love my sandals ((affiliate)) but for the life of me, the right heel strap will not stay up, no matter how tight I make it. Ugh, but I still wear them)

And since I brought up lunch, here is the freshly made pasta I had for lunch. If you are ever in Hong Kong, I highly recommend dining at Cucina at the Marco Polo hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. They have spectacular views of Victoria Harbour (you can see the table where we sat on the Cucina website here - right in the corner). My friend's husband is the General Manager of the hotel, so we might have had some VIP treatment thanks to her ;)

How about more good food? I'll share our post-workout breakfast from today: Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancakes. I've been looking forward to making these ever since we brought the box back from our trip to the US in September. First I was saving them to eat in October (anyone else do that?) and then it was just a matter of time to make them.

They are soooo good! Why, oh why, don't they sell these year round? And why did I only buy one box? Hmmm.

mrC had to run to the airport, so I got caught up on some TGIT on Hulu. When he gets back we are going out to dinner.

What do you have going on for the weekend?
Do you like pumpkin pancakes?
Are you a Grey's Anatomy, Scandal or How To Get Away With Murder fan?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Thursday 5K & Strength Training

One thing I love about my carb cycling program (and I've said this A LOT) is the flexibility. I moved my days around to accommodate some plans that I have on Friday.

So instead of a fasting day, I did a strength training day.

But first...I woke up this morning and decided to run. Before waking up completely and changing my mind, I threw on my Mizunos and headed out the door. It was being able to run while the sun came up that convinced me to go.

By the time I got to the beach and took this selfie (about half way into my run) I was looking more awake. There were a lot of other people awake too: runners, walkers, bikers, commuters, students. In New Hampshire, I could go for a run and never see another person (besides cars). I love the constant activity here.

One of my safety measures is that I text mrC to let him know that I'm heading out (the other is the Wearsafe tag I'm wearing on my tank) and where I'm running. Today was easy since it was the route that he picked the last time we ran together except I added an extra part along the beach promenade.

Running in DB means you have to run some hills. This route is one of the easier ones. According to MapMyRun, this route gets a climb rating of 5 (the easiest). For any climb to be rated (receive a climb score/category ((by MMR)) it must be at least 500 meters in length with an average grade of 3% or more. Even though it is one of the easier ones (officially and unofficially), it is still hard.

The end is at the high rises

I felt pretty good about my run. My overall pace was 11:11 ---> not bad when you take into account that I walk every mile for my knee and more on the last uphill because it's hard. It also feels good to be doing longer runs.

The actual strength training: I did the at-home version - back, biceps, triceps and abs plus finishers. My arms were feeling sore from my Bodypump class yesterday, so I didn't push myself too hard today. The end was the killer. Holy cow! I'll just show you this video of one of the finishers: man makers x 20.

Off to the pool for a bit again as my reward. Ironically, mrC is flying the maker of this towel today. Small world. I didn't stay long because it is actually too hot ---> 90 degrees and feels like 97 is what I call Hong Kong Hot.

The contractor was back to finish the water damage repair. He did a good job; the wall looks brand new. 

It was a regular calorie day and I kept it simple: protein bar snack, turkey roll-ups and watermelon for lunch, grapes snack, and scrambled eggs with ham and rice cakes for dinner (again).

Do you before, during or after the sun comes up?
Ever done man makers before?


Monday, October 9, 2017

My Weekly Wrap

My workouts for last week were not much to speak of until I blogged about scheduling in my Friday post. Another irony, right? I just needed to put it our there that I was having trouble following my schedule in order to get back on schedule!

Fitness isn't always easy. Life gets in the way. Work gets in the way. Lots of things get in the way. And it happens to all of us. The best part is, you can start over at any time.

Here's a look at what I did manage last week:

Monday - Pier volunteering - Monday night group 5k run

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - Hosting sailors to lunch and walking tour of Hong Kong

Thursday - Rest

Friday - Run with mrC

Saturday - Strength training with FWTFL - leg day (at home version)

Sunday - Recover ---> DOMS set in and got worse as the day went on.

In the future, when I'm thinking about skipping workouts because I'm traveling or too busy and how I can just jump back in anytime, I will remember how sore my legs were. SO sore that it hurt to do anything - stand up sit down, sit on a hard surface, everything made my legs scream. THAT will hopefully keep me from skipping multiple weeks worth of strength training!

Anyone else ever find yourself going through this?

I'm a little late, but I'm still linking up with  Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!


Friday, September 29, 2017

Great Places to Run for Visitors in Budapest

Can I just tell you that runners in Budapest have some amazing choices for where to run?

Budapest actually used to be two cities (Buda and Pest) separated by the Danube. While visiting our Corvinus scholar, we stayed at the Marriott in the heart of the city on the Pest Side. The Buda Side was just a walk across a bridge away. Right outside our door we had access to some great places to run in Budapest.

The Danube and Bridges - on the very first day I knew I wanted to run along the Danube, so that's what we did. On our third day, after getting a lay of the land sightseeing and with our very own University local (youngestC), we laced up for an easy loop using the bridges. (Runfession: I love putting international miles on my Mizunos)

On the Pest Side of the Danube, the walkways are wide enough for runners and walkers to coexist. And there's plenty of room for all getting across both the Chain Bridge and the Elizabeth Bridge. The Buda side offered designated lanes for running/walking and biking. It was easy to see why that section was a favorite among runners.

Margaret Island - we took the Hop-On Hop-Off boat to explore the island and upon seeing the spongy running track, I declared that I would be back to run. The rainy weather during the week of our visit made it challenging, but we finally squeezed in a run on the morning of our departure. (Runfession: I'm glad I held firm in wearing shorts and a long sleeve (short sleeve here) because the sun popped out and it was a little toasty)

Because the island is about a mile plus from our hotel, we took the convenient yellow trolley to our starting point at Margaret Bridge. That way we could do our miles on the island and enjoy using the soft running path ---> which we learned is a 5K loop around the island. With its path and the views, the island is a perfect place for running.

Gellert Hill - if you wanted to do some hill running, this would be a great place on the Buda Side. We did not run, but we hiked it so I can show you why it would be a great place to run.

There is the option to run the steps or follow the smooth pathway (which I think will get you most of the way to the top). At the top you can take in the amazing views while running around the Citadella with the Liberty Lady statue standing tall above you. Overall the elevation gain is around 350 feet and estimated mileage starting from the entrance would probably be about 2 miles. Perfect for a hill workout. (Runfession: I prefer to hike hills than run them)

Fitness and Health Club by Marriott - when all else fails, go to the fitness center. Guests of the hotel can use the facility with amazing views of the Danube and Buda Castle, but so can locals.

When rainy weather drove our workout indoors, we were not disappointed. We used the state of the art treadmills (the kind with virtual courses) and weight training equipment, but the club also offers classes. The treadmills were so nice, I was inspired to run a full 5k through the valleys of...somewhere! (Runfession: I was kind of in a bad mood because of the rain, but this run definitely lifted my spirits!)

Running in Budapest, especially with youngestC, was amazing.

If I lived in Budapest, I would be one happy runner!

What city have you visited that is a runner's dream?
What are you runfessing this month?

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