Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Weekly Workout Recap - Moderation

Last week I made a valiant effort to not revert to my old bad fitness habit of overdoing it and pushing my body too hard. What I really mean is that I did not keep up with my daily yoga challenge, haha! For some reason after Monday, I just went into yoga resist mode, which is really odd since I was enjoying it so much the week before.

It happens. My body was obviously telling me something and I listened. Everything in moderation, I say.

Here's a closer look at my week:

Monday - I enjoyed a slow paced yoga session, literally. It was all about relaxing. Then I went to Bodypump. These workouts are so polar opposite of each other. Yoga is all calm, serene and quiet. Bodypump is fierce, fast, and loud. I love having both in my fitness lineup.

Tuesday - On Tuesdays I FAST. I thought it was a good idea to skip yoga in the morning, so I wouldn't get hungry. Instead I walked to the salon to get my nails done and then made protein bars and broke my fast. I never did do my yoga like I thought I would.

Wednesday - I met up with the AWA hiking group for a day on Lamma Island. I had an early start and once again planned to do some yoga in the evening, but I have a terrible time working out at night anymore.

Thursday - I spent the morning at Foon Ying, an AWA event series designed to introduce new members and help us adjust to living in Hong Kong through group activities around the city. Foon Ying means welcome in Caontonese. Since it was a low calorie day, my workout was just the easy walking I did around Central.

Friday - I went to my first Step class at the HIT Room. TBT to step aerobics at the YMCA with a modern twist = serious calorie burn. It was fast, it was hard, and I loved it. Can't wait to do it again!

Saturday - mrC and I went to the Bodypump 100 launch. Every three months a new workout is released to keep the class fresh and challenging. This was the 100th release. That's pretty cool.

Sunday - It was chilly and even drizzling a little, but I was looking forward to another interval run. I did the same 20 intervals as last week and my knee felt ok again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that painfree running stays in my future.

My daily yoga emails are weighing down my inbox. I know it shouldn't bother me but it does. I'm hoping to catch up on my yoga sessions this week. It will feel good mentally and physically to find my way back to the mat.

What have you put off that you hope to get back to?
Do you take step classes?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hiking: Lantau Trail Stage 1 and 2

While on a hike with the AWA hiking group in November, another hiker recommended the hiking group Hong Kong Hikers (dot org). HKH is a social hiking group that organizes a variety of hikes all over Hong Kong and the territories.

I took her advice and signed up with the group (it's free) and then promptly started receiving email invites to all kinds of hikes. All kinds! They hike nearly every day during the winter it seems.

Last week, mrC and I joined what HKH called the First Friday Social Hike of 2017 ---> to hike Lantau Trail from Pak Kung Au to Mui Wo via Sunset Peak at a social (aka slow) pace. Sunset Peak is the third highest peak in Hong Kong at 869 meters above sea level. Lantau Trail is a 70km trail loop that begins and ends at Mui Wo. We hiked stages 1 and 2 in reverse in two groups: the moderate group (us) and the easy group that hiked along the South Lantau Trail.

Starting from Pak Kung Au at around 340m, the beginning of the hike was a steep climb up some 500 meters to Sunset Peak ridge. The climb was a mix of steps of varying heights mixed with some rocky trail. mrC and I learned that our fast pace was the group's slow pace, at least at first. The group got slower as the hike went on.

Once at the top, the views were amazing. We were lucky that the skies were so clear that day, too. Not a guarantee in the winter. Not that it was feeling much like winter that day with temps in the high 70s.

Less than 100 meters more to get to the actual summit of Sunset Peak (behind us in the pic below). Even though I was tired as hell, I would've gone to the top but our group leader said (something like) we didn't have time (we had to meet up with the group that took an easier hike), the summit was a small space, and the views were basically the same from where we were on the ridge. OhhhhKaaaay?

After a short break and picture taking, we hiked along the ridge passing a number of huts scattered over the slopes. I heard someone say they were built by missionaries working in China, but are now available to be rented for overnight stays. I could never do that! We followed the trail down to Nam Shan.

At Nam Shan we met up with the group that had taken the South Lantau Trail and together we all followed Lantau Trail section 1 into Mui Wo. Most of this trail was covered which we needed desperately because neither one of us remembered sunscreen ---> and we did get sunburned.

We saw a group of water buffalo right off the path as we entered town. This was my first big wild animal sighting.

It was good thing I had a big protein smoothie before leaving the apartment. It held me over nicely until we had a late lunch in Mui Wo at The Kitchen ---> a great place by the way. We had smoothies and pizza that were really good. It's right on the waterfront and the service was very good.

Travel details: From Discovery Bay, mrC and I took the DB01R bus to Tung Chung to meet the group at Starbucks outside the Metro. Our group of abut 30 hikers then loaded onto the #3M bus to Pak Kung Au where we would start the hike. At the bus stop, we walked uphill a few minutes to a set of steps on the left that lead to the trail head. Starting at Pak Kung Au meant that the bus gave us a 300+m head start to the Sunset Peak ridge.

GPS from MapMyHike app:

This hike was hard, but totally worth it. Now I'm looking forward to hiking more of the Lantau Trail.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Workout Recap: Revolution and Empowerment

I'm pretty excited about my first week of fitness in 2017.

I started a new 31-day yoga challenge, kept up with my strength and cardio, and had my first run in months! mrC and I did a couple of workouts together and went on a pretty big hike with the Hong Kong Hikers group.

I'd say this year is starting off on a seriously positive note!

Here's a closer look at my workouts from last week:

Monday - I officially started the Yoga Revolution challenge and it felt amazing to be back on my mat. My heel is finally feeling better and my muscles are so happy. I love that the challenge is about our own revolution ---> our own story and what we make it. I'm excited to see how I feel (emotionally and physically) at the end of 31 days. mrC and I also went to Bodypump where we pumped and pumped and pumped some more.

Tuesday - It was a fast day, so my yoga session in the morning was the perfect way to start the day. It's small poses (like below) that make my muscles so happy especially since I'm doing Bodypump twice a week now.

Wednesday - My osteopath recommended that I work on strengthening up my quad muscles and specifically my VMO. After a yoga session at home, I did some cardio on the elliptical and then hit the leg extension machine at the fitness center. The goal is to use light weight and build the VMO with reps. My knee doesn't really like this exercise though, so I'm not sure how this will play out.

Thursday - It was another yoga and Bodypump combo day. There were only two other participants in class and it was so nice to have so much room to do all those reps. 800 reps.

Friday - After a session of morning yoga, mrC and I joined the Hong Kong Hikers group for the first time and hiked Sunset Peak on Lantau Island. This is Hong Kong's third highest peak! It was a serious climb. It was warm. It was awesome! I'll have a full recap soon.

Saturday - Normally I do a sprint workout on Saturday, but after the hike (and a busy fitness week) I listened to my body and took the day off. I used my yoga revolution session to stretch my tired muscles and then enjoyed a nice quiet day.

Sunday - My body was pretty happy with the rest it got, so after my morning yoga I ventured out for an interval run for the first time in months! I ran/walked 20 second intervals 20 times and it was AWESOME!!! I'm working with my osteopath and listening to my body, so this is a slow process like my rehab days. If it gets me going for a couple of miles a couple times a week, I'll take it!

Sidenote: I absolutely love this new high neck tank and see more in my future!

After a week of #yogarevolution and then writing this recap, it all seemed to be connected. I really started thinking about my theme for 2017. What makes me feel empowered? In what ways am I inspired to be empowered? How do I empower myself?

It used to always be about the external stuff...competing with others, fitting in with others, keeping up with everyone else. That's where I used to find my confidence, a measured confidence. Nowadays, I'm finding it's more about accepting where I am right now and being ok with what I can do right now. It's about celebrating myself for my own victories and courage, and strength. Not measured against anyone else. Just me.

What about you?

What makes you feel empowered? In what ways are you inspired to be empowered? How do you empower yourself?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year Workout Recap

Hello 2017!

First let me get some blogging business out of the way...Congratulations JEN! You are the winner of the Spartan Race giveaway! Please check your inbox for information about your prize.

Ok, back to the weekly recap...

I spent most of 2016 trying to stay active and healthy all the while keeping my fingers crossed that one day my knee will let me return to some sort of running again. I hiked, I did yoga, I rode my bike, I started Bodypump.

I love making new goals and I'm a sucker for making new ones every year (see herehere, and here). One thing I've learned over the years, though is that you don't have to wait until January 1st, or Monday, or next month. Goals can be made anytime and we can start working on them whenever we want.

This year I'm not setting yearly goals, I'm setting a theme. I'm joining the FitApproach #IAmEmpowered campaign. It's about feeling strong and confident and celebrating what makes me, ME! I'll be pushing myself to continue to try new things, go beyond my comfort zone, and try to encourage others to do the same.

Here's my first week of feeling empowered:

Monday - mrC and I hiked. It's a quick hour-ish hike, but the beginning is a serious climb straight up 733 steps. Great cardio and leg workout.

Tuesday - I went to Bodypump. I'm really liking this class and the happy sore I get from it. I ❤️it.

OOTD details here

Wednesday - mrC and I went to Central to run some errands and I was on a mission to find Be-Juiced and break my fast with an acai bowl. Mission accomplished. My toppings ---> peanut butter, strawberries, and granola.

Thursday - I got to the fitness center a little late and it was packed. I wanted some cardio so I used a very techno elliptical for about 15 minutes (it stayed on too hard) and then switched to the rower. It was my first time and I had no idea how to use the settings. I picked JUST ROW and did that for 15 minutes. I burned 100 calories. I think I'm going to like it.

Friday - I was back at Bodypump but I brought a friend. mrC! Looks like I have inspired him to lift some weights.

Saturday - I got to the fitness center early to do my sprints and planks. It was a good workout before the NYE celebrations later.

**I had to share this photo from our NYE party boat on Victoria Harbour. We cruised from DB to Central, had some drinks, had some snacks, had a little dancing and then watched the amazing fireworks over the water. It was a great evening with new friends.

Sunday - After staying up until 2:30, I managed a NYDay walk. We're all allowed a lazy day and mine felt great!

Today - I started the Yoga Revolution challenge because my heel is finally feeling better and Adriene's challenges are awesome. It felt so good to ease back into it and actually do downward dog without my heel firing up.

After yoga I was back for more Bodypump. My goal (haha) is to attend two classes a week, but at least one.

Do you set New Year goals?
What makes you feel empowered?
Did you celebrate NYE?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Looking Back on 2016 + a SPARTAN RACE GIVEAWAY for YOU!

I'm jumping on the Year in Review bandwagon and looking back at what I blogged about in 2016. It was a year of trying new things for me because ultimately my running would become nonexistent and I had to figure out a new fitness routine for myself. It was also a year filled with travel and making memories with family and friends.

Come along and check out the HOT TOPICS from my 2016 (or skip to the end to learn about the Spartan Race giveaway):

January - This was the month I really let yoga into my life to take the place of, well a lot of things: running, bootcamp, SurfSet. I took classes and signed up for challenges and did more yoga than I ever had.

February - It was a snorkelfest in the Maldives and I fell in love with swimming with the fish.

March - Pilates! It was this month that I started taking a new class in Shenzhen combined with an at-home BFF challenge. I loved the Pilates class, but it was only one day a week and often conflicted with SWIC activities.

April - The best part was our time back in the US and spending time with the girls.

May - climbing a volcano in the dark in order to watch the sunrise from the summit. Definitely one of the wildest things I've done, ever!

June - I tried a six week carb cycling program that changed the way I view nutrition and workouts and I loved my results!

July - Scratched another destination off my bucket list with trip to Australia. Made lots of memories, but I loved biking around Sydney with mrC.

August - By far my most traveled month ---> Cape Cod / Montreal / Florida / Ohio! Hard to pick just one highlight, but I loved SUPing with the family on the Cape.

September - I completed a 30 day SHRED program and fell in love with weights.

October - I loved that our three week summer vacation to the US turned into a three month vacation. One of my favorite moments was hiking with Dev in Maine and having lunch on the summit of Mount Agamenticus.

November - Moving to Hong Kong was pretty exciting, but I took my first Les Mills Bodypump class and loved it.

December - I became a Hong Kong Trail finisher after hiking all 50km with the help of many hiking friends.

Maybe 2017 will be the year that YOU try new things. Maybe you are ready to unleash your INNER BEAST or commit to pushing yourself more than ever before.

Reebok Spartan Race is ready to help you with the new Season Passes (that way you can race again, and again, and again), new medals, new obstacles, and an awesome stadium races schedule.

Spartan Race is giving away an entry into any US Spartan Race in a open heat to one lucky Running Escapades reader!

To enter:

Leave a comment telling me one commitment you want to make, one obstacle you want to overcome, and/or one way you want to test yourself in 2017.

If you share this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media leave a comment with a link to your post. Each share is another entry!

Giveaway ends January 1, 2017. Winner will be selected randomly and notified no earlier than January 2, 2017. Good luck!!