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!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Fitness Challenges

Overcome the winter blues with these great ideas.

Working out in the winter can be hard. Finding the right challenge can help you find your motivation.

Full disclosure, living in Hong Kong means that I don't have to worry about snow storms or below freezing temperatures. I also won't be burning calories anytime soon doing cool things like having a snowball fight, cross country skiing or just shoveling the driveway. But I do have to deal with seasonal issues like shorter days, gray skies and colder temperatures.  All things that can zap my motivation.

There are many ways to stay motivated in the winter and keep moving.

Here are five of my favorite fitness challenges to help when I'm struggling with motivation.

1. Winter Warrior Challenge

The goal is simple: run as many miles as you can during a set amount of time. Many of the online challenges start in December or the first of the year, but you can still do a winter warrior challenge on your own or with friends. Check your local running store. Many have on-going challenges that work on a points system for showing up. You can even win prizes.

2. FAB ABS February Challenge

FAB AB February is one of my all-time favorite monthly challenges. A 30-day challenge is perfect for people who have trouble getting started and staying committed. It also helps that you can literally cross the days off the calendar. Just about anything can be turned into a 30-day challenge (or even 21 days if your prefer). At the end of the month, you can start a brand-new challenge that focuses on something else.

3. Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adrine is perfect for people who want to work out at home - whether it's because you don't want to pay the high price of a yoga studio or your just prefer the privacy of your own home. With a large selection of videos and 30-day collections, Yoga with Adriene lets you stay out of the cold and in your comfy clothes.

4. Instagram Challenges

Need visual motivation? Participating in an Instagram challenge lets you easily be motivated by others doing the same challenge - just search the # (hashtag). Saucony has one going right now. These challenges can pop up at any time, so be sure to check out what hashtags your sweaty friends are using.

5. Sweat A Day Challenge

A perfect all around full body fitness challenge that will push your limits DAILY is the SWEATADAY challenge with Shauna Harrison. This Instagram challenge began in 2013 and continues to go strong because it is that good.

I hope these challenges inspire you to keep moving (not only in the winter, but all year long) the way they inspire me. If they do, help your friends and share this post ;)

What challenges are you doing (or have done) that you want to share?

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

TOL - One Random Hong Kong Day

I thought it would be fun to document a random day in my life with my random thoughts for Thinking Out Loud. This is what my Wednesday looked like.

I really wish I could sleep in later than 6am. Maybe my body is just super thirsty because I always guzzle at least one bottle of water before I have my morning coffee.

The air quality in Hong Kong can be really bad sometimes. I'm glad that I can run on the treadmill at the fitness center to avoid the pollution.

After lunch I went to the plaza to buy a couple of dresses from a lady selling them through a local wardrobe swap group (one fit, one did not). I also found a fun Hong Kong memory card game at the stationary store to send to my BFF's little girl.

I spent the rest of my day in Central for an appointment and an AWA activity. Sometimes when I'm there it feels like I'm standing in the middle of chaos. It's crazy but I kind of love it.

Picture taken by mrC on previous trip to Central

Bunco Happy Hour is sooo fun! I have only played twice, but I absolutely LOVE it. Last night I tied for most wins, but then lost in the roll-off.

The ferry is one of my favorite times to listen to podcasts. I'm currently listening to Accused about a newspaper's investigation into a 40-year-old unsolved murder. If you listened to and liked Serial, you'll like this one.

Do you have a treadmill backup plan too?
Do you play Bunco?
What podcast are you listening to?

Today I'm Thinking Out Loud with Running with Spoons - join the link up 
or head over for some great reading.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

TOTR: My 2018 Fitness Predictions

I kind of already wrote a post about my goals for 2018 and about how they are non-specific because that's kind of where I'm at right now. If I had a more reliable knee, I would happily make all kinds of plans. But after thinking about this week's Tuesdays on the Run topic, I realize that I can be hopeful and make some predictions for myself without getting super crazy specific like I used to.

Here's what I came up with:

1) Run more ---> miles/races/places: This is my most hopeful prediction. By lumping them all together, I’m acknowledging that I don’t know how many running days I actually have left, but I’m being hopeful. 2017 was definitely my comeback year for running. I hope to run at least one more mile overall so that I can say it was a better year. If I can run in one more race and one more new place, that would be icing on the cake.

2) Mix it up every week: I’d love more than anything to have perfect weeks all the time or predict that I will run/hike/SUP once a week. The truth is, besides a knee that gets cranky every once in awhile, life also gets in the way. Some weeks are busier than others, sometimes I get a Keratin treatment. As long as I can do a variety of things, I think my mind and body will be happy.

3) Get a sports massage every 3 months: I used to do this consistently in the US when I was running all the time. I need to bring this back and make it a priority again. I'm pretty sure this will help me achieve my goals and it will just feel darn good too!

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

What predictions are you making for yourself in 2018?