Monday, May 22, 2017

Ding Ding, It's Party Tram Time in Hong Kong

Walk along DesVoeux Road in Hong Kong anytime during the day and you will see the famous double decker trams that have been running along the northern coastline for more than 100 years. More than just a means of transportation, these trams are a tourist attraction because they make exploring Central from the west side to the east side so easy.

The iconic open air double-deck Party Tram is a hot venue for enjoying a night on the town with some friends. That is exactly what mrC and I did with a group from the American Women's Association on Saturday night.


We arrived in Central a little early, so we joined the masses hanging out on the waterfront and enjoyed a pre-party cocktail from our own BYOB supply. The Party Tram provides a cooler, but charter guests must bring everything else: ice, cups, beverages, snacks, napkins, music.


We took a taxi to the Whitty Street Tram Depot to meet the group or so we thought. Our driver dropped us at Whitty Street (which is where we actually asked him to), but we had to walk a couple blocks to the actual depot, ironically not on Whitty Street (tip ---> use this address Shek Tong Tsui on Connaught Road West). 

Crisis averted, we piled onto the tram, went right to the top for the best seats and were on our way. The tram rolled leisurely down the tracks giving us a 360 degree view of Hong Kong's nightlife.  


Our two hour hire route included passing through the sentimental Western District, the modern business area, busy shopping hubs and looping around Happy Valley Race Course. We were even given a ten minute restroom stop!


It was a perfectly wonderful evening. From the enjoyable conversation and drinks with friends to the people on the streets waving to us, it was an experience we will not soon forget.


Check out more things to do in and around Hong Kong:

Biking Tai Wai to Tai Mei Tuk
Hiking Cheung Chau
Tin Hau Festival Po Toi Island
Macau: A Leisurely Sightseeing Hike




Weekly Workout Recap

Is it a bad week if nothing super exciting happened? That's how I feel about last week's workouts. I think I'm beginning to miss the days of training for something. I'm starting another carb cycling program soon, so maybe that will give me the focus that I'm lacking right now.

Here's a look at the randomness of last week:

Monday - No workout because I went to my first laser hair removal treatment which means no sweating for 48 hours. It was my first treatment and WOW! It does hurt, but in a different way. My friends told me it would feel like getting snapped by a rubber band ---> one that never stops. Fortunately the session went quickly and the doctor was very nice.

Tuesday - No sweating today so I did an at home nice and easy yoga with Adriene video. Perfect workout for my post laser treatment and it felt good too.

These are still my favorite yoga pants...SO SOFT!

Wednesday - Let the sweating begin...awesome run and then SUP afterwards.

Thursday - I had a meeting to officially become co-coordinator for the American Women's Club's Hong Kong Hosts program. I'm excited to volunteer my time and support our troops.

Friday - I was scheduled to take a new class at The HIT Room called LBT Circuit, but I didn't go because I was feeling nauseous (I think it might have been gluten related). I ended up taking a pretty big nap, so my body must have needed the rest.

Saturday - I was feeling better so I did my longer run for the week. It was a hard one, my energy tank was empty and left me on the struggle bus for most of the run. I pushed as hard as I could and finished with 4.55 miles including the two big hills in our neighborhood. Even hard runs make me smile.

Love how easy it is to wear my Wearsafe!

Sunday - We were out late on the Party Tram (I'm going to post about this later today), so it was nice to enjoy a lazy day with mrC.

PS - Use code RUNNINGESCAPADES to get 15% off annual subscription to your own Wearsafe.

Linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!


Have you ever done laser hair removal?
What is your favorite non-sweaty workout?






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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Run and SUP for a Full Body Workout

Some days I want to run and some days I want to SUP. Instead of choosing, today I followed up my run with a paddling session and got the best of both worlds!

mrC was home, so I took him on my 5K run route. I set my interval timer to 2:1, but modified as we ran like my last couple of runs. We also modified the route a little by cutting through the park and then taking the ramps (for handicapped and strollers) up to the big hill in the final mile.

In the end, we took about five recovery breaks including two on the ramp/hill section at the end, one restroom stop (paused my watch for this one) and one longer recovery at the beginning because the road slopes down pretty significantly and I'm still avoiding running downhill for the most part.

Although the finish time wasn't my fastest lately, I did spend more chunks of time running and that is the most important thing for me right now.


After watching some hockey and having breakfast, we headed to the beach with our paddles. SUP works a lot of muscles at one time: back, shoulders, arms, abs. We paddled for about an hour, going out and back twice. Using Mapmyrun, I estimate that we paddled a little over a mile.

The combined cardio and strength workouts really wore me out ---> which means it was a really good day.


I love getting mail and today my BAMRbands order arrived. I love that they can be shipped to me in Hong Kong. I can't wait until my next workout when I can sport one of these.


To cool down after the beach, I made us berry delicious smoothies. This is seriously the best way to lower my body temperature and the added protein (Bob's Red Mill is my favorite) makes it a good recovery beverage too.



Do you ever double up different types of workouts?
Do you add protein to your smoothies?


I'm linking up with Annmarie, Nicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!!





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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wrapping up the Week with a Mother's Day 5K and Does this Happen to You?

It took me two tries to get my run started, but I did it.


Attempt #1 - My morning motivation has been zapped a little knowing how humid it is. Once I did make it out the door and down 20 floors, it was sprinkling. I run with my phone, so I had to head back up to grab something to carry it in.

Attempt #2 - Armed with my Flipbelt, I headed out with my goal set to run a 5K.

Today's run wasn't easy. As I started I told myself to slow down so I wouldn't fizzle like I did on my last run. It felt like I did but my split, 9:56, shows that in fact I was speedy again. My splits also show that I continued to slow down over the last two miles (10:11 and 11:33).

I played around with my intervals again. I kept the timer set at 2:1 minutes. I ran mostly all the flats and ups, and walked the downs. I kept this up until the last mile when I started following the timer more especially up the big hill ---> it's a 121ft gain over a little more than half a mile. I ran that slower than my average 11:14.

My overall pace was faster by 2 seconds and one of my best in more than a year. This taking things slowly and running intervals is really working. I'm looking forward to running with the girls at the Cape in July.


The humidity made me dig deep today. You know your body is warm when it feels like your face is on fire. After my post-run stretching, I took a cold shower and then made a smoothie. Best post-run treat: cold protein.


Does this happen to you?


Humidity makes me sweat. Big time. All that sweat runs down my body and soaks my shorts. I hate the feeling of wet shorts and worrying that I look like I peed my pants. (like in the top pic. Ugh!) I'm pretty sure it's just something I have to live with, but I wish I could find a solution.

Here's a look at the rest of my week: Linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!

Monday - Body Attack Aerobics and some pool time

Tuesday - Chiropractor for lots of myfascial manipulation and microcurrent stimulation on my shoulder ---> finally starting to feel better.

WednesdayMorning run and an evening at the horse races

Thursday - Beach day with friends

Friday - Hiking in Macau

Saturday - rest

Oh, and I'm considering this my Mother's Day 5K medal ;) Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, step moms, God moms, mrMoms, fur baby moms!



If you run with your phone, how do you carry it?
What's your favorite way to cool down after a hot/humid run?
Any suggestions on how to stop the sweaty-pants?







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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Macau: A Leisurely Sightseeing Hike

Believe it or not, there's more to Macau than casinos and shopping.

Best known as the Las Vegas of China because of the giant casinos lining the Cotai Strip, Macau is home to a number of hiking and nature trails. On Friday mrC and a few of our Discovery Bay hiking friends joined the Hong Kong Hikers group for a leisurely sightseeing hike in the southern part of Macau, Coloane.

We met the group at the Macau Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong and then took the 70 minute Cotai Ferry to Taipa. After passing through immigration (Macau is an autonomous part of China), we grabbed taxis to take us to our starting point.


Macau Giant Panda Park - A perfect starting point because we were able to view the pandas, use the restrooms, and then hit the trail from inside the park. Plus the place was practically empty. Entrance was free, but we did pay MOP 10 (or $1.25USD) to enter the panda viewing pavilions.




Coloane Hiking Trail - Just south of the Cotai strip of flashy casinos, this 8km trail circles the hills of Coloane at an average elevation of 100m and is where we spent most of our hike. It is one of a network of trails that overlap making it easy to side step to popular attractions which is what we did. There were several observation points for taking a rest and taking in the views.




Reservoir Fitness Trail - We connected with this trail in order to loop the reservoir. Along the trail we passed several exercise stations before reaching a fun suspension bridge that took us across the reservoir. At the reservoir there were facilities for paddle boats and canoes that looked like a refreshing way to cool off.

Climb the pole, ring the bell ---> he did it!

Love my Oiselle shorts for hiking. Just awesome!

A-Ma Statue and Cultural Village - the most challenging climb of the hike led us to the cultural complex. First we saw the 19 meter statue carved in white marble of the Chinese goddess of seafarers and fisherman (aka Tin Hau - read about the festival I went to here). A little further on we reached the village where we were able to explore the courtyard and temple.






Hac Sa Beach - lunch at Fernandos - the chosen spot to end our hike because of the access to locally favored restaurants. Hac Sa Beach, named because the sand here turns black during the winter months and Hac Sa is Cantonese for black sand. We had an authentic Portuguese lunch at the famously recommended Fernando's (Anthony Bourdain says to eat here) and it was really good. I love eating family style and sharing dishes with a large group. Here's what we ordered: Fernando's style clams,  oven roasted suckling pig, charcoal-grilled codfish, Macau fried rice, charcoal grilled chicken, and boiled green veggies



With the temperatures and humidity climbing, this was a perfect hiking adventure.

Other hiking posts of interest:
Lamma Island



Where have you been and explored a "hidden" side?


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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Running Makes Me Feel Better

I did not sleep well last night.

I've mentioned on the blog that I've been dealing with some shoulder pain. Yesterday I was back for more treatment. Dr. Cosman busted out the Graston tools again to work on my fascia and then set up the MENS (microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulator) to help with pain. It was a team effort. Lulu (the dog) added moral support and Dr. Beasely was getting a lesson (I think). Before leaving assistant Alvin taped me up.


Normally when I'm in Central for an appointment, I take advantage of the trip to browse, shop, eat. However, after my treatment I was feeling pretty beat up, so I opted to just stop into City'super for a few groceries.

There was no one at the deli bar, so I grabbed some turkey breast and Swiss cheese to make rollups for lunch. I have been craving these, but I'm picky about my ingredients. I have not found my favorite Finlandia Swiss yet, but City'super does have honey turkey breast imported from the US. Yay!


The result ---> rollups


We had leftovers for dinner, watched some TV and I iced my shoulder. the doctor said it was going to be sore and he wasn't kidding.

mrC was out the door super early this morning for a trip and originally I thought I would head out for a run at the same time. When he left though, it was a lot darker than I thought it would be and I was still so tired. I tossed and turned all night trying to find a position that was comfortable since my favorite meant lying on my sore shoulder.

Eventually I got up and basically guilt-tripped myself out the door because I wasn't feeling very motivated after a restless night's sleep and a sore shoulder. Once I started thinking about how I barely managed one run last week and I couldn't let a couple little things get in the way of a run today.


Once I was outside, I perked up because the air was a little cooler than I expected. Then again we live on the top of a hill, so it almost always feels nice in our courtyard.

There aren't too many route options here in Discovery Bay, so I do a lot of repeats. I knew I wanted to run just one hill today, so I chose the North Plaza loop and added out and backs along the promenade. The promenade is almost completely flat and I can create a loop-like feeling by running along the road in places instead of just sticking by the water.

I also played around with my intervals a little today. I still set my timer to 2:1 minute run and recover, but I kept running until the downhills in the beginning. I think my pace was too fast and it caught up to me on my last promenade loop. At that point I finished my run (and the uphill) following the interval timer.

In the end, I was a sweaty, slimy mess but I survived the 5K and was really glad I ran. Even though I was exhausted, I felt a lot better.


Being comfortable on a run is really important to me especially as the humidity and temperatures continue to creep up here in tropical Hong Kong. I need a good pair of running shoes, but more importantly I need a pair of lightweight socks. I hate when my feet are hot. It's stifling. Besides cool feet, I also need easy access to my water. Just a sip here and there to cool my mouth makes a difference when I'm running.

Shoes, socks, bottle


Ever have Graston done as treatment?
Does running make you feel better?
How do you stay comfortable during a run or workout?

Today I’m linking up with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner and representing runners! 




Monday, May 8, 2017

Body Attack Aerobics and the Pool

This morning I tried a new Les Mills class called Body Attack Aerobics ---> scary right? It was put on the schedule to replace my beloved Bodystep class while the instructor is away in Australia. I love (and need) a good cardio workout, so I was game to try something new. Plus coming off a rather low-key week of workouts had me feeling like I really needed to burn some calories.


It was 100% high energy and had all the moves for a full body cardio workout. We were running, jumping, and lunging and then we were squatting and doing pushups. The end was an intense core track. The proof is in the calorie burn. I love any number over 500 ;)

After class, I met mrC in the plaza. He had been to get his haircut and pick up some groceries. It was quite pleasant, so we chilled at the table for a bit.


After a quick shower and lunch, we headed to the Club Siena swimming pool complex for the first time. There are actually 4 pools - two for kiddos, one for lap swimmers, and one for dippers (aka free form). It was overcast today, but warm enough for me to take a dip in the water. It was so refreshing! This will be my favorite place when the summer heat arrives.


While we were at the pool, SF Express called because we had a delivery. I asked the guy to leave it at our apartment door. He texted me this picture and that is exactly how we found the box when we got back.


Want to know what new summer-wear was inside the box? ---> these shorts in green and yellow, this t-shirt in dark grey and these sandals in brown. 

New workout, new hangout, new clothes. It was a good day!

What's something new in your world lately?
Ever tried Les Mills Body Attack?


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Breaking the Unintentional Run Rut

Saturday I finally laced up my Wave Horizons after an unintentional running rut and it felt really good.


More than a week had gone by since my last run and it was driving me crazy! First it was my sunburned feet. Then a busy schedule plus rainy weather just made it impossible to get out for a run.

We spent one day back in Shenzhen at the Luohu Commercial Center ---> it's the Made in China shopper's paradise. It's hard to tell what is copy, factory seconds or the real deal, and you can't beat the prices.


My pesky shoulder called for two sessions with Dr. Cosman and myofascial release. It's painful, but it's working. 

My look here
My running rut wasn't a total fitness wash though. I did spend quality time with my foam roller and yoga mat.


Everything lined up on Saturday. The air quality was ranked as moderate, so I took my run inside at the fitness center. I had my choice, so I picked a treadmill that had all the options and created my own interval workout at 2:1 with a goal of running a 5K.


I loved how the treadmill automatically switched between my work and recovery speeds. If I have to keep looking at a timer or manually change the speeds it prevents me from enjoying the run. It's hard to get into it. This was the best interval run I've had on a treadmill.


I was back to the apartment in time to watch Breaking2, the quest to break the 2 hour marathon barrier. Besides the obvious excitement over how close Kipchoge was to busting that wall, I loved watching the spirit of the running community play out live. The intimacy of the running family that played a role in this challenge demonstrated such love and support for the runners attempting to make history. Seeing them smile and laugh, and cheer Kipchoge to the finish was so heartwarming.



We went to a housewarming party last night and today I'm enjoying a quiet, lazy Sunday.


How long was your last running rut?
Do you like using the workout options on treadmills?
What do you think of Nike's Breaking2?


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










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