Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tabata Tuesday - My Bounce Back Workout

A twenty minute Tabata workout doesn't sound too hard, until you are right in the middle of it.

This was my first workout since Saturday. Sunday was a rest day. We made it to church before the Typhoon Signal #8 was raised and cancelled the rest of the Masses for the day. We have started a new weekly routine of going out to breakfast after church. One reason is that we like to share an order of banana bread French toast. Seriously good stuff (at Zaks in Discovery Bay).

Yesterday I was all signed up for my Monday morning Bodystep class and looking forward to running with the 5K night group. Instead I spent the day feeling pretty crappy. I slept a lot and started reading a new book that a former co-worker recommended All American Boys (affiliate).

So today was my bounce back workout.

I started my workout with a 5 minute walk around the crescent that surrounds the courtyard in front of our building. A few stretches and then I tapped start on my interval app: 8 sets of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest for 5 exercises. I take 30 seconds rest between exercises, mostly so I can stretch, but also so I can catch my breath.

squat jumps
mountain climbers on steroids
scissor jumps
toe taps

I've been a fan of Tabata workouts for awhile. I love the variety, the intensity, the length. They are great for those days when you don't really feel like working out, but want to get one in, kind of quick and dirty. Boom! They're also really good when you're coming back from a sick day.

When I was done, mrC joined me and we went for a low intensity walk to the beach and back.

I spent the rest of the day getting organized for our Hong Kong visa renewal appointment at the end of the week, tying up loose ends from the US Navy visit and making plans.

For dinner, mrC made us some Italian crock-pot chicken and green beans. My macros for the day were good, so I was able to have a little Chobani yogurt for dessert.

Tomorrow I'm joining the American Women's Association's hiking group for the first time since the spring.

What's your go-to workout after a sick day?

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 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?


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Back to Bodypump

For today's strength workout I challenged all the muscle groups.

I've learned the hard way that jumping back into Bodypump classes where I left off before a break can mean some serious soreness ---> like I can't straighten my arms. When choosing my weights today, I went for the light side, like I was taking the class for the first time.

My already sore muscles have been slowly recovering from my first at-home workout in weeks on Saturday. Continuing to move, although painful at times, really does help. Today's class took my upper body through some moves that they haven't seen for awhile, so I expect to feel some effects. Hopefully by playing it smart I will avoid another severe case of DOMS.

After class, I decided to keep moving all the way to the fitness center to hang out at the pool. mrC left before me this morning on a trip, so I had some alone time to kill. The weather is still hot in Hong Kong, but it's been quite breezy lately so walking is a lot more enjoyable.

It was a holiday last week, so I avoided the pool because it can be too crowded and noisy for my adult taste. Today it was low key and peaceful. Just the way I like it. Each time I got in the water, I stretched out my muscles. I stayed for a little over an hour, just long enough to cool off from my workout and replenish my vitamin D.

Before he went to work, mrC cut up a nice watermelon for me. We've been married for nine years today (Happy Anniversary, babe!) and this man understands my love of watermelon. We were supposed to go out to a fancy dinner tonight with views of Victoria Harbour, but duty calls. He owes me one ;)

After lunch the contractors arrived and got to work on the water damage from one of the many typhoons. I stayed out of the way - especially since they'd be hanging out our 20th floor window to do the water seal. Yikes!

Before they arrived my Amazon order was delivered with my very own littleC approved convertor and an air mattress. Now I can use my US hairdryer (which is much better than my China one). We will have two of the three kids visiting us this year for Christmas, but we only have one extra bed. PS - it only took Amazon 10 days to ship this order to me here!

It was a regular calorie day which means I was eating to hit my macros: 50% carbs, 30% fats, 20% proteins. I didn't break my fast until after the pool. Turkey roll-ups and watermelon for lunch, protein bar snack, and I was in the mood for eggs and ham for dinner. Anyone else like having breakfast for dinner?

One of my non-guilty pleasures is diet Mt. Dew. I have only found it in Hong Kong twice and one of those times was right after we returned from our recent US/Budapest trip. Today my beverage enjoyment came to an end.

Do you celebrate anniversaries?
What is your (non)guilty pleasure?

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!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Move It Monday (and Tuesday)

Yesterday I finally returned to Bodystep class. I was a little worried about how it would go. It was not easy, my legs were still seriously sore from my return to strength training on Saturday and my instructor just does a good job of kicking everyone’s butt.

mrC went to the North Plaza with me. While I was in class, he got a haircut and then waited for me at the tables. I joined him after class and enjoyed a little cool-down while he went to get me more water.

Since Hong Kong was enjoying some breezy weather from a passing tropical depression, we walked to the main plaza later to run some errands ---> post office to mail off some protein to littleC, order water for the bubbler, drop clothes in the recycle bin (which was moved to somewhere else), look for vanilla Greek yogurt at the grocery (no luck) and pick up some new light bulbs for the kitchen at the hardware store. Our HK kitchen is tiny, but fresh bulbs make a big difference!

It was a low carb day so I had some eggs and ham for breakfast, left over chicken breast and green beans for lunch, and then more eggs for dinner. I ended up NOT going to the Monday night group run because my legs were just flat worn out. The last thing I need is to aggravate my knee because my leg muscles are fatigued and not be able to run.

If I couldn't run, I'd be a little lost and definitely sad, but I'd keep going. This has come close to happening a couple times  and over a year ago I actually blogged about my non-running back-up fitness plan. Now that things with my knee have improved to the point that I can run a 5k, I'm hopeful that I will never find out what life is like if I couldn't run (this is a Tuesdays on the Run topic - link below).

Today, I got up, packed my bag and basically headed right out the door for my sprint workout. Anything to avoid losing my motivation. I should probably get my bag organized the night before. I try to take just the necessities - water  bottle, body wipes (affiliate links), safety gear

It was pretty early so I had the promenade mostly to myself. I like to refer to it as my #tracktuesday spot. If it was cushioned like a real track, I would be in heaven. I make it work. It is flat (a rarity in Discovery Bay). Today’s workout: 20:40x18. 

The first 14 sprints went pretty well. This surprised me a little considering that after my warmup walk, my legs screamed a little during my stretches. By the time I got to the 15th sprint, I had slowed down a lot and was just focused on finishing. (Side note: I use the Nike Run Club app to track my run data but when I use my watch, it doesn’t give me the GPS data - even when I carry my phone with me. Anyone else have this problem?)

I walked back to the apartment and promptly forgot to do the ab portion of the workout - I got it in later: dead bugs, bird dogs and leg lifts.

Our agent came by with a contractor. We have some water damage in the bedroom from Typhoon Hato. They’ll be back tomorrow to fix it. Then mrC and I headed to Central for the afternoon. 

It was low carb day again - eggs and ham for breakfast and then turkey rolls up with left over green beans for dinner plus a few Cheez-its (very non-low carb ---> I'm a work in progress).

Finish the sentence If I couldn't run... (or join the link up below)
What's in your fitness bag?
How do you track your runs?

Today I'm going the link-up with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! 

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, October 6, 2017

Scheduling Workouts

It's kind of ironic that the Friday Five 2.0 topic this week is scheduling because for the past two five weeks my normal workout schedule has been in the tank. There has been some working out, but not the typical planned out kind of thing that I'm used to.

Here are five things that got in the way of my normally scheduled workouts:

1) Traveling ---> ICYMI we were in Ohio and Budapest for three weeks (read about it herehere and here). When I travel, sometimes I can fit in workouts and other times not so much. I got in some runs, but the rest of the time I was either tired or busy.

2) Prepping for a US Navy visit: This means meetings, lots and lots of work on the computer creating documents, emailing people and keeping track of the hosting schedule.

3) Welcoming US Navy personnel at the pier and hosting sailors for a day: Monday I spent half the day pierside getting things set up for the arrival of about 5000 service men and women. They were delayed getting off the ships, so I didn't see them until I went back to meet the group I was hosting. My friends and I spent Wednesday taking the sailors to lunch and showing them around Hong Kong.

4) Attending reception aboard the USS Ronald Reagan: Ok, so I did spend the first part of the day relaxing, but I needed it after so many really busy days. Getting there takes a bus, a ferry, a taxi and a water shuttle to the ship moored in Victoria Harbour. Then we had to do it all again in reverse to get home. The two hour event was an eight hour adventure door to door. That's exhausting. (But I loved my new dress that a I've been dying to wear)

5) Appointments and Parties: a birthday bash on a junk boat for a friend, laser hair removal and the annual AWA Welcome Breakfast. The timing of these things just messes with my motivation to workout. Either I don't want to get sweaty and all that before, or I'm just worn out after.

I squeezed in a few of workouts here and there (runs, some SUP and yoga) when I could and when I had the energy, but it is not the same as when I am on my regular schedule.

Next week is already looking better because I have reserved spots in two of my favorite fitness classes. I think just getting to the first one on Monday will set the tone for the rest of the week.

How about you?
Do you need to schedule your workouts? Follow a plan?

Join the link up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

5 Days in Budapest - Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our Budapest adventure. I had to do more than one post because I like to share a lot of pictures. This is your warning ---> there are a lot of pictures.

If you haven't already, check out 5 Days in Budapest - Part 1 first.

Here's a look at how we spent days 3-6 in Budapest (I've added links where I think they will be helpful to others who may be looking to visit Budapest. Some of them are affiliate links):

Day 3 - We started the day with a run along the Danube and across a couple of bridges (I wrote a post about running in Budapest here). Afterwards, we hopped on the tram with youngestC and went to visit her neck of the woods: Corvinus University. She showed us where she lives and then took us to a popular spot nearby for our first taste of Hungary goulash.

Day 4 - While the kids are away, the adults will play, haha. mrC and I purchased some Hop-On Hop-Off (HOHO) tickets and our first use was the boat tour that cruised right past our hotel. We jumped off at Margaret Island and spent an hour exploring until the next boat arrived. There was much to see and on a better weather day, we could have spent a lot more time there. We did find several fun things: the perfect spot for tourists to take photos, a very nice couple let us sit in their rental cart, lots of interesting restaurants, and the musical fountain. Here's a list of fun things to do that is worth a look.

TIP: Always carry change with you for the toilets. This is something as Americans (and expats in Hong Kong) that we were not used to. Even inside a shop you will probably have to pay for use.

We spent the afternoon exploring Castle Hill when youngestC finished her classes. We rode the HOHO bus (using our passes) almost to the top and then took a lift (had to pay) to the main grounds (if it sounds confusing, it was a little - but we got there ok). The place is huge and we did a lot of walking ---> loved the cobblestone but it's hard your feet after awhile. Doing our own self guided tour, here are the main parts that we saw: Royal Palace, Eugene of Savoy monument and Matthias Fountain, Sandor Palace (President lives here now), Matthias Church (we toured inside too), and the Fisherman's Bastion.

We took the funicular down from Castle Hill (we did not have great views - I recommend getting in the "bottom" car). Instead of waiting for the next HOHO bus, we walked across the Chain Bridge back to our favorite bistro for some dinner on the Danube. It was chilly, but they offer fleece blankets for people sitting outside. After dinner we used our HOHO passes for the night boat tour. This is a must-do if you are in Budapest. The city at night is stunning.

Day 5 - After a very busy day 4, our final day in Budapest was a bit of a rainout. mrC and I trekked through the rain to visit the beautiful St. Stephens Basilica. The ferris wheel was closed, but the views would have been amazing. We toured the inside of the basilica and even braved the pouring rain to visit the cupola. (side note: my Athleta rain coat was a lifesaver! I've had it for a few years, but here is a similar one.)

We took our workouts to the Marriott fitness center and were dully impressed with the facilities. Another good way to avoid the rain is to shop, so we visited VĂ¡ci Street for some souvenirs and food.

Day 6 - Our final day was really just a morning. We took advantage of the good weather and another chance to run together. We took the tram to the Margaret Island bridge and ran to the island from there. On our run we got to see a little more of the island including a small zoo that seemed to feature deer and the ruins of a convent.

TIP: You probably know to travel with a converter, but this one is by far the best I have used. youngestC got hers at Target, but I ordered mine from Amazon.

What we missed (aka saving for next time? I like to be optimistic):

Thermal Baths - I was so sad not to get to do this since it is literally a must-do when visiting Budapest. The Rudas and Szechenyi thermal baths right in city center came highly recommended.

Ruin Bar - A popular way to have a drink is to visit a bar that is set up in the ruins of a parking garage, factory or any dilated building for that matter. We had hoped to have at least one drink at Szimpla Kert, known as the original romkocsma (ruin bar), but the weather again limited our plans.

We had an amazing time with youngestC in Budapest.

If you've been to Budapest - what was your favorite part? 
Do you like to run in cities that you are visiting?
How do you feel about heights?