Thursday, April 19, 2018

Three Things Thursday - An Unexpected Run

I went for a run today!


NBD, except the last time I ran was wayyy back in the beginning of March. A couple of big hikes left my knees feeling pretty achey, so I've been doing a lot of swimming and other low impact workouts lately.

Today's run wasn't exactly planned.

When I was packing for our current trip to the US, I packed some fitness gear for swimming, yoga, hiking in Boulder and the possibility of a run or two. My knee has been very happy with the break from the pounding it takes while running, so going for a run wasn't super high on my list. Sad, but true. I made the choice to bring my wave horizons because they are pretty multi-purpose.


Bringing my running shoes turned out to be a good decision.

Three things about today's run:

1) The hotel fitness options are pretty poor. The small swimming pool is closed for maintenance and on my first trip to the fitness room I was disappointed to find that 2/2 treadmills were not working. Today I was fully expecting to do another elliptical workout, but was surprised to find one treadmill operational. I didn't waste a second getting on that thing.

2) Since the treadmill faces a wall, I opted to listen to music rather than mess with the built in TV. I went with a playlist called Grrl Power 2 from Rock My Run to listen to while I ran. I used it during my first Reach the Beach relay and it has stayed one of my favorites.

3) Intervals seem to keep my knee happy, so I stuck with what works: run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. My interval timer was programmed for 8 sets, but I stopped after 7 when I had reached 3.14 miles. My legs felt kind of awkward at first but eventually they loosened up. I was running pretty slowly (5.0 then I bumped up to 5.2), but it's not about that anymore. It's about what makes my knee comfortable.

This run made me realize that I miss running. I like that my knee has been happy, but I'm not quite ready to hang up my running shoes yet. For now I will focus on getting ready for my next official race: the Queen Bee 4 Miler in Cincinnati in the fall.

Do you use hotel fitness centers when you travel?
Have a favorite playlist?



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Traveling, Workouts and One Boston Day | Weekly Wrap

Traveling back to Hong Kong from the US means I lose two days (one from travel and one from crossing the international date line). Once I was back, I tried to jump right into the week as much as I could, especially since there was a fun event on the schedule.


For some reason my body thought waking up at 3:30am daily was a good idea?!? I don't usually feel jet lagged when we fly west from the US, but this time I am definitely having trouble getting back to my normal sleep routine. I thought working out would help, but so far...no luck.

On top of that, our plans to go to the US for mrC's recurrent training at the end of the month went into fast forward mode. He is already there and I am getting ready to join him tomorrow. Even though it is a little stressful, we are getting extra time in the US to see the girls and visit with my in-laws before his training starts. Then we are heading to middleC's college graduation in Boulder!

Here's what I managed for the week:

Monday - depart O'ahu mid morning

Tuesday - arrive in HK late at night (and lose a day!)

Wednesday - mrC had a trip and I went to the pool for an afternoon swim. I practically had the place to myself and it was awesome! Did 850 meters of intervals and then some recovery time at the outdoor pool. Also did a two mile walk plus some errands.


Thursday - Morning swim and the pool was NOT empty this time. Swim camp lessons were going (it's still spring holiday in Hong Kong, really?) but one lap lane was "open" ---> I use that term loosely because no one seemed concerned about crossing it, leaning on the ropes, or letting noodles float into it. Ugh. Another 850 meters of intervals among chaos and a 2 mile walk.

Friday - Did not want to deal with swim lesson madness again, so I lounged by the pool for a bit. Forgot that there is a lap lane in the outdoor pool area and could've done my swimming there. (Note to self: always pack your swim cap) It was a nice rest day by the pool though. Two mile walk.


Saturday - The North Face hosted a free outdoor yoga session at the fitness center to promote their outdoor training campaign. One of their fitness ambassadors and yoga instructor, Silke Bender, led about 15 of us through a great hip opening sequence. Two mile walk.


Sunday - Keratin treatment on a stormy and rainy day - perfect timing to be sitting at the salon for hours. I passed the time watching all things Boston Marathon (since it was One Boston Day) and thought back on the time I ran the BAA 5K. I watched: the Runner's World documentary Meb Keflezighi: The Home Stretch, the painting of the start line in Hopkinton, MA, this documentary about two women trying to BQ, the story of the Military Relay of 1918, and previewed the US elite team.

This morning my pre-gaming continued and I watched Boston: The Documentary. Again. This could easily become a tradition.

Tonight (for me) is Marathon Monday and I'm excited to watch. I would love to see an American winner this year.

I’m linking up again with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!



Which American do you think has the best shot of winning Boston this year?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

My Hawaiian Vacation

Aloha!

My weekly wrap is a little late because I just got back from a surprise trip to O'ahu with mrC. I'd been dropping hints all over the place about how fun it would be to getaway and apparently he was listening ---> he's a great husband!

Since mrC is retired military, he was able to get us into the beach cottages on the Marine Corps base. Even when it was cloudy, our own little paradise was pretty amazing. (we got some great shots and video on this trip with our GoPro)

Hanging out on the SUP at Secret Beach - steps from our cottage!

The highlights:

Hiking Diamond Head

This was an easy hike with a series of switch backs most of the way up to the 761 foot summit. The path was a little slippery from the passing morning showers, but with good shoes it was no problem for us. The "hard" part was near the top - 99 steps, a spiral staircase and a few more steps to reach the summit. It was pretty crowded and some clouds rolled in right as we reached the top, but it was still amazing to cross this off our Hawaii bucket list.


Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

mrC introduced me to snorkeling when we were on Kaua'i almost 10 years ago and knows how much I love it (even though I don't really like deep water), so he took me to one of the most popular snorkel spots on O'ahu. We swam around spotting fish and avoiding coral (it was low tide) and even got to see a monk seal that was sunning on the beach that day.

View of Hanauma Bay from above


I made this little video of our snorkeling



SUP at Secret Beach

We rented a SUP board from the MWR office and used it while we were staying in the cottage. The water was shallow and full of coral, but so flat. Perfect for SUP (my new bikini top was perfect for all my water activities!).


Swimming at Pyramid Rock Beach

A great spot for swimming and sunbathing was right down the road from the cottage. Named for the pyramid shaped rock on the coast, Pyramid Rock Beach had powder white sand and was surrounded by tropical plants. It was a lot harder to swim there than the pool at the fitness center, but way more fun!


Visiting Pearl Harbor

When we arrived on Tuesday, we stopped at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. We lucked out and got the last two free tickets to take the 75 minute USS Arizona Memorial Tour. We watched a short documentary about the attack on Pearl Harbor took a shuttle boat to the USS Arizona Memorial. To see this place in person is quite powerful and moving. I found myself fighting back tears many times.



mrC's friend gave us a private tour around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. He drove us past the submarines, aircraft (no photography allowed for obvious reasons) and even the beach cottages where the movie Aloha was partially filmed. We stopped at The Lanai on the Mamala Bay side of the base for some Hawaiian fish and chips...and some daiquiris. We had a great view of the main beach on base which is literally right next to the runways. I would have loved to SUP in this bay!


Sailing at Mamala Bay

mrC's friend took us out on the bay in his sailboat so that we could see Oahu from another perspective and so mrC could get some sailing in. Surprise, I got to take the helm, too! Oahu is such a beautiful place. I loved seeing Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach from the water.



Sightseeing

Taking the advice printed on my GAP tee, whenever we felt like stopping to see something, we did. It was fun to strike a pose on lava rock, enjoy the views from various lookouts (never got tired of this) and see mrC's old stomping grounds. We even stopped to watch the various planes and helicopters at work on base and around the island.

Nu'uana Pali Lookout and Marine Corps Base Hawaii in the far background

Kaupo Bay and Rabbit Island in the background 

Amelia Earhart's Marker - first person to fly from Hawaii to Mainland.

Halona Blowhole Lookout (at low tide :( so no spray)

Kanehoe Bay Lookout on our way to dinner 

mrC's old neighborhood - Kailua

mrC's helicopter

We had to cross this runway on base to get to the cottages

Waikiki Beach

We spent our last day at the Marine Corps hotel, Hale Koa, downtown and on Waikiki Beach. This place was amazing! The grounds were so beautiful. We were steps away from the pool, restaurants, shopping and the beach. We spent some time on the beach and then explored along DeRussy Boardwalk. 

View from our balcony

Friends

We got to spend time with mrC's friend who he hasn't seen in many many years and we met a family from California staying in the cottage next to ours who were very nice, but these "cottage cats" were the cutest friends we made in Oahu! 


Food

It's always good to be back in the USA and enjoy our favorite things, but it was fun to experience new places too. mrC's friend took us to Haleiwa Joe's for an awesome seafood dinner and then The Lanai for a delicious lunch. Our Cali friends recommended Goofy's Cafe where we had the BEST acai bowl. We stopped at the highly recommended Happy's Snack Bar on the beach for a little happy hour.



If you are still reading (THANK YOU) and here are my workouts for the week:

Monday - Yoga and swam (new personal best!)

Tuesday - Travel and walk around Pearl Harbor

Wednesday - Morning yoga on the deck and SUP

Thursday - Hike Diamond Head, SUP and swim in the ocean

Friday - snorkel

Saturday - rest day...on a boat ;)

Sunday - Walk the beach

And that's a wrap! This unexpected vacay was the perfect mix of fitness and pleasure. 

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!



Have you ever been to Hawaii? Which island?
What workouts do you do when on vacation?


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Sunday, April 1, 2018

4,475 Meters | Weekly Wrap

About three weeks ago I ran. 

Here's what has been going on ---> I did a couple of really big hard hikes with big descents and my knees said time for a break. Even though I have really wanted to run, I knew that I had to listen to my body.

So instead of running miles, I have been throwing on my Athleta tankini and swimming meters. It was was hard for me the first day and it was humbling, but the more I did it, the easier it became. After three weeks, I'm getting the hang of my breathing and even started doing an interval workout: 200 meters freestyle + 25 meters breast (froggy) x 5 = 625 meters.


Three weeks of swimming and my knees have recovered from the post-hiking aches. My usually cranky and kind of puffy bad left knee is actually feeling kind of normal these days. Sadly, that means it prefers no running, but deep down I've always known this. I haven't been on a scale or taken measurements, but it feels like my body is leaning out and toning up a little from the swimming too.

So even though I only ran 3 miles in March...I swam 4,475 meters!

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



Weekly Workouts:

Monday - Swam 625 meters and a couple of walks

Tuesday - Swam another 625 meters and a couple of walks 

Wednesday - Pier Volunteer day for the visiting USS Sterett followed by an afternoon of walking around Central - over 6 miles total (in my Oofos flip flops ---> that's how awesome they are!)


Thursday - Swam 625 meters and SUP for 45 minutes

Friday - Stations of the Cross walk 3.60km

Saturday - Sports massage - ouch, I have A LOT of tight spots and a walk

Sunday - Yoga, a walk and Opening Day at the Pool 


Heading into April, I'm ready for more swimming, maybe some running, and lots and lots of watermelon.


How was your week? March?
What are you looking forward to in April?
Anyone else obsessed with watermelon?



Monday, March 26, 2018

Bamboo Aerial Yoga | Weekly Wrap

This weekend I met up with a group of friends to add Bamboo Aerial Yoga to my I-tried-it list. If you have seen the enviable photos of aerial yoga over the sea, you probably understand why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to join the fun.


We attended a three part full day workshop for beginners. First we met up at the Yoga Bambam studio in Central for an introduction aerial yoga lesson. Our instructor (and founder of Bamboo Yoga), Aleksandra, showed our small class of nine how to do 8-10 different poses and gave us plenty of time to practice during the hour-long session.


After a break for brunch at Mana, we taxi'd across Hong Kong to Sai Kung and hiked to the beach. The 30-ish minute hike to Sai Wan Beach was mostly downhill, so it was easy to chat with each other and enjoy being in nature along the way.

At the beach we had time to change our clothes if we wanted. I decided to put on my yoga shorts and keep my capris dry (affiliate). We did a warm-up yoga flow while Aleksandra and Melissa, another instructor, set up the bamboo tripods.


With two bamboo tripods erected, our class was split into two groups for the 90 minute beach session. Our group of five stayed together and took turns going through the poses we learned in the morning session.


We first had to learn how to get into the hammock. The hammocks are hung higher than normal over the water so that while you are posing upside down, you don't have to worry about waves getting in your face.


Basically for 90 minutes it was all about getting the photos. With the help of our instructor, Melissa, we did all the poses from the morning and a couple of extra for fun ones that we saw her do while we took a break.

Here are some of my favorites:






Even though none of us had ever done aerial yoga before, the backdrop of Hong Kong mountains and the South China Sea made all of our poses #instaworthy. This was definitely a fun activity to do with friends!


After the class, we took the water taxi back to Sai Kung. The views from the boat were just beautiful. Hong Kong is an amazing place to live and play!


The rest of my week looked like this:

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Swim 500 meters plus Dirty Dozen Arm Workout

Wednesday - Swim 650 meters

Thursday - Rest

Friday - Yoga + Swim 650 meters plus two cool down laps

Saturday - Dirty Dozen Leg Workout + Yoga + SUP

Sunday - Aerial Yoga

Have you ever tried aerial yoga? Would you try it over water at the beach?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Strength and Swimming | Weekly Wrap

After a really big hike on Monday, the rest of the week I focused on low impact workouts. Both of my knees have been feeling a bit achey after some serious descents on my last two hikes, so I listened.

I've been wanting to to become a regular swimmer, so the timing was good motivation to get to the pool. The indoor pool at the fitness center has 25 meter lap lanes and I went with a goal of swimming for 20 minutes. I read somewhere that a beginner swimmer should swim for at least 20 minutes 10 times over a three week period before trying a workout. So, that's my goal.


My other workouts focused on strength training. I haven't been wanting to go to classes, like Bodypump, lately because I'm in the mood to be on my own schedule. So, I dug out an old arm workout that is quick and dirty ---> which means easy to do (at home or at the fitness center). I tried to find a similar one for a leg workout, but instead ended up making my own.


Swimming humbled me and strength training made my legs really, really sore.

My Weekly Wrap:

Monday - 15.2km hike ---> putting some great mileage on my hiking shoes (affiliate)

Tuesday - swim 400 meters

Wednesday - swim 400 meters & arm workout

Thursday - leg workout

Friday - rest

Saturday - arm and leg workout

Sunday - yoga stretch - I really needed that!

Tell me something about your week!

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap!




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