My Running Journal: Five Belated Entries in One Post…Oops

3_TCSNYCM_Instagram_Team-for-Kids-Member-Fundraising_2_for WP WidgetWhile I have not blogged much since the beginning of this year, I have faithfully kept up with my training, though my farthest run has yet to progress beyond 10 km.

Here are the five belated entries into my running journal…

Saturday, 17th of January 2015

10 km in 57 minutes and 55 seconds.

Wednesday, 21st of January 2015

5 km in 29 minutes and 51 seconds – a quick run at the gym before going to work.

Sunday, 25th of January 2015

7.1 km in 41 minutes and 22 seconds. I was just too lazy to run 10 km.

Wednesday, 28th of January 2015

5 km in 29 minutes and 48 seconds – another quick run  at the gym before heading for work.

Today, Sunday, 31st of January 2015

My fastest 10k run ever – at a pace of 5’28″/km, completing the whole thing in under 55 minutes. Motivating factor? The appointment I had to meet my friend in town at 1 pm! (I started running at 10.55 am).  It was also my first run in my brand new Zaggora capri tights – and at the end of the workout my lower body was completely drenched in sweat. It felt great and I wouldn’t mind losing a couple of inches from my thighs and hips!

——

This is an entry into the running journal I have created to chronicle my experiences as I train and prepare to run the TCS New York City Marathon 2015 and fund raise for Team for Kids, an international running group that is committed to supporting health and fitness programs for underprivileged children in the US and Africa. Read my introduction entry where I share how this journey started, and if you would like to donate to the cause, simply go to my secure fundraising page here!

Advertisements

Healing in Heels

For a woman, healing sometimes comes in the form of a pair of high heels. Killer heels that lift her up, not just literally, but emotionally. If it is true, that is, that our posture can affect how we feel.

So to the ladies out there, when life throws us a curveball as it always does, consider buying a new pair of heels. They don’t have to cost a bomb, because the healing power of a slinky pair of new shoes is not found only in Blahniks, Choos, and Louboutins. I find it therapeutic just buying a pair of 15-dollar high heels on sale as long as I like the way they look on my feet. They don’t have to last long, if the reason for buying them in the first place was for therapy and not so much utility.

What can I say? I love my shoes. I am no aspiring Imelda Marcos, but like most women, I am wired to take delight in shoes.

Life is short, buy those heels!

This post is part of SoCS:
http://lindaghill.com/2015/01/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-january-1715/

My Running Journal: My Excuse for Not Running 12k

3_TCSNYCM_Instagram_Team-for-Kids-Member-Fundraising_2_for WP WidgetSunday, 11th of January 2015
It was rather close to 9 am when I reached the running track for my training. So the blazing morning sun provided a good excuse for me to run up to only 10 kilometers and not 12 as I had originally intended.

2015/01/img_0270.jpgMy face and arms tend to tan faster and more permanently than my legs, so one of my challenges is to reconcile my training ambitions with my concern about ending up with uneven skin tones…

On the bright side, though, I did this 10 km faster than my last one, and my overall pace has improved from 6’13″/km to 6’01″/km. Hurray!

——

This is an entry into the running journal I have created to chronicle my experiences as I train and prepare to run the TCS New York City Marathon 2015 and fund raise for Team for Kids, an international running group that is committed to supporting health and fitness programs for underprivileged children in the US and Africa. Read my introduction entry where I share how this journey started, and if you would like to donate to the cause, simply go to my secure fundraising page here!

Sofitel, Oh Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16!

2015/01/img_0075.jpgThis is the higher-end sibling of Novotel–both being among the 13 brands owned by the Accor Group.

I stayed at Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16, which was a walking distance from the Macau historic center, a Unesco World Heritage site. Taxi from the Macau Ferry Terminal cost 40 MOP, but I should have known that like most major hotels in this gambling city, Sofitel also had its own free shuttle bus–which I eventually took the next morning to catch my ferry ride back to Hong Kong.

With the tagline, “Life is Maqnifique!”, Sofitel seeks to exude French luxury–thus the L’Occitane and Hermes toiletries. However there was a policy that restricted guests to only one extra set of these branded bathroom amenities–I am not sure if it applies only to this Sofitel, and if it applies to guests who stay more than two nights, for example.

That aside, service was pleasant and efficient, albeit lacking in warmth, I felt. Perhaps that was just because my time there was so brief–checking in late afternoon, and off the next morning by 10 am. There was a casino which I didn’t bother visiting, and a cafe and bar which my sister and I found a bit too hot and stuffy. The pub was playing loud music, with people playing darts and foosball, and a heavy smell of cigarette smoke–it reminded me of the clubbing scene during my college days and seemed out of place in a hotel like this. So we decided not to bother about drinks and just went back to our room.

2015/01/img_0084.jpgThe hotel itself gave an impression of luxury and grandeur at first glance, when we first stepped into the lobby to find ourselves going ‘wow’ over the glittery, gigantic Christmas deco–think life-sized reindeer and life-sized statue of an old man depicting, I believed, one of the three wise men on the night Jesus was born. And of course, fake snow. It was a visual feast that quickly lost its appeal instead of growing on me.

So it was tacky in my opinion, but since this was Macau, the lack of subtlety was probably an intent rather than an accident. It is, after all, known as Asia’s flashiest city. I am not quite sure what French luxury stands for, but I have a feeling Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 reflects its host country more than the one of its origin.

2015/01/img_0059.jpgEnough about the tackiness of Macau–how a rich, old world heritage ended up coexisting with such loudness is another post altogether. But I must say that having made it only to Senado Square at night, and one of its famous biscuit and pastry shops, Macau continues to intrigue me after I have left–like a mysterious stranger whose quiet charm I cannot deny after a brief encounter. I have a feeling I will be back in an attempt to understand it more.

2015/01/img_0101.jpgMeanwhile, back to the hotel–Sofitel Ponte No. 16, in a nutshell, has all the trappings of a five star establishment. Comfort, cleanliness and prettiness. But its attempt to be sophisticated is overshadowed by all the tack–and at the end of the day I actually prefer the four star sibling hotel I stayed in the following night, Novotel Citygate Hong Kong. It was supposed to be a lesser hotel by star rating and price, but I found the Novotel to be elegant, sleek and unassuming.

Maybe it’s the location rather than the hotels themselves. Maybe Macau is trying too hard to differentiate herself from Hong Kong, the fast and sophisticated metropolitan neighbor. Another post for another day!

My Running Journal: 7k without the iPod–a Case of Mental Endurance

3_TCSNYCM_Instagram_Team-for-Kids-Member-Fundraising_2_for WP WidgetFriday, 9th of January 2015
Distracted by some incoming messages, I got on the treadmill to realize I had forgotten my iPod. So I decided to brave the monotony and attempt running without my music and podcasts.

It was bearable up to the 5th kilometer, after which perseverance had to come into play. In the end I managed 7 kilometers and 43.5 minutes of treadmill throttle and the sound of my own breathing. The reward was a robust appetite that would help me do justice to the buffet lunch I would have later in the afternoon.

I had better remember my iPod the next round because I need to increase my distance to at least 12 kilometers!

——

This is an entry into the running journal I have created to chronicle my experiences as I train and prepare to run the TCS New York City Marathon 2015 and fund raise for Team for Kids, an international running group that is committed to supporting health and fitness programs for underprivileged children in the US and Africa. Read my introduction entry where I share how this journey started, and if you would like to donate to the cause, simply go to my secure fundraising page here!

Novotel Citygate Hong Kong: One Awesome Mid-Range Hotel!

And here’s why:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b88/68413283/files/2015/01/img_0201.jpg1. I can’t stop gushing over this one: it is directly adjacent to the Citygate Outlet Mall, where discounted luxury and branded shopping abounds. Even without shopping on my agenda, the convenience of having many food and beverage options in the same building is a big delight because it saves me the trouble of finding out where to eat in an unfamiliar city.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b88/68413283/files/2015/01/img_0234.jpg2. Excellent connectivity for getting around in Hong Kong: the Hong Kong International Airport is just a 15-minute bus or taxi ride away, and the hotel provides a very courteous and efficient shuttle service to and fro. It departs every 15 minutes from the hotel, and is free of charge.

On top of that, the Tung Chung MTR station is also connected to the Citygate Outlet Mall. All it takes is a 5-minute leisurely indoor stroll through the mall to get there, and from there getting to the rest of the cosmopolis is a breeze, without having to spend a small fortune on the city’s taxis. Another gem for a directionally challenged person like me!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b88/68413283/files/2015/01/img_0222.jpg3. Quiet, scenic location away from the hustle and bustle of the city: the hotel, as does the mall, faces the sea, with a beautiful view of Lantau Island and Ngong Ping 360. Discounted luxury shopping in a spacious mall with a view — can’t complain!

4. Cosy and comfortable rooms with efficient, pleasant service: the soft bed felt heavenly after one day of shopping and sightseeing, and all my requests to housekeeping were met in less than 10 minutes.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b88/68413283/files/2015/01/img_0221.jpg5. A nearby park with a running track: this one is for the runners! The clean and beautiful park is just a 2-minute walk from the hotel. Enough said!

I guess I have decided where to stay on my next trip to Hong Kong.

My Running Journal: Getting the Hang of the 10K

3_TCSNYCM_Instagram_Team-for-Kids-Member-Fundraising_2_for WP WidgetSaturday, 3rd of January 2015
After a hiatus lasting over a week–Christmas, New Year and all the challenges that came with all things festive–I finally got back on the running track to clock another 10K, my third so far. I don’t think I beat my previous time but I am still happy because today’s run was on an outdoor running track and not the gym. Now that 10 kilometers have begun to feel somewhat comfortable, it’s time to aim for 12 the next round.

——

This is an entry into the running journal I have created to chronicle my experiences as I train and prepare to run the TCS New York City Marathon 2015 and fund raise for Team for Kids, an international running group that is committed to supporting health and fitness programs for underprivileged children in the US and Africa. Read my introduction entry where I share how this journey started, and if you would like to donate to the cause, simply go to my secure fundraising page here!