Saturday, December 8, 2012

Burn-out & Recovery

After a few years of events and races, I was burned out. I was upset at myself because I hit a plateau and I couldn't get myself out. Worse, with back to back events, there was no time to train or improve, so I was just rolling with the motions. I actually dreaded all the events I was participating in, because I could already forsee the results.. they would be the same, the same and the same.
It was like Groundhogs day,  over and over again.

At the end of 2011, I told myself, no more races in 2012, (except for a very select, but awesome few) but I had nothing planned, (event-wise) except to cross-train, strengthen and improve. It was weird when people would ask me what events I had coming up, and I'd reply "Nothing". Then they would ask, "well then what are you training for?" and I'd answer, "Nothing."

Nearing the end of 2012, I'm quite happy I took this year off. I feel so much stronger and better. I see results when I train, and even the very select few events I did, I saw a lot of improvement even without much training.

I'm looking forward for this year to end and for 2013 to begin. I have some events lined up, and a training schedule set. But most of all, it feels great to feel excited again.
happy racing!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Barb's Race 70.3 Fundraising

Hi Everyone!

After a long time of prepping, I'm finally going for my 2nd Ironman, Barb's Race. (info)

This year, 2013, they are requiring all 450 participants to raise $250 which will ALL be donated to fight cancer.

Even $1 can be made as a donation, which is Tax-deductible.

Thank you very much for your support in the fight against Cancer!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Worse Part of the Run are the First 2 miles.

Ever since High School Cross Country, I've always noticed that my feet are BRICKS for the first 2 miles.
I've always thought there was something wrong with me, or my shoes, or the terrain.
But shoe after shoe, run after run, asphalt or grass, the same thing would always happen.

Recently I attended a "Shoe-Lab" and I brought up the question to the presenter, to my surprise he said almost everyone goes through that. It seems like it takes 2 miles for the body to "warm up" and for the blood to finally circulate its way down those little toes.

Quote: "The first 2 miles are the worse! Those starting out, if you never get past 2 miles, you never get to see why people love to run. You're always stuck in the worse part. If running a marathon felt like the first 2 miles, I'd never run again."

So if you hate running, but have only been in the <2 mile range.. that may be the reason.. Keep going, keep running.. I promise it gets better. :)

Happy Running!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

1st-Distance, 2nd-Speed

A while back, I was working with a newbie runner. She had never ran in her life, and she quite out of shape. She set her sights on a completing a half marathon within 6 months.

This is a goal that can easily be completed by sticking to a good training plan. And 6 months was more than enough time to train.

I worked with her for the first few miles, assessing her fitness levels. Working up from .25 mile runs, we were up to doing 3+ miles comfortably with a 12-14 min mile pace. A really good pace for a newbie and for her fitness level.

However, after the first few weeks, she got the idea stuck in her head that she needed to be faster.

Rookie mistake. I've been there. We've all been there. 

You tell someone, "Hey I'm training for a half marathon"
and they (non-runners) instantly ask, "how fast can you run a mile?"
and honestly NO matter WHAT number you tell them, it most likely wont impress them if its not Kenyan time. 
So I usually reply, "How fast can you run a mile?" and change the subject.

So she ditched our training plan, and said, she didn't want to run any more distance until she could run a mile in 7:30. Then at that point, she would run mile 2.

umm.. 7:30? that's a really good pace, that even experienced runners have trouble getting towards. To drop from a 14 to a 7 min pace in < 6 months, and then to add 12.1 miles to that.. is gonna be a little tough, (aka.. nearly impossible)

I kept urging her to just focus on doing the distance. Don't worry about the time. Once your body can handle the endurance, the speed will come. You will get faster.

In the end, she didn't get past mile 1, and she never made it to her race.

Remember to just focus on distance. Don't be embarrassed by whatever time you're coming in at.
You have the courage to start, which most people will never have.
Focus on finishing the race. That's all the counts.

Happy Racing!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Taste your Food

Recently I read the book "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" and certain parts of the book really stuck with me.

The author/protagonist writes about how he inhales his food, and how he learned to slow himself down to really taste all the flavors in his mouth.

Now I know this is not a new concept, but for the first time, it really made sense to me.

During an insanely scrumptious meal I was inhaling, (like I've always done with all my meals), I paused and thought to myself..
"Wow I want to eat more, even though I'm getting full, I want to eat more!"
Then I thought to myself, "why?"
"I want to consume more of this food because it tastes so good, I want to taste more of it"

Then I realized, I can taste more of it if I just chewed it a few more times, instead of consuming more food.

For the "math geek" in me, I thought, I chew 3 times before ingesting.. If I chewed 6 times, then I would have doubled my amount of "taste" without consuming more food.

At your next meal, ask yourself if you're really hungry for more food, or are you not really tasting your food?

Happy tasting

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Diversify, Diversify..

As you all know you should diversify your 401k and IRA's, its also best to diversify your workouts.

Doing the same thing over and over, no matter how many body parts are moving, will become stale, mentally and physically. You will find yourself reaching a plateau.

If you're primarily a runner, add in cycling, yoga, and weight/strength training.
If you're primarily into aerobics or zumba, try adding a spin class and stairs.
If you're doing bootcamp and circuits, get some long distance cardio in.

Embrace change and embrace something new. Your body will thank you for it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nike Women's Marathon 2012 San Francisco

aka.. "The Tiffany Run"  (because you get a custom made Tiffany Necklace as your "medal") Its actually the only "medal" I wear around and show off. hehe

Entry into the Nike Women's Marathon is by a random drawing lottery system. Around April, they will open the registration period for 2 weeks. During that time I think +40k people try register for the 20-25k spots they have available. You register, and if you get "chosen" your credit card will be charged the registration fee of $100-150.

For the past few years, I've tried to get into Nike, but I never won the "lottery". I would get the sad email saying "Thanks but no thanks" from Nike and I'd feel depressed and defeated.
However, every year, I've noticed that 1 month before the race, they'd send out an email saying, "Hey you can still register with this 'last minute entry code!' " but by that time, I would have had no flight or hotel booked and it would be impossible for me to get to SF. So I'd pass.

Finally, last year, 2011, I won the "lottery" and it was amazing.

Fast foward to 2012.. during registration period, I felt that I was going to be a sure win. I booked a hotel during Day 1 of registration. Then after the 2 weeks, I instead of a "congratulations confirmation" email I was expecting.. I got the dreaded "Thanks but.. No thanks" email..

I read it over and over and over again.. This can't be.. I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt cheated.

However, I never put 2 and 2 together until this year 2012.. I decided to keep my hotel and wait for the 3 week "last min entry" into Nike. I waited and waited.. It usually happens around 1 month before the race.. As that week approached, I started to give up hope and made other plans.. The day before I was about to cancel my hotel, my runner friend Pam, who won the lotto this year, got the last min entry code and informed me about it.

I raced to the nearest computer and quickly registered. Hooorray!!! I was IN!

Now the tough part.. I didn't train, at all, all year. The most I ran was 5 miles.. So I had 3 weeks to train for a half marathon.

I know I could do it without training, but I wanted to race well, and to finish strong. I didn't want to walk and half ass it, since I wanted this all year.

So I trained hard for the 3 weeks leading up to the race. I had a bad case of runner's knees. Every night my knees ached and throbbed. But I pushed forward with my training.

Finally race weekend arrived. My running partner Connie and I drove up from LA to SF early Saturday morning.

Sunday Morning, Race Morning, we "planned" to leave the hotel around 6:15 and arrive at the starting area by 6:30, however it didn't happen. As we repeatedly hit 'snooze' we remembered, it took us 30 mins to get to the start line last year.. We can wait.. So we left our hotel at 7am, (race starts at 7am) and got to the area in 12 mins. The corrals were still slowly walking to the start line. Perfect timing!

As we ran, we felt strong. We didn't need to stop or walk, but we did have to pee. We passed through the 3 massive hills during the course. I love hills because its a great way of passing people who see the hill and immediately give up.

If you do have to pee, during any race, wait for mile 5 or 6. the lines will be significantly less. Mile 2 port-a-potty will have a crazy long line. Even though I had to pee really bad, I wish I didn't have to stop because I'm sure my end time would've been 5+ mins faster. after we collected our T shirts and our necklaces, I grabbed all the food I could, and headed straight for my $20 shuttle ride back to our hotel where I got a late checkout and slept until housekeeping woke me up. :)

Overall a fantastic weekend.

Tips for Nike Women's Marathon

  1. If you don't get in, try again during the 3 week "last min entry period" 
  2. Buy the shuttle ticket when you register $10. The Price doubles at the expo $20. 
  3. If you don't buy a shuttle ticket during registration, but really need to take the shuttle at the last min, try to sneak on. They didn't even check if we had our tickets. Then use the $ you saved and donate it to charity!! Karma will get you. 
  4. Pee after mile 5.
  5. Run to the END of the water station. Everyone crowds in the front. 
  6. If you need to walk, Move to the right, and don't form a line with the person next to you. Leave space for people to pass you
  7. LOOK behind you when you stop and move out of the way. You will most likely get run over the by runner behind you.
  8. There are 3 major hills, which get progressively worse. 
    1. After Fisherman's Wharf. ~mi 3
    2. When you see the Golden Gate bridge on your right ~ mi 6
    3. When you're out of the park and enter a residential area, (worse hills)  ~ mi 9
  9. After when you enter the Great Park, you only have 3 miles left, and its pretty flat. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

great video from

Off Your Butt: 8 Exercises to Combat Sitting Too Much

Cool Down with some Dynamic Stretching

Love to Multitask? I certainly do.

one of my favorite ways to "cool down" is to do dynamic stretches. With dynamic stretches not only are you stretching to recover your tired muscles, you're cooling down, and getting a muscle endurance workout at the same time.
Most of the time people focus on the warm up but not on the cool down. Its good to do some static and dynamic stretches both before and after your workout to prevent injury and promote recovery.

Here are a few of my favorites to do after a good run.

  1. Walking Lunges
    • Advance : Add a side twist to work the obliques and abs ( if the left leg is stepped out in front, twist torso to the left side)
  2.  Squats
    • Advance: Squat Jumps
    • Advance: Squat with side step
  3.  Toy Solider March
    • With an arm outstretched at shoulder level, back straight and legs straight, swing your leg up so your toe touches your hand. Repeat on other leg and arm. For me, I sometimes swing opposite arm/leg or same side arm/leg. 
Happy Cool Downs! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Long Beach Sprint Tri 2012

My goal was to take 2012 off from participating in events. I felt September was 'late' enough in the year, and my 'training' has been pretty good. So I opted for the Long Beach Sprint Tri.

In 2010,  LB Tri was my first triathlon, and what started the addiction, so I was excited to do this race again and have some fun to PR. I recommend this race to any 1st-timers. Its not super crowded and everyone is insanely nice. Other "hard core" events I've been to have some "serious-no-nonsense athletes" who aren't too forgiving to the newbies. LB Tri is full of newbies, so everyone just has fun, and shares the love.

While doing this race, I forgot how FUN events can be. I loved, LOVED, every single second of this race, and can't wait to do it again.

I had so much fun, and I bet my previous time by 6 minutes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Run?,7120,s6-238-520--14403-F,00.html
By Marc Parent
From the July 2012 issue of Runner's World

Honestly one of the BEST articles I've read in a long time. Loved every single sentence. 

my favorite parts which are so super-duper true!!

"Now that I've been running for a while, I have less advice to give. That's because advice is a recommendation to do something in one particular way. But if you run long enough, you'll do so in every conceivable way. You'll run smart and stupid, fast and slow, short and long, in good weather and bad, with dogs, with friends, with children, alone, on a full stomach and nearly starving, in fancy shoes and old beaters, on college tracks and over mountains, on country roads and city streets. Identical runs will be easy one day, grueling the next. You'll have long runs that fly by, short ones that grind on forever. One day the syrupy waffle bogs you down, the next day it fuels the final sprint. "

"I hated running for over a year. I know, hate is a strong word. You know what a stronger word is? Superhate. In my first year and a half, I superhated running every time I went out."

Running makes you beautiful. Look around and you'll see unattractive people on every corner. I used to see one when I looked in the mirror. Pick out a random unattractive person and imagine what they'd look like running. I've never seen an ugly runner. Running changes everything. I know, never is a strong word–you know what a stronger word is? Supernever.

I read this article on the plane, and the guy next to me thought I was crazy for laughing and smiling as I read this.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Due to heavy rain, I had to opt for training at the gym on the "dread-mill".  One of the many things I dislike about the "dread-mill" is that you're stuck facing a mirror, staring at yourself while you watch all your unflattering areas jiggle around.

As I stared at myself in the mirror in front of the "dread-mill" to my surprised, I wasn't focused on how bored I was or how time literally stands still on a "dread-mill." Instead, my only thought was how "hungry" I was to hear these 5 words; "Lily, you are an Ironman."

Oh how much I want it, it makes me ache. The thought consumes me. The 'want' consumes me.

During my workout, I didn't care about how heavy the weights were. I didn't care how my sweat burns my eyes. I didn't care how tired I felt. I didn't care how my lungs burned. My only thought was, 'everything I will endure, will only make me that much closer to my goal.' It makes me feel so alive with such passion. I love every moment of it.

Be Hungry..

Monday, June 18, 2012

Earn the right to shower

Commonly, we "treat" ourselves after we accomplish something. Often we say, if I run 5 miles, I'll get to eat that cookie. Instead of making the reward a treat, make it something you want to/need to do, like shower.

For me, it first started off as laziness. I didn't want to shower twice in a day, (do you know how long it takes long hair to dry?), so I'd make sure I'd schedule my workouts before I needed to shower. And if I showered before I worked out, I knew I wasn't going to "work out" later on that day, no matter how much I told myself I would. So in order to make myself workout, I wouldn't be able to shower until I did. Subconsciously, I've made my "treat" the right to shower.

if you're having trouble keeping up with your workouts, try to make you treat the right to shower. You'll be much more inclined to get it done, or face you family and friends being really stinky. :-D

Lots of people practice this in their own way. What's your treat?

happy showering :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Travel and Packing Tips

I love the thrill of packing light, as odd as it sounds. I love to have a goal of making weeks worth of necessities fit into a carry on, with room to spare. If not a carry on, then a regular size piece of check in luggage.

  1. Plan your outfits
    •  This is the best way to save space and not carry extra outfits. How often do you come back from a trip and think, "I didn't even wear half the stuff I brought"
    •  I know this is tough for girls who are more indecisive about what to wear.. So ladies.. try to make some "tough decisions" and pick an outfit. 
  2. Bring easy mix and match items
    • Pants - If you think about it, normally, we wear the same 2 or 3 pair of jeans repeatedly for months. So why change it? Bring 2 pair of jeans, (1 that is darker so you can use it at a fancy restaurant), and wear 1 on the plane/bus/train/car, etc. (if your traveling during the winter, bring 1 more pair so you can rotate if 1 gets wet from rain. 
    • Tops - bring a different shirt for each day, shirts are easy and thin enough to pack. Bring 1 fancy shirt in case you go to a nice place for dinner
  3.  Shoes
    • Shoes take up the most room. So wear your biggest pair (ex running/tennis shoes) and pack your dress shoes or flipflops that take up less room. 
    • Ladies - look for fancy sandals that can double as casual everyday/walking shoes but can also be worn to a fancy restaurant. 
  4. Wear your biggest items
    • examples - wear your sneakers, jacket, sweater, etc that your plan to bring. It will save you space in your suitcase. 
  5.  Reuse Old Contact Lens Cases
    • This is my favorite tip that I learned from another friend. Since you're only gone for a week or so, you dont need a WHOLE bottle of bathroom amenities. Just squeeze the amount needed into the lens case. Lens cases are dishwasher safe. 
    • Also you can grab small sample containers at Sephora.
  6.  Use Samples
    • often samples will last you enough for a weekend trip.
  7. Unless your camping or away from civilization, buy things when you get there. ex. Buy toothpaste. You don't need to pack it. 
Now putting it all together. 
  1. Roll your clothes
    •  Biggest/heaviest on the bottom, smaller/lighter/thinner items on the top
  2. Put items that take up more volume (shoes) on the bottom because you can squeeze smaller things in-between spaces. 
Happy Traveling! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

8 Weeks of Master Swim

Today was my last class of Master Swim.

I never participated in a swim class before so I didn't know what to expect.
For the 8 weeks, classes @ 530am, Mon- Thurs, and Sat&Sun. Classes were not mandatory, (since we are paying adults), and I was able to go Mon - Thurs. In the first few weeks, I went everyday Mon - Thurs, but then as the weeks went on, I would go miss a day here and there. I made sure to go at least 2 times a week. On average I went to 3 out of the 4. (Most Monday mornings were just too hard to wake up.)  I didn't really know most of the "swim lingo" terminology, so the Coach always had to dumb it down for me, hehe :)

For 7 weeks of the class, we swam the Width of the Olympic pool which was 25 meters. We did drills and were able to have a lane to ourselves the whole time. Coach Louis knew that I was training for Open water Triathlons, so he would give me different drills to do which would help me in Open water. The 8th week, because its summer vacation and high school kids train at the same pool, the lanes were switched to lengthwise @ the 50 m Olympic distance. I really like swimming the longer distance, 25 just seems so short.

A few random weeks, Coach had us swim on the deep end of the pool without lanes to simulate open water swimming. He also had us practice diving (which I've never dived before). I didn't belly flop, but my hips and thighs took a bad beating hitting the water. We dived about 30 times. After that session, my hips and thighs were all bruised.

When I first started the class, my 50 meter sprints were about 90+ seconds. Mid way through the course, my 50 m sprints dropped down to <60 seconds. My 100 meter sprints dropped down to <2 mins.

I definitely feel that I am a much stronger, faster and better swimmer, but I know I still need alot more training and practice. The ladies next to me, can do a 50m sprint in  <40 seconds.

I'm excited to keep training and to get faster and stronger. :)

happy swimming!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Physical Therapy Session 2

So far, for the next month, Kevin will got o PT 3 times a week, MWF.

Today, Kevin had a 5 min warm up on a station bike (the ones where the chair leans back). Then Aaron (the PT) did a massage to the injured leg, really rubbing into the thickened tendon.

(I get foot massages often, but I always hate when the masseur touches my Achilles, It scares me that they will snap it or injure it. So, watching Aaron rub the crap out of Kevin's Achilles, I had to hold back the squirms) 

Session #2-

2x10 - Seated Toe lifts
2x10 - Seated upright, foot inversion (foot toward the center of the body), eversion (foot away from the body), plantar (point down) and doris flexion (point up - toes to the nose) with a light resistance band.
* New - 2x10 - eccentric Doris flexion with a band.

  • In a seated position, point toes downwards (plantar flexion) with a light  resistance band over the toes, and pull the band tight. Then Slowly bring foot towards neutral position, using the calf muscle to fight the resistance of the band. 
2x10 - Wood peckers
  • Standing about 6 inches facing the wall, slowly lean towards the wall til your nose almost touches the wall, then slowly lean back. 
2x30 seconds standing on 1 leg.
2x10 heel raises while gently putting pressure on injured leg to come down. 
2x10 Clams
2x10 leg lifts
2x10 side step with medium resistant band. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Gout Attack

I'm not a newbie to gout, I've had it ever since I was in my teens.. the pain in your big toe.. it would come for a day or so, and then go.

So for the past few months, I've been having a sharp stabbing pain on the top of my right wrist.

I know its a ganglion cyst,  (which I named "my lumpy")  forming because I have one on my left wrist and went through about 2-3 years of pain. For my left wrist, I removed the cyst several times, but "My Lumpy" would always come back, and hurt more.. However, I started to realize when the lump was there, the pain was gone, and when the lump was gone, pain would return. So I learned to live with the lump if it would mean I would have no pain.

My doc said that because of the lump, the extra fluid has an area to escape, and not press on the nerve = no pain.

Now the same thing is happening to my right wrist. However, I can't ignore it. Being right handed, I can't go 2-3 years with pain. I am unable to carry things, and do certain movements. I can't flex or extend my hand in a 90 degree angle. (My workouts are suffering because I can't do burpees or pushups). If I fell on the ground, I can't even push myself up. Stupid right hand..

So I finally went to see an orthopedic surgeon, hoping that he could just do some magic surgery to make everything all better.

But his diagnosis was something much worse.. He said.. GOUT..
and what makes gout even worse, the remedy..... RESTRICTIVE DIET!

He said the build up of fluid, is getting trapped on the top of my wrist, and pressing on the nerves = pain.
So... reduce fluid = reduce pain..

I love meats, and seafood (purine heavy foods). To greatly reduce it, really sucks. :(

I've started to do some research, and a new theory, is that gout, isn't caused by the purines in food we eat, but instead by glucose and insulin = sugar and carbs.. AHH my other 2 favorite things..

I actually do believe the sugar and carbs would have a greater effect than just purine only in meats and seafood.. I'm still researching, but somehow it just seems to makes more sense than just purines alone. But I'll let you know what I find out, and what I end up doing.

So.. what will I eat now? :(
The doc said a restrictive diet for 2-3 months to reduce the pain.

I'm a sad panda..

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Physical Therapy Day 1

First Day of Physical Therapy!

The Therapist, Aaron, did a 20 min evaluation on Kevin. Kevin has really flat feet, so he wants to work on the Tibialis Posterior muscle, to help give more support to the arch, and pretty much all his leg and hip muscles. The stronger his leg muscles are, the less his Calves will need to do the work = less work for the Achilles.

1 bad thing is that since Kevin wasn't wearing his boot (and immobilizing the heel) his heel is a little "over stretched". so the therapist will need to correct it. Oops.

Session 1:
Stretch the calf with foam roller
2x10 windshield wipers

  • in a seated position with knees @ 90 degrees, swipe the feet left to right, keeping the leg stabilized and the ball of the foot and heel touching the ground. 
Foot Movements with the band for resistance. 
2x10 - Point/roll foot inwards
2x10 - Point/roll foot outwards
2x10 - Dorsiflexion (point toes toward nose)
2x10 - Plantarflexsion (point toes toward ground)

2x30seconds Balance on 1 leg

2x10 - Clam shells 
  • laying on your side, with your hips aligned, bend knees to 90 degrees. Turn top knee towards to ceiling, so your legs look like an open clam. 
2x10 - leg lifts
  • laying on your side with your hips aligned and legs straight, lift top leg up to the ceiling. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stop the Itch - Method 2

Continuing from the prior post: Stop the Itch

I tried another method on the list. Now Baking soda did work pretty well to stop the itch, but it wasn't reducing the inflammation. So I wanted to try aspirin which should reduce inflammation.

1: using non coated aspirin (the ones that look like white disks) add drops of water to dissolve it into a paste.
2: cover the bite
3: I used athletic tape to hold it in place, you can use gauze or band aids or something.

This worked well to stop the itch. I went to bed with this one and it hasn't fallen off. Its been about 12 hours with this on, and no itch. :) I actually think I get itchy from the tape rather than the bites themselves.
I'm sure band aids would probably be better, but I don't have those big band-aids in my house and athletic tape was much cheaper :)

After wearing the aspirin for almost a day, I removed the bandage and aspirin after a workout and didn't have time to reapply. After running some errands, 3+ hours later the area still has NO itch.
it could be the poison has finished the worse of its course, but I think the aspirin really helped.

Stop the Itch - Method 1

Lately, my friends and I have been tackling ~10 mile hikes each weekend.
However, as we get into the belly of summer weather.. the bugs have come out to feast.

Next time I'll be prepared with Deet, but on my last hike I unfortunately got 5 bites. Thankfully I was wearing longer capris, so only my calves and ankles got bite.

I havent gotten bit this many times in a looong time.. I forgot how itchy these suckers are.
I tried several different anti itch creams, that did nothing.. They'd work for a VERY short while, and the itch would come back. So I Googled..

I came across this site and "How to Stop Mosquito Bites from Itching":

I Love home remedies and this site offers alot of them.

So I tried the "Baking Soda Method" (I have lots of baking soda around the house)

1: add a little bit of water & baking soda to make a paste.
2: Cover the area with the paste.

Instantly, the itch and burning stopped. And the relief lasted a long time, (as long as the baking soda stays on your skin) As the baking soda dries, it will slowly start to fall off or rub off.

After having all the baking soda fall off, I used Athletic tape to hold it in place, That way you can wear clothes or go to sleep without it rubbing off.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 95 Post Op Day 83

Now the Days are coming close to the double digits which makes it a little hard to calculate.. So weeks are a little easier to grasp.

Weeks since :
Injury - 14
Operation - 12

So since the operation, Kevin was in a cast for 6 week and a walking boot for 6 weeks.
and Now finally he has a Physical Therapy Prescription!
Normally it shouldn't take so long to get a PT prescription, but Dr Smith wanted to be more conservative and let the tendon heal longer to avoid re-rupture, or over stretching. 

Kevin only wore the walking boot religiously for the first 2 days. Then he wore it on and off, and gradually more off than on. Pretty much by the 2nd week, he was hardly ever wearing the walking boot. He felt to no pain, and it seemed better for him to actually get some movement in his leg sooner rather than later.

Since Kevin got his boot, we were researching nearby PT facilities. Luckily we have the option of picking with a PPO.

We interviewed 2 offices, where all the therapists had a DPT from USC. Since Kevin has been walking pretty well without his boot for the last 4 weeks, when we walked into the PT office, the PT actually didn't even know what was wrong with him. I feel that's a good sign, that his PT will go faster and smoother than anticipated.

Office #1 only had 1 therapist. It was closer, about a 5 min drive, but a smaller facility. When we walked in around 2pm, the sign in sheet was already 3/4 full, which shows he must be good, and very busy. Also he is open Monday - Saturday. The Saturday option is appealing in case we get busy during the work week.

Office #2 had a group of therapists, about 5 or more. It was a bit farther, about a 15 min drive, but still pretty close by to us. The facility was much larger, with lots of fancy new equipment. The downside of this facility is that since there are so many therapists, and so many different clients, it will get busy or crowded during peak hours. Also, even though the office is open Mon - Fri, the main therapists are only there M, W, F, which puts a damper if you have a busy schedule.

We ended up picking office #2. Kevin has a tendency to dislike certain qualities of trainers, having the option to change, was appealing to him.  Since there are different therapists there, Kevin would have the option of changing therapist.  Whereas office #1, he would be stuck with the same guy through the whole process.

His first evaluation will be on Monday. Excited to see his first session.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 65 Post Op Day 53

Its been about 10 weeks since the "incident", 7 weeks since surgery, and 2 weeks in the "Boot"

For the first few days, Kevin still needed crutches for balance when walking with his Boot. Now its been about 2 weeks, and hes walking pretty well without crutches with his Boot on. He is able to go up and down the stairs pretty smoothly.

At home, he doesn't wear the Boot and tries to give his foot more opportunity to bear weight and to gain a little flexibility.

Next week, is his followup appointment to see if he can start PT.

He has been using a special scar cream from Beijing for 2 weeks.
Bao Fu Ling 

It works wonders on all skin ailments, (dry skin, burns, cuts, scars, eczema, etc)

Here is his scar comparison. He wasn't using the cream the whole time because his foot was in the cast, I'm sure it would look even better if he was able to. I know lighting in the recent photo is much lighter, but you can see the scar is healing really well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 53, Post Op Day 41

Good Bye Cast!!

Its been about 8 weeks since "the incident" and 6 weeks since the surgery. Today Kevin gets to lose the cast, and get his walking boot. Very excited to no longer need crutches.


Leg Atrophy. 

Hello Walking Boot!!
fyi - its the same one that Kobe is wearing, so Kevin feels really cool. hahah 
There's a knob where you can inflate and deflate the boot. The silver bump is where you can "pump" up the boot. (just like those old pump basketball shoes) 

And after 8 weeks .. Kevin is WALKING!!! 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Showering at the Gym.. one of life's great lessons

For years I wouldn't dare enter the gym showers with all the rumors of disease and bacteria. I was always one of those people who took really long showers like 20+ mins and always over packed. It would take me an average of 1 to 1.5 hours to get ready. I was never able to understand how a person could take a 2-5 min shower and get ready in 10 mins or less. Even when I tried to be quick, it never worked out.
 As odd as it sounds, I'm really glad I started showering at the gym.

I overcame my fear of the gym showers when I started swimming at they gym pool, (you really can't skip the showering part). After a week or so, I learned how to take a fast shower, because you  never know when someone is gonna "not know you're there" and open your shower door. And because its just too cumbersome to carry all the bathroom/makeup amenities, I learned how to bring just the necessities to the gym and find products with multiple uses, (ex. 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner, and soap). Also getting ready at the gym, you need to be quick, else you'll get the death stare from other girl waiting for the mirror space.  (I'm also guilty of giving the stink eye to ladies who take up the whole counter and not just a spot.)

Its been years since I've spent a long time in the bathroom getting ready and I feel really proud of myself, as silly as it sounds.

Running in a Skirt?

While on my run today, I saw a girl running in a knee length pencil skirt, which a small slit in the back. Not one of those tennis or running skirts, an actual pencil skirt you could wear to church or work.

My immediate thought was, "huh, she must be new to this?"
Then I thought, "Maybe shes grabbing a quick jog during her break and didn't have time to change?" But in this heat, it'll be hard to get back to work not drenched in sweat..

As I watched her, I could tell she wasn't a rookie, which made me think more.. "could this probably be a new training method?"

With her minimalist running shoes, the pencil skirt forces her to shorten her gait and forcing her to have a forefoot strike. Genius!

I don't know if that was her actual purpose or she just wanted a quick jog before lunch.. but it was interesting to contemplate her motives and keep my mind occupied during mile 4.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to try it yet.. but its definitely something to think about.

Friday, April 13, 2012

First event for 2012

I know I said I wasn't going to race this year, but this is a new race from Nike (my beloved) and I just couldn't resist. Also its a 10k so I don't really have to worry about training for it. Its 80's themed so it'll be fun seeing bright neon colors and big hair. I wanted to dress up, but ended up not having enough time to plan an outfit.

Nike - She Runs LA 10K 

There's not much info online about it..except for a facebook page about it.

Some basic info


The race will begin and end at Paramount Studios, with an iconic out and back course along LA’s famed Melrose Ave.

5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

The race starts at 10:00AM. Paramount gates will open at 8:00AM and runners are encouraged to carpool and arrive early.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 39 Post Op Day 27

Its been 6 weeks since the "incident" and about 4 weeks since Surgery. 

We got some 'good' news. The Doctor was aiming for 8 weeks in a cast, but we may be able to cut it down to 6 weeks (so 2 more weeks of a cast). Kevin was able to move a his foot from a 40 degree angle to  about 80-85 degrees right now. Originally, the doctor thought Kevin would only be able to move it to 60 degrees, but with his progress, hopefully in 2 weeks Kevin can go into a Boot and start weight bearing. 

I didn't think his leg would atrophy so much in just 6 weeks, but it did. His left leg is probably about 20-30% thinner now. 

I wasn't able to get a good shot because I didn't want to disrupt Dr. Smith working.  Also Dr. Smith has been really nice letting me get lots of photos in, and pausing so I can take photos. He must think I am one of those a crazy tourist that photograph everything.

Kevin looking happy to get a new cast.

Dr. Smith and The Saw that is going to cut off the cast. As creepy as it looks and sounds, it was actually safe to touch the moving blade. 

The Wound is healing well. 

Leg comparison. I wasn't able to get the legs side by side, next time. I'm sure in 2 weeks it will shrink even more. You can see how beefy his right leg is, and how smooth and delicate the left one looks. hehe 

Kevin's foot is placed on a contraption that allows him to bend his foot so Dr. Smith can recast him in that position. 
Almost at 90 degrees :) 


We also asked Dr. Smith to lower the cast, so its not so high up on his calf to make things a little more comfortable. 

The Skin on Kevin's leg that was covered by the cast was by far the Grossest part for me! 
I don't mind looking at the wound, or pus, etc, but 6 weeks of skin not being able to shed by itself, left for Nasty-Flakey-Fish Scale looking skin. Thinking about it makes me want to vomit profusely. I made Kevin scrub the skin off. Begrudgingly, he did to stop me from shrieking and scaring the dog. lol. and NO I don't have a photo of the skin. 

Cast comparison

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 26 - Post Op Day 16

Walking in crutches isn't easy, so Kevin asked Dr. Smith to prescribe him a knee walker. Its looks like a scooter where you rest your knee on.

However, Aetna wouldn't cover it if you are capable of using crutches. Incapable would mean you only have 1 arm and can't use crutches.
Stupid Aetna.

Luckily, you can RENT these things by the month. Kevin found a knee walker for $75/month. Its a good investment, and now Kevin can help me walk the dog :-D

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 24, Post Op Day 12

Staple Removal Day!!

Today Kevin gets his staples removed and getting rid of the splint. It was uncomfortable, loose, and didn't offer much support on the sides. Kevin was very uncomfortable in the splint.
I'm surprised he was in a splint for so long, and not a hard cast right away.

We were hoping for good news, but due to the degree of "shredding" of his Tendon, he has to be in the hard cast longer than normal. Kinda Sucks.  Dr. Smith thinks he'll have to be in a hard cast for at least 6 weeks.
Right now, Kevin will be in a plantar flexion position (about a +30-45 degree angle) for 2 weeks. Then the following 2 weeks he'll slowly move the foot toward neutral position, probably 60 degrees. Then the next 2 weeks into a neutral at 90 degrees. Then Kevin will be able to wear a walking boot and be able to start weight bearing. After, another few weeks in the boot, Kevin will be able to start Physical Therapy.

I was hoping he could start earlier, so thus be closer to walking again. The longer PT gets pushed out, the longer it will be to regain movement. :(

I've studied other Achilles ruptures, and those patients were able to begin PT around 4 weeks after surgery, or as soon as the cast came off, but Kevin probably wont be able to start PT til 8-10 weeks after surgery. :(

Good bye splint!

Ew Staples..

Ew Removing Staples

Removing Staples

Bye Staples

Lots of swelling

Hello Hard Cast.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 16 - Post Op Day 4

Today was the first Post Op follow-up at Dr. Smiths.

He took off the splint to see if the wound was healing well and to check for infection. So far the wound looks good and he will be able to take off the staples in 9 days. 

Dr. Smith said most Achilles Tendon Ruptures will have a full distinct tear where he would sew the 2 ends together, but Kevin's tendon was "very" shredded so he had to sew it a different way, encircling and gathering the frayed tendon ends together to bunch it back up. Ew.. no wonder the tendon tore.. I can only image what the right leg looks like.. I fear its in a similar condition, and if so, preventative measures should be taken, asap. 

~12 cm incision. 




Friday, March 9, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 13 - Surgery Day

Surgery Day!

Instructions prior to surgery:
Fasting starting Thursday @ midnight, or Friday @ 12:00am, no food or water.
Also to not wear contact lenses during the surgery, in case the lenses dry out and scratch the eyes.

We were instructed to arrive at the surgery center at 1030am, 1 hour prior to surgery to fill out paper work. Paper work took about 10 seconds. Kevin was finally called in to change around noon. The nurses asked him what he was allergic to, and set up the IV.  A little after 12:30, the doctor was ready, and Kevin was rolled away into the surgery room.
I left and the nurses said they would call me 20-30 mins prior to when Kevin was ready to be picked up.

While we were in the waiting room we joked at what Kevin was going to eat and stuff ourselves with afterwards because the fasting had him hungry and thirsty.

Kevin said he woke up around 2:45 from the anesthesia. But he was just very tired and uncomfortable. He had an appetite, but he wanted to lay down and rest more than eat.

His leg is wrapped up in a splint instead of a full cast. I wonder if that is better?


In the waiting room

Initialing the leg by Kevin and his Doctor to make sure they operate on the correct leg.

Grump Kevin afterwards.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 11

2 more days until surgery (Friday). Its a love/hate situation because the sooner you get surgery, the sooner you can start healing. But the sooner you get surgery, the sooner things are gonna SUCK even more. At least now, before surgery, Kevin still has some mobility and tolerable pain, but after surgery, it will be no mobility and lots of pain.

I was hoping he would have had surgery within a week of the incident, but with the doctor we went with, and all the hassel we had to go through with the insurance company, it seemed better to stick with the original doctor, since they were there from the beginning. Aetna, the insurance company, really wants to make sure that you are as injured as the doctor and hospital say you are. (idiots)

Yesterday Kevin got his blood work done. The doctor said they need to do a red blood cell count 3 days before they can do surgery to make sure he wont bleed to death, etc.

Today Kevin said this is the most pain he's felt since the beginning. Its a dull achy feeling along the tendon and up the leg. I suspect the pain is from the swelling, and atrophy of the muscles.

The best we can do is elevated and ice it. 2 more days..

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rupture Achilles Tendon - Day 9

Today was Kevin's followup with Dr. Smith, the orthopedic surgeon, to evaluate the MRI results.

Dr. Smith confirmed that the tendon had a 4 cm tear. EW!

Surgery is schedule for Friday. In the meantime, Kevin needs to have a physical with blood work to confirm he is healthy enough for surgery.

The surgery should last 1.5 hours and the doctor will make an 8cm incision. Afterwards, Kevin should be in a cast for 3 weeks, and a boot for and additional 3 weeks. After that Dr. Smith will check on Kevin's progress to see if he can start physical therapy. If things go well, Kevin may even be able to start physical therapy sooner, but Dr. Smith thinks its best to wait about 6 weeks after the surgery to start PT.

So far his leg is pretty much the same as it has been for the past few days. It does get pretty swollen when it is not elevated. The most pain he feels is when he has to stand up and all the blood rushes down to his foot. But overall, he says it just feels uncomfortable.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 4

Today we were able to pick up the CD with the MRI images.
I don't know how to really "read" them (yet), but these were the images that I thought showed some pretty gnarly stuff.

Kevin still wanted to cook dinner, but standing in the kitchen really causes his foot to swell a lot..
But on the brighter side, the skirt steak he cooked tasted really, really good. hehe

Right foot - unaffected foot, notice the distinct curvature from the malleolus (the boney part that sticks out on the ankle) to his foot.

Left foot: Notice there is No curvature on this foot from the swelling.

MRI images:
Now I don't know exactly what I'm looking at, but these seemed pretty gnarly.
I call this the "curly pig tail!"

I call this the "dark abyss" 

I call this the "crackers"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 3

Good News: 1 day later - Aetna approved the MRI (like they should)
Bad News: the MRI company gave away our Wednesday morning time spot to someone else, so we were able to get an appointment Wednesday at 430p. However, that means Kevin would have to drive himself to the appointment.
He's able to drive, since it was his left Achilles that ruptured, but it is pretty cumbersome for him to get around.

He was standing longer than he should and the blood started to pool at the foot. When he took off his splint the foot was pretty swollen and bruised.

Later that night he slept with his foot elevated which helped reduce the swelling.

Bruising on both sides of the foot :(

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 2

So first thing Monday morning, I called and we were able to get an appointment Monday afternoon with the orthopedic surgeon. Terrific :)

Dr. Smith performed a few special tests and felt that it is a full tear, but he wanted an MRI to confirm. However my PPO Aetna insurance company was being very difficult. It was seriously a 2+ hour ordeal just to schedule an MRI.
(I have had an MRI before under my other insurance, United Health Care, and it was so easy to obtain an MRI the same or next day. Not Aetna)
The MRI office wanted an approval code from our doctor, which the doctor would need to obtain from Aetna,. However, Aetna needed a procedure code from the MRI company to give the approval code. But the MRI company wouldn't give the code without the doctor's tax ID number. But the doctor didn't know his tax ID number, because he works for the hospital. So, the doctor had to call the very unresponsive hospital admin to give the tax-id number. FINALLY, everyone had all the #'s they needed. Then Aetna had to ask a billion questions to the doctor, "Whats his range of motion? Is this a prior injury? etc" Finally, they said it would take 1-2 days to give the approval for an MRI.
Honestly, the doctor says it needs surgery, and you (the insurance company) need to approve an MRI? WTF?

Kevin said he felt the pain was more manageable. At least it wasn't getting worse. He doesn't use his crutches much around the house and doesn't elevate his leg as much as he should.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - The Beginning.

One of my greatest fears, a ruptured Achilles tendon, has hit close to home. 

On Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 my boyfriend, Kevin, ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing basketball. As with most other ruptured Achilles, it comes without warning to most "weekend warriors". As he began to take a step, it felt like someone kicked him in the leg. He turned around and saw that no one was behind him, so he began to continue forward, it was at that moment, he felt the dreaded "pop".

He hopped off court, put an ankle brace on and elevated his foot. 
When he got home, he told me what he did, and as a person studying physical therapy, I ran some special tests on him and the results didn't look good. Looking at the leg, it was swollen with a visible depression where the tendon should be. The Thompson test showed that his foot didn't move. He was unable to perform toe raises or any type of weight bearing, which again showed positive for a ruptured Achilles. 

Since it was Sunday, and my orthopedic wasn't open, I wasn't sure where to take him. I called Urgent care and they said my b/f would need to go to the Hospital. 

So we headed to the nearest hospital around noon, and we didn't leave the hospital until after 5pm. It was a long visit. The doctor thought it was a partial tear and not a full tear because Kevin was able to put his foot into plantar flexion, (pointing down), but he was reluctant to say for sure. So he said we had to call the orthopedic surgeon on Monday and schedule an appointment. He wrapped up Kevin's left leg in a splint, and sent us home. 

Since Kevin is allergic to acetaminophen, its limited to what type of pain meds he can take, so he opted to not take any. He said the pain wasn't too bad to just tough if out.

Right leg - Unaffected leg
See the nice curvature of the Achilles tendon

Left Leg - Ruptured Achilles

Friday, February 17, 2012

So when's your next event?

Often I get asked this question, either by friends or family, someone at the gym, or another runner on the road. And I reply, "none, I train for nothing, I just like doing this".

 At the end of 2011, I decided to not do any events in 2012, and spend the year training on my weaknesses to get faster and stronger.
 During 2011, I had a lot of events lined up, and with a busy work and school schedule, I gave up quality for quantity. Given about 3 days a week to train with only maybe 1 or 2 hours at most to spare, I focused getting in my miles, and not even thinking about my times. If I'm going to do a half ironman, I'd rather finish the whole race instead of worry about my times.

 So, this year, my main focus is to shed 7% body fat so I can be lighter and faster. And in the process, get stronger arms and back muscles so I can be a better swimmer, and stronger hips and hamstrings so I run and bike faster. I still train and workout almost everyday. I love not stressing over getting in my miles, and just focus on my core of my legs.

I don't need to have the deadline of an event looming over me to "motivate" me, it actually stresses me out more. I love working out and training just because. If I wasn't doing that, I don't know what I would do. 

But...if given the opportunity, and if I feel I can perform decently, there are only 2 events in 2012 that I would want to do.
1- Nike women's full marathon in sf around Sept
2- Barb's race 70.3 half ironman around June to July (highly unlikely that this will happen.. Maybe 2013)

Happy trainings!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Adidas ClimaWarm

I'm not a big fan of most Adidas products, but their ClimaWarm line is Amazing.
I've tried the ClimaCool line (its like Nike Dryfit) but I'm not a big fan of it.
I pretty much only support the ClimaWarm line from Adidas.

The ClimaWarm line is great at keeping you warm and dry, but without the bulk in addition to looking great for women.

I recently got this jacket and am so in love with it. I gave it a few test runs and its fantastic at keeping the elements out. You really can't go wrong with anything from the Adidas ClimaWarm line. Also Adidas prices are much lower than Nike and you can always get a good deal at the outlet. I think I got this jacket for around $35 at the Adidas outlet. You can't beat that kind of deal.

I've tried other "warm" lines from other brands, like Nike, but Adidas always wins hands down.

image: adidas Hiking One-Sided Fleece Hooded Jacket O05945

Happy Running!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How To Hike To Big Buddha, Ngong Ping on Lantau Island - Hong Kong

This is a beautiful hike and I can't wait to do it again next time I go to Hong Kong. It is challenging in a sense that its about 10 km of all stairs. But the trail itself is very well maintained and well groomed which makes it "easier" in that sense. A dirt or rocky path would make it pretty miserable to do. The hike took us about 3.5 hours to do (at a slow and easy pace).. but it took us about 1 hour of getting lost trying to find the Start of the hike.
You can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

The tricky part is Finding the start of the path which is not easily marked. So I wanted to make this post to help others (and myself) to find the path.

Take the MTR (subway)  to Tung Chung - its the same island as the airport

*Here is the tricky part*
Once you exit the subway, follow the Bike Path (AWAY from the Cable car signs) and don't go through any tunnels yet. If there is a fork in the road and one side leads to a tunnel, don't go through that part. Keep following the bike path, it will curve around some large buildings.

Fredrik, a fellow reader, photoblog'd how to find the Bike Path
See his pictures HERE:

Thanks Fredrik!

Keep walking until you see a tunnel that looks exactly like this. There will be several tunnels that looks similar with the 2 arrows. Make sure you see the mosaics and the sidewalk. 

The tunnel will lead you to a main road - Go Right

 You will see these signs (Go Right) - none of these signs point you to the Buddha but you're on the right path. Follow the Reddish/Purple arrows for now.

Keep walking and following the bike path. Along the path we saw lots of people drying their laundry on the bushes and trees, despite signs that say to not do so.

You will see a bridge - Go to the Right (Do Not go on the bridge) Not far you will see a little path to the right that looks like it leads to a swampy area. Go there. (lol sounds sketchy doesnt it?) haha 

***** UPDATE******UPDATE*********************************************
a reader informed me of another route to avoid this swampy area (the next few photos). I haven't personally been on it, but it seems easy enough to follow: ~Thanks Ole Ch.

Stay on Yu Tung Road (don't turn right, do cross the bridge).
Near the end of Yu Tung Road (it ends with a sharp turn to the left and becomes Chung Mun Road) there is another sign post with blue/red sings.

One of the reddish/purple signs is pointing towards Hau Wong Temple. The building in your picture right before the bridge across the water (some kind of playground) is right next to Hau Wong Temple, so follow the sign by turning right off Yu Tung Road (down some stairs). Follow the path and turn left at the first fork.
--This path will lead to the fork with the six white sign pictured above. From here the instructions are the


Go Left where the people are heading in the photo

Once you reach a fork in the road, Go Right 

Can you believe it, You are about Halfway to the START of the buddha hike.

As you walk you will see people that live in the little huts. I don't know if they take kindly to strangers. I stayed quiet and tried not to bother them. 

Keep walking you will see this sign - Go Right 

Keep following the path straight. 
You will come across this building. Keep walking

Soon you will see this bridge, and the cable cars to the right. You have finally made your way around the water.

Follow the path, you will come across the last set of little houses. 

Once you past the houses you will see these firebeaters and the stairs which BEGIN the hike to the buddha!

The man in the photo is the only 1 out of 3 people we came across during the hike. And this man, in his late 60's totally kicked our butts. We didn't see him again until he was already on his way back and we were about only half way to the 1st tower. 

In total there are 5 towers, which are labeled #2- #6, but I will call them 1-5 to avoid confusion.

The toughest part was the beginning getting to the first tower. Its pretty steep and we took many breaks. The Entire trail is made of these stone steps.

Sit and enjoy the view

Panoramic view

You will see posts like this - the end is when you get to C30 
Here is C03 - you are going toward Ngong Ping

The path is pretty easy  to follow now, just follow the stairs, the massive amount of stairs. 

The path to Tower 2 - *Bleep*!! ( just a reminder there are 5 towers in total)

Path to Tower 3 - When we were hiking we didn't know there were 5 towers. The 3rd tower was larger than the others so we thought this was the end. We were pretty excited being about 1.5 hours in at this point and rushed up to tower 3. 

However once we reached tower 3, to our dismay 2 more towers, and Buddha very, very far away (arrow)..  Follow the path under the cable cars. People will yell at you and call you crazy from above. 

You will reach a fork in the road and it will steer you left. It looks like you are no longer following the cable cars, but it is a much easier path. 
Aerial view:

The path that goes straight ends. It looks like the canyon was too deep and they stopped building and decided to go another route. 

The path now isn't too steep, more straight with a slight incline which makes you miss the stairs. 

This Corgi is kicking my butt. These people took the cable car and are taking the path back. I'm curious how that dog is gonna handle the 60 degree stair incline..  

Tower 5 is in sight!!

Finally C30!!

Ahh the last tower!

oh wait.. you're not at the Buddha yet!! 

You need to climb 250 steps to reach him. 

Now you have reached the Buddha.