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. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tummy Troubles?

This is a interesting article from Active.com  "5 Digestion Tips for Athletes"
I'm not sure if I like them all.. but it doesn't hurt to try..

I'll paraphrase the key points
  1. Largest meal should be lunch. 
    • Ideal portion size = two hands cupped together. (I don't think that is enough food for me.. but I will try it)
    • Eat smaller portions more frequently. 
  2. Avoid Combining:
    • Fruit and Dairy (like fruit and yogurt) Acidity of fruit can rot in the milk while in the stomach
    • Sweet and Sour (can irritate digestive tract)
  3. Limit to 3 different foods at a time/meal
    • Complicated meals = complicated digestion.
  4. Drink 1/2 cup of water before a meal
    • This will active the digestive fire to burn food.
  5.  Chew thoroughly:
    • The more something is chewed up, the easier the stomach will digest it. 
I'm pretty much guilty of violating each rule to the most extreme degree. 
I seriously inhale all my food, and I eat insanely large portions.
I love eating my dessert with my meals and I always consume liquids during meals.
And only 3 ingredients in my meal? I love variety and the more the merrier.. 

 I'm sure following these 5 rules are a very healthy way to eat. This will definitely be a challenge.. 

Happy Eating.. er.. I mean.. Happy Chewing.... :P

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


BenDoesLife.com is an awesome blog. I first came across his blog maybe a year ago via Kara Goucher's Blog when she posted about the imfamous video Ben made called "My 120 lb Journey" (its an awesome video if you haven't seen it yet. Often I re-watch it to get inspired again)

Ben has a new post where he does a weekly vlog of a "Plank off" and he planks with a timer to see how long he and the viewers can plank together.

I tried it this week but I can't last very long.. maybe 20-30 seconds? but I do plan to "plank-off" with Ben in the upcoming weeks to get better. My goal is to be able to plank for 2 minutes.


check it out and we can plank together :)

Happy Planking!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tips to Stop Snacking.

I'm a sucker for free things, especially free Kindle Downloads.

Recently I downloaded this book on the kindle (for free) called "Lose Weight Without Dieting" by David Nordmark. (its still free if you want to download it too)

Its a pretty easy read, and the concepts are pretty common (nothing wild and crazy). I do like the book and would recommend it.

The authors main concepts are to not diet, but to change your eating habits, and offers simple suggestions and tips on how to do that.

My favorite part of the book that I would like to share would be his chapter on Snacking.

Snacking is where a lot of us (including me) overly increase our caloric intake. And we mainly snack because we are bored.

A few good ways to control you habits on snacking:
(I don't remember all the points, but these are the ones that stuck with me, because I try to practice them as much as I can. And since they stuck with me, I hope they will stick with you)

1 - Have a designated area for eating, for example the dining table. If you were to eat anything even a snack, you have to eat it at the dining table. That way, you have to make an extra effort to leave your desk or couch to grab a snack and then eat it all at the dining table.. and for some of us (like me) who are too lazy to even get off the couch, we will then skip that snacking encounter.

2- When you feel like snacking - drink a glass a water. Usually this will curb your desire to consume "something".

3- Still have the urge? Wait 7 minutes. Now you can Eat your snack, but you will Have to wait 7 minutes, and during that time you need to do something productive (NOT Watching TV). Examples would be cleaning the bathroom, sorting the laundry, sorting the mail, take a walk, take the dishes out of the washer, etc. The reason is usually you will get distracted with what you are doing, that after 7 minutes, you will forget that you even wanted your snack in the first place.

4- Now 7 minutes have passed, you sorted your mail, did the laundry, took a walk, and you still want your snack? Go and eat it. It means your body really is hungry and it wants food, and you are not just eating because you are bored.

These tips are to mainly stop the habit of snacking because we are bored.

Happy Un-Snacking! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Are you a Belly Breather?

There are 2 types common types of breathing, Chest Breathing and Belly Breathing.

I am naturally a chest breather, but I'm trying to incorporate Belly breathing into my runs. 
if my old ballet teacher heard this, she'd flip out, because she really discouraged belly breathing.

How do you tell what type you are? 

Take a deep breath.. Does your Chest expand out, or your Belly? 

What Happens when you're a Chest breather? 

   - the neck and chest muscles engage to lift your chest to expand the upper portion of your lungs. Now because this is the smaller part of your lungs (see diagram) and closer to your heart, its easier to get air in and out of them and into the body, (the path of least resistance). This gives you rapid, short breaths.
This may also be a large contributor to pain around the neck, trapezius, intercostals (the muscles between the ribs) and side cramps.

The minus? - Your chest can only expand out so much, so you end up not filling up the entire lungs with air, and with rapid, short breaths the body isn't getting enough oxygen which causes more panting and rapid short breaths. 

What Happens when you're a Belly Breather? 

    - The Diaphragm and abdomen muscles expand out to allow more room in the lower chest cavity, which allows air to flow deep-down into the lower part of your lungs, (see diagram) the large part of the lungs.

   - Have you noticed that when you Inhale deeply, when you pause, you can still inhale more air.  The same goes with the reverse. When you exhale deeply you can still exhale more air out by compressing your muscles.  How does the body do this? Because there is a lot of "hidden" air deep into the lower pockets of your lungs. It is this part of the lungs you want to engage while you run. 

What's The Benefit? You draw in more air into your lungs, therefore more Oxygen into your body. Also you draw in air slower therefore letting your body get more fresh air and increase its VO2 Max.

I still am not a natural belly breather. I have to force myself to remember to belly breathe and expand out my belly with each breath. But I hope with more practice, it will come more naturally. 

Happy Running and Belly breathing.