Running, blog stats and random stuff

I’ve had a pretty exciting week from a personal perspective. I set two personal records running in the past 3 days. The first was my fastest run at 8:26 avg. min/km or 13:34 avg. min/mile. This is a full 1 minute per mile LESS than before I had my surgery in May! The second was that I ran more miles in July than any previous month! Below is my RunKeeper stats…

The brick color is walking, the green is running and the purple is hiking.

I’ve either walked, ran or hiked 544 kilometers since March. That’s 338 miles 🙂 Woot!

Another awesome thing that happened this week is that at some point I reached 50,000 hits on my blog! And I’ve logged nearly 3500 comments! It makes me so happy that so many people have stopped by. I started regularly writing this blog in August to share my journey with family and friends and it has become so much more and that makes my heart swell with happiness!

And that leads to the awesomest things that have happened this week. Actually it happened today… 4 people that I personally know, all of us on 4 different continents, contacted me today (yesterday for some of you) to tell me they are starting the Dukan because they want to be healthier and they’ve seen my success. All 4 have read my blog and I only knew that one of them was. I wish all 4 of you luck!!! I know you will succeed because I know all of you put your mind to something and accomplish it! 4 amazing women… starting on this journey… Good luck and remember that I’m here if you need anything!

I’ll finish by saying that August brings in the last month of summer. It also signals that I have 51 days left in China. I can’t believe I’ve been here nearly a year already! I get one more trip to Guangzhou where I get to hang with my Int’l crew down there, Rose, Jenny, Liza and Dianna. And get to mentor a friend from the Middle East, Aisha! And then back to Hangzhou to finish out my contract… I’m going to miss my ViviMokaLaka so much! She’s the one that brought me here in the first place. I’m going to try to take as many photos as possible in the next 7 weeks.

But I miss home and my kids and my grandkids and my mom and my family and my friends and the beautiful sunrise over the Roosevelt Bridge first thing in the morning. And there’s no place like home. I’ve had a fun 4 years living abroad 🙂 But on to new projects and fixing up my AirStream!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

Ciao!

Rock You Like A Hurricane

So, exciting couple of days I’ve had! That little tropical storm that I blogged about yesterday morning turned into a full on Category 4 Typhoon (known as a hurricane in the Atlantic) and headed to come on land just a smidge west of Hong Kong in the middle of the night.

Yesterday afternoon, when it started heading north towards HK and became a slow moving Category 1 storm, I decided to ditch the free night I earned at Best Western and pack up. I then headed out in the torrential rain, that no umbrella would have protected me from, to see if I could get a train back to Guangzhou.

Category 1 in the afternoon, local HK time…

20120724-164754.jpg

There were two reasons I wanted out of HK… 1. I was staying on the top floor (37th) of a hotel on a small island and 2. I had an interview to do in the morning and didn’t want to let the hospital down.
I got to the train ticket office, soaking wet, only to be told, “NO” 😦

The good thing about the typhoon was that I was forced to actually relax and I never lost my Internet connection! I chatted with Miri for awhile and her wit kept me distracted. Then, around 930 pm I thought I was having vertigo because the room was moving… Well the room WAS moving, the wind was howling and a peek at http://www.wunderground.com told me this…

20120724-165332.jpg

Yes, a Category FOUR hurricane with winds that were shaking the building!
I took this shot of the outside…

20120724-165500.jpg

So, while I’m Facebooking updates and pretending all is well with the world I’m freaking out and scared… Thank God my friend Teri popped up to chat…. Teri, you calmed me down and distracted me and I’m so grateful 🙂 I took a Lunesta and decided to sleep it away… Gently rocked (literally) to sleep by the winds!

I woke up at 515 to get ready to go to the train. The winds were still quite high and it was pouring rain. The concierge said that the subways were working and that my train was delayed because of trees on the track. I thought I’d risk it and go anyway. My train left just 13 minutes late!

My trusty personal assistant, Rose, met me at the station in Guangzhou and off to the interview we went. The interview was for a company called qq and it was about my passion, water birth. Here we are during the interview…

20120724-170002.jpg

And the storm has followed me north… Downgraded to a Cat 3 typhoon now. Very odd that I had no idea about this storm until I was in the middle of it. At home, in Florida, everyone would be broadcasting around the clock if there was a storm brewing like that! No storefronts boarded up this morning and the street pork guy was opening his shop while I made my way to the subway! Different perspectives, different countries… Ahhhh, what an interesting life I lead 🙂

Ciao!

Dukan – Consolidation Day 55

I am really missing my daily blog posts! I still don’t feel like I’ve caught up from my vacation!

Daily weight: 147 lbs/66.8 kgs
Goal weight: 155 lbs/70.5 kgs

Things weight and goal wise are going very well. I have to remind myself often that I am no longer in the Cruise Phase and can add a few things into my diet! Today (Thursday) is a PP day and so far I’ve stuck to that. On the Consolidation Phase (which for me will be 500 days long) you get to add some stuff back in to your diet, you get to have one celebration MEAL (not day) a week and you still have one PP day a week. Dr. Dukan suggests Thursday as that day, and I’m going to stick with that.

On Tuesday morning I got up early and went for a 2 mile run at sunrise. I then came back and did Chaz’s YOGAmazing 10 Minute Morning Flow workout. The combination of the two is a great way to start my day! Chaz has some amazing short yoga workouts that are easy to fit into your day and he also has workouts that focus on specific areas of your body, which I really love!

I then headed to work by walking and within the first hour was told I was being requested for a water birth. All day labor, difficult birth, as the baby was face up instead of face down, but this momma pulled energy from the universe and after nearly 3 hours of pushing had a gorgeous baby boy with a funny looking head… lol (it’s looking much better this morning!)

On Tuesday evening Alice came back for a night stay over. We went out to dinner with her son, Leon. Alice and I had the salmon with horseradish appetizer and we all three ordered mixed grill. The meat was DELICIOUS!

The waitress that took pics for us kept tilting all of our cameras… so none of us have a straight shot, lol!

Alice and I then headed back late to my flat and I was in bed at 1 a.m. (gasp!!! that is SO late for me!). And we were up at 6 a.m. to get a ride to the train station. Alice had a noon flight to Hong Kong.

Wearing Red, White & Blue on the train to Shanghai in honor of America’s birthday!

So off we went to Shanghai on Wednesday morning… the 4th of July. Not only is this America’s Independence Day, but it is also my little sister Nannette’s birthday!

Alice and I were suppose to be on the high speed train to Shanghai, which usually takes about 42 minutes, but we somehow got on the slow one… so between that and the subway ride on Line 2 from one end of Shanghai to the other to get to the airport, it was cutting it close… good Lord I was glad it was Alice traveling and not me, as we all know how bad my travel anxiety and time goes! We, of course, got there with plenty of time and from the pics that Alice posted on her Facebook wall of Hong Kong, she got there in one piece!

Bye Alice!!! It was fun hanging out!

I then got back on the subway and found my way to the grocery store that I shop at in Shanghai and found a restaurant that I hadn’t eaten in before. Sat down at a table with a lovely gentleman named Stern from New Jersey, in China teaching for a year, and had a wonderful conversation over lunch… we’re Facebook friends now 🙂  and then I got a little shopping done… mostly a backpack and sack full of groceries to sustain me through the week. I then took the subway back to the train station for the ride back to Hangzhou. I called Jerry, my driver (I love saying that… he’s a very cool dude!) and asked if he could pick me up… he said yes and told me to keep an eye out for the special way he was going to display my name at the train station…

You see MY driver uses an iPad instead of cheesy paper! 😀 Thank you, Jerry, for making me feel so special and important and for being environmentally friendly!

He then informed me that he was taking me to dinner to thank me for all the referrals that I gave him. He was taking me to the “best Chinese restaurant in town” and inquired about what foods I could and could not eat… the man pays attention! Too bad he’s married with a kid, lol! Just joking, his wife is one lucky lady!

So, he takes me to Nongtangli Restaurant near West Lake and he was not kidding… it was the best Chinese food I’ve had since I’ve been here! I decided right then and there that Wednesday, July 4th, was going to be my Celebration Meal of the week. Not that I ventured too far… I don’t do wheat, rice or potatoes… here’s what we had…

Spicy Black fungi and to die for pork… nommy, nommy pork, melt in your mouth, fall off the bone, better than sex pork 😀

And pumpkin with a creamed coconut sauce… now this was yummy!

And I had juice, which is something I haven’t had since August! It was fresh juiced green apple and grapefruit… cool and refreshing on this hot summer’s eve!

Awesome dinner, awesome dinner companion. Jerry then took me back to my flat and didn’t charge me for the pick up… such a great guy!

So my 4th of July food was:
Breakfast: 2 tea eggs, coffee at train station
Lunch: Salad greens and a poached salmon steak
Snack on the train: about 2 ounces of aged cheddar that was crumbly and sharp!
Dinner: See above… Yum!!
Snack before bed: FF Greek Yogurt with Splenda and flax seed
Water: About 3 liters
Exercise: 1 mile walk after dinner and 20 minutes of meditation

So how was everyone else’s 4th of July??

Ciao!

Travel – Blogging from 37,000 feet

20120621-124551.jpg

I am blogging from the skies! I’m somewhere between Miami and NYC. When I checked in the lovely American Airlines lady told me I had a yucky middle seat and she’d change it. She then said she gave me an “awesome” seat. When I boarded I discovered a free upgrade to Business Class. My leg room is so big I can extend my leg without bending my knee, lol 🙂 OK, I’m short, but it’s still awesome leg room!

20120621-124943.jpg

I promised myself in January I wouldn’t PAY for upgrades anymore, to save money. I’ve had 3 flights upgraded for free so far this year and I upgraded 1 with miles. I think it’s good Karma 🙂 Lucky girl I am and grateful.

Missing home already!

Ciao 🙂

Travel – Weekly Round-up!

Well, what a week! Going to do a breakdown with pictures.

Current Weight: 149
Goal Weight: 155

Sunday, June 3 – flew Guangzhou to Hangzhou. Flew between the clouds…

20120610-203118.jpg

Went straight to hospital and saw 3 patients, rushed home, had reunion with Tits the Cat…

20120610-203213.jpg

threw clothes in washer, started to unpack, knock on door… It’s….
KITTY!!!

20120610-203258.jpg

I also got to hang out with Velina, Robin and their gorgeous baby and show off the beautiful necklace that Sheila, Greg and Lily gave me…

20120610-203443.jpg

Finished repacking, went to bed…

Monday, June 4
got picked up by driver to head airport. Hangzhou to Beijing, Beijing to JFK… Here’s a shot from over Siberia… It really is frozen tundra!

20120610-203725.jpg

Get into JFK pretty much on time, only to wait 1 hour and 40 minutes for my bags. Major panic, get through customs, race to airport train to go to AA building, still need to check in, recheck bags, get through security and they are already boarding… Major panic… People get me through quick, I’m trying to breathe, and I get on 2nd to last… Phew! Then we sat on the Tarmac for one and a half hours! Argh! Finally up, up and away and this gorgeous sunset off the coast of NC…

20120610-205036.jpg

Finally got to Miami and Miri’s smiling face there to pick me up!

Tuesday, June 5
Up before the crack of dawn and out for a run… I love my hometown!

20120610-210034.jpg

20120610-210120.jpg

20120610-210205.jpg

Then I had a haircut and color…

20120610-210253.jpg

And sushi with my niece, Amanda 🙂 Then off to visit the kids and grandkids, then a run/walk with Michele and Michael and dinner.

Wednesday, June 6
Up early, breakfast with Tiffany and then out to Okeechobee to visit my friend Julia, who is not only a super awesome friend, but is hands down the best massage therapist in the world! Two hours of myofascial therapy, craniosacral therapy and some lymph work. Lunch with her son at Golden Corral and then back to her office for another hour or so of traditional massage. It was all amazing. Then back to Port St Lucie to pick up Sydnie for the night.

Thursday, June 7
Breakfast with Sydnie…

20120610-211522.jpg

And dropped her off to school. Then back to motel and Jenni, Sadie, Tiffany and Joey came over to spend time in pool with me. Wore a bikini, LOL… That seems weird to me.

I then headed 90 miles south to check out a 1973 Airstream Land Yacht… I bought it!

20120610-211811.jpg

20120610-211832.jpg

Then raced back up to home to pick up Sadie from camp so we could go to Jammin’ Jensen with my friends… Just writing this makes me feel like I haven’t had a holiday, lol! Here’s some pics from the awesome time I had with my friends…

20120610-212058.jpg

20120610-212122.jpg

Then over to our friend Denise’s house, since she had neck surgery and couldn’t come out to play, we took the party to her…

20120610-212236.jpg

20120610-212301.jpg

Then off to bed with Sadie, so I can get up early to head 5 hours north in the morning!

Friday, June 8
Up early, drop Sadie to her mommy and hit the road. First stop, 2 hour drive to Daytona to see Shauna, Mouna and Fiona. Lovely visit. Then another 1.5 hours to Ocala to register for the 5K and get my BIB… How exciting! My first BIB!!

20120610-212913.jpg

Then another hour drive up to get my mom and an hour back to Ocala to meet my friend Teri, who came down to support me 🙂 Dinner Outback, visit with my nephew and his wife and kids and then to bed!

Saturday, June 9 – RACE DAY!

20120610-213423.jpg

20120610-213447.jpg

20120610-213523.jpg

What a rush! My friend Gail told me I’d start out to quick and she was right… My first kilometer was in 7:12… I slowed my pace, walked some, ran, met a lovely lady named Trisha, picked up discarded cups (I know, I know) and finished. It was awesome.

Then breakfast and back to hotel to pack and hit the road… 9 hour drive to North Carolina with my mom to her best friend Sandy’s house. This is the lady I was named after 🙂

Sunday, June 10

Beautiful , cool, rainy morning in North Carolina. Mom, Sandy and I met Eric for breakfast and then Eric and I went for a hike up Mt. Pisgah.
Hike Statistics
Difficulty: Moderate
Total Length: 3 mi
Trail Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Climb: Climbs Moderately
Lowest Elevation: 4980 ft
Highest Elevation: 5730 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 750 ft
Trails/Roads Used: Mount Pisghah
Hike Configuration: Out-and-back
Starting point: Mount Pisgah Parking Area, Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 407.6
How to Get There: From Asheville, take the Blue Ridge Parkway south to the Mount Pisgah Parking Area, on the left, at milepost 407.6. Park at the second parking area; the first is for the Buck Springs trail.
Great hike!

20120610-214714.jpg

20120610-214742.jpg

20120610-214804.jpg

20120610-214832.jpg

Then back to Sandy’s and I grilled steaks and leeks for dinner…

20120610-214956.jpg

20120610-215020.jpg

So, that’s the wrap up! I’ll try to be a better blogger and update again tomorrow 🙂

Ciao!

Travel – In the States

Short update… After 28 hours of travel, my friend Miri has deposited me at my motel in Stuart. I’m exhausted and shattered.

First two flights were flawless, on time, interesting people to chat with, crap food! LOL

Then when I landed at JFK, it took 1 hour and 40 minutes to get my luggage, go through customs and then found out that the AA domestic building was a 10 minute walk plus a 5 minute train… Panicked, I ran (in heels!) and arrived in check in 42 minutes before my connecting flight! They rushed me through security and to the gate… Second to the last person to board! Talk about an anxiety ridden 2.5 hours! Then, we sat on the Tarmac for 1.5 hours because the computer system wasn’t working! LOL

Arrived an hour late into Miami and Miri swooped me up and the 1.5 hour ride north to home… HOME,,, glad to be here! Off to bed I go!

Ciao!

Sunset on the flight, somewhere off the coast of NC…

20120605-003926.jpg

A Quick Bedtime Poem

I left my flat 26 days ago on a journey for lipo, then travel and marketing and more marketing. I arrived back this afternoon… A poem inspired by my return… Although brief stay at my flat, since I fly in 10 hours to Florida…

I missed my cat…

20120603-224036.jpg

I missed my flat…

20120603-224116.jpg

But I really don’t miss,
That extra fat!

20120603-224211.jpg

Nice flight from Guangzhou to Hangzhou this morning… Love sailing between the clouds…

20120603-224314.jpg

Sheila and Greg stopped in with Lily for a post natal check and gifted me this gorgeous necklace!

20120603-224419.jpg

And the end of my day was complete by Vivien bringing Kitty over. She stayed an extra day just to see her American Mother… We cuddled and had a less drama filled goodbye than the one at the airport 3 weeks ago when I was an absolute mess from surgery…

20120603-224813.jpg

Thats it, off to bed… Flight in 10 hours! Sunny Florida… Here I come!