Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

I woke up on Sunday to a message from TM (Trouble Maker) telling me he’d done 5k on the treadmill in 42 minutes at 6am that morning. And that he’d crushed me before I’d even gotten out of bed. Dammit!

I was supposed to have a session with Rama that morning but just as I was getting ready for it he asked whether we could postpone to Monday instead. I was quite relieved as I’d had a few vodkas the night before and was tired (but not hungover). Fortunately I didn’t have yoga this week so it was fine to reschedule.

I decided to go to the gym on my own and do 3k on the treadmill – I alternated walking and running and managed it in 24:17. My best time yet! And it gets better…

As I was coming up to 3k, I decided I’d carry on to see how long it took me to do 5k. Even if I walked the last 2k at my usual speed of 6.2-6.4 kph it would take me less than 20 minutes and I wouldn’t be too far behind TM’s time. Then I wondered whether I could actually beat his 42 minutes. I walked most of the fourth kilometre and then decided to jog for 1 minute every 2 to 3 minutes. As I got to 5k I had to take a photo of the treadmill’s display and send it to him. Unfortunately I was still walking/jogging at a fast pace and the photo was blurry, so I slowed down a bit and took another one.


My actual time was 41:56! I couldn’t believe it. And I couldn’t stop smiling. The competitive streak in me has been unleashed.




I had my session with Rama on Monday morning. After my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer, I did the first exercise: 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. The second exercise was the same push-up/squat jump combination I’d done before (10 push-ups, 10 squat jumps, 10 seconds rest; 9 push-ups, 9 squat jumps, 10 seconds rest; and so on). The third exercise was the stair-climber/squat jump/stair-climber/burpee combination (twice).

After that, there were two sets of 15 chest presses and two sets of 15 tricep extensions. These were followed by two sets of ab exercises (crunches, ab cycles, and two other exercises).

And then there were stairs.

Rama told me I was going to walk up to the sixth floor three times. And he was going to time me. I was not looking forward to it. I went down in the lift and walked all the way up. I didn’t pause for breath on the third or fourth floors like I had done in the past but it seemed to take forever to get up there. I didn’t rush up the stairs, but paced myself because I knew I had to do it twice more.

‘How long do you think that took?’ Rama asked me.

‘I have no idea,’ I replied. I’d perched on the window sill by the lift and was sipping my water.

‘I thought it would take you at least 2 minutes but you did that in 1:20.’

A part of me was thrilled by that (20 seconds per floor!), but another part of me thought ‘Crap, I’ll never be able to do that again.’

After a minute’s rest, I went down in the lift again and walked up. Again, I didn’t stop (but seriously considered it when I got to the fourth floor). My legs were burning by the time I got up to the sixth floor. I did it in 1:18.

I rested for another minute and went back down to the ground floor. I walked up again, really feeling it in my legs that time. I didn’t stop but I was slower. I did the third climb in 1:24.

‘I reckon if you had to you’d be able to do that again,’ Rama said.

‘Are you saying I have to do that again?’ I asked.

Thankfully, he was speaking hypothetically and I was done for the day. I was pretty pleased with that!

I went back to the gym on Tuesday – my calves were a little sore from the stairs the day before and I thought some cardio would help. I thought I’d walk/run on the treadmill and see how I felt at 3k. I did the first 3k in 23:54 (my fastest yet) and decided to do the whole 5k.


I managed it in 40:35! I told Rama – he said he reckoned I could bring my time down to 35 minutes by the end of October. That would be amazing, considering 6 months ago I wouldn’t have even considered running.

I had a tough session with Rama on Wednesday. While I was on the cross-trainer he told me I was going to do a workout I hadn’t done in a while. I knew what he was going to say. I’d been expecting it for some time. The 100s! I hadn’t done it in so long that my results weren’t in his current diary or even the one before that. I thought the last time I’d done it was before I went to London, back in May. I vaguely remembered my time being somewhere between 18 and 19 minutes.

So, the 100s:

  • Push-ups x 100
  • Crunches x 100
  • Bunny hops x 150
  • Squat press x 50
  • Shuttle runs across the gym x 80

In any order, broken down in any way I want. This is how I did it.

  • Squat press x 20
  • Bunny hops x 50
  • Push-ups x 30
  • Crunches x 30
  • Shuttle runs x 20
  • Squat press x 20
  • Bunny hops x 50
  • Push-ups x 30
  • Crunches x 30
  • Shuttle runs x 20
  • Squat press x 10
  • Bunny hops x 50
  • Push-ups x 40
  • Crunches x 40
  • Shuttle runs x 40

It took me 20 minutes 37 seconds (I later found out my previous time was 18:23 on 9th May – that’s over 2 minutes faster). I was disappointed. I’m much fitter now than I was then so what happened? I thought I did the bunny hops much faster than I had in the past. The push-ups were still the hardest part for me. I have a feeling I’m going to be doing this circuit again – and soon!

After I’d had a rest I did two sets of bicep curls, two sets of tricep extensions, two sets of lower body exercises, two sets of one-legged pelvic lifts (ouch!) and two sets of abs exercises.

I woke up sore all over on Thursday, especially my legs – all those squat presses! I went back to the gym for another 5k and this time I finished in under 40 minutes – but only just! I did the 5k in 39:54. It felt incredible. Unfortunately the first photo was blurry (again) so I had to take another!

My legs were still sore on Friday but I decided to go for another 5k walk/run. I managed it in 39:41.

That made 6 days in a row at the gym (I took the day off on Saturday), and I’d walked/run at least 20k during the week (outside of my sessions with Rama). What a great week!

Low point of the week? Not doing the 100s workout faster than I’d done it the time before. That was disappointing.

High point of the week? Being able to walk/run 5k in under 40 minutes (just)! I’m aiming to get that time down to 30 minutes by Christmas. Is that reasonable?

Weight loss? None. And it hasn’t bothered me this week.


Read more updates here.

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