Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

I had my Sunday morning session with Randy. He came in while I was doing my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer, and told me what had been going on with him and his now ex-employer since last week. His employer wanted to retain his passport as he claimed Randy was handling cash from his clients and they’d keep his passport to protect the company so he couldn’t do a runner. Well, Randy has been with the company for almost a year and has been handling cash from the very beginning of his contract – so why bring this up now? Randy also told me that his original contract stated that the company he was ’employed’ by would organise his work visa and he would pay them a certain amount each month for this privilege – whatever else he made from his clients was his. A couple of months ago the contract was changed and Randy would have to deposit all his clients’ money into the company bank account and get paid by the company like a regular employee. In a place like Dubai I think it’s impossible to trust anyone! And the employment laws are so vague they really don’t help. Randy has already been offered three jobs elsewhere so let’s see what happens.

After I finished my warm-up I did the first circuit:

I did that three times with a break in between each set. In the first set I used 10-lb weights when doing the chest press; in the second and third sets I used 15-lb weights. I also hadn’t done squats in ages because of my knees. By the third set I could feel a little discomfort in my left knee but it wasn’t too bad. I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then did the second circuit:

  • Hamstring curls (machine) x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Sit-up/pullover combination (10-lb weight) x 15
  • The ladder (stepping in/out) x 6 lengths

Randy then stretched me out and I was done. I asked him what the best way to train for a 10k race would be. He told me it wasn’t all about the running – I’d need to strengthen my core and legs too – and run consistently. He said doing two short ‘runs’ and one longer one between our sessions would be good for me too. I told him my short ones would be 3k and the longer one would be 5k – at least for the first few weeks. From November onwards my friend and I are planning to do our weekend runs outside – it’s just too hot at the moment.

I didn’t work out on Monday. I usually have yoga in the morning but as I didn’t this week I decided I’d make the most of Sunday night and go to Okku for drinks!

On Tuesday morning I went to the gym. I did 3 km on the treadmill (25:16 – better than last week).

On Wednesday morning Randy texted to say that his meeting at the labour office was running late and he wouldn’t be able to train me. I told him not to worry and decided I’d go to the gym anyway. I did 3 km on the treadmill (25:09). I really wanted to do it in under 25 minutes but it just didn’t happen. I was also using a different treadmill as the one I usually use was occupied. I got on the treadmill and about 2 minutes into my walk/run the sock on my left foot started disappearing into my trainer. I hate it when that happens! So the reason I don’t like this treadmill is that there’s no pause button, and there’s no cool down button either – it’s just start and stop. The other thing I don’t like is that the display keeps changing – the distance display changes between distance and incline (even if the incline doesn’t change at all), and the speed display changes between speed and calories burned. It’s annoying.

I realised that in October/November last year I was walking/running 5 km in under 40 minutes, and was walking/running 3 km in under 23 minutes. As I was on the treadmill I was thinking about how (un)fit I was at school – from day 1 I was always the last person picked to join any team and that was how it was for 7 years. Even at the American School in Lagos, before I went to boarding school in the UK, I had a PE teacher who was just a complete bitch to me. Maybe that’s why I have a mental block when it comes to running/exercising…

I didn’t work out on Thursday or Friday as I’d had late nights on Wednesday and Thursday. I did get round to registering for the 10 km race on the 24th of January though! No turning back now! The very day I signed up, as I was getting into the shower, I whacked my toe against the side of the tub. I don’t know how I did it – and I’m lucky I didn’t fall into the tub – but it was agony. It was the fourth toe on my right foot – and I thought I might have broken it. I took a painkiller, used some Air Salonpas and continued to get ready for my night out. It was throbbing as I left home but after a couple of glasses of wine it didn’t hurt. When I woke up on Friday it had started to throb again and was a bit swollen, but I didn’t think it was broken as I could walk without much pain. I’d read somewhere a few years ago that we break bones in our toes all the time and never even realise it.

On Saturday morning my toe felt fine and I went to the gym. I decided to stay on the treadmill and see how far I got in 30 minutes (3.6 km). About 10 minutes into my walk/run, a Russian couple came in with their Russian trainer and started working out. I had my headphones on but I could still hear lots of (unnecessary) grunting and groaning. It was quite distracting!

Low point of the week? I should have worked out five times this week but only did four. Still, it’s better than three, or none! I also had too many alcohol-related activities.

High point of the week? Registering for the 10 km race on the 24th of January.

Weight loss? I got down to 69 kg on Thursday and Friday but was back at 70 kg on Saturday… Maybe I’m not supposed to be any lighter than that??

In case you had any doubts...

In case you had any doubts…

Read more updates here.

One thought on “The final few

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