Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

I went to the gym on Sunday morning. Someone was already using my favourite treadmill so I started with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then did a few stretches while I was waiting for her to finish. I did Week 6 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I alternated between 6 km/h and 7.2 km/h. I managed to do the first 10 minutes without slowing down but I struggled with the second run. I reduced the speed to 6.8 km/h a couple of times, but for no more than 30 seconds each time, just so I could catch my breath. I was so happy when it was over!

I keep reading conflicting information about how to breathe while running. Some articles say it’s best to breathe through the mouth so then your jaw is more relaxed, while others say that breathing through your mouth causes your throat to become dry and you’ll need to keep drinking water… Which is best??

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I warmed up on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run/walk for 30 s each x 4 min
  • Run x 3 min

As I was stretching Pete told me I’d be doing the ’30 workout’ again. Nooooo! I wanted to run away. The exercises went like this:

  • Burpees x 30
  • Pushups x 30
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories
  • Combined squat/upright row x 30 (10-lb weights)
  • Overhead tricep extensions x 30 (10-lb weight)
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories
  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 30 (3-kg weights)
  • Bicep curls x 30 (3-kg weights)
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories

There were no ‘official’ rests or water breaks but if I need to stop I could – and it took me 24 minutes to do all that. The burpees and pushups were definitely the hardest part of that – I could feel my legs burning by the time I got to the end of the burpees! I had a long break after that and then did the following abs exercises:

  • Hanging knee raises x 30
  • Prisoner bends x 30 (alternating 15 on each side)
  • Crunches x 30
  • Single leg lifts x 30 (15 on each side)
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 30 (15 on each side)
  • Butterfly situps x 30 (3-kg weight)

The ‘prisoner bends’ are basically side bends, but kneeling on a bench with my hands behind my head (as if I was doing a situp). I did some stretches after that and was done for the day.

My hamstrings were sore on Tuesday but I felt fine everywhere else. I went back to the gym. After a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches, I did Week 6 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app on the treadmill:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

Again, I managed the first run without slowing down and found the second one utter torture. I slowed down a couple of times, but not for long… but I managed to do it.

On Wednesday morning, Pete told me he was going to change my warmup a bit. Instead of walking uphill or the walk/run warmup, I would walk for 1 minute and then run for 400 metres – twice. He said he wanted to reduce the amount of time it takes for me to get warmed up so we could move on to the ‘fun stuff’ quicker. So:

  • Walk at 5.5 km/h x 1 min
  • Run at 7.4 km/h x 400 m
  • Walk at 5.5 km/h x 1 min
  • Run at 7.5 km/h x 400 m

I didn’t press the ‘stop’ button as soon as I’d finished the 400 m – I walked for about 20-30 seconds until I got to 1 km. I did the 1 km in 8 min 48 s. Pete said he wanted to get that time down to 7 min over the next few weeks. This should be interesting!

As I was stretching, Pete told me I’d be lifting some heavy weights in our session. After stretching I did another 8 minutes on the treadmill, alternating walking and running every 30 s. I was very warmed up by then and did the first weights circuit:

  • Chest press (machine) x 12
  • Seated row (machine) x 12
  • Rest followed by two more sets

I had a break and Pete gave me a choice for the second set: leg extensions and deadlifts or squats and hamstring curls. I heard the word ‘squats’ and immediately chose the first option! I did the second weights circuit:

  • Leg extensions (machine) x 12
  • Romanian (straight leg) deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Rest followed by two more sets

My legs were burning after those leg extensions! I had another break and did the next weights circuit:

  • Upright row x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Overhead tricep extensions x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Rest followed by two more sets

I had a water break and did a series of abs exercises:

  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20
  • Russian twists x 20 (10-lb weight)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20
  • Hanging knee raises x 20
  • Standing elbow to knee twists x 20
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20

I was done after that. I did a few stretches and went home.

On Thursday morning I went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. When I signed in I noticed a few names above mine – there are usually only one or two other people in the class – and by the time the class started, we were 10 in total. Where had all these women come from? It was the highest number of people I’d seen in any class there. It was a really good class though – focusing on hip openers and legs. It was just what I needed after spending all that time on the treadmill.

I went back to the gym on Friday morning. Someone was using my favourite treadmill so I did a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and a few stretches, wondering how long she would be. When I finished stretching, I decided I’d use my second favourite treadmill and began Week 6 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 15 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

Just as I got to minute 4 of my warmup, the other treadmill became free so I moved over. I did a further minute of my warmup and began with the run. I managed to do the 15-minute run, I slowed down twice but not for longer than 30 s – and I did the last 5-minute run without stopping. This was the furthest I’d come with the 10k Runner app – and I never imagined I’d be able to run (or shuffle) for 15 minutes at a stretch!

I didn’t go to the gym on Saturday but I did go to the beach for a walk that evening. My friend couldn’t make it and I went a bit later than usual – at about 6.30pm, just as it was getting dark. I did 6 km in under an hour. I noticed that the weather is changing – it’s still a bit breezy at the beach but the breeze is much warmer than it was a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to have to ditch my hoodie soon and find some other way of carrying my phone with me… I also noticed that I didn’t feel particularly safe once it was dark – and I’ve never felt like that before in Dubai. There were other people around, and most of the track is well lit – not every lamppost is on but most of them – but there’s one stretch of the track which has no lights at all, and there are groups of men just hanging about in the dark. It was weird. I would go back, but not in the dark…

Total distance covered this week?

2016-03-05 16.02.11

Low point of the week? My knees have started aching – I’m not sure why. They were quite sore on Saturday evening.

High point of the week? I did seven workouts this week, including the 1-hour walk on the beach. I also had a very quiet weekend – no drinks, no junk food. All my pajama bottoms are loose for me – unless the elastic is gone in all of them!

Weight loss? I seem to be stuck at 76 kg, and according to the Libra weight-tracking app, I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg in July 2017.

2016-03-05 16.02.28

Read more updates here.

2 thoughts on “The final few

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