Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

I woke up on Sunday and noticed that my legs were finally back to normal after my session with Pete a few days before – they were no longer sore. I went to the gym on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then moved over to the treadmill. 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 minute-run at a speed of 7.2 km/h, without decreasing it (who knew I could run for 10 minutes??). I struggled during the second run – and a couple of times I reduced the speed to 7 km/h and 6.8 km/h for about 30 seconds or so, just to catch my breath, but then put the speed back up to 7.2 km/h again. But once it was over, I was so amazed that I ran for almost 20 minutes!

On Monday morning I had a session with Pete. He said I’d be doing a lot of Tabata training! I started with a 10-minute warmup on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 30 s, walk x 30 s (x 4 min)
  • Run x 3 min

After some thorough stretching, I began the first Tabata circuit:

  • High knees x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side to side jumps x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Butt kickers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

For that set of exercises I had resistance bands around my hips and Pete was pulling me back so I really had to engage my core to stop myself from falling over. I had rest for 1 minute and then began the next circuit:

  • Step-ups on the stationery treadmill x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Halo x 20 s (10-lb weight)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Alternating forward lunges x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Semi-squat jump x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I had some water and then did 4 minutes on the treadmill – alternating 30 seconds of walking at 5.5 km/h with 30 seconds of running at 7.8 km/h. I had another water break and did the following circuit:

  • Wood chopper x 20 s (10-lb weight, one side only)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Wood chopper x 20 s (10-lb weight, the other side)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Russian twists x 20 s (10-lb weight)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I had some more water and did the next circuit:

  • Combined squat/side raise x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined reverse lunge/forward kick x 20 s (one side only)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined squat/kickback x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined reverse lunge/forward kick x 20 s (the other side)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I had some more water and then did the final circuit:

  • Crunches (arms at my sides) x 20
  • Crunches (arms above my thighs) x 20
  • Reverse crunches x 20
  • Crunches (arms overhead) x 20

I could really feel that in my upper abs area by the end of that! I did some stretches after that and went home. That was my 30th session with Pete!

I woke up on Tuesday with sore glutes and slightly sore abs. I also felt I was getting a cold, but I’d been feeling like that for days. I put it down to the weather and/or air-conditioning at home because every time I left the house I felt fine! I went to the gym anyway. I did 5 minutes on the cross-trainer followed by a few stretches. I then did Week 6 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

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

I walked at 6 km/h and managed to do all of the first run at 7.2 km/h. I found the second run tough. I started at 7.2 km/h, but after a couple of minutes I reduced the speed to 6.8 km/h (a very fast walk for me) to catch my breath for 30 seconds. I then took the speed back up to 7.2 km/h for a couple of minutes. I kept alternating between the two but for the last 3 minutes of the second run I stuck to 7.2 km/h. It was tough and I was so glad it was over. I also wasn’t feeling great. My nose was running and by the time I got home I was sneezing continuously.

But I managed to do two sets of 10 minutes – and there’s no rule that says my speed has to be constant, is there? Even if I’m ‘shuffling’ at a low speed, I’m still running, right?

By the time Tuesday evening came round I was feeling pretty dreadful. I texted Pete to cancel my session on Wednesday as I didn’t want to wait until the morning and cancel at the last minute. Just as well, because I woke up on Wednesday sneezing and feverish. What a drag! I was so disappointed as I’d had such a good streak at the gym this year, and now this.

I was in bed all of Wednesday and some of Thursday. I did a bit of work, watched a bit of TV, but generally felt like rubbish. On Friday I felt almost human, but I stayed in anyway. And on Saturday I felt pretty good.

I decided I was going to do some form of exercise on Saturday but I couldn’t decide between yoga or a walk on the beach. In the end I decided to do the walk because I thought some fresh air after 4 days of being at home would do me good. I also thought it would be better in case I got tired and just wanted to slow down and/or go home.

I got to the beach shortly after 5pm. The friend I usually walk with couldn’t make it so I went on my own, but a few minutes into my walk I bumped into another friend and we walked together for about 4 km. After she left, I carried on until I got to 6.1 km. I did that in just over 1 hour (1:01:40 to be exact). It felt good to be outside and active, and I thought it would warm me up nicely for the following morning when I would go back to running on the treadmill.

Total distance covered this week?

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Low point of the week? Getting the flu. And ordering a pizza on Tuesday evening. And not going to yoga for the second week in a row.

High point of the week? Being able to run for 10 minutes at a stretch – twice!

Weight loss? Up and down as usual, although my Libra weight-tracking app now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg by June 2017.

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Read more updates here.


Dubai 2015: Week 2

After the craziness of the week before, this week was quite the opposite.

I woke up on Sunday with a scratchy throat. I knew I was going to get sick soon. I left home at about 1pm to deposit a cheque at the new bank where we have our business account. We used to be with Standard Chartered but they closed our account in November last year (but that’s a whole other story). I wasn’t sure how long it would take, and the queue was horrendous when I got there. The waiting area reminded me of an airport lounge – some people looked like they’d been there for hours. Fortunately, the lady at reception told me there was a separate desk for cheque deposits and I was at the bank for all of 5 minutes.

I was meeting my cousin for lunch at Jones the Grocer and I was about 30 minutes early. He was just visiting on his way back to New York and wanted to have a late lunch. I got a table, ordered a fresh orange juice and made myself comfortable with my book. When he arrived, we ordered our food – I had the Jones wagyu burger with truffle mayo (they’d run out of truffle-infused brie) and some fries. He ordered the chargrilled harissa chicken. I also ordered a flat white coffee when we’d finished. After lunch he came over for a while to meet my parents and then went back to his hotel.

That night my mum wanted the three of us to go out for dinner so we went to Madeleine Cafe at the Dubai Mall. As usual, there were several sports cars parked outside the main entrance.

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And once inside the main entrance, there was a Breitling promotion in the atrium.

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Only in Dubai!

I’d never eaten at Madeleine Cafe but my parents wanted us to go somewhere different instead of the usual Wafi Gourmet and PF Chang. I had the goat’s cheese salad to start with, Mum had the escargots and Dad ordered a French onion soup. For my main course I ordered the tagliatelle with salmon, Dad ordered the vegetarian pasta and Mum wanted the quiche Lorraine. While we were waiting for the main course, the Burj Khalifa LED show started. It was the same as the show on New Year’s Eve, but without the fireworks.

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Our main course arrived, but they’d forgotten my mum’s quiche. We were eventually told that they’d run out of quiche and had forgotten to tell us. Mum was actually relieved as the escargots had been quite filling. She had a bit of pasta from me and some from Dad. They also wanted dessert and ordered the Fraise Melba – vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. I was so full I couldn’t even bear to look at it. We walked around for a while after dinner, trying to digest our food.

I had another friend in town from London. She was staying with other friends but we’d arranged to have a spa day together on Monday. I’d found an Entertainer 2-for-1 voucher for the spa at the Oberoi in Business Bay and booked two 1-hour massages for 4pm. I wasn’t feeling great – my throat still felt scratchy but I didn’t want to cancel. We met at 1pm at the hotel and went to the poolside. It wasn’t too busy and we were shown to two sunbeds. The weather was lovely and the pool area basked in the sunlight for the whole afternoon.

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After we sat down, the pool attendant came over to us with two bottles of complimentary water, two complimentary Evian facial sprays and even complimentary sunscreen (but we’d brought out own). We ordered some lunch. We decided to share the chicken wrap and the cold mezze platter.

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The food was delicious. After a while, the pool attendant offered us and the other sunbathers frozen fruit pieces served in large martini glasses – also complimentary. We went in for our massages – I opted for the Balinese massage and my massage therapist Ina was actually from Bali. I think she was surprised when I spoke to her in Indonesian… The massage was excellent and Ina gave me some ginger tea with honey for my throat when I was finished. I didn’t want to leave.

But I had to. I got home and got into my pajamas.

I woke up on Tuesday with a cough. I woke up on Wednesday with full-on flu. And I didn’t leave the house the rest of the week. I’d had lunch and dinner plans on Friday which I cancelled, and dinner plans on Saturday which I also cancelled. What a waste of a week! I’m just grateful I work from home and didn’t have to call in sick every day!

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.