Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

I went to the gym on Sunday morning. I did some stretches and did Week 7 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app (again):

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 20 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I’d been struggling with Week 7 for the last three weeks. I almost managed to run the whole 20 minutes this time, but I stopped in the 16th minute and walked for a little while before running again. It’s still such an effort.

On Monday morning I had a session with Pete. I started with a warmup on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 1 min (5.5 km/h)
  • Run x 400 m (7.5 km/h)
  • Walk x 1 min (5.5 km/h)
  • Run x 400 m (or to 1 km) (7.5 km/h)

I did 1 km in 8:38. I did some stretches and then did the first set of exercises:

  • Deadlifts x 12 (25-lb weights)
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

I thought the 25-lb weights would be too heavy but the only place they really felt uncomfortable was in my grip.

I had a break and then did the next set of exercises:

  • Shuttle runs x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

Ugh, that was tedious. After some more water, I did the next set of exercises:

  • Bulgarian squats x 12 (6 on each side)
  • Butterfly situps x 10
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

After that, I did 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 s of fast speed with 10 s of easy speed.

There was one more set of exercises after that:

  • Overhead tricep extensions x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Tricep extensions x 12 (machine)
  • Wood choppers x 10 on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I did some stretches after that and was done for the day.

My hamstrings were sore on Tuesday, but I was fine everywhere else. I went to the gym to do Week 7 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 20 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And guess what? I finally did it! I ran for 20 minutes, no stops. I actually ran for 20 min 50 s as I told myself I’d stop when I got to 3 km. So – I walked the first 500 m and then ran non-stop for 2.5 km! This is quite a breakthrough for me! I was thrilled for the rest of the day.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. I began with a 10-minute uphill walk on the treadmill, starting with an incline of 1% and increasing it each minute until I was at 10% in the last minute.

I did some stretches and then did three sets of the following exercises:

  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Fly press x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Pullover tricep extensions x 12
  • Combined squat/kickback x 12 (alternating 6 on each side)

After that I did 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 s at a fast speed with 10 s at an easy speed. After a break, I did three sets of the next group of exercises:

  • High knees x 20 s (with my hands pressed against the wall)
  • Lateral pulldowns x 12
  • Tricep dips x 12
  • Combined reverse lunge/straight leg kick x 12 (6 on each side)

I finished those off with another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, and finished off our session with an abs set:

  • Hanging knee raises x 10 (x 3)
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side (x 3)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 10 (x 3)

I did a few stretches and went home. Pete would be travelling the following week, so I’d have the week off…

I went to a Hatha Flow class on Thursday morning. It was a different teacher and there was just one other person in the class.

I decided to take the day off on Friday. I probably should have gone to the gym, but I didn’t want to be tired that evening at my own birthday party! And of course Saturday was a write-off too.

Total distance covered this week? The 1 km on the 21st of March was my warmup in my session with Pete.

2016-03-28 11.01.30

Low point of the week? I did a lot of eating and drinking over the weekend…

High point of the week? I still managed five workouts this week, even though I skipped Friday and Saturday. And most people told me I’d lost weight when they saw me on Friday evening – I never get tired of hearing that!

Weight loss? Nice to see more of the 75 kg weights this week. I did notice, however, that my scales are probably wrong. My weight varies depending where I stand on the scales (they are really old), and sometimes my weight can go up or down by 1 kg or more in a matter of minutes. I think it’s time to treat myself to some new hi-tech scales. The Libra weight-tracking app now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg by December this year.

2016-03-28 11.02.12

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The final few

I went to the gym on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer, did some stretches and then did Week 7 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 20 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

Week 7! How did I get here! And running for 20 minutes! I’d been dreading this ever since I peeked ahead after my last run the previous week. I warmed up at 6 km/h and began running at 7.2 km/h. I made it to 10 minutes and took the speed down to 6.8 km/h for 20-30 seconds, and once I did that I found it hard to take the speed back up again. In the second half I carried on at 7.2 km/h but reduced the speed for 15 seconds three times in those last 10 minutes. And when I got to 25 minutes, I hit the big red ‘Stop’ button instead of the ‘Cool down’ button, which was annoying! So I restarted the treadmill and walked at an easy pace for a few minutes… I have a feeling I’m going to be repeating this week because I found it soooo hard!

On Sunday evening I decided to try a Vinyasa Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. The teacher is great – she said each person could go at their own place and rest at any point during the class. It wasn’t easy, and I was the sweatiest person there by the end of the class, but I enjoyed it. I think she is fast becoming my favourite teacher at the yoga studio.

I had a session with Pete on Monday. He asked what I’d done over the weekend in terms of exercise, and I told him I’d done something every day. He said that I wouldn’t be doing any running at all in the session – and to warm up I did 10 minutes on the treadmill followed by some thorough stretching.

The first set of exercises consisted of me squatting using the resistance band which was attached to the lateral pulldown machine:

  • Squats x 10
  • Side squats x 10 (with my left side facing the lateral pulldown machine)
  • Side squats x 10 (with my right side facing the lateral pulldown machine)
  • Squats x 10 (facing away from the lateral pulldown machine)
  • Combined lunge/knee raise x 10 (10 on each side, facing away from the machine)

I had to keep my core engaged throughout those exercises – I relaxed at one point during the combined lunge/knee raise and almost fell over.

I had a break and then did the next set of exercises using an 8-kg kettlebell:

  • Kettlebell swings x 3
  • Upright row x 2
  • Shoulder press x 1
  • Repeat 5 more times, no breaks
  • Butterfly situps x 20
  • Repeat all two more times, no breaks

Ugh. All that took me 8:56. I had a water break and then did the next circuit:

  • Reverse wood chopper x 10 (8-kg kettlebell)
  • Standing knee to elbow twist x 10
  • Reverse wood chopper x 10 (8-kg kettlebell, on the other side)
  • Standing knee to elbow twist x 10 (on the other side)
  • Repeat two more times, no breaks

I say ‘reverse wood chopper’ because I can’t remember the real name of the exercise. Holding the kettlebell at my right hip with both hands, I’d have to lift the kettlebell diagonally across my body so that I ended up holding it above the left side of my body. Does that make sense? I did all that in 5:30.

I had another break and then did the last set of exercises:

  • Sumo squats x 20 (15-lb weight)
  • Abductor machine x 20
  • Crunches x 10 (low arms)
  • Crunches x 10
  • Reverse crunches x 10
  • Long-arm crunches x 10
  • Rest and repeat

So by the end of the session, I’d done 116 squats. Would I be able to walk the next day?? I did some stretches and was done for the day.

I was a little sore on Tuesday but I went to the gym to do Week 7 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. It was exactly the same as Day 1: warmup for 5 minutes, run for 20 minutes, cool down for 5 minutes. And again, I really struggled. I did the first 10 minutes at 7.2 km/h and in the second half of the run I kept reducing the speed for short periods of time.

That afternoon I went to a Hatha Yoga class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. That afternoon, I’d suddenly developed a sharp pain in my shin, just above my ankle, and I wasn’t sure what was causing it. I thought it might have been the sandals I was wearing for lunch, but I really don’t know what it was. After yoga I went home and just took it easy for the rest of the day.

And the following morning it was much better (thank goodness). I had another session with Pete. This time my warmup consisted of 3 minutes on the cross-trainer followed by the 1-to-5 warmup:

  • Squat x 1, situp x 1, pushup x 1
  • Squat x 2, situp x 2, pushup x 2
  • Squat x 3, situp x 3, pushup x 3
  • Squat x 4, situp x 4, pushup x 4
  • Squat x 5, situp x 5, pushup x 5
  • And gradually working my way back down to 1 rep of each

I did some stretches after that and went back to the cross-trainer for 4 minutes, alternating 20 seconds sprint with 10 s easy). I then did the first set of exercises:

  • Single leg pushup x 12 (6 on one leg and then 6 on the other)
  • Overhead tricep extensions x 12 (10-lb weight)
  • Tricep extension x 12 (machine)
  • Repeat two more times

For the single leg pushup, I did these at an incline, not on the floor. I leaned on the bars of the chest press machine, raised one leg and did six pushups, then raised the other leg and did six more pushups.

I went back to the cross-trainer for another 4 minutes of alternating 20 and 10 seconds, fast and slow intervals. The second set of exercises consisted of:

  • Lateral pulldown x 12 (underhand narrow grip)
  • Bicep curls x 12 (machine)
  • Hammer curl x 12 (3-kg / 5-lb weights)
  • Repeat two more times

For the hammer curls, in the second set Pete reduced the weight to 5-lb dumbbells because I found the 3-kg weights too heavy. In the third set, I did six reps with the 3-kg weights and then Pete handed me the 5-lb dumbbells. But by that stage, even the 5-lb dumbbells seemed so heavy!

I went back to the cross-trainer for another 4 minutes, alternating fast and slow intervals. The last set of exercises was all abs:

  • Hanging knee raises x 20
  • Wood chopper x 20 (10 on each side, using the Swiss ball)
  • Prisoner bends x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20
  • Repeat

And then I did some stretches and went home. It was only Wednesday and I’d already done four gym sessions and two yoga classes. I was on a roll!

I went to the gym on Thursday, but when I got there the thought of running for a prolonged period of time made me want to weep. I decided I was going to have to redo Week 7 anyway so decided I’d alternate walking and running on the treadmill for 20 minutes. After a 5-minute warmup I alternated 1-2 minutes of running with 30-60 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, depending on how I was feeling. I ended with a 5-minute cool down. So at least I’d done something!

I didn’t work out on Friday and on Saturday I went to the beach for a walk. My friend couldn’t make it so it was just me – and I went earlier than the week before, at about 6pm.

Total distance covered this week?

2016-03-12 16.56.27

Low point of the week? I’ve noticed that after my walks at the beach, my knees start to ache. I don’t know whether it’s the surface of the running track or whether I should slow down a bit, but my knees ache for a couple of days afterwards.

High point of the week? Doing eight workouts this week, including the walk on the beach. I met some friends on Thursday and one of them told me I was looking ‘particularly skinny’ these days. I can tell you for a fact that I’m nowhere near skinny – and after thinking about it, I don’t really want to be skinny, just stronger and more toned.

Weight loss? I stayed fairly constant this week, apart from a huge drop on Friday morning! The Libra weight-tracking app now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg by the December this year. That seems doable, doesn’t it?

2016-03-12 16.56.08

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The final few

I was not in the mood for the gym on Sunday morning.

After a really heavy Friday night, I still hadn’t recovered – my ears felt blocked and I had a slight headache (which oddly enough I didn’t have the day before). I didn’t think I could run without falling over so I decided to just walk on the treadmill. I did a few stretches, skipping my usual 5 minutes on the cross-trainer, and got on the treadmill. I started at a speed of 6 km/h, but increased it to 6.2 km/h after about 5 minutes. And once I got to 15 minutes I increased the speed again to 6.4 km/h until I got to 30 minutes and then I stopped. That was all I did, but I still think it was better than nothing. I noticed that I was a bit sweaty by the end of the 30 minutes but I wasn’t out of breath.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. The gym was quite busy that morning – two of the treadmills were being used so I did a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer instead. As I was stretching, Pete told me I’d be doing what he called the ’30 workout’ that morning: basically exercises in multiples of 30. Oh no, I had a vague recollection of doing that a few weeks ago and being sore for days afterwards.

I did the first set of exercises:

  • Combined squat/shoulder press x 30 (10-lb weights)
  • Lateral pull down x 30
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories (I think it was roughly 4 minutes)

I had some water and noticed that one of the women in the gym was taking selfies as she was using every machine. It was quite entertaining to watch and Pete was quite amused. I then did the second set of exercises:

  • Romanian (straight leg) dead lifts x 30 (10-lb weights)
  • Pushups x 30
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories

I had a bit more water and then did the third (and final) set:

  • Combined reverse lunge/bicep curl x 30 (10-lb weights, alternating 15 on each side)
  • Combined front raise/side raise x 30 (3-lb weights)
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories

After some more water I did the first abs set:

  • Hanging knee ups x 30 s
  • Side bends x 15 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Butterfly situps x 30 (3-kg weight)

After a break came the second set of abs:

I did some stretches after that and was done for the day. It wasn’t as bad as the similar session a few weeks ago – because by the end of that session I’d done 90 squats with weights!

My hamstrings were sore on Tuesday – I felt fine everywhere else. I went to the gym but someone was using my favourite treadmill. I warmed up on the cross-trainer for 5 minutes and did some stretches and eventually decided to use my second favourite treadmill. I did Week 6 Day 1:

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

I really struggled. I don’t know if it was the treadmill or if I was tired or what else could have happened, but I struggled from the very beginning. Five minutes into the first run I walked at 6.8 km/h for 30 seconds and then took the speed back up to 7.2 km/h. I almost didn’t even begin the second run – I thought I might just walk fast for 10 minutes – but then eventually alternated between walking and running for 10 minutes. I was disappointed but I just couldn’t do it that morning.

That afternoon I decided to go a hatha yoga class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. It was quite a gentle class but I noticed at the beginning that it wasn’t just my hamstrings that were sore from Monday’s workout – my sides were quite sore too!

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. He said we weren’t going to use the weights much but I’d be out of breath for most of the session. Oh God. I began with a 10-minute warmup on the treadmill:

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

I walked at 5.5 km/h and ran at 7.5 km/h. I did some stretches after that and then Pete put two dumbbells on the floor – about 5 metres apart. The first exercise would be shuttle runs:

  • Shuttle runs x 20 s
  • Rest x 40 s
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

Pete told me the point of the exercise wasn’t to cover a great distance but it was all about controlling the pivot and change of direction.

After a water break, I did an abs circuit – which he calls the ‘Holy trinity’:

  • Hip raises x 10
  • Knee to elbow crunch x 10 on each side
  • Crunches x 10

Whenever Pete mentions hip raises I think of glute bridges, which is wrong. The hip raise is lying on the floor, my legs straight up and raising my hips. It’s not a big movement but it’s effective.

Then came a 4-minute Tabata circuit:

  • Split squats x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Overhead tricep extensions x 20 s (with one 15-lb weight)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • High knees x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Bicep curls x 20 s (with one 15-lb weight)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I had some water after that and did 4 minutes on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 30 s (5.5 km/h)
  • Run x 30 s (8 km/h)
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

I did the same abs circuit after that, followed by the earlier 4-minute shuttle run, another abs circuit as before and another 4 minutes on the treadmill. At least, I think that’s the order I did everything in. I definitely finished with the treadmill! I did a few stretches after that and was done.

I went back to the gym on Thursday morning. I did 5 minutes on the cross-trainer as a warmup followed by some stretches. I then began 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

It was painful. I managed the first run – I took the speed down to 6.8 km/h twice but only for 15 seconds each time. The second run of 10 minutes was much harder – I alternated the speed between 6.8, 7.2 and 7.5 km/h but I really struggled with it. I think I might have to repeat Week 6 – is there any point in carrying on to Week 7 if Week 6 is such a struggle?

I didn’t work out on Friday.

On Saturday evening my friend and I went to Jumeirah Beach for our evening walk. We managed 6 km in just under 1 hour – but we didn’t manage to improve on our time. We were both quite tired (she’d already done 14 km that morning and I hadn’t slept much over the weekend).

Total distance covered this week?

2016-02-27 16.26.05

Low point of the week? I’ve been feeling so tired and forcing myself to exercise. I also didn’t manage to finish Week 6 of the 10k Runner app – I’ll have to redo that next week… I’ve been working a lot this week and even though I was out on Thursday and Friday nights I ended up working when I got home – until 3.30am on both nights. And because I knew I had work to do, I only had one drink on Thursday night and none on Friday.

High point of the week? Doing seven workouts this week, including the 1-hour walk on the beach!

Weight loss? My weight somehow dropped to 75.6 kg this week – but just for a day – and then it crept back up again! The Libra weight-tracking app now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg in mid August this year. It also tells me that my lowest recorded weight is 75.6 kg (I’ve been using this app since August 2014)!

2016-02-27 13.16.59

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The final few

I went back to the gym on Sunday morning for the first time since Tuesday the week before. I’d had flu and took it easy for a few days. I began with a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches. After that I began on the treadmill. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to pick up where I left off with the 10k Runner app, so I went back to Week 5 Day 1:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 6 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I alternated between 6 km/h and 7.2 km/h. I managed to do the first run, and struggled with the second and third ones. I think I was just tired, but in the last run I just wanted to walk really fast at 6.8 km/h, but in the last 2 minutes I put the speed back up to 7. 2 km/h.

On Monday morning I had a session with Pete. He said the session wouldn’t be too bad (ha!) and my only cardio would be at the beginning as I was warming up on the treadmill. I walked for 10 minutes at a speed of 5.6 km/h, starting with an incline of 1% and then increasing it each minute by 1% until I was walking at an incline of 10%. I did some stretches while Pete told me about the circuit I’d be doing:

  • Chest press x 12 (with 10-lb weights)
  • Tricep pullovers x 12 (with 10-lb weights)
  • Tricep dips x 12
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 12
  • Bent over row x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Sumo squats x 12 (20-lb weight)
  • Deadlifts x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Side bends x 12 (10-lb weight in the first set, 15-lb weight in the second and third sets)
  • Lateral pulldown x 12
  • Shoulder press x 12 (10-lb weights in the first set, one 15-lb weight in the second and third sets)
  • Glute bridges x 12
  • Abdominal toe touches x 12

I found the tricep pullovers quite hard. And the tricep dips after the pullovers were quite hard too. In the first set, I found the 10-lb weight for the side bends too light, so Pete gave me heavier weights in the subsequent sets. On the other hand, I found the 10-lb weights for the shoulder press too heavy in the first set, so Pete gave me lighter weights in the second and third sets. On the whole, though, it really wasn’t too bad.

I did a few stretches after that and was done.

I woke up on Tuesday with really sore triceps. I was fine everywhere else! I went back to the gym – I warmed up on the cross-trainer for 5 minutes, did a few stretches and then carried on with Week 5 Day 2 of the 10k runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 8 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I struggled again – in the last 5-minute run, I walked (fast) some of the way, but not for long.

My triceps were still sore on Wednesday morning and I had another session with Pete. I started off 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

When I finished, Pete said it looked like ‘a piece of cake’. ‘Not a very tasty one,’ I responded. After some stretches, I began with this circuit:

  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Farmer’s walk x 8 lengths of the gym
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Repeat two more times

The farmer’s walk was simply walking holding a dumbbell in each hand. I started with 15-lb weights, but moved up to 20-lb weights in the second and third set. It doesn’t sound difficult but after 50 jumping jacks I could feel it in my legs. What I did notice was that I didn’t have to stop at all while doing the jumping jacks – I did all 50 straight through each time!

After a water break, I did a Tabata circuit:

  • Combined squat/shoulder press x 20 s (3-kg weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined reverse lunge/bicep curl x 20 s (3-kg weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Heartbeat squat x 20 s (one 3-kg weight)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side lunge x 20 s (one 3-kg weight)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

When I was doing the heartbeat squats, I had to really control my abs so I didn’t fall over! After some more water I did an abs circuit:

  • Single leg raise x 10
  • Russian twists x 10 (10-lb weight)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 10

I then did a Tabata circuit on the cross-trainer:

  • Sprint x 20 s
  • Easy x 10 s
  • Repeat seven more times (4 min total)

Ugh – that was horrible! Another abs circuit followed:

  • Hanging leg raises x 10
  • Kneeling side bends x 10 on each side (alternating)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 10

I did another Tabata circuit on the cross-trainer:

  • Easy x 30 s
  • Sprint x 30 s
  • Repeat three more times (4 min total)

It was easier than the earlier cross-trainer circuit! I thought I was done after that last cross-trainer circuit but I had another abs circuit to do:

  • Abdominal knee in/out x 10
  • Standing elbow to knee twist x 10 (on each side)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 10

Yay! I was done! I did some stretches and went home.

On Thursday I went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. There were three other people in the class and it was a teacher I’d never had before. I hadn’t been to yoga in 3 weeks and I was feeling quite tight, especially around my hips. It wasn’t too strenuous but I really enjoyed it and I felt so much better afterwards.

I did Week 5 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app on Friday morning. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike first (someone was using the cross-trainer) and some stretches. Week 5 Day 3 consisted of:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 8 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 8 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

During the second run I took the speed down to 6.8 km/h, but just for 30 seconds. I varied the speed the rest of the time between 7 and 7.5 km/h. While I was on the treadmill, there was a woman in the gym who was using the weights machine – and each time she would finish a set, she would release the weights with a huge clash. It was so irritating!

I didn’t do my regular beach walk on Saturday evening – I was so hungover and I just wanted to get into bed after I’d come home from lunch at Purobeach with some friends.

Total distance covered this week? I also included my 10-minute warmup from my Wednesday session with Pete. That’s a run too, right?

2016-02-20 15.56.38

Low point of the week? I had a lot of vodka on Friday night and felt like crap on Saturday – which led to me having a Coke and a hot dog with fries for lunch.

High point of the week? Doing six workouts this week. Also, I was at a friend’s place on Friday afternoon and she told me my legs were looking amazing! In fact, she was inspired to go for a run on the beach the following morning…

Weight loss? My Libra weight-tracking app now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg by the end of August this year.

2016-02-20 15.57.40

Read more updates here.

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The final few

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 4 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min, walk x 2 min
  • Run x 4 min, walk x 3 min (x 2)
  • Run x 3 min, walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I alternated between 6 km/h and 7.5 km/h. I can run for 4 minutes at a stretch! I struggled, but I did it. I did a few stretches after that and went home.

On Monday morning I had a session with Pete. He said the session would be mostly weights-based as I’d done a lot of cardio over the last few days. 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

And then I did three sets of each of the following supersets with a rest in between each set:

  • Chest press x 14 (weights machine), bent over row x 14 (with 15-lb weights)
  • Lateral pulldown x 14 (weights machine), shoulder press x 14 (with 10-lb weights)
  • Leg extensions x 14 (weights machine), deadlifts x 14 (10-lb weights)

The weights were bloody heavy and I really struggled – especially with the machine exercises – and it seemed to take most of the session to get through them! I could feel my quads burning each time I did the leg extension exercise and knew I wouldn’t be able to walk the next morning. After that I did two sets of the following:

  • Russian twists x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Side hip raises x 10 on each side
  • Rolling plank x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)

I did some stretches after that and was done for the day. Pete told me he had to go back home to the Czech Republic on Wednesday so I wouldn’t have another session until the following Wednesday…

I was sore on Tuesday, but not as sore as I thought I’d be. I thought my quads would ache more, but my hamstrings were aching more. And my pecs were pretty sore. I thought I’d feel better after some cardio. I got to the gym and one of the Lebanese guys in the building was there. He’s often in there at the same time as me – we started chatting about work (he recently opened a sushi restaurant but his main business is perfume) and he asked me if I’d be interested in writing the content for his website! Gosh, you never know where work will come from, do you?

After he left, I did a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then did Week 4 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5
  • Run x  3 min, walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min, walk x 3 min (x2)
  • Run x 3 min, walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And I actually managed to do it! I ran for 5 minutes. Twice! Admittedly, I went a bit slower than usual – I did the 5-min runs at 7.2 km/h and in the walks after the 5-min runs I did the first minute of the 3-min walk at 5.5 km/h to catch my breath before taking the speed back up to 6 km/h. But I think I did well on the whole! I’m still avoiding the Great Butt and Great Abs apps. I’ll start those again next week.

As Tuesday went on I could feel my hamstrings getting more and more sore. When I woke up on Wednesday I was really sore. As Pete was away I decided to go to a Hatha yoga class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. The class was at 10.30am and apart from me there was just one other person there. It was a really good class and I’d go back to that teacher again, but she teaches at 8.30am on Sundays and Tuesdays (really early!) and 6.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays (which clash with my Arabic class at the moment).

I woke up on Thursday and my glutes were really sore after the yoga class on Wednesday! I went to the gym and did a 5-minute warmup on the cross-trainer. After that I did Week 4 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min, walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min, walk x 2 min (x2)
  • Run x 3 min, walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do it again! And I was so happy when it was over, but at the same time I was dreading Week 5 Day 1! I should probably mention that after the last walk, just as the ‘cool down’ begins, I press the ‘cool down’ button on the treadmill – which reduces the speed by 0.8 km/h per minute for 5 minutes, so it really is a cool down. Also, I don’t take those last 5 minutes into account when calculating the distance I’ve covered.

I decided to take the day off on Friday. I’d worked out for 12 consecutive days and thought I could do with a break.

On Saturday, a friend and I went to Jumeirah Public Beach for our Saturday evening walk. It had been cold and windy on Friday and on Saturday it was cloudy and grey to begin with. By 4pm the sun was struggling to make an appearance and by the time we got to the beach at 5pm, we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

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And again, we decided we’d improve on our time from the week before and aimed to walk 6 km. We managed to do it in 57 min and 38 s. I noticed that I wasn’t as out of breath as I had been when we first started walking together two weeks ago – and we were getting faster too. It was cold and windy though – and when I got home I wanted some comfort food so I had a big bowl of pasta in tomato sauce for dinner. Oh well.

Total distance covered this week?

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Low point of the week? I was out at a concert on Thursday and had two glasses of red wine, but that was mainly to keep warm! I did have my first big night out in ages on Friday and had a lot of vodka (I managed to avoid the tequila shots which were circulating and didn’t mix any drinks). I also had a huge bowl of pasta for dinner on Saturday with a slice of garlic bread.

High point of the week? Doing six workouts this week, including the 1-hour walk on the beach.

Weight loss? Down and then back up again! For some reason, my Libra weight-tracking app is now telling me I will hit my goal weight of 65 kg by the end of May this year. I really doubt that though!

2016-01-30 15.11.15

Read more updates here.

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