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.

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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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Dubai 2016: Week 11

I had another busy week and a whole lot of work to do. I managed to fit in a few gym and yoga sessions too…

I met a friend for coffee on Sunday afternoon. We went to The Brass at the new Citywalk extension. We sat outdoors – but we didn’t find the chairs particularly comfortable and we also had to keep swatting the flies away! I guess the weather is starting to get warmer, which brings the flies.

I had a busy Monday – with a session with Pete, a piano lesson and Arabic in the evening. I often get no real work done on a Monday (just emails and other random bits and pieces) as I’m in and out of the flat all day. I’d wanted to go to Art Night at DIFC but by the time I was done with Arabic it was late and I was knackered.

I did make it to Art Dubai on Tuesday evening though. I’d been invited to the opening and took a friend (V) with me. We got there at around 8pm (it took us an hour to get to the Madinat because of an accident on Sheikh Zayed Road) and had a look around. It was pretty busy, considering it was the Patron’s Circle opening – and people were more interested in being seen than actually looking at any art. We decided to walk through the two halls and then get some food and drinks, before heading over to the main bar. I bumped into another friend and V and I joined him and his friends for some drinks. We left just before midnight, both of us having early starts on Wednesday.

I was tired on Wednesday, and very tempted to have a nap after my session with Pete! But I had work to do, so I didn’t. I also had to finish off my Arabic homework and go to class!

I thought I’d be able to get a lot of work done on Thursday. I went to yoga in the morning and had lunch with NP at Zuma. I hadn’t seen her in months so it was great to catch up. We both ordered the business lunch – you get a miso soup, two starters and a main course for AED 130. I ordered the beef skewers and prawn gyoza for starters and the seabass for my main course. She ordered the Zuma salad and the gyoza for her starters and had the black cod for her main course. We also ordered a portion of the tuna tataki from the a la carte menu for the table (which mostly I ate).

I got home after lunch, got into my pajamas and settled down to do some work. About 30 minutes later, the doorbell rang. Some friends of ours were in town and popped in to see us before leaving that evening. They stayed until 7pm – so I got no work done. I started working after dinner and didn’t finish until 3.30am.

I was tired on Friday but carried on working for some of the day. I met up with a friend for dinner. We went to Loca at Souk al Bahar. We got a table in the bar area and ordered some drinks while it was still happy hour. She had wine, I had margaritas. We also ordered a portion of the spinach and artichoke dip to share. I later realised that there was no artichoke in it at all, it was just spinach. We both had the jalapeno prawns for our main course.

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It’s definitely my favourite thing on their menu. When we left Souk al Bahar, we got into the cab and I suggested we go to Zuma for a drink. It wasn’t even 10pm yet, but Zuma was pretty empty when we got there. We only stayed for a drink and left. It took me almost 40 minutes to get home from Zuma – there was so much traffic at that time of night!

I took it easy on Saturday and then went for a walk on the beach. We went early and caught the sun setting.

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I was home by 7.15pm. Dad and I had dinner together and another week was over.

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

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The final few

I began the week with Week 7 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app. I’d tried to do it the week before but found it so hard – I thought it would be a good idea to get comfortable with it before moving to the next level.

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

I alternated between 6 km/h and 7.2 km/h and struggled again.

On Monday morning I had a session with Pete. I started with 1 km on the treadmill – walking at 5.5 km/h for 1 min, running at 7.5 km/h for 400 metres, walking for 1 min and then running until I got to 1 km. I did it in 8:40. After some stretches, he told me I’d be doing another version of the ’30 workout’. Ugh. I think he was expecting that reaction from me! It went like this:

  • Pushups x 30
  • Lateral pulldown x 30 (wide overhand grip)
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories
  • Tricep dips x 30
  • Lateral pulldown x 30 (narrow underhand grip)
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories
  • Incline pushups x 30
  • Seated low row x 30
  • Cross-trainer x 30 calories

I was supposed to do all that without official breaks. I did stop for water a couple of times though. After that, I did a different set of exercises:

  • Combined squat/kickback x 30 (alternating 15 on each side)
  • Hanging knee raises x 30
  • Combined squat/side kick x 30 (alternating 15 on each side)
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 30 (30 on each side)
  • Step ups x 30 (15 on each side, stepping on/off a stationary treadmill)
  • Butterfly situps x 30

And that was it. I did some stretches and went home.

I went back to the gym on Tuesday for Week 7 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. I struggled again and thought I might have to repeat the week again the following week! Does running ever get any easier??

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. I’d been out at Art Dubai on Tuesday night and told him I was feeling really tired, hoping he would go easy on me – but that was not the case. I started with a warmup on the treadmill:

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

Pete told me I wouldn’t be using the treadmill again after that. I did some stretches and began the first Tabata circuit:

  • Combined squat/shoulder press x 20 s (3-kg weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Knee in/out x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined reverse lunge/straight leg kick x 20 s (on one side)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined side raise/bicep curl x 20 s (3-kg weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat (using the other leg during the combined reverse lunge/straight leg kick exercise)

I had some water and then did 4 min on the cross trainer (alternating 20 s at a fast pace and 10 s at a slower pace). I had a break and did the next Tabata circuit:

  • Mountain climbers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Crunches x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • ‘Macarena’ plank x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Scissors x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

Well, the ‘Macarena’ plank is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. In a plank position, on my hands I would have to lift one hand and touch the opposite shoulder and do the same with the other hand. I’d then have to lift the first hand and touch my hip on the same side and then do the same thing on the other side. I could actually hear the song going round in my head as I was doing it.

I had a break and did the next circuit:

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

After another break I did another Tabata circuit:

  • Pushups x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side hip raises x 20 s (on one side)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side hip raises x 20 s (on the other side)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Butterfly situps x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

Oh God – I was ready to go home. I had another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating fast and slow speeds and I was finally done. I did some stretches to finish and went home.

On Thursday morning I went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. They had a special offer on – 40 classes for AED 1999, valid for a year. I decided to buy it – I like going there and most of the teachers I’ve had are good.

I took the day off on Friday. I’d been working until really late on Thursday night and hadn’t slept very well that night.

On Saturday my friend and I made it to the beach for our evening walk. We started a little before 6pm – it was such a beautiful evening.

2016-03-19 17.46.45

We did our 6 km in just under an hour. And because we weren’t trying to improve on our time, I think it was easier on my knees than previous weeks.

Total distance covered this week?

2016-03-20 09.13.01

Low point of the week? I didn’t get to Day 3 of Week 7 in the 10k Runner app.

High point of the week? Doing six workouts this week, including the 1-hour walk on the beach. I also met a friend on Tuesday evening after almost three months – he told me I’d lost a lot of weight!

Weight loss? It was nice seeing 75 kg a few times this week. My Libra weight-tracking now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg by the end of November this year!

2016-03-20 09.13.30

Read more updates here.

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Dubai 2016: Week 10

I had a really hectic week and struggled to find time to get any work done! I managed to squeeze in a lot of exercise, but not a whole lot of work.

After my yoga class on Sunday evening, my parents picked me up from Village Mall and we went to Markette at Box Park for dinner. They’d been there for dinner the week before and had liked it. The funny thing is: they both thought the menu was two-sided, but it actually opened so there were four sides to it – they’d missed out half the menu! We shared the calamari and shish taouk platter for starters.

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The calamari was just average, I thought. The shish taouk was very good – the chicken was tender and juicy. After that, my mum ordered a soup for her main course, my dad ordered the grilled corn and chicken salad and I ordered a galette (an open crêpe, if you like) with turkey ham, cheese and two fried eggs.

2016-03-06 21.44.35

I was really full after that, not to mention sleepy after my yoga class.

Monday was busy – I had a session with Pete on Monday and a piano lesson that afternoon. I also had my Arabic class that evening! An exhausting day.

I went to an IBWG lunch at the Trade Centre Club on Tuesday afternoon. I hadn’t been in a while – I was swamped with work during the January lunch and had the flu during the February lunch so I thought I’d better make an effort for March or risk my membership lapsing. I was on a table with just three other women, but we had some interesting conversations. I was home by 3pm and then decided I’d go to a yoga class at 4pm. After that, I worked for the rest of the evening.

I woke up on Wednesday and it was pouring! It was so dark outside, I wasn’t even sure what time it was. It usually makes no difference to me when it rains as I barely leave the house, but on this particular day I had places to go. And when 5 minutes of rain leads to 5 hours of traffic, I was dreading it. I had a session with Pete in the morning, managed to do some work until about 3pm and then headed off to DIFC for my meeting at Caffe Nero. It was still drizzling by that time. At 4.30pm I went over to the Conrad as I had a schoolfriend staying there for a few days and we were meeting for coffee. I think the last time we’d met was over 10 years ago – it was nice to see her, but we only managed to spend an hour together as I had to head off to my Arabic class! Thankfully it had stopped raining by then, but there was still a lot of traffic everywhere – and there were only five of us in the class.

On Thursday afternoon, a friend came over with her baby for a little while. After she left, I went to Roberto’s for a friend’s birthday drinks. I thought I’d only join them for a bit, and I got there at 7pm, but I ended up getting home at 2am. That always happens to me!

On Friday morning I got an email from my client who had sent me the Chinese paper the week before. They wanted me to continue working on it. Were they mad? I told them that I had no idea what I was doing and that it would take too long. They told me they would increase the rate and the deadline. They also told me they’d send it to the author to check before it was published. For goodness’ sake – what good would that do? The author already thought that the garbage he’d submitted was proper English, how would he even understand what I was writing?

Anyway, I decided I’d focus on that on Saturday and spent most of Friday working on other things.

I was up early on Saturday morning as I had tickets to see Chris Cleave at the Literature Festival. When I left the house, I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any books. None. At. All. I got to the Intercontinental at Festival City shortly after 9am and had bought a book by 9.15am. I think someone should host an intervention for me. I bumped into a friend of mine who was attending the same session at 9.30am and we went in together.

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I had never read anything by Ann Cleves (but want to now) and had only read The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (and bought his latest book, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, that morning). He came across as such a lovely guy – so humble and so surprised that people would want to hear him speak about his books. They both were so interesting to listen to and made some really good points about writing about the horrors of life. Chris Cleave said that we all know what the horrors are, and we don’t always have to write about them so graphically – sometimes just referring to what’s happening ‘offstage’ is enough. He said you have to trust your readers to know what you’re talking about…

After the session, we queued up with our books for him to sign. When I got to the front, he shook my hand and thanked me for buying his books. I told him that my copy of The Other Hand had been bought in Dubai and taken to Bali and Nigeria and was finally back with me. He asked me if I’d been to Nigeria and I told him I lived there as a child. He told me he went there once for a week – he said it was fascinating but that he wouldn’t want to live there! I think a lot of people who live there feel like that too! He was really interesting to talk to – and he signed both my books.

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He said he was running a couple of workshops that afternoon, but when I went to see if there were any tickets still available they were sold out.

I had an hour until my next session at 11.30am. My friend and I grabbed a cup of tea before separating for our respective sessions. I bumped into some other friends as well, but on the whole I got the feeling that the Festival was much quieter than in previous years.

The next session I attended was called ’14 Centuries of Arab History’. The author was John McHugo – his two books are A Concise History of the Arabs and Syria: A Recent History. The person moderating the session was Riz Khan, who used to work for the BBC and CNN – apparently he lives in Dubai now. I was disappointed by this session – it could have been so much more interesting than it was. I know that one hour isn’t a very long time, but the session was mostly questions from the audience, a bit like ‘Question Time’, so no topic was covered in any real depth.

My friend and I met up again after that and walked over to the Belgian Beer Cafe for lunch. It wasn’t too hot, so we sat outside and both ordered the fish and chips. She had another session after lunch and I came back home.

I have to say I was disappointed with the Literature Festival this year. Last year I struggled to fit in all the authors I wanted to see but this year I struggled to find anyone I really liked. After speaking to a few other people, I think that was the general consensus.

That afternoon, I had to fight to stay awake while editing the awful Chinese paper, and then I headed to the beach for my evening walk – it was really busy! I was home a little after 7pm and had dinner with my parents.

I love my life.

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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

Read more updates here.

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Dubai 2016: Week 9

Apart from work (and lots of it) and the gym (some form of exercise every day), I wasn’t all that busy. I decided to go to Spa Zen for a massage on Sunday evening. What better way than that to start the week?

On Monday I was busy as usual. I had a session with Pete on Monday and a piano lesson that afternoon. My Intermediate II Arabic class started that evening as well. It had only been ten days since the last class and I’d already forgotten all the new vocabulary I’d learned!

I was home all day on Tuesday, working.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. That afternoon I met a friend for coffee at Caffe Nero in DIFC. I’d really forgotten what it’s like to go out in the week – I seem to have become a bit of a recluse recently. On my way out I bumped into another friend of mine. I should really get out more! I had another Arabic class that evening.

I went to a yoga class on Thursday morning and was at home working the rest of the day. In fact, I was at home working the entire weekend. My parents were out most of the time so I had the place to myself.

On Friday morning one of my clients emailed to ask if I could fast-track an article for them – it was about Chinese local government and debt. I said I could return it to them by Saturday – they were thrilled. However, when I saw the document, I was horrified. It was 12,000 words of complete nonsense which had clearly been written using Google Translate. Here’s an example:

This paper try to resolve the unbalance relationship between the “power, responsibility and interests” of the local debt in China, which is on the view of the power endowment, the responsibility restriction and the interests transformation.

And that’s not even the worst of it. It needed to be completely rewritten – and I wasn’t even sure what the author was trying to say, so rewriting it was difficult. On Saturday afternoon, I gave up. I emailed my client to say that it was impossible to edit, and that it should be returned to the author to be translated by an English-speaking professional. Thankfully my client agreed with me! Seriously, though – what a complete waste of time that was.

I went to the beach on Saturday evening for a walk, but I went late and did most of my walk in the dark which wasn’t much fun. The track is mostly well lit but I felt a bit uncomfortable and exposed (even though there were several other people around). I’m definitely sticking to daytime/sunset walks from now on!

I love my life.

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The final few

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

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Dubai 2016: Week 8

Apart from work and the gym, I had a pretty busy week. I was also feeling quite lazy – I didn’t have Arabic as I’d finished the Intermediate 1 course the week before and Intermediate 2 was starting the following week – and I just wanted to sit at home.

On Sunday afternoon I went to Dermalogica at the Dubai Mall for a facial. I usually book with Judy – and she’s excellent. Days later, my skin still felt and looked incredible.

I had a session with Pete on Monday and a piano lesson that afternoon. I spent the rest of the day working – my parents were out for dinner so it was quiet at home.

I went to the gym on Tuesday and also squeezed in a yoga class that afternoon – and apart from that I worked! And apart from my session with Pete on Wednesday, I continued working…

On Thursday I decided to treat myself to a much-needed manicure and pedicure. I took my book with me and spent some time at the salon. I realised that we were already at the end of February and it was time to start planning something for my birthday! Again! It seems to come around so quickly…

On Thursday evening I went to the Dubai Jazz Festival at the Media City Amphitheatre – David Gray, Chris Botti and his band, and Sting were all performing that night. David Gray was good, but apart from the three or four songs I knew (‘Babylon’, ‘Sail Away’, ‘This Year’s Love’) the rest all started to sound the same.

I’d never heard of Chris Botti – but I now realise that I’d seen him perform before with Sting on his Brand New Day tour. He also played on the album (it’s one of my favourites). Chris Botti and his band were quality musicians – versatile and talented. In a way, I feel they were wasted on a Dubai audience who wouldn’t appreciate their skills. Even though I didn’t know any of their music, I still enjoyed listening to them play for an hour or so.

And then Sting came on – man, he looks good. He started with ‘If I Ever Lose My Faith In You’ – I think that’s one of my favourite songs. But each time he started a song I’d think ‘Oh, I love this song.’ He then played ‘Englishman in New York’ and ‘Message in a Bottle’. He also sang ‘Fields of Gold’, ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’ and ‘Roxanne’, and of course ‘Desert Rose’.

He also sang ‘Shape of  My Heart’ and a few other songs I can’t remember right now. It was fantastic.

The first time I saw Sting in concert was in the summer of 2001 in Hyde Park. It was a Sunday evening in July and the weather was perfect. I somehow I managed to get tickets for seats six rows from the front and had no idea until we got there – so we had a great view too. When he started singing ‘Fields of Gold’, I looked to the sky on my right – the sun was setting and the sky was a mixture of reds and oranges and pinks and purples. It was almost as if he’d ordered this sunset to go with his song.

When we’ve been to concerts in Media City, we usually go for drinks afterwards to avoid the crowds and the taxi rush, but that night I wanted to get home as I had work to do and I wasn’t drinking. My friend also wanted to get home and we luckily managed to get into a cab as people were getting out at one of the hotels. I dropped her home and was home by 1am. I ended up working until almost 4am.

I worked on Friday afternoon and that evening went to the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. I went with my cousin – we’d missed the first game (Wawrinka v Kyrgios) but got there in time to watch Lopez v Baghdatis. It wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be – I managed to get our tickets using my Emirates airmiles so I don’t think they were sold out. It was a good match – although Lopez really lost it in the third set.

After the tennis, my cousin and I went to Thai Chi at Wafi for dinner. We ordered a tom yum soup with chicken to share and the papaya salad to start with. The soup was really filling – three or four people could have shared it – so when it was time to order our main course we decided to skip the green curry and just have the grilled tiger prawns topped with hot basil sauce and Thai peppercorns. It was amazing. I’d never had it before but I would definitely order it again. It was really spicy though! I was home by midnight and again ended up working late, this time until 3am.

I was home on Saturday. I was tired as I hadn’t slept much. That evening a friend and I went to the beach for our Saturday evening walk. Neither of us had been the week before, but I could really feel the change in the temperature – it was already much warmer. We managed our 6 km in under an hour and went home in time for dinner.

I love my life.

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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

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