Week Six… Sun, sea and a little bit of training!

We woke up on Monday morning already feeling relaxed in one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in! Monday was spent chilling, we sat by the pool for a bit and then ventured out for a walk to the nearby mall and surrounding area in the evening. I was quite surprised how American it feels here, walking into the mall we were surrounded by shops, cafes and restaurants that you would see in most American malls… Very strange seeing as we are basically in the desert! It’s pretty cool seeing all the Arabic men and women in their traditional dress, they look so smart and it’s just so different! Monday evening we had dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen… Followed by ice cream at Coldstone Creamery, soooooo good! We had a spot of tea in the tea lounge when we got back to the hotel which was lovely 🙂 And absolutely no training was done, a proper lazy, chilled day!  

On Tuesday morning we decided we wanted to do a bit more of the tourist thing and decided to hop on board a ‘Big Bus Tour’. I’ve done a couple of these in various cities and they’re always so good, you end up seeing parts of a place you never normally would. We saw the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace hotel, Etihad Towers, the Corniche and lots of other places along the way. We missed the stop we had been hoping to get off at to go and visit Yas Island, too busy taking selfies haha.   

We ventured to the ‘downtown’ area, wandered round another mall and the Grand Central Souk before meandering our way back to our hotel along the Corniche.    

 It was a beautiful walk alongside the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf and the area was full of people running, cycling and even roller blading! 

 
We got back to the hotel and after a short time chilling out in the sun and in the spa we hit the gym. Simon’s been struggling with an Achilles injury so it was the spin bike for him and the treadmill for me… I forgot how much I hate the treadmill! And in a baking hot, busy gym it’s even worse! But still, I got 10 miles done in 1:19… And was dripping with sweat by the end of it- ewww! We went to PF Chang’s for dinner, a pretty tasty meal of chicken lettuce wraps and yummy beef and chicken dishes followed by yet more ice cream for me 🙈

Wednesday morning I got up slightly earlier and hit the sweatbox that is the gym again, 40 minutes on the spin bike following a workout from YouTube (pretty good actually!) followed by a slow and sweaty 5k treadmill run… 23:54, my worst time for ages! After breakfast (a buffet with pretty much everything you could wish for) we hopped in a taxi and went to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.   

What an amazing building, it’s absolutely huge and surrounded by motorways but there’s such a lovely peaceful sense of calm there, it was so nice just to wander around. I had to cover my head, as per the culture, and hadn’t quite grasped the headscarf look so I looked a little bit like a dork… But it was fun!   

Afterwards we headed to Yas Island where we went to the mall, had a Costa (yup really!) and then wandered around a bit more before finding the big bus tour again and rejoining it for a tour of the island. We got to see Ferrari World, the Marina F1 Circuit and everything else the island had to offer before the bus took us back to the mosque. Here we hopped off in favor of a taxi back to the hotel out of speed to try and catch some rays before the sun went down. After a short sunbathing session followed by a bit of time in the spa we headed back to the gym… Simon did his thing on the spin bike, my legs were pretty sore from the previous two workouts so I opted for some strength work… I basically pranced round the gym for an hour or so, did I mention I forgot how much I hate it! For dinner we went back to the mall and headed to a BBQ restaurant called Famous Daves. It was quite strange there as all the servers called themselves ‘famous’ whatever… The food was ok, as usual we over ordered, I was able to eat mine but Simon struggled! Afterwards, yup, you guessed it… More ice cream 👍🏻 I really mustn’t make a habit of this!

On Thursday we decided to have a day of nothing, relaxing by the pool. After yet another mountain of breakfast we headed out to set up camp on the sun loungers. I forgot how much I love just lying in the sun, it’s so nice! In the afternoon we decided we should try a little bit of exercise, so headed into the sea for a swim. 30 minutes of open water swimming in the salt water, it was lovely! The water was pretty clear and lovely and cool 😊    

   
After another bit of time in the spa we headed to Al Maryah Island (the other side of the river/ sea in front of our hotel) for dinner. We had planned on going to a Lebanese restaurant, but couldn’t find it and found a restaurant in a very fancy hotel instead… It wasn’t quite what we were after so we carried on and ventured into the Galleria, a very posh mall with pretty much every designer store you could think of! There weren’t any real restaurants as such, it seemed to only be upmarket fast food joints that we could find. We settled for a curry at  one called Biryani Pot. It was delicious! So much food and so reasonable. On the walk home we stopped off for me to get a bit more ice cream! Simon had said he wasn’t feeling very well earlier in the day, he’d lost his appetite and felt slightly nauseous… When we got back to the hotel he was so so sick, all night poor love. 

After a rough night’s sleep I got up and headed back to the gym to let Simon get some uninterrupted sleep, when I’m awake, I’m awake… Back on the treadmill for 7 miles in 54:54. 

 After a quick shower I left his lordship in bed for a little longer and headed to the pool for some pre-breakfast sun.  

 

An hour or so later we hit the breakfast buffet…. I was starving, and proceeded to stuff my face as I have done all week, but poor Simon couldn’t eat a thing which is really unlike him 😦 I spent the rest of the day in the sun while he hid in the shade.   

We went back to the mall in the evening for dinner at GBK again, I demolished my burger and fries but Simon only managed a few bites of his before feeling really unwell. We headed back to the hotel pretty much straight away… I know, no ice cream, shocking! And packed everything ready to leave that evening. After a few hours reading and dozing we started to get ready to go to the airport, our flight was meant to be at 02:45… But we had a text from BA to say the flight was delayed until 05:30, so more chilling and napping ensued! We got to the airport around 3am, checked in and wandered to the departures lounge where we found out our flight was delayed further- eventually we took off at 6am.

After a relatively uneventful, but fairly bumpy flight we landed at Heathrow just after 10am… I’d managed to get a couple of hours sleep thankfully but felt exhausted! We got through passport control and got our bags pretty quickly, and were home by about 11:15. I was heading off to my friend Clare’s hen do and was due to be in Egham for 12… After a quick shower and repacking another bag I made it to the venue for 12:45. The afternoon was nice enough, afternoon tea followed by a very civilized dinner, needless to say I was exhausted and hit the hay at 10:30 leaving the party going on downstairs!

Sunday morning I got up earlyish and headed out for a run with one of the other girls on the hen do, Charlotte who Clare works with and is also a keen triathlete. We headed to Windsor Great Park, nattering away and 10 miles later we were back at the hotel in time for breakfast! After a lovely walk from the hotel to Virginia water and back I headed home and had a bit of chill time before hitting the pool in the evening, a steady 2100m felt pretty good!

So pretty rubbish stats this week!

Swim- 1:10, around 4000m

Bike- 40 mins on a spin bike!

Run- 4:54, 30.5 miles

Next week will be better… Although I had an email from Ellie on Sunday saying she’s not able to continue coaching me which is a bit of a shame but totally understandable reasoning. I’m going to resort back to the Don Fink plan and see how it goes…

Watch this space…!

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