Wednesday, 14 May 2008


Thought I'd give Sat a bit of respite and do a posting of my own which is probably long overdue.

I guess Sat's covered most of it but I wanted to share my perspective on things as I really think we've taken a step up in our training and overall level of fitness. This is borne out by a couple of key events. The first was the bank holiday weekend at the beginning of this month.

Having set ourselves the challenge of a run every day over the 3 days with a marathon sandwiched in the middle of them wasn't something I'd have ever thought possible after I'd completed the London marathon 2 years ago. Back then I never wanted to run again. I'd only started running because I'd secured a place through the ballot we held at work to run for The Outward Bound Trust. I didn't enjoy the training, I moaned practically the whole way through the race to Sat and then suffered terribly from dehydration once it was all over and continued to suffer for the next few days as well. So a stint of nearly 70km the other week was a significant achievement from my point of view.

What was different you might ask. In my view, our mindset has a lot to do with it. We've certainly developed our mental toughness over the last few months and this can be attributed to the fact we spur each other on and have confidence in our own and each other's ability to achieve whatever goals we set ourselves.

Plus continuing to run after the London marathon also helped. Admittedly we weren't doing 26-milers anymore but I developed a taste for 5kms and entered several races last year. My best placing was in the Women's British 5km (held on the same day as the London 10km which Sat entered) last July.

I'm a firm believer that all relationships which we encounter in life happen for a reason. And on that Sunday morning of the race I got chatting with another race entrant and we hung out together until the start of the race. During our conversation it transpired she'd actually won the event the previous year and was hoping to retain her title. With this knowledge, I figured she knew a thing or two about successful racing so I asked her for any tips which would help me achieve a personal best. "I know there are conflicting views on this, but go out as fast as you can and try and maintain that pace. Even if you slow down it'll still be faster than you expect" was the advice she gave me.

So with that in mind, we stood at the start line together and that was about the last I saw of her as the starter gun went off and she disappeared into the distance. I set off as fast as I could, which compared to the leaders must've looked like I was in slow motion. The majority of the race was fairly enjoyable, especially when I overtook anyone but the final half km seemed to take an eternity. The race finished in Whitehall and looped back on itself - it was the longest 2oom I'd ever encountered (seems daft in hindsight but that's how it felt).

Crossing the finish line I was pleased to see my new found friend waiting to congratulate me. Unfortunately she didn't manage to win, but came a commendable second - I later learned her name was Jennifer Jenks. I never really got a chance to thank her for the advice she gave to me so I'd like to take this opportunity to do so. We should always try to look to experts for things we want to achieve in life. They do these things well so we should learn from them. In case you're wondering, I came 31st out of a field of a couple of hundred. I was pretty chuffed.

Anyway, back to the other key recent event...well, that was actually just this morning. The training plan has upped the ante and it was now 20km instead of the more customary 15km. Not much in it we thought, and that's completely true. We approached it in pretty much the same way as any usual early morning pre-work run, the only difference was we got up at 5am to ensure we had enough time without having to rush. Felt good to be out earlier than usual. The roads and streets were quieter and it was also quite cool so I was glad to have worn an extra layer.

Had the iPod on low, got into our stride quite quickly and all was right with the world. At around 7km I got a stitch. Thought I'd keep it to myself and run it off. Communication in the Sandhu household is usually pretty good but on this occasion, I hadn't actually read Sat's last posting with the advice on how to get rid of a stitch. Fortunately mine wasn't for shifting so I mentioned it to him. He immediately sprang into solution mode and told me what I needed to do. I duly complied and lo and behold, it actually worked. After just a couple of minutes the stitch had eased and I was having a great run again.

Maybe it was cos it was early morning but we hadn't twigged that our 20km run would be just one short of a half marathon until we were 10km or so into it. We figured it'd be quite an achievement to do a half marathon so carried on a little further on our river route before heading back to ensure we did a full 21km.

By the time I'd got to work I was absolutely buzzing. I was so adrenalin-charged with the fact I'd run a half marathon before work I was really energised. That buzz has kept me going all day. When I think back to those early days of our London marathon training, 13 miles before breakfast on a weekday would have filled me with horror. How times change. I'm already looking forward to the next one! Bring it on...


Blogger Georgie B said...

Jo, your post was interesting and motivating and compared to you know who, short !

Fred and I enjoy readding your blog.. have you heard if there are any other teams that are publishing blogs ??

Look forward to meeting you both.

15 May 2008 at 02:56  
Blogger Sat Sandhu said...

Hiya George,

I get enough grief from the wife - I dont need you ganging up with her ;)

Regarding other blogs - I keep looking but there doesn't seem to be that many out there. Whenever I find any I add their links to our blog - still keeping your blog at the top of the list, of course ;)

The "I Run Far" site is pretty good for information and tips - but the authors of that are on a much higher plane than us - running 50 milers and stuff like that....yikes!

Take care
"You know who"

15 May 2008 at 15:58  
Blogger J-one said...

Hi Everybody! Judy from the "left coast" here. I just received delivery of the Higher Peak machine and am "looking forward" to using it (ha).
Jo, thanks for your post--nice to hear how things sound from your side.
Am greatly enjoying your blog, especially the tech info (and the tour guide to London / UK, which I hope to visit again one day.) Look forward to meeting y'all in Colorado!

15 May 2008 at 20:47  
Blogger Geepster said...

Hi Guys

Just been catching up on your recent entries - we cannot believe just how much running you´re doing! We´re really pleased to see you enjoyed some good company and meals out after all your hard work over the bank holiday. As for running a half marathon before work - that´s serious dedication. The only 5am starts we´ve had recently have been to go bird watching in the jungle and getting a numb bum sitting in a canoe for hours!!!

Keep blogging
Lots of love
Gill and Andy

19 May 2008 at 02:40  
Blogger dave boy said...

This Fitness thing is catching Maz walked to work this morning . I didn't catch her up in the car.bye for now . Love Dave Boy XX

19 May 2008 at 09:19  

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