Stellian’s Superb Saturday! (Warning! Includes a swimsuit shot!)

So this Saturday was always going to be manic, but I was really looking forward to it.

The plan:

Whole family to Wolverhampton parkrun
Chris swim Sport Relief Swimathon – 5k at Wolverhampton Leisure Centre, while we cheer him on.
Parents arrive lunch time.
Me and daughter swim Sport Relief Swimathon 1.5k team relay at Halesowen Leisure Centre
Big family meal out.

For the most part, the plan happened, but a few extra things happened to make it even better!

A mid week chat on twitter with Lozza led to a suggested Tweet Up at Wolverhampton parkrun, along with a new twitter friend Cara.

The run was great fun, I was aiming to keep Lozza in sight, as she aimed for a sub-30 PB, to see if I could run as well as I did the other week with Marissa and Jonnie. I kept her in sight for a lap and a half, but she was flying round (I now know she was chasing a nice bottom!) and she smashed her goal of sub-30! It was great turning into the final straight with her yelling me on!

I’m really pleased with my time at wolves, 31:01 by my watch, 31:05 official time, as I did it all by myself, and my first mile was 10:02, so I’m making good progress towards my own sub-30.

Also really proud of my 6 year old son, who after a half the first lap in full on tantrum mode as he wanted to run with mummy, not daddy, finished the full 5k in 34:35 – I’m going to have to watch him!

The Tweet Up was brilliant, it’s always lovely to meet twitter pals in the flesh, especially when they are as inspiring as Lozza and Cara, both have worked hard to change their lives through running, and are now branching off into triathlons etc.

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It was fabulous to chill out after the run over a coffee and just relax. This did mean that Chris didn’t have his cheerleading at his swim, but he did brilliantly and I’m proud of him.

Then after all the excitement of the morning, it was scoot home to meet up with my parents. They’d brought daughter’s birthday presents, as she turned 10 this week, so there was much excitement from both children.

Then the best bit of my day happened. Me and daughter set off for Halesowen Leisure Centre to do our 1.5k relay. We’d deliberately joined as a team as she was desperate to take part, but had only swum 800m before, so the plan was she’d swim as far as she could, then I would finish whatever she couldn’t, therefore no matter what we’d be a successful team.

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What can I say, she was incredible! She swam beautifully and strongly, she was overtaking adult swimmers and with a bit of pool side encouragement from me, she swam the first kilometre all by herself, only leaving me 500m to finish off.

I swam my 14 lengths at full on full pace, just because I could! And when we got out to be presented with our medals, I realised we were the first to finish! We’d finished ahead of adults swimming in teams, and solo at the same distance! Not that I’m discovering a competitive side to myself or anything.

She’s followed our family rule to the letter and hasn’t yet taken off her medal, think she’s chuffed, and so she should be.

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We then went out and ate our way around the world at our local world food buffet. Perfect end to a fantastic day!

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Warning. Vehicle Reversing.

So I reached a massive weightloss milestone last week.

I hit 50.5lbs or 3stone 8.5 lbs.

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I’m not at goal yet, but I was trying to remember the last time I was this size. I’ve been married almost 13 years and I’m smaller than I was then.

I’ve had to go back 18 years to find a photograph of me at a healthy weight.

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And while I can see flashes of that 18 year old when I see photos of me, what I see in the mirror is the 30 year old me.

That’s why I keep putting on clothes that are 5 sizes too big and hang off me.

That’s why I occasionally have wobbles in my self confidence.

It’s going to take a while for my mental image to reverse itself, but I’ll get there.

But, they are occasional moments. I walk around singing, I have a constant smile on my face. I’m walking taller & achieving things I never dreamed I could do. I’ve been told that I’m radiating happiness – I hope so as that’s how I feel!

Sunny Sunday with The Shabbas

Yesterday was another big milestone for me.

I ran in my first 10k race at Fradley near Lichfield.

I’ve been battling with a cold for a few days, and this meant I was awake at 4am stuffed up and feeling rubbish. But some vitamin C, some paracetamol & crumpets soon got me back on a par. Judging by some of the early morning, nervy twitter chats I was having with other people going, I wasn’t alone!

It was a gloriously sunny day, which gave me a few conundrums to start with as I’ve never run in weather like that! As I started running in October, I’ve only ever run in cooler conditions – what to wear??? Then realised the beauty of layers, is to remove them when you don’t need them, so just didn’t wear them in the first place!

I set off ridiculously early as usual – I’d been warned how bad the traffic could be. The race started at 10.30. I arrived at 8.50. That takes punctuality to new levels!

I soon bumped into fellow Shabbas Byron & Marissa, followed by Matt and Phil and Greg, which left us wondering where Chris was – it’s his local race! He soon found us though. We were also joined by Gary on his bike in support.

We had a team photo taken, as per Shabba tradition. I think you’ll all agree we look happy & excited!

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After a giggle and some warm up runs, we made our way down to the start. The boys picking their start places strategically, me & Marissa keeping each other company (it was her first 10k too). And then we were off.

Too fast. My first mile was way too fast for my current ability. The atmosphere was electric & I was being pulled along with the crowd. I managed to settle down on the second mile and my pace evened out a bit. I started to look around, and heard a shout of ‘SHABBA!’ – and there was Baz & Annmarie come down to support us again.

Fradley really is a pretty place, we ran past fields, woods & ponds. The race is also two laps. So I ran past them twice!

Gary joined me a couple of times on his bike, and it was good to have someone there, chatting & encouraging me. He took some great pictures of the day.

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The effect of running too fast in the first mile hit me on the last mile, and I found it really tough. Luckily, Gary was there and distracted, encouraged, took the Mickey etc… Till the home straight.

And that’s where the best bit happens.

As a new runner, as a runner who’s still overweight, and as the newest Shabba, I am the slowest of the bunch. But there’s a wonderful thing that happens when you’re the last Shabba home.

As you reach the finish line, all you can see is the red shirts. And all you can hear is ‘Go on Sarah!’ ‘SHABBA!’

And it’s electrifying. There’s no other word for it. Every single one of them waits for the last Shabba to cross the line. And there is nothing on earth that feels as good as being part of that moment.

I finished my first 10k in 1:06:20. Which I’m really happy with, and after a rest, I’ve got some work to do before my next one.

I’ll leave you with one last picture – of a few of relaxing afterwards.

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