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!
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.
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.