Vote Sarah in GFA - previously lardy girl does good! ;)

Previous Salad Dodger, Addicted to Running, Needs Votes for a Boston Qualifier!

Vote for me here:

I used to be fat. Salad was something you bought in a bag, left in the fridge until it was brown and mushy when you threw it away and exercise was something I’d heard about, but wasn’t really that keen about trying.

My moment of epiphany was after some photos where I realised I was most definitely ‘The Fat Friend’. Not a good look. I dieted and got to 9 stone and then the problem of maintaining the weight kicked in. I ran as the most calorie efficient way of burning calories … and then my competitive nature kicked in.

My first challenge was a sub-30 5k, then 29 … 28 … soon I was becoming a regular at parkun and knocking minutes off of my time.

I began enjoying the running and loving how I felt afterwards and how toned I was becoming. I was hooked. My chest of drawers slowly filled up with lycra and sports tops and trainers were something for running not leisure … I even ran with my baby – pushing her in her pushchair. She has grown up knowing me as a sporty Mum – never a fat Mum.

As I ran more, I got better. I’ll never be the fastest or the speediest, but I’m bloody-minded. Tell me I can’t do something and I will practise until I can …

I practised until I started beating my slower running friends, then my quicker friends … and one day I realised I was quite often placed at the local races. Nothing spectacular – these were LOCAL races, but I loved the feeling of being good at something. Instead of The Fat One. Or The Unfit One.

As a present – or possibly revenge for beating him in a parkrun, I was bought a Liverpool Marathon entry for a Christmas present. I’d never even run a half before. So I entered Reading Half in April and made it home in 1 hr 44. The buzz was unbelievable. I was also quite happy to beat my boyfriend who had been running for 7 years by over 5 minutes. He loves that I’m faster than him now. No reallyimage

I entered Bristol half and completed it in 1 hr 39 which gave me more confidence for my first marathon and showed me I could keep a steady pace throughout.

My first marathon was Liverpool which I completed – with toenails intact! - in 3:45:11. However, this was without a training plan as I hadn’t known where to start. Did I drop my mileage to start with a beginners plan? Instead, I kept running the same 35 miles a week but I just increased my long runs at the weekend.

My Liverpool time gave me a Good for Age time and automatic entry into the London marathon. But … I decided I could be quicker and set my sights on a marathon I had heard of but 5 years ago never considered I’d be able to enter. Boston. To enter Boston you need to be able to prove you can run a sub-3:35 marathon. I finally have a chance at a Boston qualifying time …

If you want the blood, guts, warts and all lowdown on what it’s like to be trained by the experts, then vote for me. I promise to tell it all … in the most amusing and clear way possible … PLUS get a Boston qualifying time image



  • I can remember you asking earlier on in the year about what to do at the start of the schedule as it didn't fit did a great first time


     good luck

  • Hi Sarah, I love your introduction! Well done for everything you have achieved so far and best of luck in the Asics competiton, I would love to follow your training thread image

    I've bookmarked your blog to check out when I get home too image

  • I loved your story & your humour, Sarah  (the bit about salad in a kebab had me laugh out loud and definitely felt a bit like a blast from the past!).
    Fantastic efforts & finishing times already and certainly wish you the very best of luck!!! x

  • Thanks Seren! I remember! I went with your reply as you recommended carrying on doing the same mileage until the training plan caught up ... which is when I added in the long runs! Thanks for that advice - obviously worked!image

    Hi Xine267 - thank you so much! I was really stumped with what to write ... but just thought, hey all I can do is be me ... and hope people don't dislike me too much! image

    Thanks Okapi - it's really true. My Mum used to phone me and check I was eating my veg when I left home and I would be counting the bits in the microwave meal I'd had ...! Thank you!! image

  • David - Ha ha! Love it! It's me! Previously-Fat-Sarah!image 30 minute 5ks were my original TARGET - I was well over that when I started ... image I'm now doing around 30 - 35 miles a week as I'm not training for anything specific and my last parkrun (24th November) was 21:34. I'm still knocking time off the 5ks and I hope to keep on chipping away at them for some time yet!

  • You have my vote as I am where you are speed wise but a bit slower!!! All the best.....image

  • MCS - Thank you! image Would be fab to be able to knock the minutes off together! I'm uber-competitive so would be fantastic to have someone with matching times to compete withimage

  • What's your 10k time?

    And what is your favorite distance to race??

  • Evening Steve Loves Bacon!

    I'm jinxed at the 10k distance! image My only 'recognised' 10k time is 49:44 on an extremely hilly course, but I've raced 10k in 45:11 in the Coventry 10k ... however only realised afterwards it wasn't a 'recognised' course. Probably, because of the amount of walkers on the paths ... there was a lot of old lady dodging and dog hurdling going on ...

    My favourite distance is either the 5k or the half marathon. 5k because it's short and sharp - it hurts but you feel AMAZING afterwards. And the half marathon distance because you can take your time and pace yourself and enjoy the scenery! image

  • Ha ha I'm totally taking up dog hurdling as a hobby!

    5k is my favourite too - I'm a sucker for a sprint finish... image

    Would be awesome if you managed the Boston qualifying time!

  • Steve Loves Bacon - I think we should definitely try and get Dog Hurdling recognised at the next Olympics .. not sure who'd volunteer their dog as a hurdle but we can work on that!image


  • BoDukeBoDuke ✭✭✭
    RRR: remember me? You were the first person I met last year and what a star you are! You've got my vote already, but needs to be asked (as the thing I remember from last year): to marmite or not?
  • Hi Sarah,

    If you don't win a place on the team do you still intend to run another marathon in 2013 to try and get your Boston time, if so which one and why?

  • RRR Don't worry. I'll get my people to talk to their people. We'll find some!

  • Boduke!! - Fantastic to see you on here!! You were so great at Bootcamp last year! Cool as a cucumber but you kept me giggling! image Marmite? You've asked me the marmite question??

    ... (starts scraping tongue with fingers at the thought off marmite)

    Xyloid - If I don't get through then I will be entering Manchester marathon! I've heard good things about it  - basically that it's flat ...! image After Parliament Street at mile 22 of Liverpool marathon in October I reckon a nice flat course sounds goodimage Although I did get to go DOWN Parliament Street at about mile 25 which kept me rolling all the way to the finish line!image


  • Steve - I reckon dog hurdling is the way forward ...

  • Eating marmite isn't part of the training deal with Asics and Runners World is it?image
  • Hi there, ive been reading your blog and I am inspired... I am the currently lardy one in my group of friends.. which after being "skinny" for years is somewhat of a shock...

    I am contemplating taking up jogging/running in the new year... what would be the best bit of advice you can give me? in terms of Kit to wear? and also how to get in the right mind set to start of? and any apps you could reccommend?


  • Love your blog. Well done on the amazing weight loss , you have my vote good luck image

  • Joanne - Inspired? Woo hoo! (Preens)image I'd definitely use a Coach to 5k programme if you haven't run before - it definitely makes it easier if you know you've got a walk break coming up and just have to hold out another minute or so! Also ... once you can run for 10 minutes non-stop, you've pretty much cracked this running lark - it gets easier from there! image

    Have you got trainers that are comfortable and in decent nick? These are pretty much the only essential gear but I'd recommend getting yourself some comfortable and pretty running tops and trousers too. You’ll want to be comfortable and look forward to your runs and it’s always nice having new things to wear! image I was very self-conscious when I started running but nobody is really watching – if they are, they’re probably only thinking “I wish I could do that!”

    Re apps, I’ve got Strava Run on my phone and have used RunKeeper in the past. Both are good, but I’d recommend a Couch to 5K app to begin with. Also don’t forget to keep a training log of your runs – when I’m struggling to go out, I find it helps to look back and see how far I’ve come! image

    Another motivational tip I use is to earn my mince pies ... 2.5 mile run – that’s a mince pie when I get home! image

  • Morning Night Nurse! Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the blog! I had to start writing my running down as I kept talking about it to my partner Simon and he kept getting glazed eyes and huffing at me every time I mentioned the word "run" ... image

  • Best of luck in your endeavers

  • Thank you Roger!! image

  • That's great info Sarah, thank you so much.

    I really hope you do well in this as having read the other profiles it is you that sticks as to me as someone who would really benefit from winning image

    I might pop back with another question once I have a short list of trainers if that's ok?

    Good luck
  • Joanne - you're welcome! Of course you can ask me about the trainers ... but it would only be my opinion! Might be worth popping into your local running shop if you're looking to invest in some new ones image So ... why running? Is it something you've done before? Or just something you've always fancied trying?

  • I used to run x country at school but not for many years now!

    I need to lose weight and can't afford the gym costs! So I want to try running image
  • Cross country??! Then you're already a hardcore runner in my book!! image I've done a couple of cross country races recently and the runners have been AMAZING!! Have you got a local club? I bet they'd love to hear from you!

    I did my first proper cross country in Coventry recently. It was fantastic but brutal - I was SO pleased to get a hot cup of soup at the end!!




  • Finally realised with the help of SB you were at Bootcamp last year!!!! All the best for no2 go........

  • Thank you MCS! Loved last year and meeting SB and Boduke but I'd only been running a year then so pacing and long runs were all fairly new! image The time trial last year was also the first time I'd ever been on a track! But what a fab introduction...!

    Have got some half marathons and a marathon under my belt now so I had a pace for all of the track work! image SB was a real inspiration too as she had shown me that a 3:45 marathon was possible on the first go! Have been popping in and out of the Au Revoir Cobbles thread every now to say hi to everyone from last year too! image

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