As I mentioned last week, I was up in Sheffield this weekend for my first British Transplant Games competition*, and despite having done specific track training for the past few months, I was absolutely bricking it in the leadup to the first race.
I’ll keep it brief since this isn’t a running site, but the first event was the 3km “Mini Marathon”, which is the longest race run in the games, and my Main Event. It’s good to keep an open mind for this sort of thing, because in the last few moments before the race I discovered that a) my main competitor was out with a stress fracture, b) the race was actually on the roads/trails around the stadium instead of a straightforward track race, and c) there was a fun run occurring at the same time and no separate start area for those of us who were competing in the Games.
Despite all this, I ran really strong (even up the two surprise hills!) and ended up the first female finisher, coming second overall and only about 30 second behind the lead male! I did an unintentional Mo Bot when the commentator told me I came in under 12 minutes!! So this earned me a gold medal for my age group, but also apparently a trophy for the first female for any age (which I’ve not received yet and may just be a rumor?).
Then the next morning was my second race, the women’s 1500m (3.75 laps around the track). This indeed was a true track race, with a gun start and a bell for the final lap! I came out in front in the first 200m and grew the lead over the race, ending up finishing over a full minute ahead of the next finisher! I had to lap a few of the other ladies, which I felt bad about, so I tried to offer encouragement as I went past.
I also ran in the mixed 400m relay later in the afternoon, but despite making our way through the heats, our team came in 4th in the final. Only one of us had done baton handoffs before, so we practiced just before the race, which was actually quite fun! Everything went smoothly and we all sprinted our hardest, but the other teams were just faster! No shame in that!
For the first race, I wore my trusty Nike short shorts and my disco split back top, but for the second, I threw all caution to the wind and wore my brand-new Jalie shorts & sports bra set, which for someone who’s stomach self-conscious like me is a big step! When I wasn’t racing, I was wearing my Kings College Hospital team tracksuit, though, which helped!
You’ll see lots more of this later this week, but I thought you might like a teaser of me with one of my British champion gold medals!! The stadium setting was too good a photoshoot venue to pass up!
New amazing pattern alert
One other thing of note that happened this weekend is that Ana Jan released her first pattern! I’ve been a fan of hers since the early days of BurdaStyle.com and she is one of the most technically advanced and amazingly creative sewists out there. I’ve had a peek at this Nougat dress pattern already and she has done an amazing job of illustrating and explaining all the steps for such an exhilaratingly complex design. Seriously, this pattern isn’t for the faint-hearted, but if you love the design, definitely go for it because a) she’s bent over backwards to make this as accessible as possible, and the individual steps are all quite straightforward and b) I kinda think it’s important that indie designers shouldn’t always just produce beginner patterns over and over, so supporting something like this is a Good Thing.
* If you’re a fairly new reader – I had a bone marrow transplant in 2009, and an anonymous donor saved my life. These games were open to organ and bone marrow transplant patients of all ages, and it was so inspiring to see all ages and abilities overcome their health issues and thrive in our second chance at life.