Sarah loses eight stone while jogging... and is now targeting a marathon
Heanor's Sarah Mellors, 37 was determined to do something about her weight when she took up jogging and, with the help of Couch to 5k and her All About Jogging JOG Derbyshire Group, she has since lost eight stone. The mum-of-one explains how being part of her jog group has aided her quest to get in shape - a journey that has seen her complete her first 10-mile race and now target a marathon.
Sarah (in pink) competes in the Tara Kinder 10k.
Giving it a go with Couch to 5k
"My husband has always been a keen runner, but I thought that would never be me. However, I knew that I needed to lose weight and get fitter, so after joining a slimming club, I decided to give it a go.
"I knew it would help to do some exercise, but I was lacking in confidence at first. I didn't want to go anywhere near a main road when I was out jogging in case anyone saw me. I think that's a fear that a lot of women would have at the start.
"You worry what other people think and you are your own biggest critic, but it is something you can overcome and you have to remember that you are going quicker than anyone sat on the sofa. Even if you're running 14-minute miles, you are still out there doing something.
"I initially began with the Couch to 5k run at Long Eaton through someone at work. I did some of the park runs at Long Eaton, which was great when I started out, but it was a bit too far to travel all the time and I wanted something nearer home.
Sarah with fellow All About Jogging members.
Joining All About Jogging
"That's when I got in touch with Dan Coleman (Jog Leader) at All About Jogging because it was near to me in Heanor. When I started attending, it was a bit tougher because it was hillier, but I pushed myself and it was good for me in the end.
"It's great going along to a jog group because it's much easier to keep going when you're chatting with people than when you're on your own. It takes your mind off what you're doing.
"After my initial lack of confidence, running within a group gave me the confidence to know I could do it. And you soon realise you are jogging with like-minded people.
"You can have a bit of a catch-up and I've become quite good friends with a few people in the group where we've arranged some of our own training runs on the back of it. There are more and more people going along.
Sarah (left) with Sue and Dan Coleman at the Derby 10-mile.
"It was in January this year (2016) that I started with All About Jogging and things have gone really well since then with the help of Dan and (fellow Leader) Paul Bratby, who've been absolutely brilliant and provided great encouragement.
"I've done the Kedleston 10k trail run, and really enjoyed doing it, and recently did the Derby 10-mile run in around one and a half hours.
"It was the furthest distance I have ever done, doing it with Dan and his wife Sue. I didn't know if I could do it and I don't think I would have done without them helping me get round – I'd have struggled on my own. I was so proud to finish it.
Sarah's weight loss has given her more confidence.
"I've now entered into the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Liverpool next year. I also want to go for a marathon before I am 40, which would really be a great achievement if I could do it.
"I've lost eight stone altogether, five of those since I have been jogging and running. It's about changing your body shaping and using muscles that you haven't necessarily used before.
"I played netball at school but hadn't done anything since and I hated cross country. It just shows that anyone can do it and that you should not give up."
‘Exercise is now a part of our daily lives’
"I would just urge anyone to get in contact with a Jog Leader. The people who go along are inspiring and seeing that other people are doing it is motivation for yourself – no matter what shape or size you are.
"No-one is a brilliant runner when they first give it a go, but it's amazing how you soon progress. I'm really proud of what I've done and if I can help other people do what I have that would be really good, because I'm grateful for what others have done for me.
"As parents we are now both active and good role models. Our son has done quite a few runs and has started boxing. It's nice to have all the family involved and doing something together, with exercise now a part of our daily lives."
Sarah (in orange) taking part in the Matthew Walker Pudding Run 10k.
Find out more
Click on the link to find out more about the All About Jogging Group, which meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Group Fitness Centre, Heanor Road, Loscoe.
To search for a JOG Derbyshire group near you, visit the Find a Group page.
If you are interested in finding an activity in general, go to the club and activity search.