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    LDRICHEL   48,834
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F4F Race Write-Up & SPARK MEETING (w/pics)!!!!

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Sunday, September 30, 2012



So, the race I've been waiting for for months finally occurred yesterday. The Fort4Fitness 10k. Not only was it my longest race ever (so far), but I had plans to meet up with SparkFriends that I have been chatting with, texting and e-mailing for months, but have never met in person. We came from almost every direction to get to Fort Wayne. From the North: RUNFOR3POINT1 (Brighton, MI). From the East - SNEVIL1 (Baltimore, MD) and SPARKL3 (Columbus, OH). And from the South - myself (Bloomington, IN) and ABSOLUTZER0 (Little Rock, AR).

Friday night, arrived at the hotel to greet Michelle (RUNFOR3POINT1), Laura (SPARKL3) and Sara (SNEVIL1). We all arrived around the same time...well, actually, Michelle and Laura did. But someone had to be late because they stopped for a Big Mac on the way and subsequently felt sick. I have no idea who would do such a horrific, non-Spark like thing!!!! Haha. Believe me, guys...I never heard the end of it! L.O.L. Sara arrived a little after me and we all took off to go check out the Expo and "health fair".



Ummm...expo was not the shiz...let's just say that. Really kind of a letdown, but it didn't matter to us. We got some free stuff and it was fun just being together...absolutely beautiful day and we had a ton of laughs.



You can bet we made fun of Michelle all weekend for "ONLY" running the 4-mile race while the rest of us ran the 10k. But, alas, who had the last laugh? Probably Michelle when, several hours after the race, a very cranky Leah stormed out of the bathroom whining, "Waaah, I fuc*king hate running! Why do I do this to myself????" And Nick subsequently burst out laughing and said, "Your blog is going to say that running is all sunshine and rainbows, though." Well, there. I'm nothing if not honest, friends. Haha.



After the expo, we chilled at the hotel sports bar and the girls got some grub while I drank an iced tea. No, not because of Big Mac guilt...but because I was not going to waste money at a chain restaurant when the race was giving us a pasta dinner for $3.75. I mean, come on now! Sadly, Laura had to head back after dinner. I still can't believe that lovely lady drove all the way out JUST to see us and to attend a crappy expo. Ha!

Nick (ABSOLUTZER0) didn't arrive until very late because crazy man drove a full 12 hours in one day! Wow!

Race morning was less than enthusiastic in our room. I think Michelle woke up about 25 minutes before her race. I thought we'd have to force her out of bed. The 10k started at 9am and her race started at 7:30am (tee hee). Of course, speed demon was done before we even GOT down to the starting line...35 mins 47 secs. Geez. She rocks! She hated running when she met me. I have now fully assimilated her. Well...maybe not fully...she has yet to tackle 10k. But...SHE WILL. Mwahahahaha.





And what better motivation could a person get before a super scary race than being cheered on by one of their running heroes? I can't tell you what a boost it was to have this guy there!



It was great knowing that Sara was running with me and that we are about the same pace. We figured we'd run the whole thing together. I almost left my ipod in the room b/c I rarely use one when I have a running buddy (truth is, I haven't used one for running in months), but I brought it...just in case. Before the cannon even went off to start the race, I was having ankle problems. Popping and pain. This was making me VERY nervous so I was a *little* cranky prior to the start.



Race started and I was seriously worried. Ran the first mile with Sara. Girl was on fire and I was just praying the pain would go away. I tried to keep up with her, but once I hit Mile 1, I decided to take it easy and walk for .25 miles. After that, I didn't see Sara until I finished. But it was OK. I was really glad I'd brought music, though. It was literally the only thing that pulled me through some patches. The crowds were really great in Fort Wayne and the community was so supportive.

Though the expo was lacking, the race was WONDERFUL! And I would just like to personally thank the city of Fort Wayne for stationing uniformed National Guard all along the course for my viewing enjoyment. What lovely scenery in the Fort. *sigh* The churches all came out and cheered on the runners...it was really uplifting. The weather was gorgeous.

The first 3.1 miles for me were pretty tough. I was no longer in pain after 1.25 miles, as my ankle stiffness had worked its way out and my body was feeling great. But, mentally...the distance was looming in my mind and I just kept doubting myself. Then, I'd immediately counter with, "Leah, you have to do this or you won't be able to do a half marathon in 3 weeks. Be strong!" At the 5k mark, the half marathon runners merged with the 10k and, you know...from there, my spirit was really lifted. I was so encouraged and inspired to see them and then to be a part of them and run next to them...it really helped me find that second wind and dig deep to keep going. In fact, once the halfers joined us...I think I only walked one or two times, for a very short period and then just to fuel quickly. I was able to keep running the rest of the race. In total, I probably walked about 1.5 miles total out of the 6.2 miles.

The best part of the race was the finish. Not because I was tired, but because you got to run into the minor league baseball stadium there and I was not expecting what I found there. The stands were packed with fans, they were showing all the runners coming in on the JumboTron and you had to run the entire outside of the field to get to the Finish Line. The crowds were cheering and it seems cheesy, but it was just a really special moment and I thought, "I am really proud of myself." I thought about how I will feel when I finish my half marathon and I can't even imagine it. I can't begin to imagine how it would compare to this finish.

I was telling Sara after the race, "You know...you say, 'I'm gonna run a 10k' and it sounds like nothing...especially when you are so used to being around runners." But, really...6.2 miles is A LONG WAY. It's NOT EASY AT ALL. It's actually REALLY HARD. We were both SO proud of ourselves for finding inside ourselves the ability to finish. We had both gone in with very little mileage (me due to injury and her due to busyness of everyday life). We both have our first half marathon looming (mine in 3 weeks and hers in 2 weeks). It was a really special moment for us.

We had both hoped to finish under or around 1 hr 30 minutes. Sara finished in 1 hr 17 mins 14 seconds and I came in shortly after her at 1 hr 22 mins 49 secs. We were both so happy with those results!



After the race, I caught up with my running buddy, Sarah (the one I picked up on the trail with a note!) This was her first half marathon and I'm SO proud of her!!!! We will run the half marathon together in 3 weeks as well.



Also met up with my assistant, Katherine, who I had pressured to sign up for F4F (she signed up for the half with very little training and she did great!)



SUCH a great race! And it really helped give me more confidence for the half that's coming up. I had some initial soreness in my ankle (expected) and also some tenderness in my left knee (unexpected). Iced quite a lot after the race and rested up a lot. Then, we went to dinner at a hibachi grill, which was really quite entertaining (at least for Sara and I).

Spent the rest of the evening watching "Big Bang Theory" and snoozing. Perfect.

It was a wonderful weekend. I feel closer to my Sparkies than ever and I'm really just thankful I got to experience all of it. I'm absolutely trembling with anticipation for the half...it will definitely be the pinnacle of my year and I wish I could run it tomorrow! OK...maybe not. This body is still PRETTY sore...and needs some recovery time. Maybe no workouts this week except swimming mid-week. I'd like to try 10 miles next weekend....but we'll see.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 10/8/2012 2:05PM

    emoticon What an honor to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. emoticon

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LUVTOBOWL 10/6/2012 12:10AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon . You encourage me. Thanks

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HEARTS116 10/4/2012 2:17PM

    WHOO HOO!!! Congrats!!
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SJKENT1 10/4/2012 10:53AM

    I am so proud of you. I feel like we've been along with you on this journey! Congrats.... and go get 'em

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WALLINMW 10/4/2012 8:41AM

  Thanks for sharing. One pound at a time.!

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TDWANDD2MYK9 10/4/2012 7:19AM

    F A N T A S T I C!!! emoticon

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THEIS58 10/4/2012 7:06AM

    Just great!

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FIREFLY_MEDIC 10/4/2012 12:54AM

    looks like it was fun

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KPETSCHE 10/4/2012 12:11AM

    emoticon

I've just started training for a 10K though winter is coming up and I doubt that I can stay focused on outdoor running through the snowy winter . I'd like to work into a half-marathon next summer/fall. You're doing awesome.

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 10/3/2012 4:22PM

  Yeah! Great Job!!!!

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OUBACHE 10/3/2012 1:17PM

    Great blog! I've just begun running 5Ks (have done 4), so I can relate to your enthusiasm. I hope to do a 10K and maybe a half next year. Running is fun!!! Yay!!! Congratulations on having such a fun race and a great finishing time!

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LUKENEMISAUNT 10/3/2012 7:59AM

  Good work!

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TIFFANYACHING 10/3/2012 7:28AM

    Fantastic job!

"And I would just like to personally thank the city of Fort Wayne for stationing uniformed National Guard all along the course for my viewing enjoyment." Priceless! Did the "no gun allow" apply to them too, tee hee.

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SLFGOLF 10/3/2012 1:01AM

    emoticon Quite an accomplishment and sounds like you had a lot of fun also!

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CICELY360 10/2/2012 11:49PM

  Good work

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REENIE131 10/2/2012 10:22PM

    Great job!

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DONNA5281 10/2/2012 10:04PM

 
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FATHINSN 10/2/2012 9:27PM

    Wow, looks fun, the smiles on people's faces :D
But the scariest part is the sign about no gun allow, hehe.

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HHOLT6 10/2/2012 9:18PM

    emoticon how great! emoticon I loved the update! Congratulations to everyone!

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NESARIAN 10/2/2012 8:57PM

    Excellent! Sounds like so much fun. I am glad you were able to go!

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BLESSED2BEME 10/2/2012 6:43PM

    I wogged my first 10K last month and I was shocked that I got so inspired by the half and full marathoners that we merged with on our routes. I thought they would intimiate me but it was just the opposite. The 10K was more of a "I did it" feeling for me than any of the 5Ks I've participated in.

Thanks for sharing about your experience!

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ESME25 10/2/2012 12:10PM

    emoticon

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MYBABYGIRLS 10/2/2012 12:08PM

    congrats! emoticon

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JO28352 10/2/2012 8:51AM

    Woo hoo!!! Congratulations!! emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 10/2/2012 8:49AM

    Great job, all of you should be so proud.

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JLEMUS1 10/2/2012 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 10/2/2012 7:59AM

    Looks like you had SO much fun....

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TRYINGHARD54 10/2/2012 5:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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EDOHERTY107 10/2/2012 4:03AM

    Congratulations. It sounds like you had great run at the race.
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CLUMBOY 10/2/2012 3:26AM

    so happy for you! emoticon

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KIPPER15 10/1/2012 9:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon AWESOME!! You rock!

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MOM-MOM8 10/1/2012 9:21PM

    emoticon on a emoticon race and a wonderful weekend with Sparkies!

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HEALTHY4HIM 10/1/2012 3:49PM

    Leah, this is just fantastic! SO very happy for you - you deserve to be proud of yourself, my friend! Well done girl!!!!!

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MINSOSTER 10/1/2012 2:24PM

    Congratulations! Sounds like you had an incredible weekend. So happy you were able to do so well with this race. Hope your recovery this week is quick so you are ready for to finish prepping for your next event.

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MSTWOMOONS002 10/1/2012 2:03PM

    Woo Hoo,
You did it I'm so very proud of you for setting your goal & achieving it & having fun with your Sparkie Friends. Congrats to all of you, keep going it will get easier the more you feel comfortable with doing it.
Take care & be well
Many Blessings Always Debby
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GINGERHAWK 10/1/2012 1:28PM

    Congratulations - what an awesome accomplishment! emoticon

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COLETTEISGREAT 10/1/2012 12:36PM

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!

Great job & Congratulations!!!

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LANEE24 10/1/2012 12:05PM

    You go girl!!!! Congrats on rocking out the 10k! My first 5k is Saturday, and while I've been running, I don't feel prepared at all lol. You know the poem Footprints? Well, let's just say, Jesus is going to have to give me a piggy back ride to run the whole thing! My goal is to come in under 1 hr. Prayers are appreciated ;)

Congrats again, and make sure you celebrate the whole week!!!! emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 10/1/2012 11:44AM

    Congratulations! I know you are proud of yourself, and with good reason! WOO HOOOOOOOO!!

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PRINCESSCHUBBIE 10/1/2012 11:14AM

    Congrats on an amazing run. Your blog has me inspired to run some races and maybe one day be able to run a marathon. Keep up the good work. You are doing emoticon

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STHAX10 10/1/2012 11:02AM

    emoticon

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EBURGITE 10/1/2012 10:56AM

    emoticon love the idea of hooking up w/sparkies...how did you find them??

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NEWSGIRL2177 10/1/2012 10:51AM

    Congrats!

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AMBER281 10/1/2012 10:43AM

    Looks like you had a great weekend and congrats on the 10k!

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JENNCABA 10/1/2012 10:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHY_NATURELVR 10/1/2012 9:58AM

    Awesome!!

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RBETYOURASS 10/1/2012 9:46AM

    Awesome job! And how great to share the joy of a race with Spark friends!
Next time I wanna join yall!
GREAT JOB TO YOU ALL!
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~Rana


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SENIORSWIMMER 10/1/2012 9:42AM

    You did great! You were wise to do some walking. The big thing is you finished the course. Well done. emoticon

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MEH50BEWELL 10/1/2012 9:20AM

    Sounds amazing - Great job all of you!

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TDEMAIO2 10/1/2012 8:29AM

    emoticon emoticon

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