I wanted to tell you (and Cheryl) THANK YOU!! I know you probably hear this all the time but I am SO thankful for everyone’s coaching and support. You have built an incredible community of athletes and because of that I have built friendships and have become a more confident and strong (mentally and physically) athlete. If you would have asked me a year and a half ago if I thought I had it in me to complete an Olympic distance I would have laughed out loud. Now I can say we a resounding, “YES I CAN”!!
I hear this a lot..."At least I wasn't in last place...I don't want to come in last...I'll do it when I know I won't be last." Well guess what? I'm pretty much ALWAYS last. My last three triathlons? LAST. My first half marathon? People who walked the entire thing were faster than me.
When a good athlete competes, they KNOW they have an opportunity to win. They feel good about themselves and their ability. When I compete, I can only compete against myself.
My last triathlon, I could have been second to last. I had overtaken the lady in front of me and we started talking. She said, "I'm so glad you're here, I didn't want to be last." I made sure she wasn't last, we crossed the finish line together.
Three years ago, I couldn't run one minute or bike one mile. To be in last place represents courage, strength, determination and lots of good friends.
So the next time you don't want to do something because you'll be in last, think of me and invite me to your race!
Long time Fleet Feet Training Group member Christy Keifer placed for the first time at the Twinkle Toes 5K on March 24th! Christy, who has participated in our NoBoundaries 5K training program for several years, just recently upped the ante and is currently training with us for a 10K! Christy said of her accomplishment: I never expected to ever place in any race, running with the encouragement from many in the Fleet Feet training group definitely helped. Since I moved up to the 10k program, my times have improved. We are happy to help but know that ultimately is your hard work, determination and great attitude that earned you that medal. Way to go, Christy!
Amy Newby, Fleet Feet Long Distance Training Group member, traveled down deep in the heart of Texas for the Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon to run her FIRST half-marathon! Check out what she has to say about her experience...and check out her time - ZOOM is all we have to say!
It was an awesome experience and I can't wait to do it again next year. The training program helped in many ways. First, it helped me increase my speed and distance. It also gave me the confidence to run my first half marathon. I don't think I could have done it without the help of Shahin and Cheryl. The long distance training program is definitely a must for anyone wanting to train for a half marathon. I never in a million years thought I would be running a half marathon at the age of 40, and finishing in 1:57, but with the help of the Fleet Feet training program I did it with great confidence. By the end of the race I felt wonderful and wanted to do it again. Thanks a bunch Shahin and Cheryl!! You're the best!!! - Amy Newby
I KNOW I could not have done it without your training....ESPECIALLY the track work outs. Jen and I talked about those track workouts throughout the whole race and how much it pushed us to pace faster and be able to do more than we thought we could do. - Amanda Gillen, Fleet Feet Long Distance Training Program Graduate
I cannot remember a time that I worked so hard to complete a goal. It is hard to explain, but training for and running a marathon is “different”. It is extremely trying, but it is also rewarding, especially when you reach each new mileage milestone in your training. When I first saw the training plan, it was intimidating, but I am just one example to prove that IT CAN BE DONE.
How did I accomplish this task???? Fleet Feet!
I’ve always told myself that I could do anything if given the proper instruction and resources, and FF gave me that. On race day, I felt I had done all I could do to prepare myself for this race. I was prepared. I did the training, except for the “hated” strength/core training that Shahin preaches. As Henry can attest, it does make a difference, but for me, the day only had so many hours and the body could only do so much.
Without the FF training, I can honestly say there would have never been a chance for me completing the challenge. There is no way I could have done the training on my own and not just the training but the knowledge and experience that goes along with training for this distance. Another vital part of the training is the support. You will not find a better group of people to help you reach your goal. Thanks to our running partners & coaches for all of their support and to all of the other training group participants. - Becky Marambio
Read more here.
Just over a year ago I was not sure of myself or my life as it stood. I lacked passion, motivation, happiness, and personal goals; but then came Fleet Feet. One early morning I reluctantly went to Cades Cove with my mother to meet up with the running group. Someone asked me to try triathlons and I did not know them well enough to say no. I could not even run one mile, what was I thinking? Little did I know, that moment was the beginning of my new life. I became a part of a group who was loving, supportive, and full of encouragement. Shahin and Cheryl asked me to accomplish tasks that I once thought impossible for me. Soon, I ran my first 5k, raced some sprint triathlons, and completed Storm the Fort Olympic Tri. I wanted more. What else could I do? That was when I decided that it was time to plan for the Augusta Half Ironman. This past summer I began training. I struggled with time, exhaustion, and self-doubt. At the same time, I experienced excitement and hope. When September rolled around, I was full of anxiety and wondered if I had done enough. The time had come to pack up for Augusta and find out.
Race day was a defining day in my life. I can honestly say that I went through more emotions in the 6 1/2 hours of the race than I normally go through in a week. There were times that I was intimidated by the size of the race and the appearance of the other athletes. The swim is my favorite discipline in triathlons, yet a few minutes in I began to question what I was doing and the possibility of completing the race. I felt moments of excitement when I was feeling stronger than expected. Mile 45 of the bike I felt great and knew I would make it. There were moments that I had to repeat, out loud, " I have this.". During the run, I wanted to walk so many times but I had already made a deal with myself to only walk at the water stops and I was not going to let myself down this far in. The hardest part of the race was the last three miles of the run. My muscles were tight and my body wanted to stop. It is at these times that you find out what you are made of. My mind had to take over; this is what I had been working for. As I crossed the finish line with the support of my friends and family, I could not hold back the tears of pride. I knew at that moment that I could do whatever I want to do and the hard work it takes to reach those goals is worth every minute. Life is like an ironman, it takes passion, determination, perseverance, and hard work and that is how character is built. Just as important is the support of loved ones who believe in you when you question yourself. I am greatly humbled by all the loving words and actions of all of you that support me through this ongoing journey. - Kyli Wooten
John Blaszkow’s first ever Half Ironman time was an amazing 6:05:38. Here is what John had to say about his experience:
As I was getting ready to start, I was thinking OMG!!! What did I get myself into? But once we started, there was no doubt in my mind I would "Finish Strong" -- I could feel all the training I have done with the group for the past 2yrs kick in and it settled me down. I could hear my coaches and Shahin in my head telling me to stand tall, check your posture, fast turn over, finish strong... The last mile was almost a sprint and that means the training works... I was pumped as I crossed the finish line.
I could not have done this without help from my wife, family and the fantastic Fleet Feet training group. All those early mornings when I did not want to go out and train, friends, family and the FF group kept me honest. Because of that, I was able to cross the finish line feeling great!! Thanks Fleet Feet Coaches and a special thanks to Shahin and Cheryl who have inspired me to go farther, faster, and fitter than I have ever gone in life!!!! Woo Hooo!!!!!