Testimonials

Fleet Feet Friendships

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fleet feet training buddies

After months of training together, these five gals just completed a marathon, proof that support and friendship are an important part of any training regimen.

barbara veithBarbara Veith:
I got back into running about 3 years ago, starting with a 4K and working my way up to a 10K. I had registered for the Secret City Half Marathon when Jen and Sarah said they were thinking of doing the Charleston marathon. The timing of the race seemed perfect to me. I knew that my work hours would be increasing in the spring. It seemed like fate. Having friends to run with got me excited to run. Jen introduced me to Hannah and Nicola, and it was fun getting to know them. I don't think I could have made it to the marathon without those 4 wonderful ladies and Fleet Feet. There were many times I doubted myself, but I found myself really looking forward to 6:45 am runs with friends. I always felt so good Saturday afternoon knowing that I accomplished a long run and got to spend time chatting with friends. I feel like I learned so much from Shahin and Cheryl and the rest of the Fleet Feet staff. It isn't just about running, it is listening to your body, learning to stretch properly and proper nutrition. The marathon has left me feeling stronger and more confident. These months of training are great memories.

Sarah Bellamy Patton:
sarah bellamny patton jennifer doyle charleston marathonTraining for and completing my first marathon with my “group” was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. With their support and accountability during the training, I was able to accomplish something I would have never thought I was able to do! It was comforting knowing that we were sharing in some of the same aches, pains, and sacrifices each week. It’s true what they say “running is cheaper than therapy”!
 
My next goals: I would also like to do the half in 2:10. I want to do a Olympic distance Tri, then maybe next year do the half ironman.
 
Jennifer Doyle:
Training and running together helped make each step of the marathon that much more rewarding. We were there for each other during the training, helping each other to keep going, sending silly pictures and encouraging texts to each other on long runs even when we couldn't be together. Long runs with friends are always the most fun runs, the perfect time for deep discussions and hilarious conversations.
 
My next goal is to run a half in 2:10 and a 5K in 29 mins. I definitely will run another marathon, but not until the fall or next winter/spring.
 
hannah vanderveire nicola hopkinsNicola Hopkins:
.....so I had wanted to run a 1/2 marathon for a long time. Every time I would start, though, something "sidelined" me....injuries, kids, work etc. I just couldn't pull it together. Dropping off my son at school I overheard the "Sherpa" aka: Jen talking about running a marathon..."come do it with us!" She says. Well, I did. 4 friendships later, I look back with much gratitude. No major injuries due to awesome coaching/learning proper stretching. ACCOUNTABILITY...not just to myself, but to these other determined women. I loved my time running with these girls-listening to stories-sharing stories. But, maybe the best thing about running with girlfriends is not having to sing Katy Perry alone....ROAR.
 
Hannah Vandeveire:
hannah vanderveireWhile I was skeptical, one of these ladies encouraged me to run with Fleet Feet and I will forever be grateful. Fleet Feet taught me how to run better, faster, stronger! They teach you about nutrition, injury, stretching, foam rolling. They can help you with all of your running goals no matter where you are in your running career. These particular ladies were an awesome attribute to my 2nd marathon. They were always there to listen and understood any type of ache, pain, or feelings of uncertainty. We were able to support one another and have fun even if it was cold, rainy, or snowing. Our particular group is made of mothers of grade school children. We all know it's extremely hard to get our schedules together but because we were at Fleet Feet- together and accountable we were able to accomplished a full marathon and made new running friends. We plan to do it again soon and I can't wait! Love these girls and so glad we did it!fleet feet knoxville charleston marathon

Training Together

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mike and katie charleston marathonKatie and Mike Dotson

Training together as a couple is great. Training together as a couple with Fleet Feet is even better. The program pushes us individually as athletes as well as allows each of us the opportunity to train with people our own pace. Even though we may not "run together," we share experiences- good runs and bad runs. We can celebrate each other's victories and sympathize with each other's defeats.  We love training together and doing it with Fleet Feet makes it even more special.

I Will Finish!

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Christy Kiefer

christy kiefer tinkerbell half marathon inspiration motivationIt is official, I am only Half crazy! On Sunday, January 19 I ran my first half marathon, the Tinkerbell Half! I was very nervous but I had trained with Fleet Feet for two long distance training groups. My journey started in September. I ran every Tuesday and Saturday with the training groups, with lots of encouragement from Cheryl, Shahin and all the people in the group. I felt better with every run, and my confidence was building. I had to keep telling myself I can do this, but there was that nagging voice that kept the doubt in my head, and no matter how hard I tried to quiet it, I heard it on every run, but I ignored it and kept going. I was going to finish! Race day arrived and I was terrified that I would be picked up, the weather was supposed to be in the 80s and I run my best in cooler temperatures. I was encouraged by my friend and running buddy Sue that I could do this, I agreed and kept repeating my mantra: I will finish, keep moving forward, don't stop, drink water. I was feeling good, and even though had been warned about the monorail tracks in the roads, next thing I knew I was on the ground just past mile two. I have no clue what happened but there I was, face down on the ground, and I felt my right shoulder pop out; I shifted my body and it went back in to place. I stood up and was MAD. I WAS going to finish no matter what. The nerves were gone now and I tried to run, the shoulder was painful but I continued. I did walk more than I really wanted but I was still in the race and kept putting one foot In front of the other. At mile nine I saw some flags waving and I was not sure what they were but when I passed them they were saying, "You are 4 mins behind pace, and they will be doing the cut at mile ten." I was a bit upset and the voice came back and was louder than ever "you aren't going to make it." I kept going, and when I got to mile ten they said "keep pushing you are two minutes ahead of pace!" I was confused how could I have made up 6 minutes, but it didn't matter I was not being picked up by the bus, I was finishing the race! I had a 5k left to do I knew I could do that distance. The people on the side of the roads were very encouraging and kept saying, "Just one more corner!" I am not sure they really knew just how many corners there truly were, but I rounded every one and finally, when I saw my Mom close to the finish, the tears started, and I could see the light blue arch of the finish line and hear the music and cheers of the spectators, I did it, I actually did it! 13.1 miles I finished, I remembered to smile and put my arms up, I am so proud of this accomplishment, I could not have done it with out the encouragement of the Fleet Feet training group, and of course, Cheryl and Shahin.

We Did It. We Ran a Marathon.

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Greg and Lisa Sipf

greg and lisa sipf after the Charleston MarathonGreg: We have been training together since No Boundries.  It has been great supporting each other through No Bo’s, Next Steps, and Long Distance Half and Full Marathon.  We also have done TRI 101 and 201.  One great benefit is we can help each with gear prep for both training and race.  We often discuss strategy plans for nutrition and what to wear in all the conditions we train.  It always nice to help each other pack up and get ready.  We do almost everything together as a couple and gives us more time to spend and support each other.  I always know that I have Lisa there to support me during the training and help me when it gets rough.  I always make sure that any issue she talks to me about is addressed so she feels comfortable and confident as a training participant.  I expressed to Lisa my desire to run a Marathon and she said she would train too so that we both could complete one.

For the Charleston Marathon, we helped each other prepare the night before with clothing, hydration and nutrition.  It was normal pre-race helping reassure our ability and boost our confidence.  We gave each other our usual good luck kiss and went to our respective pace corals.  We both told each other we have trained well and we can run a marathon and see you at the finish.  The neat part about this race was the couple of out and back sections of the course so we could see each other during the race.  I kept watching for her and was looking forward to the “Go Greg” I always hear during a race or training run.  The cheer always pushes me to pick up the pace just a little and work a little harder.  The finish line was such a great experience for me seeing Lisa and all the Fleet Feeters waiting for me.  The cheering wall at the finish made my day.  The neat part was after crossing, Lisa handing me water and saying “We Did It.  We Ran a Marathon”.Greg Sipf at the Charleston Marathon high fiving his teammates  The experience has been special for me to have her come along with me on the journey to run a marathon.  We both helped each other with the ups and downs during the race and training.  THANK YOU FLEET FEET!!! We both have one more thing to check off our bucket list.

Lisa: Greg inspired me to start training with Fleet Feet.  He started out doing the No Boundaries (5K) training.  He had so much fun and met so many nice people that I wanted to join in too.    We both did 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon training.  Even though we run different paces, we are there for each other through all the ups and downs.  We know that we can discuss any concerns we have with each other.  I never thought I would run a marathon.  I had told Greg that if he ever trained for one, then I would do it too.  The training for the marathon and race were challenging but I would not trade the experience for anything.  What an awesome feeling crossing the finish line!  Wow! I did it!  I am so proud of Greg finishing his first marathon!  It was so neat to get to see him cross the finish line!  Thanks Cheryl, Shahin and all our Fleet Feet family for helping us make lasting memories.

You have built an incredible community of athletes and because of that I have built friendships and have become a more confident and strong...

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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..."

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Kristen Lewis

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!

A big thanks to my coach, Cheryl...

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Jackie Keeble

A big thanks to my coach, Cheryl, for getting me ready these past 10 weeks and for helping me during the race today. I'm so glad I did this. I've enjoyed getting to know and being encouraged by this great group of people. Running has changed everything for me! Looking forward to fall class.

I would like to thank the whole Fleet Feet crew for all they do for our community...

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Pam Lenhart Huppmann

I would like to thank Cheryl Gagnier Hadian, Shahin Hadian, Laurie Gregory and the whole Fleet Feet crew for all they do for our community. I was almost a non runner when I first trained with them 2 years ago and have progressed to doing half marathons. I don't have time to continue training runs with the group all that often, but whenever I see them at an event I am remembered and encouraged and cheered on. Thank you for the level of support, caring, and concern you have for all your runners! I have recommended you to many new runners. You all are truly THE BEST!

I never expected to ever place in any race...

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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!

I never in a million years thought I would be running a half marathon at the age of 40...

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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