After months of training together in the Fleet Feet Knoxville long distance training program, these five gals just completed a marathon, proof that support and friendship are an important part of any training regimen.
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:
Training 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.
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.
.....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.
While 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!