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Posted: July 22, 2014 - 11:47am

Just Do It

I know it's a Nike slogan, but I have worn my share of Nike shoes and apparel in all my years in this industry, so I feel safe using it. But this is not about Nike. When I say "just do it", I mean find your goals, meet your goals and beat your goals. This coming Sunday I will be doing my first Ironman in Lake Placid, New York. A few weeks ago I did my first triathlon ever finishing the Rock and Roll Man Half Ironman in Macon, GA. Going into my 50's I wasn't a good swimmer, never was on any swim team ever, and I had never ridden a bike for distance. I swore in my younger years I wouldn't wear those clothes bike riders wear (stupid thought considering I wore tights most of my teenage years as a wrestler). So I made the commitment and I trained, and I ran, and I swam, and I rode, and I crashed and I got back up to do it all again. This Sunday in Lake Placid I will exercise and move for well over 10 hours, maybe 11, probably 12, could be 13, and 14 is not out of the question. When you train yourself to swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and then run a marathon, I was told if you just tell yourself it's going to be really hard and sometimes painful, then everything should be OK. What's my point? My point is to do it, just do it. Whatever age you are, whatever shape you may think you're in, whatever limitations you think you may have, it's your time to make that decision to make it happen just for you. Your first run or walk around the block, your first 5K, your first 10K, marathon, triathlon, bike ride or swim, it can be done. At 52 I was convinced to 'tri' it. At 53, I am going to, no matter how long it takes, no matter how it feels. Thanks to all of you for your support, I hope I come out of this in one piece and a tri geek.

Thanks especially to my staff for giving me the time to train, and having sympathy for this old man as I dragged this old body around the store after some long training days. You guys are the best, could not have done it without you.

~Robert Espinoza
"Keep Your Chin Up for Strength, and Down For Prayer"
Fleet Feet Sports Savannah

Posted: July 7, 2014 - 3:53pm

What if every day were like the 4th of July?

You know the old saying, “I wish every day were like Christmas”, I agree - I really love Christmas. There is nothing like Christmas Day, except…. what if every day were like the 4th of July? Not the heat, not the boats, not even the water or the beach, but the running. It was a really good feeling standing on the back of that truck talking to what looked like, and I’m pretty sure was 200 people ready to go out and run. The swift, the strong, the runners, the walkers, and the joggers, all together for one reason: to be a little bit better of a person and athlete than the day before. Don’t get me wrong, I like races, I like racing, and (crazy statement coming, are you ready?), I like training. But when you can get on social media and invite people to come out for a run, walk or jog, and 200 folks show up - what a feeling. So yes, let every day be like the fourth of July. Run with your packs, invite more people, let the running scene melt together like a hot day in July. So as Christine our marketing manager so eloquently said, “let’s all be appreciative of what we have been blessed with”. I would cut watermelon every day to have another running day like that, a running scene coming together running with a purpose, with no fees, no shirt, and no stress. Thanks to all of you for coming out, and reminding me what we are blessed with. And all I could think about when you all were together taking a picture before the run, Merry 4th of July to all, and to all a good run. Man I wish everyday could be the 4th of July.

Robert Espinoza
"Keep Your Chin Up for Strength, and Down For Prayer"
Fleet Feet Sports Savannah

Posted: July 3, 2014 - 1:24pm

Run Buddies through Kids, Moves, Asthma and a Tumor
by Danielle Erley

I met my running buddy in November of 1999 in Germany.  We had both been assigned to the Hospital at Landsthul.  We didn't run then.  She would only run for PT, I would never run.  Fast forward between then and now - 4 children, 6 moves, a diagnosis of severe onset asthma, and a brain tumor later… we still run together, just in different geographic locations.

In 2008 I was having a hard time with my asthma diagnosis and was working toward treatment and had started slowly running on a treadmill.  I was depressed, my husband was training for his first marathon and I was miserable.  I had decided I would work my way up to a half marathon and surprise my husband for our anniversary by signing us up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll VA Beach Half. Then, on one of my lowest days I emailed my friend Jenny and asked if I could join her for the WDW Marathon. I got a phone call in 5 minutes.  Next thing I knew I had signed up for Disney. I hadn't even finished a half marathon yet.  We traveled 4 hours a couple of times for long training runs.  We ran together at Disney.  She had a PR.  I finished a marathon.  I checked the box on my bucket list.

Once, I got home decided I could have done better and looked for another race.  I found Marine Corps. It was my birthday weekend and seemed perfect.  I called Jenny, she was already planning on running it, she told me to run it with her.  So, I did.

Now 6 years later we have both moved our families a few more times, my asthma gets better and worse, her brain tumor grows then is stable. We still talk every day, talk while we run, talk about running together.  This year, we get to run 2 races together. We ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC a few months ago and in November she comes to Savannah to run my hometown with me.  I see a PR for us both in that race.

Running has given me a sense of accomplishment every time I finish each goal.  The endorphins surely help, too.  And the added bonus of solitude on those long rungs helps me to sort out my things for the week.  I have also (over the years) realized there will always be someone on front of me and someone behind me.  In life there are great day and not so great days.  Running (and the support of Jenny and my husband) helps keep it all in perspective. 

~Danielle

Posted: June 30, 2014 - 3:59pm

Summer Bum Running

"You can live life, or you can live life to the fullest", is what I heard from a guy this past weekend, as I spent the entire weekend riding and running in the clouds in the mountains of Boone, NC. I'm not sure if he made that saying up or heard it from someone else. What was his point? He was making the point that even though he grew up there, rode there, ran there, and did most things you could do in the mountains there, that he had no advantage over us low landers. While we had a good weekend of riding and running, which was not easy, mostly brutal, but good, he was cramping with the little bit of humidity that had snuck into the mountains. His point was a good one, and it made us feel good. He said, “Even though you guys don’t have many hills where you live, here is the advantage that you do have; whether you’re riding or running, you guys don’t get much rest. When we train and ride here in the mountains we get lots of rest with the down hills. When you ride on the flat lands you always have to be pedaling, you can't stop pedaling or you will come to a stop.” Always having to pedal makes you strong, and actually stronger than most.” His opinion can be said for running as well, here is a guy who lives and trains in the mountains, and he was telling me he probably will start coming to the coast to bike and run. Even ground running can make you strong he said, humidity can make you stronger, if you do it right. This guy doesn’t watch temperatures when he trains he watches humidity, and when it comes a calling, it takes a toll on him. So the mountains are good, and so is cool weather, but humidity training done correctly can make you as strong as any mountain athlete around. Want some proof? The guy who came in first at the ride this past weekend, rode 102 miles in 4 hours and 57 minutes, he was from Florida.

Speaking of heat and humidity, GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS!?!?!? Watermelon Crawl Time!!!!!! Come on out this Friday the 4th of July at Lake Meyer and run with your fellow Savannah runners as we run untimed, unregistered, un-t-shirted, un-rewarded, (except for the run itself), and un-stressed. Run before you do what you need to do on that most patriotic of days. We will start getting together at 7:30am or so and we will go off at 8am and your choice, if you want to go 6 miles, or if you want to go 8. If you want to do less than 6, then just turn around and we will see you back at the truck for the reason we all show up - to wish each other a happy 4th and to eat watermelon. There will be water and powerade at the truck, and water and powerade at the boathouse. There also might be a gift at the end. So come run with a 100 or more folks, and lets kickoff the 4th the way every day should be kicked off, with A RUN. 

Robert Espinoza
"Keep Your Chin Up for Strength, and Down For Prayer"
Fleet Feet Sports Savannah

Posted: June 17, 2014 - 10:16am

Firsts

Firsts are the best, your first home run, your first marathon, your first Love, your first dance, your first time to see the ocean, your first time to ride a wave, the first time you run and feel nothing, and you feel like you can run forever. Enjoy all of your firsts. I have had a lot lately. I did my first triathlon, and I had my first feeling this weekend that I am ready for my Ironman in Lake Placid, even though the training is wiping me out. I had a first on my long run this weekend, two rabbits came out onto the road on 44th and greeted me. Anyone seen those? I asked the people outside at the time, they said it’s a normal occurrence. For the first time in my long life, I now know someone that went to Africa on a mission trip. I know plenty of people that have gone on mission trips, but never to Africa. She came back with lots of amazing stories and some that give you perspective, welcome back Christine, we missed you. In a couple of weeks I will do  my first 100 mile ride, oh yes I have done 100 mile rides in training and the Savannah Century, but never thru the mountains in and around Boone, NC. That’s going to be a big first. I have already met many people who will make the JCB Mud Run this Saturday their first Mud Run ever, some of them their first run ever. I couldn’t be more happy and excited for them. It’s going to be a great time on the JCB campus. Lots of mud, lots of obstacles, first time obstacles, pushing your body when you need to, and laughing so hard when you don’t want to but you can’t help it. Live music, good food, great company, with a great Savannah company, with an even more amazing charity. I’m sure I’ll see a first this Saturday, at some point, and even though I won’t be doing the mud run, I bet I will be laughing just as hard for those mudding it up. Enjoy every first, and keep them tattooed in your heart and in your mind. And I hope at the end of the day you get to say, “that was a first”. Have fun everyone.

Robert Espinoza
"Keep Your Chin Up for Strength, and Down For Prayer"
Fleet Feet Sports Savannah