Posted: September 22, 2014 - 5:08pm

Season Change 

Here we go, the first few cool days are upon us and don't get me wrong, even though today is the last day of summer, I know it's not the last day of hot weather for sure. But here are some things to think about when you are out training and the weather is giving you somewhat of a break from what we are used to.

Hydration: we did a 4 hour ride and a 40 minute run yesterday and I constantly had to remind myself to hydrate. It took me an hour or so to really start sweating but that means nothing in the scheme of things when you’re training for your goal. You have to continue to hydrate no matter the temperature, no matter how you feel. Now you may not need as much, and you may not be tempted to take what you’re drinking and pour it over your head to cool off, but don't wait until you are so thirsty it's too late.  Don't wait just because you're not sweating, or leaving sweat foot prints on the ground.  Sip, take in water, and whatever energy you may need, it's just as important in hot weather as it is in cool weather.

Body Glide anyone? With the good comes the bad, so when it's hot you in most cases create your own body glide in what we call body sweat, and that's good. But when it cools off and you’re less sweaty, here comes friction and blisters. Feet, legs, under arms, toes… you probably have a chafing story of your own we have not heard of, but make sure you’re taking care of this before it happens. It's inevitable for some, the weather cools and you sweat less and then all of a sudden here come blisters and chafing. When the weather changes here, it's such a relief for some of us that we need to transition how we are training, and how we treat ourselves when we are training. I know it's not as complicated as heavy layers of clothing, covering your face, and wearing yak traks on your shoes so you don't slip on the ice. But our transition is just as important as any other runner in this country, it's just sometimes we get to run year around in shorts, not bad huh?  

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

Posted: September 15, 2014 - 6:09pm

Silver Anniversary - YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K

The 11th race in the Adidas Lucky 13 Race Series is coming up, and more importantly, the race that has been around a long time (if not the longest) in Savannah takes place this weekend. Happy 25thAnniversary goes out to the Heart of Savannah YMCA 5K. Yup, this Saturday the YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K will be celebrating its 25th anniversary of creating running and fitness memories and making Savannah the running and fitness town it is. If you had an hour to read, I could have wrote for a long time on the impact the YMCA of Coastal Georgia has had on our town, but I won't do that because you probably already know what they have done. I would almost bet that many of us have been associated with, or have had something to do with a YMCA event sometime in your lives. The YMCA Heart of Savannah has been a staple in the Savannah running community for a long time. Think about it, lots of people running this Saturday would not have been born yet when the first race happened. I was just getting into the running industry 25 years ago, and opening in Savannah was a long thought away. 25 years is a long time for a race to exist, especially a home town race. We have been proud of our relationship with the YMCA, and we look forward to celebrating 25 years of running and fitness with the YMCA this Saturday. I know the Lucky 13 folks will be there, and registration is going strong, but this Saturday come out and support the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. Come and run or walk, so you can say 25 years from now, "I was a part of the 25th YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K". So, what do I say? Happy 25th birthday YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K, or Happy Anniversary YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K, or Happy Silver Anniversary YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K? Mostly though, thanks YMCA of Coastal Georgia for all you do. We will see you on Saturday.

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

Posted: September 10, 2014 - 12:04pm

Jenny's Journey
by Jenny Kyle 

My running journey is a long one. Growing up in England not long after WW2 without a car my family would walk or ride our bikes whenever we had to go anywhere close by. Most of my spare time was spent chasing around the neighborhood with friends. We got our first TV in 1953 to watch Queen Elizabeth's coronation on a 10” snowy screen. There was only BBC on from 5pm to 10pm daily, so there was lots of time for homework & exercise.

I played multiple sports in school: field hockey, lacrosse, netball, tennis, cricket & squash to just name but a few. I would always win the 100yd run in elementary school, but when I went on to secondary school we did not have track or cross country. I was very happy playing in team sports & became used to losing as my all-girls school was very small. I continued playing recreational sports at my university.

When my husband, Dave & I moved from the UK to the US in 1976, Dave started running & soon got me hooked. He was a bit disappointed when I soon started beating him in any distance over 2 miles. We lived in Denver from 1978-1985 when running was really booming. We ran up & down mountains without blinking an eyelid. I did my best running there & we were lucky enough to become friends with an Olympic runner, Anne Audain, & her husband, who lived with us for a couple of summers. That was great motivation.

Since coming to Savannah in 1988 I've been a member of the Savannah Striders & was on the board for a long time. Joining a running club is the best way to meet people when you move to a new city. I've run competitively for a long time & have had all sorts of injuries, some overuse & some accidental. Never step in a puddle when you can't see the bottom! You may end up with a broken foot. I love to run, training & racing both. My favorite distances are the 10K & ½ Marathon. In my 37 years of running I've run only 9 marathons. I prefer to run shorter & faster. However I just sent in my application for Boston 2015. That will be 35 years since I last ran it.

Probably because of my background the only running gadget I use is a stopwatch & I do not always use that. I enjoy the feeling of freedom that running gives me. I run outside in all weather & temperatures (-20 to 115) the only thing that stops me is lightening as it's dangerous. As much as I compete, I run because I enjoy it so much & I love to see others, especially new runners enjoying it too. It does not matter how fast or slow you go as long as it's fun. I have fun walking too.

At the moment I'm training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon so I'm doing long runs once a week & the Talmadge Bridge with the Striders on Sundays. I try to get in a bit of speed work once a week, but I have not been very good about that in the hot weather. I do an upper body weight workout once a week & core exercises & stretching 6 days a week. Sometimes I do water running as cross training, I'm a really bad swimmer. Another cross training I like is the rowing machine.

My advice to anyone would be to not forget to rest, our bodies need to recover! The older you get the longer it takes also. I know this from experience. When coming back from an injury walk/run works well for me. Another little gem of wisdom, don't wear anything in a race or try anything that you have not tried before. Most importantly though, enjoy your running & the friends you meet who enjoy it too!

Posted: September 1, 2014 - 2:07pm

Takin’ it to the Streets

Can you feel it coming in the air, quoting Phil Collins. I can for sure, and not only can I feel it, I can see it. Whether you’re out running, jogging, walking, riding, or headed to a soccer game, there are people running all over this town as we get ready to approach the end of the year, and the end of race season 2014. Training groups from CREW, the Striders, various Moms Groups, Black Girls Run, and all the others are out preparing for any number of distance events coming up. Whether you’re training for Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tunnel to Towers, The Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run, or another race - it’s about to get really busy on the streets of Savannah, and all the treadmills in the area. This weekend should be no exception as miles start to ramp up as we hope the temperature starts to go down (just a bit, please!). When you’re out and about putting miles in with your training groups this Saturday morning, try to make it to Lake Mayer and the aquatic center as the kids take center stage for the Optim Orthopedics Safe Kids Savannah Youth Triathlon. If you get a chance cruise your legs over to the aquatic center and Lake Mayer to see these amazing athletes in action. For many of these kids, this could be their first experience in the triathlon world. For many, their first competitive swim, bike, or run. Remember how you felt the first time you competed in one of those? You couldn’t believe someone was cheering for you, but you were happy they were, because you were as nervous as you could get. Imagine what these 7 to 15 year old kids will be feeling on race morning, and they could use just as much encouragement. Once again and for many weekends to come it’s going to be busy fitness weekends for all of us, but this weekend belongs to the kids. The Optim Orthopedics Safe Kids Savannah Youth Triathlon – see you then.

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

Posted: August 18, 2014 - 10:46am


It would be an understatement to say that this is my favorite time of year. I know high school football is coming, college football is on its way, school just started, and at some point we will turn the corner on this hot weather. Well I’m not a huge football fan, even though I do listen when the staff talks about it. I’m supposed to pull for any team in the SEC, but let’s add the Texas Longhorns, considering I spent a bunch of my time in Austin, and I could be classified a Texican. I have been perfectly clear that I don’t like school of any kind, so I still get the heebie geebies when I drive by a school. And honestly, I really like the hot weather and humidity. As much as I like cool weather because I get to drink hot chocolate, and wear a foodie, summer - you can stay around as long as you want. So why is it my favorite time of the year? That’s easy. High School Cross Country is HERE!!!!!! Although Savannah is not the hot bed of HSXC, we do host one of the largest kickoff meets in the state at Daffin Park. The Saucony XC Kickoff meet will happen this Saturday at Daffin Park. Teams are coming from all over Georgia and South Carolina and will compete against each other for the Kickoff Cup. Richmond Hill will be back to defend the cup for the girls and Wayne County for the boys. Don’t forget there is also an open division at 7am for anyone who wants to run before the high school competition begins. We only take 200 open participants, so if you’re in the Lucky 13 competition and you have not signed up, you should this week. Don’t get me wrong, although I don’t watch a bunch of football, I do enjoy watching people get excited about their favorite football teams. But for me this time of year, nothing compares to seeing high school or college kids line up for HSXC. It’s not one of the glamour sports, but one of the best sports ever, to say the least. There are no time outs, no half times, just running hard until you gave your all for you, and your team. See this Saturday, kicking grass, and probably some mud.

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