Residents reving up for Fall fitness

Residents reving up for Fall fitness

With the weather turning cooler, local athletes are ramping up their routines — preparing for upcoming fall and winter athletic challenges. All motivated by different goals, these local fitness gurus are committed — inspiring their neighbors to lace up and hit the pavement, gym or playing field.
Granada’s Cindy Pearson is training for a half marathon in Savannah in November. She already has an impressive number of shorter races under her belt, but never considered tackling a half marathon until now.
“Running with friends who are better than I am motivated me to push myself a little harder,” said Pearson. “They encouraged me and when I broke it [half marathon] down, it seemed more doable. I did the River Run and that was nine miles. A half marathon is just four more miles.”

Steve Osorio prefers the low impact excercise of cycling, and sees himself doing it until the day he dies

To get into running, Pearson said you have to “just start,” and each time you run, go a little farther.
That’s good advice, said 60-year-old
Jeff Pruitt of St. Nicholas, who’s planning for his eighth New York marathon in November, and also advocates increasing distance gradually. He said the main reason runners become

Jeff Pruitt of St. Nicholas finished his seventh New York Marathon last year

frustrated or injured is because they try to go “too far, too fast, too soon.”
Pruitt believes a strong core helps with running. He goes to the gym several times a week to work upper body, abs and back muscles, and uses strength training to prevent leg imbalance.
A busy mother of three, Pearson said running solo gives her time for reflection, but she also enjoys the social aspect of running with friends. She changes it up with “interesting” races, but believes nothing keeps you on track like a set schedule. Pruitt agrees that runners need to keep a log and set a goal such as a race.
“It helps you be more consistent,” Pruitt said. “Just like a goal in life, if you have a goal in running, it will help you run a little longer, a little better and enjoy it more.”
Steve Osorio, owner of Monograms and More in Miramar, prefers cycling to running. He sees himself cycling until the day he dies, and calls it more of a “lifestyle than a diet.”
“I like being on two wheels, enjoying the air,” Osorio said. “I’m not much of a runner. I tried that … but cycling fits like a glove for me. It feels natural. It’s low impact.”
Having completed two races last month, Osorio is working toward a November race, the Horrible 100, which winds through the hills of central Florida. To get fit and build up distance, he trains with a group from Open Road Bicycles.
When Osorio’s not racing, he’s on his “Dad” bike, taking his kids on a leisure ride through the neighborhood. And come winter, he moves his workouts into the gym for spinning classes, weight lifting, cardio and core training.
For 5-year triathlon veteran Steve Matson of Ortega, it’s the “mixing” of three disciplines — swimming, biking and running — that keeps him pumped.
Matson recently participated in HOT, the Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon, at Camp Blanding, and the Six Gap Century, a cycling event with 11,000 feet of climbing, in north Georgia. To train for the bike race, he made a lot of trips across the Acosta Bridge.
The half Ironman is Matson’s triathlon of choice, but he competes in the sprint, Olympic and Ironman as well. He’s already gearing up for the Ironman Lake Tahoe to be held a year from now.
For someone thinking about his or her first triathlon, Matson advised, “You’ve got to jump in there with two feet and sign up for a race. Fear is a powerful motivator. If you sign up for the race, you’re going to do it.”
To find out about upcoming events, go to:,,, and
By Olga Bayer
Resident Community news

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