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Michigan Runner Girl

The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is where you'll find a passion for running crosses paths with a love of living healthy in the beautiful state of Michigan. Runner, mother, writer and lover of all things Michigan Heather Durocher, creator of the running and travel site MichiganRunnerGirl.com, hosts the show, along with regular appearances by fellow Michigan Runner Girls (and Guys). Expect to hear informative and entertaining conversations with runners, race directors and fitness experts throughout Michigan during this weekly show. You'll learn about new races to try and great places to explore on foot. The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is all about living in a state of motion.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 30, 2015
Episode #22: Shoe Year's Day Virtual 5K + Exploring Michigan State Parks
 
Get ready to start planning your 2016 outdoor adventures -- you'll definitely be inspired after listening to this show highlighting a new year's virtual run organized by Ann Arbor-Based Epic Races and benefitting the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Heather's guest -- Maia Turek, statewide recreation programmer for the state's DNR -- shares details about the Shoe Year's Day Virtual 5K that kicks off January 1 (register by 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31) and also gives the inside scoop on all things relating to Michigan state parks and the countless ways to get outside and enjoy our state's beautiful landscapes -- what Maia refers to as "MI Big Green Gym." Maia knows our state parks like the back of her hand and isn't shy about sharing great ideas for fun adventures. She talks about which ones are her favorite parks as well as offers up lesser-known and hidden areas we all should check out. Reservation tips also are shared (have you ever camped in a yurt? You'll want to give it a try after hearing from Maia). Michigan has 102 state parks, with more than 2,000 events taking place in these spots each year. The partnership between Epic Races and the state Department of Natural Resources also includes the Heart MI Run Series. Join Heather and Maia in signing up for the Shoe Year's Day Virtual 5K!
 
Links:
 
Shoe Year's Day Virtual 5K: http://epicraces.com/event/shoe-years-day-virtual-5k/
 
Heart MI Run series organized by Epic Races and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources: http://epicraces.com/event/heartmirun/
 
Michigan Recreation Passport: www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport
Dec 24, 2015
Runner Justin Craig joins Heather on this episode about running in the D and how his running specialty store -- RUNDetroit -- offers a unique GPS demo program to runners. With GPS watches a significant investment for runners, the program's goal is to help make that decision easier by allowing runners to test the watches on a rental basis and find the perfect one for them. RUNDetroit is the city's only running speciality store, and along with offering your typical running store items, it also has become an integral part of the local running scene. The store offers group runs and training plans and support, and also helps organize Michigan races. Justin also shares with listeners his own running journey and what's next for him.
 
Link: www.run-Detroit.com 

 

Dec 17, 2015

If you're looking for a late spring/early summer race -- a race that places you on scenic trails in northern Michigan -- you'll want to tune into this episode featuring the North Mitten Half Marathon & 10K. This Memorial Day weekend race takes place on Sunday, May 29, 2016. The races are held each year at Crystal Mountain, a four-season resort in Thompsonville, Mich. Heather welcomes two guests to the show to talk about this race: Keli Elphinstone, a runner from Davison, Mich. who ran the North Mitten Half Marathon this past spring, and Race Director Janice Davidson. Keli, who started running about 6 years ago, shares why she signed up for the race in the first place (hint: the cool finisher's medal played a big role) and she also talks about the benefits of signing up for trail races like the North Mitten. Janice, who also serves as director of recreation at Crystal Mountain, gives the inside scoop on the 2016 event and shares her own running journey (she's signed on for a half marathon this spring and also has found a love of coaching young runners). Be sure to listen to the end of this episode to hear the two winners of the YakTrax giveaway!

 
Link: www.crystalmountain.com 

 

Dec 10, 2015
Heather Quinlan on Running Toward a Healthier Life
 
Heather Quinlan, a runner in Sterling Heights and known by many in the Michigan running community as the author of the Finding Her Happy Pace page/community on Facebook, talks with Heather Durocher about her health journey and how running has helped transform her life. Heather Q., a 34-year-old middle school reading specialist, shares how she began her running journey by walking. This eventually led to running, then racing (hear why the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon is so special to her) and significant weight loss (she lost 100 pounds through exercise and altering the ways she viewed food.) She's open and honest about her journey, including the challenges she's faced along the way. She also talks about what is keeping her motivated now -- she remains committed to losing additional weight, and most importantly, staying on a good path for overall health and well-being. In recent time she's taken up strength training, and she talks about that as well. Whether you're new to running or you've been at it for years, you're sure to be inspired by this runner.
 
Links: www.facebook.com/findingherhappypacehttps://findingherhappypace.wordpress.com
 

 

Dec 2, 2015
Though our winter so far has been mild, colder and snowier weather is surely coming -- and we've got you covered for running outdoors throughout the next few months. Heather Durocher and co-host Cassy Stone talk about their love of winter running and have a great conversation with fellow winter running lover Susan Hoddinott, assistant store manager at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids. Susan shares her vast knowledge of essential clothing and gear to have for your outdoor running adventures. The trio talk about the importance of layers, and Susan explains why merino wool is great for your head and feet. Traction for shoes (and the right shoes to keep your feet dry) also is part of the discussion. One new product Susan mentions -- a headlamp for your early morning or evening runs -- gets Heather and Cassy thinking about their holiday wish list (you just might do the same). And to wrap things up, Heater announces an awesome giveaway perfectly suited for winter running: two free pairs of YakTrax to two lucky listeners. Tune in for all the giveaway details. Whether you've run outside throughout winter in the past, or you're thinking of giving it a try this year, you're sure to be inspired to stay active no matter the weather. 
 
Make sure you visit the Michigan Runner Girl website to check out the store for holiday gift ideas!

 

Nov 26, 2015
The Winter Warriors Series, a wintry mix of races held in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. throughout winter each year, is for those of us who, as founder Ryan Hackett puts it, "like to train and race outside during the tough winter months." These races include: The Snowmans Half/10K/5K on Jan. 24; The IceCube Half/10K/5K on Feb. 14; and the Mud Dogs Half/10K/5K on March 13. Ryan Hackett joins Heather Durocher and co-host Pam Carrigan to talk about the 2016 events. This series of three winter races in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. can be done separately or, if you're feeling especially warrior-ish, as a package of races. You'll be ready to become a winter warrior after tuning in to this episode. Be sure to listen for a special MRG race discount code, which is good for an individual race or the entire series.
 
Links:
 
The Winter Warriors Race Series: 
http://www.michiganhalfseries.com/About-Us.html
 
The Snowmans Half/10K/5K:
http://www.michiganhalfseries.com/Snowmans.html
 
The IceCube Half/10K/5K:
http://www.michiganhalfseries.com/IceCube.html
 
The Mud Dogs Half/10K/5K:
http://www.michiganhalfseries.com/MudDogs.html

 

Nov 19, 2015

'Healthy Chef' Ali Lopez on eating smart + running well

Our food should be good for us and taste great, too, says Ali Lopez, a Michigan runner, chef and health coach who talks with Heather about tasty ways to fuel up smart and get the most out of your running. She shares her favorite go-to snacks and meals, including what she recommends pre-race as well as post-run. Ali also shares her most recent marathon experience -- this fall's Grand Rapids Marathon -- and her big accomplishment at this race (hint: she reached a long-held, somewhat elusive goal. Her dedication and perseverance is sure to inspire you and your own running, no matter your race goals.) Ali, who moved to Michigan about a year ago from the East Coast, also offers up simple, easy and convenient ways to enjoy great and healthy food that ultimately will help your running.
 
Links: healthychefali.wordpress.com 
Look for Ali Lopez on Facebook by searching for Healthy Chef Ali. 

 

Nov 12, 2015

Thanksgiving dinner never tasted so good. This is how runners feel after completing a turkey trot in their hometown on Thanksgiving morning. On this episode about turkey trots held in Michigan, Heather Durocher checks in with organizers of two Thanksgiving morning running events: Jenae Schultheiss from the Gobble Wobble, a 4.1-mile untimed fun run around Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, and Patrick Zanotti from the Traverse City Turkey Trot, a 5K or 5-mile run in Heather's hometown (this is where she'll be with her family, including husband Joe and their three kids, as well her dad and brother-in-law Jason, on Thanksgiving morning.) Keep listening for a special race code to save $5 off your race entry to the Traverse City Turkey Trot. Heather also mentions several other turkey trots held throughout the state -- a few even get underway this coming weekend.

 
Links:
 
Traverse City Turkey Trot: www.tcturkeytrot.com
 
Gobble Wobble: www.gazellesports.com 

 

Nov 5, 2015
The conversation between Heather Durocher and Daniel Siderman, race director of the Bayshore races, is continued in Part 2 of this episode about these popular northern Michigan running events held over Memorial Day weekend. This segment includes Daniel answering questions from Michigan Runner Girl readers and listeners. Topics covered include winter training ideas, where to stay in Traverse City for Bayshore weekend (Daniel shares an idea Heather hadn't heard about before!), why 10K finishers don't receive finisher medals, course details, the event's amazing aid station workers, and lots more. Online registration for the 2016 Bayshore races opens on Dec. 1.

 

Nov 5, 2015
Each December 1, runners from across Michigan (and beyond) register for the popular Bayshore races in Traverse City. These Memorial Day weekend running events -- there's a marathon, half marathon and 10K -- fill quickly. The half marathon in particular is the most in-demand, filling in just minutes. Heather Durocher sits down with Daniel Siderman, Bayshore race director, to talk about the 2016 event. Their conversation, which covers race details as well as recent findings of a Bayshore runner survey that looked at the event's economic impact on northern Michigan, is packed with so much information that we decided to break it into two episodes. In Part 1, Heather and Cassy Stone introduce the episode by sharing their own favorite Bayshore memories. From there, Heather and Daniel talk about why the Traverse City Track Club, which is behind Bayshore, decided to conduct this runner survey -- and what the findings revealed. 

 

Oct 28, 2015

Get Race Ready for Your Next 5K

5K races have become the most popular road racing distance for beginner and recreational runners. In this episode, Coach Lisa Taylor is back to talk with Heather about gearing up for the 3.1 mile race distance. There is a 5K available throughout Michigan almost every weekend, particularly during the racing season. Even during the off season, there are usually 5K races available -- you can find one on most winter holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas and even Valentine's Day. Lisa gives the low-down on her 8-week 5K training plan, which the newly-formed Michigan Runner Girl Race Team is following for the Farmland 5K on Dec. 5 in Traverse City. The plan, which listeners can find online at MichiganRunnerGirl.com, is best for runners "who can currently run at least 25-30 minutes without stopping ... If you are not currently up to that level, slowly build up to running this duration without stopping before you start this program. This program is general in nature," Lisa explains on the show. The importance of rest days and sleep, and the benefits of speed work, are explored as well. 

Links: 

Coach Lisa's 5K Training Plan for MRG readers and listeners - http://michiganrunnergirl.com/coach-lisas-5k-training-plan/

Farmland 5K - http://www.xcchallengetcruns.com

 

Oct 21, 2015
The Traverse City Zombie Run (and other Halloween-themed runs in Michigan)
 
BOO! Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, making zombie runs and spooky trail races held throughout Michigan all the scarier. In this episode, Heather Durocher talks with Matt Ross, founder and organizer of the Traverse City Zombie 5K Run/Walk, now in its 7th year. Matt shares how the event got started as well as the most creative zombie costumes he's seen (tip: coming up with group costumes are great ways to win a race award!) The show's ongoing Upcoming Race Segment follows a Halloween theme this time, so you're sure to find a haunting run to celebrate the season. While some races take place on Halloween, plenty of others are held this coming weekend, too. Heather and her family are looking forward to dressing up for the TC Zombie Run...the question is, what will they wear?
 
Make sure you visit the Michigan Runner Girl Website and Blog at www.michiganrunnergirl.com
Oct 15, 2015

Cross the finish line, grab a banana and bagel, and ... get your beer! This is the case at more and more races in Michigan and across the country, and we runners are loving the chance to sample some local brew after logging our miles. Sometimes races even offer tastings on-course. This is the case with next month's Great Beerd Run 5K at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, near Traverse City. In this episode, Heather Durocher sits down with fellow Michigan Runner Girls and beer lovers Jill Cobb and Kelly Yauk to talk about running races and beer. Jill is the marketing coordinator for Short's Brewing Company, a Bellaire, Mich.-based brewer that often provides samples of its beers at both running and mountain bike races in northern Michigan. Short's is one of three Michigan breweries that will have on-course beer tastings at the Great Beerd Run on Nov. 14. (Other breweries featured are Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City and Beard's Brewery in Petoskey.) Kelly, e-marketing manager for the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and the event's race director, gives the low-down on the second annual Great Beerd Run, including runners' clever choices for beards (awards are given!) and the costumes she and her family will be wearing on race day. A race discount code and lodging special just for runners are shared during this episode, too.

 

Oct 7, 2015

Cross-training: Power of Pilates

Cross-training, as we're often told, is essential if we want to stay healthy and strong, and wish to continue running for as long as possible. In this episode, Heather Durocher talks with certified Pilates instructor Jennifer Cutler, owner of Pure Pilates in Traverse City, Michigan, about the benefits of this form of exercise. Heather began twice-weekly Pilates sessions about seven years ago and believes she's a stronger runner as a result. "With a stronger core, I feel stronger running. Jen's voice sometimes comes to mind, her words of 'shoulders back and down, belly button pulled to your spine' reminding me that my core muscles are what propel me forward and play such an important role (along with my legs, lungs and arms) in putting one foot in front of the other," Heather says. "The stretching and strengthening that I experience leave me feeling re-aligned, centered, balanced and ... just happy."  

Jennifer shares the Stott Pilates philosophy, how moves on the mat as well as on what's known as the "reformer" machine helps build core strength, and what listeners should look for when searching for a Pilates studio in Michigan. Jennifer Tank, a fellow northern Michigan runner and Pilates devotee, also joins the conversation, sharing her own take on how Pilates has helped her in everyday life as well as in her athletic pursuits. 

Links: 

Pure Pilates, Traverse City - http://www.purepilatestc.com 

M22 Challenge: http://www.m22.com/m22-challenge/
Sep 30, 2015
If you've ever wondered how to get started trail running, or you're already a runner who enjoys going off-road, this episode is sure to motivate you to head out into nature for your next run. Running coach Lisa Taylor again joins Heather Durocher on the podcast to talk trail running. Reader questions are answered on the show and touch on topics such as must-have gear, safety precautions, trail etiquette and how best to find runner-friendly trails throughout Michigan. Trail races held throughout the state and how logging miles on different terrain is good for the runner's body is also explored. Lisa and Heather's love of trail running will leave you looking forward to logging miles in the woods, off the pavement.
 
Sep 24, 2015

Heather Durocher welcomes Cassy Stone, a marathoner and mom of three, to the show to talk about her Michigan running story. This Traverse City runner, whom Heather got to know through MichiganRunnerGirl.com, grew up in Marquette in the U.P. and came to the sport later in life. Part of her journey is living with Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. Managing her chronic disease comes with immense challenges, but Cassy doesn't allow it to prevent her from living boldly and going after her goals. She's determined to live life out loud -- and she's doing just that while modeling a healthy, happy lifestyle for her three school-age children. Ultimately, she's an inspiration to her many friends, and really anyone she meets. 

Sep 16, 2015

Don Kern, race director of next month's Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon, knows a thing or two about putting on a great race -- not only as one of the founders of this October event in GR, but also because he's an avid racer himself, here in the U.S. and abroad. Indeed, this "adventure runner" has run more than 200 marathons in each of 50 states of the U.S. twice, in 25 countries, and at the North Pole. Heather Durocher interviews Don in this episode, talking with him about his extraordinary running accomplishments as well as the upcoming Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon, now in its 12th year. He is also behind the Groundhog Marathon, held each February in Grand Rapids. This race, which debuted in 2013, features a 4.4-mile loop that needs to be completed six times for a full marathon, a nod to the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day." The Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon is set for Sunday, Oct. 18. This episode also includes a special race discount code for listeners.

Sep 9, 2015
Longtime running coach Lisa Taylor joins Heather Durocher to talk about the changes and growth she's witnessed in Michigan's running and racing scene over the past couple of decades. (She remembers when 10K road races dominated and attracted the most runners). She also shares running wisdom earned through the years, as well as talks about her time as a collegiate runner at Michigan State University and early years as a sports writer, a race competitor, and high school cross country and track coach of 30+ years. Lisa is a race director, putting on two northern Michigan events -- Farmland 5K in December and Run the Ridge 10K Team Relay in early May, both in the Traverse City area -- and these days considers herself a "fitness runner." (She also helped Heather qualify for the Boston Marathon.)

 

Sep 2, 2015

Mary Culbertson, race director of this month's American Home Fitness Detroit Women's Half Marathon & 5K on Belle Isle, shares race details in this episode. The event, now in its third year, attracts thousands of runners to its expo and race the weekend of Sept. 19-20 in the heart of Detroit. Heather ran the half marathon last fall, along with several of her running friends, and this year she'll return to run again. Her daughter Emma, a high school cross-country runner, will again join the fun by running the 5K. Michigan Runner Girl also will again have a booth at Saturday's expo, held at the Marriott Renaissance Center. Mary, a five-time marathoner who lives and runs in Saline, Michigan, talks about the Belle Isle race course and expo as well as her own running journey.

Aug 27, 2015
Northern Michigan personal trainer Pam Carrigan (and one of Heather's running partners) shares her Michigan running story in this episode. From triathlons and 10Ks to half marathons and helping other runners reach their fitness goals, Pam explains how she enjoys an active and healthy life herself, and inspires others to do the same. She also offers up fitness tips for staying in top running form (warning: you just might get into plank position while listening to this show). Listeners will remember Pam from the very first Michigan Runner Girl podcast about running on Grand Island -- she and her family also made the trek north to participate in the half marathon and camp in Munising -- and she'll be back as a co-host in upcoming episodes.

 

Aug 19, 2015
Heather Durocher catches up with runner, triathlete, Ironman finisher and race director Joel Gaff in this episode. Joel, founder of race management and timing services company Endurance Evolution, talks about the northern Michigan events he puts on throughout the year, including the Traverse City Trail Running Festival in April, Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon & 5K in June, Traverse City Triathlon in August and the upcoming Sleeping Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K set for Oct. 3, 2015 in Empire, Mich. There are some exciting changes to this fall event, which Joel details for listeners.
 
The Michigan Runner Girl Podcast is brought to you by Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, located in Acme, Michigan just minutes away from downtown Traverse City. Home of the Great Beerd Run a 5k fun run and the Star, Stripes, and Splatter color run, Grand Traverse Resort is the place to stay to keep active and enjoy the best that Northern Michigan has to offer. 

Their conversation also covers Joel's recent decision to spend time in another beautiful and runner-friendly area of the country -- Portland, Ore. -- and how he's taking what he's learning from that city's racing scene and bringing it back to all that he's doing here in Michigan. Heather and Joel chat about the importance of downtime and breaks from training and racing, and what's next for Joel in the coming months. (Hint: the Ironman distance is calling his name again ...)

The Michigan Runner Girl Podcast is hosted by Heather Durocher. The podcast is edited by Kalin Brehler and produced by Mike Moran of Quarter After Productions

 

Aug 12, 2015

Join Heather Durocher and three of her running friends -- Pam Carrigan, Erin Henshaw and Katie Kearney -- as they talk about this year's Grand Island Marathon and Half Marathon in the U.P. They traveled north from Traverse City for this race, which takes place each July on Grand Island in Munising. The trip was a chance to check out this scenic trail race as well as enjoy the area with their families. They all stayed at the Munising Tourist Park Campground on the shores of Lake Superior with a view of the island. Stand-up paddleboarding, swimming and mountain biking also were part of the weekend (a summer storm also made an appearance the night before the race, which actually helped make for pretty ideal conditions out on the trail.)

The Michigan Runner Girl Podcast is brought to you by Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, located in Acme, Michigan just minutes away from downtown Traverse City. Home of the Great Beerd Run a 5k fun run and the Star, Stripes, and Splatter color run, Grand Traverse Resort is the place to stay to keep active and enjoy the best that Northern Michigan has to offer. 

Later in the show Heather interviews race director Jeff Crumbaugh of Great Lakes Endurance. His race management company is behind a number of trail runs throughout the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin, so he talks not only about the Grand Island race but also others popular among Midwest runners. He also shares how Great Lakes Endurance is committed to eco-friendly race events and providing runners with delicious, locally-sourced post-race food and drink.

This episode kicks off the Michigan Runner Girl podcast, a show about all things running and living healthy and happy in the Mitten.

The Michigan Runner Girl Podcast was hosted by Heather Durocher and produced and edited by Mike Moran of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City. 

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