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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: 2018
Apr 16, 2018

Wow, what a day! History was made when Michigan's own Desiree Linden, a 34-year-old runner who trains with Hanson-Brooks Original Distance Project in Rochester Hills and lives in Charlevoix, was the first woman to cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Her epic victory marked the first time an American woman has won this race since 1985. The first in 33 years! Des also demonstrated incredible sportsmanship when she slowed to make sure friend Shalane Flanagan (a fellow 2016 U.S. Olympic team member) was OK after she stopped for about 13 seconds to use the bathroom near the race's halfway mark.

Des, the two-time Olympian and 2011 Boston runner-up, pulled away at the end of Heartbreak Hill to finish in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. That was more than four minutes better than second-place finisher Sarah Sellers, one of seven Americans in the top 10.

"I'm thrilled. I'm exhausted. I left it all out there. Now I'm ready to warm up," Linden told CBS Boston. "It hurts right now, but it's a perfect day for me. This is a grinder's day. That's why I keep showing up here, and I think that's why I have success here is because I can kind of tough it out through anything.  

On this short-and-sweet MRG update episode (recorded a few days pre-Boston), Heather shares details of exciting things happening with Michigan Runner Girl, including having Des Linden be part of the upcoming 3rd Annual Michigan Runner Girl Spring Getaway on May 4-6 in Traverse City.

Lots more cool stuff shared during this update show! (Hint: new web site, Gazelle Girl info, fresh MRG designs!)

If you haven't yet listened to the MRG interview with Des Linden, take a listen here: http://michiganrunnergirl.com/desiree-linden-2-time-olympian-michigan-lover-ready-boston-2018/

 

Apr 9, 2018

For the fourth year, students in Kristy McDonald's business communications class are behind the popular BIG Little Hero Race at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. The race, which features a 10K, 5K & kids' fun run, is set for this Saturday, April 14. All proceeds of this run benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan.

As anyone who has planned a running event knows well, lots of time and energy go into bringing a race to fruition. Each year, a new crop of college students take on this task, handling everything from seeking and finding sponsorship and volunteers, to figuring out race-day logistics and marketing the event. On this episode: three of the students involved in this year's event -- Noah Britton, Lauren Peterson and David Filkins -- talk with Heather about what it's like to tackle this kind of real-life project as a college student. Race Director Kyle Brownley, a college graduate who returned to this project after starting with it as a student himself, also joins the conversation. They all give the scoop of how this race has come together this year, what runners can expect on race day, and why their post-race party is among the best around. 

Runners and walkers typically dress in costume for this race -- there will be lots of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Ironman, and Captain America kids and families (among other fabulous costume choices). Free superhero capes are given to the kids. Races are timed and awards are handed out post-race.

While online registration has ended, day-before and day-of signups are available. The race takes place on part of the Bayshore route, making it a perfect training run if you're participating in the Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K this Memorial Day weekend! 

Learn more and get signed up at biglittleherorace.com 

The race's Favebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BigLittleHeroRace

 

Apr 3, 2018

Sara Plumstead and Amy Haenick are friends who met through their shared passion for running and living healthy. And in recent time, they've become business partners -- the Detroit-area moms are behind Run Strong Project, which offers coaching and run-specific strength training. They join Heather on the show to talk about becoming friends (Sara also coaches Amy) and their interest in helping other athletes take their running and strength training to the next level. They also share solid tips for incorporating strength training into our routines and improving our running performance.

"Sara began coaching me as a runner about a year ago," Amy says. "We became fast friends and started Run Strong Project in January 2017. I absolutely love being a strength coach and helping others to become stronger and faster!" 

"I started running at the age of 30," Sara says, "after the birth of my second daughter. It was a wonderful stress relief as I adjusted to life as the parent of a special needs child who has a rare chromosome deletion. I ran my first half marathon in 2007, and my first marathon a year later, finishing in 3:31. Since then I have completed at least 20 marathons." As Sara "embarks on my 40s," she is attempting to lower her marathon PR from 3:04 to sub 3:00. She's also an ACE certified group fitness instructor and a VDOT O2 certified distance running coach. 

Amy says she's always loved fitness. "I grew up playing sports. In high school, I was a three-sport athlete participating in swimming, volleyball and softball." She was named Female Athlete of the Year of her high school and went on to Michigan State University and graduated with a degree in Recreational Therapy.  Amy talks about how during her freshman year of college she became anorexic. "It was a tough transition from high school to college and I felt a loss of control. Once I became healthy and recovered (still an ongoing struggle sometimes), I started running. Running helped me so much in my recovery," she says. She ran her first marathon in 1996 and qualified for Boston on her first try. She has since run 10 marathons, including Boston and holds a PR of 3:35.

Links:

Sara's blog (she is currently training for the Bayshore Marathon): Michigan Marathoner

Sara on Instagram: MichiganMarathoner

Amy on Instagram: AmyRunsDetroit

Run Strong Project 

Mar 20, 2018

Endurance athlete, personal trainer, and triathlon coach Rebecca Venticinique ran her first road race at age 7 and continued running and competing throughout high school and college, where she took on the heptathlon (this involves seven events: 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin, and 800-meter run). Rebecca joins Heather on the show to talk about triathlon -- she and her husband Tony coach athletes of all levels through their company Tri Again Fitness in Traverse City -- and how runners in particular can make the transition to this sport. Heather shares her experience with triathlon, having completed a sprint tri in southern Michigan a couple of summers ago (she is hoping to add a couple more this summer).

Since 1993, Rebecca has coached invidious sports, from cross country and track and field, to volleyball, soccer and softball. Most recently, this mother of 7 has found her niche in triathlon and marathon racing -- she's competed in the Bayshore Marathon, the Charlevoix Marathon, Disney's Goofy's Challenge, and the Midland Marathon. She finished her first Ironman in 2015.

 

Mar 13, 2018

Eddie Kline started his early fall marathon and half marathon racing event in west Michigan with a few goals in mind: Make it like the Boston Marathon with a bus ride out and run back to town. Give runners a final opportunity to snag a Boston qualifying (BQ) time in west Michigan. Support local businesses and nonprofits in his community. Also, “I wanted my friends in Holland to have a hometown race where all of their friends and family could come out and enjoy the lakeshore together.”

By all accounts, Eddie has done all of the above. Now entering its fifth year, the Holland Haven Marathon and Half Marathon (and 8K, added last year) takes place each September – the weekend prior to Boston Marathon registration opening – and features point-to-point race courses. (The marathon starts in Grand Haven and ends in Holland while the half marathon starts at the event’s charity partner, Camp Geneva, midway through the marathon course.)

Some 23 percent of marathon finishers BQ’d in 2016 and 2017.

What Eddie, his wife Jen, and their team of race volunteers didn’t necessarily expect: just how much the race would grow – registrations were up more than 50 percent last year. “We had runners from 25 states and four different nations,” he says. About 600 runners participated in one of the three distances, and 1,000 people attended the post-race party and expo, which includes free beer, cider, food, and vendors.

Eddie joins Heather on the latest episode of the Michigan Runner Girl podcast to give us all the details of this fall’s Holland Haven Marathon, Half Marathon and 8K, which is set for Sunday, Sept. 9.

He shares race details, including the opportunity to earn a “trifecta” medal and how the race gives back to the nonprofit Medals4Mettle. Eddie also shares news of his newest race directing endeavor – he decided this spring to hold a new race called the Backward Mile.

“Instead of being so serious about running a race, I want to create a fun, carefree environment. I want to make fun of myself, and have runners make fun of themselves, too. The event will be somewhat of a spoof about running. We will do everything we can think of backward in reverse order,” he says.

The Backward Mile, which will also include collecting medals from runners to donate to Medals4Mettle, is set for Tuesday, April 24 at Big E’s Sports Grill in Holland.

Special discount codes for both races:

Use the code RUN12MRG to save 12% off your Backward Mile registration. This code also will get you $12 (yep, 12 dollars) off your Holland Haven Marathon, Half Marathon or 8K race entry.

Sign up for the Holland Haven races here »

Sign up for the Backward Mile event here »

The Michigan Runner Girl Show is made possible in part by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

 If you enjoy what you're hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we'd be so grateful if you'd take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio's work here.

Mar 5, 2018

As Ragnar Relay Michigan gets ready to mark its third year in the Great Lakes State, an increasing number of runners are signing on for this 2-day, 200-ish-mile team running event that starts in Muskegon and ends in Traverse City. Team MRG participated in the inaugural Michigan race as well as last year’s event – and we’re planning to be there again this fall. It’s so fun meeting up with fellow Michigan Runner Girls and Guys – can’t wait to see you all there! {Be sure to use the special team discount code mentioned on the show to save $80 off your team race entry, if you haven’t yet signed up.}

On this episode, MRG sits downs with Ragnar Relay Michigan Race Director Troy Wheeler to talk about this September’s race, which is slated for Sept. 28-29. This year, race organizers expect about 285 teams to take part in the Michigan race. This is up from 240 last year and 120 the first year.

Troy, who served as race director last year as well, shares how a Ragnar Relay works, a few course changes for 2018, and tips for ensuring a successful and fun Ragnar experience with your teammates. He also shares a sweet story about how his own Ragnar racing experience led to true love.

Troy also welcomes any questions from listeners and readers. You can contact him at troy@ragnarrelay.com

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Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan, Sept. 28-29, is a magical combination of fall colors, sugar sand beaches, massive dunes and wild Ragnarians.

This 200-ish mile overnight adventure kicks off in the charming town Muskegon where teams run two days and one star-filled night, past historic ships and lighthouses, apple orchards, cherry blossoms and rolling hills.

No one starts Reebok Ragnar Michigan alone, and no one finishes alone either. A strengthened a team of 12 individuals becomes 1 team and finds out what they can do when they come together.

Fun hashtags to use if you’re racing and posting photos and videos from your adventure on social media:

#RagnarRelay, #innerWILD, #ChaseTheMoon, #ChaseTheSun #UnforgettableScenery #RagnarMichigan

Want more Ragnar? Check out these MRG posts and podcast episodes about this epic relay race:

http://michiganrunnergirl.com/12-women-2-vans-195-5-miles-32-hours-herd-alpacas-mrg-recaps-reebok-ragnar-michigan/

http://michiganrunnergirl.com/episode-64-recap-inaugural-reebok-ragnar-michigan/

http://michiganrunnergirl.com/epic-adventure-mrg-takes-ragnar-relay-michigan/  

Feb 27, 2018

For more than 30 years, the Lake Michigan coastal town of Muskegon has welcomed runners for the annual Mercy Health Seaway Run. In recent years, some 3,000 runners have made this an early summer tradition. Race Director Andrew Buikema joins Heather on the show to talk about this year's race, takes place Saturday, June 23. New this year: a 10K race option in addition to the half marathon and 5K run/community walk. Andrew shares all the details of this year's event (including why the 15K is no longer around and the two places you'll get your post-race brew) and also talks about his own running plans this spring and summer (he's part of a pacing group for the Fifth Third Riverbank Run and is training for the Chicago Marathon).

Last year, Heather ran the half marathon along with friend Amy Keizer -- they were helping lead the 10-minute mile pace group. In addition, MRG had a booth at the Mercy Health Seaway Run Healthy Lifestyle Expo the day before the race. It ended up being a weekend getaway: Joe joined Heather for the expo (he also spectated the race the next day, by bike), and they spent Saturday and Sunday after the race exploring the area and checking out some great restaurants. 

A special race discount code also is mentioned during this episode.

Feb 12, 2018

We’ve all been told that regularly getting enough high-quality sleep is essential to running our best – and to living well overall. (That feeling of slogging through a day super tired, when there’s not enough coffee in the world to help? Pretty awful.)

In an article about sleep and exercise on runnersworld.com, we’re told that while we sleep, hormones such as human growth hormone (HGH) that help us recover from training are released. On the flip side, when we don’t get enough sleep, levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein stay elevated, cutting into our ability to recover. Poor sleep also throws off the hormones related to appetite regulation, which could lead to weight gain.

OK, so we know all of this. And yet…how many of us truly make sleep a priority? It’s something I’m continually working on, and I figured I’m far from alone. In fact, when I mentioned sleep on the Michigan Runner Girl Facebook page recently, I heard from fellow runners that sleep is a big deal and not always getting the attention it should in their lives. I also heard from a few of you who always get the recommended seven to nine hours a sleep each night, which impressed and inspired me.

 On the latest episode of the Michigan Runner Girl podcast, I have a great conversation with Dr. David Walker, DO, a board-certified sleep medicine specialist at the Munson Healthcare Sleep Disorders Clinic here in Traverse City, Mich. We talk about the importance of sleep, night owls vs. early risers, how lack of sleep affects our running performance and everyday activities, common sleep issues, and the ways we may be sabotaging our sleep (drinking that glass of wine or pint of beer, and being on our devices, too close to bedtime). Dr. Walker also talks about how a “sleep diary” can make a difference, sleep aids that are OK (and the ones to possibly avoid), and why the quality of sleep is most important when looking at our sleep routines. I also couldn’t resist asking him about dreams (I have vivid ones most every night) and what they may mean.

 Dr. Walker says the National Sleep Foundation site is a great resource. Here’s what the Foundation found about sleep and exercise in their 2013 Sleep in America poll:

Self-described exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate and light*exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%).

“If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep,” says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, poll task force chair. “Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”

“Our poll data certainly find strong relationships between good sleep and exercise,” adds Hirshkowitz. “While cause and effect can be tricky, I don’t think having good sleep necessarily compels us to exercise. I think it is much more likely that exercising improves sleep. And good sleep is fundamental for good health, productivity, and happiness.” 

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Links:

National Sleep Foundation: http://www.sleepfoundation.org

Munson Healthcare Sleep Disorders Clinic: http://www.munsonhealthcare.org/sleep

Feb 7, 2018

Marathon training is well underway for Heather and her daughter Emma (who is training for her first 26.2, the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Mich.), and they sit down to share how things are going so far. Also joining them: special guest…Heather’s husband and Emma’s dad, Joe, who is planning to run the 10K at this Memorial Day weekend’s Bayshore races. What happens when parents and their 17-year-old daughter get together to record a podcast? Plenty of laughs, a little good-natured family ribbing, and even some backstory on the first time Heather and Joe ever ran together, back in the summer of 1996. (Let’s just say it didn’t go so well.) Heather and Emma talk about the marathon plan they’re following (a plan from friends Sarah and Dimity of AnotherMotherRunner.com), the YouTube Channel they started to chronicle their training (check it out and please subscribe if you’re interested in following along!), how Emma’s plant-based eating is working with her running, and how Joe has gotten into a groove of early-morning running (and why he doesn’t like to eat anything before he heads out for a few miles). The trio also talks about spring break and summer plans – and how they’ll be incorporating running, exploring, and staying active as much as possible.

Links:

Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K: bayshoremarathon.org

Another Mother Runner: anothermotherrunner.com

Michigan Runner Girl YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTdVGFXBtFr8xo000Zj12uw

Jan 16, 2018

It's a new year (welcome to the first MRG show of 2018!) and you just may have a big goal race on your race calendar this year. Maybe you're going to tackle your first half marathon. Or you've decided to see what you've got in the marathon distance. MRG welcomes three Michigan runners (one of them a longtime coach) to the show to talk about the allure of distance running and racing. Eric Hansen and Candice Hamel both began running within the past four or so years. Their stories are quite different — Eric, who lost 100 pounds through running, has taken on just about every distance plus ventured into triathlon and finished an Ironman, while Candice has found a love for half marathons and acknowledges she's felt reluctant to say the words 'I am a runner' — but they both share how the sport and the friendships they've formed through running have been life-changing. Eric and Candice both are members of the Traverse City Track Club and are serving as mentors in a newer training program — Bayshore and More Training Program — offered through this northern Michigan running and walking club. Lisa Taylor, who has been on the show several times in the past, joins the conversation and offers her racing and training insight as a longtime coach, runner, and executive director of the Traverse City Track Club. 

Heather also shares her own marathon training plans for 2018 — she is about to begin training for her 5th Bayshore Marathon (9th marathon overall) with her daughter Emma, who is taking on her very first marathon this spring. An upcoming episode will highlight their training plans (and new YouTube Channel!)

Listen in to get inspired for running and racing in 2018 — no matter your distance or goal. These runners will definitely leave you feeling motivated to make 2018 your best running year yet.

Traverse City Track Club: tctcrackclub.org

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