When exactly did you take that first step that led you toward becoming a runner? Maybe a friend or family member inspired you to give it a try. Maybe it was a life experience of some kind that triggered self-reflection and ultimately the decision to do things differently, to try something you’d never tried before because you knew it could be good for you.
Each of us has our own reason for starting to run and move more—and going down the path that can lead to seriously amazing changes for our health and well-being. And before we know it, running somehow evolves from simply an activity to a way of living. Our lifestyles, and the people we find ourselves meeting and gravitating toward, are entirely different in the best possible ways compared to where we had been before.
Jennifer Lotterman, a runner from west Michigan, and Holly Visser, a runner, yoga teacher and race director of this spring’s Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K in Grand Rapids, share their stories of becoming runners and how their paths have intersected along the way.
This is a conversation we all can relate to: how we find ourselves becoming runners and how that changes our lives. If you’re thinking, I’m not sure I am a runner, or I want to become a runner but I’m not sure how this works exactly—or, you’ve been running and active for a long time and could use some inspiration and reminding about why this lifestyle is just so rewarding and wonderful (and who couldn’t use some of that?)—this episode is for you.
Holly also shares details of this spring's Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, set for Sunday, April 14 in Grand Rapids. Race weekend is going to be something special this year with a Friday event featuring speaker and inspiring runner Mirna Valerio.
Be sure to use the special MRG discount code to save $5 on your race entry. Code: GG19MRG5
Register here: http://gazellegirlhalfmarathon.com/
What happens when you get more than 35 fabulous, outdoor-loving, active women together for a winter weekend away in the woods? One memorable, epic adventure.
On this latest episode, you’ll hear all about the awesome activities that are part of the annual MRG Winter Weekend Getaway in Roscommon, Michigan, which this year took place Feb. 8-10. You’ll also hear from the women themselves, who participated in the event’s LIVE podcast recording that featured special guest Mike Swinger, a northern Michigan physical therapist who stopped by to share his expertise and answer all of our running injury and prevention questions—and oh, did we ever have some questions for him!
Heather and retreat co-host Pam Carrigan Swinger talk with Mike, a father of four who recently published a book, “Runner’s Fix,” which is for runners wanting to stay injury-free and run their best. It covers all the common areas where runners tend to have struggles and gives suggestions for how to address these areas on your own. (We gave away a couple of copies during the retreat weekend, and we’ve got a couple more to give away to listeners of this episode! Details are shared by Heather near the end of the conversation.)
Mike has worked closely with runners of all ages and abilities, ranging from first-time 5K runners to collegiate All-Americans, Boston qualifiers, and Ironman competitors, helping them stay injury-free. He started his website RunPhys.com in 2015 as a resource for runners with videos covering running form, exercise routines, and injury prevention.
The MRG Winter Weekend Getaway takes place each winter, usually in late January or early February, at the Ralph A. MacMullen Conference Center on Higgins Lake. This is a stunning Michigan Department of Natural Resources property – MRG is proud to partner with the DNR on this retreat and gives back a percentage of all merchandise proceeds each year to our beautiful state parks. The weekend includes snowshoeing, cross country skiing, running, yoga, great food and drink, rest & relaxation (chair massages, anyone?), special speakers, and a whole lot of laughter and connection with like-minded women from all across the state of Michigan (and sometimes beyond!). Learn more about MRG special events here.
“If you had told me four years ago I was going to be a triathlete, I would have laughed. It was nothing I had an inspiration to do, and quite frankly, it was something that seemed intimidating to me to do.”
This is how northern Michigan runner Deb Kimball described her thoughts about triathlon prior to deciding to go for it and give swimming-biking-running a try in the past couple of years. Being part of a team of new and experienced triathletes—Tri Again Fitness—has made all the difference for this Traverse City athlete. “So much of my love of triathlon is really a love of the people I'm training with. Our team is like a family.”
Deb Kimball and fellow Tri Again Fitness team member Kasha Martin join Heather on the show to talk about their evolution as runners-turned-triathletes. Both are training for IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City this Aug. 25. Deb prefers nighttime workouts in the pool, while Kasha is committed to early morning exercise so that she can focus the rest of her day on work and being mom to her four young children.
Both women talk about how they came to love triathlon and what it means to be part of a team. They also share what it’s like to be married to triathletes and how they fit training in their full lives. “Triathlon training is my part-time job...It’s a huge time commitment,” Deb says.
Both Deb and Kasha had to work hard to become swimmers. “I pretty much floundered in the water,” Deb said. “I was not a swimmer. I doggy paddled,” added Kasha.
Having team support is amazing, both women said. “When you go to these events, it’s not just you. It’s a group of people. You’re in it together and they’re cheering you on.”
“They’re waiting for you at the finish line,” Kasha said. Her advice for anyone looking to give triathlon a try? “Go find yourself a team or club or anything because it really makes the world of difference.”
After a couple of weeks away from the studio (thanks to the extreme weather and, well, life), Heather is back behind the mic to catch up with everyone. She talks about her latest race, the Big Foot Snowshoe 10K in Traverse City at the end of January, as well as how training is going in the pool so far.
We've definitely had our fair share of true winter weather lately (late January was a BEAST throughout Michigan and the Midwest) and Heather takes this opportunity to talk winter running tips—how to stay moving while staying safe and warm when heading outside for your workout. Thanks to the many awesome tips shared with the MRG community on the Facebook page—be sure to check out the updated MRG Winter Running Guide.
Finally, Heather is looking forward to this weekend's 2nd Annual MRG Winter Weekend Getaway in Roscommon. She shares details of this event—and how you can still join the fun.