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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: June, 2021
Jun 29, 2021

It’s safe to say that the Michigan race scene is really getting back on its feet, now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted. And for those of us who have greatly missed toeing start lines, cheering one another on through the miles, and triumphantly crossing finish lines, it’s exciting to be adding summer and fall race events to our calendars. 

A July must-run racing event in northern Michigan? The Meijer Festival of Races that is part of the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich. These Saturday, July 10 races are back in person — and also remain a virtual option. Events include the Priority Health 5K, 10K, McKinley Challenge 15K, and half marathon.

Kat Paye, executive director of the National Cherry Festival, and Alex Zelinski, director of corporate partnerships, join Heather on the show to talk about this year’s races, which has some changes, including an all-new finish line at The Open Space in downtown (previously, the races ended on Front Street). Kat and Alex share what runners and spectators can expect on race day and throughout the weeklong festival. They also talk about a newer virtual running event — the Michigan Harvest Challenge that kicks off in July and runs through October — and how it came about as part of the creative and innovative brainstorming the team did throughout the pandemic to stay connected with festival-goers and runners and walkers.  

And yep, you’ll get cherries once you complete your Festival of Races run. Learn more and register here. And learn more about the multi-run Michigan Harvest Challenge — happening now through October — here.

Kat, Alex, and Heather also chat about favorite places to explore in Michigan (the U.P. tops all three of their lists), Alex's plans to conquer another half marathon this fall, and Kat's sprint workouts (chasing after her toddler) at the Civic Center in Traverse City.

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 the talented Jonny Tornga for producing the show.

FIND MRG and HEATHER:

@michiganrunnergirlshow on Instagram

@michiganrunnergirl on Instagram

@michigan-runner-girl on Facebook

Drop Heather a note at heather@michiganrunnergirl.com

Jun 22, 2021

"You're not meant to be a runner."

"You don't have to run to lose weight."

"You should find something else to enjoy."

These are the statements that ran through Maria Yeager's mind — actual comments made to her in the past — earlier this year when, after crushing the miles on her treadmill and pushing herself hard during high intensity interval training with a friend, she got injured. It was a stubborn injury, in fact, and refused to heal even after Maria, a Petoskey, Mich. physical therapist assistant, did all the right things to make it better.

But Maria pushed these thoughts aside and grew even more determined. "I was not ready to give up running just yet," she says of her plan to tackle the three races on her schedule for 2021 — races that had been cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic. 

This month, Maria finished a 10K in Charlevoix — her first in-person race since 2019. She's mountain biking with her husband whenever she can, and she's also continuing to build strength and stability to aid her running endurance. She joins Heather on the show to talk about her running journey, which started in 2012 not long after graduating college, and how she went on to lose 75 pounds, run her first 5K, then a half marathon, and has pushed herself in ways she never would have imagined. 

"What I've learned is that it's OK to have multiple chapters in your life open. Just because one thing has set you back, don't let that get you down," she says. "Exercise to me is my mental de-stress — that is how I get a handle on it."

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 the talented Jonny Tornga for producing the show.

FIND MRG and HEATHER:

@michiganrunnergirlshow on Instagram

@michiganrunnergirl on Instagram

@michigan-runner-girl on Facebook

Drop Heather a note at heather@michiganrunnergirl.com

Jun 11, 2021

Five years ago this month—June 2016—Heather did something she'd never done before: she completed a triathlon. After a decade of running and adding distance to her races, up to the marathon distance, she'd decided it was time to try something new, to shake things up a bit. "I wanted to stretch myself, go outside my comfort zone … and also, honestly, give my body something of a break from strictly running road and trail races."

She'd gotten into road biking and was really beginning to enjoy it, "mostly because I felt more confident about my riding skills and knowledge (I understood the gears, the clipping in and out without falling over!)," she shares. "It also became something Joe and I liked doing together, especially on the weekends when we got up early on a Saturday or a Sunday morning, rode our bikes on the paved path from our hilly neighborhood and into downtown Traverse City, where we’d usually reward our efforts with brunch." 

Heather also started thinking about swimming as a form of exercise. "The idea of a triathlon entered my mind. I had friends who had become triathletes, I was talking with race directors about their events that included triathlons ... and I just couldn’t deny that I was intrigued. Why not try it? Why not see if I could do this?"

Heather's first triathlon was the all-women's Tri Goddess Tri, which takes place each June in southeast Michigan. Eva Solomon, co-founder of Epic Races (which is behind Tri Goddess Tri) joins Heather on the show to talk about this beginner-friendly triathlon.

Also joining the conversation is Chris Forte, of Why Bars, a great-tasting bar made right here in Michigan. WhyBars is the superfood snack bar sponsor of Tri Goddess Tri, which takes place at the end of this month. In fact, it’s a whole experience -- Tri Goddess Tri Multisport Festival is Saturday and Sunday, June 26-27 and includes a sprint tri, aquabike event, duathlon, mini sprint, relay, and new for 2021, a swimrun event option. 

Heather, Eva, and Chris cover all of the details of this in-person, super beginner-friendly event during this episode. They also talk about Why Bars, how this company got started, their commitment to plant-based, tasty, and all-natural ingredients, and so much more.

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 the talented Jonny Tornga for producing the show.

FIND MRG and HEATHER:

@michiganrunnergirlshow on Instagram

@michiganrunnergirl on Instagram

@michigan-runner-girl on Facebook

Drop Heather a note at heather@michiganrunnergirl.com

 

Jun 4, 2021

Runner, mom, fan of craft beer, wine, and traveling — this is how blogger Emily White describes herself on her Instagram account, where she shares her love of movement, racing (23 Ragnar Relays and counting!), and staying connected with the many friends she’s made throughout her running journey. 

Emily, who grew up in Flint, Mich., has a deep love of northern Michigan, and now lives with her husband and their teenage son in Arizona, joins Heather on the podcast to talk about her evolving relationship with running, dealing with injuries and getting older, her passion for all things Ragnar, life during the pandemic (both she and her husband were furloughed), starting a new job at the beginning of this year, and what she’s most looking forward to in 2021.

“Over the last year, I have alternated back and forth between different injuries — and still have an IT band/hip injury that I'm dealing with. During the pandemic, I haven't felt like I have been missing out on much, since there weren't any races or racecations for me to attend. But now, as things are opening back up, I'm trying to fall back into my old routine of running a few half marathons a year (and lots of ragnars!), and honestly don't know if it is realistic … I fear that some of that may be behind me. I used to have a 50 state goal where I wanted to run a half (or full) in each state. I'm only at 16 states right now and see very little chance of ever achieving it, now that my body is reacting this way.”

“I've embraced walking, and really enjoy weight lifting, but I miss the camaraderie of racing. Things will definitely look different going forward, but as long as we are staying active, I guess that is all that truly matters.” 

Heather and Emily got to know each other through the Michigan Runner Girl community and Ragnar Michigan, the latter of which they did together as part of Team MRG a couple of years ago. During their conversation, they talk about the similarities in their evolving running journeys and talk about the hope they’re both feeling at this point of the pandemic and as life starts to return to some semblance of normalcy.

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