Moving our bodies. Dealing with anxiety. Finding what inspires us. Cultivating and maintaining family relationships. Tending to our mental health.
These are among the topics Heather and her 21-year-old daughter Emma touch on during this decidedly more personal episode. While Heather has had a wide range of discussions with guests over the past 6 years, many of which took us into the minds and hearts of athletes, race directors, and healthy lifestyle experts, Heather and Emma share personal stories and dive deeper into areas of particular interest to them — and to longtime listeners who have shared with Heather over the years that the episodes that explore these kinds of topics and how others lean into movement to help them navigate life are often the most powerful.
Like many businesses and organizations in the past year and half of the pandemic, Michigan Runner Girl was forced to switch gears (no in-person events for awhile meant no race expos or women’s retreats) and reimagine what this community could look like. While we’re all tentatively returning to things we took part in pre-COVID, life of course has forever changed in numerous ways for all of us. What does this mean for MRG? Heather is still thinking this through, though she is excited to keep moving forward and see what unfolds — with the podcast and with the community. What won’t ever change: her hope to keep the conversation going around good health and well-being, staying true to ourselves, running (and all other movement that keeps us looking forward and feeling great), and continually striving to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.
We want to hear from YOU! Let us know what you think of this episode and what you’d like to hear more of on the Michigan Runner Girl Show as we move forward. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Let’s keep the conversation going.
Find Heather at michiganrunnergirl.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/michigan-runner-girl, and on Instagram at michiganrunnergirl and michiganrunnergirlshow
Mentioned in this episode:
- Tiny Beautiful Things, a book by Cheryl Strayed
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed
- Tell Me Something True, a podcast with Laura McKowen
- The Man Enough Podcast, with Jamey Heath, Justin Baldoni, and Liz Plank
- Sasha Wolff, founder of Still I Run, a Michigan-based organization focused on defeating the stigma of mental illness
In just under two weeks, a few thousand athletes and their family and friends will travel to the quaint and beautiful Lake Michigan coastal town of Frankfort to take part in IRONMAN 70.3 Michigan — an event that’s had its share of twists and turns over the past year and a half during the pandemic.
You can’t exactly call this 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run on Sunday, Sept. 12 a new event in northern Michigan — the first IRONMAN 70.3 in northern Michigan took place in late August 2019, in Traverse City — though it is inaugural in that it moved from TC to Frankfort, about 45 minutes to the west, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It also has a new date; the Traverse City event took place over Labor Day weekend while the Frankfort event is set for the second weekend in September.
It also happens to be an event that holds a special place in Heather’s heart, being the first (and only, so far) IRONMAN 70.3 she’s taken on. In this episode, Heather talks with race director Joel Gaff about what athletes and spectators can expect to experience during IRONMAN 70.3. Joel shares course information, race weekend highlights, and behind-the-scenes details, including what it’s been like to plan for an in-person IRONMAN during the pandemic.
Heather and Joel also cover how they’re both feeling about their own athletic pursuits lately (Heather shares how she made the tough decision to defer to the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Michigan, while Joel talks about getting back on the road and running more after dealing with an injury). Joel, who has two young daughters, also talks about his especially busy summer — he served as race director of another all-new IRONMAN 70.3 in Oregon — and what he’s looking forward to this fall.