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Friday Fueling: Rethink Cottage Cheese

By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor Cottage Cheese doesn’t always get the love that it deserves. It’s one of those foods that was always on the salad bar or thought of as “diet food.” I remember seeing it on menus stuffed into half of an “out of season” cantaloupe, or on the side with a burger,…

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College students hone business skills, help strengthen community & honor local heroism as organizers of this weekend’s BIG Little Hero Run

TRAVERSE CITY—In just a few days, months of hard work and hustle will pay off for a group of college students who are connecting with the local running community to help raise awareness and funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan. These students in the Northwestern Michigan College Professional Communications class have learned first-hand all it takes to…

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Team Red, White & Blue: Helping veterans through running, community connection

Integrating back into civilian life is incredibly challenging for many veterans, and one national organization with a significant presence here in Michigan is helping ease that transition—and life beyond—thanks in part to running. On this week’s show, Heather talks with two west Michigan runners and U.S. Army veterans—Eddie Kline and Ben Foreman—about their involvement with…

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Tips for Staying Injury-free During Race Training

For those of us training for spring marathons and half marathons, our mileage is increasing and we may be experiencing some typical training “aches and pains.” Sometimes it’s nothing more than our body acclimating to the miles we’re logging. Other times, however, we may be on the brink of injury (or, worse, dealing with a…

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Friday Fueling: How to stock a runner’s pantry

By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor On a recent MRG podcast, Miranda Monroe and I chatted with Heather about stocking a healthy pantry. It got me thinking that it might be helpful to create a guide to stocking a healthy pantry for runners. It’s important for runners to consume enough calories from a variety of different food sources.…

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Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 MRG Weekend Retreat (plus BIG speaker news!)

Three months from now, blooming flowers, budding trees and warm breezes will be the norm during our runs. As snow falls outside my window, with a snow-rain-ice mix in this week’s forecast, this springtime scene sounds absolutely magical. I am looking forward to those short-sleeves-and-capris miles, and I’m also eagerly anticipating the second annual Michigan Runner Girl Weekend, set…

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Feel-Good Eating + Cooking Ideas for Runners

For this first Michigan Runner Girl episode of 2017 — click on the player above to listen — Heather welcomes wellness chef Ali Lopez and dietician nutritionist Miranda Monroe back to the show to talk about a favorite topic for runners: food. Many of us may be looking to improve upon our eating in the coming…

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Midwest (Running) Monday: 2016, Steve Rogers and showing up

It’s funny the things that stick with you from certain movies. By Amy Bailey MRG Contributor When I think about 2016 you know what movie scene comes to my mind? The one in which Steve Rogers, pre-Captain America, gets beat up by some dude in an alley. But I don’t focus on the beating. I’m looking at the getting up. I got to give a talk this month about the Chumbawumba Tubthumping effect of the past year to a group of runners who also showed up in a big way again and again. It was at the awards banquet for the Titletown Wellness Race Series, which includes several Green Bay area races. I…

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Episode #75: Everything You Need to Know About Winter Running

We’ve got you covered for running outdoors throughout the next few months. In this “best of” MRG Podcast re-release, 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…

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Friday Fueling: Healthy On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas

By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor September has come and gone and we are nearly through October! How did that happen? Maybe you are back into the swing of things and starting each morning with a balanced, healthy nutritious meal for you and your family. That’s awesome! Or maybe you are still struggling and thinking you don’t…

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Ultimate U.P. Weekend: Our family’s adventures over Labor Day, from Manistique to Munising to Marquette

The final days of summer were ticking by. Quickly. August felt at once lazy-day-summery and jam-packed, thanks to my commitment to get to the beach as much as possible while tending to sports physical appointments, orthodontist visits, back-to-school shopping, work projects, running camp…you all know the drill. Shouldn’t August, our final month of too-short summer,…

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Friday Fueling: Did someone say Taco Party?

By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor Lately I have been eating tacos like crazy! Breakfast, lunch or dinner. And I am not talking about your average taco here. I have been putting everything in a taco and have discovered some amazing combinations and really fun meals. Especially for summertime eating, tacos are perfect. They are quick,…

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{Bonus} Episode #57: Mighty Mac Bridge Run 10K on Sept. 24

Runners have several opportunities each year to cross the Mackinac Bridge on foot, and the Mighty Mac Bridge Run 10K is one of them. This race, which has been an 11K in the past, takes place Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. Runners meet in St. Ignace on race morning and then are shuttled across the Mighty Mac for the start on the southern side of the Bridge, in Mackinaw City. (There will be some awesome photo opps here at Colonial Michilimackinac, with amazing up-close-and-personal views of the Mackinac Bridge.) Runners will then travel north across the Bridge and finish in St. Ignace. Quincy Westhuis, assistant director of the St. Ignace Visitors Bureau, joins…

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Episode #58: Ultra Runners Share Stories of Going Long

Three ultra runners — Jeff Gaft, Dan Oberski and Erika Kuhnle — join Heather to talk about their love of running long distances…super long distances. These Michigan runners each have their own stories of how they got interested in running ultras (defined as any distance longer than a marathon, or 26.2 miles) and what keeps them…

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7 Great 5Ks to Check Out this Fall in Michigan

By Katie Dillman MRG Guest Blogger Who says running can’t be fun? I’ve been slipping my feet into running shoes for 10 years and during that time, I’ve explored Michigan in all kinds of unconventional ways — there are always new trails to take on. 5Ks are a great, low-stress way to get out there and enjoy…

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8 Tips For Eating During Your Ragnar Relay

In about another month, Team MRG will take on its most epic adventure to date: running 200 miles, relay style, from Muskegon to Traverse City as part of the inaugural Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan. This is an entirely new experience for me — running through the night is going to be interesting! — which is why…

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Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

By Ross Deye MRG Contributor For many runners excited about a certain race on their calendar, training goes smoothly and when that day finally arrives, they are confident everything has been done to race at their best. Most runners know, however, that many variables are involved in having things work out as they should. Time…

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Friday Fueling: Chilled Summer Soup

By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor August is here, and with it the last hot days of summer! I don’t know about you, but when it is this hot, I don’t really feel like cooking much, or even eating a heavy meal. But I am still hungry — so what to do? Soup, I say! What?…

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Episode #56: Is Heart Rate Training Right for You?

In this special three-segment episode, Heather explores the idea of following your heart — literally — when running. She talks first with Michigan Runner Girl Lisa Payne Kirker, a New Era, Mich. runner, blogger and mother of two, who decided to try heart rate training this summer. She shares her motivation for giving this method a…

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Episode #55: Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Round up a group of friends to run along the shores of Lake Michigan, starting early on a Friday in one city and finishing Saturday in another…Keep going on little sleep, through the night and traversing all-new running territory. Sounds interesting and memorable, right? Maybe a little crazy, you’re thinking. Talk with experienced “Ragnarians” —…

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Episode #54: Running After a Rare Brain Disease Diagnosis

Rob Swartz was an accomplished runner and triathlete when he was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder — a disease that led him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. where he endured numerous tests and brain scans, met with neurologists, and underwent a brain biopsy. Doctors concluded that he had Chronic Microglial Encephalomyelitis, a condition he…

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Inside the Boyne City Triathlon this Labor Day weekend

Lisa Maginity watched her son Clifton compete in his first triathlon, at age 12, while on her stand-up paddle board in Lake Charlevoix. “I was assigned to help spot and guide the swimmers during the swim portion of the Olympic and sprint distances on my SUP,” Lisa recalls of volunteering at the inaugural Boyne City Triathlon in…

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Best of MRG: 10 (from the heart) tips to get started running

From the Michigan Runner Girl archives: This post, by MRG contributor Heather Quinlan, originally appeared here on Sept. 15, 2014. Heather has an amazing story — you can listen to a recent podcast episode featuring a conversation with her here » — and she shared some great tips that have helped her start and stay running. (You can read her…

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To my daughter, on the eve of your first half marathon…

My sweet girl, Emma… It’s interesting, maybe opportune even, that this big race, this half marathon(!) you are running tomorrow, happens to fall at the end of the school year. It may not be the end of your final year of high school, yet the completion of your sophomore year is bittersweet and momentous all the same. To me,…

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Friday Fueling: Add more avocado into your life!

[Editor’s note: Chef Ali Lopez is running the Bayshore Marathon tomorrow morning — good luck, Ali! We’re all cheering for you — You’ve got this! ~MRG] By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor Anyone who knows me knows that avocados are my thing! In fact, I probably eat an avocado a day. Besides tasting amazing, this little fruit…

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Inside the 2016 Dexter to Ann Arbor Run on June 5

We all have a bucket list of Michigan races we’d like to run, and the Dexter to Ann Arbor Run is on mine. It sounds like a great course — beautiful scenery along the Huron River, with a good dose of challenging hills. (That cold one from Wolverine Brewing Company post-race will taste all the sweeter…

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Friday Fueling: Breakfast Salad

By Ali Lopez MRG Contributor Now that the weather has FINALLY warmed up, I am starting to crave new, lighter foods. But not just for lunch and dinner. I have found a great way to shake up my breakfast routine but still get a whole lot of good nutrition and good taste! And best of…

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Episode #40: Cari Draft, creator of EcoTrek Fitness

Exploring Michigan’s great outdoors and getting a great workout in while doing so is what Cari Draft’s company EcoTrek Fitness is all about. Cari, who lives in Spring Lake with her husband Jeff and their son Austin, is one of west Michigan’s most active and community-involved personal fitness trainers. She talks with Heather about her running…

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Episode #39: Michigan Runner Girls talk favorite races, memorable routes, running rituals

This special podcast episode takes you behind the scenes of the first-ever Michigan Runner Girl Weekend, which was held last weekend, April 22-24, at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City. Heather and retreat co-organizer Pam Carrigan are joined on the show by Michigan Runner Girls who signed on for the Friday-Sunday girls’ getaway, which included plenty of running…

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What it takes to be a pacer + Seaway Run race entry giveaway

Recently named the most scenic road course for runners in Michigan by MLive, the Mercy Health Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon is a favorite among runners, including those who serve as pacers. Just ask Grandville runners Dave Oosterman, 53, and Gail Riddering, 47, longtime friends who are looking forward to again helping runners achieve their…

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Episode #31: The Pure Michigan FITness Series

Log miles at races throughout the state and get cool swag like a hoodie, water bottle, medal, even the chance to win a trip up to the top of the Mackinac Bridge — what’s not to like about that? Heather gets the lowdown on the Pure Michigan FITness Series, offered through the Michigan Fitness Foundation, when…

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Race Insider: the 2016 Mercy Health Seaway Run & Lake Michigan Half Marathon in Muskegon

When it comes to scenic races, the longstanding Mercy Health Seaway Run & Lake Michigan Half Marathon in Muskegon is a runner favorite. It’s the event’s 35th year, and organizers are celebrating the milestone with “anniversary promotions” each month leading up to race day, June 25, 2016. “We’ll also be adding the Celebration Tent at the finish line, where we…

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New Resource: Discount Codes for Michigan Races

Who doesn’t love saving money on their races?! Now available here on MRG: a listing of discount codes for Michigan races. Keep reading to see the codes, and also bookmark this new resource page here »  More codes will be added in coming weeks and months. I wanted to let you all know about this new resource by listing…

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When did you first call yourself a runner?

Please allow me to introduce you all to my brother-in-law Jason. You can’t miss him because he’s tall — very tall, at 6′ 7″. He’s my husband’s youngest brother — Jason affectionately calls Joe, who is 6′ 4″ “little brother” — and he’s a loving and generous soul. And hilarious, like Joe and his entire family. He also…

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Episode #17: The Winter Warriors Race Series in Mt. Pleasant

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…

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Episode #14: Part 2, Bayshore Races in Traverse City

In Part 2 of the Bayshore Races episodes, Race Director Daniel Siderman answers 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…

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Episode #13: Inside the Bayshore Races in Traverse City

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,…

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Episode #12: 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…

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Best of MRG: Getting over a disappointing race experience

This post originally appeared here two years ago, not long after my fifth marathon, in Marquette, Mich. This October 2013 article offers reader-inspired tips on moving past not-so-great race experiences, whether it’s the marathon or another distance. Read on if you could use some encouragement this fall race season (or want to file away these nuggets of wisdom…

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Coach Lisa’s 5K Training Plan

With so many 5Ks held throughout the state year-round, and because this race distance is such a popular one for both new and longtime runners, we’ve decided to share a 5K training plan here on MRG. It also happens that this December, at the annual Farmland 5K in Traverse City, Mich., the Michigan Runner Girl Race Team…

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Who is Michigan Runner Girl?

Six years and five months ago I got the idea – while on a run, of course – to start a blog. As my feet rounded a corner and led me up a familiar neighborhood hill, the name Michigan Runner Girl came to mind. (Nothing like endorphins and sweat to spark our creativity, right?) My heart…

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