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 is happiest in my home state, and running, well, by then it had become an integral part of me – an essential component of my everyday life. It was, truly, a game-changer. And as a writer, I yearned to meld my love of words with this passion in ways I hadn’t before.

So I sat down one night and began piecing together Michigan Runner Girl.

Throughout these past few years, this site has evolved, much like my lifestyle. As a journalist, I long wanted Michigan Runner Girl to be more than just a place for me to talk about my running journey (though there’s plenty of that, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of this, and the friends I’ve made here along the way). I also wanted to create a space where fellow runners and Michigan lovers like myself could connect and be inspired – through the sharing of race tales, runner stories, and photographs of Michigan’s gorgeous landscapes. I envisioned a one-stop-spot for celebrating health and motion and awesome living in the Great Lakes state — a friendly, reliable, credible and interesting site for readers to return to time and again.

As this community has grown, and as I dream and plan for even more cool things to add to Michigan Runner Girl, I want to share a bit about me and where I am now, to give new (and longtime) readers a sense of what I’m all about – and where I’m heading.

First, some basic but important information you might not know: I’m a mom of three, to Emma, 16, Andrew, 14, and Alex, 11. This year my husband Joe and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. Running, without a doubt, helps me be a better mom and partner to my family. Parenting and marriage aren’t easy – I share an honest account of this in the book Tales From Another Mother Runner – but as it is with running, working hard at these parts of my life, day after day, with the knowledge that being present and true to myself is what makes all the difference, is how I choose to live my life. (I’m far from perfect with this, but I keep trying.)

One of my favorite family photos, in a favorite Michigan place - Tahquamenon Falls State Park. ~ 2013.

One of my favorite family photos, in a favorite Michigan place – Tahquamenon Falls State Park. ~ 2013.

Joe and me, summer 2014.

Joe and me, summer 2014.

I’m excited and humbled to be in this position of getting to know so many amazing runners in Michigan (and beyond). From the beginning, you all have made me smile with your comments to things I’ve written. I’ve received the nicest emails and most helpful feedback. I’ve met true friends and even real-life running partners through MRG. I’m grateful for the MRG Facebook page, too, which has grown significantly in recent time and has allowed for great conversations and photo sharing (by me as well as numerous readers who offer wisdom and inspiration by sharing their own racing and running stories and photos). I also love the interactions I have over on Instagram, where I post my favorite running routes and can find new ones by following other Michigan runners.

One of the best things about Michigan Runner Girl: meeting fellow Michigan Runner Girls. This weekend I met up with (from the left) Amy, Marie and Kari. They were up north to wine, dine, shop and RUN. They each bought an MRG hoodie, and I'm so excited I was able to hand deliver these to them!

One of the best things about Michigan Runner Girl: meeting fellow Michigan Runner Girls. A couple of years ago I met up with (from the left) Amy, Marie and Kari. They were up north to wine, dine, shop and RUN. They each bought an MRG hoodie, and I’m so excited I was able to hand deliver these to them!

I’ve got big plans for Michigan Runner Girl. But I’m all about growing in smart ways. When we tackle a new-to-us race distance, or we decide to push hard to snag a new PR, to do it right we need to have patience. We can’t break two hours in the half marathon or run our first 5K or sign up for an ultra without careful planning and sufficient preparation. I’ve felt the same about growing this community. I’ve interviewed enough business owners over the years to know that the most successful ones took risks but also were OK with growing slowly and steadily. “We want to grow organically” was a common refrain I heard, meaning doing their due diligence but also letting the process unfold naturally. I am trying hard to do this with MRG, as I’ve added things such as a clothing line, partnerships with Michigan races, a weekly podcasta weekend retreat for Michigan Runner Girls in northern Michigan, a winter fitness challenge with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the monthly MRG newsletter. It’s not always easy, and some days I just want to do it all at once – offer amazing things to all of you right here, right now and just keep going and going … yet, I come to my senses, I reign in my too-fast pace, and re-focus. This all being said, I am excited to move forward with a few big projects that I plan to launch and reveal in coming weeks: more race partnerships, which give you, MRG readers, opportunities to receive sweet swag and race deals and discounts; special events at Michigan State Parks in 2017; participation at race expos and race weekend events throughout the state. You can expect more details on these adventures very soon!

I also have on tap more runner profiles and race recaps. And my Bayshore Marathon 2017 training is set to begin this month — I am very excited to share this training journey with you! (There’s loads of additional inspiration from Michigan runners here on the Do You Run Michigan page. And if you’re searching for great places to Michigan to run, definitely go to the Plan Your Next Michigan Run page »)

How about this view! Atop Alligator Hill in Leelanau County, overlooking Lake Michigan. It was quite the climb up, but worth every step.

How about this view! Atop Alligator Hill in Leelanau County, overlooking Lake Michigan. It was quite the climb up, but worth every step.

Dark chocolate, Lake Michigan beaches, cheese (oh, cheese!), long trail runs, lazy afternoons watching college football or college basketball, orange juice, Michigan craft beers…these are a few of my favorite things. (Because maybe you want to know a few details like this…)

Ever wonder about my very first post? You can read it here » 

A podcast featuring me and the great guys behind Endurance Evolution can be found here »

Have you checked out the MRG About Page?

What do YOU want to see more of on Michigan Runner Girl? I welcome your honest and helpful thoughts…

I’m so happy you’re all here with me. Let’s keep running! 

 

 

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