This weekend ahead is somewhat bittersweet, running-wise, for me. It’s Gazelle Girl weekend and a group of my best running friends are making the trek from TC to GR to run the half marathon. Last year we all ran the race together, making a girls’ getaway of it, and we had a blast.
This year, though, I’ll be somewhere else. I’ll be 941 miles east of my girls, in fact. I’ll be in Boston.
Yes, this is the (incredibly) sweet part: being in Boston … running the world’s oldest marathon on Monday, Patriot’s Day … toeing the start line of the race I’ve been gearing up for these past 18 weeks…
I’m beyond excited, to say the least. And nervous. And amazed it’s finally here. (I’ll be posting to the MRG Facebook page all weekend from Boston, and look for a race recap next week!)
But I also can’t help be a tad sad about missing out on what’s sure to be a fantastic race weekend for Pam, Katie, Erin and Jen — and all of the hundreds of others signed up for the half marathon and 5K this Sunday in Grand Rapids.
I do know, however, that I’ll be there in spirit. Michigan Runner Girl will have a booth at the race expo on Saturday, with my lovely, helpful and supportive friends serving as MRG ambassadors. I would love for you all to stop by and say hello! While I won’t have MRG clothing available for sale (this is due to an expo sponsor policy), I promise there’ll be some goodies and loads of info … and a cool giveaway you’ll want to check out. Please don’t be shy. I know Pam, Erin, Katie and Jen would love to meet you guys–and you’ll want to meet them, too.
In that spirit, here’s more about each of the MRG ambassadors:
MRG Ambassador: Pam Carrigan
How I got started running: I have been running on and off since participating in in high school track. Running is one of my favorite activities to do with friends – you get to catch up with them and get a workout in! Perfect!
I’m looking forward to… Hanging with a few of my closest friends and meeting new people at the MRG booth. Oh, and running the race will be fun too….
Training for Gazelle: Overall, my training has been great! I’m following the Hansons Half Marathon Program (beginner) and I am completely amazed at how many more miles a week I can put in versus what I thought I could! Unfortunately, I may have taken the speed work a little too seriously and am nursing a sore shin because of it. Pretty confident that I am on the mend.
Best race distance: It’s been a long time since I’ve done a 10K, but that may be my favorite race distance. At least I remember really enjoying them. Halfs are just so darn long!
Running in the Mitten: My parents have a B & B in Presque Isle on Lake Huron and it is my favorite place to run. So quiet, scenic, peaceful…..and flat! The best part about being a Michigan Runner Girl is the camaraderie — being around other MRG’s is awesome. It keeps me motivated.
MRG Ambassador: Erin Henshaw
Former running motto: “I only run when being chased.”
How I got started: In 2005 my family decided to run the Bayshore 10K, all of us. My husband and I were active but not runners; my dad was taking a run/walk class; my brother, sister-in-law and sisters were runners. Having two young kids at home, I barely trained. The weekend before the 10K I headed out the door on my final “training run” and told my husband I would be home in two hours. He gave me a questioning look and asked why I was going to run for so long. I had to fess up that I hadn’t trained and wanted to make sure I could walk six miles without going out of my mind. My dad stuck with me the entire race and we finished the 10K at a slow but steady pace without any walk breaks in just over an hour.
MRG Ambassador: Katie Kearney
How I got started running: I started running when I was in middle school, really just for something to do. All of my friends ran track so I decided I wanted to also. I honestly did not start to love running until I was late high school. I was never good at it and always came in towards the end in all of the cross country meets and high school. Once I realized it didn’t matter if I won or lost, I realize how much I loved it.
MRG Ambassador: Jen Gorman
Best race distance: My favorite is 10K because it’s not too overwhelming. However, I feel like I need to add at least one half into my repertoire to keep pushing myself. Like anything in life, it’s easy to settle into what’s comfortable but it feels empowering to step up to a challenge.
Running in the Mitten: I have been running a lot on East Grand Traverse Bay and West Bay this fall and winter. It’s so beautiful to see the sun and water and be reminded that this is where we live. We are so blessed!
Best part about being a Michigan Runner Girl: It’s never boring or mundane — with four very different seasons and various scenery and terrains to choose, from every run is unique. Whether you finish a 5-miler in -15 conditions or a perfect 10-mile run along the bay with a beautiful breeze, the feeling of accomplishment, peace and gratitude are there every time.