“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 statements — comments shared at one time with Maria Yeager — ran through the Petoskey, Mich. runner’s mind earlier this year when she got injured. At the time, she had been crushing miles on her treadmill and pushing herself hard during high intensity interval training with a friend. She’d felt strong. But the foot injury was stubborn, halting her training and refusing to heal even after Maria, a physical therapist assistant, did all the right things to make it better.

Still, Maria pushed these negative thoughts aside and found herself even more determined to stay focused on her health and fitness. “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. 

To listen to Maria’s story on the latest MRG podcast episode, click on the player at the top of this post. Or, download the episode (and subscribe to the show!) using your favorite podcast app.

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 me on the MRG 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. Exercise to me is my mental de-stress — that is how I get a handle on it.”

maria yeager

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.


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