'Espresso blue' running skirt = happiness
My new ‘Espresso blue’ running skirt = happiness

Sometime in the past five or so years, my post-second baby attempt to get-in-shape-already morphed from twice-weekly visits to the gym (free babysitter! an hour to myself!)  to building in occasional solo walk/runs around my hilly neighborhood, to trying out an early-morning runners group to signing up for my first race (so green was I about this sport that I agreed to a 25K with said running group – what can I say but ignorance truly is bliss)… to, well, today. An obsessed runner, it seems.

The roads and trails I’ve taken to get here, though, haven’t been without their stops and starts. After a flurry of races in 2007 — the 25K, a half marathon, 5K and 10K — running somehow got tucked away in a corner of what was becoming an increasingly busy and complicated life. Looking back, I should have kept with it more, given its ability to ease most any stress that comes my way (or that I can possibly create for myself.) But I chose another path then, one that didn’t require setting out running clothes and an alarm clock for 5:15 a.m. I did attempt a couple of smaller races, but there was no denying just how out of shape I’d become. Who knows, though, maybe it was by going through that darker time of little physical exercise that made it all the sweeter when I returned.

And I did return, in late 2008 at the Detroit Half Marathon. Finishing not even close to my PR set a year and a half prior, I relished the race nontheless. I ran by myself, meeting not one single family member or friend at the finish line. But my dad was waiting for me back at the hotel, and I couldn’t stop smiling.

Since that triumphant race that took me into Canada and back to Detroit in the under-water tunnel, I have not racked up tons of races – yet. I began training for a full marathon not long after the Detroit race, and I even got up to a 16 mile-training run. But tendonitis struck my left achilles weeks before race  day. I stopped running for awhile — a heartbreaking experience, but I didn’t want to injure myself further — and ended up running the race’s 10K event. I intitially felt sad and defeated about the whole thing, but have since determined it just wasn’t my time to run a marathon. I wasn’t ready.

That was well over a year ago, and save for the Bayshore Half Marathon last month — set a new PR at 1:47:47 — I’ve been focused less on races and more on adding mileage, avoiding injuries and strengthening my core through pilates. I’m also honored to have helped coached a running program for grade-school girls the past two years. Fit, healthy, happy. That’s what I’m aiming for. And, running a marathon soon. And maybe maybe maybe qualifying for Boston. I did say I was obsessed.

Along with hanging with my family — my husband and I now have three young kids — and lovely girlfriends who truly make my world go ’round, I can’t seem to get enough these days of all things running. And as a magazine journalist and blogger, I find myself writing more often about it. Which led me to want to start Michigan Runner Girl — a place I plan  to share my love of running as well as the stories of those like me, both women and men, who get a thrill out of lacing up and pounding the pavement or taking to the trails . I hope you’ll keep coming here for running and racing news, events and people — here in Michigan and beyond.

Get out and run!

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