First, how’s everyone hanging in there?

If you’re like me, your mood can change quickly and your outlook might be hopeful one day and downright icky the next. However we’re feeling — it’s normal. I believe we should be extra gentle with ourselves as we navigate these strange times. It’s scary to think about what’s to come in the next few days, weeks and months as we endure stay-at-home orders and quarantines, face job loss and change, and worry about our health and the health of our loved ones.

I believe in the power of thinking positively, now more than ever. And finding the joy, wherever we can and no matter how small it may seem, each and every day. (My joy-spotting this morning: watching this wonderfully uplifting YouTube channel created by John Krasinski. If you’re a fan of John and The Office, or simply want to hear about the good in the world, please take some time to watch this.)

I’m also grateful for this community of like-minded individuals. I have been buoyed by the conversations over on the Michigan Runner Girl page, by the personal emails I’ve received, and the stories I am reading as I scroll through my Facebook feed (is anyone else smiling at the posts friends are sharing about how they’re helping our health care workers by sewing masks and donating other much-needed items, or keeping their fitness businesses going by switching to online class on Zoom or another platform?)

Check out this Facebook business page — Mi Sew Haven — which is owned and operated by Janelle, a Michigan Runner Girl!

I’m trying to get outside and walk or run on a regular basis. It hasn’t been all that easy. Or, I should say, my motivation has definitely taken a hit. I’ve also started a new job — yep, smack in the middle of all of this, I started a new communications job, in the financial services industry — and from day one, I hit the ground running. It’s been exciting and overwhelming. I’m grateful for this new opportunity, it’s a job I accepted in late February before everything started to fall apart, but it’s also been an experience unlike any other. I went from working in healthcare, in the marketing and communications department at Munson Healthcare, to working in another industry that happens to have its own kind of unique COVID-19 impacts. 

And, I’m trying very hard to keep things going strong with Michigan Runner Girl. This means staying connected with all of you best I can, sharing my heart in posts on the MRG  Facebook page and on Instagram. I really enjoy connecting with you and hearing your experiences, too. Thank you for sharing with me, with us.

As I shared recently, the MRG podcast is on a (hopefully short) break. Since I record in my producer’s home studio, it was the right thing to hit pause. I am, however, looking at recording from my home in the near future. I’m looking forward to sharing new episodes with you all very soon. In the meantime, I thought it’s a good time to revisit some of the greatest hits — especially popular episodes that can help all of us stay motivated and inspired. I’m starting with some of the top downloaded episodes that feature well-known and everyday runners alike who have this in common: compelling stories of finding their best selves through running and an endurance lifestyle. (There are plenty more in the archives — I may have to do another installment of these!)

I hope you’ll take a listen to one (or more) on your next run! Click on the link above each photo to listen, or use your favorite podcast app to listen — and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Episode #94: David Willey, former Runner’s World editor (and current Michigan resident)

David Willey, editor-in-chief of Runner’s World magazine, talked with MRG when he in the midst of training hard to qualify for Boston. He ran the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. He joined Heather on the MRG podcast to talk about his training as well as his ties to Michigan.

Episode #66: Mel and Tori of Fellow Flowers 

Tori and Mel, who founded Fellow Flowers. Mel is now the sole operator of this amazing community. If you’re not already following her on social media and receiving her emails, I highly recommend doing so!

Episode #114: Des Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon champion, northern Michigan resident

Look who I ran into during one of my marathons?! Olympic marathoner and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden!

and episode #127: Des Linden, recorded live with listeners in the audience!

Episode #78: Luke Humphrey, elite runner and book author 

Luke Humphrey

Episode #93: Dimity + Sarah of Another Mother Runner

Two amazing women whose words have inspired me to keep on running.

Episode #79: Running for mental health with Sasha Wolff

Sasha Wolff, a Grand Rapids Michigan Runner Girl, is founder of Still I Run, an organization aimed at raising awareness of mental health.

Episode #104: Total Trek Quest with Vicki Cavanaugh

Vicki and me after a recent run in Traverse City. It was such a treat to have the chance to run together after recording the podcast episode!

Episode #103: Julie Millen, an ultra runner who runs for others

Julie Millen (left) at the Marine Corp Marathon.

Do you have a favorite MRG podcast episode? Coming later this week: Top race recap episodes. 

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