Summer Solstice Running Challenge

Dear Running Friends, I’m wondering if anyone would like to do a running challenge this coming week (June 18-24) in celebration of the summer solstice? A few friends I have heard from have mentioned this part of the summer is pretty difficult to stay motivated (heat and busy schedules), so I’m hoping this running challenge will get us all motivated, as well as benefit our community.

The idea is that each runner tracks the miles they walk or run Monday thru Sunday (6/18-6/24) and donate an amount (your choice) per mile to your own favorite charity at the end of the week.

For me, I will run 30-35 miles and send a check for $35 to my local Humane Society where we get our pets.

You could also log by the minute and donate a few cents per minute, as well.

What do you think? It would be cool if we as a group could log 500 miles over the week and $500 to charities.

We can keep in touch throughout the week how we are progressing and motivate each other through these hot summer running days. Please email me ( with your ideas and if you’re interested.


Getting Back to Running

Dear Running Friends,

Although some of our team had great experiences in our goal race, some of us didn’t. That happens sometimes. Based on an email I received tonight from a team member, I wanted to share a quick story in hopes of helping this runner out of a rut. Please comment with your own experiences, too.

My first marathon, I was so excited. I trained carefully, followed a plan, did a half marathon as a test run a month out, read up on all the tips for nutrition, hydration, the works. I felt I was ready.

Race day, mile 10, my knee started giving me fits and continued to give me fits until mile 13. I couldn’t run anymore and had to walk the last half of my first marathon, not the way I had imagined my goal race at all.

Even though I finished the race, I didn’t feel proud of my accomplishment. I was disappointed for weeks, plus I couldn’t run due to waiting for my knee to heal.

After reading up on my injury, I found that softer trail surfaces might be a better match for me, and I signed up for a trail marathon the next year.  I trained more carefully on gravel roads with less of a slant and cross trained more frequently. The next year, despite the trail marathon being  much tougher, I completed the run with no injury and felt successful.

When one run doesn’t work out for us, we have to change, adapt, and head back in for another try with a different strategy. Don’t ever give up on your love for running. It will always give you more back in return.

Keep getting after your training, friends!

Summer Goals

Dear running friends,
Today was the first day after the Bayshore Half that my legs started to feel more zippy again (my definition of zippy), and I was thinking ahead to some summer goals.
One possible goal is the Record Eagle Running Series which encourages runners to set long-term goals for the entire summer. The series includes the Charlevoix races in June, the Cherry Festival races in July, and the Vineyard to Bay races in early September.
Runners pick their category to run in: The Flanagan (two half marathons & a 15k), the Mills (two 10ks and a 15k), or the Prefontaine (three 5ks).
They combine times from the 3 events, and celebrate runners in an Awards Ceremony in September.
Several of our mentors, Rob K and Michelle W, as well as Coach Ross have already signed up, and if you check out the Record Eagle post on FB, you’ll see our mentor Kayla S toeing the starting line, looking ready to race in the previous year’s series.
If you’re looking for a goal to keep you motivated throughout the summer, consider checking out this fun opportunity. Aside from the race registration fees, the Record Eagle portion is free of charge, but the deadline to register is June 14th.
See their website for details: or their Facebook page:
​As always, keep getting after your training and keep in touch!

Celebrating and Setting New Goals

Dear Running Friends,

This morning, we had beautiful weather for our end of session training celebration. I believe the largest group to date met for an easy run (not so easy for Joe and Mentor Mike!) and potluck picnic.

Brooke, Chris, Cindy, Jeffrey, Jenn, Jill, Joe, Kim B, Kim S, Marianne, Nicole, Tracey and Mentors: Rose, Mike, Jill, Tim, Rob, Katie, Candice, Kayla, Angela, and Michelle, along with Coach Ross and Lisa Taylor.

It was wonderful to hear how folks have been doing since the accomplishment of their goal races and the end of the season, as well as what they have as goals for summer training. For example, Coach Ross is looking to the M22 Challenge in a few weeks, Rob and Rose are heading to the Charlevoix races, Brooke is excited about her first 15k at the Cherry Fest, and Angela is working toward her goal of the North Country Trail Half Marathon in August. These are incredible goals, and just a few representing the motivation of our group to keep after their training.

After accomplsihing such a milestone, it is easy to see that as the endpoint, but it is really the starting point of a lifelong relationship with running, with many special moments along the way. There are several ways to keep yourself accountable and improving in the next months.

Several will be looking forward to doing the Track Club Summer Series, which is a neat way to push yourself to stay consistent in your running throughout the summer. Each week, the Track Club sets up a different type of run, and folks receive points for their completion and placing throughout the summer event. See

Others can choose the challenge of running in local races through the Grand Prix Series. You receive 10 points for each local race you complete, with additional points for age group placing. Participate in 10 of the selected races, and you earn an award at the Year End Banquet. See

You can also enjoy a social, group run on the weekly Fun Runs held at local restaurants around the area. See

All of these options are free, open to anyone, and most of all, give you a fun reason to keep your training going throughout these busy summer months. Even though we don’t have an official training in session, I hope you will take part in some of these opportunities, or just reach out to your running friends to set up a running date.  We have built some very meaningful friendships among this group, so make sure to use them to lean on and support you while you continue to train.

Keep in touch with us and let us know events you are participating in.  Hope to see and hear from you all soon!

Quick Reminders:

  • Saturday 6/2: Easy group run and Celebration potluck picnic brunch for all training participants and family members at Medalie Park at 8:00am

What a weekend for TCTC Training Team!

Despite the weather, everyone finished their races this weekend on very warm and humid days.

In the Bayshore: Amy P., Aubrey H., Rose C., Kristen O., Mike H., Tim M., Ali B., Caroline S., Chris B., Kendal F., Kim S., Marianne P., Megan G., Jill T., Katie A., Candice H., Amy D., Tracey W., Ross D., Belinda S., Reid J., Rob K., Kayla S., and Michelle W. all completed their races.

Special shoutout to Katie A who worked so hard on her pacing this session and reached her goal pace on her first half! Way to go, lady!

Shoutout to our marathoners, Michelle, Kayla, Rob, Belinda, and Reid to conquered an amazing challenge with the heat. Despite an injury earlier in the season and pain during the race, Reid defeated this marathon and finished it! Good job, Reid!

Also, Jill T.’s son, Jaiden, placed 31st overall in the Bayshore 10k, an amazing accomplishment despite being so young. Mentor Mike H., also placed third (AG).

Sunday’s North Mitten also had great team representation: Jenn C , Kim B, Rose C, Jill M, Cindy R, and Angela I all completed amazing races in another scorching day.  Angela placed (3AG) in the 10k, (woot woot) and Joe C (2AG) in the 5k. Way to go, Joe!

Special shoutout to Jill M completing her first 10k!! What a milestone, and I hear you are already setting your sights on another goal, too!

So, after the race, I spoke to several of you. Some of you had an awesome race day. Some of you said you felt terrible. We don’t always get to control how we feel on a given race day, but we can control how we let this influence our training. After rehydrating, refueling, and recovering, I hope that all of you spend some time thinking about your next running goal. You have made awesome progress this session, but that is why running is so special. There is always progress to be made, whether physically or mentally.

Give yourself a week or two of rest, then get after another running goal. Maybe a different distance or a different race day strategy. Either way, go out there and get after another goal.

Awesome work team! See you Saturday at our potluck brunch run at Medalie Park for celebration of all of your accomplishments!




What a Weekend for Many of Us

Quick Reminders:

  • Saturday 5/26: Race Days at Bayshore and Top of Michigan (Sunday North Mitten Races)
  • Monday 5/28: First day of Summer Session I (no scheduled run due to holiday)
  • Saturday 6/2: First official group run of Summer Session and Celebration potluck picnic brunch for all training participants and new participants at Medalie Park at 8:00am

Dear running friends,

I just wanted to post a quick note to make sure we all were aware of the amazing goals and accomplishments in the works this final weekend of TCTC Winter Training 2018.

  • In the Bayshore 10k, we have: Amy P, Aubrey H, Rose C., Kristen O., Mike H.,  and Tim M.
  • In the Bayshore half marathon, we have: Ali B, Caroline, Chris B., Kendal F., Kim S., Marianne P., Megan G., Jill T., Katie A., Candice, Amy, Tracey W., and Ross D.
  • In the Bayshore full marathon, we have: Belinda S., Reid J., Rob K., Kayla S., and Michelle W.
  • In the North Mitten 10k, we have Cindy R., Mimi A., Kim B., Jill M., Jenn C., and Angela I.,
  • In the North Mitten 5k, we have Joe C.,
  • In the Top of Michigan Half Marathon, we have Jeffrey J.

I am amazed at this incredible list of individuals competing against themselves, other racers, and the weather this weekend. We are so proud of all of you and will be thinking of each of you in your races this weekend. It has been a pleasure to watch you all grow and reach your goals this winter training session. Best of luck to all of you and hope to see you again soon in our next training session!

Go team!

Stepping up to the Starting Line

  • Quick Reminders:
  • Saturday 5/26: Race Day at Bayshore
  • Monday 5/28: First day of Summer Session I (no scheduled run due to holiday)
  • Saturday 6/2: First official group run of Summer Session and Celebration potluck picnic brunch for all training participants and new participants at Medalie Park at 8:00am

Attending the RRCA Level I Coaching Certification course in Ohio this past weekend was a phenomenal experience. Our instructor was Cari Setzler, who was a high powered, dynamo of a woman. It was so inspirational to learn about running and coaching topics from someone so confident and competitive. We learned about many running topics, but I wanted to focus on one aspect that might be helpful as we lead into our goal race weekend of winter training.

One story she talked about was being at the start of a marathon as part of a group of elite women. Although all women were considered top runners, no one wanted to step up to the line. Everyone was starting about 3 feet back. Though Cari was nowhere near the fastest in the group, she walked right up to the starting line to have the best possible advantage in her race. She wasn’t afraid to do something scary, to take a risk.

For most of us, we are nearing the end of an 18 or 9 week session full of workouts we never would have dreamed possible. We may also be attempting a distance or pace goal that we have never accomplished before. This is scary… for all of us.

But, as you race on Saturday, let’s all of us try to take this fear and step right up to it like Cari did. Have confidence in yourself. Celebrate the competitor in each of you, leave nothing out there, fight past the rough patches, and fully enjoy the journey you have undertaken.

You will rock this race day!

Beginning the Taper

Quick Reminders:

  • Monday 5/14 at 6:00pm at Right Brain for optional, informal run
  • Saturday 5/19 at 8:00am (7:45am check-in) for group run on Leelanau Trail
  • Monday 5/21 at 6:00pm at Darrow Park
  • Saturday 5/26 BAYSHORE!
  • Saturday 6/2 Picnic group run at Medalie Park celebration

Dear running friends,

We had many successes this past Saturday. Quite a few of our runners participated in the Fifth Third Bank River Bank run in Grand Rapids (right pic), and we also had good representation at the Mesick Mushroom Festival 5k (left pic). Congratulations racers!

Others of our runners also accomplished their longest run of either 7 or 16 weeks of training during our Bayshore course dress rehearsal run.

Everyone, take a second to smile and tell yourself ‘Good job!’ We don’t  take time to appreciate these milestones along the way to a bigger goal, but they are important, too. Good job!

Because these accomplishments give us motivation, it is easy to over-do training. At this point, Coach Ross’s favorite saying is ‘the hay is in the barn’. We are definitely all riding high at the moment, but our jobs in the next two week are to celebrate the results of our hard work, not to increase fitness.

So, be good to yourself through healthy re-fueling, sleeping, and good stress management. Our running mentor Michelle wisely is going to take an extra recovery day this week. Feel free to do the same.

Saturday 5/19, our group run is a fun speed work session. We begin with an easy warm-up, followed by repeated intervals of 60 seconds semi-hard and 60 seconds easy. You’ll love it! Because intervals are so short, you’ll never get bored. It is a great way to lighten up your legs before Bayshore.

Candice will be leading this run, as the TC Track Club is sending me to a Road Runners Club of America coaching certification. I will miss you all, but I am looking forward to this opportunity to gain knowledge to share and grow our training group.

Keep in touch and reach out to myself and your mentors whenever you have questions or concerns. Have a great week, my friends!


Something here and there

Quick reminders

  • Saturday 5/12 at 8am at Peninsula Township Park on Bowers Harbor Rd for  long steady distance run on Bayshore course
  • Monday 5/14 at 6pm at Right Brain for optional, informal group run

I heard from two separate runners in the last few days a similar theme of feeling like quitting, because they couldn’t get their full scheduled minutes in.

How many of us feel like that?

I heard from one runner that family health concerns and caring for loved ones has made getting minutes in difficult, especially these past few weeks. Another runner was behind on their training and wanted to drop her scheduled race.

But after talking to their mentors, they realized that getting a few minutes in of training was still meaningful and still made them feel better. Even 5-10 minutes still clears and refreshes our heads, right?

They realized that no race has to be pace perfect. You can still go out and just have fun at a pace healthy for you.  How great is it to be part of a bunch of folks paying good money to run 13.1 to 26.2 miles? Loads of fun, right?

So, if you are feeling like any of these of our running friends this week, try “giving yourself permission for shorter runs” as one runner said  to me.

Thanks everyone for sharing! We are a great community to be part of, so never hesitate to reach out when you’re struggling.



Boardman Lake

  • Quick Reminders:
  • Monday 5/7 at 6:00pm at Filling Station for informal, optional group run
  • Saturday 5/12 at 8:00am for group run beginning at Peninsula Township Park on Bowers Harbor Rd

One of our most beautiful Saturday mornings to date, I believe! We had an enthusiastic (some more enthusiastic than others-see pic below) group of running friends meet this morning at Medalie Park for a workout of intervals around Boardman Lake Trail.

Brooke, Jeff, Jenn, Joe, Kim B, Tracey, Laura, Marianne, Nicole, Candice, Mike, Kayla, Tim, Rose, Katie, Rob, and Michelle all succeeded in their minutes for the day Congratulations!  Following the run, many of us stayed around to chat and catch up on running stories with the weather being so nice!

We did, however, find out that bathrooms at parks won’t be open until after Memorial Day. So (apologies for another date change), we are going to reschedule our Brunch Potluck/Picnic for the Saturday after Bayshore, June 2nd. This way we can share stories of Bayshore/North Mitten runs, as well as welcome new members to our Summer Session. Please feel free to invite any past training members, too!

Another fun announcement is that next  Saturday 5/12, we have our dress rehearsal for the Bayshore/North Mitten runs. We will be starting at Peninsula Township Park and running the start of the Half Marathon course (or the second half of the full marathon). For those of you with enough minutes, you can run the entire course. If you have fewer minutes, you could do an out-and-back based on your own preference. Marathoners can run as much of their marathon route as their minutes allow.

We will coordinate carpooling options for runners, so you can get back to the park afterward. Please let us know if you are interested or in need of a ride.

I hope you are getting excited for the nearness of our goal races! Have a great training week!