Running in the Mitten & Beyond!


DIS Veteran
Mar 28, 2013
Hello friends! Many of you know me from the Running Thread, but for those who don’t, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sharon, I am 43 years old, and as you’ve probably guessed, I live in Michigan. I’ve been married to my hubby Chris for over 16 years and we have three kids - Ben (15), Sam (13), and Allison (11) - and one fur child, a pit bull named Winnie.

I have been running for about 14 years, but it wasn’t until about 3.5 years ago that I started distance running. Since 2015, I have run 13 half marathons, 3 25K’s, and 4 full marathons, including Dopey (2018). My friends & family joke about my running obsession, calling it a mid-life crisis, and maybe that’s how it started (before my 40th Birthday), but I love it so much and I will continue to run as long as my body will let me. It is part of who I am - I am a RUNNER.

I decided to start a training journal because 2019 is a big year of racing for me and I need to stay motivated and accountable. I’ll get into more detail on my 2019 race schedule in another post, but a few highlights include: Star Wars Rival Run/Kessel Challenge, my first trail half marathon, and the Chicago Marathon.

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Next up: A 2018 recap

  • jmasgat

    DIS Veteran
    Jun 14, 2006
    I usually don't follow journals, but how can I pass up the opportunity to support a fellow Michigander? (although I really wish it was Michiganian) Your accomplishments are already impressive.
  • michigandergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 28, 2013
    Early 2018 Race Recap:

    January - My first Dopey Challenge

    Running 48.6 miles over 4 days was an epic way to start the year. I had a blast running those races! The feeling I had after crossing the finish line on marathon day is indescribable, definitely one of life's greatest moments. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love the energy of Marathon Weekend, I wish I could go every year.


    February - Groundhog half marathon

    This race is a great way to stay motivated to run in the winter. This was my 3rd year running this one and the weather is always interesting, as February usually is in Michigan. I had good fitness going into this one, fresh off Dopey, and although running in the snow is challenging, I managed to get a course PR.


    March - Irish Jig 5K

    I ran this one with my son Sam and a bunch of his classmates from school. They trained at school during gym class. He did great, only walking up the hills.


    April - The Gazelle Girl half marathon

    This is an all women race with a flat course. The weather was perfect and I PR'd with a time of 2:05:17!!!

    May - River Bank Run 25K

    Again, the weather was perfect and I PR'd with a time of 2:34:36!!! This was the third year in a row I was able to PR both the Gazelle and River Bank races, only 3 weeks apart. They also give a bonus medal to women running both of these races - love bonus bling!



    DIS Veteran
    Mar 28, 2013
    Later 2018 Race Recap:

    June/July - Diemer 5K and Reeds Lake 10K

    These were just hot & slow runs with friends. I lost a few months worth of pictures when I dropped my phone in the river during a kayaking mishap. :rolleyes2

    August - Go Rogue Rockford Run 3.5 miles/Kayak 3.5 miles

    This was a new race that I just had to try because I love running and I love kayaking, plus this is my home turf - the start line was only a mile from my house. And because I don't know how to kayak without drinking beer, my friend & I stowed beers in our kayaks before we dropped them off. The funny thing is we weren't the only ones, so we had quite a leisurely party float down the river. I definitely want to do this race again. :drinking1


    September - Holland Haven half marathon

    My friends & I ran this one as a training run leading up to our fall marathons. It's a nice course with great food handed out at aid stations, like blueberries and bacon.

    October - GRR Runway 5K

    I ran this one with my oldest son Ben. He is one of those kids that likes video games a little too much, so I coax him into running a race with me every so often. I think he secretly likes it and I'm trying bring out the runner in him! This was a neat course on one of the runways at the airport.


    October - Grand Rapids Marathon

    There is a portion of this course I hate - an out & back during miles 15-21 where I struggled mentally, but I persevered and got a massive PR with a time of 4:40:40!!! Loved having my family on the course.


    November - Dirty Duel trail race (3.6 miles)

    My first trail race and I loved it! We had an early November snow and it was so pretty running in the woods.

    I should probably mention these lovely ladies in my pics, my friends & running partners. The short one, Shannon, I have known since elementary school and is the one who talked me into running marathons. The tall one, Angie, is a friend/coworker who I talked into running marathons. And now all three of us are always talking each other into new & crazy races.

    November - Trails to Hope 5 Miler

    My second trail race. I did this one Thanksgiving weekend. It was a rainy, muddy mess, but still super fun. I love races where they take pictures and share them free of charge.


    That's a wrap! It was an awesome year of running!

    Next up: 2019 race schedule and goals.


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 28, 2013

    Happy New Year!!!

    Last night was very low key. We had pizza, then went to see Aquaman :love:, and then played cards with the kids. I behaved myself.

    My new @DopeyBadger training plan started today! I opted for the treadmill this morning because it's like a skating rink outside from the freezing rain from last night.

    2019 Race Schedule & Goals

    February 2: Groundhog Half Marathon - 4th time running this one, no goal, just a reason to go run in the snow and freezing cold with a bunch of other crazy people.

    March 2: Winter Trail Fest 5 Miler - I've been venturing into trail running recently, so this race is new to me. This race is affectionately known as the *** race - again, it's winter and no doubt it will be interesting running conditions. The only goal is to not injure myself.

    April 5-7: Star Wars Rival Run/Kessel Challenge - Spring Break trip to Disney! The whole family is running the 5K and I'll be running the 10K & Half solo. I'm super excited for this trip! I've got to start working on running costumes.

    April 14: Gazelle Girl Half Marathon - I'm really hoping for a half PR, but they moved this race up a week due to Easter, so it's a week after the Star Wars weekend and I'm not sure how that's going to factor into things. Coach is giving me the green light to go ahead and race it.

    April 27: Hurt the Dirt Trail 1/4 marathon (6.5 mi) - Another new trail race for me, no goal.

    May 11: River Bank Run 25K - PR effort.

    August 24: North Country Rail Race Half Marathon - My first trail half marathon! Again, only goal is to not injure myself. The finisher medal is supposed to be HUGE!!!

    October 13: Chicago Marathon - This will be my 5th marathon and first World Marathon Major. I'm hoping to break the Oprah line. I'm also doing something I've never done before, running on a charity team. I'll be running for the March of Dimes, which is a charity I am passionate about, funding research for premature babies & birth defects. I will go into more detail in a later post, but long story short, my oldest son was born very premature, so this is a charity near & dear to me.

    My fundraising page is up & running, but am I allowed to share the link in this thread??

    Other thoughts:

    My ultimate goal for this year is to stay healthy for Chicago. Anything else will be icing on the cake.

    I'll likely be adding some smaller trail races in preparation for the North Country half. I'll also have to do quite a bit of trail running in conjunction with marathon training, so that could be tricky, but we'll figure that out later.

    I don't really like to make specific resolutions, but I'm going to try to do more yoga. Right now I'm doing one 30 minute and one 60 minute session a week, so I'm going to try and add a couple of smaller 20 minute sessions to that. Yoga is the key to my survival.

    Wishing you all a happy & healthy new year! :-)


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