Meet the LRC – April Member Spotlight 2016

Nakanishi (1)

Matt Nakanishi – a man of many (s)miles

Matt has been on my list of people to write about for a long time. However, I thought it would be best to do so when we could join him in celebrating his achievement of not only completing 50 marathons before he turns 50 but by doing it at his first Boston Marathon in two weeks.

He only started running at 28 years old because a softball injury left him sidelined and gaining weight. While at first he did it to lose the weight, he found running to be enjoyable and within a year, he raced the 1999 Lake County Races from Zion to Highland Park then the 1999 Chicago Marathon. After one summer of marathon training, he was hooked. He soon added a spring marathon, then others when a thought occurred that if he kept this up, he could complete 50 marathons before he turned 50. He’s run the Chicago Marathon every year except one since then, the Fox River Marathon every year since its inception in 2010, and the Disney World Marathon (as part of the Goofy and Dopey Challenges, no less) since 2013 as a way to incorporate a family vacation. Or is it the other way around? With the Boston Marathon, he will finish this goal 4 and 1/2 years early.

But qualifying for the Boston Marathon was never really a thought, until…

Shortly after the LRC formed in the beginning of 2014, Matt heard about this new club that was going to have track workouts at Libertyville High School. Intrigued, he started following our Facebook group. When he saw us volunteering at an aid station at the North Shore Classic Half Marathon dressed in costumes and having a good ol’ time, he knew this was the club for him. The LRC played a huge role in Matt running PRs in every distance he raced in 2015 and ultimately in qualifying for Boston at his 40th marathon (2015 Illinois Marathon): the summer and winter speed workouts, various cross-training offerings the LRC sponsored, the group long runs, and field trips to Barrington with LRC & Fleet Feet Chicago all helped him earn that Runner Passport to Boston.

Prior to the Club, he ran indoors during winter and mostly alone year-round. With the LRC being active all year, he was motivated by others on those long, or cold, or fast runs. As a result, he pushed himself more, resulting in stronger and faster runs, than if he had done it alone. One of the best things about the LRC to Matt is that while someone is always there to push him, everyone enjoys running and no one seems to take it too seriously. He has found the LRC to be an amazing group of people who are fun to hang out with outside of running.

When Matt’s schedule gets too hectic, he likes that he can train with his running buddies virtually through the LRC Strava page and feel connected to the LRC. This virtual motivational tool has proven helpful for many, including all of us that bore witness to Matt’s impressive mileage total for 2015 and what he is currently doing as part of his Boston training. Hint: it’s a lot! If you use any type of GPS tracking, feel free to join us on Strava. Matt will surely motivate you. 

Take all this running and add to it that Matt plays ice hockey and you have to wonder how he finds time to get it all in. You also have to wonder why he’s mixing running with ice hockey! He claims that the ice hockey has actually helped his running: it’s a great workout using slightly different muscle groups which has helped with his recovery and kept him relatively injury free (cross training, people! Do it!). Of course, without such a supportive family, none of this would be possible. With the birth of his twins 8 years ago, then a daughter shortly after, his in-laws moved in to help out while he and his wife Akemi continued their careers. In addition, Akemi is extremely supportive of his running and 50 marathon goal. He tries to minimize the time away from his kids by completing many of his runs before they wake up; The Tuesday morning LRC Breakfast Club runs afford him one more opportunity to do that with friends.

As if all these marathons aren’t challenging enough, he twice completed the Ice Age 50-Miler and will run it again this year. He says that the 2014 Ice Age event was his biggest challenge to date. He had never run any race as technically challenging as Ice Age. It was also his first 50-miler so he was definitely intimidated going into the race. Convincing himself that he could finish the race was just as difficult, if not more difficult, than the physical aspect of actually running the race. But as Matt notes, in order to take yourself to new levels you have to get in over your head and out of your comfort zone.

And when it comes to getting in over your head, Matt gets by with a little help from his LRC friends. When the LRC jumped off the ultra-running deep end and submitted a team for the Leadville 100-mile trail race lottery, Matt couldn’t resist taking one of the eight spots. Ever since the threat of Leadville came and went, Matt has been intrigued by the distance and may one day register for a 100-miler… That one day likely being next year when we try for Leadville again!

Matt hasn’t set up any goals after Boston because he wants to truly enjoy the moment without having to worry about what’s next. His sister lives in the Boston area and he plans to celebrate the race with his wife, kids, father, and sister. Joining him in Boston will be a few other LRCers and friends: Kate Wichmann, Stephen Ryner, Ted Tharp, Michael Stehling, and Sam Stein. Matt is certain there will be some LRC shenanigans taking place with that contingent.

Here’s to wishing Matt a great Boston Marathon! Join the LRC after our fun run on Wednesday, April 20th to celebrate Matt and the others when they return from Boston. The Boston runners’ drinks are on us!





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Meet the LRC – April (Fools’) Member Spotlight 2016

The end roadsign 2

Members of LRC, meet The End. We’ve come a long way in these two years but it’s time that we bid adieu with one last article paying homage to The End of the LRC.

“It’s just time to end on a note, any note will do” said Mike Brunette – founder and organizer of the Libertyville Running Church. “I see the future of running clubs evolving and I’m not an innovator. I’m tired and your membership dues just haven’t afforded me the lifestyle of similar church leaders like that Joel Olsteen guy. I’m happy to have been a part of this but it’s time for other clubs to take over from here.”

And take over they will. Age-old area clubs like the OTESD – Open Track Enthusiasts of Short Distance – are looking forward to getting their members back. All duties will be transferred over to these more fun running clubs because, and let’s be honest, the LRC only cherry-picked from the best ideas anyway. From Bill Bowerman’s famous chicken wing & watermelon track workouts, to Jimmy Kimmel’s aid station antics, to Lover’s Lanes’ Wednesday night hookup runs, the LRC was merely reinventing the wheel.

When asked about the demise of the LRC, Bee Hintson, 35-year resident of neighboring Lake Zurich,  simply questioned, “Who’s the LRC? If I haven’t heard of them, then they clearly weren’t that special.”

Pastor Zed Wardklay from the Des Plains River Community Church had this to say: “who do they think they are, calling themselves a church?! Meeting weekly and running among nature as they do is nothing like attending Mass in one of God’s beautiful indoor amphitheater creations, like He intended. And to call himself the head of a church is sacrilegious; Mike is only an ordained minister online. ANYONE CAN DO THAT; IT’S FREE AND TAKES TWO MINUTES!”

Ordination Certificate

Bill from Chili-U had kinder words when asked about the Club disbanding, “we’re really going to miss hosting the LRC on those Wednesday night hookup runs. Boy, those runners can eat and drink! We used to just put out a chili trough and let them go to town. What a great boost to our local economy they were.”

Finally, The Deacon – LRC’s second-in-command – was quoted as saying, “Meh, I figured he didn’t have it in him to keep this up. Times are changing and people only want to run on single track trails now. The LRC just couldn’t adapt. If only he would have followed the Deacon’s Way, The End would have never happened!”

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Meet the LRC – March Member Spotlight 2016

Ann Article Photo

Jim Moberg, Ann Rowley, and a pending little one I’m betting will be a boy named Miles

Spring is around the corner and about to bring us warmer weather and longer days, which always means the Club gets bigger. This year in addition to the new people who will find us for the first time and all the hibernators who will be back to join the fun, we’ll also welcome a firstborn from Ann Rowley and her husband Jim, who is expected to arrive on March 17th.

Ann relocated to Libertyville from Boston almost two years ago to take a job at Abbvie as a chemist while Jim completed his board exams to become a nurse here in town. She settled on Libertyville in a way that I’ve heard others do and is so typical of runners: she searched for running clubs throughout Lake and Cook counties. Ann and Jim met in their running club in Boston – Sommerville Road Runners – and it was important to them to find a replacement just as fun and social and in a location with plenty of places to run. Ann soon determined that in all of Lake and Cook counties, no other city seemed to have as cool of a running club; our reputation precedes us. Discovering that downtown Libertyville is so lively and has a great restaurant and bar scene sealed the deal.

Running was a means to an end for Ann. She didn’t enjoy it growing up but did see it as a way to stay healthy and in shape for other sports. As grad school later took its toll on her health and her ability to run waned, she re-committed to getting in shape after her thesis was written by signing up for her first marathon – the 2008 Vermont City Marathon.

Though she made every beginner mistake – camped the night before the race, ate a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich on the way to the race, showed up late and overdressed – she finished and was determined to do another one. When Ann’s grandmother fell ill a few years later, Ann sent her the race medals she had earned, hoping she would find strength in these tokens of Ann’s accomplishments. When her grandmother revealed that these medals did in fact give her the will to pull through, Ann vowed to run a marathon in every state for her. A story was planned for her grandmother’s local paper but she passed just as Ann was about to deliver the 3rd medal. That medal now lies with her in her casket. Ann is 20 marathons in and still plans to fulfill that promise.

Discovering that anything is possible, Ann later completed an Ironman in 2014. However, Ann now knows that was not as challenging as completing two marathons while pregnant these past few months. For that, she found inspiration in training with Heidi Greco, who struggled with injury frequently while training for her first marathon (the 2015 Chicago Marathon), and Steve Lorey, who spent much of his last year in Libertyville battling cancer and struggling through chemotherapy treatments (Steve is now doing great and is living in San Antonio). For Ann, any movement was good movement so long as she got outside or to the gym. She has noted that whether training for an Ironman or a marathon while pregnant, her donut consumption peaks at three in one sitting. She thanks the LRC for turning her onto the maple bacon donut.

Ann and Jim did put an interesting spin on another LRC cliche by hosting a baby shower beer mile. They met in a running club, then married on 3/17 and hosted a 3.17-mile run before the wedding (complete with 3.17 stickers for their guests), and now their baby is due on 3/17; it was only fitting that they host a baby shower that involved running. Friends participated in costumes, like onesies, diapers, and baby carriers. The only bad time had was by Christine, Ann’s sister (and only while puking), and by my car which happened to get puked on. That’s what you get for parking near the start/finish, dummy!


Thanks Christine!

Ann isn’t planning to rest too long; she has the Jack & Jill Marathon in North Bend, WA on July 31st to celebrate her 39th birthday. Lucky for her it’s all downhill, right?

She is happy with her choice to move to Libertyville. She notes that the LRC is unique because, even with a plethora of talented, fast runners, no one is braggy or stuck up. Everyone is willing to run with some slower runners if need be and even the fastest runners are always super encouraging. No one seems to get hung up on their pace; everyone seems more focused on having fun.

I’ll leave you with this fun fact: Ann and I discovered one day that we both grew up loving these two somewhat obscure bands in the 90s, ergo, Ann is cool. Enjoy!

Superchunk – Hyper Enough Video

Jawbreaker – Fireman Video









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Meet the LRC – February Member Spotlight 2016



Jill “Nixon” Baranowski at LRC’s Run of the Dead race

You know what I love? Runners that don’t take themselves too seriously. There are myriad reasons why each of us run but ultimately, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Jill conveys that message in a very comical way in her Another Run of the Jill blog – a lighthearted narrative of her running thoughts and adventures as she trains for her first marathon, The Flying Pig Marathon, this May. With these monthly features, I usually ask a series of questions then edit and sculpt them into the article you read. However with Jill, her stream of consciousness is what makes her blog so enjoyable and accordingly, I’ll present to you her responses to my questions with very little editing. It’s longer than usual, but it’s good! Enjoy!

  1. When and why did you started running?

I began my running journey in October 2012. I was in the second year of grad school and finally realized how fat I really had gotten. 5+ years of school had put a lot of weight on me. The scale was nearing 200 lbs, and I had told myself growing up I would never let it hit that number. A girl in my grad program was running a bunch and the two of us signed up for the It’s A Wonderful Run 5K through Seneca Falls, NY. I got fitted and bought shoes at Fleet Feet and signed up for the Schaumburg Turkey Trot as well. I ran that with a friend from kindergarten and barely survived that 5K in 35 minutes. After the Seneca Falls 5K, a group of 4 of us decided we would sign up for the Flower City Half Marathon in Rochester that Spring. It was really a way for us to keep our sanity knowing we had Orals and final practicums coming up. I ran the Flower City Half Marathon in 2:12. Since I started running, I’ve lost approximately 30 lbs and have kept it off ever since!

Jills first 5k

Jill’s first 5K – the 2012 Schaumburg Turkey Trot

  1. How did you stumble into the LRC?

After moving back in with my parents in August 2013, I was running by myself through Mundelein and Long Grove. After being there almost a year and having few friends and no one to motivate me to run, I googled “running near me”. I went to The Runner’s Edge and they had a flyer for the LRC. They were meeting at Downing’s Tavern that evening and doing a Wednesday Night Fun Run. I awkwardly emailed you like 3 times as I was driving to the run trying to figure out where Downing’s was and how I would know who was a part of LRC. I’ll never forget that first run. We did 6 miles on the bike path and I ran with the amazing Laura Wood, trying to keep up with Derek O’Sullivan and Doug. Post run beers made me a repeat member.

  1. What brought you to decide to run a marathon this year?

I thought, “why the hell not?” Honestly, it was Halloween and Susan Geidner had signed up. I had a few drinks and Lauren Delfeld signed up right then. I figured I could survive it. I told myself in the past I’d never run a marathon, but here I am with 2, possibly 3 on my calendar for 2016. I thought I should do it once. Peer pressure usually works pretty easily on me. It would also give me something to do and plan for. Plus, I might have a shot at running the Revel Rockies full marathon in Colorado for the LRC return trip this year if I get on the marathon buses instead of the half marathon buses… Too soon?

  1. Give us your reason for starting a running blog and tell us what to expect in it.

I need ways to keep me accountable. If I don’t have external rewards, I’m 100% less likely to do things I don’t want to do. I struggle with intrinsic motivation. If I had to write about the fact I was training or people expected things from me, I knew I would be more likely to do it. Runners are notorious for talking about running. I also talk a lot, but I know my family and my roommates get tired of me complaining and talking about the same couple things. If I’m writing it and don’t care so much about who is reading it, it’s a way to get things off my chest without pissing anyone off.

You should expect A LOT of stream of consciousness writing. I don’t really edit it. I kind of just go with what I’m thinking and hope it turns out semi-coherent. I plan on not only documenting my training, but also things going on in my life. I want to get back to the part of my life that wasn’t all about running. I want to try new things and do more and be more active, so what a great way to document those things and share. I like shopping so if I get running gear and tell people it’s awesome and then they get it and love it, I’ve done some good and boosted the local economy.

So what to expect: pictures of Stella (my dog), questions I have about running/exercise, LOTS of talk about poop, food/nutrition questions, my family life, hilarious anecdotes of my school life/students. And recaps of what I’m Netflixing.

  1. One of your recent blog entries talks about the dinosaur tattoo you got for your brother (to go along with the tattoos you have for your mom and dad). Share with us the meaning behind those tattoos. Now which LRC “family member” would you get a tattoo for and what would it be?

Oh the dinosaur. He is on my arm for my brosef. I have the most wonderful older brother who used to be my sister. Brandon used to be Jenna and he is transgender and came out almost 3 years ago. He actually came out not long after I got my wrist tattoos. I got the t-rex because he is a freak for T-Rex Tuesday…. It’s a meme thing. Also, there is a quote I stumbled on once saying “LGBT: The T isn’t silent, it is loud like a dinosaur.” And I find that so true. Just not for individuals who are transgender and their allies, but for everyone. Be loud and proud! Stand up tall and find your voice.

I’m not the best at finding my voice and my confidence. My self confidence is pretty low (this surprises so many people), but I just want to finally take a stand and be opinionated. So I enjoyed that. The stripes are for the transgender part of the story. They are from the transgender flag. I think they look like cotton candy. I know a lot of people who have gotten the stripes as part of a star or heart or ribbon, but I thought a t-rex fit Brandon perfectly.

Jill Dino


My wrist tattoos are my mom and dad’s handwriting. Again in grad school (so many poor choices by me), I wasn’t sure where I was going to move when I graduated. Moving back to the suburbs was not even a little bit on my radar. I was so determined (and still am) to move out West and try it on my own out there. My mom and dad might be the most supportive people I’ve ever met on the planet. I know everyone says that but it’s true with The Mary and The Dave. Every choice I’ve made, they’ve backed, even if they thought it was dumb as hell (which they do a lot). I just wanted a piece of them with me wherever I went. I wanted them and their support physically with me no matter where I ended up and what I ended up doing. So I cut up some old birthday cards from them (I hoard them) and picked some of the “I love you” crap from the bottom of the cards and ended up with these bad boys.

Which LRC family member? Maybe the margarita glass on the logo? I think he is so adorable! I like his salted rim. It shows his sweet and salty personality, like me! If I got a human, I already promised your wife I’d get her portrait on my neck. So there’s that. I might actually get some paw prints for all of our puppy LRC members. That LRC dog run in December was seriously the most fun, even though I stepped in dog poop and Stella was a crazy dog. Dogs are so important!!! So, paw prints. My final answer is paw prints.

  1. You met your roommates in the LRC. Give us a story about each of them – good, bad, or ugly. 

No one wants/needs stories about Lauren Delfeld. I will say that she has climbed into bed with both Stacie and myself randomly in the night. I woke up to her once after an evening out snuggled next to me in my bed. I then went back to sleep and didn’t think anything of it. Everyone knows probably everything else about that girl 🙂

Lauren and I also eat about a dozen eggs a week and watch Family Feud almost every night. We try to not miss it, even though we have actual cable now. Oh and I went as her for Halloween to the LRC Halloween run/party. That was one of the weirdest costumes I’ve ever had.

Stacie Otto – So Stacie is pretty much the nicest person ever. For the holidays, she got me all this Star Wars paraphernalia and it was awesome, especially since she hadn’t even seen VII yet! Let’s not talk about that. She is also super fun to watch reality TV with. The three of us got sucked into The Voice this season – even though none of us had ever watched it before – and she had some great commentary.

  1. What do you think about on a long run?

I think a lot about what else I have to do that day, or how much longer it will be until I’m finished. I also think a lot about food. It drives most of everything I do. Hopefully I’ll be talking to someone on my long run and I’ll be focused on not tripping and falling. There is also “why the hell did I sign up for this?!” but when I get past the halfway point, I think of how close I am to being finished and how much better and happier I’ll be all day!

  1. Yes or no to music while running?

Running by myself definitely, or else I think too much. I try to use running as my time to not think. If I’m meeting others to run, then no music. I also do music/TV while on the treadmill. If I’m running along in a forest preserve or on the trail, I only ever put in one ear bud though to be safe. I do a lot of rap and hip hop when I run. Eminem, Beastie Boys, and Kanye West get played a lot but so do Britney Spears and Beyonce.

  1. What’s one thing you love or must have after a long run?

So lame, but a banana. I have extremely horrible GERD, and I suck at fueling on long runs. After Run of the Dead, my acid was all up in my throat and chest; it was kind of agony. I really must have a giant bottle of Mylanta. Also flip flops in the summer and a change of clothes. I love having bare feet after a long run. The Stick is quickly becoming my new best friend after long runs. Sticking my butt and hammies feels so great.

  1. Finally, what is your favorite LRC shenanigan?

I really enjoyed whitewater rafting in Colorado and that whole LRC Revel Rockies marathon/half marathon trip. It was awesome to get to know LRC people better. Whitewater rafting just brought out everyone’s personalities and I learned and saw way more of people than I ever expected to.

Spectating races this past fall (Twilight Shuffle 5K and Chicago Marathon) became another one of my favorite LRC shenanigans. Such camaraderie and enthusiasm for everyone, no matter how fast or slow their paces were. It is wonderful to see everyone have so much fun and focus their energies on others instead of themselves. At Chicago, the music war with the music school was on point and I’m sure will be even bigger and badder in 2016.

Jill rafting.jpg

Whitewater rafting (clockwise from top left): Sarah Molsen, Raven Newberry, The Deacon, Joe Szatmary, and Jill Baranowski (oh, then the rafting guide)

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Meet the LRC – January Member(s) Spotlight 2016


Cheers and hoppy new beers from some of the LRC shenanigators

Here we are, the beginning of a new year and the start of the second year of these Member Spotlight articles. These articles are meant to give the reader a better sense of who the LRC is and show how a group sharing so much camaraderie is also made up of an amazingly diverse collection of individuals.

This month’s article puts the focus on the large group of you who submitted 2015 accomplishments and New Year’s resolutions – 72, to be exact. It pleases me to see what we’ve achieved while participating in the LRC and just how grand our visions have become as a result of the supportive and inspirational club we’ve built.

With so many of you responding to my call, there’s no way I can repeat back all of the great accomplishments and plans for 2016, so I figured the most readable way to do this this year is in highlight format (I actually have a spreadsheet working behind all of this, but only about four of you would prefer to read it that way).

So what’s in a resolution and how far can we push ourselves? 2015 was a year of big achievement for many of you:

  • 5ks – Completing their first were Christy Bartolain and Diana Reyes; thanks to LRC speed workouts their fastest, big improvements and a win were accomplished by Rachel Shoemaker, Sue Behringer and Lee Dunbar, respectively, while Bonny Thomas was proud to get her two children out to complete two 5ks as a family.
  • 10ks – Tackling not one, but two within one week of each other and for the first time in 30 years was Greg Anderson who credits the track workouts for building the strength and confidence he needed to get back in it.
  • Half Marathons – Chris Brown knocked off six states toward his 50 state half marathons goal, Molly Ellis and David Christensen completed four, accomplishing their first were Chris Ankeny and Eric Miller, and Sinee Feld worked her way back from knee surgery with races building up to and including a half marathon.
  • Marathons – 2015 was a year of first marathons for Derek Romeo (who also BQd!), Jenni Horst, Michelle Smith, Heidi Greco, and Carrie Wagner, a year of BQs for Michael Stehling, Kate Wichmann, Stephen Ryner, Ted Tharp and Matt Nakanishi, and finishers abound including Emily Jones, Heather Pietschmann, Jodi Majewski, Alicia Waters, Selina Carpenter, Ryan & Kristy Dietz, and Rae Goodman, among others.
  • Ultras – A lot of firsts here: The Deacon, Josh Hogan, Adrianne Warren, and Bob Lenning tackled their first 100-milers, the LRC peer pressure machine saw several newbie and seasoned runners at this distance enter and complete the Ice Age Trail 50-Miler including Amy Perrin, Josh Hogan, Patrick Morris, Matt Nakanishi, The Deacon, and myself, and various 50ks and our Run of the Dead race created first time ultra runners out of Jeremy Bartusch, Jacki Whitney, Maryam Zakariya, and Trisha Zubert.
  • Triathlons & Cycling – Rae Goodman (after purchasing her first bike), Diana Reyes, and Carrie Wagner accomplished their first triathlons while Sinee Feld continued her post-knee surgery comeback with a sprint, olympic, and 1/2 Ironman distance. Molly Ellis completed the epic RAGBRAI ride across Iowa.
  • PRs – Wow! And this is just a sampling. Marathon PRs for: Rae Goodman – 55 minutes; Nate Rugg – 29 minutes; Kristy Dietz – 28 minutes; and Kate Wichmann – 19 minutes. Other PRs include: Nicole Quigley in an olympic distance triathlon; Amy Lauren and Maritza Pozo ran their furthest runs ever – 18 & 17 miles, respectively, with the LRC; Stephanie Nickolsen – half marathon & 2nd in her age group for a 5k; and Stephanie Hunsberger achieving a 7:50 minute mile at the LRC track workout 1-mile time trial – a huge improvement for her. Amazingly, Matt Nakanishi PRd in just about every race he ran including a half, full, 50k, and 50-miler!
  • Annual Mileage – Eric Miller came back from back surgery with 200 miles (the most he’s had in a long time), all while rediscovering his love for running with the help of LRC; Derek Romeo – 750; Derek O’Sullivan – 900; Erin Westphal & Ryan Dietz – 1,000; Alicia Walters – 1,200; Rebecca Atkinson – 1,300; Nate Rugg – 1,500; Maryam Zakariya – 1,600; Jeremy Bartusch – 2,200; and Matt Nakanishi & myself – 3,000. These were record years for all but Eric. Susan Geidner reached the highest ranking Volt status on Nike+ – a badge given to those who have run 9,320 miles (she did this in 6 years).
  • Other – Several of you lost weight, including Jeff Klein, Georgia & Josh Hogan, and Chris Ankeny. You volunteered at races and ran with your kids and dogs. Joanna Lee became a certified personal trainer. Chris Brown just ran 40 miles for his 40th birthday on New Year’s Eve with several of you joining him for some miles. Many made it a goal to take that leap from lurking the Facebook page to participating in the LRC which I suspect may have something to do with all our progress in 2015 and the lofty goals we’re setting up for 2016.

And now for our 2016 New Year’s resolutions:

  • 5ks – Alex Ander hopes to reduce his 5k pace from 10 minutes per mile to 8 minutes per mile.
  • Half marathons – Georgia Hogan, Greg Anderson, Diana Reyes, and Christy Bartolain plan to accomplish their first half marathons, while several plan to build on their resume including Chris Brown and Heidi Greco knocking off many more states toward their 50 state goal.
  • Marathons – Throwing their hats in the ring for their first at this distance include: Katie Hinrichs, Nicole Quigley, Jill Baranowski, Adrianne Warren, Rachel Shoemaker, and Diana Reyes. Kate Wichmann, Ted Tharp, Michael Stehling, Matt Nakanishi, and Stephen Ryner head to Boston for their first time. Ann Rowley is planning to come back to marathons four months after giving birth to her first child while Carrie Medina would like to attempt her first after a tough year of recovering from being hit by a car. Attempting what is consistently ranked as the 1st or 2nd toughest trail marathon in the world, Bob Lenning plans to run the Pikes Peak Marathon – starting at almost 6,400ft above sea level and climbing 7,800ft to summit Pikes Peak at 14,200ft then going back down!
  • Ultras – Here we go; the year of the ultra will see Kevin Hoffmann, Tom Sheehan, Michelle Perez, Carrie Wagner, and Diana Reyes earn that belt buckle with their first 50k; Susan Geidner with a 50-miler; and Christine Borgerding with a 100-miler. Also, several of you didn’t heed my warning NOT to sign up for the Ice Age Trail 50-miler including: David Christensen, Ted Tharp, and Jacki Whitney for their first. Seasoned ultra runners such as Maryam Zakariya and Patrick Morris are sprinkling their calendars with a few 50ks and 50-milers, with Patrick going for an ultra slam – a series of four area 100-mile races in a calendar year. As if that’s not enough, Brad Gorski is eyeing a 200-mile race! And I successfully goaded seven of you to enter the lottery with me for arguably the dumbest of all feats: the Leadville 100-mile trail race. Here’s to hoping we don’t get selected Jeremy Bartusch, The Deacon, Sarah Molsen, Ian Nichols, Matt Nakanishi, Josh Hogan, and Amy Perrin!
  • Triathlons & Cycling – Nicole Quigley, Bonny Thomas, and Rae Goodman are all planning on their first 1/2 Ironman, while Lisa McCauley and Selina Carpenter return for their 5th and 6th Ironman, respectively. Also adding triathlons next year include: Maritza Pozo, Kevin Hoffmann, Heidi Greco, Carrie Medina, and Diana Reyes, while Lee Dunbar is taking his goals a step further, looking for a sprint distance age group win.
  • PRs – Kurt Krieghbaum, Stacy Speer, Eric Miller, and Jenni Horst hope to PR in a half marathon while Lisa McCauley, Rae Goodman, Nate Rugg, Josh Hogan, Ryan Dietz, Tom Sheehan, Kevin Hoffman, Jacki Whitney, Alicia Walters, Jill Baranowski, Heather Pietschmann, Zack Wolk, and Pat Emmons have set their sights on marathon PRs including sub-5 hour, sub-4 hour , sub-3 hour, and BQs. Stephanie Hunsberger and Bonny Thomas are among many of you looking forward to improving their mile pace with the help of our LRC track workouts this summer.
  • Annual Mileage – Some of your mileage goals include: Eric Miller – 300+; Christy Bartolain – 1,000; Derek O’Sullivan – 1,500; Nate Rugg – 1,800; and Maryam Zakariya & Erin Westphal – 2,016.
  • Other – Many of you are planning to incorporate more cross training and healthy eating to achieve the above goals and to assist in weight loss or keeping the weight off, staying injury free, and enjoying running more. Ryan Dietz is planning to run an event a month, Howie Kaske will get out of bed for LRC Saturday runs, and Stephanie Schaefer is willing herself to make running more of a habit and run a strong 3 miles. Again I see a trend of vows to participate in more LRC runs and events and volunteering opportunities.

So what are you waiting for? It’s never going to get better than it is today! Together we’re setting great examples for our friends, children, and community. I think you’ll soon discover just how big your accomplishments will become with a little help from the LRC; just ask these folks.

Happy New Year, LRC!

– Mike Brunette


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LRC Second Year in Review

Track year 2

Has it been two years already? When I started the LRC I didn’t realize how all-consuming it would become. But that’s always been my personality. If I can’t give it 100%, I won’t do it. I didn’t want this to be a club that just offered a weekend long run that catered to marathon runners. Sure, that’s my race of choice but this was never about me; there are so many different types of runners for whom I want the LRC to be a resource. This is about building a community of like-minds, whether you’re capable of running a 16-minute mile, a sub-three-hour marathon, or a 100-mile ultra race – we are all runners. Fast, slow, in between – it doesn’t matter. Following the age-old formula of segregating our runners into pace groups would prevent them from getting to know and be inspired by all our runners and ultimately inhibit improvement. We start together and we finish together, often over food and drink. You’ll often find a “fast” runner slowing it down just to run with others, whether old friends or new, or a “turtle” kicking it way up in the heat of a fun moment. We pride ourselves in not being cliquey. Our camaraderie transcends everything, including age – nowhere else have I seen such a diverse group of runners have such a great time together. We run roads, we run trails, sometimes we bike or swim. We run in beautiful weather, we run in inclement weather. I find inspiration in all types of runners as most of you do and that’s why you won’t find the LRC catering to one particular niche.

In Year Two, we implemented free spring and fall marathon and half marathon training programs (teaming up with Fleet Feet Chicago’s Boston365 Program for the spring training in Barrington). We had more than twice as many runners at the track this year than in our first year with 230 participants! So many of you achieved PRs this year that I almost don’t mind when someone calls me Coach now. Many of you contributed chicken wings and watermelon to our track workouts. DJs showed up to the occasional hill workout to keep us motivated. Long runs were stocked with Gatorade… And wine. Well, the wine bottle always seemed to be empty by the time we got to it. We staged awesomely fun group half and full marathon trips to St. Louis, Denver, and Las Vegas. The LRC has 400+ shirts being worn around town, at the gym, and at races all around the world, and now we’re moving into hats and jackets. Our at-the-drive-in style logo stirs up many a conversation, doesn’t it? I’ve even overheard strangers – people who I know for a fact have not run with us yet – talk about needing to get their hands on a singlet.

Speaking of races, we entered the race management arena this year. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but it had to be done right and it had to be distinctive. Many of you know that upon moving here, I became the co-race director of Libertyville’s Twilight Shuffle 5K. I love the spirit of both that race and this town. With two years of growing the LRC network, the time was right for us to host our own similarly unique and well-organized race. With your help, Run of the Dead was a success and even more fun! This event will continue with the addition of other events planned for next year.

As a club, we offered our assistance and brand of enthusiasm at local races. From hosting the Run of the Dead race, co-hosting the Lamb’s Farm Fit & Fun Family event, assisting with all aspects of the Twilight Shuffle 5K, and manning aid stations and cheer sections at multiple races, you gave back to our community. We painted a better picture of who the LRC is with the Monthly Member Spotlight articles. We staged the first brewery pub run early this year as a fundraiser for The Water Project and saved Christmas by delivering 164 toys at our Toys for Tots Run. We will host similar and new charitable events in the future as the Club broadens its focus on charity.

Looking back on these two years, I’m impressed with our growth and what we provide for the community. I’m encouraged when I see other running clubs now similarly stimulating their runners. Clubs and stores are utilizing social media (and the promise of beer and donuts) more effectively as a result of seeing how powerful a tool it has been for the LRC to engage an audience. As a result, running communities are becoming more focused on being fun, supportive, and interactive. Isn’t that what running should be all about?

With an accountant and a lawyer at the helm, we structured the LRC legally as a corporation this year and we are considering applying for 501(c)(3) status. I’m actually longing to achieve that tax-preferred status given to churches and religious organizations (running is our religion, right?), but my lawyer is much more cautious. What does this legal stuff mean? It means that we will continue to do as I set out to do when I founded the LRC: encourage and promote a fun and active lifestyle and enhance our running and greater community-at-large through educational, programming, charitable, and various other efforts. No one, including none of the directors (myself, Melissa Brunette, and Nick Molsen) will profit from the Club’s activities, including our new venture into race management. All proceeds are therefore set to enhance our community through the Club’s offerings. Makes you feel good about your membership dues doesn’t it? Oh, wait. LRC doesn’t have dues, never mind.

As we enter our third year as the little-running-club-that-could, I sincerely want to thank you. Your continued participation and support fan the flames of the endless passion and enthusiasm I expel toward fostering our commitment to build and strengthen a unique running community. Thank you for taking that leap and showing up to a run or event. I’m confident that you’re glad you did and if you haven’t yet, that you will be.



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Meet the LRC – December Member Spotlight


Dixie & me after a run

As we wrap up our first year of Member Spotlight articles, it’s only fitting that we pay tribute to a member that’s been with us since even before the beginning. Though she would have surely been a featured member sooner or later, it’s with great sadness that her unexpected passing has firmly put her into the “sooner” rather than “later” category.

Dixie, our yellow labrador retriever, would have been 5 years old this month…we think. We named her Dixie because her mom was rescued from a kill shelter in Arkansas while she was pregnant. She and her 3 siblings were birthed and cared for at Wright-Way Rescue in Niles, which is where we adopted her. Dixie came to us only weeks after we tragically lost our shih-tzu to unexpected illness; we adopted her specifically as the opposite to Texas so as not to mourn painful similarities; I also wanted a dog I could run with.

It’s said that animals are our first children. If you’ve had or have a pet, you know this to be true. Dixie was my and Melissa’s first child. And that child loved to run! Once she was almost a year old, I started taking her with me on one or two runs a week. Pretty soon I had to run with her daily, or bike alongside her so she could run, just to control her puppy energy. Eventually, she was my companion for several 14-milers, always setting the pace. She even has one official race on her resume: the 2011 Cleveland 5-Mile Turkey Trot, where she finished with a blistering 6:23 min/mile pace. In that way, she gets much credit for making me a faster runner. There won’t be another sub-3-hour marathon where I don’t recognize her contribution.

Dixie loved our runs so much that on the days I would run without her, she would find one of my other running shoes, take it to her bed and lay with it, and stare with disappointment when I returned. This went on for years, and became even more heart-wrenching after multiple surgeries for a torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL surgery) and meniscus damage in the same knee within a year. Though our runs became less consistent, she was still good for up to 6 miles and would occasionally make an LRC group run. Many of you have seen her Strava posts. Having access to Lake Minear year-round was the perfect offset: she also loved to swim. She even made it to a few of the LRC group swims this summer.


Dixie getting a few laps in at the LRC Group Swim this summer

Three human children later and Dixie was as good to them as we were good to her. She followed them around the house everywhere. The day before Thanksgiving, Dixie was hit by a train. In the days since she passed, I keep thinking about what I could have done differently, or would have done differently, or should have done differently. And the truth is, there’s nothing. Sometimes life happens. Sure, we spent less one-on-one time together with the birth of each child. But with that came the love each one of them had for her, the raucous play Mars and Mila engaged Dixie in, and the copious table scraps Dixie lined up for. And at the end of the day, she still jumped up into bed, sprawled out, and laid her head on my feet. She was loved, no doubt.

Let this serve as a reminder that every day with someone is something we should cherish. This applies to our family members, our pets, each other. Enjoy it all and keep those memories close. And take lots and lots of pictures.


Dixie Brunette 12/21(?)/2010 – 11/25/2015








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Meet the LRC – November Member Spotlight

Michael Fort 2 base photo

Michael Stehling in his classic two-finger “V for Victory” running photo pose

michael denver

And again

Michael Chi Marathon

And again

michael pose again

And again

You’re unlikely to find someone more genuine and humble than Michael Stehling. This month marks his 1-year anniversary of running with the LRC and I’ve been planning to feature him for nearly as far back. To see him evolve as a runner and in the process become a good friend to all of us has truly been one of the more rewarding aspects of this Club, and as you’ll read, he’s grateful for what the LRC has done for him – both in his running and in his social life.

First, let’s delve into the pre-LRC Michael.

Michael entertained the idea of trying out for track in high school like his brother but that’s as far as he got. He didn’t begin running until after college, simply as a means to exercise. After a 2010 visit with his cousin, also a runner, he decided to run his first race – a local 5k. Completely naive to racing, minutes before the gun Michael overheard another runner suggest that a good time for a 5k is under 20 minutes and so Michael decided at that moment he was going to need to go all-out to achieve that… And that’s what he did. He was impressed with the time of his first mile but he got slower with each successive mile and was left feeling dehydrated and in pain. Though he managed to win 1st place in his age group, running a 5k was much harder than he thought.

The marathon came a few years later. His work has a wellness program that offers points for various activities. A marathon just so happened to net a lot of points and so he figured he could do one. He registered for the Prairie State Marathon 5-6 weeks before the race and did one 2-hour run to train for it. Needless to say, he had a tough time finishing that race. But he did finish. Then, the fatigue in the days after caused him to swear off ever running another one. Any first-time marathon runner can tell you what happened next…

With a training plan and after a few more marathons, Michael achieved what he thought was the perfect race and was ready to retire from marathons until that fateful day he met the LRC at the Advocate Condell Centre Pink Ribbon Run 5k at the Mundelein Seminary in October 2014. He admits to at first sizing up the group of LRC runners in their blue shirts as competition, but also that he thought it would be cool to run with people. After the race, Derek O’Sullivan, always the recruiter, introduced himself and the group to Michael and invited him to run with us.

Pink Ribbon

This is the photo Michael saw when he Googled the LRC for details after meeting Derek. Notice Michael photobombing in the background.

Though not the outgoing type, Michael gave it a shot and came to the following Saturday run. On this particular Saturday the LRC was doing a run then an event at Crossfit Freedom, so many of the runners cut the run short to attend the free event; Michael was just interested in the run. He enjoyed the run (he likes running in Libertyville – it has access to streets and trails that easily enable him to run high miles on a variety of routes) and the scenery, but he left a little disheartened that there weren’t more people to run with. Luckily, he stuck with it and came back. In the Saturdays that followed, Michael found his place within the Club and soon had a core group of friends to run with. Michael laughingly notes now that when he saw the LRC’s “The Maple Bacon Donut Support Group” banner at the Prairie State Marathon, he quipped that a donut and a running group doesn’t seem to go together. Now he realizes that everything fun goes with running, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Michael has travelled with the Club to run the 2015 St. Louis Marathon and the 2015 Denver Rockies Marathon. In fact, that St. Louis Marathon is his favorite race to date. Previously, he had not traveled much. On the trip, he got to explore a new city with friends, experience a large race atmosphere complete with raucous spectators and have a fun post-race dance party. He also followed the LRC’s marathon training plan to a T and came away with a huge PR of 2:51 (better than he thought possible) from a 3:14 and after training with the LRC for just 6 months! He has come to really enjoy running with other people in such a welcoming and inclusive club and being included in the diverse range of activities the LRC offers outside of running.

Michael has found the Club to incite a more charitable nature about himself. It started with our Toys For Tots run last December and he soon found himself participating in all the volunteer activities and showing up to cheer for our runners at various races. One of his favorite charitable events was hosting an aid station at the North Shore Half Marathon where he found it completely natural to cheer, hand out water and Gatorade, and dance at the same time – we were having a party and helping others. The experience of being with friends before and after runs are what he’s come to enjoy most.

Michael’s charitable nature has permeated the Club. He’s there to help guide group runs, share advice, and most importantly, to support all our runners. In addition, he goes out of his way to show his support. For example, he just ran our inaugural Run of the Dead Elimination Race (the 17-mile distance) after having run the Milwaukee Running Festival Half Marathon in a blistering time of 1:22 that morning! He knew from the onset of the race planning how worried I was about making that a successful event and he did not hesitate to register even though that meant he would end up running 30+ miles that day!

It’s truly been a pleasure getting to know Michael and having him so admirably represent the charitable and friendly nature of the LRC.

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Meet the LRC – October Double Feature Member Spotlight

Adrianne and Nick Hennepin

Adrianne Warren and Nick Molsen celebrating their Hennepin Hundred finishes with bottles of Ommegang Hennepin beer. Not pictured (but proudly worn): their 100-mile finisher belt buckles.

Meet our newly appointed “Deacon” Adrianne and recently promoted to “Monsignor” Nick, both of who earned their titles after their incredible and inspiring first-time finishes at The Hennepin Hundred 100M race last month, with Adrianne finishing in 26:10 and Nick finishing in 23:40. It was the first time either had attempted to run the 100-mile distance.

Graduating from a run to the mailbox to completing a 100-mile race, Adrianne’s progression into ultra running was a long time coming. Having run her way through nearly every conventional race distance (except a marathon!) up to and including 50 miles, and meeting and running with an ultra running group, she craved the physical challenge of running 100 miles and putting her mind to completing something that few people can.

For Nick, the challenge of a 100-mile race fell into his lap; he won a free entry to The Hennepin Hundred at an LRC event hosted by Road Runner Sports in Kildeer. Free is a beautiful thing and a helluva motivator! Nick decided to try his hand at running in 1985 after he was inspired by a friend’s dad’s Boston Marathon performance; however, he abandoned that plan after a few 10Ks, a triathlon, and a duathlon. He started again in 2009 with the Lake Geneva Triathlon and continued his quest through varied running distances up through marathons and a few more triathlons until coming to the conclusion that swimming is just not for him.

But why join the Libertyville Running Club? Though not specifically an ultra running club, Adrianne points to its laid-back, carefree, love-all approach to running and runners and having a good time – who doesn’t like to get all sweaty then follow it up with laughs and cocktails at a different local establishment each week? The Club harbors an assortment of 5K to 100-mile runners who have distinct preferences for road, track, or trail, and hosts group runs that accommodate all disciplines. Having previously run with Golden Legs before they disbanded, Nick wasn’t quite sure what to make of the LRC’s post-run activities. In his experience, run clubs just ran then went home, that is until he stuck around after an LRC run for the festivities. Nick discovered the support and camaraderie to be nothing short of amazing and he subsequently pushed himself to run beyond what he previously thought capable. To each of them, the LRC represents everything running should be about: support, friendship, inspiration, and fun!

But how exactly does one train for a 100-mile race? There’s no one way to train for anything as the plans of these two will show you:

Adrianne – After Ice Age 50 – a 50-mile race race held in May, Adrianne didn’t really have a training plan for Hennepin. Her mileage was inconsistent given her motherly responsibilities (she has two young and adorable redheaded children) but still managed to complete another 50-mile run and an overnight 60-mile run. She pushed her children in the double jogger often, cross-trained with a kettlebell, and focused on clean eating. After being introduced to the LRC this summer by local ultra running guru, Shelley Cook, she found the LRC hill workouts to be fun and the speed workouts to be beneficial but challenging.

Nick – After Ice Age 50, Nick developed the dreaded plantar fasciitis which essentially derailed his plan to build upon his mileage all summer from the 50-mile race. Instead, he focused on running only the three weekly Club runs in order to give his foot time to heal. This approach ensured he was getting in hill workouts and speed workouts, a tempo run, and a long run (his longest being 16 miles!), all of which he found essential in his ability to run 100 miles, regardless of the fact that this particular ultra was flat and that ultras in general have a reputation of being something you finish rather than race. That being said, there is still an incentive to finish the race in less than 24 hours, as everyone who does receives the prized 24-hour finisher belt buckle, which Nick did earn (with 20 minutes to spare)!

Being physically capable of running 100-miles is one thing; being prepared mentally to run for 24+ hours is an entirely different animal and what really determines one’s ability to finish this type of race. Nick just focused on breaking the run into short legs of aid station to aid station (there were 20 aid stations in total). He pictured crossing that finish line so many times that when he finally did, it lacked the excitement one might expect. Adrianne found herself in darker territory: at mile 76, she began shaking in the cold and sweat and at mile 84, she went to lean against a tree that was not there. The hallucinations continued with visions of lions in trees and midget men along the trail until she actually fell asleep while running at mile 89. Her pacer got her to drink an energy drink and she soon retained her composure.

Pacers and friends at aid stations along the course offered encouraging words and reminded them to eat and to keep moving, which helped to lift both Nick and Adrianne’s spirits. Nick’s wife Sarah was instrumental in keeping Nick on task by meeting him at every accessible aid station, getting him what he needed, and encouraging him. Adrianne had two friends pace her through most of the race – both providing conversation, encouragement, and keeping her focused and on track.

So what’s next for these two? Adrianne’s race calendar is choke full of her usual races: Frozen Gnome 10K or 50K, Earth Day 50K, Dances with Dirt 50K, Ice Age 50M. She has also registered for Run of the Dead – the LRC’s inaugural race on November 1st. This elimination-style run gives runners an hour to complete a 4.25-mile course before starting the course again (and again and again – the event has 1, 4, and 8-loop options – she’s running the 8-loop, 34-mile option), and an after party for all participants. If time allows, she’ll add Kettle Moraine 100 and Chicago Marathon in 2016; she looks forward to seeing what a season of LRC speed workouts can do for her first marathon. In addition to our Run of the Dead race (he’s also doing the 8-loop, 34-mile option), Nick’s planning to just have fun and enjoy all the LRC runs (he leads the Wednesday night fun runs throughout the winter) and any other free race that drops into his lap.

Cheers to these two on a banner year of running!

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Meet the LRC – September Double Feature Member Spotlight

Erin Westphal (left) from Grayslake and Heidi Greco (right) from Libertyville - two of the most genuinely nice and quietly determined runners in the pack

Erin Westphal (left) from Grayslake and Heidi Greco (right) from Libertyville – two of the most genuinely nice and quietly determined runners in the pack

Heidi and Erin are both training for the Chicago Marathon. This is Heidi’s first marathon, a race that has been on her bucket list for years after having spectated and volunteered in the past, whereas Erin is returning to Chicago for her third time in as many years with a goal of completing the race in under 5 hours (her current PR is 5:39). Both women are running to raise money for charitable organizations that affect them personally: Erin is running for Team CF Superheroes – benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and her friend who has cystic fibrosis, a rare disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system. Heidi is running for NAMI – the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization whose mission is to eradicate mental illness and improve the lives of those affected by mental illness, some of who are her family and friends. She hopes to end the stigma associated with the disease and to continue to show her support.

Shortly after completing the 2014 Chicago Marathon, Erin discovered the LRC. She realized that in order to get faster, she needed to train better and there was no better way to do that than to reap the benefits of running with a group. Heidi and her husband Bill were introduced to the Club by a friend who suggested our love of all things fun was right up their alley. Shortly afterward, they joined us for our first unofficial beer mile in January this year. Both women agree that the support they’ve received from the LRC’s runners has been endless and authentic, and their training has improved in large part due to the accountability that comes with running with a group. As a result, their overall love of running has never been greater. With so much collective experience within the Club, there’s a wealth of information at their disposal to aid in their training.

Erin and Heidi just completed one of the toughest weeks of training for a marathon with the first 20-mile run. Though mentally and physically challenging, Erin felt stronger than ever and knows she could have gone the extra 6.2 miles. Based on her time for this 20-miler and for the Badgerland Striders Half Marathon this past weekend (2:16) she’s on pace to reach her sub-5 hour marathon goal! Though Team CF Superheroes offers a training plan and coaches, Erin has relied even more on the support and plan provided by the LRC. She maintains a 20-mile week when not training and is currently running 35-40 miles per week before planning to taper. For Heidi, the 20-miler was her first. She attests that the first 10-15 miles went well… and then the support of the group kicked in to provide a much needed distraction for those last 5 miles. Heidi has used Hal Higdon’s training plans for several half-marathons in the past, but always felt physically drained come time for her long runs. For her Chicago Marathon training, she has been using Furman University’s 3-days-per-week training plan. She is currently running 20-30 miles per week and feels ready and rested for her long runs.

Heidi is constantly picking up tidbits of information that are helping her along the way: training in miles vs. minutes, using GU vs. Jelly Belly Sports Beans, the importance of listening to your body and utilizing foam rollers, and the one I stress often, enjoying the race. Heidi knows that you only run your first marathon one time and she’s ready to take it all in and enjoy every moment. Erin agrees that enjoying the race is the most valuable advice that she would want to share with Heidi and anyone else, whether running their first or 30th marathon. She adds that you should appreciate the journey of training for a marathon. A lot more work than just the day-of goes into any race, and this is where you can gather and experiment with various suggestions from others to learn what works for you.

So what do these two do after a long run? Erin likes to just go with the flow and try to rest and relax. When food cravings kick in, she doesn’t fight them. Heidi finds that she doesn’t have much of an appetite for a few hours after a long run; instead, her focus is hydrating with a Nuun in cold water and taking a shower. Her next step is a green tea and water from Starbucks to keep her going for the rest of the afternoon. Now I’m not saying that donuts are the answer for everyone, but I know I’ve seen both of these ladies recovering with the LRC at Lovin’ Oven Cakery after those Saturday long runs!

Training for a marathon takes up a lot of time. If she wasn’t training, Heidi would take a pottery class and channel the spirit of Patrick Swayze, make a quilt, or immerse herself in some riveting book series. Since she loves the half-marathon distance and finds the recovery easy on her body, she would love to find a few half-marathons to turn into vacations (in fact, Heidi recently traveled with the LRC to Denver for a half-marathon). Erin, on the other hand, has a hard time imagining not running. After a tumultuous year in 2011, which included a career change, a break up, and finding herself burnt out from competitive figure skating, training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon was great therapy to rid herself of that negative energy. Without running, she thinks she would likely be sitting at home watching t.v. and feeling sorry for herself. Running does change everything!

Here’s to working hard to achieve your marathon goals ladies!

If you would like to help Erin and Heidi raise money for their respective charities, click the link to their fundraising pages below:

Erin’s Page: Team CF Superheroes

Heidi’s Page: NAMI

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