This is the 3rd year of my running journey with Ashley and we look forward to a healthy 2017. The start of 2017 started with a promotion at work and more responsibility with the IT (Validation) Life Science consulting company. My routine in prior years will change drastically with being on the road more this year. I approach this change with passion to make every moment with Ashley and my local friends count. Outside of running with Ashley, we have plans in the making of attending a board game convention this year. We love to play board games when spare time occurs so it would be great to attend one.
We also hope to do a one week vacation of travel either to Northern Michigan again or out West somewhere. Ashley’s brother, Teddy, is getting married this summer so that will be a special moment for Ashley and I. Lastly, spontaneous adventures happen all the time when we are together like going to Michigan State games or exploring new places that is always in the calendar but never penciled in.
My 2017 started off with getting back together with my friend and coach Jake Gillette. I need my best friend, Jake, as my pilot to keep me on track for my running goals this year. We are working together to conquer another personal record (PR) for my half marathon goal and shorter distance goals. The current PR is 1:43:49 (7:56 min). The goal is to set a 1:40:00-1:41:00 for the Half. My race will be at the Mercy Health Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo, Ohio on April 23rd. A friend, Mark Davidhizar, from the Two Rivers Running Club is willing to help me out by pacing me during this race, it will be a training run for him. Can’t thank these guys enough in helping me in the sport of running.
The work schedule in the upcoming months will mean my involvement with the Two Rivers Running Club will be reduced to being a supporter to many of its great members. I hope to see you guys at the local races on the weekends and presence on social media. Keep pounding the ground and being stewards of the running community. I will greatly miss the summer runs with you guys! I will be home Thursday through Sunday throughout the summer months.
We also recently joined the Michiana Runners Association this year as a fresh start of change and giving back to the running community. At the kick-off meeting, we witnessed outstanding passion from the board and President Grant Carlile about their ideas of serving the community. I signed up for a couple volunteer opportunities and look forward to working together with them to make Michiana a fun and healthy place to live, work, and run!
A very exciting opportunity for the 2017 year is that we will be Fleet Feet Ambassadors for Fleet Feet Sports Mishawaka. We love this store so much and highly recommend it to anyone in the area. We hope to serve as ambassadors in local races to promote a healthy running community and spread the word to everyone we meet on our running journeys.
Derek’s running schedule is still very difficult to fill out knowing his work commitments, but as it stands he would like to schedule races that have some of our friends who are race directors as first priority and Fleet Feet sponsored races. He felt this is his way of giving back to our friends and the local community by investing into these great individuals and the running store.
Derek’s tentative race calendar:
|March 11||Sarah Strong 5K (Mark Davidhizar)|
|April 22||Glass City Half (Personal Goal)|
|April 29||Wakarusa Maple 5K (Paul Kern)|
|May 6||Cinco De Mayo 5k (Fleet Feet)|
|June 10||Randy Miner 4 miler (Todd Hoffer)|
|August 5||Logan Run 10K (Fleet Feet)|
|August 26||Barron Lake Tri Sprint (Sarah Cira – Racing for Steve-O)|
|September 17||GameDay Chase 5K (MRA)|
|October 31||Haunted Hilly (Paula Turk)|
Ashley wants to focus on training with Coach Jake Gillette by working on getting faster earlier in the season with local 5K’s and then transition into marathon training the rest of the year. Her strategy is to concentrate on fewer races with greater intention. She’s signed up to compete in a Long Sprint at Eagle Lake Triathlon and is going to make the commitment for her first full marathon in September in Holland, Michigan!
Running a marathon has been in the back of her brain for awhile and she wants to complete it with pride the best that she can. Holland is a special place to us because it’s the home of our Alma Mater at Hope College where we met and local to family living in the West Michigan area. The course is one long stretch from point A in Grand Haven to point B in downtown Holland along the lake shore.
Ashley has also been newly elected as President of the Two Rivers Running Club. Ashley is excited to give back to the community and continue the joy of running. She’s pumped up and looking forward to a great year!
Ashley’s 2017 race calendar:
|Sat. Jan 21 Niles 5K (Baseline Test, Fleet Feet)|
|Sat. May 6 Cinco de Miles 5K (Fleet Feet)|
|June 10 Randy Minor 4 mi Run (Todd Hoffer)|
|Sat. Aug 5th Eagle Lake Tri- Long Sprint, 800yd swim, 17.2 mi bike,5.3mi run. (Roger Antoniu, Triple Threat Triathlon Team)|
|Sept 10 Holland Haven Full Marathon (Personal Goal Race)|
We look ahead with joy and anticipation in the coming year, setting big goals to always strive for improvement. The first year of marriage has been wonderful so far and we are thankful for all our friends and family members who we so dearly cherish. Let’s rock it in 2017!