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      Meet Lauren Tucker: the third member of our Race to Bayshore team

      Lauren Tucker will be training for the half-marathon as a part of the Race to Bayshore training program. Lauren is a wife, mother of two, and a runner!

      I am Lauren Tucker; Traverse City native, working mother of two, wife, daughter, sister, friend, runner.

      I recently turned 30. My husband, Michael, and I have been married 6 years. We live in Traverse City with our two kids, Peyton (5) and Jude (1), and our two dogs.

      I started running again last May after a LONG break (11 years long). I was a cross-country runner at Traverse City Central High School. I ran after that, off and on, but never with any regularity for any length of time. I was overweight and unhappy. It was easy to get stuck in the day-to-day life, eating what was quick and easy and not making time to exercise. I hated getting dressed and not having the energy to chase my kids. This was not the life I had envisioned for myself or my family. I decided it was time to change. I joined Weight Watchers online, with a goal to lose 25 pounds, and I started running.

      It definitely was not easy to get started. The runs were hard, and very slow. I didnâ??t feel like I was improving, but I stuck with it. And I am glad that I did. In July I ran my first race since high school (the National Cherry Festival of Races 5K), and it went well. I was hooked. Running has become what keeps me sane. My friend calls it â??really cheap therapyâ?? and I could not agree with her more. There have been some bumps in the road. I have encountered shin splints (a trip to Running Fit solved that problem â?? I needed new shoes that were more supportive) and recurring hamstring and calf strains.

      In October I entered the Run Program at Excel Rehabilitation Services. I spent eight weeks strengthening and toning my muscles and rebuilding my stride. Who knew that how many steps you take per minute is really important?! And in November I signed up to run the Bayshore Half-Marathon.

      Running to me is not just a sport or even â??cheap therapyâ??. Itâ??s a lifestyle. Itâ??s a community of people. Itâ??s fun, I know many people think that is crazy, but itâ??s true. Running is something I hope to pass on to my kids and that I hope I will be able to do the rest of my life. Iâ??m excited to start my training and to be able to share it with the community I call home.