EVERY THURSDAY LEADING UP TO MY FIRST HALF MARATHON (!) I WRITE ABOUT RUNNING AND RUNNERS. FOLLOW THE SERIES HERE.
This week, meet Stephanie Marie.
Besides being a pro-runner, Stephanie writes The Fete Blog, which combines weddings and lifestyle. She’s a fellow Blogcademy grad, who happens to reside in my birthplace, Charlottesville, VA! Stephanie so kindly shares her pro tips on running – ready to be inspired?
How did you get into running?
Stephanie: I began running in elementary and middle school through the encouragement of my super athletic mother; in high school, I joined the cross country and track teams and absolutely loved the running lifestyle! I quickly became a standout runner in my area and snagged a spot on my college (the University of Virginia) team! [xandra: wahoowa!] Once I graduated, I was picked up by New Balance and am currently an elite track and field athlete.
Why do you love to run?
Stephanie: There’s so much to love about running– the lifestyle, the health benefits, the ease of it (you just pop on some shoes and go out the door!) [xandra: true! minimalism alert!], but what I love most is the running community. My husband is an elite runner, we live and train with a group of runners, and most of our closest friends are currently or were runners at some point. It’s a wonderful little world to get in to, at any level, and it brings people together in fun and healthy ways!
What is your running routine?
Stephanie: Running is part of my daily routine; a few days a week, I’ll get up and do a longish run in the morning, followed by a strength workout at the gym; I’ll then do another, shorter run in the evening. Two days a week, I’ll do a running workout and once a week I’ll do a super long run. [xandra feels simultaneously lazy and motivated.]
Where do you like to run?
Stephanie: I personally love running on trails; going deep into the woods and exploring new places is one of my favorite parts of running! I do run on the roads often, just out of necessity. I like to run through neighborhoods and imagine what’s going on in all the houses around me. [xandra: love this story-making idea!]
What do you struggle with as a runner?
Stephanie: Sometimes I struggle with motivation; when you run for years and years, it gets stale! When you’re in a big block of training with no race or goal in sight, it’s hard to know what you’re working for. Running races and traveling for running always makes me get excited. Running with new people and mixing it up with different kinds of fitness (yoga, swimming, biking) are also ways I keep it fresh and exciting.
What is your number one tip for getting started and sticking with it?
Stephanie: You have to start with the proper shoes– if you run for years in a beat up pair of shoes that don’t fit you properly, you’ll do much more harm than good. Once you really invest in it, the way to stick with it is by finding a community– surrounding yourself with people to run with and to help motivate you is key to success and happiness! Running solo day in and day out doesn’t cut it.
P.S. Check out last week’s running feature: Meet the Runner: Jo Fe-Line Runs the World!