Stephanie may seem like every other busy working mother. She works full time in a busy dental practice. She has 2 children and a husband who are heavily involved in sports. Stephanie assumes the family roles of wife, mother, cook, housekeeper, bookkeeper and taxi driver with a smile, and sometimes a grimace. But Stephanie is also committed to finding the time to train with me to run a marathon in the Fall of 2019. Training for a marathon is a huge time commitment. This will be her first marathon. Stephanie is 46 years old.
Back in 2012, Stephanie wanted to do something to be more active and stay in shape. She was involved with curling, but when the curling club she belonged to closed its doors, she needed to find another activity she loved. With her children and husband so heavily involved in sports, she needed something that was inexpensive and that she could do to fill the small amount of precious spare time she had here and there.
I just put on a pair of running shoes and out I went.
Stephanie admits she was out of shape before running
Her first few runs were tough. She started with just running from lamppost to lamppost in her neighbourhood. Her lungs burned and her legs hurt. Then a friend, about the same age and with children the same ages, joined her. Stephanie was now multi-tasking with getting into shape and socializing. She was having fun with it. They ran a couple of times per week and started the C25K (Couch to 5 km) App program. They trained for the Mother’s Day Woman’s 5 km Run that year.
She was training in non-wicking clothes, including generic sweatpants. Stephanie had not been running in proper running shoes either. Over time, it put a strain on her legs and joints. During the Mother’s Day Woman’s Run fundraiser, Stephanie experienced her first running injury, Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome. After the event, she had to rest to recover.
Stephanie eventually learned to run smarter
She had herself fitted properly for a good pair of running shoes. She joined up with experienced runners and coaches, soaking up all the knowledge she could. Stephanie loves the social aspect of running. It is her time away with friends. It is her time to escape her busy work and home life and focus on herself. Her running and fitness started to improve the more she ran. She wanted to progress further. She started talking about running longer distances.
Stephanie did run further
Stephanie signed up to run a 10 km race in the Miles with the Giant in Thunder Bay, Ontario. However, she had very little time to train for this race. She had only achieved one 9 km training run before the race. She found herself injured once again. This time it was her Achilles tendon.
I was a weekend warrior. It was all or nothing.
Stephanie has determination and perseverance
Not deterred by her injuries, Stephanie wanted to run in the historic Fire Fighters 10 Mile Road Race. She teamed up now with an experienced runner and was introduced to the concept of the 10:1 interval. This is a training method where you run intervals of 10 minutes with a 1 minute walking break between. It can be a fantastic way to train. She slowly increased the interval time and distance until she was running 10 miles. She completed the 10 Mile Road Race uninjured that year.
First Half Marathon
After surviving her 10 mile goal, she teamed up with a group of other football mom’s and trained for her first half marathon. The group trained together and encouraged each other. In 2016, Stephanie ran the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth, MN in 2 hours and 42 minutes. It was a tough year for running that race, as the temperatures rose above 28 C (82 F) causing race officials to issue a black flag. Stephanie and her buddies found themselves suffering and slowing down towards the end of the race. It took this race for Stephanie to believe she was a real runner.
Running allows me to run out the crazies and calm down. Along the route, I can see things I wouldn’t normally see if I just drove by.
Stephanie wants to run a marathon next
Since, Stephanie has run many races, including multiple half marathons. She finds running addicting and loves the support she gets from other runners and spectators at races. It makes her feel energized and relieves stress. She says that her runner friends are some of the best friends she has. Her close friends growing up are great, but she has bonded with many runner friends. Stephanie then laughed as she recalled herself getting stuck in her sweaty bra after that very hot and humid half marathon. She managed to get the bra only part way off, leaving her arms hanging out like a “Tyrannosaurus rex”, as she described it. She had to ask for help. “Only true friends will help you out of a bra dripping in sweat”, she explained.
Stephanie loves running and now wants to tackle a full marathon
When asked why she wants to run a marathon, she answered “why not”, but continues to clarify:
Will I love to run 42.2 km? I don’t know. Stay tuned…
You can follow Stephanie and my adventures in this Marathon Challenge here at pinkribbonrunner.com during our training for the 2019 Twin Cities Medtronic’s Marathon.