Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thumbs Up Thursday....Stephanie Arango

This week's spotlight is on Stephanie of Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge. Once you read her interview, head on over to her blog and say hello. It is an amazing read! I promise you won't be disappointed! Stephanie ran the Detroit Marathon on Sunday. I had finished the 1/2 marathon and was hoping to see her finish but somehow I missed her. I did hear them announce her name after she crossed the finish line though. Hopefully our paths with cross again and we will get to meet!

Jodi: How long have you been running?
Stephanie: Started distance running in the 3rd grade... so 15 years.

Jodi: Why did you start running?
Stephanie: A coach/gym teacher "Mr. C" Trained 3rd and 4th grade girls to run the Freihoffers Run for Women 5K in Albany,NY as an initiative to get girls into sports.

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Stephanie: Oh Gosh-- I would definitely say since the 3rd grade. I always wanted to be the fastest and can definitely be a competitive "brat" as some people may put it (ahem, mom!). I even insisted on looking like I was winning when I took a picture of me racing Meb!
Stephanie racing Meb Keflezighi

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Stephanie: The Marathon- It's a distance that will test you SO much physically and mentally, it's unlike any other sport. You line up on the starting line and have NO idea how you're going to do until you're around mile 10 or so-- It's so unpredictable! Also-- you need to do EVERY kind of training to actually race a marathon... speed, endurance, strength! Anything longer than the marathon... there is just too much walking and it's harder to race consistantly.

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Stephanie: The first time I made a BQ (Boston Marathon qualifying time). I don't live in Albany anymore (My job moved me to Cincinnati), but my whole family does and the race was there this past March. A bunch of family and friends were supporting me through the whole race and my mom was at the finish-- we both cried!

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Stephanie: The HURL 50K in Helena, MT. The elevation and mountains we were climbing were brutal. There were very few runners so I felt very much alone, struggling to climb some of the uphills. I was really worried that I couldn't finish... yet there was no way for anybody to get to me if I wanted to drop.
The Hurl 50K Range

Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Stephanie: At the Omaha Marathon this year-- on my 20th marathon of the year I pulled out a serious PR (about 10 minutes) for a 3:24:01. It was the first time I felt completely comfortable racing the WHOLE marathon-- the last few miles I was doing negative splits and felt great! It took over 40 marathons to get completely comfortable... but I finally got there!
Stephanie accepting an award at the Omaha Marathon from Jeff Galloway
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Stephanie: Headphones & my Garmin -- I've only completed 1 long run naked and I'll never do that again.

Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Stephanie: I love GU and sportsbeans!!! I sometimes eat them when I'm sitting at home cause they taste so good! ... is that bad?

Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Stephanie: I've been craving milk lately! Chocolate milk or milkshakes... even ice cream! I also usually get a cheeseburger an hour or 2 after.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Stephanie: Kara Goucher. She runs with the intensity and drive that you're more likely to see in the men's competition. When she got 3rd in her first marathon and wanted to immediately sign up for London the next week I thought ... "SHE is a competitor!" Loved it!
Stephanie in front of a picture of Kara at a Storefrount in Boston

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Stephanie: RUN TO WIN! - Meb Keflezighi writes this everywhere. I like to say "ANYbody can run a marathon!"

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel __________.
Stephanie: Invincible!

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Stephanie: 1) Finish the 50 States by Boston 2011 (currently at 42 states) 2) Get in and complete Badwater! 3) Finish a marathon in under 3:15.

Jodi: Please feel free to add anything else you feel will help others lace up their shoes and get out there and run!!
Stephanie: If you don't feel like you can do something... try! This goes especially for running. It's 90% mental and you'll never fully understand that until you've looked back at something you just completed and remember all the times you thought "I could never do THAT!" After 45 marathons I still shock myself every week. The human spirit is stronger than anything you've ever imagined and it's just waiting for you to test it out.

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Stephanie! Best of luck with your current goals! I am sure you will crush them!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Stephanie YOU inspire ME!!