Once upon a time I was sitting at my desk at the radio station I worked for as an advertising account executive checking my email….really I was just scrolling through reading subject lines and deleting without opening when all of a sudden one caught my eye.
It was from Nike and said something about entering yourself into the lottery for the Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. I thought to myself the only way I would be running a marathon is if I was “lucky” enough to be chosen through a lottery… because I liked to run but I wasn’t THAT crazy. A marathon was 26.2 MILES and the most I ever ran in one shot was MAYBE 5….so, I entered…and 2 months later found out I got picked! Oh $h!t…looks like I better start training!
5 months of training – lots of hours hitting the pavement, the trails, the parks – it was tons of hard work and took up lots of time. This was way before kids when I, you know, actually had time to work towards this kind of goal.
This month one of the most well known races will take place – the Boston Marathon – and you can’t just get in with a little luck like me – you need to qualify…and by qualify I mean run fast as hell.
First, if I ever wanted to run another marathon again (I don’t) I can’t even imagine running fast enough to ever qualify – but even if I could HOW would I find the time to fit in all the training now being a mom?
Well, it just so happens that Fit Mom Strong Mom Ambassador, Steph (mom of 4!) IS qualified for Boston and has one of the most incredible comeback stories you will ever hear.
Steph was a very competitive runner in high school (5:06 miler) and she continued her passion for running into adulthood.
But when she was 6 months pregnant with her 2nd child (son Bodie who’s now 17) she had a near fatal car accident on the way to her 6 month check-up. Her 5 year old daughter, Paige, was with her, but was not seriously injured.
A driver had run a stop sign and hit their car. Steph injured her back, fractured her pelvis and both hips. She also went into preterm labor, but thankfully the doctors were able to stop it.
While she and her son survived, she had a long road ahead of her. Steph had back surgery after the birth of her son and lots of physical therapy. She was also told she would need to hang up her running shoes.
Steph says, “I am not a quitter and when I was told I could not run again…well, it was devastating. It was just what I needed to prove I could and would run again!”
Since the accident Steph has completed 23 half marathons, 20 full marathons & 4 ultra marathons!
I had the opportunity to interview Steph about her upcoming Boston Marathon.
FMSM: When did you qualify for Boston?
Steph: I ran a 3:48 at Mt Charleston marathon & felt pretty defeated. Instead of waiting until next year or maybe giving up, I applied to run on Kathrine Switzer‘s team – 261 Fearless & I was accepted. She was the first woman to run the Boston marathon, when it was illegal for women to run it. The race director tried to drag her off the course, but she refused to quit. It is the 50th anniversary of that incident & she is 70 years young now…same age as my Mom. I raised $7300 for her charity, Team 261 Fearless that helps women get back on their feet, find confidence, inspiration, support & meets other needs to empower & help them through her running club.
FMSM: Being a mom of 4 – how did you find time for training?
Steph: I try & get most of my workouts in while my kiddos are at school, I am a stay home Mom & my Hubby is very supportive. I do my long runs early on Saturdays while they are sleeping or Mondays while they are at school. Life is busy, but I love showing my kids that we Moms can have goals & dreams too.
FMSM: What are you looking forward to most during this race?
Steph: I am most looking forward to the experience of the Boston marathon. I am also very excited about being part of a team of women helping other women find themselves again through running. I am extremely competitive & I always give all I have in a race, but this race is less about a PR & myself and more about something way bigger than my own aspirations. I also can’t wait to give my Momma the medal!
FMSM: What is your next fitness goal?