Do you live to run? Do you plan your day around your running? Do you try to get everyone you know to start running?
If you answered yes to any of these, you may have the runs. If you answered yes to ALL of them, you definitely do!

Stephanie C has the runs

The next installment of "People who have the runs"

"After a good run, I am able to conquer anything the kids throw at me."

Why do you run?
Running is my sanity and therapy. Being a single mom of four, things get pretty hectic at our house. I love being able to forget about all of that and just run. It provides me with the "me time" that I desperately need, and I have found that I am a better mother because of it. After a good run, I am able to conquer anything the kids throw at me.

How long have you been running? How did you get started? Why did you choose running over other activities?
I started running in spring 2009. I needed a way to cope with the stress of an unhappy marriage and caring for four children all under the age of 4. I was also looking for an easy, inexpensive way to help me drop the baby weight that I had left from my twins, who were born in summer 2008. Other people I knew were getting into running, and I thought if they could do it, I could do it, too. I laced up my shoes and haven't stopped since.

How do you motivate yourself to run regularly? What about on the days the weather is bad or your are feeling particularly lazy?
Having a goal to work toward helps motivate me. I do my best when I am training for something like a marathon. I know that I need to get those training runs in, so I don't fall behind. That's not to say that I don't have my lazy days, but I think of how great I will feel after I am done. That usually gets my butt off the couch. About that cold weather...I am not a cold weather kind of girl. When it's chilly, I take my runs inside.

Do you use a running coach, or read any books to aid in your training?
I don't have a coach or read any training books, but I have found a wealth of knowledge on Twitter. There are so many great tips that people post!

How do you fit running in with your daily schedule?
I am not going to lie; I don't have the opportunity to run every day, but I do make it a priority. I am fortunate enough to belong to a gym with a daycare, so 2-3 night each week, we go there after dinner. My long training runs are always reserved for the weekend, and I have family and friends help me with the kids.

Do your friends and family support your running or think you are crazy?
My family and friends are very supportive and help me. All of this would not be possible if it weren't for them, and for that I am so thankful. I am sure they think that I'm crazy for willingly putting my body through the training and races, but they are still the ones who are my biggest cheerleaders. My boyfriend is also a runner, and I love that this is something that we can do together. My oldest daughter just started getting into running and ran her first race on March 16. I am looking forward to making this a family affair.

What is your favorite running terrain (road, trail, treadmill)?
I love running on the road, especially road races. I am not a huge fan of the treadmill, but without it, I would not be able to train. I try to put my mind somewhere else when I am on there.

What is the hardest race you’ve run to date?
Cleveland Marathon 2012. This race was, by far, the most miserable one that I have completed to date, but I feel it was an accomplishment just to finish. I was coming back from a knee injury, the weather conditions were hot and humid, I needed to stop at almost every bathroom stop after the half, and my legs cramped up so badly during the second half that I had to alternate between walking and running to the finish. I just kept telling myself that I could make it, and I did. It wasn't pretty, but I definitely felt like I earned my medal that day.

What is the most enjoyable race you’ve run to date?
The 2012 Columbus Marathon was absolutely wonderful! In addition to being the first marathon that I was able to run in entirety without walking, I loved the partnership with Nationwide Children's Hospital. Each mile was in honor of a patient who overcame great health obstacles, and each mile marker was decorated with a theme picked by the child. Most of the time, the child and his/her family were there cheering you on as you ran past. It was a truly humbling and motivating experience and one that I will never forget.

Have you ever been injured due to running?
Yes, I have had a few injuries. My IT band caused problems for me in 2010 and 2011, and I was told that I had impinged fat pads in my knees in 2012. I didn't even know knees could have fat pads!

What were the ramifications?
Luckily, I have never had to pull out of a race due to injury (knock on wood!), but I did have to take time off to heal. Physical therapy helped me in 2012, and I have exercises that I can do at home. To help prevent injury, I have been more diligent about stretching, and I take ibuprofen, which have made a big difference. I also incorporated strength training into my routine.

Do you use any music or run tracking devices when you run, or are you a naked runner?
If I didn't have music I would go crazy! I almost always run with music, and I use my Garmin when I am running outdoors. I truly appreciate those people who can just put on a pair of shoes and go, but, unfortunately, that is not me. I also make sure that I am wearing my Road ID every time I am outside, just in case.

How do you get yourself through the difficult parts of your runs?
When things get difficult, I try to mentally break it down into more manageable pieces. When a 20-miler seems daunting, I let myself focus on getting through it 4-5 miles at a time. I also think of my grandma who lost her battle with cancer in 2008. She was fiery and feisty, and I try to channel that to help me make it through. Lastly, I have a few songs on my running play list that always get me motivated. It is amazing what the power of music can do.

Do you have a personal mantra or do you just give up?
I don't have a personal mantra per se, but I keep telling myself that I can do this. I have had times when I have needed to bail on a run because it just wasn't working. I try not to dwell on those (easier said than done) and focus on accomplishing it next time.

A lot of runners know that “Who has the runs” has a double meaning. How do you deal with the occasional “problem” that plagues every runner at one time or another?
Oh my goodness, I hate this problem! I try to watch what I am eating, especially the last few days before a long run. I think I may have solved this problem, at least for me, when I ran the Columbus Marathon. I cut back on dairy, fiber, fruits, and veggies when the race was nearing. 
My go-to foods were bananas, chicken, and rice. I also only drank water to hydrate instead of sports drinks. It seemed to help me a lot, and I was able to run the race without a single bathroom stop.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up running?
If you are thinking about running, just give it a try! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The great part about running is you join a group that is supportive and motivates you every step of the way. I love the camaraderie between runners. It doesn't matter if you're fast or slow. What matters is you run, and that is enough. Welcome to the club!

What is your next big race?
My next big race is the Cleveland Marathon on Sunday, May 19, 2013. This will be my fourth marathon, and I am beyond excited. I was also fortunate enough to be chosen as one of their official bloggers. You can check out all of the bloggers by visiting

What is your immediate running goal?
My immediate running goal is a new marathon PR. I completed Columbus in 4:38 (not fast, but I was pleased). I am shooting for 4:30 and will be thrilled for anything under that.

What is your ultimate running goal?
I would love to push myself and complete an ultramarathon. Not sure if I could do it now, but maybe I should add it to my bucket list.

Do you have a way we can keep track of your progress (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc)
I blog about running and other life adventures at, so please check that out
Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @StephCharles. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I like running and also go for running with my college friends daily because it can increase our body strength and burn fat.