Something about Steph

My running journey began in January of 2011. I saw a photo of myself from Christmas sitting on the couch with my nephew and realized I had lost control. I joined Weight Watchers and set a goal to lose 50 pounds by my 30th birthday on 10/13. I expect presents now! About a month into WW I had lost a decent amount of weight and read about running a 5k on one of the WW message boards. I checked out a couch to 5k program on my iPod touch and decided to give it a whirl. Since it was winter, and I didn't really think running outside was an option, I did my training on a treadmill at the local gym.

I can still visualize that first run. I remember feeling like an elephant and thinking that everyone was staring at me and could hear me clomp down loudly as I took each step. It was brutal, but I kept going. I did my scheduled workouts and was able to run for longer periods of time. Who knew people could run for more then five minutes! I hadn't learned the art of pacing yet, but I continued and set a goal race. I decided that I would run the Lilac 5k, which is part of the Lilac Festival in Rochester during the month of May.

Still smiling and not sweaty....YET!

Well the race came and I roped my dad and Rob into running it with me. I didn't really have adequate running clothes and I was used to running in a flat and air conditioned environment. Man was I in for a rude awakening. It was incredibly warm and insanely humid. Also, unbeknownst to me the course was hilly. Needless to say I finished, but there was more walking involved then I had hoped. Even with the challenges of the day I had caught the running bug. By my second 5k, about a month later, I was able to run the entire race! I think that is one of my favorite things about running, you can track your progress and see your success.

Dad, Rob and Me
I continued to lose more weight and set more running goals. Over the summer I connected with the local Fleet Feet and drank the Kool-Aid, heck I pretty much swam in it!! They offer a No Boundaries program where I decided to train for my first 10k, which is actually a 12k. I realized that running outside and with people, is way more fun and exciting then running inside, even though the air conditioning is nice. I completed my 12k race thinner, faster, happier and with more friends then when I began.
Laura and Me before the Summerfest 12k

I hit my 50lb weight loss goal about a month before my 30th birthday. During those eleven months Rob was also hard at work. He had discovered CrossFit Rochester, cycling and triathlons. It was great and easier to be successful as a couple. Plus a little friendly competition is a helpful motivator. 

Our Transformation: 2010-2012 (No more Miss Piggy legs)

13.1 done!
When you get farther distances under your belt it is easier to imagine the next jump. I set a goal at the beginning of 2012 to run 3 half marathons. I once again joined Fleet Feet with their HFM training program and trained mostly with the 12 minute pace group towards the Flower City Half Marathon in April of 2012. In addition to gaining more miles and losing more inches, I acquired a fabulous group of running friends who make my life and runs way more interesting. I would meet my goal by also completing the Oak Tree Half in Geneseo and the Rochester Half Marathon.
Thea, Katie, Me & Molly
In 2013 I ran three half marathons and my first full marathon in the first five months! Check out my Race Calendar page to see what events I have coming up. In addition to running, I also like to give back to the running community by volunteering at races and last year I helped Fleet Feet pace their HFM program. Now people are coming to me for advice and suggestions, crazy! I also am a head coach for The Girls on The Run chapter in Rochester. If you have any questions or want to contact me email 

After completing my first full marathon
in Cleveland, May 2013.


  1. Steph - Seems like your first No Bo session corresponded with my last (I was a coach, but worked mostly with the 5K group). So my sheepish Coach-of-300-People Moment is that I don't really remember you. But I saw your link on the FF page, and wandered over. I no longer live in Rochester (or withing thousands of miles of a Fleet Feet store), so reading about your experiences was a breath of fresh air that brought a smile to my face.

    I also love reading about how running changes peoples' lives - after all, that's really the #1 reason I love to coach! I'm impressed with how far you've come, and look forward to following your continuing journey.

    Wishing you many happy miles!!

    1. Holly!!! You WERE one of my coaches but with a few hundred people it can be overwhelming I'm sure. In fact you were one of the coaches that presented at the NoBo info session I attended. Please don't get freaked out by my memory, but I think I even remember you were going to college or maybe working at a college at the time. I vaguely remember you saying how running helps clear your head and how you get work problems solved while running, or something like that. I guess you never know the influence your words can have on someone. I am excited to give back to new runners like you did to me! Thanks for taking the time to read & comment and I am glad I could help you relive some good FF memories. -Stephanie

  2. Hahaha! Not freaked out at all - I know that being 1 of 8 coaches is more memorable (to the participants) than being 1 of 300 participants (to the coaches). And that was definitely part of my spiel. I was a PhD student at the time, and running was one place I could 'go' where no one would bother me, so I could think through hard problems/weird experimental results. :) Good memory for you! You must be running enough to keep your head clear and thoughts focused! ;-) Again, looking forward to this wisp of a connection back to Rochester, and sharing your journey over the next few months! :)

  3. So excited that I made the blog!!! I love our runs and the friendships we have developed on them! You encourage me more than you know! I'm excited to follow your journey to 26.2 and run a few of those training miles with you. I think a 26.2 party is in order after you and Molly run your races.

  4. Such an awesome story! Congrats on transforming your life -- major accomplishment & congratulations on your recent engagement as well!