Stefanie is a foot and ankle surgeon in Lakewood, Colorado who is passionate about keeping her patients active. Stefanie is a long distance runner, having completed four 100 mile races, over 20 ultra marathons, and dozens of 5K's up to the marathon. She has recently found success on the roads and is currently seeking an Olympic Trials Qualifying time in the marathon.
When did you find your love for running?
I grew up going on short runs as a child with my dad, but played other sports throughout high school. I started running regularly in medical school to help manage the stress.
What is your favorite trail or place to run?
I love running along the Highline Canal Trail in Denver, the Peaks to Plains Trail in Golden, or really along any mountain trail!
What gets you out of bed on those mornings when you’re not motivated to chase your dreams?
Habit! Motivation is great, but it's not always there. I've made my running & training a habit, just like brushing my teeth. But unlike a mundane chore, that habit is constantly fueled by the drive to build the best engine I can. I have specific goals written out & pinned to my fridge - getting to them requires that daily grind.
How does being in nature consistently change your daily perspective?
It definitely gives me a great respect for the earth we live on & the fact that in the big scheme of things, I am small. It's humbling and the perfect reminder not to take ourselves or life too seriously!
What are some of your strategies that you use to stay running ready at all times?
I am all about all the things that aren't running that actually keep me running! Sleep is huge to me - when training at a high level, I simply can't skimp on it. I look to get at least 8 hours each night, the more the better. Nutrition is also paramount - I fuel my body for the tasks I demand of it, but don't place enormous restrictions on myself. Everything in moderation (except moderation). I foam roll before every run - I entered my 30s this year and mobility has become so key in preventing injuries. Lastly, I don't start a speed work-out without taking Ethos Work! Ethos provides the key ingredients to keep me mentally in the work-out & the focus to push my body.
What will qualifying for the Olympic Trials mean to you?
I honestly never even thought I'd type the words "qualify for the Olympic trials." I established the goal at the beginning of 2019, at the encouragement of my coach, and have had a roller coaster of a year to get where I am today. It will mean so much to qualify, simply because I had the courage to give myself a shot. It symbolizes years of hard work, struggle, doubt but also a whole lot of self-acceptance and belief.
What is your ultimate goal with your pursuit?
My ultimate goal with running is to continue to enjoy myself and the journey - this was always for fun. It has been an amazing byproduct to get the best out of myself in the process.
You win an olympic gold, now what?
I don't think I'll be winning an Olympic gold, but I appreciate the confidence! If I did, I'd love to use the publicity to raise funds for two big passions - cancer research & animal rescue.