Today I’m introducing Stefanie, my Fit Chick for February!

Stefanie is a So-Cal native (also a UCSD grad) currently living and attending med-school in Chicago.  She is one of those people that I always see pop up on my Facebook feed, completing another race, another distance.  Just recently I saw she just signed up for her first 50-miler!  I’m so excited to follow along and see how her training goes.

Last year Stefanie and her boyfriend set a goal to run 13 races in 2013 (half marathon distance and up only).  This proved to be a lot harder than they thought as they were entering their 3rd year of medical school!  To date she has run 16-half marathons, 2-full marathons, 1-50K, and the 50 miler is coming September 2014!

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Introduce yourself: Hi! I’m Stefanie, avid runner/yogi/gym rat. I am currently wrapping up my 3rd year of medical school in Chicago, where I’m training to be a surgeon (hopefully specializing in athletes).

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How/when did you first get into running? I first got into running when I was about 10 years old. I grew up practicing ballet, jazz, and modern dance – then cheerleading in high school and into college. As girly as all those sound, I looked up to my dad, an all-American collegiate basketball, soccer, and track star, so incredibly much. He had been running every day since I can remember growing up, and I started throwing on my sneakers and going with him. He has also been running a consistent 7 minute/mile pace on literally any type of terrain from then until now…talk about inspiring!  (her dad is in the blue RnR singlet above)

Weekly workout schedule? My weekly workout schedule lately has been varying a lot due to crazy hours at the hospital, but my New Year’s resolution for 2014 was to keep things consistent even when exhausted 😉 I like starting Mondays off strong with either speedwork (400 m sprints) or a fast 5K followed by strength training. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday I will combine 4-8 mile runs depending on what I’m training for, with strength training and yoga. I like to rest 2 days out of the week to avoid injury, and these normally seem to fall on Fridays and Sundays. I like to get my long run (depending on the season these are anywhere from a 10-20 mile run) in on Saturdays in case there’s inclement weather or another running SNAFU, I get a 2nd chance on Sunday :) Strength training consists of whole body work-outs, usually grouping shoulders/chest/arms and legs/abs/back using weights and machines.

Favorite workout at the moment? I never thought I’d say this because I normally loathe the treadmill (but unfortunately it’s essential in the nasty winter state of the Midwest right now), but lately I have been loving a 45 minute Alpine Hill work-out on the ‘mill while watching the winter Olympics…followed by a 15 minute core yoga sequence :)

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? I love sauteeing frozen wild salmon burgers in garlic and Cajun spices, then chopping them up and throwing them into a frozen quinoa mix that contains kale, tomatoes, and low-fat mozzarella. 10 minutes tops!

Favorite indulgence? I just can’t say no to a really good burger after a long run :)

When I wake up I…drink organic juice and do a few sun salutations.

What are your goals for this year? My goals for this year are to run a full marathon in under 4 hours and get closer to that 3:35 Boston qualifying time, run a 1:45 half marathon, and to finish the North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin 50 Miler strong and healthy.

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How do you decide which races to run each year? I am usually pretty tied down to a certain area due to school with limited chances to travel, but I am always looking ahead for unique, local races that fit within my busy schedule. For instance, my boyfriend and I happened to have a Monday off from school so we decided to drive out to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 half marathon where part of the course was a lap around the famed race track. On a smaller scale, we fit in a local half marathon in Ft Worth, TX while visiting his family, and actually ended up snagging 1st places in our categories. The moral of the story is, wherever you go…find a race to run :)

What’s your biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? My biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle is fighting the temptation to relax on the couch with Netflix (and goldfish or some other less than ideal snack) after being on my feet all day in the OR.

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Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? It takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to lead a healthy lifestyle, especially if you are often time-crunched. But whenever I’m feeling lazy, I remind myself of how amazing I feel after a run, workout, or even after a healthy vs. junky meal or I stare at my goals for 2014 that I have strategically placed on my refrigerator for motivation. I try to conquer all negative thoughts, whether it be about fitness or life, because it’s astonishing how much you can accomplish just by being positive.

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