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Deep Thoughts- There’s These Things I Do When it Comes to Running and Racing

Deep Thoughts- There’s These Things I Do When it Comes to Running and Racing


Whelp. Here we are.

Funny how I always imagine I’ll get a ton of things done during the day and then here I am again finally getting a chance to attempt to play “catch up” once everyone’s in bed.

Managed to get my treadmill run in this morning. Once I was on there it wasn’t so bad. Kelly and Michael helped a bit. And dang I love her hair.

photo 2

My training plan said it was my last tempo run. 7 miles with 4 of them at tempo. I’ve got to admit, I never did any other tempo ones. Not sure exactly what happened there. I know I missed one the other week, but I don’t remember any others. Oops. I guess I did my only and final tempo run today. I was supposed to run my 4 tempo miles at 6:50. I didn’t. I did three of them at 6:58 and then the last one at 6:53 or so. I’m going to call that close enough. I’m just not as fast as I was before my injury and I really need to remember that. I have stinking hip dysplasia for goodness sake. I’m darn lucky I can run at all.


On a side note, I’m going to sleep in my sports bra more often when I need to run in the morning. I really think it helped and it’s so darn nice to get the run in early (like you cool people who do regularly).


Not that you care, but I did the whole teach a BOSU class and then go directly to the hair salon today. I had some pretty cute escorts.

photo 1

You know you need to do something with your hair when your mom is offering to babysit, the hubs hints that he really liked your hair when it was short and your friend tells you it’s been close to 8 months since it was trimmed. Lovely.

Oh, and heck yes, Batman came with us.

photo 3

Mom picked up the superheroes so I made a pit stop on the way to the car for some farmer’s market essentials.

Nothing too exciting, but I got some pretty awesome heirloom tomatoes and a whole bag of jalapeños for only a dollar. Score.

photo 4




I have to admit something. I rarely stretch before I run. I’m usually on the treadmill or out the door, run, and then when I’m done I do some quick stretches and get in the shower (or do the Action Wipes shower thing).

If I’m lucky I make time afterwards to foam roll and do my PT exercises, but if I’m being honest, that doesn’t always happen. It should.


I got this email the other day from Runner’s World with this running warm up that is pretty simple and quick. I’m going to start doing it before my runs and see if it helps.

Um, how cool are her Wave Sayonara shoes?

I also saw this one on some stretches to do immediately after running. These are already my go to stretches for afterwards and can be done anywhere.


These videos almost make me want to make my own video. Hmm…..


Well, I’m officially into the taper part of my Marine Corps Marathon training plan with the Runner’s World Challenge. I’m already a bit nervous about the race. It’s just been so long. I really don’t have any time goals or anything because I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Pretty much I just want to complete it and feel great afterwards.

I’m scared though. My last marathon was the LA Marathon in March and three days after that I couldn’t walk and was out of running for 5 months.

I’m not only nervous about the marathon, but I’m anxious about upcoming travel. I’m not a good traveler. I usually get all worked up about it.

Next weekend I’ll be in Pennsylvania for the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival.

(Note- You can still register here AND get 10% on either that hat trick or the half marathon using code StehlyRWHat or StehlyRWHalf.)

I’m super excited as it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. It was epic last year and has been my favorite race weekend ever by far. Thanks to Mizuno and Runner’s World I’m able to go again this year. I’m truly blessed.



in the past as big events or races get closer, things start to happen.

I do things.

I feel guilty that I’m going to be leaving my family for the weekend.

I start to question my training.

I worry.

I make some not that smart decisions about sleep, rest and fueling properly.

I pretty much do things so that if I fail or if the race doesn’t go as planned, I have excuses.

Weird, right?


I know I’m not the only person who does this as I’ve had many conversations with friends about it, but it’s just so silly.

Why would I question my training? I’ve done the best I can to follow my plan. And Beavis, I’m coming out of a pretty darn serious injury.

I really shouldn’t be able to do the high mileage I’m doing, but I’m doing it. Yes, I’m slower and I’ll never be able to compete with some of my fast friends, but heck, I sure am learning that my body can handle a lot.


I’m determined to make it different this time.

This is my zillionth chance to get things right. In the past I’ve made poor choices pretty much before every big race.

Obviously that didn’t suite me very well.

So many things are different this time around. I will not make the same mistakes again.


This time……..

I will rest.

I will fuel properly.

I will take full advantage of my taper time.

I will spend as much time as possible being Mommy before the crazy travel starts.

I will remember that family comes first.  Racing and running are huge blessings that make me appreciate and use what I’ve been given, but they come after life priorities.



if things are a bit quite around here it’s because I’m giving my “taper time” to my boys and I’m focusing on NOT falling into some of my past bad habits.

My family has sacrificed a lot over the past few months and this “taper time” is a good chance for me to give back a little to them.


I really love this post written by the fabulous Jen Van Allen (who I’m really excited to hang out with two weekends in a row). I feel like all of us who are mothers who run can relate and struggle with the same things. Trying to balance when it’s time to train and when it’s time to be mom. It’s a daily struggle for me and it’s nice to read that others deal with the same things.

I’ve read this post that she wrote a couple of days ago at least 4 times. I love it.

Lessons Learned


I get it. In a huge way.

Things that it brought to my attention:

Something has to give. Honestly, you don’t even want to know how many things that “give” at our house. The list is long.

My boys don’t care about how fast or far I run. All they want right now is for me to play with their new train set with them. Time is love.

I always feel fortunate to run, but also feel guilty for what I might be missing.

I need to remind myself why I run. I run to be a better person. To use the gift that I’ve been given. But, it’s not number one. It’s just something that when done properly adds to the abundance of life.



Oh man, I did not mean to get all serious and such. Oopsies.


One last deep thought while I’m at it though.


Best quote ever from Jillian Michaels (even though I’m not loving her podcasts quite as much lately):

“Why do you choose to fail when you can succeed?”


Yeah, what is up with that?


Everything is a choice. It should be so easy to just make the right one. The one that’s better for us, right?

I think it’s fear of failure. Fear holds us back. No one wants to fail. If we have excuses, even if we make them for ourselves. it’s a little easier to handle the failure part.

But, failure isn’t failure, it’s proof that you WENT FOR SOMETHING.

That you made goals, you worked hard and went for it.

So what if it doesn’t turn out quite how you planned.

That’s when you get up and freaking do it again. It’s the chance to do it better.




Okay, seriously that’s enough from me.  Let’s call it a night.

photo 5

No more deep thoughts for awhile.



Do stretch before and/or after you run?

Got any deep thoughts for me?

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  1. 1
    Erica says:

    YES- running first thing always does feel best. Do we get to see how the hair looks?! I have a hair appointment on Friday and I cannot wait. I think its so normal for runners to doubt their training. I am doing that right now as well. And its definitely normal for Mom’s to feel guilty about everything haha. You’ll do great at the marathon!!

  2. 2
    Tess says:

    Have you ever heard the saying “As we get older we get wiser”! Of course you have and that’s because it’s true!!! There will always be opportunities to try again and again…..as long as you go into it wiser than the last time you’re successful!!! Time IS love!!! You’ve proved what doesn’t work for you now do what you know does.;)

  3. 3
    Laura says:

    Love that Lessons Learned article. I read it the other day…so well written, and true!! You are totally ready for your upcoming races….now it’s time to experience and enjoy them! I am so pumped for next weekend….I really should start getting ready. Tonight I’m running with Bart and the editors and then there is some kind of Q&A and general race info talk with them….can’t wait!!!

  4. 4

    I need a haircut, too. It’s been 5-6 months since my last one. I usually get one every 3 months. I am due! My youngest daughter is trying to talk me into going short again. I like how it looks short, but she doesn’t understand it’s harder to deal with the shorter it is. Too many curls!

  5. 5

    I finally took the plunge and got a haircut a couple weeks ago after letting mine grow out for the past 2 years! It took some getting used to but felt SO much better!

    I want to see an “after” picture 🙂

    I typically do dynamic stretching before a run to warm up my muscles (I’ve learned this does wonders for preventing piriformis issues and IT bad issues) and then deeper stretching once it is over.

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    Yes – “after” picture, please!

    If travel stress starts to get you down, just think of all the fun you’ll be having with so many other incredible athletes.

    By running these next few races, you are giving your boys (and us) a living example of how to pick yourself up from being hurt, dedication to a goal, and creating healthy lifelong habits. Those attributes will make for strong young men (both physically and emotionally strong).

    You got this!!!

    • 6.1
      Nicole says:

      Oh yeah, and I suck at stretching. I did a quick 2.5 miles this morning before work and didn’t warm up nor stretch after. OOPS. 🙁

    • 6.2
      STUFT Mama says:

      Oh Nicole, thanks for saying that. That is one thing I am in fact proud of. I want to be the best example I can be to my boys. 🙂 Maybe we should hold each other accountable for stretching. Ha ha.

  7. 7
    Valerie says:

    Thanks for the deep thoughts! I definitely struggle with standing in my own way! I am working on getting sponsors for my competition but I am too afraid of rejection to ask. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies…

  8. 8
    Michelle Kim says:

    I like to stretch after I run. You sure have some deep thoughts when it comes to racing!! For me, I definitely have doubts, especially when I have a big PR goal in mind… but I always just have to trust those tough workouts (track and tempo’s!), and then believe that the training was enough. Luckily, I PR’d on Sunday with my half. I wanted to break 1:40, and I got 1:38:xx! All the little thoughts and stressing I did over whether my goal was attainable or not got washed away in the last couple of miles of the half 🙂

  9. 9

    I’m not as good at stretching as I should be either. Best wishes to you on your races, I know you are excited!

  10. 10
    Kim says:

    I stretch my calves and Achilles only because I have chronic issues with them.
    Umm….where is the after shot of your hair?!

  11. 11

    Ah deep thoughts! Now that you have let them out into the web world we are all here to support you, encourage you, and make sure you take care of yourself and don’t fall into your old habits. You’ve got it and make this the time to do it differently and the right way! There is a first for everything…right? You are going to do great. You ROCK! XOXO

  12. 12
    kolya says:

    First off….I’m a DC’er as I mentioned and LOVE checking out the marathon but just be aware that there may be some major changes with the whole race if any of the Nat. Park service or other Fed stuff is involved since basically with the shutdown going on all Nat’l and Federal Park services are inoperative and I know they are making adjustments/cancellations due to that. I”d check ahead…

    Either way give me a shout out if I can help out or you need anything while in DC. It’s an awesome city and I love it! Where are you staying?

  13. 13

    “Why do you choose to fail when you can succeed?” Really good one!!

    As you know, I am not a runner – I do it for cardio but I do dynamic stretching before & during my treadmill runs & I do stretch after my workouts when my muscles are warm.

    I think we all doubt ourselves at times & the thought process can be healing…

  14. 14
    MIZ says:



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