Stephanie Bruce was our June/July covergirl, we caught up with the mom of two before her Olympic Trials 10k last summer. She’s a 2:29 marathoner who has taken three years away from (arguably) her signature distance. But the Steph Bruce 26.2 hiatus is coming to an end on December 4th, 2016 when she lines up for the California International Marathon. This is a woman to watch.

Your last marathon was Boston 2013, right?
Yes Boston 2013.

A lot has changed since! Do you feel like this is a comeback, or almost a new start?
That’s a great question and I didn’t know how to look at it so before I race it, it’s a comeback. My hope is after I finish that will be the new start.

Biggest change in marathon training from 0 kids to 2 kids under 3?
Sleep, recovery, and time on my feet.

smd-designs.comWhy CIM?
The timing of it being at the end of the year just made sense after I took downtime post Track Trials and really wrapped my head around if I was ready to train for a marathon. I’ve always loved everything about the race and thought the course, the weather, the crowds, it all just made sense.

Goals A, B, C?
A. Getting to the starting line healthy B. Have a positive 1st marathon post children. C. Win the race and demolish my PR.

Do you have a mantra for this buildup or race?
No but I have a song: Sia “Greatist”

Most confidence boosting workout this buildup?

3 mile @MP 5:42s, 5 mins rest.

6 x 1 mile alternating. 5:37, 1 min rest, 5:19, 2 min rest, 5:38, 1 min rest, 5:15, 2 mins rest, 5:38, 1 min rest, 5:10, 5 mins rest

3 mile @5:42s

Most challenging workout this buildup?
My 15 miler at Marathon effort (7000ft) that came after a little injury scare and had a tough windy conditions day for it. The head wind made it so my pace was much slower than goal, but I just ran the right effort. it’s those days where the watch isn’t reading what you want, that you want to quit but in the marathon you need to find that safe place and stay there.

Secret weapon for showing up the line healthy?
Listen to your body, don’t over do it when you’re super fit.

What do you want to hear screamed at you at mile 21?
Anyone’s name from my family! Do it for them. Or a line from the Rocky movies

What’s next after CIM (besides celebrating your return to marathoning, of course)?
Never think past the marathon.

Interview by Sarah Robinson for Freeplay magazine.
Twitter: thatsarahmac
Instagram: thatsarahmac

Photos by: Sean Dulany

Next Read: CIM Countdown with Ashley Brasovan.