One of the epic stories of the world is the hero returning home. Steph Rothstein Bruce started her journey in NYC as a newborn in a cabinet drawer at the Plaza Hotel (read on!), and has decided for her 2017 marathon to test her mettle through the 5 boroughs. Steph gives all of us motivation with her coaching tips and #realrunning mojo. And now we get a chance to superfan her! Countdown to NYC!!
Steph as a baby
SL: Steph! So exciting you'll be running your first NYC marathon! Tell us about your decision to race there.
SR: I have wanted to race the NYC City Marathon ever since I became a marathoner. I know it's a tough course so part of me wanted to wait later in my career when I knew I could handle a heavy training load. I have raced on the streets of NY many times in the last 8 years and the crowds and fans are just electric. It was an easy decision when I was planning out my fall.
Steph, her brother Jamie, and their three dogs, after moving back to Long Island
SL: We know you have deep NYC roots, tell us your story! Are you the original Eloise?
SR: So on Friday the 13th of January, 1984 my very pregnant mom got on a plane from Greensboro, NC and flew to NYC. She gave birth to me the next day at Lenox Hill Hospital. That first week, since she didn't want to travel back right away we stayed at the Plaza Hotel. Rumor has it, my parents took out a drawer and put blankets in it and that was my "crib" that week. I left NY as a newborn but returned back 9 years later while my family lived on Long Island. We lived on the very east end of the island in a town called East Moriches. We only lived there for a year but my dad stayed there and I would go back during summers and holidays to visit him. My childhood NY memories were filled with Knishes, delis, Jones Beach, the Empire State Building, and Carvel Ice Cream.
SL: NY isn't known to be a fast course, and the weather can be unpredictable. What is your strategy for mentally preparing for this race?
SR: Prepare to get really fit and see how that translates on race day. Since NYC has had fickle weather and tough conditions over the years, I'm preparing to just be in the best shape possible and make game day decisions on how to race.
Steph after finishing the California International Marathon in 2016
SL: Do you have a favorite spot on the course already picked out? One you are most looking forward to?
SR: Favorite spot? The 26 mile mark hahahaha! Honestly I don't as I've only really run the last 3 miles of the course. I've watched the race many times on tv and in person but it's hard to feel a course out when you're not actually running on it. I'm preparing for the electricity on 1st Ave and hoping to stay composed. I guess I'm really looking forward to just hearing all the fans yelling at us throughout the entire race. I love fans!
SL: Your teammate Kellyn is racing as well. How does that change your training and racing plans?
SR: Having Kellyn during this buildup will be a great addition. Kellyn brings her A game to all of her workouts and I know she'll push me on the days that I need pushing. I'm hoping we can work together and train symbiotically this fall so we both set ourselves up to have great days in NY.
SL: Do you have a training mantra for September?
SR: Training Mantra - Be smart, train cautiously aggressive, and keep a level head. The fitness will come.
We'll reach back out in October to touch base. We are so thrilled to cheer you on Steph!