Inspiring Latina of the Week: Marathon Runner Stefanie Frances

What is it about running or participating that you love so much?

Running is therapy for me. When I’m running alone, it’s my time to speak to God. I feel connected to Him and I thank him at every mile I get to. I thank Him for the health and all the blessings He’s given me. When I’m running with friends, it’s our time to catch up and share our stories, goals and just listen when they have a need. When I run, I feel strong and free. What a great feeling. (Ok, yes, sometimes not so fun, I’ve had my share of injuries over the years.) But I still love to run.

What would you say to others who think it's too late to start or they're too out of shape?

It is NEVER too late to start running. It's one step at a time. My favorite part of being a mentor for Team in Training is exactly that: to encourage the new runners to know that they can do anything they set their minds and hearts to do.

What's your training schedule like? Has it changed over the years?

I used to train and run 5 to 6 days a week. I was up to 56 miles a week when I trained to run the Chicago Marathon. God knows how much I love running but He had another plan for me. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded custody of three of my grandchildren. The youngest was one year and the oldest nine-years-old. My training came to a complete stop. I was a single parent again.

I managed to run my 30th Nike Marathon in 2012 and my 31st Marathon in December at California International Marathon. I haven’t stopped running... it’s just not as often as I used to. I have the kids running 5ks and participating in triathlons too. They love racing!

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Samantha Leal, Deputy Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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