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October 01, 2018

Lauren Smith Stroud's Road to the Houston Marathon

Written by Neely Gracey
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We reached out to new mom Lauren Stroud, a Texas native, who is aiming to return to marathon racing this January at the 2019 Chevron Houston Marathon. Her preparation for this race will be different than what she is used to, as she rebuilds her endurance and mileage, Lauren will utilize the  adaptive Runcoach training to help take her fitness from where it is now to where she wants it to be in January. With a new baby, Lauren needed a progressive plan and a supportive coaching environment, and we at Runcoach, are thrilled to work together towards her goals. She loves to race, and has her sights set to qualify and compete in the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon. We wish her the best in this journey.

Hello everybody!
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I am so excited to run my first Chevron Houston Marathon! I will have a little extra challenge this year, as I gave birth in August, and I'm learning how to manage my time wisely as a mom. My last marathon was in 2016, and while I love to race and get after shorter distances frequently, the marathon is a whole different challenge. 

I had never heard of Runcoach, but I absolutely love how convenient and easy the app is to use! Runcoach is an app that tailors training for you as an individual. As difficult as it is, I know I have to be patient with my body and my fitness and I believe that using Runcoach this year will help me ease into my training as I balance life as a working mom and runner.

I started my transition back into training at 3 weeks post partum, and my first run back felt amazing because I missed running so much. I was fortunately able to run up until the day I delivered, but most of my last month of training before delivery consisted of run/walk intervals.

Here's an example of how last week's training looked:

Sunday - Long run
Monday - Easy run
Tuesday - Short leg turnover workout
Wednesday - Easy run 
Thursday - Medium long run
Friday - rest day
Saturday - Easy run

I can't wait to take my fitness to the next level with Runcoach!

You can follow Lauren's road to the Houston Marathon (and see cute pictures of baby Sadie) on her instagram @Laurun123Screen_Shot_2018-10-01_at_2.40.07_PM

Last modified on March 17, 2021
Neely Gracey

Neely Gracey

Neely was born into this sport, literally. Her dad (Steve Spence, 1992 Olympic marathoner and 1991 World Champs Bronze Medalist) was running the Boston Marathon on the day she was born. She grew up in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and in 8th grade set some big goals for herself.

While running for Shippensburg University, Neely broke Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) records, won 17 PSAC titles, and was named the conference athlete of the year for every season while at Shippensburg from 2008 to 2011. She is an eight-time NCAA DII Champion and still holds two NCAA records.

In 2016, Neely debuted at the Boston Marathon and was the first American finisher in 2:35. Later that year, she took it a step further with a 2:34 and 8th place finish at the NYC marathon. In 2017, Neely clocked victories at Rock ‘n Roll’s Arizona, New Orleans, and Chicago Half Marathons and was Runner-Up at the USA half marathon and 25k Championship races. She is excited for what the next year will bring as she pauses from her running career to start a family. She ultimately hopes to build towards the 2020 Olympic year.

Today, Neely lives in Boulder, CO with her husband Dillon and their Vizsla, Strider. They are happily entrenched in the running community. Between training, and competing, she enjoys coaching and helping other runners chase their goals!

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