We love stories that begin with someone looking to shape up by running a few miles a week and end with them falling head over heels with the sport. Such is the tale of Rani Streff – what began as a weight loss plan quickly turned into a full-blown love affair. She even changed her Instagram and Twitter handles to reflect her new love of running!
Read on to learn about how she got started, her most memorable racing moments and her favorite events in town.
Years running: 1 year, 10 months
Favorite workout: Currently: 6-7 mile progression run; during summer: long runs
Favorite distance to race: 5k
Pre-race routine: Silently freak out in the car 😉
Favorite post-race treat: I’m strangely usually never hungry after a race!
Must-have gear: Mizuno shoes
How did you get started with running?
Like a lot of people I think, I actually started to lose weight/get in shape. I still lived with my dad and we had a dusty old treadmill, so it seemed like my best option at the time. I never ever, ever would’ve guessed I would end up loving it the way I do.
What role has running played in your life?
It’s made me a healthier, happier person – in ALL aspects of my life. I was previously very lost and quietly unhappy. Now I feel like I know what I want and have goals to work toward. It’s anchored me.
Do you have a quote or philosophy that inspires your running?
I have a few, but the two I find myself repeating most frequently during a challenging run or race are: “I can do hard things” and “Sometimes you just do things” (stolen from Scott Jurek!).
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Right now I don’t have a specific race I’m training for so I’ve fallen into this routine: T,W,Th: 6-7 miles tempo or progression, S: 8-15 comfortable, Su: 4-6 recovery.
Let’s chat a bit about your blog. How did you pick the name and what inspired you to start writing?
The name is a bit of a strange story – I used to use the username “couldberuthless” for pretty much everything (based off of the Something Corporate song) because it was never used and I wouldn’t have to use a number or anything. Once I started running, it made sense to make the change to my Instagram handle when all I posted about was running – and luckily, running fit in where ruthless was perfectly! The blog came secondary to the instagram, and I’m still working on figuring out what to post that people might actually be interested in!
What’s been your most memorable race?
It’s amazingly hard to choose because they’re all meaningful in different ways, but I’ll go with the obvious choice and say Lakefront Marathon. It was memorable for the fact that I was injured the entire training cycle and didn’t know if I’d even be able to run. In fact, most of my friends told me not to run. But I figured I would at least start, and I ended up doing leaps and bounds better than I had expected given the circumstances, never hitting the wall, and negatively splitting the course!
Where are your favorite places to run in Milwaukee?
Before I (sadly) moved, I lived in Shorewood and had all these distances routed out perfectly from my apartment door. Most of these are my favorites. Conveniently we lived across the street from the Oak Leaf trail entrance on Capitol, and running to the lakefront and back along Lake Drive was probably my ultimate favorite.
It seems like you race a lot! What are some of your favorite Milwaukee races and what do you like about them?
I think I race a lot because I love the running community in Milwaukee! It makes me happy and excited to feel like I’m surrounded by all these people who love running here, too. My favorite Milwaukee races would probably be: The Bacon Race in Cudahy because it’s such a fun atmosphere and Lakefront Marathon because it’s such a beautiful course. There are so many though; it’s hard to pick!
What running goals are you looking to tackle next?
I’m mainly focusing on actually being able to train for a spring marathon next year. I was so surprised at how well things went on such little training for Lakefront that I’m excited to see what I can accomplish if I’m able to put into the training what I want to put into it. I’d also like to drop my half marathon PR significantly, but I won’t be focusing as much on that in training, just working harder at mentally mastering my body and mind to keep pushing the pace that I know I’m capable of holding.
Thanks for chatting with us, Rani! If you want to learn more about Rani, you can connect here:
If you’re a runner in MKE, we’d love to chat with you. Send us an email at email@example.com if you’d like to be featured or know someone who should be featured in an upcoming Let’s Get to Know . . . post.
Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!