STEPH HOWE Q&A
1. Nutrition-related client accomplishment you’re most proud of and why?
The best part of what I do is getting to work with so many unique individuals. My most proud accomplishment is getting clients to the point of having a healthy relationship with food. It’s rewarding to help someone get past their own personal struggles with nutrition and learn to learn to fuel for their goals. I’ve been able to help clients nail their fueling for a 100-mile race when they’ve struggled in the past and I’ve been able to help clients change their day-to-day eating habits to live a more healthy lifestyle. Both scenarios make me proud!
2. Most exotic personal running experience?
I recently visited Nepal for a trekking trip and just happened to arrive in Namche the day before a 65km race. Naturally I decided to give it a try! The race started at 3:00am and was an out and back up to a 16,000ft pass in the Everest region. There were about 30 racers and five dogs at the start. For some reason the dogs liked my pace, so I was accompanied by a pack of dogs for the first three hours. When the sun came up we were greeted by the most stunning mountains I’d ever seen! It was brilliant. There were little to no trail markers and just two aid station, stocked with water, 16oz bottles of coke, and snickers bars. I got lost more than a few times, but had an absolute blast. It was a totally different race experience than anything I’d ever done before. I absolutely loved the spontaneity of jumping into a race that topped out at an elevation higher than I’d ever been in my life. Adventure!
3. Favorite local trail?
My favorite local trail is up in Three Sisters Wilderness near Bend, OR.
I could tell you the name, but it’s a secret...
4. Favorite cross training activity?
I come from a multisport background, so I often dabble in other sports. My favorite is probably cross country skiing, as I raced competitively in college. It’s such a great way to avoid burnout over the winter and give my body a break from running. I also enjoy mountain biking, cyclocross, yoga, backcountry skiing, paddling, and hiking. Pretty much anything outdoors!
5. Personal running accomplishment you’re most proud of and why?
Recently I had some races that tested me to the core. At both Western States and UTMB I found myself in a dark place very early on. It took everything I had (including a 1-hr nap during both races) to not give up. I’m proud to say that I crossed the finish line at both races, a task that seemed nearly impossible at times.
Of course, winning Western States as my first 100 mile race in 2014 was a highlight I’ll never forget. I’m still drawn to WS because it means so much to me.
6. Most unusual nutrition-related issue you’ve had to deal with?
There are a lot of preconceived notions about nutrition that are based on pseudoscience or not fully understanding the application. I find myself often debunking myths. Sometimes the nutrition or diet claims people bring to me seem to come from left field. I am constantly surprised how these things make their way into mainstream. One of the more unusual nutrition related issue I’ve dealt with was an all supplement diet. This individual survived almost solely on food supplements, protein powders, and processed nutritional products. Needless to say it wasn’t the healthiest way to eat, nor was it conducive to ever eating outside of the house!