About Me

Hi! My name is Steff and thanks for visiting my blog!. I am originally from a small town in Eastern Pennsylvania but I currently live in Pittsburgh. I live here with my husband and our cat.

Photo credit: David Hague Photography

I have always been a runner. I ran cross country and track through high school and planned on running in college. I really enjoyed running cross country, but track was where my heart was. I would run every event, and by every event I really mean it. I would be running the 4x800 relay at the same time as high jumping. I would not know if I was running the 3200 meter or the 4x400 relay until right before the race. My first ever track meet, I ran the 300 meter hurdles, without ever practicing! It was a lot of fun.

That's me on the left in my senior season of cross country, 2004
I had a few looks from colleges, mainly as a walk on. Through it all, I fell in love with California University of Pa. The coach was awesome and really saw my potential. Plus, they had an awesome communications program, which is what I was going to major in.

The only problem, I ended up injuring my IT Band quite badly. Through PT and stretching, I managed to finish my high school career, but dreams of college running were out of the question.

While at Cal U, I joined the campus television station, CUTV (California University Television). I never though I would be able to forget about running, but the relationships and life experience I gain with my fellow crew members is something I would not trade for the world. I was lucky enough to be the play-by-play announcer for our nationally ranked women's basketball team for three years, which also included two trips to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight tournament.
Me announcing with CUTV.

The 2007 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight, Kearney, Nebraska.

I graduated from Cal U in 2009 with my Bachelors degree in Communications and a minor in History. I went on to complete my Masters degree in Sport Management from Slippery Rock University in 2010, on my 23rd birthday.

Me getting my undergraduate diploma!

While in school at Cal U, I met my husband. We started dating in 2006. We were engaged in 2008 and got married on June 19, 2010 - five days before my last day of grad school and 23rd birthday.

Me and Joe on our wedding day 2010.

After I finished graduate school, I had no idea what I really wanted to do. I had ideas but none of them really stuck. I was pretty lost and had no direction. It was a really rough time for me.

In 2012, a college friend of mine challenged me to run the Pittsburgh 5K with her, as a part of the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. Run a 5K? Sure, I can do that! It was like riding a bike. My body knew exactly what to do, and I made sure to take it easy to test out the IT Band. 

I finished the Pittsburgh 5K in 25:09, and placed second in my age group! I was so excited and instantly hooked again! The night after I finished that race, I turned to my husband and said I was going to do something crazy, and he knew exactly what I was doing. I signed up for my first half marathon, the Philadelphia Half Marathon.

After my first "adult" 5K.
Running a half marathon had been on my bucket list since I started running in high school. I could not believe I was actually going to do it! Not only did I do it, but it was a sub 2-hour half! 

Me after my first half marathon!

I never had goals of running a full marathon. There was something about it that did not seem fun, even after I finished the half. Despite all of my reservations, I signed up for my first marathon, the Pittsburgh Marathon. I finished my first marathon exactly one year to the day that I completed my first "adult" 5K. It was a crazy year for sure!

My first marathon!!

I also decided to take on the Runners World Hat Trick in 2013, along with the Goofy Challenge in 2014.

Runners World Hat Trick Finisher

Goofy Challenge Finisher
Through my running journey I have met the most amazing people. Some of which I can now call friends.

Some of my run friends!

I started this blog to keep me honest about my training and to try to help others in their journey. If I can do it, you can too! 


  1. To: Steffany Smith Rubel #Marathoner
    From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

    Hello Steffany,
    Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter that will benefit you. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘Anytime’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…Over 41K folks at your access.'Smart Individual Marketing/Public Relations.') I am currently following you now and am awaiting your follow-back...

    All the very best for the rest of 2013 & beyond Steffany. Look forward to hearing from you…

    (PS. Steffany, should you follow back, I'll be giving you a #FollowFriday #Shoutout next week Friday...)


    1. "Darin Armstrong" is a sham.

  2. Nice to meet another Pittsburgh Running Blogger.

    J.J. Hensley - author of Resolve

  3. My agency, Every Child, Inc., is hosting a 5k race and 1 mile fun walk/run to raise awareness for the 1,381 children in Allegheny County's foster care system and the need for more foster and adoptive families to step up for these children in need. These children are in every community and neighborhood in Allegheny County. Sadly, many of these children end up in group homes or shelter settings, often separated from siblings, with no family support in place due to the lack of foster and adoptive families able to walk this journey with them. We are hoping to raise awareness for this need and educate any interested parties on the steps they may take in order to become a forever family for children in need.

    Rain or shine, Run 4 Forever, will take place at North Park Harmer Shelter on Sunday, November 9, 2014. Water stops will be located along the course, and there will be light refreshments available for all participants at the finish line. Following the race, participants will be encouraged to visit information booths to learn more about National Adoption Month and local services. There will also be face painting and other fun activities for kids!

    Visit www.everychildinc.org/run4forever for registration and additional information.
    We were hoping you might be able to share our event, Run 4 Forever with your followers! We hope to see you there!

    Please feel free to contact me, Emily Welte, with any questions or concerns via e-mail at ewelte@everychildinc.org or via phone at 412-665-0600. Thank you!