Valerie Liberto

Athlete: Valerie Liberto

Lives City/State: Irvine, CA

Go to Orange Mud Gear: HydraQuiever Double Barrel, OM Buff and OM Visor

Primary Sport: Running

What sports do you participate in?

My main sport is running on road and trails. I also play soccer with my little guy.

What is your favorite race food?

Pre race is a bagel with peanut butter.

What is your go to hydration mix?

Tailwind: Lemon or Raspberry Buzz

Do you have a major quirk you’d like to share?

Whenever Im in the car and we go over railroad tracks I always lift my feet up.

If you were relate to an animal, what would it be?

Baboon bc they are affectionate, sociable, and smart :P

If a newbie to your sport asked for one piece of advice, what would it be?

Do NOT run in cotton!

Do you have any racing pet peeves? (Gel packets, mud, thorns, smelly runners, etc).

People running with their music playing out loud.

What do you do for fun?

Disneyland and the beaches with the little guy.

What is your post race ritual?

Coffee with my friends

How long have you been running?

3 years

Why do you enjoy the sport? 

I can run on my own, with friends/family or even push little man in the jogger. It’s a great way for me to relax when Im running by myself. As much as I enjoy having my own time I still love running with my friends too: sharing an adventure together and catching up.

What's your favorite trail race?

Renegade Race Series Summer Trail Event

What's your favorite local trail?

Quail Hill and Crystal Cove

What's your go to piece of Orange Mud gear and why?

Double Barrel because I can carry all my essentials in the zipper section and carry 1-3 bottles with me depending on my run distance or time out on the trails. I also always run with my OM Buff to either help keep me warm on those early morning runs and/or to wipe the sweat off my face. I love running in my OM visor because it keeps sweat out of my eyes and my head stays cool.

Profession and educational background?

I have a BS in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology and Biology from Appalachian State University and am a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant in the state of NC.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport? 

Completing my first marathon in 2015.

Do you have a set training schedule and if so, what's it like? If not, how do you decide what to do? 

I love using the Hanson Method when training for my races. It fits my busy schedule and I enjoy doing the built in tempo, distance and strength runs. When Im not training for a specific race I do 2-3 short easy runs during the week and I a long run on Sundays.

What's your dream race? 

Boston Marathon

Favorite book for athletes?

Eat Run by Scott Jurek

Do you listen to audiobooks or music during exercise?

I use to listen to music all the time but then my headphone died before a race and I had to go without it. I really enjoyed the race and actually felt like time went by much faster without the music. Since then I don’t use anything unless Im on the treadmill. I like to listen to podcasts or watch a tv show when running long distances on the treadmill.

 What advice would you give to a new runner coming into the sport? 

Go have your gait looked at and make sure you are in the right running shoe. Find a running group in your area and hook up with them for support, group runs and motivation. Get a single or double barrel OM pack so that you can stay on top of your hydration and nutrition.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My friends

Have you struggled with any injuries? How do you manage them? 

I have an old rotator cuff and left knee injury from High School that will sneak up on me every now and then. I have to go get sport massages for those injuries. I am not very flexible so I tend to have some hamstring problems from time to time. I have taken up yoga and go twice a week. I also have a rolling stick that I use on my legs post runs and lots of leg stretches.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

Im a coach for KROC (Kids Run the OC) and the head of the Run Committee at my sons school

What was the best advice you were ever given? 

Always stay true to yourself 

What is your favorite local running or biking store?

Road Runner Sports 

What blogs and social profiles would you like us to feature here? Please list the links. 

Instagram @rocking_my_miles

www.facebook.com/rockingmymiles