NAVIGATION

Dirt in Your Skirt Profile Series – Valerie Smith

Share

1553531_10202571577103965_122194371_oThis week on the Dirt in Your Skirt Athlete Profile Series is Valerie Smith she is one of the Dirt in Your Skirt Ambassadors. She is definitely the definition of an avid OCR racer and is constantly taking on new events every weekend. I am proud to call her a friend and I can tell you this year she turned 40 and just hit her first Spartan Elite podium. Valerie is just getting started these days!

How did you get involved in your sport?

In 2010, I was in kickboxing class and heard a guy talking about a race he just ran which involved mud and obstacles. Apparently he had just done Tough Mudder the previous weekend. I was quite intrigued by the obstacle part of it so I asked a few questions about it. After class I went home and searched for obstacle races and there was a Warrior Dash in just a few weeks. I immediately started looking for someone to do it with me and finally convinced one of my brothers to do it. I absolutely loved it and could not wait to go home and find more. I completed 3 or so my first year, about 15 my second year, 30 plus my second year and this year, I have no idea how many I will do. I have completed around 10 so far and the season has just started.

 

1947886_10203022617419691_5006214460018510467_n

 

Were you always an athlete?

When I was younger I was a competitive gymnast and have always been athletic. But I really did not become an athlete again until I took up running OCR’s.

 

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

One of my biggest goals for this season is to finish within the top 100 of Spartan elites. While I will be doing many races, my focus is on Spartan races. I plan to make it to as many as I can this year. I also am working my way into other events when I am not running OCR’s such as the Catamount Games and The Summer Death Race. I want to expose myself to diverse events to become a more, well-rounded athlete.

1378865_10152080455828173_571878866841473386_n

Who is/are your inspiration?

I would not say there is a specific person who inspires me rather I gain inspiration from many different people. There may be a part of one person that I admire and something I admire from another.

What is your most proud moment in sport?

My proudest moment in sport so far has been making the podium for the GA Spartan Sprint this past March. I never thought I would see myself there and may never again but I will always hold on to that moment.

What is your most proud moment in life?

There is not one specific moment in life that I am most proud of rather a general proudness. I can say that I am proud of being a strong female that can stand alone and own my own destination. I know that to get what I want; it will probably take a lot of hard work and dedication. Whether in my personal life or my athletic life, I put everything I have into it to gain results that only I can achieve.

 

1273032_10201431404480362_935201677_o

 

How do you overcome a bad race or training day?

Not every training day/race will be your best. I try to look at the bigger picture and not just a single day. There are so many elements which affect your performance whether training or racing and sometimes cannot be controlled. I reflect on what I may or may have not have done correctly and make sure to not make the same mistake twice.

 

What is your training routine like?

I am typically up at 5 and at the gym by 6 for crossfit. A few days a week, I will coach the 5 am class and then work out afterwards. When it is not race season, I will be out running trails on the weekend to maintain a good balance of training. When race season is on though, many times my running/training will consist of the races I am completing. I try to mix up training as often as possible to ensure I do not plateau.  While crossfit is my primary training, I will also catch a kickboxing class when I can, join friends climbing Stone Mountain with a ruck, run stadium stairs at the local high school or head to a friends gym for some OCR specific training.

 

1044965_10202408321342673_204828979_n

 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?

Set small goals and surround yourself with great people with a positive attitude and influence.

What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?

My favorite pre-race food consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a protein shake. I find this is a combination which works well for my body. Post-race I typically let myself eat whatever my body is craving. I figure I have earned the right to splurge a little bit. Lately, this has meant having a huge cheeseburger but instead of the fries with it, I take a salad as my side.

 

When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?

In peak race season, I don’t get a lot of down time between work, racing and training. When I get a Saturday night at home to relax, I consider doing nothing a luxury.

 

What is your favorite quote to motivate you?

Life is an adventure… leave no stone unturned and end it with no regrets.

 

921373_10201430344013851_639047382_o

 

What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?

That if I don’t try, how will I ever know?

 

1896801_10151916918836356_2070044052_nIf you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?

Be humble in what you do. Everyone, no matter how good you are can be beat at any given moment. Don’t go into a race thinking you will win, rather focus on doing the best you can and the results will be what you make them.

 

Race smart and don’t let a quick decision be a bad one. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and make a decision which could get you or someone else hurt. Many times, I have made a decision which may not be the best for my overall results but was the best for me in the moment. Maybe I decided an obstacle wasn’t safe or that the terrain was one where I needed to slow down my pace. In OCR’s, so many people get hurt and it is easy to do.

 

Listen to your body. Most of us want to train hard and be our best. We read articles, ask questions and learn from others. Take this advice and use it but also know what is right for you because there is not a “one shoe fits all sizes” sort of method to OCR’s.

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of DirtinYourSkirt.com. She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of MudRunGuide.com. She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
This entry was posted in Dirt In Your Skirt Athlete Profile Series. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dirt in Your Skirt Profile Series – Valerie Smith

  1. mattbdavis says:

    Is there any other way to say it? We LOVE our Valerie! -Matt Obstacle Racing Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to posts:


  •   Hyper Vest SXY and FIT from Hyperwear.com
  • Instagram

    • Having fun providing @mudrunguide coverage at World’s Toughest Mudder. I am in love 😍 playing with my new lenses on my camera. Most of the photos are over on Facebook.
.
#wtm2018 #wtm #obstacleracing #toughmudder @tough_mudder
    • Made it to Atlanta to cover World’s Toughest Mudder. Every year I get nostalgic about the first year of WTM in 2011.
.
Can’t wait to cover the action for @mudrunguide. With the temps predicted in the 30’s overnight I excited to see how the new venue plays out.
.
Excited to get to work tomorrow.
.
#wtm #wtm2018 #toughmudder #obstaclecourseracing #mudrunguide #ocr #tbt
    • Have you heard of the online community @trail_sisters?
.
We have the story behind this huge movement encouraging more women’s voice in the outdoor industry and getting more women on the trails.
.
@ginalucrezi shared her passion and mission on this week’s podcast.
.
Temp Link in Bio
.
#podcast #trailsisters #womenwhotrailrun #findyourtribe #findyourtrail #womenrunning #allwomenalltrails #speakyourtruth #womenpodcast #getoutside #trailrunning #trailrunnersunite #runwithher
    • How many times as a kid did someone tell you to “take a deep breath” - if you are like me, a lot.
.
Breathing is essential to life and yet so much of the time we don’t breathe deeply. A couple years ago I did the @iceman_hof method course, documenting the journey.
.
Above the cold training and pushups the greatest gift after the course was a renewed focus on breathing and deep breaths.
.
Yet years later it’s so easy to forget. These days when stress levels are high or I have too much on my mind, I head out into nature and breathe.
.
Whether it’s getting my heart pounding on a run or slowing it down and focusing on deep breaths. It’s a simple and free self care technique that pays you back 10x.
.
When was the last time you truly took a deep breath?
.
#mondaytrailrun #trailtherapy #trailrunning #selfcare #justbreathe #speakyourtruth #utah #keepacoolhead #teamheadsweats #getoutside #goodr
    • This house took Halloween to the next level...
.
#houseon9th #jurassicpark #jurassicworld #halloween #lawnart #winewalk #vitamincommunity #saltlakecity #utahunique #epichalloween
    • Did you catch the new episode with @runningrosie released yesterday?
.
We had a raw, unfiltered conversation about motherhood, childbirth, body image, balance, competition, being a professional athlete, and life. Sounds heavy but as always we laughed along the way.
.
It was great having her back on the podcast 109 episodes after her first go around. If you missed the first time on the podcast talking about her childhood, check out episode 25.
.
#spartan #motherhood #nofilter #speakyourtruth #podcast #womeninspiringwomen #womenpodcasters #womeninpodcasting #ocr #obstaclecourseracing #obstacleracing #anw #friendship #spartanrace #realtalk💯
    • Fall means leaves changing, colder days, and the pond currently looks like a tea but makes some great reflections on a sunny day.
.
Sometimes there just isn’t time to get to the mountains but it doesn’t mean you can spend some time outside doing backyard chores.
.
#fallinlovewithfall #fall #winteriscoming #backyarddesign #pond #yardart #getoutside #loveyourspace #utahgram #hiddenspaces
    • Friends come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. One thing I’ve learned throughout the years is whether a friend is a next door neighbor you see everyday or someone you see once a year, it’s important to find those who have you back.
.
Sefra @puddyrara and I met in the woods of Vermont during the Peak 500. Little did I know the adventures we would embark on.
.
From the volcanos 🌋 of Nicaragua to Showing up during WTM in Vegas, stopping for an overnight in SLC, or outside Miami for a 24-hour BattleFrog (RIP). Or like this picture in Tahoe for the @spartan world championships.
.
I literally never know where in the world I will see her but I know we will have deep conversations about plants, seeds, life, spirit, and generally freak out everyone as they mostly have no idea what we are talking about.
.
Friends don’t have to be people you talk to or see daily. They just need to be your ally and have your back in a jam.
.
I’m lucky and blessed to be part of the slingshot mafia with this lady.
.
Blessing Sefra! Also I have no idea why this picture is so funny but it is to me.
.
#gratitude #friendship #blessings #spartanfriends #spartan #worldtraveling #worldwidefriends #speakyourtruth #findyourtribe #travelbuddies #spartanog #spartanwomen
    • One jar of trash a year for a family of four!
.
Sounds impossible at first but Bea Johnson of @zerowastehome is on the podcast to talk about how it’s not that hard. In fact Bea talks about how it frees up so many other aspects of life. So you can spend more time and money doing the thing you want while producing less waste in the world 🌎!
.
Do you think you could live in a zero-waste home?
.
Find the latest episode on your favorite player or link in my bio.
.
#zerowastehome #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #podcast #womenpodcasters #zerowastecollective  #podcastforwomen #minimalism #savetheplanet #savemotherearth #5rs #livelighter #onejarchallenge #reducereuserecycle #reducewaste #reduceplastic

    Follow Me!