My guest today is someone that I recently connected with on Twitter and realized quickly that we would have no shortage of topics to talk about.
She’s a runner and a cyclist and can be found on both the roads and the trails on any given day.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Michele Valimont today!
Happily Ever After Divorce
Michele Valimont dates her love affair with running to when she got divorced 27 years ago.
She needed to be okay, so she began to walk more which eventually progressed to running.
Michele grew up in a small town that didn’t have a lot of options available when it came to sports.
She didn’t think she would be good at cross country, so she stuck with softball while growing up.
Fast forward to the time when she was going through her divorce and running quickly found her.
Michele noticed that running calmed her and allowed her to set goals and focus on them.
The more she ran, the more she realized she did well at endurance events.
She Is Gonna Fly
Michele can remember riding a bike from a young age.
Her first cycling accident happened when she was a child and required multiple stitches on her face.
That experience didn’t deter her from continuing to cycle.
As an adult, she signed up for a triathlon without telling anyone.
It didn’t take her long to realize that she had a natural talent for cycling.
Michele was fortunate to ride with an experienced group of cyclists that took her under their wing.
Those cyclists told Michele, “She was going to fly,” with her natural propensity for the sport.
Found Herself On The Trails
When Michele first began running, she did all of it on the roads.
It wasn’t until she moved to Arizona that she would first experience trail running.
While at church, a new friend told her they would be hiking afterward.
That is how Michele inadvertently found herself on the trails.
After a few hikes, it clicked with her that she could actually do her runs on them.
Michele loved the trails and how they were constantly changing depending on the weather.
She also had to learn to slow down and take in her surroundings without being focused on pace.
Since embracing trail running, Michele has transitioned from a runner that is competitive to one that just wants to complete the race.
Benefits Of Crosstraining
Michele prefers to combine biking and running in multi-sport races.
She still competes in triathlons, but the swim is her weakest event.
Michele would love to see more multi-sport races take place on the trails.
She has found that race directors are often open to suggestions and people shouldn’t be afraid to ask.
Competing in multi-sport races has had the added benefit of making her a stronger overall athlete.
Multi-sports have transitions from one sport to the next also known as bricks.
Bricks seem easy in theory, but in reality, it often takes a lot of practice.
Exactly Where She Needs To Be
Michele attributes much of her success in life to having a community of support.
A lot of that support comes from social media.
Michele hasn’t met 99% of the people she knows over social media, yet they have been some of her biggest cheerleaders.
Pushing her body in various races over the years has given Michele the confidence to know she can do hard things.
She isn’t afraid to put herself out there and try new things.
Michele is currently on a waitlist for a 100k trail race in the fall.
She has never gone that distance and is excited to see what she is capable of if given the opportunity.
Looking back at her life so far, Michele knows without a doubt that she is exactly where she needs to be.
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