Name: Crista Valentino
Hometown: Jackson, WY
Profession: Oh..good question. Environmental entrepreneur? Self-employed, business owner, non-profit director, co-founder...enthusiast? Don’t worry..my parents don’t really understand it either.
Charities Supported: CoalitionWILD (www.coalitionwild.org), WILD Foundation (www.wild.org)
Partners/Sponsors: Coalition Snow (women’s only skis)
Upcoming Events: No ‘official’ running events but some tick-list items I have for this summer is running the Teton Crest Trail (35 miles across the Tetons), running the Gros Ventre Highline Trail and some other big mountain adventures (Mt. Moran, Grand Teton, some big mountain link ups like the Cathedral Traverse and the Grand Traverse).
Why do you run? I run because I can, because it makes me feel capable, because it reminds me what my body can do. I run to find space, in my mind, my body, and my heart. I run because it’s the only time of the day that my brain can spin as fast as it wants to yet internally, I feel at peace. I run because of the places it allows me to see - because of the sunrises and sunsets on ridge tops, or the untouched glacier lilies on rocky hillsides, or the smell of sage and pine baking in the afternoon sun, or the way the sun looks when it’s filtered through quaking aspens in the fall .. all of these things can’t be manufactured, and their intensity is magnified depending on the number of miles or hours it took to get there.
Favorite distance: 6-10ish trail miles.
What 3 words best describe your typical race strategy? Why not you?
Do you supplement running with other types of fitness? Yoga, weight lifting, lots of rock climbing and bouldering, mountain and road biking, sleeping.
What role does nutrition play in helping you reach your fitness goals? An enormous role. Before, during, and after I’m really cognizant of what I’m eating. Fueling and hydrating a lot before big adventures makes a huge difference in my performance. I need to eat real food while on the trail too..bars will only last me so long. Burritos and quiche are my go-to, never fail foods. And then the day after bigger training or adventure days, I drink a LOT of water and coconut water, and try to replenish as good as possible. In general, I really believe that what you put in your body affects the way you perform.
What’s on your running playlist? You can find me on spotify, but often upbeat R&B and techno-y songs. You can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the girl...
If you could choose anyone to run with, who would it be and why? My mom. Not because she’s an ultrarunner or anything, but quite the opposite. She’s had health issues the last 5 years that have affected her feet and legs, making it sometimes hard for her to even walk or stand. She’s really active, but has never been a runner and especially now, probably will never be able to be. I wish I could run with her and show her some of the special, remote places that I get to see during my runs.
Favorite post-adventure treat: Ice cream x 1000.
What do you do to overcome mental/physical challenges while running? I ask myself the question “Why not me?”. Sometimes I start doubting myself and my abilities, and get frustrated that my body won’t do what I want it to do, etc. and I can go down a black hole of envy/jealousy/comparisons with other people. And then I ask myself “Why can’t that be me? Why can’t I be that person I admire or aspire to be? Why can’t I do those things? Why not?” and it puts in perspective that if I want it badly enough, that person CAN be me. But it’s up to me to decide.
What is your spirit animal? A wolf.
What are your non-running hobbies? Travelling, eating ice cream, rock climbing, being a professional napper, drawing and painting, making homemade cards, perfecting my burrito recipe, organizing, and I probably have too many sport interests to name.
If you could meet any woman from history who would it be and why? Amelia Earhart for a few reasons. She paved the way - in an era when being a woman often meant oppression of some sort, she defined her own parameters and when she became the first woman to pilot across the Atlantic, she inspired other women to follow their dreams. Anyone fearless and badass enough to stand up to inappropriate social norms is someone I want to be friends with. Also - I’m a bit obsessed with airplanes and helicopters, so I’d want her to teach me to fly.
Favorite quote: “I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor - every atom of me a magnificent glow, than a sleepy permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” - Jack London
Favorite book: Where The Sidewalk Ends :), Alice in Wonderland, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Why do you wear compression? I’m not always the best at warming up or recovery stretching, and wearing compression makes up for my poor practices by making my legs feel better during AND after my runs. I also travel a lot, and sitting on an airplane really affects my body after a while. I started wearing compression socks while flying and it makes long flights significantly more comfortable.