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I definitely wasn’t born a runner. Growing up I disliked running profusely. On the first day of gym class in high school, we were “punished” with a 5-minute run as a warmup. The teacher then gave us what sounded like a death threat by telling us that by the end of the year we would be running for a FULL HOUR. I thought I was going to die when I heard that, but I bet she would be the one dying of laughter if she knew that now I pay to run.


I started running after having my daughter 6 years ago. While getting boxing lessons to lose the baby weight, my coach suggested I join him to do a Tough Mudder (the original tough one...yes, the 13-mile one!). The idea of doing it was scary, so I had to say yes. I loved it! After doing a couple more of those, I decided to treat myself to my first solo challenge: I signed up for my first Spartan race at the Mets Stadium. That race really hit the spot and made me want to go deeper into this new world of OCR  and running! I found myself completing my first Spartan Trifecta that same year.


A year later, I decided to try to run competitively in the age group category. I felt a bit discouraged at first since I was only placing 10th and up, so I gave trail racing a try. I thought they were joking when I got to the finish line and they told me I had won my first 10k trail race. I was on a winning high after that race and signed up for many other races which turned out to be my first, of many, mistakes along the way. I was feeling like Wonder Woman so I even signed up for a Spartan Ultra at the end of that year. Unfortunately, I started training the way I thought was right (but boy was I wrong!). I didn’t know anything about fueling, hydration, rest days (?!!) and mostly running biomechanics and heart rate. Yes, I won a few races that year (including that Ultra), but I paid the price for my inexperience: injury. I spent the next year dealing with overuse injuries like Hip Bursitis, IT Band Syndrome and Osteitis Pubis.


While spending that year in and out of physical therapy I realized that therapy alone wasn’t going to help if I didn’t fix the root of the problem. I had to learn how to train with a purpose, how to improve my running form, focusing on strengthening my weakest areas and setting up attainable goals for myself. I took an interest in coaching and a year later I got certified as a running coach.


So here I am, ready to share what I have learned with others so they can avoid my mistakes and run injury free :)


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Dr. Matock

Dr. Matock has helped me with all of my past injuries and aside from being an amazing Sports Medicine Doctor, he is a great person. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a doctor who understands your needs as an athlete and gives excellent treatment.

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Mission Peak Spartans

If you are interested in training for a Spartan Race, this is the place to go. Spartan Heaven is how I named this place when I found it. It has most of the obstacles you would find in a race and the best SGX Coaches in the Bay Area.

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Coach Dan is an excellent Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and a great friend of mine. He has been my coach and my "psychologist" for the last 2 years. He listens to your needs and challenges and transforms them into wonderful workouts that help you achieve your goals.

Daniel Rivera

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