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Athlete Spotlight: Maureen Garro

Before we dive in, here's a quick message from Coach Vicki:

Maureen first came to us for a gait analysis. Being "newer" to running, we were working on addressing any potential injury issues. We identified a few areas to work on and shortly after, she started incorporating Power Up into her schedule. Although strength sessions are newer to Maureen, she knows that it is the number one way to prevent injuries as well as gain speed without running more. She has been consistently attending Power Up and has seen significant improvement in a short period of time. We are super excited to watch her progress!

Tell us about your family/career:

I am an occupational safety and environmental hygiene engineer. I work as a Sr. Safety Specialist in medical devices manufacturing. In a few words, my job is to prevent injuries and illnesses related to work activities.

My beautiful family includes my husband, my 11yo son and my 3yo daughter.

What is your personal favorite sport/activity?

I enjoy running, I am also starting to practice cross country ski.

Outside of training with Tri Fitness, what are some of your favorite hobbies?

I have two main hobbies: 1 is jigsaw puzzles. The biggest completed so far is 9000 pieces. My favorite so far is only 500 pieces, a white background, and full of dalmatians… with the same image on both sides of the puzzle. My second hobby, even though I have not done it in a while is dancing. What is your favorite motivational quote? “I am glad to see that you are doing exercise now and staying active, I hope you keep doing it” - My mom

“A year from now you will wish you had started today” - Karen Lamb

Favorite gear for summer/winter/racing. For winter the most useful thing that I found is a pair of mittens that I can open to expose the fingertips and/or slide it back to my wrist after I warm up running.

What keeps you going when you really don’t want to go?

I think about race day and how different it feels to run when I am well prepared for the race vs. the times when I was not.

What got you started with training/racing?

When my daughter was born, I remembered how demanding it was to take care of a young kid. I realized I would need a lot of energy to take care of her and be able to enjoy playing with her; a sedentary lifestyle was not going to help with that.

I started doing some exercise at home, with short videos. Eventually, I started the couch to 5km program to do more cardio and I was impressed by the progress … it motivated me to keep going and I ran a virtual 5km as my first race.

After a few months, I found a running group (Latinas on the Move) and started running with them. I love that we share our culture, food, music, and many other things in addition to running, that was an extra motivation to run with them almost every Saturday morning.

When you tell your friends/family about beginning your journey what was their reaction?

It was a real surprise, none of them was expecting to see me consistently doing exercise. They were probably waiting to see how long this would last.

My mom mentioned that she was happy about this change, so I could prevent many health problems that some family members suffered, including herself.

How long have you been training/racing?

I started running in 2021.

Were you involved in other competitive sports prior to your adult years?

No. I was never into sports, during my childhood the main and almost only sport practiced was football soccer and I was not interested in it.

Best tip for a newbie?

Learn about injury prevention, and learn about the potential mistakes before you make them. Find a coach, read books, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, and apply what you learn.

What is your favorite pre/post-workout snack/drink?

I don’t have just one option; I like to try different options.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my mom.

What is your biggest struggle?

It’s probably organizing my schedule and the family activities, so we all have time to do the things that we enjoy.

What is your pre-race routine?

The day before I prepare my clothes, shoes and all the things that I need to bring with me. I also plan the logistics, such as parking options and distance from the race village.

In the morning I have breakfast, use the foam roller at home and when I get to the race location, I do some warmup and dynamic stretching before we start.

Goals for the upcoming year?

I am training to run my first marathon this year, the Chicago marathon!

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