Run Natural Coach Blogspot
I gave my ?? and soul to L2O 100k. But even when battling 95 degree heat, water/mud for 20 miles, and 3 epic hard falls, I still managed to accomplish my goal of navigating through this course, soaking in the incredible beauty, and finding my way with joy. Thrilled to also finish as 3rd female overall in 16:48.
Except for early on when I ran with Tony through a section of Dupuis, so pretty with wildflowers, and last 7 miles of JD, I ran this race on my own. I listened to music for only 9 HOT miles of mucky, mud through Corbett to distract myself from my legs being still tired from racing in the Keys. Also my body was not processing fluids due to heat and was making for miserable running. My rockstar crew Maya made it all better as her and Lulu worked to cool me at 31 miles in and massaged my legs in tandem!!
The next section was very exposed and hot to Beeline but I saw hope on the horizon as a storm was brewing. This was my favorite part of the race, moving through a thunderstorm in the Slough. I felt like I was in a tropical rain forest I was excited that I was reaching my goal of getting to Riverbend an hour or so before cutoff so I could get through most of JD before dark. I always love and appreciate the ultra support at that last crew stop! Once again Maya was on it and got me out in 7 minutes!
I was finally feeling better stomach wise and began to work on clipping off some miles so I could get through tricky sections in light (thanks Mark for your tips they really helped). When it did get dark I was so glad to see a runner, Rob Towe, when we saw the giant hog. ?? We ran the dunes strong. Then it was but a boulevard of lined trees to the best finish in the ocean!
I was emotional for all this race meant to me in running for a friend who brought so much light and laughter to our community. I know I was being led by many who inspire me as I saw 5 cardinals on the course!
Of course I could not have completed this adventure without sweet Maya who did so great crewing a difficult race. Congrats to all the crews/runners! Thanks to Dusty for keeping this old school ultra going. And my sponsors for keeping me running strong!
What a day! No matter how many times I run this race I forget how unbearable the heat makes it. Maybe that’s part of why I keep coming back. LOL
I went out in the final wave for the 50k at 1:10 feeling inspired, ready to give it my all and see what my legs had in them. The cloud cover helped me to click off the early miles and run strong through the first 15. Then the SUN came out to play and gave me a reminder of what this race is all about.
In order not to overheat I had to slow my pace. Melissa McGinn worked tirelessly, and seamlessly, to keep me cool as I made my way to the finish line. She also kept me smiling, despite the self induced torture, and focused, when as luck would have it I had to battle to maintain my position the last 5 miles.
I can not tell you how good it felt to be able to stop running and learn that I had placed 3rd female, 12 th overall! This race holds such special meaning to me that to do so is really a dream, or I should say a long held goal, come true.
Thanks so much to my sponsors, whose products help me to attain the results I do. To my athletes for inspiring me with the GRIT you showed here this weekend, and all of you do always. My ultra friends for their cheering and belief in me. My family for your support and love. If this should be my last time running the Keys Ultra I could not have chosen a better ending.
I cannot express how much it meant to me to win overall female at Corbett 50K yesterday. This race holds a special place in my ?? due to its cause, Team LeJuan buying musical instruments for kids; it’s RD being a good friend, and the old school running community that supports it. It was made more dear to me this year by a memorial bench being placed on the course in honor of my friend Ernie.
This year’s race was perfect in terms of weather but difficult in terms of coarse conditions with a lot of mud and water over the first 5 miles, some waist deep. The final 10 to turn around was perfect and fun running. Doing the mud and water back to the finish with 26 miles in your legs NOT fun. ?? More Pics to follow.
Thanks to Jeff Stephens for taking over as RD of this race and doing such a superb job. Christian’s absence was only felt because he has become synonymous with Corbett. Thank you to all the incredible volunteers. Thank you to my inspirations to run strong and from the heart: my friends, my athletes, and my boys. I’m so appreciative to my sponsors for their belief in me, support and superior products that keep me running happy and looking good.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to running L2O 100k at this point lol, but as brutal as Corbett is it is beautiful too, so I am looking forward to that aspect. I am extremely pleased with how my body performed yesterday in some tough conditions terrain wise. I will take that confidence into the Keys and then when it comes time to run on water again.
The Everglades 25K gave me everything that I came for and then some: tropical, trail beauty, wildlife sightings, awesome RD, some of my favorite ultra friends, meeting new ones, and a serious heat beat down. -
I was hoping if I took one here I might not suffer so badly at Corbett, as I usually do, just a month away. SUFFER I did. When I saw my heart rate up 22 beats standing at the start line I was a little concerned that something might be going on with me health wise. But once I started running I felt good, although my heart rate was extremely high for me. I kept messing with it to see if was malfunctioning but every time I walked to drink it went down. I was running and fueling well when about 6 miles in I started getting horrible stomach cramping on my right side, making it difficult to run at all. I seriously was questioning whether I had appendicitis based on my heart rate LOL. -
Then I told myself to suck it up because I was only running 15.6 miles. I started doing some ultra problem-solving and figured out the issue was most likely lack of absorption of my nutrients because of the high heat and humidity. I took an electrolyte tab and just drank water. A few miles after doing so the cramps started to subside and I was able to get back into a good rhythm and pass people on the way to the finish. -
I couldn’t be more pleased with how strong my body felt and how it performed in this first race of my spring season, after just really six weeks of training. I ended up finishing first in my age group, sixth female and 19th overall in a time of 2:48:43! As an age group winner I scored a cool book “The 50 Places To Run Before You Die” by Chris Santella. And now at least one in the book is checked off! -
The icing on the cake of an already fantastic day at the races was hearing that one of my athletes placed 2nd OA Female in the 50 miler! -
Thanks so much to Bob Becker and all his amazing volunteers for a great race. Super excited to see many of them again in just a couple months for my 5th time running the Keys Ultra! —
Bulow Woods 50k was SO MUCH FUN! It was the grand finale of three 50k’s I set my sights on to run this fall. Although in the past my preferred distances have been 50 miles+, I decided I would focus on 50ks in order to give my body the recovery it needed post my solo and to just enjoy racing without all the logistics involved with distances beyond this. I would be lying if I also did not admit to having the goal that I would better my time with each and finish the year feeling fast and strong.
I can not tell you how awesome it was to wake up and do a 50k in my backyard. To have Michael Dale Davis manning the AS was icing on the cake. I felt good the first loop of 15 miles trying not to get caught up in the competition and just running my plan which was 5 miles per hour. Those who ran Jacks this year may find it good karma and humorous that I ran a small segment of first loop backwards when I missed a sign. I know I did. ??
Being an out and back course it was so inspiring to see new and experienced runner alike taking on the 50k or half. I was smiling from ear to ear as many called my name out to say hello. I really find this course beautiful and fell into a groove of enjoying running to my music and staying in the moment.
I came into my second loop feeling great and cheered in by THE Sean Blanton, who kindly complimented me on my INKnBURN skirt and encouraged me to “go crush it”. ??
I decided to see what I had and push my pace a bit the second loop till the turn around. I was buoyed on by seeing my sweet boys and the Dr. Pepper they brought me.
I began passing runners as I came into the turn around and realized then I was within reach of my 50k PR. I began racing the clock but instead of feeling pain I only felt elation at not only being able to do so but for feeling so strong.
As I passed the last AS Howard York told me if I hurried I could catch Bradley Cooper at the finish line. At first I was like who? Do I know him? He replied “The actor. He is just ahead of you. “ I was like “Ohh thanks for the motivation to run faster. “ I was sorely disappointed at the finish to realize I had been played, but It did make me run faster. ??
Just as I was racing to catch Bradley and counting myself lucky the last mile for not falling I took a hard one. I picked myself up quickly and realized I did not have a moment to spare to break my PR. Which I then realized I was not exactly sure what it is was. ??
In the end I crossed the finish in 6:03:52, 6th female/ 19th overall, negative splitting the 50k. Regardless if I had achieved my PR or not I had just had a GREAT day at the races. And for those you always have to be thankful. I celebrated once done in the best way how....with a beer and a fireball shot with my best gal, the RDs, Michael and Polly.
When I got home I found that I had come within a minute of my PR set four years ago at Citrus 50k. Considering the wet, muddy conditions of today’s course I am thrilled. I am also super happy to have accomplished my racing goals this season.
Thanks to my sponsors for keeping me running strong and in style. My nutrition was on point, my feet golden and as usual I got rave reviews on my attire. Thanks too to my friends, and RD’s extraordinary, Stacy Ricks Stonerand Don Stoner for putting on an incredible race with the old school vibe I ??!
This is the story of how one epic journey unfolded for those interested.
We arrived at Badwater Basin at 6:30 A.M. in prep for our 7 am start time. We were meeting our other two crew members, Tiffany and Walter, there and for the first time. After a greeting that felt as if I had known both of them forever, and a quick pic by the sign in our cool INKnBURN gear, I was off, choking back tears that I was finally on my way.
The first 17 miles went by fast as I ran it alone, continually evaluating my HR and how it was fairing with the high heat and humidity I could feel was present. My crew kept me cool and we adjusted to what was working and what was not. I came into Furnace Creek a little after 11 am right where I wanted to be.
The next 25 miles were the hottest of the solo. With temps reaching 125 (well at one point the thermometer just had —- so it may have reached higher) with a reading of 136 off the pavement. I was still running well and my crew did an outstanding job of keeping me cool. Walter and Tiffany traded out pacing so they could continuously spray me down the last and hottest stretch before Stovepipe Wells mile 42.
Carla and Heather began to have heat stress just performing crewing duties and Walter as well became stressed to point of cramping after running with me. I had planned a break at SW for regrouping and cool down and knew it now was more essential than ever to get us all out of the heat. We arrived at SW at 6:30 pm again right on target.
Little did we know how fortuitous this would be. As my crew ate and I rested a massive sandstorm blew in with winds gusting to 20-30 mph. It lasted for 2 hours! It delayed our departure but We were SO happy not to get caught in it.
At 10:30 pm I began my climb up Towne Pass. I was feeling tired but determined to get it done and into Panamint by early am so my crew could rest there after our 4 hour delay due to storm. The miles clicked off as crew switched off pacing me. Carla spent most of the decent with me as we laughed and swatted bats away from our face.
We got into Panamint Springs Resort mile 72 at 7 A.M. , found our tent cabin and all crashed hard for an hour. It being hard to sleep due to heat, but our first rest in 24 hours. After a shower, change, resupply, food and a fixing of my feet we were off at 12 pm.
Father Crowley climb was one of my favorite sections of the course. I felt strong and enjoyed my time spent with Tiffany as we made it quickly to the top under a rain shower. While my crew waited for me they got to experience the fighter jets fly through the canyon.
Once at the top I was treated to the unexpected surprise of my friend Brad and his wife Andrea coming out to lend their support. It was a big lift for me to get to run a few miles with Brad and fitting as he has been a big inspiration for my completing the solo after years of watching his adventures in the desert and BW races.
I arrived into Darwin mile 90 at 7 pm feeling good but tired. I decided to make a clothing change and take a 15 min nap before heading into the night. I truly love this section of the course,, with Joshua Trees, mountains and stars. OMG the stars. At one point I had to ask my crew if I was hallucinating because the sky looked three dimensional. We even witnessed a meteor streak across the sky.
As we moved closer to Lone Pine I began to feel incredibly fatigued . I was getting into unknown territory mileage wise. My feet were hurting, feeling like the bottoms of them had been burnt as they were tender to walk on. My crew traded off going into rooms we had there so as to get some much needed rest. I was ready to get into LP and rest myself. I was hallucinating turtles from sage brush and that I was on a conveyor belt of a road merely moving in place.. With 8 miles left I succumbed to the need to sleep and took a 15 min nap. It made a world of difference.
At 5:30 A.M. with an end to the longest road ever in site I was treated to a visit by a HUGE hero of mine Badwater Ben Jones. I told him he was a light at what had become a very dark tunnel.
We got into LP mile 122 and our rooms at the Dow Villa at 7:30 A.M. I planned to rest, regroup and secure permits here for our summit attempt early Sun am. After a three hour nap, a shower and a burger/fries at The Whitney I felt rejuvenated and ready to go.
At 8:30pm we began our climb up to the Portals. This again went very fast as crew traded out with me every 3 miles and I was feeling strong. Before we knew it we were at the top, arriving at 12 A.M, 135 miles in. After securing our food etc from car in bear containers and loading up our backpacks with food and hydration for our summit we were on our way at 1 A.M.
The Whitney Trail is just gorgeous. So many beautiful wild flowers, trees and most incredible rocks. I rocks. We also had a deer sighting just steps from us on trail eating and not disturbed by us at all. To be out there under the moon and stars was just magical as to be expected. What was not expected were the number of water crossings we had to make due to rain and snow melt the past few days, and wet feet very early on that slowed our progress.
As am approached and we reached base camp Carla and Walter began experiencing attitude sickness with headaches, and for Carla nausea and dizziness as well. With their slowing the decision was made for the group to separate to ensure the safety of Carla and successful summit.
The climb to the summit was arduous and long, with scramble over rock on legs with 144 miles in them. Walter and Heather kept me focused and safe as we made our way slowly to the top finally reaching it 14, 508 ft high at 10:30 A.M. I cried and hugged my gal Heather for what we had just accomplished and months of prep to this moment sank in.
It was bittersweet tho as two of our crew were not with us. As we prepped me to get back down two people came in and asked if we were part of a team as there were two other girls just 40 min back with the same cool leggings as us. We were ecstatic that Tiffany and Carla were going to make it to the top as we had not seen them in hours. After many tears, hugs, a few pics, and a summit dance party, we moved to get down as we knew a storm was approaching.
It was slow going as we scrambled over rock, looked for trail, filtered water and tried to not fall asleep while on a ledge many feet up. As we approached the front side of the mountain the storm blew in and we tried to quickly descend as we were pelted by dine size hail and lightening cracked around us.
Finally, we got to base camp which was flooded. We struggled to find the trail because it was so under water. Moving became essential to staying warm. Eventually after many more water crossings and switchbacks we found our way at the bottom, 18.5 hours after we started. Yes that is how gnarly this 22 mile round trip was. We arrived back to our car Sunday at 9 pm.
My solo was completed in a time of 75 hours and 30 min for the 146 miles from lowest to highest point in the 48 states. The additional miles coming down for a total of 157 are just bonus miles.
I could not have accomplished what I did becoming the 273 documented supported solo, 33rd women without the help of my crew. My success is really due all to them. I also could not have run as happy without the superior products of my sponsors. My feet, besides being burnt were great! Thank you Trail Toes! My nutrition was SPOT on. I NEVER had any issues with my stomach. Thank you Skratch Labs! And I ran CHAFE free in the most comfortable, good looking apparel I have ever run in. Thank you INKnBURN!
I am forever changed by this journey in so many ways. Mostly by marveling at the beauty that is out there to experience and the incredible capabilities of the human mind and body that I will continue to explore.
Thank you to all of you who cheered me forward and believed in me. Never give up on your dreams!!