Run Natural Coach Blogspot

Run Natural Coach Blogspot

Executing a Most Succesful Hundred Mile Race at Mountaineer Rumble 100!

by Dawn Lisenby on 04/02/21

“If you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
-Thomas Jefferson
My preparation for Mountaineer Rumble ?? really began in January when I decided that if I was going to perform like I needed to for a successful finish at my A race of the year, Badwater 135, I had to dial in every aspect of my training. I decided after watching Gamechangers to go back to being vegetarian, (I had been so for 20 years until, ironically, I began running in 2002 and thought I needed to eat meat for iron), to see if it had an effect on my performance and more importantly my recovery. It absolutely did.
I also began working on being less reactive to stressful life situations to improve health and mental well-being . A timely and EXTREMELY helpful element with COVID rearing it’s head.
Lastly, in the month leading up to the race I completely cut out all alcohol leading into the race. I do not drink much at all but like a glass of wine/beer here and there but found even one to disturb my sleep, which adversely affects recovery. This past month has been a revelation in just what it feels to be truly rested. The energy from it has been amazing.
I think due to the above and working on quality, not quantity, training I went into MR strong, despite not training AT ALL for this type of terrain; constant ups and downs, some quite steep, and an elevation gain/loss of 9,000 ft. As a reminder this was a back up race after Across Florida 200 got canceled. I had done minimal technical trail, besides running The Tick and prepping for Jacks. But I did have a vision for executing a strong 100 mile race at it.
I dialed in my nutrition to the calorie, something I advise my runners to do, to prevent stomach issues. I also focused on eating real food, with cooler temps enabling that. I still used my baby food when the body got tired of digesting the other.
My crew of
Lulu
was integral to my success. She knows how to read me and had everything ready for me. She also makes a mean grilled cheese. ?? She is 100% focused on the task and invested in my success. She also REALLY enjoys ULTRA. Something you just can’t buy. She is the BEST of the best. And not just on race day but to spend the weekend with too. I love this girl through and through. We are SIS for a reason and definitely more than a season. ??
When I knew I was running MR 100 I reached out to a runner I knew who had just moved to area to see if he would pace me for the middle 50k loop.
Steven
not only said he would, but did course recon for me ahead of the race. After seeing the technical terrain once there I made an in race decision to have him come for the last loop to help me navigate through the challenging course in the dark.
I had turned my ankle within the first 3 miles of the race due to all the leaves covering the many rocks and roots. This made it necessary for me to manage a wonky ankle from that point on, as it continued to lack stability. The thought of trying to do it alone in the dark made me worry about finishing.
This decision was integral to my successful finish, when after mile 70 the AS made us aware of looming cutoffs. I began to run hard as sun rose after a long, dark, ten mile stretch and immediately fell (my first and only) gashing my knee open. I would have to deal with that as well over the remaining miles but luckily it was not too deep, just painful.
This course has what one runner counted as 45 total water crossings, some knee deep, making the feet just one more item to add to the list of painful things to deal with. Especially when time made it impossible to stop to deal with them the last 25 miles.
Steven never wavered in his push nor his positivity that I would make each time cutoff needed. He went above and beyond to make sure I did, even as he began to feel the effects of the terrain himself.
His belief in me made me want to achieve, even when I went the final 10 miles on my own. During those miles I told myself “You did not bring Lulu and Steven here not to finish this thing. You better show up for them and all those who believe in you”. I pushed myself relentlessly over those last miles, passing a few guys along the way who would not finish. My mental game was the strongest it has ever been for the entire race but especially towards the end. The video I posted is from this stretch of the race when I finally began to believe that I would endure to the finish.
Until I did I had no idea of the toll this race course took on the field, the others in our Florida contingent, nor that I was 2nd female, 17 th overall. I just knew I was so VERY proud of what my team and I had just accomplished and all the work leading into this race I had done to enable it to be so.
Congrats and gratitude to the RD,
Chris Waldt
, for putting on his first 100 mile race in a most difficult year to do so. This will be one that others will come to measure themselves up against. It is a brutal, beautiful, beast! I know a few of us already plan to be back, but this time I am opting for the 100k! ??
Thanks to my sponsors for helping me to achieve the measure of success I do. Your products truly make it so. Lastly, to my A Team; the Florida runners who took on this race
Lucien
,
Kirsten
, Donna, and
Alycia
; those I met while running it; and all who sent messages of support both before and during; thank you for believing I could.
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Suffering at it's Finest-2020 Tick 57.5 Mile Trail Race

by Dawn Lisenby on 04/02/21

Suffering to merely say I endured suffering does not motivate me anymore after 10 years of running ultras. Nor does finish line bling, albeit I do like my buckles. ?? For me to put myself through the pain and discomfort that is part and parcel of running ultras I have to be inspired by; the adventure of the unexpected, a beautiful course, and the opportunity to spend the day with my ultra family. ??
The Tick 57.5 miler checked all those boxes. It certainly was an “adventure” moving for long stretches in 99-103 degree heat index without crew access. I have run many hot races but never in this kind of heat without the ability to manage it via ice, water etc. The longest were two back to back 10 mile sections; the last in full sun prairie from mile 30-40 that I would never fully recover from. From that point on it was relentless forward progress, while distracting myself with the beauty around me and trying my best to keep my stomach from rebelling through the remaining 17 miles, man was I wishing it was a 50 miler at that point. ??
From the pics you can see the splendor of this course. My favorite sighting was a beautiful owl. He flew right across the trail and perched in the tree to pose for me. I stood there staring at his awesomeness, while he stared right back. I told him, “okay you are worth this suffering”. He looked like he was saying back, “you have issues”. ??
Helping to also alleviate my misery were the moments I got to run with others taking on the challenges of the day. Andrew, Joshua, Bryan, and the ladies Kirsten, Jean and Andrea, all who inspired me so much. Andrea I will suffer and move with you any day. My best miles on the day were with you. Congrats on your win! You more than earned and deserved it. But what truly kept me going despite my body’s pleas to stop, and true my minds unwillingness to give in, was my soul sista and stellar crew. I knew I could not do this without her by my side and I was right. She went above and beyond to take care of me during, and after the race when I was very sick. She even took quite a few ticks for the team!
Melissa
I love you and can’t wait to be the best crew for you and our celebratory dinner.??
Thanks to my sponsors for your superior products. I had ZERO foot issues due to Trail Toes and Salming Trail 5, these shoes are the BEST. Everyone told me I smelled and looked good all day, which I attribute to my amazing sports apparel INKNBURN. And my Tomboy keeps my skin happy despite all that SUN.??
Lastly. Rich and Jen thank you for putting on this race, you have a gem! I love the concept of your races and is what I have always aspired to with mine; to keep it simple, small, and offer a challenging race on a beautiful course. I can’t wait for your next one! Oh wait, I did retire about 5 times those last ten miles in the dark. ??
To end on a positive note, my body felt strong all day with no physical problems presenting themselves despite all those miles on a trail. I think 16.25 hours of suffering made for VERY good ACFL 200 training!
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No 2020 Badwater? No Problem. My 2020 Big Blue 132 Solo Run

by Dawn Lisenby on 04/02/21

The Big Blue 132 mile solo run was conceived as a journey run. In concept it was to experience an epic adventure with my #SIS. (Sisters In Suffering) It ended up being that and so much more.
Starting out in Delray at 1 pm. with a storm moving in I was incredibly excited to get running after many weeks of uncertainty concerning Badwater 135. I never saw this run as a replacement for my dream race, but merely as a way to use my training, enjoy Florida’s beauty, and spend time with those I cherish.
Within the very first 5 miles I was greeted by my other #SIS, the beautiful
Maya
, who made me a sign to cheer me forward. I smiled for miles after that.
Running was easy and smooth for the first 30 miles as I was continually awed by the natural and man made beauty I was running through in Palm Beach. However, I was aware that high humidity might be an issue for me, as it always is. My INCREDIBLE crew was on it though, stopping every two miles to keep me cool and replenished.
As I neared N. Palm Beach I got a burst of energy, after a not so great section on US-1, with a visit from THE
Jeff Stephens
. We shared a few laughs over the Blue Heron bridge back to A1A.
Shortly after that I was treated to a 10 mile tour to Lighthouse Park with the AMAZING
Michael Brown
. I had the beginnings of some stomach discomfort. I decided to eat some real food, try to walk for a bit to help with it and just enjoy the time/conversation with one of the best people I know. Right at the very end of my miles with him, as we were admiring the Jupiter Lighthouse and walking in the center median, my stomach gave up the goods in a big way. ?? Being who he is he took it in stride and made me laugh about it.
Miles 40-50 I was distracted from my discomfort from the energy of
one very special person and the surroundings through Hobe Sound. It was a highlight of my journey to spend many miles sharing stories, thoughts and laughs with
Tony Himanshu Mehta
. Over the course of our time together we solved all the worlds problems. Unbeknownst to him I am nominating him to be inducted as an honorary male member of the #SIS.
With my stomach not letting me take anything in due to continued high humidity through the night and heat stress, I decided to try and rest for a bit to let it reset and give my hardworking crew some much needed rest. For an hour and a half I laid in discomfort trying to sleep but unable to.
I began to move again just before sunrise and was having no improvement leading me to contemplate wether I could continue for so many more miles. I thought “what would I tell my athletes to do”. What came to mind was “eat an Egg McMuffin, hold the ham” lol. This solved the problem of my 20 miles of nausea. My body needed some fat and real food to reset.
As I made my way through beautiful Port Salerno I began to get some energy back. Miles 70-80, on Hutchinson Island South in full morning sun, were spent moving cautious and focused through the heat, which made it feel incredibly long. At the end though, as I crossed over at quaint Ft. Pierce Inlet, a monsoonal thunderstorm occurred. Melissa and I enjoyed moving through it together, while Lulu grabbed us some food from a beach eatery. We sat and enjoyed a delicious dinner together in the car, before I crossed back over to N. Hutchinson Island.
It is here that I made a mistake that would come back to haunt me. I did not retape the hotspots, ( that developed despite repeated replying of lube from constant moisture due to humid conditions), after running through rain. I corrected it just a few miles afterwards with the help of Lulu and her magic crew supplies (she has everything and more), but the damage had been done. The pain in my feet from so many miles of cement sidewalk and trench foot that developed under tape would be my biggest challenge to moving forward over my remaining miles. True to ultra, when one challenge is met another follows, such as in life.
North Hutchinson Island, my final island, was spent touring beautiful Vero through the night miles, joined by Tony again, and clicking over ?? miles. At that point I knew I would make it to the finish despite getting super fatigued from moving for 32 hours without rest. I tried again to do so for 20 minutes but the nerve pains in my feet were so great, even when elevated, that I could not, so I continued onward.
Those overnight hours I battled hallucinations and ultra blindness, something I had heard of but never experienced, where I actually could barely see out of my right eye. But despite it all I appreciated being out there moving through the desolate surroundings, sharing conversations and the quiet night with my best gals.
As I experienced my second sunrise of my journey and entered Sebastian Inlet,
it took every ounce of focus I had to make it through full on sun and suffering to my finish line, which after multiple bridge crossings due to islands, ended up being Melbourne Beach.
One of my athletes and friends
Bryan Bost
joined me for a few miles at the perfect time. Fortuitously, just as he was about to leave, and with 8 miles left, my watch died. Without me asking him he offered his Suunto 9 to finish out my run like a true ultra runner would. I was so grateful to him as to not know how many exact miles I had left may would have been an added difficulty to deal with.
I grew emotional as I neared the last mile for all that I had gone through and this incredible journey coming to an end. But just as quickly my tears gave way to a smile when I saw the lovely
Dana R Ma
running towards me from where my #SIS were waiting for me. My exact mile of 132 finished coincidentally where a giant star was painted on the sidewalk and a yahoo carton had been discarded. It could not have been more perfect.
What I experienced out there was transformative and what ultra is truly about. Knowing that the pain of challenges will come and when it does you will answer by moving through them. What enables us to do so is the strength of the community that surrounds us. What inspires us to is the beauty that we have to move through. More now than ever I know just how incredibly magnificent of a state Florida is.
I can never thank
Melissa
and
Lulu
enough for making all of this possible for me. But I will attempt to try by paying it forward to them and all of you, my ultra family, that I appreciate and love so very much. Nothing will ever diminish what we have, not even a world wide pandemic.
Till we meet again. ??
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2020 LH 100 Iconic Florida Buckle Earned!

by Dawn Lisenby on 04/02/21

I can’t stop smiling. Not just because of course it is the day AFTER and I am already romanticizing the 100 mile distance and how wonderful it is. ????
But because as one of my lovely friends so appropriately conveyed “my heart tank is full.”
How lucky I am to have spent a day, four hours, and fifty minutes on some beautiful trails in the woods, surrounded by an incredible group of people. Some who were my support, my athletes, others my comrades, my inspiration and cherished friends. You kept me moving and laughing...which at times was not easy.
I was moving well for my first 70 miles. Keeping at bay problems that many were experiencing due to going out fast in heat and would lead to lots of dnfs, close to 70 by some accounts. However the last 50k+ 3.5 miles ?? the suffering was REAL as I battled sleep deprivation at night with some nice hallucinations. As well as, the uneven terrain catching up with me and causing some stress to my back/hip leading to my need to slow down. However due to of all of you I never had a doubt I would make it to the finish, which was my primary goal, to collect this buckle that has been on my bucket list since I began running ultras, as another friend said “because it is a piece of Florida ultra history.”
Thanks to
Andy
and
Amy
for keeping Long Haul alive so I could. The volunteers for their time, my favorite
Michael
for cheering me forward, making me food and giving his all always. My SIS
Maya
,
Lulu
,
Melissa
who I am so grateful to and love dearly as they go above and beyond for me.
Melissa
and
Oscar
for pacing me through the night, telling me stories, making me laugh and distracting me from the pain.
Hunter
,
Lucien
,
Andrew
,
Luis
,
Thomas
,
Lisa
,
Patrick
,
Sue
,
Andre
, and Jesse, for their endless encouragement and smiles.
Lastly a huge thank you to my sponsors. I have not a single blister and zero chafing. My nutrition was spot on despite the heat. I got sooo many comments on my Salming Speed that flowed and glowed in the dark. My INKnBURN apparel kept me cool, warm and looking good through the many miles. I may have had a few wardrobe changes. ?? Till we meet again ultra family. Happy Trails!
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#bestcreweva #inspiration #buckleup #ultrarunning #longhaul100 #ultra #race #ultrarunner #girlwithcurls #strong #body #mind #skratchlabs #trailtoes #inknburn #tomboytribe #salmingrunning #iloverunning #I??100

Lake to Ocean 100k-Giving It My Heart and Sole!! :)

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/08/19

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! 

Keys 50k-Third Overall Female!!

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/08/19

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.

Corbett 50k-A Near Perfect Day at the Races!

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/08/19

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.

Everglades 25k-First Race of 2019 is in the Books!!

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/08/19

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-My Grand Season Finale.

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/08/19

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 ??!

My Badwater 146 Supported Solo: Running Down a Dream!

by Dawn Lisenby on 07/26/18

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!!

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Photo Credit: @onyourleftplease