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Run Natural Coach Blogspot

L2O 100k-I Got My Damn Buoy!!

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/16/17

I have never been so scared of or beat up by a race before as L2O 100k. The navigation and terrain require constant vigilance that wears you down physically and mentally over 62 miles. Then you add in the heat and humidity of this time of year, and cover more than half the course in water, and well for me it adds up to an ass kicking.

I had a plan of hitting 4-5 miles an hour depending on course conditions. Early on I tried to stay within sight of someone as was so worried to get lost but realized to do so was not to run my race. And if I was going to run I needed to do my thing and not rely on others to guide me. I did get lost, a few times the first 50k, but only minimally.

Just when I was about to hit a low spot I decided to call my friend Omer to ask about a course change that was made due to rain. He told me he was just ahead and would wait for me. And just like that we were together again for the remaining 40 miles as we were last year. I can't thank him enough for his guidance, encouragement and pushing me when I did not think I had anything left. I really could not imagine it any other way.

As we ran together at mid day the heavy rain began and would not let up till early evening. We also had to navigate a lot of water on the back half of the course but despite it all we maintained a steady forward motion and our sense of humor. Even after I took a nasty fall that could have been game over with 4 miles out when in the dark my leg fell through a hole up to my hip on a concrete bridge. I gots some nice souvenirs from that detour.

Finally, we popped out on the last section and ran to the beach with a goal of going sub 16. Nothing ever felt so good as jumping in the ocean (pic is post) and knowing that this time I had earned that DAMN BUOY! As a bonus I finished 3 rd overall female in a time of 15:53. Much improved over my 18:30 unofficial finish of last year.

I so appreciate all of you who followed along, cheered me along the course and cared about this journey for me. It is a deeply emotional one after what I have been through since this race last year. As I told my rock star crew "I should not have even finished this race but with your keeping me running strong and laughing through all the miles I did. I dont have to tell you all what a treasure the Thompsons are. They are a top notch crew and humans that I am so very grateful wanted to spend their weekend caring for this girl. I told Julie as she was tucking my wrecked body into bed last night. I did not think I could love you all anymore than I did, but I do. 

Congrats to my fellow runners on the course, you were amazing. This is a special race and finishing it is no small feat. Thank you Jeff Stephens for bringing this torture to us and congrats on your finish. It was really great to run some miles with you. FINALLY, thanks to my sponsors and family for supporting my crazy passion that without, I would not be me.

#L2O100k #LaketoOceanTrail #bestcreweva #ittakesavillage #missionaccomplished #redemption #teamgoldilocks #buoyorbust #mybodyhurts #runner #ultrarunner #ultragal #ultrarace #ultracommunity #purultrarunning #skratchlabs #trailtoes #tomboyskincare #iloveultrarunning

Keys 50k-Back to the Races at My Favorite Place!

by Dawn Lisenby on 06/16/17

Finished Keys 50k- 11th overall, 6th female and first in my age group at 6:08:08. I am ecstatic to say the least after having been away from racing an ultra since last years Keys 50.

Really felt solid all day with my nutrition, as well as physically, to hit my goal of 5 miles per hour with even splits. As always at the Keys the heat must be managed or you will falter. I was aided in that department, incredibly well, by my best gal who is now seasoned at crewing here. She was always waiting with what I needed so I never had to stop. Then was by my side the last 5 miles to keep me moving strong when I was attempting to maintain a lead over another competitor. I can not thank her enough for her helping me to achieve this result.

It does take a village and I truly appreciate the support of mine, from the products that keep me running happy, to the people who cheer me on. Focused now on recovery in anticipation of some more FUN, ultra style, at L2O 100k in 2 weeks.
#Keys #10thanni #ultra #race #run #along #clear #blue #sea #strong #runner #ultrarunner #ultragal #ultrarace #ultracommunity #ultrafine #ultravibe #purultrarunning #iloveultrarunning #trailtoes #skratchlabs #tomboyskincare

Back to a Start Line @ Torreya 25k!

by Dawn Lisenby on 04/16/17

After seven long months of not feeling the thrill of a race day I was ecstatic to do so April 8th at Torreya 25k.  The day began with the greeting of friends and my favorite running conditions of a cold, clear day.  It ended with my to do list being complete!  Spend the day on a beautiful trail...check. Experience Joe Edgecombe's amazing Torreya 50k/25k's ...check. Put my ZERO hill trained body/ injury to the test on a course with 2300 ft of elevation....check. Share some laughs/convo with my fav group of people....thank you Heather, Andrea, Danielle and David .....check. Finish 10th female OA, 12 minutes off first Masters with legs trashed from bombing some sick descents and a smile on my face...check. And my final item...celebrate a finish by drinking my trophy....Beer Camp Golden IPA....check.  This race is one not to be missed. Incredible in every way. Almost don't want to let the secret out. I will be back for the 50k next year...trained and ready! 

Now onto my next start.... Corbett 18 miler on April 22nd.  Decided to join the fun surely to be had there and ...get my L2O training on! Looking forward to seeing many of my favorite people and the beautiful tropical terrain course affords.  So grateful to be out there and able to do what I LOVE!! 

It has been a long road back from an injury from a fall sustained while trail running in October 2015 then made worse by racing through it during Spring of 2016 and misdiagnosis.....multiple times!  I am glad to finally be in the care of a knowledgeable and caring professional who took the time to really figure out what was going on with me and get me back to running PAIN FREE.  I also began to lean more on all the experience I have had rehabbing runners back from injury and poor care.  And to LISTEN to my body.  Something I train all my athletes to do but have not done enough of myself.

Excited to be back to a start and looking forward to others later this spring at Keys and L2O.  It will be a gradual progression back to allow my body to continue healing and adapt to the increased demands that racing requires on it.  See you at the races!  Happy Running!!!

2017 is here! How will you make your mark on it?

by Dawn Lisenby on 01/12/17

Personally I grow tired of hearing people say "new year, new you" as the truth of the matter is even though it is 2017 you are still you. :)  I would rather my clients look at the new year as an opportunity before them.  With goals set; a plan to achieve them, constructed by an experienced coach; a lot of discipline and perseverance to follow through; and a bit of GRIT, they will succeed...99.9 percent guaranteed!  (Dr. Suess is a favorite of mine).  And so that is why I always start the year off by asking all my clients to construct three goals for the new year.  If you do not set them, you can not realize them. 
With that said I would like to share my personal goals as an athlete for 2017.  First, and foremost to honor being a member of the Dsquad and get a finishers medal at the 10th Anniversary of the Breast Cancer Marathon.  This just may involve running 84 miles before hand, but that is another story completely.  Second, I would like to compete in the Keys 50 and improve upon my performance of last year, and maybe come away with a most coveted Keys trophy at the 10th anniversary event.  Third, I would like to finally qualify for Hardrock which I will attempt in the fall at Grindstone 100. 
Of course to achieve these big goals there are a lot of little goals that must be followed through with along the way.  Such as: good nutrition, both in life and racing; consistent strength work to maintain an injury free body; and staying balanced towards training and other commitments in my life. I impress this on my clients as well.
I am thankful to my sponsors, athletes, supporters and family for their continual support of me both as a race director, coach and athlete.  Here is to making OUR mark on 2017.  I look forward to helping you do so either as; your coach, your supporter at a finish line of one of my races, or a friend/fan of  yours!  Happy Trails!!

The Keys 50: It Does Get Better!

by Dawn Lisenby on 05/29/16

They say it usually always gets better....I told myself that a lot today. From the very beginning of the race I knew it was going to be a battle with the heat as it was difficult to keep my heart rate down and body felt a bit off. The heat index reached into the 100's by midday. I felt the heat right away with a 10 am start. The RD said it was the hottest year ever. I adjusted my expectations/pace early on when I knew to not would risk a blowup.  I practiced staying in the mile, keeping a steady pace, and just staying cool thanks to Carla's critical and most amazing crewing skills. I finally started to feel better at mile 40, just when I was about to give up hope that the whole race would be a struggle. No coincidence I am sure that is when Carla joined me to run me in. In the last 10 miles we passed multiple runners and I had my eyes on the prize. If I could not get my time goal, I wanted to finish top ten women so I was extremely happy to end up EIGHTH OVERALL in the race.

Truly thrilled with how my race ended up and results of being: in the top 8, of which only 1 was male; only 35 min off top masters female; 2nd in AG; with a time of 11 hours, on what is now officially the hottest Keys race ever.  Full results can be seen at

I did not hit my time goal of going under 10 hrs but that just gives me something to shoot for when I go back in 2017. Thinking though maybe I will run the is such a gorgeous course. ?? ?

Thanks again to my best gal. Who I told 20 miles out "I could not do this without you, nor would I want to". And thanks to my sponsors who keep me running ?? and strong. ?#?keys50? ???? ?#?trailtoes? #?endurenenjoy? ?#?pearlizumirun? ?#?skratchlabs? ?#?BOCOgear? ?#?smilethruthesuffering?

Directionally challenged at the Corbett 50k.

by Dawn Lisenby on 05/29/16

Corbett 50k did not disappoint either in quality of trail or people who were there. What did were my navigation skills not even just on trail but to the race. I ended up in my nightmare scenario where you show up with 5 min till race start. After driving for an hour and half to find the race a trip to porta potty was a necessity and then we were off. Thanks to Jennifer Magill for bringing my number to me and helping me to get on my way w pins n ipod.

Then just when I thought I could relax and focus on racing after a discombobulated start I realized in my rush I had left my handheld w Skratch electrolyte in my car. At that point it was lose 2 miles or continue on with out it ...I chose the latter. My strategy was to get thru 15 mi loop as fast as possible to get back to my hydration and while was overcast. I had my fruit chews n just did those with water and an S cap at midway. I was feeling great after 7 miles and cruising the trails as first female. Thankfully I had preloaded with Skratch Hyper on way to race and am sure it helped me run strong finishing first 15 in 2:35. Despite getting lost twice!

After first loop I ran to car and got handheld. I was beginning to feel depleted and with sun coming out in full force pretty hot and was sweating a lot. I tried to down as much as I could but with almost 4 miles between aid stations on first loop and just water it did not cut it. The wheels came off around 20, when I lost lead and was passed by the amazing Stephanie idol!

The last 10 miles was extremely painful in a way I have never experienced as mechanically I was sound but was just spent energy wise. I now know what a depletion run feels like and I can say I don't ever want to feel that again. It is THE only race I have ever really wanted to quit. That I did not I am proud of as it took all my will not to. Even with all my comedy of errors I still came away with a respectable time of 6:16 on a tough course footing wise and on our first hot day. I also managed to hold on to finish 2nd female and 4th overall.

I gained a lot of confidence in my fitness for Keys 50 as if I can pull off this finish when I had nothing in the tank and on legs full of training miles then I feel good for my chances to do a solid time there.

Thanks to the wonderful volunteers Trevor and Jamie Woyton, CB Pops Thompson, Tamiya Thompson, Julie Thompson, Eric Hulboj and Jennifer Carvallo for taking care of me during the race n at finish. Guy Rock for his most delicious food and smile!

And what a rockstar finish line it was with so many fun people to laugh and share stories with from the day. So good to chat with the inspiring ladies: Malika, Carla , Lara, Sandra, Samantha, Sally, and Renee. Glad to witness awesome finishes by Bob Becker, Jeff Stephens, and
Ron Hines. And sharing a most delicious beer...and lol with Tim, Heather, Darlene A and Mark Cudak....was priceless. This is what it is all about matter the results it is the people that bring us back for more for sure. As I swore off ultras at least 5 x during the race ??.

Finally thanks to the most incomparable RD, Christiañ Stewart for putting on a race that has that old school vibe ... that as Heather C said to me "is what got me into this whole thing in the first place". It starts with you, my friend! Congrats on putting on a terrific race. I definitely plan to see you on the real course next year. ?????? ?#?corbett50k? ?#?trailtoes?
?#?endurenenjoy? ?#?skratchlabs? ?#?BOCOGear?

Speed Work at the Challenge 5k!

by Dawn Lisenby on 01/28/16

Ooo Wee...5ks hurt! Give me a 50 miler any day. ?? Came back to the Challenge 5k trail race this am to defend my overall title from last year and was race I had dedicated to my Dad. Fell short of overall female title but came away with masters win and 3rd female, 17th overall in a large field with a time of 26:16....17 secs off last year! This is a beast of a course called the "roller coaster"... but is so much fun. Three weeks post 100k and a difficult week personally ...I will take it! Glad to be able to sport my new 2016 Pearl Izumi Champion team jersey for the race. . ?#?lifeisgood? ?#?formydad? ?#?trailove? ?#?endureandenjoy? ?#?trailtoes? ?#?skratchlabs?

Redemption at Croom 100k!

by Dawn Lisenby on 01/12/16

I got my finish. And a shiny new trophy to go with it! Ended up 2nd female, 1st masters, and 6th overall in a time of 12:58. I really felt strong all day, and so enjoyed the cooler weather and running and laughing with friends in route to accomplishing my goals. This is a race that holds a special place in my ?. Thanks to Andy Croom and Amy Mathews for always making me feel a part of it. Thanks to Julie Thompson, CB Pops Thompson and their son for your amazing aid station and encouragement. Thanks to Carla Cellini and Mark Dodds (who got himself a new 50k pr!) for your crewing and pacing. I always appreciate you and the time we spend together. Thanks to my sponsors as well, who once again kept me running strong; with no blisters or stomach issues and looking good. 2015 has ended and 2016 has started with a bang! Now to rest up for a fun spring. ?#?croomzoom100k? ?#?pearlizumirun? ?#?endureandenjoy? ?#?trailtoes? #?skratchlabs?

Enjoying my day at the beautiful Caloosahatchee 50k!

by Dawn Lisenby on 01/12/16

The Caloosahatchee 50K was every bit as challenging and beautiful as I had heard and then some! The course is made up of my favorite thing to run.....hilly, single track. However, two days of rain made for many muddy sections that we were unable to run without slipping and falling, as well as, for greater fatigue in the legs throughout the race. My female competitors also didn't make it easy on me. I spent most of the first loop in fourth place. I moved into third place during the second loop. I went into the third loop even with the second-place girl, who was also a masters, so the race was on, so to speak. I am ecstatic that I was able to hold onto second place and to be able to take home the beautifully, handcrafted, overall masters award! Congrats to Danielle M. Zemola, who on her ultra anniversary came and took the top prize! Thank you Justin Radley for your classic, old school race! I had way too much fun running it and hanging out with many friends today. Can't help being pleased with how I felt during this race four weeks post Oceans 50. It bodes well for future endeavors. ??

Solo Dreaming First Overall at Oceans 50 Relay!

by Dawn Lisenby on 11/14/15

I got my blue bottle!  First overall solo runner @ Oceans 50 in a PR time of 10:00.59. So excited to have improved my 50 mile time by almost an hour, on a course that combines trail and road, and in temp highs today of 88 degrees with 80% humidity!!

Congrats to all the finishers and winners, especially the other solo runners who all finished on a tough day. I have to say my fifth year of running this race was when I felt my best...and I ran 50 miles. lol. A huge thanks to my girl Carla Cellini for being a huge part of why that was possible.

This race is a special one and it just keeps getting better. RD Carrie Meng and crew deserve many kudos for today. And to all those FCRunners who cheered me so helped during those final hot miles. THANK YOU!

Lastly, a shout out to my sponsors because their products really helped me achieve this PR and kept me running strong all day, in high heat, with zero nutrition problems, blisters or chafing. With ALL my races this past year being in HEAT I am ready for a cold weather ultra now. ?#?solodreaming? ?#?oceans50? ?#?pearlizumirun? ?#?endureandenjoy? ?#?skratchlabs? ?#?trailtoes?

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