Run Long ~ Run Strong: How old are you?
Lesa D: Old enough that I should know better than to get peer pressured into running races! LOL
RLRS: Tell us a little about yourself (kids, married, job)?
LD: I am twice married now to my soul mate. Or at least I like to think so. We have no children but a rescued Carolina Dog. Of course we guess that’s what she is because ‘someone said so.’ Her name is Mebbie after Meb!!!
I am a social worker at a VA hospital in NC and currently work with service members (mostly combat) that are transitioning off active duty into the VA Health Care system. I’m originally from W. PA just North of Pittsburgh.
Believe it or not, I totally use to hate running, I mean, LOATHE it!! But, I found that I can have fun and now that I found ultras – Mind Blown!! I can walk if I want to.
RLRS: When and why did you start running?
LD: I started trying to run in the summer/fall of 2012 and failed miserably. I didn’t know what the crap I was doing and ended up getting horrible hip pain all ITB crap. I saw a group doing run/walk intervals one day and I thought for sure I could do the same. The winter of 2013 my husband signed me up for an all Ladies beginners running group and I learned to use run/walk. I actually was a group leader for the same group for 6 years.
RLRS: What keeps you motivated to train?
LD: In the times of this pandemic, have something to work towards and an actual training plan has been keeping me motivated. Coach Faith offered several of us the opportunity to do a Dopey-like challenge which was held the last week in June. It was a 5k, 10k, 13.1 and 26.2 four days in a row. She coached us through it all with training plans and sheer crazy wit!
RLRS: What are your hobbies outside of running?
LD: Drinking craft beer, trying to get back into reading.
RLRS: What is your favorite race?
LD: I’ve run a ton of races, but I think the most memorable one is Flying Pig in Cincinnati – all of the aid stations had some pig- themed food or dressed up so funky. The volunteers were fabulous, and it was a party within the race!
RLRS: What is your bucket list event?
LD: I’m unsure but I’d love to run somewhere out west or somewhere where there is vert.
RLRS: What is the funniest thing to happen to you during a race?
LD: Meeting up with a friend, who I was supposed to train MCM with and didn’t. Out of 30K runners we bumped into each other at the porta-potties and we ran 23 miles together.
RLRS: What is your proudest race moment?
LD: Completing my first 50miler! (coach’s note: Lesa completed this ON HER OWN with no official race). Of course once again, COVID-19 struck when my race was scheduled and I was hell bent on not giving up on all the training I’d done. I took matters into my own hands and created my own race with an out/back 5mile segments, made my own food. My husband was my Aid Station Guru and I had 5 friends either run or bike with me for 40 miles. My finishing medal was a cymbal that was hanging in our basement left from the previous house owners. My husband painted it #safesix50 with a runner girl on it. Get this, the cymbal was made in Wuhan China!
RLRS: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started running
LD: Don’t get the pretty shoes. Get the shoes that are supposed to fit your feet best
RLRS: What is your best piece of advice for new runners?
LD: Don’t compare yourself to other runners because if you do you will take the fun out of running for yourself. Bad runs happen and they are bound too, but you keep going. Forward, relentless, motion. And stretch, stretch and stretch!