RACE RECAP: Pumpkinman 5k | This Was a Surprise

It’s been awhile since I posted a race recap and thought I would start with the BBSC Endurance Racing Pumpkinman 2016 in Boulder City, NV


Last year, my brother was still in his post-op recovery and walked the 5k.  It took him 45 minutes to complete his 5k (walking), he could run a 10k faster than 45 minutes.  He was frustrated and I could see his patience was wearing thin.   It didn’t help that I earned a 3rd place Overall and I knew he was feeling left out of the festivities of getting an OV award.

Fast forward to this year.  What a difference a year makes!

Last year, I was still trying to grab onto what Meniere’s Disease was doing to my body and how it was going to affect my running.  This year, I came into this race with zero expectations.  I was lucky to be able to run 3 miles a day, for 3 days in a row. The disease had run havoc on my body within the past 6 months.  This would of marked my 5th run day in a row, I was excited to see if my body would allow me to run 5 days in a row.

Last year, I earned the 3rd OV.  I laughed at that possibility, this year. Seriously, laughed.  It was not happening.  I was going to be jumping for joy if I finished the race with no walk breaks and did not pass out at the finish line.

I opted to go a little Halloween on my outfit.  A skeleton singlet, black skirt (yes, you read that right – A SKIRT), a black choker and Sugar Skull headband.  Of course, I had black compression socks and my new black Altra One 2.5’s to round out the outfit.


I will admit I was feeling very body conscience in that outfit. The singlet was way slimming (aka tight) and I was in a skirt.  But, I seem to muddle through those body shaming thoughts before the race start.

My plan was to run the 5k (bro was running the 10k).  After a warm up and the traditional start or finish line selfie, I was ready to get on the road.


The 10k and 5k started at the same time and I saw a number of women ahead of me going towards the 5k turn around. Not until the turn around do you have any idea who is running what distance.  My breathing was rather labored, but that is expected and I have resided that 1.5-2.5 are the hardest points for me to run in a 5k.

As I came up on the turn around, I saw one and then two gals turn back up. They were 1st and 2nd place obviously. Then, there were 3 gals ahead of me also turning around.  3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. However, as soon as I turned I could see it was a mother and her two young daughters and they had already were worn out. They sprinted the first half and had nothing left, I think.  Not wanting to chance anything, I bolted past them and realized I was now coming up on the incline (of the decline at the beginning to the race). I told myself to put as much distance between the gals and me, as they might catch me on the incline.  I was going for the 3rd place and if my head could stay upright I had a shot.

Climbing to 2.5 I really, REALLY wanted to walk.  I mean, REALLY.  I was scared if I pushed too hard I would be kissing pavement very soon.  I really wanted to look behind me to see who was there, but I didn’t.  I knew that once I changed my focus, I would lose my balance.

I found myself getting closer and closer to 2nd place, but I didn’t feel compelled to push any harder.  OV to me was great, well – standing upright was such a huge accomplishment, I didn’t want to blow it.

Crossing the finish line, I was standing!  Breathing hard, but standing.  I finally looked at my watch after 30 seconds of standing there and realized I had not turned it off.  It was just ticking past 25 minutes. Which meant I was under 25 minutes?  No way, I decided to wait for the official results.

That’s impossible on this hilly course. A week before, I did a 26.54 on a flat course.  So, I went to the timing table. BBSC Endurance Running has this coolest timing feature.  Key in your bib number and it gives you a print out of your time, place and pace.  Poof!

My first print out had me as First OV and a pace of 168:11 per minute.  haha!

I told Alex, their wonderful timing guy to fix and made my way to get some water and get back to the finish line, I wanted to video tape the bro finishing up. This was a big deal race for him, so I wanted to catch that moment.

I knew JJ Santana would win the 10k, and I was pretty sure that Bro would be in the Top 3.  My hope is he would finish in sub40, that would be awesome.

At the 37 minute mark, I could see him coming up that last incline towards the finish.  He crossed the line at 38:##!

I finished in 24:26.  16 seconds away from a PR and I was worried about standing upright. Thank you to my body for cooperating!

photogrid_1477159709330 20161022_093810


(Due to the sun facing the podium and casting shadows, we decided to do some creative poses on the podiums.)

In addition, we wore created special bibs to show our support for Craig Trainor who tragically lost his legs in a freak automobile accident this year.  He is a valued member of the BBSC family and we wanted to show our support to his recovery.


Our traditional post race Finish Line selfie with a beautiful Uhaul truck in the background (thanks, Bro)



All in all, it was a solid race and I couldn’t be more grateful that my body allowed me to do this race, not only to finish strong but to earn another shinny bling.

Thank you BBSC Endurance Running, Boulder City, Nevada for your hospitality, my brother, my husband and the incredible people in my life who reminded me through the many months of this dreaded disease that I still had speed and muscle left in me.  I ran for you and because of you, I finished.


Fueling before:  Glukos Energy Lemon chewable tablets

During the race:  RunGum Cinnamon flavor

Post race:  RobKellerMD.com Original Glutatione Formula capsules


Black skeleton singlet (sorry, I cannot remember where I bought it.  It was awhile ago)

Black Zoot running skirt

Black compression socks from Amazon

Black Altra Running One 2.5’s

Sugar Skull headband from Amazon

Black KT Tape for knee support


fab-running-logo Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

Is Your Race Day Bag a Black Hole? | Simple Solution

Since we are on the topic of traveling to a race day event, we cannot forget the importance of packing.  How many times have you forgotten your fueling, race clothes or even shoes? (me, raising hand).

I love organizational tips of any kind.  Work, home, racing, etc.  Some call them tips, some call them “hacks”.

After the Disneyland Dumbo Double weekend and having a big toiletry bag full of make-up, toiletries and more.  Every morning, I was digging through this blackhole of a bag looking for what I needed.  I had enough of that!  Countless traveling run-cations, I had to find an answer.

On my hotel nightstand was my roll-up for my charger cords.  It was very similar to a jewelry roll.  I thought, that’s what I need, but much better and more elastic bands.  My first thought was to ask a friend to create one for me, but I went to Amazon and found a nice sized one.  Elastic straps on one side and pockets on the other.  Only $19.99 (shipping is free with Prime).

The organizer arrived and I immediately fell in love!  I was able to find places for all my makeup and daily toiletries.  I labeled each spot so when I travel I won’t forget to bring my mascara or what not. Well, I thought it was for traveling, I was so wrong.  I am using it daily!  It keeps everything organized, I zip it up and put it away under my sink. Very tidy!

Fast forward to today…I am looking through my gear bag and I have a mess of little compartments, other little bags and who knows what else.  Another light bulb moment!  I ordered the same cord organizer bag I did for my makeup and toiletries (but a tad smaller to fit into my race day backpack and any other clear bag the race company requires us to use).

This was the before:



This is the after:

gear2 gear3


Poof!  All I need pre and post race is in one place and no wondering, “where is my BioFreeze?


Another organizational problem solved.  In addition, let’s say you are too tired or injured to dig into your bag and someone needs to get someone you need.  It’s easy – it’s all in one place, right?

How do you organize your gear or race day bag?  I would love to see your ideas.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


Blog Series: Runner Safety | Travel Tips

If you have not had a chance, please check out my previous post in the

Runner Safety Blog Series:

Why I Don’t Post my Running Courses Online

Today, I am going to share with you some safety tips pre and during your traveling.  Within the excitement of traveling to and from a race, we can often forget that we still need to be diligent with our privacy and safety.

Don’t post your hotel information on social media. That includes no location tagging or obvious signs of where you are.  Just as not posting your training courses so people know where you live or work, etc – you don’t want people knowing where you are staying the next few days.  I will never forget my first-ever runcation.  It was the Surf City in 2012, I walked into my hotel lobby and there was a person arguing with the hotel desk about where is a certain person. They were demanding to know where they were and they had proof they were in that hotel (showed them a Facebook post).  Come to find out, the argumentative person was not a friend nor a relative of the person in question.  That was a game changer. I have never posted where I am staying on social media since that day.

Same as your hotel, don’t post your travel plans. Why does anyone need to know what your flight information is?

Always, always – complete the medical information on the back of the bib.  For emergency contact, I make sure it is someone at the race who can reach my family if needed.  While I could put my family on the bib, having someone nearby is much better in the event of an emergency.

Before you depart, make sure your family knows your hotel information and at least one other phone number they can find you if need.  Such as a running buddy, friend or your coach.  Sometimes cell phones don’t work, so a back up plan for the family to get in touch with you is wise.

It is never good to be paranoid, but one should also be mindful of your trip and keeping yourself safe.  Why spend your time worrying about safety when you should be focusing on the big race day!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

*Guest Blog: 4 Tips For Staying Safe While Running in Vegas | Ladah Law Offices

In my next Runner Safety blog posts, I am pleased to share this wonderful & informative post from guest blogger, Ladah Law Firm, PLLC in Las Vegas.


Four Tips For Staying Safe While Running In Vegas –

Running is a popular way to exercise without being confined to a gym. When you run through the streets of your city, you become familiar with the other people in your neighborhood and the shops and features that make it unique.

Choosing to exercise outside comes with its risks, though. Unlike a treadmill, the road outside it not always level. You also have to share it with other runners, bicyclists, cars, and other vehicles. These factors put you at a greater risk of being injured while running in downtown Vegas than the risk you face exercising indoors. But do not let this risk stop you from running outside. Below are four ways you can minimize your chance of suffering a severe injury.
1. Always be Aware of your Surroundings
Know where you will be running before you leave your home. Familiarize yourself with heavily congested areas, known hazards like blind curves and potholes, and areas where pedestrians are not permitted.

If you plan to run at night, carry a flashlight and use it to illuminate the road before you. This can help you see hazards before you reach them, helping you avoid injury.
2. Make yourself Visible
Always be visible to motorists, especially if you run at night. You can do this by wearing white or light-colored clothing with reflective material on each side of your body.

When you are stopped at a crosswalk, ensure that all motorists are aware of your presence before you proceed. Do this at yield signs and any other area on the road where you need to run in front of vehicles. Motorists are not always completely aware of their surroundings, especially in today’s age of smart phones.
3. Follow the Rules of the Road
When a pedestrian gets hit by a car, he or she can suffer a serious, even life-threatening, injury. Remember, you are not in a privileged position over the cars – you must share the road with them.

Run against the traffic, not with it. This will make you more visible to motorists. Always follow the same rules that they follow, such as stopping at stop signs and red lights.
4. Know What to Do if you are Injured
Even if you take all the safety precautions discussed above, there is still the chance that you will be involved in an accident with a car and suffer an injury. If this happens to you, knowing what to do in the moments and days after your accident can make a huge difference regarding your physical and financial recovery.

Take down every relevant detail of the accident you can. This includes photographs, testimonies, and contact information for other parties involved, like the driver and witnesses to the accident. Then, seek medical attention as soon as you can to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. After you have received medical care, consider working with a personal injury lawyer to file a claim to seek monetary compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses related to the injury.

Ramzy Ladahladah_logo

Provided by Ramzy Ladah, Owner of Ladah Law Firm, PLLC

New Blog Series: Runner Safety |Why I Won’t Post My Running Courses

Hi FAB Friends!  It’s been awhile – actually a LONG while since I have blogged.  Thanks for your patience during my hiatus.


I am returning to blogging to highlight a topic that is very important to me.  Runner Safety.  We heard of so many stories of accidents, injuries and unfortunately murders.  As a runner, I have seen in my share of scary moments and I hope that what I can offer you will give you pointers on keeping you safe.

My biggest safety tip?  While may not be popular, I believe will be a necessary step for both men and women.

Stop posting your runs on social media or any mile tracking website or app like MapMyRun. Strava, DailyMile or more.  By posting where you run is giving anyone the information of where you started and where you finished.  If you are on the road, you will usually start your watch near your home, right?  Guess what?  You have told social media where you live.  Go the same 5 mile route every Wednesday?  Guess what?  You just told a would-be weirdo where you will be each Wednesday.  Looking at the generic image below, can you see how anyone can see a pattern of where you might live and where you run? 


You can still log your miles without giving the details of your location.  If you want to post your pace, you can manually do that.

In 2012, I removed all the courses from my logging website because I had been met up by “surprise” by a few runners who were following me.  I had never met them and never knew who they were.  Did they cause me any physical harm?  No, but they certainly freaked me out by total strangers standing on the street corner waiting for me.

Secondly, I am told that a murder took place because the murderer followed his victim on a logging website and knew her pattern.

This is not a negotiable option for me, I have turned down sponsorships & ambassadorships because they require the team posts their works-outs.  I won’t tell anyone where I am running (except my immediate family of course) and I certainly don’t put it on social media.  You have given the world that option if you do post on social media and on the logging websites like MapMyRun, Strava and DailyMile.

Note:  I think the websites are a wonderful tool!  My opinion is not a reflection of their service, but of those who take advantage of that information and could potentially cause harm to someone else. 

Be safe, FAB Friends!

Next safety blog post:  Guest post from Ladah Law Firm, PLLC  of Las Vegas.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


My Yearly Memorial Run To Honor Ladybug | Benefiting Heaven Can Wait

Every year at the St Patrick’s Day Run (formerly owned by Mountain Man Events, now owned by BBSC) I run to honor Ladybug.  You may recall, this is the event I ran the day after she died and was nicknamed “The Ladybug Runner”.

This year, I wanted to do something extra special, since it was the 5th anniversary of her death.  I contacted Heaven Can Wait Animal Society of Las Vegas to see if I could do a fund raiser for them. They provide no-cost to low-cost spay and neuters to pets in need.  As you know, that is my animal advocacy platform = spay and neuter!

From their website, “Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) animal humane organization, was formed in 2000 by a group of 5 concerned citizens with the idea of building a beautiful 20 acre sanctuary to house all of the unwanted animals in our community.  In the meantime, though, animals were and still are dying at rate of around “30,000 per year in our local shelters with even more just dying in the streets.  Therefore, we decided to refocus our efforts slightly away from rescue and more toward promoting spay/neuter as the solution to the tragic pet overpopulation problem here in Las Vegas.”

About 2 weeks before race day, we launched the fund raiser with their social media following and I held my breathe.  I wanted this to be a success for them, I hoped for $500!

Days leading up to the race, we went over $500 and then, something happened.  The night before the race, we reached $1,397!!!  It took my breathe away because I saw the irony in that number

Ladybug died when she was 13 and she was born in ’97

I woke up on race morning so excited and so proud of the race community.  I had one job to do and that was run a strong 5k in her honor and for all my animal loving friends.  For the first time, I was wearing a Ladybug Runner shirt.  A design from my brother.  Okay, I know – 5 years later I finally get a shirt.  Don’t laugh too much!


My brother and my son drove to the race day. I asked my son to come with us because he started the yellow tennis ball tradition and I felt he needed to see this special moment.

After a warm-up, Renna and Alex from HCWS met us there and brought poster boards to cheer me on!  How sweet. They said they had 2 more, and I had to wait to see them.


The weather was perfect and we were ready.  My brother was running the 12k and I, of course was doing the 5k.

The race was set at 6 Tunnels and I couldn’t wait to get started!  Unfortunately, some inconsiderate runners hindered the start for me and many others.  They decided as soon as they crossed the finish line to STOP and take selfies.  Really, people?  In front of all the runners.  Despite being told to move they stood there, GIGGLED and took their dang pictures.

Once I got around the inconsiderate runners (I hope they have some wonderful pictures of people getting angry with them and tell them to move, seriously) I started moving.  I wasn’t looking to PR, but I did want a good time.

Right away, I could feel my feel not grabbing the dirt trail. That was very unusual for this course, it’s not hard, it’s loose gravel and dirt.  But, I felt slippery.

That never changed, but I was having a blast and I kept going!After the turn around, tried to push but my feet couldn’t get underneath me.  Good grief.

As I turned the corner into the finish, I could hear tons of people screaming and of course, I saw the poster boards from HCWS, well kinda. (I saw the posters, but I didn’t actually see what they said.)

After I retrieved my medal, Alex (from HCWS started walking towards me with a big poster board).  On the board was a big red heart and Ladybug’s picture!  OH….I cried!  What a sweet gift!

Here is my post race photo with their sweet signs.


We waited around for the awards.  My brother was first in his AG and I was the traditional 2nd in my AG.  The day was perfect and I couldn’t imagine having it any other way.



BUT WAIT!  By the time the fund raiser ended, we had raised close to $1,500 in less than 2 weeks!

Thank you HCWS for allowing me to race to benefit your charity.  I look forward to doing this again and again.  If you are an animal lover, please consider making a donation to this great organization at www.hcws.org

For a great race experience, every time – please check out BBSCRun.com!  You will be glad you did.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


#RunningSiblings Interview with Mark Jensen – Owner & Formulator of Glukos Energy

My brother and I had the opportunity to sample the Glukos Energy at the RnRAZ.  When we arrived at the expo, we had never heard of their brand but I had heard about a new “liquid” gel entering the market.

At that time, I wasn’t looking for a different fueling, I was doing okay with the one I had been using. I had some issues with it from time to time but I was accepting it as a status quo for my overly sensitive body.  My brother, on the other hand was in desperate need to find another fueling. Everything was too sweet for this overly sensitive stomach and nothing gave him the long term energy he needed for marathons.

We read how Glukos boasted of no gluten, sugar or the junk.  Frankly, I thought “here we go again” another new-fangled gel.  When we introduced ourselves to the CEO, Mich McCormick he offered us samples.  Immediately I sensed a difference, the sample looked like water.  I said, “no, I want to try your gels not a drink”.  He said, “this is our gel”. Go figure.

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was like water and it went down as easy!  After speaking with Mick, we met up with Mark (the founder & formulator) and he was kind, informative and showed such great interest in every athlete who came by their booth space.


After many runs using Glukos Energy my brother and I are 100% sold on this product and Mark agreed to give us an interview.  If you are the type to want to listen to an interview, you can do so at this link:  CLICK HERE

For those who want to read the interview – here are the highlights and fun facts of Glukos Energy.

Glukos Energy came about around 2003-04 by Mark Jennings an accomplished runner and triathlete who was tired of the same old stuck in your gut, snotty feeling gels.  After working on his MBA in Oregon, he developed a glucose base fueling.

Why glucose?

Glukos Energy

According to Mark, it was a simple solution. When you go to the hospital and need an IV – what is the IV?  Glucose.  Glucose is what your body needs for energy and promote healing.

Glukos Energy was born with their gel’s about a year ago with their tablets and chews.

The tablets are my favorite!  (CLICK HERE to learn more about the product) A runner can put one in between their cheek and teeth and suck on it(something like a large Sweet Tart candy).  According to Mark, it is the most concentrated form of glucose they have.  (I believe it, it is my favorite product, thus far). Or if you prefer to drink your glucose, you can put one tablet in your water (one tablet for every 8 ounces of water).  They are non-effervescent (no bubbles) and very easy to suck on during a run.  You can carry the tablets in the tube or in your fueling belt.

The chews are just as popular. (CLICK HERE to learn more about the product) I like the chews and will consume them before a run. The texture and consistency is different than any other chew I have tried.

The gels, the flagship product of Glukos Energy. (CLICK HERE to learn more about the product) Easy to drink and no additional water needed.  Mark says that is how it was designed.  Haven’t we all been stuck in a race and need to take fueling but an aid station is 2 miles out?  (pointing finger myself). This way, no water is needed.

Glukos Energy is growing in popularity, too.  If you have not heard or noticed they are the official course fueling for Rock n Roll marathon series.  At the end of 2015, they were in about 1,000 retail stores.  By the end of 2016 Mark projects they will be in 8-10,000 stores.  That’s tremendous growth for a company that is a year old.

The bulk of our interview was discussing the Olympic Trials.  Did you notice who came in third place? That was Glukos Energy Athlete, Jared Ward.  Recently, Jared discussed his pre race and during race fueling plan using Glukos Energy.  Considering the heat of that day and he looked incredibly strong at the finish, I would say that Glukos was a big part of his success.


To read Jared’s interview – CLICK HERE 

We cannot thank Mark Jennings enough for his time and also creating such an incredible product.  After all these years, we might of found the product we can stick with for a long time to come!

If you have not checked out Glukos Energy – please do,  I know you will be glad you did!

Please check out my brothers blog and read his opinion of Glukos Energy.  CLICK HERE

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here





My Fight with Meniere’s Disease

It’s never easy to allow yourself to be vulnerable and let others know about a personal secret, but I feel the timing is right and I hope it can help someone else in the same situation.

What many of my followers do not know is I am legally hard of hearing (almost deaf) in my left year.  As a child I suffered horrible ear infections and in 1983 I suffered a strike to my head from my then boyfriend, which resulted in further inner ear damage.  My habit I will always turn my right ear to someone when they are speaking to me.  If you are on my left, I might heard sounds, but I cannot understand a word you are saying.

Through my life I have also suffered from ringing of the ears and fluid in my ears.  At times, it caused some dizziness and disorientation but no Dr gave me any reason to believe it was a great problem as it was “normal” with what happened in my youth.

Then on the fateful morning of Big Cottonwood Marathon, my life took a dramatic turn. It’s no secret I suffered the most heart breaking marathon of my career.  No matter what I said to anyone, very few people could understand nor accept what I had gone through that morning.  Finishing the race was not success to me, I failed at my goal.

The bigger problem was what happened in that race.  I was dizzy, I hyper ventilated, I even had moments I don’t remember.  I felt like my body was under attack.  Many said I suffered elevation sickness but it was so much more than that!  I had felt the same way when I ran a few other races, including a marathon in 2014.

A week after BCW, my ears and head were hurting so bad I had to get to the Dr.  I could feel the pressure in my ears like never before. The ringing was so loud, I couldn’t hear myself think.  This was not elevation sickness.  One week after BCW, I couldn’t run 1 mile without my knees buckling from underneath me from a dilly spell.  Something was horribly wrong and I had no clue.

After consulting with a Dr and ruling out some other factors it was clear what was going on, I had Meniere’s Disease.  (Click here for the Mayo Clinic page) For those who do not know what is it, it is an auto-immune disease unknown cause affecting the membranous labyrinth of the ear, causing progressive deafness and attacks of tinnitus and vertigo.  Auto-immune symptoms can also include excessive water retention (which I had been suffering and why you will see pictures of me with a puffy face), altered vision (which came and went), ear pain (all the time), fatigue (yep!) and muscle soreness (yep, and it wasn’t from running).


Looking at my treatment options I knew I could not take the prescribed Xantax for vertigo. The side affects and long term damage would cause my life to turn upside down.  I researched other treatments and found several.  The bad news is I would have to tough it out for many months if not years, with my chosen treatment.

From September to November, I struggled to run.  I mean, REALLY struggled to run.  My longest run was 8.5 before a dizzy attack the week before Avengers Half.  Luckily, I suffered a very small dizzy spell at Mile 9 but had a great race (and even ran the RnRLV 10k that night).

The holistic treatments were working and I was seeing my physician at least once a month to chart my progress.  I wasn’t as bloated as before and I could feel my energy coming back.  From Nov-Feb I was dizzy spell free.  Until the later part of February when I had small dizzy spell in my kitchen.  A week or so later, I suffered 2 dizziness spells during the Hot Chocolate 15k.

This is the animal of Meniere’s disease.  It can happen anywhere and at any time.  Eventually it will go away but the risk of complete deafness is very high.  My main concern is dizzy spells and when it will happen next.  There are many theories what will bring it on, but I am beginning to learn to catch the warning signs before the world starts spinning.

This is not a death sentence but certainly it has altered the course of my life and my running.  I interact with many with MD and I am so fortunate I am not totally disabled.  Yet, I also have learned that nutrition and exercise are a vital part of the treatment plan.  While I can get dizzy during a run, the health effects of not keeping healthy will take it’s toll on me.

I share this story with you because March is National Auto-Immune Disease Awareness Month.  This is not who I am, but it is part of my life.  There are those who think I have gained weight (up and down).  Untrue, that is the water retention happening in my body.  There are times people have noticed I am a lot more tired than before. That is true.  I have my good days and bad days, but I approach each day with anticipation it will be a good day!  As of this writing – 2 days ago I suffered two vertigo attacks.  Today, I ran 4 miles and felt wonderful, but I am suffering with water retention again.

I hope this helps someone who is struggling with MD.  You do NOT have to sit at home and suffer, in fact – get out and move.  It might be hard at first, but your body will thank you!

Wishing you all good health!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


RACE RECAP: Big Game – Downtown Las Vegas


It has been a few weeks since Bro and I had participated in a race, so we were both anxious and excited to get back on the course.

Unfortunately, the week leading up to the Big Game race, I was experiencing some achilles tendon issues and by Thursday, I realized that I would not be able to race the event.  I was hopeful I could run a strong race.  Most importantly, I was excited that Bro was going to drop the hammer on the 10k. While his fitness and speed is not up to where he was pre-surgery, he certainly was doing very well.

I woke up with a headache and horrible stomach distress.  I seriously thought about DNSing the race, but I knew I could manage a 5k, somehow.  Had it been a half marathon, I knew I could not do it.  I spent a great deal of time in the bathroom in the night so I was tired and probably somewhat dehydrated.

The starting line was in Downtown Las Vegas.  After all these years of racing, I was finally able to race in DTLV.  I had participated in the Santa Run, but nothing else. 

At the race expo we were given the option of a black and white shirt, to choose a “Superbowl team”.  That just seemed odd.  Why black and white?  That concept didn’t seem to go over too well on race day.

The morning of the race, was a beautiful sunny morning.  (Originally, I planned to wear my capri’s but opted to wear my shorts after all.)

I fueled up with Glukos Energy tables and RunGum

At 8am was the 5k start and 8:30am was the 10k start.  This way, I could see my brother finish his 10k.  YAY!

5K Started and we immediately took a left on Las Vegas Blvd (not the Strip, but in the DT area).  Making our way through 1-2 hair pin turns, we turned left onto 10th and the Finish line was in sight.  I tried so hard to pick up my pace, but my ankle had other plans.  Every time I tried to speed it up, the ankle protested and I had to pull back.  While my finish was strong, I was very disappointed in my time of 26:##.  (A few weeks ago I ran a 23:59 in AZ)

The Finish Line was uneventful, to put it bluntly.   They only provided water and electrolyte drinks.  No banana’s, no food.  Major oversight and many runners were unhappy.  We are not asking for a full meal, but fruit would of been nice.

The positive is the Finish Line had cheerleaders and live bands. I love their energy! The downside, they kept crowding the course and runners had to weave around them to get to the Finisher chute.

I waited for my brother and was able to see him with a strong 42:## finish.  The best part was seeing him smile when he turned the corner and saw me standing there.  Seeing his finish was the highlight of my morning!  He will get back to his 35 or 36:## in no time!  By the time the 10k finisher cams in, the finish line was almost empty.

We made our way to the Gold Spike for the Awards Ceremony.  While it is a nice idea, it is not runner friendly. I have seen way too many races have their awards ceremony at a different location (other than the finish line) and it doesn’t work.  It didn’t work this time, as a very small percentage of the runners showed up.

At the Gold Spike we were warmly greeted by a gentleman, who we believe was the owner of the race and Martha Watson (4 time Olympian in the Long Jump).  There was a wonderful photo backdrop for the awards celebration.  Certainly, they made great effort to make this special for the runners, no doubt.


Another big snafu was the awards. They had to wait for the awards from the RD, Tim Kelley.  They arrive 30 minutes late and they were in boxes.  Have you tried to sort through hundreds of AG and Overall medals?  It was a nightmare!!!  Bro and I jumped in to try to help and it was beyond frustrating.  Bro said the same mess happened last year.  My question would be, why aren’t these medals unpacked and sorted hours before the awards ceremony?  This was a very frustrating element for the racers.  75% of the medals were not picked up and thus, proves that runners will not walk to another location for their awards.  I hope they reconsider this idea for future years, my brother said they had the same mess in 2015.  That’s 2 years in a row with the same problem.  Easily fixed.

Brother earned 2nd in his AG and I earned 1st.  After the Awards Ceremony we headed home to watch the game and rest.  I fought off a headache for the rest of the night and went to bed shortly after the game was over. 

20160207_110211 20160207_103618

The aspects I liked about this race event:

  • The course.  Fast and easy to run.
  • Course markings.  There was no way a runner could make a wrong turn.
  • Aid stations.  Even for a 5k, there was plenty of aid.
  • The Award presenter at the Gold Spike was wonderful and very inviting to the runners.
  • Results were posted immediately.  That deserves a double thumbs up!

Aspects of the race I did not like:

  • Emcee and Announcer at the Start Line, but nothing at the Finish.  Yes, the marching band was nice, but nothing beats an emcee at the Finish Line.  If you have one at the Start, please have one at the Finish. All major races, follow this pattern.
  • What was the purpose of the long tables, with black table clothes and chairs at the finish?  It was rather confusing to know what they were for.
  • Expo was outside on Friday.  I think you can have one day expo, inside. This is Vegas and the evenings get chilly.
  • The Black and White shirt concept.  In addition, the shirts should not be unisex.  Please offer unisex and women’s fit.
  • No food at the Finish Line. That’s just a no-no for a race, like this.  If someone told you otherwise, you were advised incorrectly.  It is expected by all racers.  Even bananas would of been great.
  • We expected more racers & runners.  You had well over 600 participants in 2015 and less than 500 the second year.  With as much TV coverage you had, I thought there would be more runners. A drop in your second year is not good.  Please examine the details to improve the race experience for the next year.
  • As I said previously, the organization of the Awards Ceremony (or lack thereof) was not pleasant.  It can easily be overcome by sorting the medals hours before the race starts.  Martha (the 4 time Olympian) was there all morning, she said she would of sorted through the medals, while we were racing.  I have sorted through enough medals to know this has to be done way before the race, not unpack that morning.  The medals arrive from the manufacturer in a mess, please do not expect this to be an easy sort.

While this was not a bad race, it was mediocre at best.  It can be a great race, Las Vegas has hosted several local events in the DTLV area to huge crowds.  We may or may not run this race next year, we will be waiting to see if there is another race scheduled on the same weekend.

Thank you to those who volunteered and those who the owners of the race.  It’s evident you want this to be a great race, and we believe it can be.  However, the many organizational missteps and lack of attention to details will be the tipping point for many runners if they return or not.  Wishing you nothing but success in your future events! 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com & KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here



Race Recap: RnRAZ 3 of 3: Half Marathon Time!

It’s here!  RnRAZ Half Marathon time.  Long before my brother had surgery and his painful recovery, I decided I would run the half marathon, glad I made that choice.

We started our morning by being at the VIP Experience.  It is my understanding that each RnR race has a pre and post race section. These tickets are available for purchase in addition to your race registration. The RnRAZ VIP Experience was at a local eatery, not too far from the Start Line.  I have been to other VIP in other races and I think the best part is being able to stay out of the weather and easy access to the bathrooms!  At RnR, we even had our own UPS truck for gear check. They know how to take care of their VIP’ers!

Here is Kevin Gonzalez!

Half10 Half9 Half8

After mingling and saying hello to a few runner friends, we made our way to the Start Line.  It was critical that we find a spot for our warm up.  Kirk got his warm up in the Corrals. We started in Corral 3, where he should be Corral 1.  Starting at Arizona State University and heading up and back into Tempe.  Let’s do this! This was Kirk’s longest mileage since surgery (the previous week he did 6 miles).  We had a plan and we were sticking to it.  A strong run/walk and get us there in a sub2.


It was nice to be able to wear shorts again.  It’s been so cold in Vegas, I have been running in capris or shorts for awhile.

We set out in an easy pace and we had to pull back a few times to ensure we were not over doing it. I know exactly how to run a sub2, but my body sure wanted to plunk it down.  Not today, this was Kirk’s time.

As always, I struggled through some of the middle miles (7-9 miles).  But, within a few moments of taking my fueling I was back into the swing.  Unfortunately, my stomach went into over-drive and I had to take a porta potty stop at Mile 11.  Ugh.

Come to think of it, this bad tummy feeling has been bothering me the last few half marathons.  I need to investigate this and find out why, all of a sudden. 

->The RnRAZ course is a great course.  No excessive up or decline. There is a nice incline at Mile 9 but nothing major for anyone who has spent any time on hills.  The course support was outstanding and of course, the volunteers were great.

After my poopie stop, I just didn’t feel good and I knew if we held our pace, we had an easy sub2.  As we turned the corner to the finish line, Kirk wanted to push so we could beat the gun time before it turned to 2:00. We were 3-4 minutes behind the gun. So…off we sprinted!  We got in as a sub2 gun and chip.

He did it.  We did it and best part – he felt great!  No aches, no pains.  Nothing.

Another “Welcome Back to Racing, Bro!” moment. 

We made our way to the post-race VIP for relaxation, food, beverages and Kirk needed a massage.  Not only did they provide MT’s but we had our own porta potties and foam rollers!  Here is some of the food.  Great spread, huh?

Half11 Half6

While eating the 2nd place Men’s Marathon Overall, Roosevelt Cooper came into the VIP Experience area.  I interviewed him for my next Periscope broadcast.


After we ate and drank enough fluids, we went back to the hotel to pack up and travel home.

On our way home, we stopped by a rest stop for our medal pictures, which we forgot to do after the race.  (sorry, RnR)

Half2 Half1

This was another wonderful weekend with RnRAZ.  I cannot thank RnR and staff enough for the enthusiastic welcome and giving us the opportunity to be a part of this experience!  See you soon!

The medals?  Oh yea, you want to see the medals!

We earned the 5k, Half Marathon and the Remix Challenge (for running the 5k and any distance on Sunday)

The second picture is the medal from last year and this year.  It is a puzzle and after 4 years, it will look like the shape of Arizona. Isn’t it a beauty?





*Disclaimer:   I was an invited guest to the RnRAZ, the views, reviews and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the organizers nor sponsors or any other company/individual affiliated with the event.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Ambassador for RunGum
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here