Off-Topic: What To Do About Online Bullying | You Have Rights

In 2011 I was bullied by a local runner and I had to learn very quickly how to protect myself and my family. The situation was resolved and the runner finally left me alone.  I was told later that person has moved out of state.  Was it easy?  No. Was it enjoyable?  Heck, no.  Was I scared at times?  Yes, I was!  For a year I could not show up at any race by myself, and a few races I asked a registered runner to run with me.  I did get the local authorities involved and they took action as they were viable threats against me and my family.  I am sharing some steps with you can do to help in the event you are a victim of cyber or online bullying.

 

 

Most importantly, if you are truly being bullied (which includes threats, harassment and stalking) you have several actions that you can take to ensure your privacy and peace-of-mind.  No one should feel violated or that their life is in jeopardy!  True online bullying is a crime, just read the headlines.

 

By definition, “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.” Please keep this in mind as you continue to read.

What is NOT bullying:

Someone disagreeing with you.  Someone picking a social media fight with you is NOT bullying.  

Someone calling you “fat”, “ugly, “skinny”.  Picking on you because of your sexual orientation, religious beliefs and yes, even race.

Someone saying unfavorable things about you that hurts your feelings.

 

What bullying and harassment IS:

Someone threatening you with bodily harm, to kidnap or even murder you

Someone stalking you at your place of work or at your home

Someone emailing or contacting you obsessively (like every day or every hour)

Someone sending you postal mail obsessively

 

As much as we want to believe that a verbal disagreement of differences of opinion on social media is bullying, it is not.  It is just an exchange of words and they are nothing more than verbal fights – UNLESS someone is threatening another person or persons.

DO’s

Take screenshots of all communication you receive from the person you believe is bullying you (look at definition).  Most importantly, do not respond to their messages either privately or on social media.

Remain as calm as possible, you have protection and rights!

Do get the legal authorities involved. If your local police department is unwilling to help, contact the FBI.

Contact your internet service provider for assistance.

If you are harassed on Instagram, you can report that account via the app.

If you are harassed on Facebook, you can report that account via the app or online.

If you are harassed on Twitter, you can report that account via the app or online.

 

DON’T’s

Do not, and I repeat DO NOT, start talking about how many harassing messages you have received by your bullies!   Misery loves company and the more you acknowledge it in a public way the more you feed their need for attention (unless you feel you need the attention to brag about the number of bullies you have and that is a different topic).  It amazes me how many times I see tweets or posts stating they have X number of bullies!   Who wants to talk about that?!?!  That is not empowering at all. You are giving the harasser the attention they want. Stop it and don’t talk about it on social media.

Don’t share your harassers name, address, employer or any other identifying information on your social media or blogs.  This is stalking (you) which is against the law and despite you being harassed, you cannot take the law into your own hands.  My skin CRAWLS when I see a person outing their harasser online, for some reason they think that is empowering or might stop the harasser.  No it is not, you have just created a legal drama for yourself! The law will decide if this person is harassing you and by revealing their personal information (how did you get their personal information, anyways?) you have now switched your role from victim to the criminal.  I don’t think you want that, now do you?  Do you want a stalking charge against you?

Here is a prime example of a popular blogger changing their role as the victim to the potential criminal.  Please read this link to a FB post by Derek Murphy of MarathonInvestigation.com from 6/17/2017 exposing a popular blogger in her disclosing personal information about her alleged bully.  The popular blogger has set herself up to be sued and charged with a crime and most importantly, for a woman who claims to be anti-bullying, she openly bullied this person.   Shameful. Click here for the link from MI.

 

In conclusion, Folks, please use your head.  Recognize what is bullying, protect yourself, don’t take the law into your own hands, and know that everyone disagreeing with you is not bullying you.  *Remember the definition, “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.”  If you need further clarification, I recommend you speak with your local authorities.

 

 

Stay safe out there – 

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy

~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


CHAR SHARES: When A Blogger or Athlete Lets You Down

In 2011 I was given an introductory course into the what I call the “Dark Side” of running.  Someone who I admired, trusted and even called a close friend began a career to hurt me and my family.  Why?  She found out I knew of her (illegal) personal activities and I think she was scared I would reveal the truth to her followers.  That time was the launching pad of many things in my life but most importantly learning that runners are people and people will hurt us and disappoint us.  Lord knows, I am sure I have disappointed people in my own life!

We follow bloggers, we follow pro elites and more.  When they fall, we hurt!  We hurt bad.   We hurt because the image of them is shattered.  Do we have the right to be angry?  You betcha!  The persona they have created has vanished and we are left wondering who and what to believe.

We forgive, and hopefully move on but we don’t forget.  Apologies can be accepted but trust is violated. 

If anything, we should learn not to put someone up on a pedestal and be mindful that what we see of their persona on line is never who they are at home or at work.  Is is fake?  Yes and no.  You don’t see my medical struggles, and I don’t want to share visual pictures of my vertigo attacks or worse.  You see pictures of me smiling with my husband, friends or brother.  You don’t see the crying photos.  The photos that look like I got run over by a truck.  I create the “persona” on IG because that is what social media is for you and me – you know it and so do I.

Find your inspiration in others is okay, but be mindful that nothing and no one is as they appear to be on social media.  Our food isn’t always that pretty, our hair isn’t always perfect.  If you want real life – look within your own family and neighborhoods.  Real life in real time.

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy

~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

 

 


What is Past is Truly Past | Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series

Time to put this subject to rest, once and for all.

Since the now infamous RnRLV event of 2011, I have been met with a lot of push back from the running community, in recent months.

There are 2 opinions:
1. Those who loathe RnR races
2. Those who love RnR races

In 2010, I began my running career at RnR’s last daytime race in Vegas. It is where my running career began and my experience at that race are still on the top of my race list.

Fast forward to 2011, and I experienced my worst race experience. Again, with RnR.

It’s no secret I was the poster child of anything and everything that went wrong that horrible night. Sickness, getting pushed down on the course, turned away by the medical staff, being turned away by local police when I asked for help, transported to the hospital and the worst, RnR management (at that time) pointed their fingers at me for being ill prepared to run a half marathon (in my own city).

The purpose of this post is to discredit the rumors and constant badgering I have received since that fateful night. I realize that no matter what I say may never please some people, that is fine. But, I know the truth. I know my heart and I know what happened that night and since that time.

________

MYTH:

I pursued the media to get as many interviews as possible, as a form of self-promotion.

FALSE.

Self-promotion for what purpose?  The media came to me for their purpose, not mine. I have a friend in Las Vegas Public Relations who knew what happened that night, and she contacted me to let me know one of our local TV stations wanted to interview me. From there it snowballed. One report, turned into more. There were 2 times I pursued the media but NOT to be interviewed. I pursued them to correct their ill-reporting. 1) Runner’s World Editor was mocking the runners who became extremely sick on the course. 2) The Las Vegas Review Journal wrote a glowing report of the “success” of that night.

Both stories were rewritten and additional investigations continued.

At NO TIME did I ever ask any media outlet to interview me. If you took the time to know me, you would know how much I dislike the media and it is not something I pursue for myself.

__________

MYTH:
I was the only one who was had issues with that race.
FALSE.
Not until the next morning, after I was released from the hospital did I hear of the carnage of what happened in my community. There were thousands of us who suffered, I could not turn a blind eye. My anger was on behalf of the community, not because I was the person who was wronged. During my time at the hospital, I thought I just had a “bad race”. Little did I know what happened in my city, as you can imagine I was outraged.

____________

MYTH:
I sold out and I am being a hypocrite. I was only looking for attention and freebies from RnR. 

FALSE.

This one makes me laugh the most! Immediately after RnRLV I was offered several perks at RnR races including a refund. I declined. A year later (2012), I had 3 choices. Stay away from the race or support the crowds from the sidelines or put myself back in the race as a pacer. Of course, the safest route was to stay away or cheer on racers from the sidewalk, but I couldn’t do that. I had to do what I felt was the right action for the running community. The risk was huge! I had little to no faith that RnR would comply with what they promised, but they far exceeded my expectations that night (and I blogged about it). I opted to pace the 2:15 half marathon to support my community (and to keep an eye on RnRLV), not to support RnR. I did not return to any RnR races until 2015, 4 years after the disaster of 2011. Exactly where or when was I a sell out or being a hypocrite?
>>>When word got out I would be running the RnRLV 2015 and doing an ESPN Run video for RnR – the tweets, DM’s, posts started. I knew it would. I knew I would be called a sell-out and hypocrite (again). You have a right to your opinion, but allow me to tell you why that is completely false.
2011 – everything I said and did to ensure the safety of future RnRLV races was from the heart and I meant every word I said. I do not take back nor apologize for expressing my anger of that horrible night. The amount of hours I invested to fight local officials, permitting and RnR was worth EVERY SECOND when I saw the success of 2012 and every year after wards. RnR LISTENED to the complaints and took action.

Why the change of my attitude for RnR?

>>>>Very simple, I believe they are a new and better company.

Haven’t you had a friend who has made a mistake but worked very hard to regain your trust and make it right?

That is how I see RnR (I respect your right to disagree).

They screwed up, they know it and admit it. Yet, they have worked VERY hard to regain the communities trust.

1. New leadership and management since 2011 (thank goodness!)
2. Safer courses and events. They have put runner’s safety as a priority. Look at the reports of 2015 Nashville and Savannah, for example. They handled the horrible weather conditions of 2015 at RnRLV with professionalism and compassion.
3. Their communication is top notch. Look how they handled the delayed delivery of the Arizona medals of 2015.
Are they a perfect race management company? Nope, but who is! The way I see it, I see their events as the event I loved in 2010.

To answer the last question that everyone asks. Do I trust them? I sure do. Would I train, travel and more to their races if I don’t? Sure they will make mistakes; it happens – but I sincerely doubt history will repeat itself under the current management.

I have many countless hours chatting with many staff at RnR. I have a great professional relationship with many at RnR and they are very candid and even gone as far to apologize for what happened in 2011.

Will I ever forget about 2011? Of course, not. But I forgave them a long time ago and in 2015 I decided to race their races again and I am grateful we have a positive relationship and I look forward to seeing my RnR friends in AZ in a few days.

Thank you for giving me the chance to clear the air and put this issue to rest. As the old saying goes, “never say, never”. 

I feel like I am home and it is a great feeling!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Ambassador for RunGum
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Filming with the ESPN(Run) Crew | 11 hours later & then some

I received a phone call from Competitor Group/Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series asking about doing a video feature with ESPN(Run).

ESPN logo

ESPN(Run) is a Spanish speaking network, that is not in the United States (boooo!) but you can view online (with subtitles).

I met with the production crew to go over their plan and their requests.  I asked them if I could bring a fellow runner friend, Devin Mancuso – as I thought he would be perfect for this shoot. They welcomed another addition to the production! The plan was to meet at Lake Mead at 7am. We were going to go to 3 locations.  Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyons and the Strip.

We met up on Veteran’s Day, and the weather was beautiful. Well…except for the winds blowing off of Lake Mead and it was COOOOOOOOOLD!

Devin & I started off with interviews about our running, our plans to run the RnRLV and what we thought of each other (I wonder what Devin said about me, I have no clue!)

The shooting was he and I running back and forth – maybe 100 meters, at a time. Different shots. Sometimes together and sometimes separately.

We then moved up to Lakeshore Drive for more production. The winds were not nearly as bad, so the temps were bearable.  At this time, I was wishing I had my longer pants to run in.

ESPNLake Mead

Running (and shooting) on Lakeshore Drive

After the Lake Mead shoot, we made a stop to Sunset Park.  Devin and I felt that would be a great location for additional footage.

At Sunset Park we were taped as we trained together.  It was so unique to see our footage and see us running side by side – matching our stride step for step.  Okay, this will be the only time I will ever have the chance to run by Mr. Speedy, so I enjoyed having him next to me.

ESPNSunsetPark Warm up

ESPNSunetPark solo

(After Sunset Park was our much needed lunch break, as we were all getting tired and hungry)

Once we finished lunch, we were off to Red Rock Canyon.  We were chasing the sunshine. Trying to get some trail shots, before the sun went down behind the canyons.

Next – to the Strip, at night.  Of course we had to end where the race will be in a few short days.  The sidewalks were very open, so it was easy to get in some good shots.  I challenged my fears by running down a flight of stairs (I don’t like going down stairs, I get dizzy).

ESPN wrap

Tired, sore and a little dazzled, at the end of the night,

11 hours later, it was a wrap! 

But, we were not done!  We had more footage to record on race night.  The Director/Producer, Emmanuel met me at the Start and the Finish.  It was sad to say good-bye to ESPN Run, but I am grateful for the opportunity and the chance to work with a talented production crew.

ESPNStart

ESPNFinish Line

The broadcast should be able online by Christmas.  I hope you get the chance to watch it and CGI/RnR is pleased with the end result.  Thank you CGI/RnR and ESPN(Run) for this incredible opportunity and experience!

It was a great start to my epic (and exhausting) week!

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

 


*CHAR SHARES* Pick Your Purpose vs Popularity |Stay True to You

After running a few events or even after your first, you realize and witness what an diversified group we are.  Different backgrounds, different cities and different goals.

As with any group, there are some who believe they “know” what race fun is and is not.  For myself, after 4 years of racing, I am quite frankly tired of anyone saying to me “why don’t you just have fun when race?”

Or the ever popular, “I am not running for speed, I am running for fun”

I don’t get it.  Why does anyone think that running for a personal best is not fun?  Why must someone feel the need to even proclaim why they are running that event?  Shouldn’t we run for ourselves and who cares if others approve or not?

At a recent race, I was next to a racer who was going on and on about how she was not going to race for speed, she was taking it easy, she wanted to enjoy the scenery and whatever else.  I stood there listening to her explanation and she paused, I think she was waiting for me to proclaim my goals.  I did not, my goals are my goals.  My reply to her?  With a big smile, I said “enjoy your race!”  I saw her at the end of the race, and she asked, “how did you do? Did you PR?”  I said, “fine, it was a lot of fun!”  She stared at me with a blank stare. 

I find it comical that this was from the same runner, who was going on and on about not running for time and I never once indicated my event goal.

For the record, I have a blast, at every race. Training and pushing myself is FUN for me.  While others may need costumes, selfies and others to define their “fun”, that is not type of fun at a race.  There is no wrong or right way to have fun at a race, but wearing costumes nor selfies do not have a monopoly on the racing fun.

Not everyone (if anyone) will approve or accept your running goals. They won’t accept why you don’t attend Pasta Parties, group photos, beer gardens, photos on the course. Others won’t accept your vision, your dreams. That does not make you a bad person or horrible friend, if you chose not participate. 

It only means, you have found out why you run. Not everyone enjoys all the meet-ups, parties or other.  Some enjoy the social aspect of running. I think all are fine and fun, if that is what the person wants to do and stays true to themselves, not follow what the “popular kids” do.

Keep your focus and true to yourself. You paid the money for that race, please do not allow anyone to dictate to you, how you participate. After all, why does anyone care (or judge) if you race, run, jog or skip through the course.  It is your time and your energy – you can spend it any way you wish.

Find your purpose in running and stick to it.  Choose that over popularity. Trust me, that is when running becomes fun.  Be true to your running and racing goals.

 

 

 

PurposePopularity

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

 

 


Sharing the Great News | My Adult Adoption Story

I have been waiting awhile to share this good news with all my FAB-O friends.  Now, is the time!

My blog followers know about #RunningMama and #RunningBro. Although we were not biologically or legally bonded, we are family. #RunningMama is my kids grandmother and #RunningBro was…well, my Bro and uncle to my children.

CPR family
I met Kirk and Laura in 2012. Over time, our bond became more than traveling to races. Evidence was the day of Mama’s tragic accident that caused her to break her neck. Bro and I were faced with the possibility of making end of life decisions for her. It’s not something I wanted Bro to make alone, and I didn’t want Mama to be alone. My love for them both had grown so much, I couldn’t imagine my life without either one. During Mama’s initial recovery, Bro and I partnered together to ensure what she needed. One of us would take her to the grocery store, while another one of us would take her to her medical appointments. It happened, naturally. Together with Bro, my family and I worked together to ensure Mama was healing & safe.

One day, Mama began joking with me that she wanted to “legally adopt me”. We laughed about it and I remember the moment I knew she was serious. My initial reaction was “huh? Okay, this is weird. Why would you want to do that?” 

Even though I had separated myself from my biological family many, many years ago – I never considered, nor thought about being a part of an Adult Adoption nor was I seeking to be a part of a family, legally.  I had my husband, kids and our closest friends. I wanted nothing else.

While sitting on her couch, I listened to her desires to have me as her legal daughter. While driving home, I cried. I felt such an overwhelming sense of love and respect from her. I was not sure what I did to make her love and trust me so much, but I was overwhelmed.

After I arrived home, I told my husband about Mama’s offer. He was stunned, yet happy as I was. I laid in bed all night, wondering and praying. By the morning, I knew I needed to call her to give her an answer.  I accepted her offer to adopt me. This was the right thing to do and we began the legal process to petition the court for an adult adoption.

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Not long ago – Mama, myself, Kirk, my husband, my children appeared in the Clark County Family Courthouse to legally finalize my adult adoption. We are legally bonded, as if she was my biological mother and Kirk is my biological brother. It was such an emotional moment, words cannot possibly describe how I felt that day.

Here is the picture from the courthouse with our presiding Judge.

photo 3

Picture of myself, Mama and Kirk. Mama is holding a picture of her late husband, who is now my legal father.  We are also holding our Court Sealed documents, making it official.

photo

Here is a picture of Kirk and I as we had a celebratory training run, later on that day (did you expect anything different?  haha)

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We are a legal family.   We are still friends and becoming better friends every day. She stops by my work to bring me cupcakes, I come to her house to have girl time. My relationship with Kirk is growing, too. Being a biological only child, I am not sure how to share my life with a sibling, but he is very patient and understands my fears. It is a great joy, to see my kids respond to their grandma, even our dogs love her and Kirk. While the adoption was for me and Mama, it has affected so many.

  • My children have a grandmother
  • Mama has additional grandchildren
  • My husband has a brother-in-law
  • Kirk has a brother-in-law
  • For me, I have my Mama and Half Brother (we share the same legal mother, Laura)

Thank you Mama and Bro for accepting my thorns, my personality and quirks. I believe this adoption is our destiny. We took a few detours along the way, but we finally found each other. I couldn’t be happier and more at peace. Those who have known me for decades, can see the difference you (both) have made in my life.

To those who have been my family for so many years. Cathy, Kristi, Brian, Sheri, Julia, John, Karen & The Erekson Family. You are and always will be family to me, because we chose to be that way. I love you, all.

Lastly & most importantly, I would like to thank my husband and my kids. I couldn’t of imagined sharing that day without you! Words cannot never, ever describe the depth of my love for the 3 of you.

Running has many stories. We have heard of marriage proposals, weddings and even births during running. Now, here is an adoption story. It all began with a race and a chance meeting with Bro and I.

And who says running doesn’t change lives. It changed ours, forever.

This is my Adult Adoption Story

This is our family story.

We Believe Dreams Do Come True. 


One Year Ago | How Much Has Changed

Before I post my blog, I want to welcome you to my new layout.  Months in the making, I finally found the layout I liked and I felt deserved the FAB-O thumbprint.  Through the magical hands of my web developer, Abbi – the task was completed last night.

 

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One year ago, I got out of bed and my right leg gave out, underneath me.  The night before, my family & I went to SkyZone and bounced around the trampoline.  Little did I know, I already had a small fracture below my knee (from a fall in June 2013) and the constant bouncing, over stretched my muscles and everything went south.

As with other aches and pains, I R.I.C.E.’d all day and went on a jog that night to test it out.  As I turned a right hand turn, I felt a pop in my knee.  Pain wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t feel it was something to worry too much about.  I continued on with my run with my son and within a mile, I knew I was in trouble.

The next day, I was due to run a 13.1 virtual run with Angela.  By mile 2, I couldn’t run anymore, so we walked.  I knew in my heart of hearts, something was wrong, but never thought it was a fracture.

After weeks of rehab and treatment with no progress, my insurance finally approved an MRI.  The MRI confirmed (and shocked) us all. I had a plateau fracture (right below the knee on the shin bone).  I was out of running for at least 12 weeks.  I returned to running on December 19, 2013, 4 months to the day after going to Sky Zone.

Today, I jogged 3 miles.  I am still nursing my trauma and wounds from Big Cottonwood, but as I began my AM run, I smiled.  I smiled because of the amazing machine we have in our bodies.  How, it will reward us and take care of us, if we take care of it.

Since my return to running and racing, I have set 2 Half Marathon PR’s.  PR’s I had been chasing for over 2 years.  I feel more confident and more at peace with my running than I have since 2011.

Amazing what a difference a year can make.  Even a week.

I am forever grateful that my body takes care of me. 

 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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Customizing Your Pacing Wristband | #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

The #FitnessHacks and #FABHacks are piling up!  Time for me to get busy and share with you.

We all know that a pacing wristbands can be beneficial for any race. I typically wear a pacing bracelet for a Half or Marathon, depending on my goals.  In one way, I use them to help me ensure I do not go out too fast and in other ways, I use them to ensure I am not being lazy.

  • I take it one step farther.  Before the big day, I download a pace bracelet from MarathonGuide.com (it’s free).  

 

IMG_20140907_184128

 
I review the course description (aid stations, porta potties, etc) and I highlight or mark on my bracelet when the aid stations will appear and more. 

Close up:

IMG_20140907_184146

 

At this race, I knew there would be porta-potties at every aid station, so I didn’t specify.  If I needed to, I would write a “PP” next to the porta-potty mile.  

This is my Big Cottonwood Marathon wristbad.  The aid station miles are marked by a yellow highlighter.  I also added a “C” for the stations with Candy (just in case) and “F” for the stations with “Fruit”

I don’t know about you, but I can never remember anything while racing.  While I know in my head the aid stations are every 2 miles, I will forget that while racing. So, this bracelet is my brain for those miles and requires no thinking nor remembering on my part. In the moments after my fall at 18-19ish.  I remember looking at my bracelet and thinking, “okay – good, I can find help at 19”.  

In addition, I laminate my wristband. I have a laminator at home, so it’s very easy.  If you don’t own a laminator, you can go to any office supply store to have yours laminated.  I also cover the ends with scotch tape to make it moisture resistant.  If I don’t do this, the bracelet will be a paper wad by mile 5.  (Yea, I sweat a lot.)

Other ideas to mark on your wristband
– reminder to take your fueling
– reminder to take your salt tablets
– when to take walk breaks (if applicable)
 

Hope this #FitnessHack #FABHack helps you in your next race!

 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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RACE REPORT: Big Cottonwood Marathon | My First DNF

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Back in May, I began my first-ever Marathon training program.  While I have run Marathons, I never trained for them.  I have a goal to earn my spot at Boston 2016, that was going to take training.

My eyes were on BCW 2014, not for a BQ but to gauge my legs & summer training.  I wanted to see how I felt after a training program.

RunningBro, RunningMama and I arrived in Murray, UT (just south of Salt Lake City) on Friday evening.  Just enough time to eat and go to bed. I got about 6 hours of sleep and that was okay for me.

In the AM, Bro and I loaded the buses and headed our way up the mountain. We had throw-away jackets on, the race company provided gloves and mylar blankets.  It didn’t really help.  To be 8,500 in elevation at 5am?  That’s too cold.  We shivered and shook for over an hour.

We lined up and off we went.  14.5 of the course is downhill.  It was great to FINALLY run in cooler temps.  My goal was to run by effort, not pace.  I was not pushing myself, I had no need to.  To grasp the effect of my training, I had to hold back, somewhat.

Views were stunning, but I am more of a city runner. I prefer the views of the city and hearing the roars of the crowds, but I really like the beauty of this course.  Along the way, I ate some bananas and just went into cruise control.  As I looked at my pacing bracelet I realized I was sitting at around a 3:35-3:40 finish at the 5mile mark.  WHOA NELLIE!!!

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  • I pulled back as I knew I couldn’t keep that pace for another 21 miles.  At the 13.1 mark, I was sitting around a 3:49 finish time. I needed a 3:59 for a BQ and this is after my first potty stop.  


In my mind, as we made our way up the out and back section of the course, I was feeling like a “slow runner” and I moved over to the far right to let the racers pass me.  Yes, the weird things that goes through my runner mind. 

That was a costly mistake as by 18.27 I had a catastrophic fall.  One that left me face down in the pavement and I could not move.  Immediately surrounded by runners and spectators to help me sit up.  My first thought, “NOT AGAIN!” (remember, I fell in 2013 and that is how I fractured my leg).  I looked at my knees and then I saw blood dripping down my arms and hands.  Small amount from my knees.  My hands and shoulders had taken the brunt of the fall and it was not pretty.  I tried to get up and I couldn’t.  I finally hung onto someone and said, “I need help”  Standing up and starting to walk, the pain in my right shoulder was intense and I began hobbling to the next police office about .10 from me.  More people came around me and even one joked I looked like a cast member of the Walking Dead with my arms hanging down and a trail of blood behind me.  I had to laugh, I am sure it was a sight.

  • The police officer wouldn’t help me, he pointed me to the aid station.  Okay…flashbacks to the RnR2011 where I was pushed aside by race officials when I needed help.  Ugh.  That irked me. I am dripping with blood and begging for help and he points me in the direction of help.  It was obvious to me and others I could barely walk. 


I hobbled to the turn around and the aid station had bandages.  The aid station attendants were wonderful (more helpful than the police officer). They began to pour water on my wounds and even offered me a chair.   My mind was beginning to imagine rocks and grease lodged into skin and I panicked.  Once I had the initial blood wiped away, I decided to keep moving.  I know, not wise.  I felt I could jog it in and at least finish.  I was only a 10k away.  Easy.

Somewhere after 20, I fell again and I was done.  I tried to crawl to the freeway barrier to help me up and more wonderful runners came to my aid.  I felt so bad, they stopped for me.  All I could think was to get to 21 and they had medical. I wanted off this course and be done with it!

Thinking my brother was finished by this time, I texted him to tell him where I was and I was getting help.  No answer.  Then, he answers that he is at Mile 25.

1.  Why is he checking his phone in the middle of the race? 
2.  Why is he only at Mile 25, when he should of been done by then. He is a 3:05 marathoner.

I made my way to Medical Tent at Mile 21, all the while begging the photographers NOT to take my photo.  I don’t need to see this ugly mess.

In my trek to Mile 21, I panicked, again.  I cried.  I felt I was going to be abandoned AGAIN on the course.  Flashbacks to Laughlin 2011 and RnRLV 2011.  I decided if they would not transport me to back to the finish, I was sitting ON the course until someone came to get me. I was not finishing, period.

The Medical personnel took one look at me and started cleaning me up. They offered me a Wagon and I gladly accepted.  Meanwhile, I heard from Bro and he has been sick on the course from Mile 6 onward.  Oh dear.  I texted Mama and my husband and assured them I was safe and I would be at the Finish soon, enough with transportation.  Hubby was at work (in Vegas) so he felt very helpless, as you can imagine. Mama was being mama, and was in a panic to see me. 

30 minutes later I arrived back at the Finish line and into the medical tent.  Two personnel worked on me to clean up the wounds.  It was evident the shoulder was swelling up.  I had ice on my shoulder and knees.  They bandaged my hands up to keep the bleeding from going all over.

Once I decided to DNF, I cared about nothing else but to get to Mama and Bro.  The BCW medal is stunning, I do not feel I missed out on a thing.  I made the right choice and glad I did.

While I know the general running population thrives on seeing bloody messes, I will not show you my wounds before the clean up.  I am not that Ugly Black Toe person who posts those type of pictures, sorry. 

After the Finish Line medical (shoulders, hands and knees are iced bandaged up)

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I will show you this, this shows my shoulder, after the medical tent clean up.  The hands are just too gross and I am not wanting to share with the public. During breakfast my bro, finally has color in his face, after eating a good meal.  Not only did he have to take care of himself, he had to take care of me.  He had to cut my food, so I could scoop it up.  Pushing down on an eating utensil was impossible, for me. 

Here is bro at the Finish Line.  

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As word began to spread I took my first DNF, my running friends were naturally concerned I would be devastated.  I appreciate genuine concern for my emotional well being, but I am not devastated in any way.  I am was not then,  and not now.  Yea, there is a part of me that feels a small sense of disappointment I didn’t finish or get that BQ, but it would of been far more disappointing to push and drag myself to the Finish, for a medal.  I believe the extra miles would of caused me more harm, than any good. 


Here is a screenshot of my splits.  According to my Garmin I fell at 18.23. I was surprised, I thought it was closer to 19 if not farther.  Not sure how I mustered the ability to walk over 2.5 miles to medical station, it truly is a blur. 

You can see the 18.75 split where the times drop. Before that…all was great.  This makes me happy!

Splits

Many have asked how I fell.  That’s a great question.  The only thing I can think of, since I was hugging the right side, I tripped over the uneven part of the road.  Bro and I have discussed this and since I moved over to let the faster runners pass me, that was my error. 


Bro has pointed out to me that since I was at a 3:45 pace, I am a faster runner – stop moving over!  If you ever run with me, you will see I hug the right side, for that reason.  It’s a habit I need to break and I guess I need to realize I have earned my spot to run the center of the road.  This will take awhile for me to accept that I belong in the center of the road.  

What’s next?  Healing.  I am under Dr’s care for rehab and healing.  I can begin running when I can do an arm swing without pain.  As far as a marathon.  My next marathon will not be until 2015.  I have plenty of time to heal and train for the next Big Show.

Will I run Big Cottonwood again?  I won’t say, never – but probably not. I wasn’t impressed with their Start or Finish Line set up.  It started way too late (and to make us freeze, while waiting) and the Finish Line was congested and on the lap of the medical tent.  The volunteers were getting frustrated with the loud speakers in our ears and they could not hear nor help those who needed aid.  They do have a wonderful medal, but not enough for me to travel 7 hours one way. If I was local to Salt Lake City, I might – but there were too many operational issues I didn’t like (Finish Line area was over crowded and a bottle neck).  

Yet, their medical staff is WONDERFUL! I cannot thank them enough for their help and compassion.  I would advise them to have a clear idea and planned driving route to get the injured back to the Finish Line Medical Tent.  Having to drive around and then the police tell us we cannot go that route, was frustrating.  Maybe better coordination with the police department.  I would also ask them not to turn away injured runners.  That was very discouraging to be turned away when I asked for help just before the 19 mile marker. 

The positive in this experience is we had some amazing Mexican food at Red Iguana’s on Saturday night and we were able to visit my dear friend, Karen on our way home.  

Thank you Mama and Bro for taking care of me and ensuring my safety for the rest of the weekend.  I couldn’t of done it without you.  xo   

To my race angels. I do not know who you are, but I want to find you and thank you.  Thank you for giving up part of your race to help out a total stranger.  May the Lord bless you 100x fold for your sacrifice and compassion. 

Onward to my healing, the rest of 2014 racing season and 2015.



(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


National Veterans Day Run in Las Vegas is Open for Registration | Join us!

I have been sitting on this news for over a month, if not two months.

Last year at the Turkey Trot, Running Bro and I were approached by a Rep from the National Veterans Day Run asking for feedback on previous years.  The person knew he and I had run the event and we were glad to offer some insights.  

Fast forward to this summer. I receive an email from the National Race Director for NVDR and wishes to speak with me. 

Little did I know, that they were wanting to offer me the RD position for the Las Vegas location.  I was thrilled and most of all honored.  I love to RD and I love to show the running community (racers and volunteers) how valuable they are. 

After weeks of preparation I am able to share with you the good news!

WHEN:  Sunday, 11/09/14
WHERE: Bruce Trent Park, Las Vegas NV
TIME:  8:11am
DISTANCES:  11k, 5k and 1 mile fun run
 

For those who have run the event in the past, you will notice a BIG improvements at the 2014 event! The national office heard your requests and will be doing their best to implement many positive changes. 
-Accurately measured & easy to follow course
-Medals for the 11k and 5k finishers
-NEW! Finisher Certificates for the 11k and 5k!
-1 mile Family Fun Run
-Finish Line refreshments
-Professionally Chronotrack timing
-Professional Race Announcer & DJ!
-A true Veterans event on race day. Special surprises coming!
Running Troops is a proud sponsor of this event.
Register today! http://veteransdayrun.org/register/las-vegas

***If you own or work at a business that offers military discounts and wish to participate in this event with a vendor spot, booth/table set up or sponsorship, please contact me at runningtroops@gmail.com

RUNNING TROOPERS – you may participate in a city near you OR virtually! 

For those who participated in our Inaugural Running Troops event in 2013, this year’s Veterans Day event will count as our 2nd Annual event for the 5 year jacket. 

Register today! http://veteransdayrun.org/register/las-vegas

Stay tuned – I will be introducing the Las Vegas racing staff

 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here