FABHack: Saving Up Money For Your Next Disney Race | A Few Pennies A Day

At the first of the year, I am like many of you who want to save more money.  I started the 52 week money challenge and then I saw one that you use pennies for every day of the year.

  • January 1st – 1 penny
  • January 2nd – 2 pennies
  • All the way to 365 pennies on December 31, 2017

At the end of the year you save $680+.   While promoted as a kids savings plan, I think it is good for everyone!  I started a second savings with the pennies so I could go along with my teeangers.

While I was thinking what I could use for $689 – I had a lightbulb moment!

Backstory:  RunDisney changed their registrations dates by 2 months and gave us two week warning for the Disneyland Double Dare (formerly Dumbo) AND 2 weeks before Christmas. That means, some runners had to fork over $300+ or $600+ or even $900+ to register before the traditional February registration date.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of spare change around at a moments notice! 

The Penny Savings Challenge to the rescue!

By following the penny savings plan, I will have enough to register me and my husband for 2018 (I am still working on 2017 registrations).  Pictured below is my jar. I purchased a $2 jar from the local thrift store, sheets to cross off the days, a pencil and envelopes. Each week, I put the change in the envelope and it goes back into the jar.  Why do I do this?  So my sneaking teenagers don’t steal the saved up change.  🙂  (You can start your savings plan at anytime and calculate how much money you need to save each week to reach your runDisney race registration goals).  

jars

A friend made a Classic D on her Cricut machine and poof!  In addition, I will throw spare change in the jar from time to time, I am excited to see how much over $680 I can make this grow for DDD 2018.  (you can see my 52 week savings jar and kids jar in the same picture)

What do you do to save up for the RunDisney races?

____________________________________________________

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum & Glukos Energy
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What To Do With Your Endless Pile of Sports Headbands | Another Black Hole In My Life

It’s that time again, I am reorganizing and purging stuff all over my house.  I am allocating a few months if not a month to reorganize and purge every corner in my house.  I have been exceptionally unhappy with the lack of organization in my house.  It clutter my mind and zaps my energy.

As a runner, we collect lots of things.  For me, it’s socks and headbands.  Are you with me, friends?  Although I seem to have my go-to favorites, I am always adding another headband to an outfit or another pair of cool compression socks.

Within the past 2 years, I have kept all my headbands in a shoe box.  I felt they were easy to find.  No they were not. I was always rummaging looking for a particular headband for a specific race.  After dumping the box on the floor looking for a headband, I knew I had enough of that concept.  As I came up off the floor I looked at my dressing scarfs on the hanger (those are my non-running obsessions. I love scarves of any color and size).  I thought to myself, “I wonder….”

I grabbed a few hangers and started knotting them (onto the hanger).  Using the felt covered hangers was a life saver, btw.  Less than a half hour later, I have all my headbands on neatly organized on 2 hangers and I can find them, any one of them in a heartbeat.  Unfortunately, this also showed me I have way too many solid black headbands.  This was the problem!  I couldn’t find what I was looking for (in my shoe box) so I would buy another one.  Waste of $$$!!!

headband1

headband2

I am very pleased how this turned out.  Of course, I will be adding more to my collection very soon!

How do you keep your headbands handy and organized?  I would love to see your ideas.

 

fab-running-logo  Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum

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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? 

Mappingonline

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

 


Can’t Breathe? | Check Your Bra #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

Okay FABULOUS ladies, let’s talk about the girls Well, in my case, I call them “the little kiddies”.  Despite how large or small your girls are, you need a bra.  Even a Cup A can “bounce” during a run, right?

Did you know that if you are having troubles breathing, it might be your bra?  Who knew! 

In 2011, I was diagnosed with Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA).  At the age of 49, I had my first-ever asthma attack, during a run – it was awful!  Rescue inhalers became a fixture in my pre-run and pre-race routines.  Over the course of time, I have used my inhaler less and less.  I have moved in the direction of essential oils, breathing exercises and more.  However, my inhaler is always in my race day bag. 

About a week ago I saw a tweet from a friend who complained she had to get rid of her $60 bra because it was hurting her lungs and keeping her from breathing.   As I was reading that, I had just finished a run and for no apparent reason, I was having some difficulty breathing.  In fact, I was irritated, to put it bluntly.  I know my breathing triggers and nothing should of triggered my lack of lung oxygen that morning.

After reading the tweet, I took off my bra and on a whim, decided to measure it with another bra.  What I found was shocking, to say the least!  When I think back to the runs or races I am most comfortable, I was wearing my white bra.  The races I had extreme difficulty in breathing – I was wearing my black bra. 

See the difference for yourself (same size, but different brand. Both fit well, neither of them are lose, but obviously the black is tighter fitting)

In my training, I typically wear my white bra’s and save my black bra’s for racing.  However, in my Disneyland 10k, I was wearing this white bra and I did not have any breathing problems (plus a hefty PR and a 3rd AG award).  To continue to test out my theory, I wore this same bra during my Pumpkinman 5k and I had zero breathing (nor dizziness issues), this time – a 3rd place Overall.

While I love how snuggly the black bra feels on me, it’s too much.  This week, I have wore one of my white bra and today, I put on my black bra.  Still hoping it was just a fluke.  I was winded by Mile 1.5 of my short run.  I have another race, this weekend and I will be wearing my white bra, as another test. The race is 3 miles uphill, from the start. That will be the ultimate test of my breathing, for sure. 

*In the future, I am taking my white bra with me when I go shopping, to ensure my next running bra is the right width. 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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#FitnessHacks #FABHacks | Homemade Ice Packs

Ask any runner, and they will tell you they have grown to love their ice baths or ice packs. Ask those same athletes and they will tell you stories of spillage, bags breaks or ice all over the floor.

Our next stop is to buy the ice packs at sports stores. A few dozen bags later to cover every inch of our aching body, post run and workout – we realize we have purchased enough ice packs to eliminate the national debt.

Since I have life hacks and more importantly, saving money (yay!) – I dug into Pinterest to find a solution. Sure enough, I found several. Some are made with rubbing alcohol and some with vodka. While I am not a drinker, I don’t think I would want to use my vodka to make an ice pack.

You need:

Plastic Zip lock bags

Water

Rubbing Alcohol

 

Depending on the size of the bag, is the amount of water:alcohol ratio.

 

Here is a photo of what I used. The more water, the harder the ice. The more alcohol, the more pliable the bag of ice. Make to your personal preference.

 

Ice packs

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
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Organizing Your Race Shirts #FABHacks #FitnessHacks

Back in 2011, I posted a tip to roll (and rubberband) your race shirts.  Here is the original link.

It remains one of my most viewed blog posts, thank you!

 

I love to evolve and always believe there are ways to improve upon anything in life, including organizing, don’t you?

 

A few weeks ago, I was browsing Pinterest and found this neat tip for shirts.  I was happy with my rolling & rubber band method, but I felt I wanted it to be better and more organized.

 

Shirts

For an hour, I sorted through my shirts (again).  Created my donation pile and kept the ones I really wanted for training.

 

At the end of my hour, this was the final result, sorted by colors (3 drawers).  (I keep a separate plastic drawer unit in my closet, just for my racing shirts.)

20141101_153425

My drawers still look the same, weeks later.  So, this is a winner!  I find this even better than my rolled, rubber band method. I can find specific shirts, much easier.

 

How do you organize your shirts?  Do you hang them or put them in a drawer?

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
Certified Running Coach, 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
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


#Fitness Hacks | Saving Time Before Your Run Or Race

My next time-saving tip is easy for anyone to do and does not cost a penny.  (Double Blessing!).  The only thing you need is a few moments of your time and the ability to think of some details. 

You have heard of laying out your clothes the night before a race.  Why not take it a step farther?  Set out everything you need before a run or a race?

For example:

Your vitamins (put them in a little baggie or container)
Your recovery drink ingredients
Your morning breakfast.  Pull down the jar of peanut butter and have a knife right by. 
Your morning smoothie.  Prep all your ingredients, have in the refrigerator
Your fueling belt
Your Garmin or other watch
Your Hat
Your Headband
Your hydration bottle filled with your preferred hydration
Fueling on your fueling belt (if applicable)
Salt Tablets (if applicable)
Sun Block
 
For me – I have a few more steps.  I have dogs.  No matter what time I wake up (it could be at 2am) they insist on going outside and to be fed.  So, I get their food ready the night before in their bowls and I keep in the refrigerator.  

I also have hamsters.  I put their food in a little baggie (they have a wide variety of vegetables) so, no prep time in the AM.

By spending a few moments the night before your ran/race, it will save you much time and less stress the next morning.  I did this little experiment the other day and woke up 30 minutes later than I usually do to start my run by 5am.  By having every details ready, I saved myself 30 minutes.  Wow!  That’s huge.  I didn’t realize all the little steps add up to 30 minutes.  That’s 30 minutes of more sleep for me.  

I did the same this week, I needed to be out the door by 4:30am-5am to beat the Las Vegas sunrise.  Not only did it save time, I didn’t feel frazzled in the morning (I am not a morning person).  Everything all laid out, every detail and I could get up – get it down and out the door. 

Be sure to have your recovery drink prepped so it’s just as easy to get that ready when you are tired, after a run or race!

What tips do you have to keep yourself on schedule and organized?  I would love to hear them.  Who knows, I might share them on my blog and give you credit.  

(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


#FitnessHacks – Can You See the L or R on your iPod ear plugs? | Here Is a Quick Fix

Thank you for the great response to my #FitnessHacks introduction!  I am glad you found my first tip How to Organize Your Accessories helpful.

Today’s #FitnessHacks is another tip I have used. 

While I don’t wear an iPod often, I use to be in a quandary on what ear plug when into what ear. Have you tried to see the L or R on the plugs? 

I decided to make it obvious.  I put a piece of black tape on the L(left) ear plug (you can do the R(right), it doesn’t matter). This was such a big hit with my former running group, I showed up one day and others had done the same. 

  • Friends used stickers
  • Other friends have marked their one plug with nail polish

This came in handy when I was running LAM 2014.  I had my headset tucked into my sports bra.  But, when I pulled it out around Mile 12, it was twisted.  I could easily tell what one was L and what one was R without breaking a stride.  

Here is a picture of my iPod with black tape: 

Ear Plugs with tape

Cost:  I say “free”, you can use anything you have around your house.
Time:  10 seconds? 

Let me know if you use this and how you mark your iPod.  I would love to see your creativity! 

Do you have a great #FitnessHack?  Please email to me and if I print your tip my blog, I will mention you & your website (if applicable)

 

(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


#FitnessHacks – How to Keep Your iPod Wires Tangle Free In Your Gear Bag

As promised, here is another iPod hack.  In 2012, I was running a marathon and knew I would be passing by the Start/Finish several times and close enough to grab something from my gear bag, if needed.

I wanted to be able to grab and go with my iPod, just in case.  Well, knowing how iPod cords are like paper clips and no matter how neatly you keep them, they find a way to tangle up. 

A light bulb came on!  I needed something to wrap them but not something that would take time to wrap or unwrap in a race.  No twisty ties or ropes.  What I needed was a bread bag closure.

Yep, those little things you wrap your bread bag with.

I wrapped it around my wires and guess what?  No tangles!  When I needed to grab my iPod, I was able to grab, remove the bread bag closure without missing wasting time to untangle wires.  

You might ask, why bother?  This is perfect for anytime you are traveling with your iPod in your gear bag, not just on race day.  You can use this tip in your purse, your fueling belt, your suitcase or where you store your iPod or any other electronics with wires.  

Cost?  Free!  Start keeping your bread bad closures for future use.  You will be glad you did.

EarPlugswithholder

Do you have a great #FitnessHack?  Please email to me and if I print in my blog, I will mention you & your website (if applicable)

(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