RACE RECAP: Hoover Dam 5k | Celebrating a Friend & My Favorite Place to Race

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Brings back memories of my first sub 2 Half Marathon (2011)

My first, 1st Place Overall Win (2012 – same course, different event)

My last 1st Place Overall Win (2015 – same course, different event)

The 6 Tunnels/Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area is my sentimental place to run and especially race.  This is the place I ran a 5k the day after Ladybug passed away in 2011. While this isn’t the same course, it is the same area and I love being there.

I registered for the race primarily to be with good friend, Jeff Liu as he completed his 50th State with a Marathon.  He actually finished in September, but because of the lack of concern or foresight of that RD, he did not have a qualifying race and had to do Nevada again.  I knew he would be happy with the BBSC events and it would surely qualify for a 50th State Qualifying run.

My brother registered to run the 10k and I opted for the 5k.  Since I have run several 5k’s out there, my mind was on a specific course and never entertained the idea it would be a different course than what I have run in previous years.  Error #1, study the course map before you run.  If I had, I would of not been so confused during the race.  More on that later.

We arrived to Boulder Beach to a very chilly morning.  Jeff, Kirk and I were ready to go.  Kirk and I sent off Jeff onto his quest and got ready for our start. 10k’ers started 5 minutes before us.

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At the 5k gun, I headed towards the familiar hill to take us onto the course, what I didn’t know – we would turn left not right.  I really don’t like the left direction, it’s a pain in the butt steady climb. Not something I want to do within the first 1/10 of a race, when I have not even gotten into my groove.

So, we head into the climb, and I am sitting around 4th of 5th overall. I knew if I could hang onto 4th, I had an AG win for sure.  As I was coming up on the turn around I was closing in on 3rd place racer.  At the turn around I made the decision to gun it.  My strength is in the downhill and the 3rd place would keep up or fall behind.  I passed 3rd place and held onto that for a bit.  She came back and zoomed by me but she didn’t hold onto it. I passed her again and closed in on 2nd place.  I passed 2nd place and this is where it gets weird, very weird.  I know this course and I know the turn to go back to Boulder Beach.  Even though the runners ahead of me kept going, I turned down the wrong road.  Once I discovered that, I had to turn back and onto the course.  My mind went south after that.  Okay, the next turn was Boulder Beach, but when I looked at my Garmin the course was way short.   That was confusing me and I was using way too much energy and brain power to try to figure this out.  Came up on the turn off to Boulder Beach and I was instructed to keep going straight.  Okay, that is when my brain truly checked out, that made no sense!  Where was the turn around?  Was the course long not short?

I started to run and I could feel my brain melt down. At the Mile 2 mile marker….I stopped. I stopped on the course, yes I did.  I said, “this isn’t adding up, we have to be going the wrong way!”  A gal whizzed by me and took 2nd place.  At that moment, I saw the turn around up ahead and ran towards it.  Whoever said that running is all mental is true.  I lost this race because of my brain, not my legs.  In fact, on the decline, I was between a 6:27-7:12 pace.  That shows you how much I screwed up if my overall pace was 8:37 for the race. (see that drop after Mile 2?  That is when I stopped)

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I held onto 3rd OV place for the Women’s 5k.  I didn’t deserve it, I ran a horrible race.  Not my proudest moment and not because my time sucked, but I zoned out and couldn’t regroup.  That is inexcusable for an experienced runner.  Despite my mental disaster of a race, coming into the Finish at Boulder Beach is always a treat for me.  I am taken back to my first sub2 Half Marathon and my two other OV win’s.  With Lake Mead ahead of me, there is something special about this finish location.  

As soon as I crossed the finish line and the announcer said my name, a few people came up to say “hi” and a “congrats” but the one I was most excited about was seeing my previous teammate, Chris Clark.  It was so good to see him, again!

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Shortly after, I received a text from my brother he had finished the 10k and he earned 2nd OV.  The 10ker’s ran to the Hoover Dam parking lot and were shuttled back.  So, all in all it was a good race for the Running Siblings.

The Awards ceremony was fun!  All the podium finishers were happy and the crowd was very celebratory.  I have had many podium finishes, but it is always a treat when all the winners are on the podium. Lately, there is only 1 or 2 of us on that podium.

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My brother and I went up to the Hoover Dam hotel to have a quick meal and then back to the race Finish to wait for Jeff. While I was waiting, I was able to walk around with Ruby, she is owned by the staff at BBSC.  Cuddling with a dog at a race is always a good thing.

Soon enough, here came Jeff into the Finish!  He was an official 50 stater.  What a relief and we could celebrate his quest is finally over with.  Congrats, Jeff!!!

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Despite my mentally horrible race, I am so glad I went.  I find it so peaceful to run out there.  Before, I felt Ladybug.  Now, I feel Ladybug & Honeybear and that is pure heaven to me.

Cheers to all the racers and BBSC!

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Race Day essentials:

Shirt:  Glukos Energy 

Headband:  Boni Bands

Arm sleeves:  Nike

Shorts:  Brooks

Socks:  Running Skirts Compression Socks

Fueling:  No electrolyte replacement needed for my 5k

 

Next up:  Triple Dare Resolution & Revolution runs on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  It will be my first time to meet these RD’s and I am very excited to get to know them.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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
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