Super ‘SOCK’-cited | New Ambassadorship with NEWZill Compression Socks

Hi FAB Friends!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know how I love socks!  My favorites are compression socks, with fun colors or designs.

 

Now, onto my NEWZILL sock story.

When I was looking for a specific style and color of socks (black argyle) for an upcoming half marathon, I did a google search and found www.newzill.com. Finding compression socks with fun and unique designs is a chore, trust me on this one, but I found what I was looking for at Newzill.

 

 

I ordered a pair and fell in love with them.  I have LOTS of compression, but something special about these. They were super soft and comfortable.  I reached out to the company telling them how much I enjoyed their socks and after several more conversations they asked if I would like to be one of their Brand Ambassadors.

WOULD I?!?!?  Me…repping a sock company.  Hello – it’s like the Mother Ship calling me home!

I now have two pairs of their socks.  The Argyle and one more that I will reveal on 7/29 – which is when I am doing a memorial run for Honeybear (one year after she passed away).  I will keep it a secret until then.

For now, I can offer you 10% off their prices AND they provide free shipping.  Just use promo code: FABRunning to receive your discount.  Let me know what socks you are wearing, send me a picture and be sure to follow @newzillusa on Instagram.  Fantastic designs and they are so comfy soft! (you can see the argyle design I mentioned on the top right). 

Their company FB post, this is so heartfelt – “NEWZILL was founded in early 2014 from my personal desire to help my grandmother receive relief from a common health problem that many suffer from. I remember watching my grandmother have a hard time making it through the day because of fatigue and swelling in her legs. After a visit to the doctor we found out she was having a problem with blood circulation (Edema) to her legs. 

For 13 long months of design, rigorous testing and watching my grandmother’s condition get worse. The NEWZILL VIBE HEART was created. The happiest day of my life was when I presented my grandmother with the very compression sock that would help improve her condition.

When you purchase one of our products you are purchasing a product that was created with a purpose to assist families who combat many common health issues. Today my grandmother is enjoying long walks and uninterrupted days in her garden. She poured her hopes and dreams in me and the least I could do was use all that she had molded and shaped in me, to help in her time of need. So let us help you and the ones you love.”

You can shop here ->  https://www.newzill.com/collections/all

 

Thank you NewZill for selecting me – my feet (and calves) thank you for this opportunity and to be a part of your team!

 

*These opinions are my own and are not influenced by my new relationship with Newzill. This announcement contains an affiliate link that supports the costs of maintaining this website*

 

Run Fab,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum, NEWZILL and Glukos Energy

 

 


Update On My Summer Training | Never Goes As Planned

Hi Friends!

How is your Summer?  A few weeks ago, I share with you how I was going to change up my Summer Training.  In case you missed it, here is the link -> Click here

 

What I have done:

For the most part, my runs have been in the PM.  I have kept my AM’s to dog runs, cardio work and DDPyoga.

Be Happy.  This is the first summer since I started focused training (2011) that I have not dreaded the summer.  I am enjoying my time with family and friends and not stuck to the reality I have to get up at 3am to do a run, so I can beat the heat.

 

What I have not done:

No long runs yet, so I have not hit the pool. That should be coming within the next week or so

No 3am wake up calls!  (see above)

Not registered for one race.  I have looked at a few for the Fall of 2017, but nothing has been added to my schedule.  I plan to finish up my 50 Half Marathons by the end of the year.  That’s my one focus for 2017, get through to the 50th Half.

 

I have the Disneyland Half and Disneyland 10k on Labor Day Weekend.  I will kick up the training a bit for the 10k – maybe I can earn another AG award.  It will be a great way to end my DL weekend career.

 

After DL, the Fall season kicks in and I have several races on my calendar.  All are tentative, so I won’t be spilling the beans ahead of time.  With my Meniere’s Disease it is very hard to plan ahead with my races.  I never know how I will feel for training or on race day.  For DL, I am going no matter what.  At the minimum I will be doing my park time with my Disney loving husband.

 

How is your Summer going?

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy

~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


My Summer Training | No More of the Same Old – Time to Change

I am entering my 8th year of Summer running.  I began my running career in the summer of 2010 in preparation of the RnRLV 2010 (last year it was during the day). Since I started running, I had different goals:  Running the Disneyland Double Dare (formerly the Dumbo Double Dare) in September and training for marathons that would take place in September.  Last year, I was still in ‘training’ mindset for Disneyland but my Meniere’s Disease took over and I spent more time on my back and when I did run, it was torture.  Not to mention, Honeybear was in her final months – so my focus was her until the very last day.

I made the decision early this year I was not going to have a repeat of getting up at 3am to run my miles and I wouldn’t put my mind and body through the struggle.  I live in Las Vegas where it is nearly 100F at sunrise.  I have lost too much time of my life getting up at 3am (having to go to bed at 7pm to ensure I get enough sleep).

This year – it is going to be different and it’s all good!  While I am going back to Disneyland for the Challenge, it is my last year of that Challenge and I am not looking to PR or hit the podium.  I don’t have a marathon (thank goodness!) and my brother is needing help with his recent hip surgery.  I will not repeat summer training of years gone by.

Here are my changes:

  1.  Dog runs in the early morning.  I will not let them run over 2 miles due to the heat.  If I choose to run for myself, I will not run over 2 miles.
  2.  My training runs are done in the evening when the sun goes down.  I only ran in the evening during my first summer and I really enjoyed the nighttime runs.
  3.  When the heat is just too bad to bear, I will spend at least an hour indoors doing cardio with one of my home DVD’s.  As of this writing, I have spent the last 3 days indoors cranking it out.  I am dripping with sweat and I feel really good, too!
  4. My long runs will be in the pool.  I joined an aquatic center and I will spend my long run time as an aqua jogger.  This way, I get in my time and miles without the scorching sun and protecting my body from the heat drain.  I used aqua jogging as a rehab during my 2013 plateau fracture and it is the best cross-training workout you can do, injured or not.
  5. Be happy.  I cannot, I just cannot go through another summer like I have in previous years!  I cannot let the Fall race goals consume me where I put myself and my happiness in danger.

So far – the summer is doing well.  I am not starting with the typical “I am going to hate this, but I have _____ race to train for”

I am not letting running control me, in any ways.  It is my choice and I am choosing to adjust what I need to adjust to stay happy and healthy.

________________________

How are you adjusting your training this summer?  Feel free to leave your comment below.  

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy

~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


Pffft on the PF

If you have been a runner for longer than…a month, you have had some aches and pains and hopefully not a serious injury.  I have experienced the full circle from minor to 4 months of rehab.

2011:  Blown out hip

2012:  Start of achilles issues that did not let up until 2013

2013:  Plateau fracture on my tibia (leg)

2014:  Severe ankle sprain

2015:  Diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease (daily battle)

2016:  Still dealing with Meniere’s Disease + this nagging heel problem

 

Many heel problems are mistakenly diagnosed as PF.  My primary pain is in that middle place where it could or could not be PF.  So, what do you do about it?  There are a plethora of remedies.  Here is how I am dealing with it:

 

  1.  See a chiropractor or Physical Therapist for ART treatment
  2.  Do Trigger Point Massage at home
  3.  Taking a few days off from running as it came back with a vigor this week
  4.  Wearing KT Tape for healing, freedom of movement and pain relief.  Never tried KT Tape?  Here is a link

Today, the foot feels good!  I might be able to do a slow dog-jog with my pup, Daisy tonight.

 

How do you handle PF?  Feel free to comment below (by request, I have re-opened the comment section below.  All comments are moderated to halt spamming)

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy

~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


Skinny Shaming | Are You Listening To Yourself?

Last night, I posted this on my IG account @charlene_ragsdale:  

 

Attn:  Shinny Shamers.  You know who you are – those who are self-proclaimed “body image” experts who are a size 10, 12, 22 or whatever and decide that anyone who is a size 0, 2, 4 or 6 are unhealthy and have body issues.  Ummm, no.
I am a size 7 / 8 and while I have aspects of my body I don’t like, I do not *hate* my body and I certainly don’t have body issues! How dare you think that skinny is not strong or more importantly how dare you tie strong with body size, any size. You claim you are against body shaming but you fail to see you are contributing to the problem. I don’t have body issues, I have hypocrite issues.
Let me tell you what strong is!  A man or woman who has a chronic disease that makes them wonder if they are going to be able to take a step or get out of bed.  A man or woman who battle a deadly disease who do not know if today is their last day on earth.  A man or woman who goes to work every day to provide for their family and has no idea how they are going to pay for this week’s grocery bill.  A man or woman who have overcome all the odds to be successful in their career.  Strength is not defined by our appearance or our body size.  Strength is running a race honestly, not demanding comps from any RD.  Strength is showing class act and being an Ambassador to our sport.  Are you even listening to yourself?  Probably not.  You are too busy deleting your social media comments and forging your social media following to look like the world worships the ground you walk on because you have decided that those who do not look like you, must have body image issues.
I am about being strong in life.  Everyone has a different journey and finds their own sense of strength.  Please step back and take a good hard look at what you are saying.  You are influencing others and don’t fool yourself to believe it is a positive influence.  How will you speak to your daughter or son when they are “skinny”? Would you speak to them how you are speaking to the masses on your social media pages?  I would hope not.  Truly.

#YouAreNot #KnowWhatStrengthIs

______________________________________________________________________________

You are a plus-size woman or man, you are not a size 2 (but, neither am I) and you are on a mission to help women and men improve their body image.  Good for you, I am all for helping others feel better about themselves!  

Within your public mission, you are shaming those who do not look like YOU.  Yes you are, don’t even try to deny it.  You are  size 10, 12 or even a 22 and you are insulted that the media or others are posting pictures of someone who is skinnier than you and proclaim that others do not need to look that way.  Are you listening to yourself?

You lash out at the media for their representation of healthy.  Have you EVER considered that the model(s) in those pictures are seeing your rants and hissy fits?  Don’t their feelings matter to you?  Are the images photoshopped?  Most likely they are, but they are representing people.  How would YOU feel if someone slammed your body size?  Ohhhh, I see – it is important to never shame a person who larger than yourself, but it is okay to insult those who are skinnier than you?

 

I have said it before and I will say it again – I am very comfortable of my size 7/8 body.  

 

Stop assuming because I am thin, I am unhappy or hating my body.

 

I know I have the beefiest thighs you can imagine – have you seen my running pictures? (Thank you to my German DNA – it’s not going to change.)  I have a flat chest that makes me look like a 12 year old boy.  Take a look at the pro-elites like Desi Linden and many of the Kenyan runners, they don’t run in sports bra’s either.  You wear what you want and I will wear what i want, okay? There are (stupid) stats that 70%+ of women dislike their bodies.  Read that again, dislike their bodies.  It does not mean we are in hiding or ashamed of our bodies!  I am not a fan of my beefy legs and flat chest but I am not beating myself over it.  Just because we don’t like something, doesn’t mean we are ashamed.  Don’t put words into my mouth or into my head because you are not me or representative of our gender.  You don’t speak for me as I don’t speak for you. The very thing you are preaching against, you are contributing to.  By telling others what they SHOULD wear or HOW they should look to be strong, you have become a body shammer.  Yes, you are a body shammer.

 

Please continue to empower others about accepting themselves but back off the shaming, would ya?  Who are you to say that a woman who is a size 2 or 4 isn’t happy? Would you like it if someone told you that your size 10 is disgusting and you are not believing in yourself?  I don’t think so.

Back of, mind your own business and empower others not shame.  Deal?  I will never tell someone what they should be wearing, it’s their choice.  I suggest you do the same and stop telling skinny gals or guys to eat a burger, that is not the problem nor solution.  There is NOTHING wrong with skinny.  Skinny is healthy, stop making it out like it is not.  

 

Empower, not shame.  If you wish to comment or defend your shaming ways, please feel free to do so – I would be interested to hear how will justify your shaming all in the name of influencing others to accept themselves.  

 

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV

*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape

*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy

~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

 


PRODUCT REVIEW: Arctic Cool Shirts | Is it Hype or The Real Deal?

It’s been a long, long time since I have been excited to test out a new running product. Sure, I have done many in recent years, but nothing really – I mean REALLY got me excited to try and post a blog review.

 

I heard about Arctic Cool apparel through Facebook. One of those sponsored ads that popped up on my news feed.  I began to follow the page and learn more about the technology.  It seems the only complaint I heard about the apparel was there wasn’t enough larger sizes.  Since I do live in Las Vegas and we know that heat is one of my awful triggers for my vertigo and Meniere’s Disease, I am always trying to find something to give me a tolerable level of comfort while running.  I contacted the company and they agreed to send me a shirt to review and they have purple!  How cool is that?  The temps are quickly rising in Las Vegas and nearly 90F in the later days.  I ran in the shirt 5 different times with varying temps.

 

Me, in the middle of a sweaty run – Vegas style.

 

    From their website –

“The Arctic Cool Instant Cooling Shirt uses HydroFreeze™ X Cooling Technology to do just that. Work up a sweat, and you’ll feel the cooling effect instantly. The HydroFreeze X construction is uniquely designed to absorb moisture when dry and cool when wet. Arctic Cool will keep you cooler longer, so you can not only play, you can play to win.

INSTANT

As soon you start to sweat, it goes to work big time, so you’ll feel cooler, longer.

COOLING

The shirt’s fabric dramatically chills your body as you move.

SHIRT

Ultralight construction is anti-microbial and easy-to-clean.”

____________________________

Intriguing, right?  So, I tested it out in temps up to 89F (just the other day). I sweat a lot.  I swear you can turn on the toaster in my kitchen and I will sweat!  When I started to sweat and the dreaded “ugh, I am getting hot” started in my head….I (shockingly) noticed I started to cool down.  Now, not like I had the air conditioning on, but I was cooling down.  Whoa.  The more I sweat, the less hot I felt.  Now, how ironic is that?

The shirt is super comfy, too.  The sizing is spot on I didn’t have to go up a size or down a size.  That’s rare.  This shirt is not only perfect for athletes, but for gardeners, those who work outside in the heat and more.  Give it a try and let Arctic Cool know what you think.

In summary, do I recommend this shirt?  Absolutely!  Will I buy more?  You know I will!  Right now, Arctic Cool is offering free shipping on all orders of $49 or more, for a limited time.  You can order here:  www.ArcticCool.com

 

*Although I was provided a complimentary shirt, the opinions are my own and not influenced by Arctic Cool in any way.

 

Thank you Arctic Cool for this opportunity, you have a fan in Las Vegas!  Bring on the heat (well, maybe)

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

 

 

 

 


Interview with Derek Murphy of MarathonInvestigation.com | Finding the Marathon Cheaters

Welcome back FAB-O friends!  2017 has whizzed right by, hasn’t it?  I am writing this on the first week of Spring (hello!  Wasn’t it just Christmas?)  I am very excited about this blog interview.  About a year ago, I heard about Derek Murphy of MarathonInvestigation.com – he was leading the charge to expose marathon cheaters and to keep them out of Boston.  My ears perked up!  I couldn’t believe there was someone out there who actually cared if someone cheated.  I was thrilled, to say the least and through a mutual friend, we “met up” on Facebook.

milogo

Since that time, I have observed Derek diligently prove cheating and also prove innocence.  A unassuming man who has been thrust into the limelight with huge stories.  His blog received national acclaim with a NBC TODAY show segment.  I asked Derek to be interviewed as I wanted to share more of the man beyond his revealing blog posts.  One can assume that a person who goes after such negativity in this sport would be a negative person.  That is not Derek, he genuinely cares about this sport and the runners. He wants to see runners succeed and certainly will stop at nothing to expose the cheaters.  

Hope you enjoy the interview!

_____________________________________________

 

DEREK MURPHY – MarathonInvestigation.com

 

C: We all know you love number crunching.  Can you give us a little bit about your work and education background? Family?  Hobbies?

D:  My work is mostly number crunching as well…but beyond that I like creating reports and getting behind the number’s to present them in a way that tell a story. I graduated from University of Cincinnati in 1993, and always planned to get my Masters – but that never happened. I was accepted to Law School but chose a different path. My family is everything, been married for almost 23 years, and I have a 5 year old son and 7 year old daughter.

 

C: What are your hobbies, (besides catching cheaters)?

D: Watching Nick Jr with my kids, helping with First Grade Math (harder than you’d think!), building and playing with Legos with my preschooler, going to soccer games and Tae Kwon Do. We love going to the Museum and the Zoo with the kids. So basically, my family.

 

C: You say you were once a runner, when was that and what races?  Of course, I have to ask, did you suspect anyone was cheating or see anyone cheating?

D: I was too far back, and to concerned about myself. I never noticed anyone cutting the course in front of me
derekrunning

 

C: The story of Mike Rossi got you interested in looking at race results but the post on Gia Alvarez is what got the public’s attention. What was your first thought when you saw a lot of attention coming to you and your blog?

D: Really it was Kip Litton. I came to that story late – and most everything was dug up. I read through the blog that the guy put together on Kip and remember how detailed it was. I thought the guy was kind of crazy for putting it together. Looking back, I see he was ahead of his time.

I always enjoyed looking at the traffic after making a post. The post on Gia Alvarez immediately was generating more traffic than I ever had.  I didn’t think that my article on her would ever get that attention. That was the first time I ever received any media requests—besides the Runner’s World profile. The Gia article came out a couple weeks before the initial Runner’s World story.  Those two events are really what made the blog take off. Those events also forced me to take a look at the articles I would write and be more careful about naming runners – because by that point I became aware that I wasn’t really just writing to myself and a few friends.

 

C: You probably realize that runners are a very passionate group of people.  Has that worked in your favor or do you think people get too emotional about finding cheaters?  

D: It’s definitely worked in my favor as it relates to Boston qualifiers. Of course there is a group that says that it shouldn’t matter to me and that I am shaming runners by posting my articles. Some say I should just notify the RD’s. However, just notifying the RD’s does not have the deterrent effect that writing articles about cheating does. Also writing articles raises awareness and results in more tips, which means less runners will get away with it.

On the flip side, I think some people always take it too far. I always cringe when I hear of people contacting the runners directly or making inappropriate comments to them. Unfortunately, I cannot control or predict the reactions of everyone.  I am more cautious about the articles I chose to write and how much identifying information I put out there on the average cheater.

 

C: You have reported on many cheaters.  Any that particularly frustrate you?  

D: Marlon Bascombe – the running coach. I was unable to get him disqualified despite overwhelming evidence. The main reason I failed with that is that the NJ marathon changed management, and the new management was not in charge when Marlon ran there. His followers take the fact that he was not DQ’d as vindication.

Also, I have to mention I am frustrated by the Parvaneh Moayedi and Larry Macon situation with Guinness World Record. I have provided as much evidence as possible that their records were ‘embellished’. Unless they have time machines, it is impossible that they have achieved what they claim. For some reason Guinness ignores this.

 ->  Parvaneh & Larry blog post 

 

C: I was asked awhile back how you could have job satisfaction from a job like this, that dives into the negative of this sport.  How do you keep yourself from getting jaded about others?  

D: Yes, I spend the time looking at the negative side – but it is so those that earn it, can experience the positive side. I’ve heard from a runner that thanked me for what I do – she firmly believes that without my work she would have lost out on her Boston spot. For the most part I am able to distance myself from the emotional side of it. When I am analyzing results, they are just bib #s and times on a spreadsheet. When I write an article, I try to look at the human side of it.  

 

C: How do you look at the human side when all you see is numbers on a spreadsheet?

D: I take a step back after doing all the spreadsheet work. If I am writing about a specific individual, I make every effort to reach out to speak or email with them. There are times where I backed off on publicly naming someone after I learned more about them personally.

 

C: Do you have any funny stories to share?

D: For a few days after Boston, I received quite a few tips. Most of the time the tipsters were correct in spotting runners that cheated.  I received 5 tips on a single runner. All of the runners said that there was no way the guy they saw could have earned the bib # he was wearing. He was in one of the early corrals with a bib # in the 1000’s. It turns out, he just put on some weight since he qualified about 1-1/2 years prior.  

I also received tips that someone was wearing the police commissioner’s old 2013 bib. I almost put an article up. It turns out it was for the filming of the movie ‘Patriot Day’.

 

C: With all the scrutiny, do you think you will ever want to return to running and face your peers?  You know everyone is going to be watching your results?  Lol

D: Yes. I have decided to run The Columbus Marathon this year. That was my first marathon, and I think it would be fitting to give it another go. I never fully prepared properly for a marathon. I enjoyed running them..but I could have performed better. I have no idea what kind of time I will run. But it is a goal of mine to break my PR – 8 years after running my last marathon (My PR is over 5 hours).

derekatfinish

 

C: That’s great.  Are you following a specific training program?  What do you enjoy about running?  What keeps you going when the miles are tough?

D: Way too early to start training for Fall 😉  I am starting to run a little bit now. In the past I’ve been able to get where I can slowly run a decent distance fairly quickly. So, over the next month or 2,  I am going to build my base to where I can comfortably run 10k at about 10- 11 min pace, and then I will fall into one of the Hal Higdon plans. I should probably go with the novice plan at this point. Still evaluating my plans – may take a trip out to Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon in November, instead.

 

C: We know runners cheat, but what about the RD’s that look the other way or enable the cheating. What do you have to say to them?

D: It’s disappointing when the occasional RD looks the other way. There is a difference between not having the time or resources to dig through for every cheater. But I do get annoyed when RD’s look the other way. There was one case where I reported a cheater with a BQ time, that cheated in a race multiple years – and the RD told me to report him again if he cheats next year (He did cheat, and I reported him again). 

 

C: Walk me through the scenario.  You find a cheater, you contact the suspect and what happens if they admit they did cheat.  Do you still make the report public or contact Boston privately to ensure they do not run Boston?  

D: If someone cheated one time and admits it, I would make sure they get DQ’d and removed from Boston if applicable and leave it at that. In most cases they don’t respond until after I write an article. If they admit it at that point, I will note that in the article.

 

C: Have you considered going to a race expo to see if people recognize you and you can get more tips?  You know you are quite the rock star!  

D: Not really. I don’t think anyone would recognize me by site. If I wore a sign that said I ran the website marathoninvestigation.com, that might get some attention. I have thought that speaking at expos might be a potential next step – but I haven’t pursued that.

 

C: Has there been a report that left you feeling satisfied you caught the cheater?  One that made you feel “oh yes” at the end of the day?  

D: A few. When Runners World was writing the article on my process to catch Boston qualifiers that cheated, they vetted all the cases where I determined that someone cheated. There was one case where I identified a course cutter. RW didn’t feel the evidence was compelling enough to include this runner in the published totals of the # of cheaters identified. Looking at the course, it was difficult to see how he would have pulled it off.  Early this year I received a tip about this guy – he obviously cut the course in Nashville. He was DQ’d and denied another Boston entry. That validated my initial finding.

On the flip side – the story I worked the hardest on was where I helped to vindicate Ryan Lee. He was disqualified from The London Marathon. I was able to take a snapshot of him on the course – and used Google street view to determine his exact location. I was able to identify other runners to determine the time the photo was taken. That information proved that his start time as recorded by the marathon was inaccurate – if he started when they said he did, he could not have been in that photo.

 

C: I remember that story about Ryan.  Based on your posts, I could tell you were working so hard for that young man.  What a sweet victory to have him vindicated.  Have you heard from him or his mom?

D: Yes, I reached out a few weeks ago. He is training for London. I look forward to seeing how he does.  ->  

Ryan Lee’s Story

 

C: What’s in the future for you?  Still writing?  Do you think this will ever get so big you will have a team of investigators?

D: Good question. This has definitely grown beyond what I ever envisioned. If I had the time, I could write multiple articles a day – and catch more cheaters. There are volunteers and others that feed me tips, and do work on their own, or help me gather data.  I have begun to ask others to write guest articles.

I have expanded the scope of my articles – but my main mission will always be to catch the cheaters. I am always thinking about the best way to catch and prevent cheaters.  One way may be to partner up with races in a more formal manner. If I were to do that I would need to do so in such a way that I am still viewed as independent.

_____________________________________

Thank you, Derek for taking the time to allow my readers to get to know you.  On behalf of the running community, I would like to thank you for being so diligent to expose the cheaters and prove the innocence of those wrongfully DQ’d.  

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


LVTC 2016 Championship Series | Waited 6 Years For This Moment

After my first ever long distance race in 2010 (RnRLV 2010, the last year the event was during the daytime) I ventured into the unknown world of racing and collecting bling.  My first year, I did not travel to any races, I ran only local races.  A great deal of those races were LVTC events. They were great practices for me and I could work on my jitters of being at a start line.

Quickly, I learned about the LVTC Championship Series.  It was a collection of 10-12 races each year that a racer could receive points for participating and placement (Overall and Age Division).  I didn’t take much interest in the series as all of this was new to me and I was focusing on chasing bling and PR’s.  That all changed during the LVTC Christmas party where I saw the Top 5 winners of the Champions Series (CS) receive a beautiful silver bowl trophy.  Those who placed in 6-10 received a ceramic mug.  At that moment, I wanted to earn a silver bowl!

I had four major goals in my running career:

  1. Qualify and run the Boston Marathon in 2016 (the 20th anniversary of the race). Well, we know how that went.  Ugh!
  2. Earn the Gold Phidippides Award every year. Accomplished every year since 2011.
  3. Earn a spot on the USATF All-American team.  Accomplished every year since 2011.
  4. Earn a LVTC Championship Series silver bowl trophy.  My best place was 8th in 2015.

Every year, I have set out to achieve #4.  Like #1, I became frustrated how close I got but never right there. So often, I plan to run the designated races but something interferes with the schedule or I am injured.  I was close in 2015 with 8th place and I believe I would of earned the 5th spot if I had not missed so many events.  BTW, I loved my mug 🙂

At the beginning of the year, my brother and I set out to run every CS event.  However, since they added the Revel Marathon to the schedule, I knew I would miss that one for sure.  I had to work hard and get good placement throughout the year to get my silver bowl.  My eyes were on 5th place.  Anything higher was certainly gravy to the year.

We started at the year at the traditional LVTC Championship 10k at Kellogg-Zaher park, that is also the location they hand out the CS awards.  Gosh I hate this course, not sure what the appeal is for any race to be in the direction they choose to go. There are many other options.  I was in the top 10 after that race.  Most runners show up for the first race, so I wasn’t too worried about where my standings would be at this point.  I had 11 months to ago, after all.

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February – we had the metric mile race at the UNLV track.  I finished in a strong Overall place.  That boosted my standings to put me in first place. Now, that was a hoot!

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March – Celebrate Education back at Kellogg-Zaher.  Here we go again. What an awful course layout and a strange distance of 8k.  The wind was beyond blistery and I could not breathe.  My dizzy spells kicked in and I muddled through it to get another AG spot.  More points.

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April – my friend, Ryan and I pushed a lovely person in a wheelchair for the Summerlin Half.  I knew the best I could get was the participation points. An AG placement was out of the question.  Points are points.  By this time, I was already getting irritated with my running and why was I doing this CS once again?  I had committed to one more year to try to get the bowl, and whatever happens – I was done.  No more trying next year.

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May – opted out of the Revel Marathon.  Remember, I am retired from that distance.  Not even the CS silver bowl award could bring me out of marathon retirement.

June – Summer Series. Back on the track at UNLV. Another awful race performance, but I earned some good points and keeping myself in a good CS placement.

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July – no race

 

August – Legends 5k.  The person who heads up the CS series is Coach Phil Lawton.  A beloved coach who have coached many of our area superstars.  Legends is his baby and he takes a lot of pride in managing this race.  This was my race to honor Honeybear, as she had passed away not too long before that.  It was a struggled, I had to walk a bit of the 5k.  The heat tore me down and kept me there.

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September – Forrest Challenge.  I hate this race. Never ran it before and I will not to do it again. 8k elevation at Bristolecone area at Mt Charleston.  I would of never finished if it had not been for my friend, Ryan (same person who I ran with at the Summerlin Half).

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October – Danny Gans.  Brother and I were so ready to be done with the CS series.  We both placed in our AG.

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November – Turkey Trot with Jus Run 5k.  I was very happy at this race, I knew it was my last CS race.

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December – after running the Holiday Half the last two years and loathed this course as much as I hated Forrest Challenge I was not looking forward to this event.  I opted out of the Holiday Half and ran a 5k fun run with my son instead.  Best choice, don’t you think?

Going into that race, I was in 2nd place and I had the silver bowl locked in.  I knew our local elite Erica Schramm would take 2nd if she won 1st place OV at the Holiday Half.  I was shocked to hear she earned 2nd OV behind her female teammate of RRRC.  That put us in a tie for 2nd and since I ran more races than her, I was the 2nd place winner and she was 3rd.  Erica was far more deserving of 2nd place as she is a much speedier runner than I. 

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2nd place.  That is far more than I could of ever imagined I would be at the end of the year.  All I needed was 5th place for that silver bowl.  Better yet, my brother earned 2nd place for his CS efforts. The irony – 3rd place male is named Eric and the 3rd place female is Erica.

On January 7th, I finally held the silver bowl trophy in my hands.  I was able to stand next to my brother and know we accomplished our goal, together. We can retire from our Championship Series efforts…finally.

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2016 LVTC Championship Series Awards

 

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The moment I received my silver bowl, finally. Yeah, that’s a pretty cheesy smile!

 

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I waited six years to do this!

 

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Both 2nd place finishers. I am grateful to share this past year with my brother.

 

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Our Celebration Lunch. Well, we had more – but this was the fun part.

 

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“Is this really happening?”

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No words an ever convey the gratitude I have for Coach Phil

 

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Finally, the picture that Coach Phil and I have waited for.

 

My thanks to:

My brother (pictured) who accepted my invitation to join me in the Championship Series challenge.  We had some crazy adventures along the way, but I am grateful he tagged along and earned a beautiful silver bowl for his athletic accomplishment and his patience.

To Coach Phil Lawton (pictured in the center). The man with the vision and never once let me forget about my Championship Series dream.  He encouraged me and reminded me every month why I set goals.  Thank you for being the man you are and keeping the running dreams alive for all of us.

My husband, kids and furkids.  You send me out the door, month after month to chase down my goals.  Cheered me on, even when I didn’t have the strength to get out the door for a training run.

Ryan Launder – you ran 2 of these races with me.  I appreciate your friendship and the ability to keep my head in the game to finish the miles.  Donuts on me, any time!

 

…thus, ends my LVTC Championship Series quest 

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Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum and Glukos Energy
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


RACE RECAP: Resolution & Revolution 5k | Back2Back 5k’s

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My brother and I decided to run the TripleDareRuns.com Resolution Run (New Year’s Eve) and Revolution Run (New Year’s Day).  The NYE race started at 4pm at Kellogg-Zaher park.  I was curious to know what direction they were going as there are many options, but very few good options.

Day and half prior to NYE, I was in my closet tidying up and I fell off my step ladder. To keep myself from hitting my head I fell in such a way that the ladder sandwiched (smashed) my left ankle in between the two parts.  Nice bruise huh?

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After a day and half of epsom salt soaks, essential oils and the wonderful KT Tape recovery patch, I tried out my ankle the morning of NYE with a short dog job.  It felt okay, so I decided to give the NYE 5k a whirl.  Not a race, but at least give it good effort.

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When we arrived at Kellogg Zaher park, it was good to see some familiar races from years gone by!

 

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After a solid warm-up, we were ready to go.  Bro started his 10k about 3-4 minutes before the 5k.  The course went the opposite direction of most races out there, which I love.  I will certainly look at this option for New Day Racing.

The first part of the 5k is an up and down while climbing to the underpass.  Not overtly hilly but enough to take some wind and overt energy to get there.  Once to the Durango overpass, we made a right to continue onto the paved trail to the turn around.  After the turn around it’s basically all downhill or a good decline to the finish. All felt okay, I was sitting around 10th place female Overall at the turn around.  Once I could settle into my downhill pace and relax my breathing, I was hoping to move up a few paces. Eventually, I passed two more ladies and finished 8th Female Overall.

This race certainly was going better than the brainless one I had a Hoover Dam on 12/10!

I finished the race at 25:32.  Meh.  I wasn’t too happy with that, but whatever.

Not too much longer after that my brother finished and he was first male Overall in the 10k. Score!  I earned 1st place in my AG.  I am always grateful to be on the podium, especially in the top spot. Received a champagne glass as my AG award.

After a few pictures, I headed hope to settle in for the night to be with my doggies.  Las Vegas is firework Capital and I was ready to buckle in for the night.

It was great to finally meet Heidi Dove, the Race Director!

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Next Day:  Revolution Run 5k – New Year’s Day

Same location, starting at 12noon.

10k started a few minutes before the 5k.  I was tired this time around.  I was up and down most of the night with all the booming going on around our home.  I decided to push and keep my pace at a steady sub9 up the hill.  I had no idea what I did the night before, but inclines are just not my friend and I need to be more aggressive.  I have lost way too many races and PR’s because of inclines.

After the turn around, I settled in but the sleepiness was getting to me.  I felt it was more important to just hold onto what I had.  I was in 5th Female OV at that point. At less than 1/2 mile to go a female racer zoomed by me and I could tell she had to be in my AG or older.  Not sure where she came from!  lol

So, I ended up with 2nd AG this time.  No AG awards, this time.

My brother won the 10k again.  That’s a double!

(how do you like my ladybug socks?)

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It was a good racing weekend and I am grateful to be upright before, during and after the race.  A little winded, but what do you expect when you are sprinting a 5k?  All good, right?

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Race Shirt

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My finisher medals and NYE AG award. No AG awards presented to the AG winners on NYD

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Happy 2017 from the Running Siblings!

 

My thanks to Triple Dare Runs for their hospitality and nice race.  I am sure we will be back for another event.  Of course, the weekend could not of happened without the endless support of my husband, my teenage boys, my furkids, Daisy Mae and Jack and my brother.

I would also like to thank Glukos Energy, Run Gum and KT Tape for getting me through these two races. Keeping me upright is a big task these days.

My Race Essentials:

NYE:  Running Skirts Compression

NYD: Vimvigr Compression

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

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~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


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

~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here