My Nemesis: Water Retention

Hi FAB-O Friends!  How are you holding up in the Summer heat?  This year, our temps are not as brutal as last years.  Thank goodness, but still in the triple digits.  I am still getting up around 4am on some days to get a run in, before the heat kicks in.

I don’t know about you, but my body loves to retain water when I get warm.  It’s plagued me since childhood and Doctors have also found that my core temperate raises danerously high I am outside in the heat.  I can handle it, when it is dark, but once the sun appears, I am toast.  Literally.

A few weeks ago, I noticed my water retention was worse than normal.  Not alarming, but sure was annoying.  You know the type, the puffiness in your hands and feet.

On August 1st, I ran a 5k race in town and my Brother and I had our typical post race pictures.  I immediately noticed my face looked puffy.  That was on a Saturday, by the following Monday, my water retention was at it’s worse.  It hurt to type on my laptop and it hurt to wear shoes.  Not uncomfortable, but it physically hurt.  My stomach was bloated and I felt like I was 5 months pregnant.

I went into immediate action to reduce the water retention and puffiness.  I upped my water intake.  I already drink 8 bottles of water a day.  I drank 10 on Monday and included one dose of apple cider vinegar.  (Be sure to goggle to see why I chose acv.)

Within a few short hours, I was peeing, like I was a farm animal.  I knew I had gained a significant amount of water weight, but I didn’t want to hop on the scale, just yet.

By Wednesday (2 days later) I was feeling relief.  I finally could type on my laptop without pain in my fingers and I could wear shoes without discomfort.  I weighed myself to see how much water I would lose the rest of the week.  Ugh!

I kept up this routine through the remainder of the week.  By Friday, my son made the comment my face no longer looked puffy.  By Saturday, I no longer felt 5 months pregnant and I could wear my running shorts.  Another weigh in, and I had lost 6 lbs of water in 2 days.

Below is a picture of the Saturday, when I could see the puffiness in my face (jawline and cheeks) and a comparison of a week later.  One could say I lost weight, not water retention.  I don’t think so.  I didn’t change my nutrition, my running, my workouts – I did not lose fat weight, it was purely water.

For now, I am keeping the higher intake of water, though the Summer.  My mileage is higher and my body just need more fluids.  This is an experience I don’t want to repeat!

WaterRetention

Run Fab,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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Evolution of Running and How It Affects Who We Are

It’s no secret, that when I began my running career in 2010/2011, I ran for finisher medal.  I would not run a race unless I knew I would receive a medal.  I wanted that feeling of self-accomplishment and that medal gave me that satisfaction.

Shortly after I began racing, I won AG and Overall awards.  The competitive nature of my youth had kicked in and I found myself competing against myself for each and every race.  Half way through that year, we lost Ladybug and running in her honor became my trademark to this day.

By the end of 2011, I was hammering out a bunch of PR’s in all distances and I had evolved from running races only with medals to any races. I ran some races with ribbons and races with absolutely nothing.  I quickly learned I could use races as gauges for my focus races.  Score!

You see, I also learned early on, that I have horrible training.  I swear I could not run a 30 minute 50k during training if my life depended on it.  Yet, I will streak by that time on any given race day.  Thus the reason I am so surprised when I finish with the times, that I do.

In my second year of racing, I had a heart to want to travel and be around more runner friends. The state of CA, because my monthly home.  At least once a month, I was on the road for the next big race.

 

running evolution

By Mid-2013, I was so done with traveling, I wanted to stay home.  I had seen enough and knew what races I wanted to repeat.  I had cultivated some incredible friendships and also sides of the running community I wish I never did.  The more you are exposed to a community, you will often see the dark side.  The running community is not immune to the thralls of life.  There are cheaters, gossips, thieves and very mean-spirited people.  Because we share the same sport, does not make us immune to human nature.  I also saw the best of humanity, total strangers helping total strangers.  The spirit of human ambition and goal setting.  It was that same year, I had my first serious runner’s injury (fractured leg).

In 2014, I no longer cared about the medals or even the awards.  After being injured and unable to run for the last part of 2013, I was grateful to be back on my legs and in the Start Corrals.  I set new PR’s that I had been chasing since 2012, I ran with more determination, freedom and peace.  I ran in memory of my best friend who died suddenly, weeks before Christmas.  I ran to celebrate the unity of my new found family.

So, where am I in 2015? Good question.  I have different running values.  I still and always will treasure all my medals, but that is not why I run.  My tastes have evolved.  I am a 53 year old Masters Runner, who is enjoying the process of being the best I can be.  I am grateful for my history, my stories and experiences since 2010, but I know that person and athlete no longer exists.  I have evolved.

The athlete I was in 2010 was not the ‘wrong’ type of athlete, that was exactly who I needed to be, at that time.  Next year, I will be a different athlete and I love the prospect of who we can become.

Running is like writing a book, chapter after chapter.  One day, I will write the ending of my current book and work on the sequel.

I look forward to seeing where the next evolution will take me!

Run Fab,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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Have Trouble Sleeping the Night Before a Race? | #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

Whether it is your first or your 100th race, getting enough sleep the night before is often a stressful time.  I learned very quickly some great tips and rarely do I have an unrestful night, pre race.

 

yawning

1.  Do not, under any circumstances eat and attend the Pasta Dinner the night before. That is not carb loading.  You need to carb load 72 hours before, not the night before.  In fact, carb loading should be a progression, beginning 72 hours before a race.  Eating heavy the night before not only will sabotage your race day, but will keep you awake.  While it is not the popular choice, I no longer go out the night before a race, no matter how many invitations I receive.  The night before a race, I am at home or in my hotel room, eating my own meal and away from the crowds.  It allows me to focus on my goals and what I hope to accomplish on race day.  After the race, is when I meet up with friends.  If your race is important to you, then do not go out the night before.  Your legs, your mind and your stomach will thank you.

2. 2 days before your race, get up really early.  I mean, REALLY early. I will get up around 3am, 2 days before the race day. That leaves me with very little sleep, on purpose.  So, on the night before race day, I am tired and can fall asleep easily and early.

3.  Melatonin.  A natural vitamin, that is not a sleeping pill. It is in the vitamin section and you only need 3 mg’s to doze off.  (Check with your Doctor before taking any new supplements).

4.  #2 and #3 – practice this several times during your training period.  Ideally, before your long runs.  This allows you to test out your sleep patterns and if Melatonin can work for you (I know a few people who have tried Melatonin and it gives them a horrible headache.  Don’t wait until race weekend to find out, it may not work for you).

Try out these tips and let me know if any of them work for you.  Happy pre-race day rest!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
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#FitnessHacks #FABHacks | Preventing the Short Mileage Runs

We have all been there, we set out on a run, let’s say a 3 mile run.  We reach 1.5 miles, turn around to come back home and we finish at 2.98.  Ugh!

GPS

After a few frustrating runs that ended up being short, despite my perfect planning, I decided to try something new. When I reach the turn around point, I keep running for another 2 minutes, then I turn around and head back.

I no longer have shorted out and back runs.  You see, 3.97 is not 4 miles and that last .03 can make a difference between a podium finish and a PR.  I am going to run and train for every mile I can, not going to cheat myself, not even for .03 miles.

 

Until next time – keep running, FAB!

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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*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
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RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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Packing Tips for Race Traveling #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

In my early years of racing, I traveled A LOT.  It seemed like I was on the road or in the air at least once a month.  I learned many tips on the way, and the key elements to ensure you have all you need on race day.

Even though I do not travel as much as I use to and when I do, I still follow the same guidelines.

 

TOP TIPS: – everything you need on race day should be in your carry on or in a bag that you have on your possession, if you are in a car.  That includes everything.  Shirt, shorts, bra, shoes, socks, FUELING (more on that later), salt tablets, watch and whatever else you need on race day.

I put my race day items in a plastic bag (or two) and put in the bottom of the bag. Why?  I can place the travel teams I need for the trip on top and not have to worry to disturb my race day items.  How many times have things fallen out of your bag?  Yeah, me too.

I do not put the bag in my car trunk, either. It is my carry all for my travels and it assures me I have my gear in my sight, at all time.  God forbid, someone should break into my car trunk and steal my bag.

FUELING:  Do not expect or anticipate you can purchase your fueling at an expo or nearby sports store.  I have heard over and over, runners panic because their brand or flavor is not available.  Bring your own fueling.  If you are flying, you should have no issues with them passing through TSA.  I have never been questioned or had any issues.

Here is a picture of what my racing gear looked like for my carry on. (Note:  this is from my last race trip in October – I no longer wear these shoes).

Race Bag

I pack my clothes in a plastic bag – so, they are easily separated and of course, clean.

Happy Traveling!

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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#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
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RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
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*Founder, Running Troops
Certified Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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Cold Weather Running | #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

Hello FAB-O friends and Happy Monday!  Can you believe it’s November?  WOW! 

We have all heard the importance of acclimating for warmer temperatures.  Taking 2-3 weeks to run shorter and easier miles, so your body has a chance to settle into the summer heat.  Sound familiar?

Did you know, you should follow the same philosophy for cooler temps? Did you know that hydration is just as important in the cooler temps as in the warmer temps?

cold weather

You have been running sleeves, shirtless or anything in between for months and months. Now, you are running in long sleeves, hats and gloves.  Give your body enough time to adapt to more clothing and most importantly to the temperatures. Take 2-3 weeks to acclimate to the cooler temps and you are setting yourself up for a great Fall/Winter season.

A sudden onset of cold into your lungs can cause breathing problems.  A sudden snap in cold can make your body muscles react differently.  Acclimate your body to the cooler temps.

1.  Warm up with dynamic stretching before a run.  Get the blood flowing and circulating all through your body.

2.  Deep belly breathing.  Warm up the muscles around your lungs, you will be glad you did.

3.  Brings hydration, but not freezing cold.  Have it room temperature – even warmer.  You need to keep up your hydration in the cooler temps.  Less sweat doesn’t mean less hydration.

4.  Keep up with your clean and healthy eating.  Cooler temps brings on the hot sugary chocolates, candies, cookies and more.  Watch your intake and be sure to have good food in your body, not all junk.

5.  Don’t drink alcohol before a run. While drinking might make you feel warmer, it will cause your heart to pump harder to keep warm.

6.  Eat something warm when coming home.  Soup & warm beverages will help you regulate your body temperature.

 

Enjoy your cold weather runs and races!

 

How do you get ready for the cooler temps?  Do you change your training? 

 


Icing Your Feet | #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

Before I started running, the thought of putting ice on any part of my body, frightened me.  Now, it’s something I look forward to!

If you are not icing after every run, even if you feel you don’t need to, you are risking injury and additional inflammation.  I have my key spots I always ice:  knees & ankles.  Yet, there are times, I feel my feet need a good icing too.

I posted a picture of me icing my feet and it was met with quite confusion and some people indicated they had never thought about icing the feet.  Don’t forget to take care of your feet!  I wear socks when I am icing my feet, it can be quite painful, if I do not. 

Here are 3 ways you can ice your feet and two of them, you probably already have in your freezer

 

1.  Traditional ice pack

20141029_160724

 

2.  Bag of vegetables. In this picture, I am using corn, in this picture.  Bag of peas, also works great.  Don’t use lumpy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or carrots.  I have bags of frozen vegetables for this purpose, only. I bought the bags at 99cent store.  Cost?  Yep, 99cents.

 

20141029_160706

3.  Frozen water bottle. This is my favorite way to ice my feet!  Not only is it cooling, but rolling the bottle back and forth is very therapeutic to the bottom of your feet.  Cost:  depending on how much you pay for bottled water, but I can buy 24 bottles for less than $3 at the 99cent store.  So, that is about 5-10cents a bottle.  Use regular tap water.

 

20141029_160734

 

Do you have a #FitnessHack for icing?  Please post as a comment or email to me at RunCoachCharlene@gmail.com – I might feature your #hack!