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?

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

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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 

________________________________

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

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Race Recap: RnRAZ 3 of 3: Half Marathon Time!

It’s here!  RnRAZ Half Marathon time.  Long before my brother had surgery and his painful recovery, I decided I would run the half marathon, glad I made that choice.

We started our morning by being at the VIP Experience.  It is my understanding that each RnR race has a pre and post race section. These tickets are available for purchase in addition to your race registration. The RnRAZ VIP Experience was at a local eatery, not too far from the Start Line.  I have been to other VIP in other races and I think the best part is being able to stay out of the weather and easy access to the bathrooms!  At RnR, we even had our own UPS truck for gear check. They know how to take care of their VIP’ers!

Here is Kevin Gonzalez!

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After mingling and saying hello to a few runner friends, we made our way to the Start Line.  It was critical that we find a spot for our warm up.  Kirk got his warm up in the Corrals. We started in Corral 3, where he should be Corral 1.  Starting at Arizona State University and heading up and back into Tempe.  Let’s do this! This was Kirk’s longest mileage since surgery (the previous week he did 6 miles).  We had a plan and we were sticking to it.  A strong run/walk and get us there in a sub2.

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It was nice to be able to wear shorts again.  It’s been so cold in Vegas, I have been running in capris or shorts for awhile.

We set out in an easy pace and we had to pull back a few times to ensure we were not over doing it. I know exactly how to run a sub2, but my body sure wanted to plunk it down.  Not today, this was Kirk’s time.

As always, I struggled through some of the middle miles (7-9 miles).  But, within a few moments of taking my fueling I was back into the swing.  Unfortunately, my stomach went into over-drive and I had to take a porta potty stop at Mile 11.  Ugh.

Come to think of it, this bad tummy feeling has been bothering me the last few half marathons.  I need to investigate this and find out why, all of a sudden. 

->The RnRAZ course is a great course.  No excessive up or decline. There is a nice incline at Mile 9 but nothing major for anyone who has spent any time on hills.  The course support was outstanding and of course, the volunteers were great.

After my poopie stop, I just didn’t feel good and I knew if we held our pace, we had an easy sub2.  As we turned the corner to the finish line, Kirk wanted to push so we could beat the gun time before it turned to 2:00. We were 3-4 minutes behind the gun. So…off we sprinted!  We got in as a sub2 gun and chip.

He did it.  We did it and best part – he felt great!  No aches, no pains.  Nothing.

Another “Welcome Back to Racing, Bro!” moment. 

We made our way to the post-race VIP for relaxation, food, beverages and Kirk needed a massage.  Not only did they provide MT’s but we had our own porta potties and foam rollers!  Here is some of the food.  Great spread, huh?

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While eating the 2nd place Men’s Marathon Overall, Roosevelt Cooper came into the VIP Experience area.  I interviewed him for my next Periscope broadcast.

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After we ate and drank enough fluids, we went back to the hotel to pack up and travel home.

On our way home, we stopped by a rest stop for our medal pictures, which we forgot to do after the race.  (sorry, RnR)

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This was another wonderful weekend with RnRAZ.  I cannot thank RnR and staff enough for the enthusiastic welcome and giving us the opportunity to be a part of this experience!  See you soon!

The medals?  Oh yea, you want to see the medals!

We earned the 5k, Half Marathon and the Remix Challenge (for running the 5k and any distance on Sunday)

The second picture is the medal from last year and this year.  It is a puzzle and after 4 years, it will look like the shape of Arizona. Isn’t it a beauty?

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*Disclaimer:   I was an invited guest to the RnRAZ, the views, reviews and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the organizers nor sponsors or any other company/individual affiliated with the event.

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


RACE RECAP: Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon | And A Special Run For my Brother

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It’s no secret I love Disneyland.  I have ran the Disneyland Half every year, since 2012.  When RunDisney offered a race in November 2014 (my birthday month), I jumped at the chance to become a Disney legacy.   After my successful Avengers Half in 2014, I had to return to in 2015.

As usual, my brother and I set out on Thursday.  We had one important stop before we hit the road.  His final post-op appointment and to find out if he can start running, again.  After a quick visit with his Doctor, he was cleared to run and we were on the road!

We arrived in Anaheim shortly after dinner and settled into the hotel.  We bring our own food, so it was easy to grab a bite to eat after a long drive.   I was excited, as I knew the next day I was going to be in Disneyland, spending the day in the park.  I have not done a solo park day in decades, so this was a special time.

I decided to dress in Chip & Dale “nutty” theme. Complete with an acorn Mickey Ears, that I crafted myself.

ChipNDaleNut outfit

I arrived at the park just before rope drop and the moment I turned onto Main Street, there was Dale!  (Not sure where Chip was).  So, I had my first ever Disney character selfie!  Of course, Dale loved my outfit and we hugged.  What a great way to start my park day! 

Dale

I was in the park until dinner time and decided to go back to the hotel to spend time with my brother.  Arriving at the hotel, I learned of the horrible Paris attacks, my mind went back to 9/11.  A place I never want to go, again.

The next morning, my brother and I walked a few miles to a local park for….his first run, post surgery!!!  I grin from ear to ear, just typing that.  He has been suffering since February and with his surgery in August, it’s been a LONG time since I have seen him in runner stride.

I had to take a selfie of him, while he was warming up.

Stretching out

 

Kirk Running

His goal was to run/walk a 1:1, on grass.  Eventually, running on pavement.  I had my phone ready to catch the moments!  A few times I ran along side of him to check up on him but most of the time, I watched.  I felt like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders to see him in his runner stride, again.  After his run, we walked back to ice up and rest my legs for the next days half marathon.

Sunday – RunDisney asked all athletes to arrive at the race start by 4am. Which meant, I had to get up at 2:30am to allow myself enough time to eat and walk up to the start area.

The alarm sounded and I was up and rocking.  I prefer to eat my meal about 3 hours before the gun, so eating breakfast as soon as possible was my focus.  Dressed and ready to go for my #epicday.  (After Avengers, we were driving back to run #StripatNight in Vegas).

Avengers outfit

Getting through the security check points was easy and you could sense an uneasiness in the crowds, since the Paris attacks.  Very present were bomb-sniffing dogs and more security than before.  I welcome it all.

Heading into the corrals was a breeze and I started in Corral A.  I made my way to the front of the corral and I decided to retie my shoes, they felt lose.  My right lashes got tangled up and there was with one shoe!  I had to ask another runner to help me untie my shoes.  Thank you kind stranger!

Soon, we were off and running!  With my continual dizzy spell episodes, I had hoped I could run at least 8 miles before I needed to start walking.  I had made up my mind, that I would run hard until until I had to walk.  Give it all I had until I had to slow down.  Fueled up with my Honey Stingers and ready with my RunGum for the later miles. Let’s do this!

I settled into a solid pace, I should of taken it slower actually – but I was not over doing it.  Always in the back of my mind, wondering when the next dizzy episode would appear.  Once we were out of the parks, I could see the difference in the course vs 2014.  We did not run near the Crystal Cathedral, at all.  Of course, most noticeable – no winds and the temps were absolutely perfect.

We ran along the long stretch of the river, as last year and we had more inclines, also.  Overall, I was liking the course, much better than last year.  I took my Honey Stinger gel at Mile 6 which was way earlier than I usually do, but I felt I needed the kick and couldn’t wait.  As we made our way out of the Stadium and went up the sharp incline, that is when I had to walk a bit.  I felt the head spin for a few seconds and I wasn’t going to push it.  Looking at my Garmin I was on track for a solid finish time.  I walked for what seemed like a minute or two.  At the top of the incline, I started chewing on my RunGum and back to running.  At mile 11, I made the horrible mistake of drinking some Powerade (while chewing my RunGum) and my stomach let me know at Mile 12.  I remember thinking, “I hope they had barf buckets at the finish, as I was sure I was going to hurl all over the place, very soon.”  I should of not drank that Powerade.

I finished in a solid time of 1:53:32, which was faster than my last year’s time and earned me a 4th place AG.  Last year I earned 3rd, so I am thrilled I was able to get in the Top 5 and receive another award (RunDisney honors the top 5 in Half Marathoners).

With Medal

As soon as I finished, I had to be helped by the medical to walk around.  The world was spinning, by the time I reached the medals, I was doing better.  Met up with my brother, ate a banana, stretched out, took a picture and we were in the car by 8:15am to head back to Vegas.

Part 2 of the #epicweekend:  Driving back to Vegas and #StripAtNight with my Brother –

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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RACE REPORT: Disneyland 10k & Half Marathon | 3rd Annual Dumbo Double

Labor Day weekend has become my FAVORITE time of the year on my race schedule!

  1. The cooler temperatures, I finally get a break from the Vegas summer heat.
  2. Traveling to Disneyland!

This was my fourth year to participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend and 3rd year for the DDD.  I was just as excited as I was my first year (2011)!

In addition to the run training, many preparations are needed for this trip.  I have to prepare mine and my husband’s costumes, prepare our race gear and of course, what we will need to visit the park!

Our initial plan was to arrive on Thursday, do the expo and go to DL on Friday…boy, did our plans change (and for the better!)

We left our Vegas home around 5am, in the hopes to arrive at the expo around 10am.  We arrived at 10:30am and quickly picked up our bibs for the 10k & Half. This year, they required participants to have their pictures taken, not receive a plastic wristband for the DDD.  I am told that RunDisney found out that runners were removing their wristbands and giving them to other runners, so they could pick up a FREE DDD medal.  That’s stealing folks, you didn’t earn nor pay for the medal, shame on you!

After the bib pick up, we retrieved our shirts and I was so excited about the shirt designs.  I loved all 3 of the shirts.

After the shirt pick up we made our way to the merchandise at the expo. They led us upstairs to get a wristband and told us a 30-45 minute wait.  Ummmm, no.  2 hours later, we are still there and we had not made our way downstairs, that had another hour wait.  The reason they said they did it this way was the size of the merchandise area is so small.  We were in a HUGE ballroom, upstairs.  Why not move the merchandise to upstairs?  They could also sell more vendor space.  We left, without buying a thing.

Next, we met up with my sweet friend, Andrea Kooiman for lunch. She was also the RunDisney Expo announcer, so I was hanging with a celebrity!  Our good friend, Joe Spatafore joined us, with his friend.  (Joe is also one of my coaching clients, he and his wife are HUGE Disney fans).

 

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Within the next hour we were gifted with a bunch of surprises from a dear friend.  We were given 2 treats:

  1.  A park ticket
  2.  A parking pass

Which meant, we could go into the park that night and see the Paint the Night parade and have some Disney fun!  I was so giddy, I almost started crying.

We checked into our hotel and since I have been a regular there, they gave me free parking. 3 kind gifts in one night…I almost could not contain my excitement.

As we entered the park gates and I saw the Castle, like every time before, I am in awe.  I never grow tired of the castle view.  It welcomes me Home.

Of course, we headed straight for Small World.  I couldn’t smile big enough to contain my excitement.  I noticed right away, they painted the facade and I am glad.  It needed it and next year is the 50th anniversary of the park ride (which I will be there!).

Once I sit in the Small World boat and I hear the music, my calms arrives.  I am in my happy place.  We rode Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and a few more.  We chose not to wear our pin lanyards, so we could just mill about.  We met up with Thor, hubby was pretty excited about that.

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A few hours later, we decided to line up for the parade.  Experience tells me to get as close as possible to the Exit/Entrance. This way, we can leave pretty quickly.  We had a big day, the next day – back to the park!

I was always a fan of the Magical Electrical Parade and I have never seen a Disney parade that matched that magic.  I had heard from many Instagram and FB friends that Pain the Night was out of this world.  They are right.  I stood there in total awe of the lights and music and then came the tears. (Do you get the impression I cry a lot at DL?  It’s true)  If it had not been for the generosity of a good friend, we would of not seen the parade.

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Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

The next morning, we headed out to DL and we were ready for pin trading!  We LOVE chatting with other Disney fans and cast members.  Our day was magical and we left around dinner to get back to the hotel to ensure a restful night before the 10k.

10k RACE DAY

I had not raced a 10k since 2011.  I had one 10k in 2014, after my leg injury, but that was nothing more than a test run.  I was in this 10k to push, I had a long marathon training session throughout the summer.  However, I knew after a day and half in the park, my legs would be…meh.  I was still going to run, the best I could.  No costumes, it was singlet time.  My heart was a little empty as we had to leave my brother at home, while he is still recovering from hip surgery.  Having him at my races is a tradition and so, I promised him a strong run.  I didn’t think I could PR, but I thought I could at least give it a good push.

Gun time was at 5:30am. I started in Corral A and my husband started in Corral D.  Typically, we run a bit on Katella Avenue, but this time, we were in the park, pretty quick.  I liked staying in the park, as much as possible.  I wore my watch, but I didn’t turn it on.  I had a basic goal time, but I was going to run strong, as I promised my brother.

I felt myself start to waiver at Mile 4, so I briefly walked at the aid station to swish some water around my mouth.  After that, I was able to push and get the job done.

Joe Spatafore was waiting for me at the Finish Line and I could tell by his facial expression, he had PR’d!  He PR’d at the Tinkerbell Half and now, at the Disneyland 10k!  He has worked so hard and I am honored to be a part of his racing journey.  I love coaching him!  See picture below:

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Joe was text tracking me, so I could know my time, right away.  I had a 1:30 PR and 4th in my AG – Go figure!  I promised my brother a strong race, and I gave him a shiny new PR.  (He loves green dragons, that’s why I have a green dragon charm on my shoe).  **UPDATE** I was informed by RunDisney, I earned 3rd in my AG (not 4th) as the original 3rd place was a man (verified by race photos). 

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We waited for my husband.  He struggled to finish and I thought he needed more carbs, since we had been on our feet for the last day and half.  We had a great breakfast at a quiet place in Downtown Disney.  I want away from the crowds very quickly during Disney events (I am hot, sweaty and hungry) so this was perfect.

Afterwards, we headed to Hollywood.  My husband has never been to Hollywood Blvd. We didn’t stay there too long.  If you have been to Hollywood Blvd recently, you know how awful it is.

Back to the hotel for rest and get ready for the Half Marathon day.

 

HALF MARATHON RACE DAY

Today, hubby and I would run the half marathon together. We have run 5k’s and 10k’s, but this is our first Half, together.  I made us Mouseketeer costumes and I wore a running skirt!

We started about 30 minutes after gun time (his corral, not mine) and by Mile 2, he was struggling.  By Mile 4, I knew he would not reach his PR goals, so I shut off my watch and told him, that we are strolling the rest of the way.  He ran when he could, but we spent the most of this race walking and enjoying the sights.  My favorite is the muscle car alley.  Over 400 cars.  Here I am with one of my favorite cars.

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Here we are at Anaheim Stadium home plate.

 

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Here I am in front of Small World.  (My hip is in such a weird position, my stomach looks like I am 5 months pregnant.  haha)

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Our picture at Mile 11-12.

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We got through to the finish and completed our 3rd Dumbo Double! This is my husband’s only running event, every year – so he was pretty excited to be Perfectly Dumbo.

We met up with Joe Spatatore for brunch and then headed home.

Avengers is only 2 months away, and I cannot wait.  Brother should be walking crutchless by then and possibly even jogging.  It is my birthday month, so I will spend a day in the park – celebrating my birthday.

Looking forward to the Fall/Winter racing season!

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite
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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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What Is the Race Director Responsible For? | Look At The Registration Terms

In recent years, we have seen an influx of cancelled races.  I get it, putting on a race is very costly and sometimes it doesn’t work out, as one plans.  However, I will never promote nor advertise a race unless I have the permit in hand.  Ever.  I won’t take a penny of anyone’s money in the hopes I will get a permit.  As a runner, I have often phoned permitting authorities to see if there is a permit in place or not.  I have caught 2 races as shams, who never had a permit.  Saved me a ton of money.

However, this past weekend brings up a bigger question – how much is a RD liable for when the race goes astray?  If the weather changes and they cancel due to safety, are they liable for anything?   This past weekend, the Revel Rockies in Colorado was dealt a horrible blow to their race.  Apparently, the bus company delivered approximately 50% of the 52 buses promised.  The RD was forced to cancel the Half Marathon and deal with the backlash.  (I was not registered to run this race, but I have several friends who were there).

The RD has taken full responsibility and is offering a full refund or a deferment of the registration to another one of their races.  What more can they do?  Here is their FB post on Monday morning.

RevelRockies

Some out of town runners are screaming they want reimbursement of their travel and more.  I do not get that complaint, at all.  Is this fair?  Well, as a runner and as a RD, I will say that it is never the RD’s responsibility to absorb travel costs, regardless of who is at fault.  That is assumed when you register for a race.  How and where I stay in an out of town hotel is my choice, not dictated by the RD.

While I know it is frustrating, I have lost several races and lost a ton of travel money.  I had a bad fall at an out of town race, which caused me to miss several races.  I could blame the RD for having the course on a pot hill road and I should ask them to pay for my travel expenses for other missed races, but that’s just nuts.

I commend the Revel Rockies RD for doing what they can and not putting their head in the sand, as many other RD’s have done – or better yet point fingers and say “oh well”.  I think the runners should take into account what Revel Rockies will be going through.  At the end of the day, there are more races to tackle and I believe Revel Rockies did all they could.  Let’s all take a step back and breathe, okay?

I believe that justice will prevail and I wish nothing but the best to the Revel RD.  Let’s build them up, not tear them down, okay?  They are not at fault and should not be the direction of the runner’s wrath.  Until I see different facts, the problem is the bus company, not the RD. 

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
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Summer Training | True Test of Your Will & Spirit

Greetings from Las Vegas (in the middle of the Summer)!

Say the words “Las Vegas” to anyone who does not live here and the typical response is “ugh!  It’s so HOT there!”

Yes, we know, we live here.

Does dry heat make a difference?  It does for me.  I lived in the horribly humid Nashville, TN for 9 years and I can handle Las Vegas heat over humidity, any day.

MYTH:  we do not have 120F temps year round, only for a few weeks during the year.  In the AM, I am running in 80 degree weather.  On my long run it was 75F when I walked out the door.  It spikes very quickly in the triple digits, but typically it hovers around 105F, most of the Summer.

Last year was my worst Summer training, ever.  I was training for the Big Cottonwood Marathon in September and it is blistering downhill. The only way I could make it happen, was to train in the Summer.

exhausted runner

I approached last year’s Summer training as wisely as I could.  I fell apart by end of July, despite my plans.  August was an awful training month for me, awful awful.  This year, I am approaching Summer training differently.  I have tweaked to know what works and what does not.  I might have to get up at 3am or 4am to get a run in, but it keeps me from mentally falling apart when the temp’s start to rise.

I don’t believe in pushing myself to unhealthy extreme’s, either.  My core temperature rises to very high levels if I am running in the sunshine and temps over 80F.  I recently ran a 5k and I thought I was going to faint at the end.  It’s just how my body is and I am not going to force it to change.

So, how does the Summer test you (and me)?  Naturally our body slows down.  That means our paces will probably not be where they want them to be.  My solution? I don’t wear a watch.  This morning, I did my speed work.  No watch, I just ran as fast as I could.  I knew if I looked at my watch, I would get frustrated.  I focused on my form and keeping my pace.  I walked away from my training feeling solid, not “what just happened out there?”

Another solution, I map out my runs before I go.  That way, I don’t have to turn on my watch.  I do wear a watch, because it has my RoadID, but I rarely turn it on.  I save my watch for race day.

Summer training tests you on how bad you want your goals.  Somewhere, down deep we realize that we must train in the summer if we want to achieve our Fall racing goals, no matter the distance.

I am like any other runner, I have moments when I want to quit and stop.  There are times, I have to walk as I can feel my heart rate elevate to high levels.  Yet, one thing is constant – each time I step out that door for a training run, I keep my end goal on my mind.  It is the only way, I will keep moving.

I will visualize accomplishing that goal.  I will talk to myself about that goal.  I Summer is another pathway for me to get there.  If I don’t make my goal, I know I gave it all I had and I would rather of tried than regret.

How about you?  How are you getting through the Summer?  Please share this blog post on Twitter and FB with your tips for Summer training.

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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Disneyland/Dumbo Double Dare Race Medals Are Revealed | Diamond Celebration

Yesterday, the long awaited 10th Anniversary Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare medals were revealed.

Medals

The 10k theme is the Evil Queen (I think this medal is much nicer than last year’s Stitch medal).  It appears the Kids 5k Medal is the Fairy Godmother’s from Sleeping Beauty and the 5k is the Classic Disney characters.

Of course, the Double Dumbo follows the same design as previous years.

As far as the Half Marathon medal, I will admit when I saw it, I was “eh“.  I have seen the Diamond Celebration (60th anniversary) merchandise and it is over the top and I didn’t feel it was the same “oomph” as other 60th anniversary items.  I miss the (big) Classic D medal, that is classic Disneyland to me.

However, I am not saying I hate it, I was initially underwhelmed. 

Another picture revealed the back side and it is a spinner.  That’s a nice touch, of course!  It is Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, so I understand the Diamond shape.  I really do. 

Half Spinner

The medal is growing on me, but in the end – I could care less if I receive a medal.  (Do I hear a gasp from the community?).   When I first started racing, I would not go near a race, even a 5k if I did not receive a medal.  I understand the importance of a medal, I really do.   Years later, I race for the experience and to reach my goals.  When I raced my first race, the most emotional moment was when I received my medal.  To this day – it is my most prized medal in my collection. 

This will be my 4th year to race Disneyland and I am sure I will value my medals, as I do my others.

Here is a photo of my office and I am sure my DL medals will have a special place, as always.

Medal wall

See you at Disneyland in September!

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 | 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
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here