RACE RECAP: Pumpkinman 5k | This Was a Surprise

It’s been awhile since I posted a race recap and thought I would start with the BBSC Endurance Racing Pumpkinman 2016 in Boulder City, NV

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Last year, my brother was still in his post-op recovery and walked the 5k.  It took him 45 minutes to complete his 5k (walking), he could run a 10k faster than 45 minutes.  He was frustrated and I could see his patience was wearing thin.   It didn’t help that I earned a 3rd place Overall and I knew he was feeling left out of the festivities of getting an OV award.

Fast forward to this year.  What a difference a year makes!

Last year, I was still trying to grab onto what Meniere’s Disease was doing to my body and how it was going to affect my running.  This year, I came into this race with zero expectations.  I was lucky to be able to run 3 miles a day, for 3 days in a row. The disease had run havoc on my body within the past 6 months.  This would of marked my 5th run day in a row, I was excited to see if my body would allow me to run 5 days in a row.

Last year, I earned the 3rd OV.  I laughed at that possibility, this year. Seriously, laughed.  It was not happening.  I was going to be jumping for joy if I finished the race with no walk breaks and did not pass out at the finish line.

I opted to go a little Halloween on my outfit.  A skeleton singlet, black skirt (yes, you read that right – A SKIRT), a black choker and Sugar Skull headband.  Of course, I had black compression socks and my new black Altra One 2.5’s to round out the outfit.

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I will admit I was feeling very body conscience in that outfit. The singlet was way slimming (aka tight) and I was in a skirt.  But, I seem to muddle through those body shaming thoughts before the race start.

My plan was to run the 5k (bro was running the 10k).  After a warm up and the traditional start or finish line selfie, I was ready to get on the road.

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The 10k and 5k started at the same time and I saw a number of women ahead of me going towards the 5k turn around. Not until the turn around do you have any idea who is running what distance.  My breathing was rather labored, but that is expected and I have resided that 1.5-2.5 are the hardest points for me to run in a 5k.

As I came up on the turn around, I saw one and then two gals turn back up. They were 1st and 2nd place obviously. Then, there were 3 gals ahead of me also turning around.  3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. However, as soon as I turned I could see it was a mother and her two young daughters and they had already were worn out. They sprinted the first half and had nothing left, I think.  Not wanting to chance anything, I bolted past them and realized I was now coming up on the incline (of the decline at the beginning to the race). I told myself to put as much distance between the gals and me, as they might catch me on the incline.  I was going for the 3rd place and if my head could stay upright I had a shot.

Climbing to 2.5 I really, REALLY wanted to walk.  I mean, REALLY.  I was scared if I pushed too hard I would be kissing pavement very soon.  I really wanted to look behind me to see who was there, but I didn’t.  I knew that once I changed my focus, I would lose my balance.

I found myself getting closer and closer to 2nd place, but I didn’t feel compelled to push any harder.  OV to me was great, well – standing upright was such a huge accomplishment, I didn’t want to blow it.

Crossing the finish line, I was standing!  Breathing hard, but standing.  I finally looked at my watch after 30 seconds of standing there and realized I had not turned it off.  It was just ticking past 25 minutes. Which meant I was under 25 minutes?  No way, I decided to wait for the official results.

That’s impossible on this hilly course. A week before, I did a 26.54 on a flat course.  So, I went to the timing table. BBSC Endurance Running has this coolest timing feature.  Key in your bib number and it gives you a print out of your time, place and pace.  Poof!

My first print out had me as First OV and a pace of 168:11 per minute.  haha!

I told Alex, their wonderful timing guy to fix and made my way to get some water and get back to the finish line, I wanted to video tape the bro finishing up. This was a big deal race for him, so I wanted to catch that moment.

I knew JJ Santana would win the 10k, and I was pretty sure that Bro would be in the Top 3.  My hope is he would finish in sub40, that would be awesome.

At the 37 minute mark, I could see him coming up that last incline towards the finish.  He crossed the line at 38:##!

I finished in 24:26.  16 seconds away from a PR and I was worried about standing upright. Thank you to my body for cooperating!

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(Due to the sun facing the podium and casting shadows, we decided to do some creative poses on the podiums.)

In addition, we wore created special bibs to show our support for Craig Trainor who tragically lost his legs in a freak automobile accident this year.  He is a valued member of the BBSC family and we wanted to show our support to his recovery.

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Our traditional post race Finish Line selfie with a beautiful Uhaul truck in the background (thanks, Bro)

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All in all, it was a solid race and I couldn’t be more grateful that my body allowed me to do this race, not only to finish strong but to earn another shinny bling.

Thank you BBSC Endurance Running, Boulder City, Nevada for your hospitality, my brother, my husband and the incredible people in my life who reminded me through the many months of this dreaded disease that I still had speed and muscle left in me.  I ran for you and because of you, I finished.

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Fueling before:  Glukos Energy Lemon chewable tablets

During the race:  RunGum Cinnamon flavor

Post race:  RobKellerMD.com Original Glutatione Formula capsules

Outfit:

Black skeleton singlet (sorry, I cannot remember where I bought it.  It was awhile ago)

Black Zoot running skirt

Black compression socks from Amazon

Black Altra Running One 2.5’s

Sugar Skull headband from Amazon

Black KT Tape for knee support

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fab-running-logo Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com and KT Tape
*Ambassador for RunGum
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My Fight with Meniere’s Disease

It’s never easy to allow yourself to be vulnerable and let others know about a personal secret, but I feel the timing is right and I hope it can help someone else in the same situation.

What many of my followers do not know is I am legally hard of hearing (almost deaf) in my left year.  As a child I suffered horrible ear infections and in 1983 I suffered a strike to my head from my then boyfriend, which resulted in further inner ear damage.  My habit I will always turn my right ear to someone when they are speaking to me.  If you are on my left, I might heard sounds, but I cannot understand a word you are saying.

Through my life I have also suffered from ringing of the ears and fluid in my ears.  At times, it caused some dizziness and disorientation but no Dr gave me any reason to believe it was a great problem as it was “normal” with what happened in my youth.

Then on the fateful morning of Big Cottonwood Marathon, my life took a dramatic turn. It’s no secret I suffered the most heart breaking marathon of my career.  No matter what I said to anyone, very few people could understand nor accept what I had gone through that morning.  Finishing the race was not success to me, I failed at my goal.

The bigger problem was what happened in that race.  I was dizzy, I hyper ventilated, I even had moments I don’t remember.  I felt like my body was under attack.  Many said I suffered elevation sickness but it was so much more than that!  I had felt the same way when I ran a few other races, including a marathon in 2014.

A week after BCW, my ears and head were hurting so bad I had to get to the Dr.  I could feel the pressure in my ears like never before. The ringing was so loud, I couldn’t hear myself think.  This was not elevation sickness.  One week after BCW, I couldn’t run 1 mile without my knees buckling from underneath me from a dilly spell.  Something was horribly wrong and I had no clue.

After consulting with a Dr and ruling out some other factors it was clear what was going on, I had Meniere’s Disease.  (Click here for the Mayo Clinic page) For those who do not know what is it, it is an auto-immune disease unknown cause affecting the membranous labyrinth of the ear, causing progressive deafness and attacks of tinnitus and vertigo.  Auto-immune symptoms can also include excessive water retention (which I had been suffering and why you will see pictures of me with a puffy face), altered vision (which came and went), ear pain (all the time), fatigue (yep!) and muscle soreness (yep, and it wasn’t from running).

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Looking at my treatment options I knew I could not take the prescribed Xantax for vertigo. The side affects and long term damage would cause my life to turn upside down.  I researched other treatments and found several.  The bad news is I would have to tough it out for many months if not years, with my chosen treatment.

From September to November, I struggled to run.  I mean, REALLY struggled to run.  My longest run was 8.5 before a dizzy attack the week before Avengers Half.  Luckily, I suffered a very small dizzy spell at Mile 9 but had a great race (and even ran the RnRLV 10k that night).

The holistic treatments were working and I was seeing my physician at least once a month to chart my progress.  I wasn’t as bloated as before and I could feel my energy coming back.  From Nov-Feb I was dizzy spell free.  Until the later part of February when I had small dizzy spell in my kitchen.  A week or so later, I suffered 2 dizziness spells during the Hot Chocolate 15k.

This is the animal of Meniere’s disease.  It can happen anywhere and at any time.  Eventually it will go away but the risk of complete deafness is very high.  My main concern is dizzy spells and when it will happen next.  There are many theories what will bring it on, but I am beginning to learn to catch the warning signs before the world starts spinning.

This is not a death sentence but certainly it has altered the course of my life and my running.  I interact with many with MD and I am so fortunate I am not totally disabled.  Yet, I also have learned that nutrition and exercise are a vital part of the treatment plan.  While I can get dizzy during a run, the health effects of not keeping healthy will take it’s toll on me.

I share this story with you because March is National Auto-Immune Disease Awareness Month.  This is not who I am, but it is part of my life.  There are those who think I have gained weight (up and down).  Untrue, that is the water retention happening in my body.  There are times people have noticed I am a lot more tired than before. That is true.  I have my good days and bad days, but I approach each day with anticipation it will be a good day!  As of this writing – 2 days ago I suffered two vertigo attacks.  Today, I ran 4 miles and felt wonderful, but I am suffering with water retention again.

I hope this helps someone who is struggling with MD.  You do NOT have to sit at home and suffer, in fact – get out and move.  It might be hard at first, but your body will thank you!

Wishing you all good health!

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