Introducing the FAB-O PRIZE package winner!

My thanks the THOUSANDS of entries for the $800 prize package I offered on my blog in December.  The winner was selected, randomly by Rafflcopter.


The winner is……

Paula Varble in car

*Paula Varble of Indiana!*

Twitter:  @pvarble1


As we await the shipment of all the exciting products to her door step, she has given me permission to share her story with you. 

“Probably the thing I love to share the most is I’m a past dog hater turned absolutely in love with my ten pound little Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix) whom we adopted three years ago.We have been married 4 1/2 years and he is our only “baby”.


Paula Varble

I have one brother who is 13 months older than me but since he was held back in first grade people always thought we were twins.

I love fitness and nutrition and at the age of 40 I finally found my passion last year. I just completed my nutrition course and will be testing soon to become a certified professional nutrition coach. After ten years of being an Administrative Assistant for a local college, I’d love to one day turn my passion of nutrition into a full-time job.

My facebook page, Get Fierce!Fitness, is and my website is

Jesus is my anchor, so in it all and through it all, He gets me through the tough times in life.” – Paula


Congratulations Paula,I cannot wait to hear you have received all your goodies!


Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by and KT Tape
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
*Founder, Running Troops
Certified Running Coach & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


My Altra Shoe Review | One2’s

I am not stranger to Altra shoes, but I have not paid attention.  Following my blog, you know I am brand loyal. I have worn the same style of racing shoes since 2012.  I had a few months were I tried another brand and quickly moved back to my original brand.

In the past, I have to wear Men’s style.  My toe box needs are wider than the average female shoe, plus Men’s color of shoes are more my liking.  I

As you know, I was an invited blogger to the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in PA, in October.  One of the many wonderful gifts was a pair of Altra shoes.  I received mine days before the trip, so I had not tested them out on a run.

Back it up a bit.  I am surrounded by Altra lovers, but still I thought they were for trails, only.  My brother ran the Disney 5k in them, that’s doable in trail shoes.  I have friends who swear by them, but they are 100% trail runners. So, I never entertained the thought of looking into them and besides I was happy with my current shoes.

I tried on the shoes, and my toes were happy.  Much wider, but I was not convinced I would like these shoes.  I wore them to the first day of blogger duties and after listening to Golden Harper (who is the founder of Altra shoes) on his philosophy of a foot-shaped shoe and zero drop, I had to speak with further about my road racing goals.

My goals are to BQ in 2015 but to increase my speed so I need a shoe that can serve both.  I learned he designed the One2’s for marathons but they are great for speed.  I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Golden switched me to a women’s shoe and a size bigger than I typically wear.  And they are purple.  I love purple, but on shoes?  At that point, I didn’t care.


Altra One2

One slip into my newly fitted, I had found my new shoes!  They say you find when you are not looking. That was me. I had no intentions of leaving my shoe brand.  I have been a faithful user since 2012 and I was happy.

For the first time in 4 years of running, my foot felt relaxed. I was almost giddy with excitement.

Since that time, I have trained exclusively in my One2’s.  I feel lighter but more supported.  I feel my feel are doing what they do best, relax.  It took me a few days to transition, since I wear minimalist anyways.  The hardest part was to relax my toes and let them splay.

A few days after wearing my One2’s I put on my old training shoes and I felt like I was wrapped in an ace bandage and I said, “ouch!”

I have not worn my previous brand for running, since that time.

This past weekend, I ran the Disneyland Inaugural Half Marathon in Anaheim, CA.  If you have not heard, we had to tackle the fury of Santa Ana winds.  Staying upright was often impossible and yet, I was able to keep myself running and foot planted the entire way.  Through the winds, flying debris and dust I was able to pull of a 3rd in my Age Group, when I typically finish in the Top 15 in my AG.  This was my best Disney finish, ever!

How did my feet feel?  Incredible.  Despite the leg pain I experienced from being tossed around by the wind, my feet felt great.  I was able to tackle the inclines (on my toes) with ease.  That was not possible in my previous shoes.  Having a wider toe box has proved to be the winning ticket for me.

Here I am in my One2’s at the end of the race. (I am waving at my mom and brother) and again with my brother, post race.  You can see he is wearing his green Altra’s.



Thank you Golden Harper for fitting me with these shoes and I look forward to a long and successful relationship with your brand.  P.S. I am hoping Santa brings me another pair!


Have you tried the Altra shoes?  If so, what was your experience?


*Although I received a complimentary pair of Altra shoes, the opinions are mine and not influenced by Altra, Runner’s World or any other source.


Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by, KT Tape and Island Boost
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
Certified Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here

My #RWHalf Thank You’s

As my last blog post for the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival, I would like to focus on who made this event what is is for me and countless others.

Laura Beachy & David Tratner –  The incredible PR team of Runner’s World. They pull out all the stops to make this event and exceptional one for the bloggers and any other person in attendance.  Through their constant exhaustion and I am sure stress, they were kind, gracious and most importantly, professional.

To my fellow bloggers –  I joined a team of 15+ other bloggers (mostly from the East or MidWest, I believe).  I enjoyed hearing about your blogging and athletic stories. I hope our paths cross, again soon.

Katie Foster – my hotel roommate.  It takes a special person to room with ole me. And she did. 

Bart Yasso – The Mayor of Running. What can I say about you, that has not been said before?  We are blessed to have you in our lives.

To the sponsors –  Your generosity was overwhelming. Thank you for all you gave and offered us.  I look forward to working with you in the near future.

To Runner’s World staff and Editors – what an amazing group of people you are!  Thank you for your hospitality and always going above and beyond to make each and every person feel special.

Finally, my brother, Kirk Buckley – you sacrificed so much to be with me this weekend, just so you could experience a little of my work/blogging world.  I am so proud of you and I am glad we had this weekend together. 

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Day 1: Arrival at RW’s Half Festival in Bethlehem, PA

For the second time, I was invited to be a part of a Runner’s World event, as an official blogger.  You may recall, I was a part of the RW HeartbreakHill Festival (Boston, MA) blogging team in June.

This past weekend, I participated in the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, PA.  As an added bonus, my brother chose to fly into PA to be a registered racer for the hat trick!  I was excited to go to PA, as I have never been there.  I have several friends from PA and wanted to see a taste of what they knew, so well.

Arriving at the Philadelphia airport, my fellow bloggers, Dani, Matt, Katie F. & myself drove to our hotel in Bethlehem, PA.  Without traffic, it is typically 1.5 hours.  We hit traffic on the way to the hotel, but it gave us a chance to catch up with each other, since our Heartbreak Hill Festival in June.  Katie F. was my hotel roommate for the weekend.

Upon arriving at the hotel and after check-in, we were whisked away to Rodale Communications HQ, where we were warmly greeted by the staff.  Of course, I was asked (as a joke), “any cardboard boxes this time?”

That is a story that will forever follow me, won’t it? (insert joke)


After our wonderful dinner at the Rodale cafeteria, we were officially welcomed by Editor-in-Chief, David Willey and the Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso


From there, we were on our way to tour HQ.  This is the heartbeat of Runner’s World, I was very excited to see the office and it’s set up.


First, we stopped in the prayer/solitude room.  Bart Yasso had an official Native American name for it, but it escapes me at the moment.




We were taken upstairs to see the art department and various office.  Of course, Bart’s office was a BIG hit with the blogger group.  His office is lined up with race memorabilia from all his decades of racing.




Several stops in the Art Department to see the past, present & future issues in the works.


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Next up – the Social Media department.  Yea, my heart was happy to be here. RW does an excellent job in their social media department.


After floating through more offices and listening to what David and Bart had to say, we made our way outside (by now, it’s dark and rather nippy for this desert dweller.  Glad I bought a hoodie).


We roasted marshmallows and some of the bloggers ate s’mores.




From HQ, we were bused back to our hotel.  Shortly after I arrived in my hotel room, Katie texted me to ask if I would come down to the hotel lounge for a bit.  Although, I am not a drinker – nor do I frequent bars, I was happy to come down and chat with the other bloggers for a bit.  Spent about an hour chatting with Kristin from Fit Bottomed Girls.  What a great person to chat with, I enjoyed her conversation very much.

Finally, my head and body were just too tired, I had to get to bed.  The next day was officially Day1 of our blogger duties & I had a feeling we were in for some big surprises.

I would like to introduce you to the blogging team.  Full of athletic talent, social media savvy and all around happy people.  Our pictures, made into two collages:









Their blog/websites (in alpha order, by their first names)

Ali from Ali on the Run
Aliah from The Get Fit Diva
Beth from Shut Up And Run
Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders
Dick from Better Cheaper Slower
Doug from Rock Creek Runner
Jamie from From Couch To Ironwoman
Katie from Runs for Cookies
Katie from Ms Fit Runner
Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls
Lauren from The Foodie Runner
Matt from No Meat Athlete
Presley from Run Pretty
Sarah from Picky Runner

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*Disclaimer:   I was an invited guest blogger to the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, PA.  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.