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


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

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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

 


Runner’s #1 Addiction | It is not Finisher Medals

While we all love to cross the Finish Line and receive the medal, to signify our accomplishment.  Better yet, to receive an Overall or AG award sweetens the pot.

Yet, runner’s have an addiction, and we are not ashamed to show the world.  Our shoes!  A runner can often be identified by the type of shoes.  Each brand appears to have their own culture and style of runners.  Advertising works, huh?

After Meb won the Boston Marathon 2014, I know many runners chose to switch to Skechers.  After the recent USATF World Championship controversy, many opted to not run in Nike’s.

Yet, the is the not the addiction. The addiction is we don’t want to let go of our shoes, right?  I am a self-proclaimed organizing and de-clutter freak.  I keep what I need and want is truly sentimental.  One would never call me a hoarder or pack rat.  Yet, the day I realized my first pair of Brook’s were done, I remember looking at them and gazing. These were the shoes I ran my first endurance race in 2010. These were the shoes that brought me my first Overall awards.  So many memories, but I still parted with them and donated them to charity.

In 2014, 4 years after running with Brooks, I was asked to test out the Altra Running shoes.  You may remember my experience from the Runner’s World Half Marathon in Bethlehem, PA.  Click Here.

After that experience, I knew it was time to say goodbye to Brooks.  It was like saying goodbye to an old friend.  Yet, Altra had the design I was looking for, a foot-shaped shoe, less cushion and zero drop.

My feet have not run in anything since October 2014.  In fact, I have 4 pairs, but I do not run in all of them.

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Pair 1, purple – was my first pair of Altra’s.  (One 2’s) – they are now my errand or house cleaning shoes

Pair 2, purple – my recently retired racing and running shoes

Pair 3 (middle pair) – my Intuitions. I wear them on my easy run days

Pair 4 – my new One 2.5’s. (color:  sprite)  I wear them on my speed, long runs and racing days.

 

One may wonder if I am connected with the company and is this a paid endorsement?  Nope.  While I did receive a complimentary pair at Runner’s World – the remaining pairs are paid for and by my choice.  I am not a Sponsored Athlete nor an Ambassador of Altra Running.

 

Ironically, when people find out I wear Altra’s.  I am asked “you run trails”  or “you run ultra distances?”  While I have run some trails, I am not a trail runner.  I love the road.  Ultra marathons are not something I am looking to run, any time soon.  It’s a shame that more road racers do not wear Altra’s, they are missing out.  My entire family wears them, including my speedo brother.

I am a road racer and runner and wearing Altra’s have given me a chance to improve my form and speed.  I was able to PR by 19 minutes on my marathon in January.  A PR I have been chasing for 3 years.

I have zero plans or desire to move away from Altra shoes.  If you have not looked into Altra’s, I recommend you do.  www.AltraRunning.com

Run Fab,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite
~Why My Blog Comments Are Closed – Click Here
~Blog Disclaimer – Click Here


FAB-O Give Time | Over $800 Worth of Prizes To One Winner!

What a great time to offer a giveaway! 

For the next week, I will be collecting entries for ONE big, FAB-O prize giveaway.  ONE FAB-O friend will receive the prize package – will it be YOU?

You may keep them for yourself, give as gifts or whatever you please.

To repeat – ONE winner receives ALL the prizes listed below!  The more you enter the better your chances to win.

So, let’s get to it – the list of the prizes and their suggested retail value!

  • altra-runningAltra Shoes (your choice of shoe, up to $120).  yes, THE shoes I have been raving about for the past few months and many of you love, love, love! Their trademark, foot-shaped shoe will not do you wrong.
  • iFitiFit Active Band – Okay, gizmo friends. This is the band for you! Tracking, calories, a buzzer to remind you to get out of your chair and more ($129.99) Winner receives one band.
  • A yoga and recovery package ($100) pictures below:
Yoga Mat

LOTUS Yoga bag

Block

LOTUS Yoga Grip Block

Resistance Band

Gold’s Gym Multi Faceted Resistance Band

Massage Stick

Gold’s Gym Massage Stick

Foam Roller

Gold’s Gym Foam Roller

Alignment Mat

LOTUS Alignment Yoga Mat

  • AIDRobKellerMD.com Immune Defense.  This will boost up your immunity and help you fight off those nasty bugs.  I have had 2 head colds in 5 years.  ($29.95)
  • AlliedAllied Medal Hanger “Always Earned, Never Given” medal rack. This is the only medal rack that myself and my brother will have.  Quality and classy. ($50.00)
  • Island BoostIsland Boost 30 pack.  The winner will receive an assortment of my premium fueling of choice.  ($69.00).
  • KT TapeKT Tape.  We all have seen it and most likely have tried it.  Here is your chance to have a container of black KT Tape. ($19.95)
  • Running SkirtsRunning Skirts Gift Card – ($75).  While I don’t wear skirts, they are my favorite brand of shirts and compression socks.
  • HHMHollywood Half Marathon.  How would you like to run down the famous Hollywood Blvd onto a red carpet finish.  Pictured:  previous years finisher medals.  Winner receives a free Half Marathon entry ($95).
  • dESERT dASHDesert Dash Trail Runs Gift Card.  You love trails?  Have you experienced what Las Vegas has to offer?  Run a Desert Dash event, and you will be hooked! ($50)

PRIZE PACKAGE Value:  OVER $800…and one winner receives ALL the prizes!  You enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.  The prize package is available to any US resident, only.  Must be 18 years or older to enter. Void where prohibited. 

Winner will be selected on Tuesday, December 13th at 9am PST.  The winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to reply to the email.  Failure to reply with your name & current mailing address will result in forfeiture of the prize package and another name will be drawn. 

Many, many thanks to the generosity of all of the companies who are offering prizes for this giveaway.  Be sure to click on their link to check out their websites!

Good luck to all the FAB-O friends, I cannot wait to see who is the BIG winner! Giveaway period ends on Friday, December 12, 2014 at 12midnight, PST.

ENTER HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, 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


What’s Happening at FAB Running in November | Big News Coming!

It’s November and it feels so odd to even type that!  It feels like just yesterday it was the middle of the summer and I was suffering from the heat.  I am glad those days are behind me (for now).

 

I thought I would give you and overview of what is happening behind the scenes at FAB Running!

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Check out the 5k medal! (The 11k medal is larger)

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First up – this Sunday, 11/09.  I am back in the Race Director saddle as the Las Vegas RD for the National Veteran’s Day 11k, 5k and 1 mile Fun Run.  This is the fourth year of our the Las Vegas event and the first year they have asked me to direct the race.  I have been working very closely with the national office to ensure this event is enjoyable and eventual for all!  My goal is to celebrate our Veterans, their families and our freedom.

  • Mark Jones is coming in from San Diego as our race announcer and DJ.  You will know him from many southern CA events like Awesome 80’s, Hollywood Half, Costume Party Run and more.  An added bonus, is Mark is a Marine veteran.
  • My brother, Kirk Buckley will be the lead bike for the 11k.  A great athlete and an Air Force Veteran.
  • We have a special surprise for you, for the National Anthem! 

——> If you have not already registered, be sure to do so. We are expected to sell out within the next day or two.  CLICK HERE

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After the Veteran’s Day Run, I will be getting ready to head out to the Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland.  While I am not a super hero fan, per se – I could not pass up a Half Marathon close to my birthday and at Disneyland.  I will not be wearing a costume as I hope to have a good paced race and frankly, I just don’t have the time nor focus to create another costume.  I will be in my traditional Team Super Hero Elite kit, so I will be in the right them.

After Avengers a dear friend and I are spending a few days in DL.  It’s no secret I LOVE Disneyland and for the first time, I am going to celebrate my birthday in the park. While my birthday is around Thanksgiving, this will be my celebration.  After going to the park over 50 times, I think it’s time to do it on my birthday.  I look forward to laughs, pin trading and girl time.

I cannot wait to wear a Disneyland HAPPY BIRTHDAY button!

Happy Birthday button

 

So, what’s my big news? A FAB-O GIVEAWAY! 

 

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I will be launching a giveaway on December 1st,  that will blow you away.  No, really it will!

As of this writing (subject to change) I will be offering a prize package of:

  • Altra Running Shoes (I will be posting my shoe review, after Avengers Half)
  • iFit Active Band
  • Joe Weider Fitness Gear
  • Lotus Yoga Gear
  • Island Boost Fueling Package
  • KT Tape
  • RobKellerMD.com OGF supplements
  • Hollywood Half Marathon race registration (Hollywood, CA)
  • Desert Dash race registration (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Runner’s World Cookbook
  • Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners
  • Shakeology Package

 

The retail value is over $500!  How would you like to have this under your Christmas Tree or give as gifts? 

Be sure to follow my blog to enter the contest.  The more you tweet & share – the better your chances.

Stay tuned until December 1st!

Any race plans for November?

What prize is the most exciting to you? 


Day 4 of RWHalf & Festival: Half Marathon Day!

Recap:

Day 1 – Arrival Day and Rodale/Runner’s World HQ Tour

Day 2, Part 1 – Run, Yoga & Food

Day 2, Part 2 – Kid’s Races!

Day 3 – 5k, 10k and Being with my Brother

I woke up at 12midnight to horrible rib pain.  I walked down the hotel hallways and bagged up some ice.  By 2am, it wasn’t any better and I decided to get up and get my racing kit ready and to keep moving. For some reason, laying down (in any position) was bothering my ribs. By now, walking was painful.  I guess the 5k hurt me more, than I realized.

At 2am, I discovered my Half Marathon bib was missing.  It was not in my Half Marathon gear bag, I had a different bag for the 5k.  For a few moments I was worried and then, I realized 1) My ribs are hurting way too bad, that will hinder my ability to breathe  2) the Bib is missing and should I make RW Public Relations jump through hoops to get me another bib.

My answer was:  not race the Half.  I knew in my heart of heart, that my rib issue would cause me more grief and I couldn’t risk it. I was very disappointed, as I felt I could redeem myself on this Half.

I got dressed (in my jeans & hoodie).  I waited until I knew the Bro was awake and I texted him the news. Naturally he was disappointed, but since he saw the damage of my BCW marathon falls in September, he felt I made the right choice.

I walked to the Sands Hotel & Casino and it was COLD! I was so glad I bought this hoodie at the Vegas airport.  While I am not a hoodie type of person, I was this weekend!

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Found Bro and we had a our FREEZING IN PA picture

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Bro’s same goal:  sub7 pace.  I think he had it in him, as this course had hills (his specialty).

Race Start:

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After the start, I made my way into the Casino outlet mall for some warm coffee. Around the 1:05 mark, I started to head to the Finish.  I was immediately passed by the Overall Winner and realized it was the same winner as the 10k.

It was great to watch the top group come in. A few of my fellow blogger-mates came in on the front pack.  One of our bloggers is an Olympic-trials qualifier!

I expected Bro to finish around 1:35 and then…in the distance, I could see him.  I looked at the clock and realized that a sub 1:30 was within his grasp. I started screaming and yelling to kick.

He crossed the finish in 1:29:## – another sub7 race! 

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He could not wait until the awards ceremony, as he had to get back to hotel. They would not give him a late check out, not even by an hour.

I waited and he earned 2nd in his AG!  3 awards in 3 races!  The man pulled off a Hat Trick!

I ran back to my hotel to get ready and leave for the airport.  In hand, was his 2nd place AG plaque.  I was determined to get it to him, soon.

Our original plans was to have the same flight home. But his connector to Philly was delayed and it messed us all up.  I came into Vegas sooner than he did.  Hubby and I went back to pick him up and to give him his plaque. A few days later, he came to my house and I was able to get photos with all his awards.  This is my favorite.

Kirk

This was such an exceptional weekend!  Many have asked if I like this better than my Heartbreak Hill Boston trip.  It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Different city, different people, different bloggers, different vibe.  I truly, truly enjoyed both and would go back to both or either of them, again and again.  If I lived closer, I would of registered for them, already.

Runner’s World hosts exceptional events. Racers giving it their all, no matter their finish times.  Even though I was there to work as a member of the blogging team, I had a blast, learned so much from the sponsors and other exhibitors.  It’s a memory that Bro and I will keep in our hearts for a long time.  I posted over 50 photos on my Instagram – go check them out @ladybug_runner

Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.

*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.

 

 


Day 3 of #RWHalf: 5k, 10k and Being with My Brother

Recap:

Day 1 – Arrival Day and Rodale/Runner’s World HQ Tour

Day 2, Part 1 – Run, Yoga & Food

Day 2, Part 2 – Kid’s Races!

I woke up with much excitement.  I knew I would be seeing my brother this AM.  We had hoped to connect the night before, but his plane arrived so late and our hotels were 3 miles apart.  Since we did not know the area, we didn’t know if it would be safe to walk, in the dark to see each other.

Katie F. and I left the hotel, with plenty of time to spare. It was a quick and crisp walk.  Dropping off my bag at gear check, I could see my brother walking my direction.  Soon, we were hugging each other and I felt a complete sense of relief to know he was there.

We started our warm up in the corrals and I did a few sprints. Legs felt good, ribs felt okay. Still naggy from the BCW Marathon falls in September, but certainly nothing to worry about.  Bro’s goal was to run a sub7 pace, he could do that.  My goal was to finish in the 23-24:## range.  I didn’t see any reason I couldn’t achieve that goal.  Nothing felt off or sore.  Even my breathing felt good in the cooler temps.

We nestled into our respective corrals and before I knew it, the gun was off.  It felt so wonderful to run in cooler temps, again!  I was pushing and I felt great, my breathing was not overly labored and I didn’t have any pain that was hindering me.

We made our way onto a slow incline, which wasn’t the greatest, but I have been through worse.  I had made the decision not to look at my Garmin and run by feel.  My first mistake was looking at the gun time clock when we reached Mile 1.  I was 45 seconds-1min off of my usual pace, by then.  I was in utter shock, there was NO WAY I was running that slow.  Just no way.

As we came down the other side of the incline, I went into my Mile 2 kick.  I knew I could make up any lost time on the decline and my kick.  When I reached Mile 2 – I did not look at the clock.  Not sure if that was a good or bad thing to do.

I see the Finish Line and in the distance, I can see the gun clock…it was ticking away at 25:##.  To say my heart sunk, was an understatement.  I crossed the finish line at 26:10 and feeling like a complete failure.  I have no explanation of what had happened out there. I felt great, I pushed hard and I ran my 5k on my Half Marathon pace, not my usual 5k time.  I have not had a 5k finish time like that in over a year (excluding my post-injury time)

I picked up my medal and felt I didn’t even deserve it. Yes, I finished, but it’s a race – I failed.  I completely failed.  I would be lying to say, I didn’t have tears in my eyes as I received the medal.

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(I wore my RW shirt for the race.  I know, I can hear the gasped and grumblings right now.  I wore a race shirt on race day.  I had no problems doing so because 1) it was not a Finisher shirt.  2) RW sponsored me to this event, so I wanted to show my appreciation and wear their shirt.)

Quickly, I changed my focus to find my brother.  I prayed, PRAYED he had a better race than I did.  I couldn’t handle 2 failures in one race.

After I picked up some bananas – I found bro and he was all smiles.  He had a KILLER race!  Of course, he wanted to know how my race was and I brushed it off.  I wanted to focus on his accomplishment, not my failure.

Of course, I couldn’t keep him from looking up my results and said, “what happened?”  – again, I brushed it off and asked him to look up his results.  He was first in his AG!  That’s my bro!

So, we waited for the awards ceremony and he didn’t get 1st in his AG 🙁 – he earned 3rd in Masters Overall! 🙂 Sweetness!  Here he is with his trophy.

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After his quick shirt change, he was back into the corrals for the 10k. I did not register for the 10k, so this was going to be a treat to see him finish. Which I never do, since he always finishes before me.

A short 35-40 minutes later, he was at the Finish Line and ran another sub7 race!  We had no idea his place, but he ran 2 races at sub7.   How can we not be excited!

Results were in and he won his AG!  2 races = 2 awards!  My momentary pity party was turning into a great celebration for us.  I was giddy beyond belief. 

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After the 10k, we made our way back to the Start/Finish to watch the Doggie races.  This was the highlight of my Heartbreak Hill Festival in June, I couldn’t wait to share it with the Bro,

The doggies lined up

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I wanted to hug them all!  Moments like this, I really missed my puppies.  I know Daisy Mae would of loved this, while Honeybear would of been a great cheerleader.  haha!

And they were off. 1/4 mile down and 1/4 back.  2 laps.

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What a joy!  Bro and I were constantly smiles and laughing.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing doggies.

After the doggie race, we made a quick stop into the Expo.  I visited re-visited some of the sponsors to thank them again for their support of the event and the blogging team.

Bro and I had our faux Runner’s World magazine cover.  I have officially declared this weekend as a very un-photogenic weekend, for me. I have yet to take a good photo.

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After the AM’s races and expo time, we freshened up and went out to eat at the same Pizza place Katie F. and I ate the day before, this time – we had gluten free pizza with vegan cheese.  It was the best pizza I have ever had, and Bro agreed.

After a quick wandering around Bethlehem, we headed back to the race event location for a comedy show by Liz Miel, who is also a runner.  At the show, Bro had a chance to meet a few of the others.  I was happy he had to meet those who I have raved about since Boston.

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Next, onward to the dinner.  Once again – with great Runner’s World Cookbook recipes.  If you don’t have this book, buy it!  Make it your go-to resource for healthy and DELICIOUS food the entire family will enjoy.

While standing in line to get our food, we had a wonderful chat with Amby Burfoot and his wife.  In case you don’t know, Amby was the 1969 Boston Marathon winner.  In addition, Bro got to meet Bart Yasso.  I think Bro was in awe (sorry, I forgot to get a photo)

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(see, another bad photo of me!)

Once dinner was done, we went our separate ways to our respective hotels and called it a night.

Next up:  Half Marathon

Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.

*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.


Day 2, Part 2 – Runner’s World Kid’s Races

Onto the Kid’s Races!  The night was so special, I felt it needed it’s own blog post.

Recap of the last two posts:

 

Day 1 – Arrival Day and Rodale/Runner’s World HQ Tour

Day 2, Part 1 – Run, Yoga & Food

 

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After a full day with my blog-mates with a energetic shake-out run, food, yoga and more food, Katie (Runs for Cookies) and I hung around the race location to watch the kiddos to officially kick-off the weekend festival.

 

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My hair had a mind of it’s own during this trip and where was I looking?  Can we just call this trip a bad hair and bad camera time for Charlene? 

The first race was the iddy biddies for a quarter mile.  Bart Yasso led the way on the lead bike.

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The excitement was in the air and the crowd went crazy.  RW allows the parents to run with their children, which is a good thing. For those children running solo, they were directed into a Finish Line area where the parents could pick them up.  A wonderful safety feature is a parent cannot pick up a child without a matching tag, similar to gear check.

Next up were the 7-8 years old, they ran a half mile.  Again, Bart on the lead bike

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Next up were the oldest kids – 9-10 years old, I believe. They were to run a mile. Well!  The lead runner, a boy almost ran past Bart Yasso and clocked in a 5 minute mile.  Geez, kid!  (Somehow I missed a picture, sorry)

The Runner’s World festival had officially begun!  I am glad Katie recommended to stay, it was a great way to start the race weekend.

Afterwards, we set out to find some dinner.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do (since I am GF) but we found a local pizza place, Sotto.  Katie loved her pizza and I had a caprese salad.

Back to the hotel room to prepare for the first day of racing and seeing my brother!  I couldn’t wait to share this experience with him!

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Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.  I look forward to sharing the next few days with you in upcoming blog posts.

*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.

 


Day 2: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival | Run, Yoga & Food

Onward onto #RWHalf Day 2. In case you missed it, here is my Day 1 recap

After a nice night’s sleep, Katie F. and I set out to our first official day as bloggers.  This is the day the real work began for the bloggers.  Time to report into social media and share with others on what is happening!  As a RW blogger, we were there to report to our followers and test out new products.  For me, it has nothing to do with products or how many freebies I can get in my luggage, but the overall experience of posting on social media and sharing with you, what I experience.  I would come, even without all the perks and freebies.

We met in our hotel lobby and was quickly escorted to the back side to be met up with by Cindy Lynch of Running Skirts.  For the 3rd year in a row, they were a sponsor of this event.  I have known Cindy for awhile and it’s always a pleasure to see her at an event.  While both of us have a West Coast connection, it’s fun to see each other in non-West Coast locations, too.

Our first activity was “The Great Shake Out Run”.  We were paired up into groups with other bloggers and 1-2 Altra staff.  Of course, I was paired up with fast people and with my body in it’s recovery phase from my marathon falls, this was going to be interesting!

Cindy instructed us, we were to run to bags of clothes, put them on (including the goofy accessories) and tag our next team member.  Of course, my clothing consisted of a pink running skirt and wings.  I think it was a conspiracy. 

After our costume leg of the race, we were given clues on our next location.  Off we ran to St Lukes Hospital (a race sponsor) for a group selfie (per the instructions).

After the hospital, we were off to an Irish Pub and another group selfie.

THEN…off to Sands Casino for a photo in front of the yellow corvette on the casino floor.

And finally back to ArtQuest for a crossword puzzle and to the finish. We came in a very close second.  The run was suppose to be an easy pace, so I wore my long sleeved tech shirt from Running Shirts (perk from the RW Heartbreak Hill festival in Boston) and my Brooks jacket. Big mistake.  I over heated, quite quickly and eventually took off the costume, too (thank goodness).

After arriving at ArtQuest at the Steel Stacks, we had a wonderful breakfast of fruits, berries, yogurt parfait and more. Thank you, Altra Running for providing our breakfast.  It hit the spot!

While enjoying breakfast, I couldn’t help by sit in awe of the Steel Stacks.  The history buff, that I am, my mind wandered in what the production plant was like in it’s glory. The people, the action, the sounds.  I am still day dreaming.

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IMG_20141017_085257  After breakfast we were given the opportunity to hear from some great speakers.  Budd Coates, Runner’s World coach shared his knowledge of proper breathing techniques.  As a person who suffers from exercise induced asthma, this is a great topic. He provided additional information for us to try out on our next run.  He is author of the book, “Run On Air”.  I cannot wait to dig into it, time for a refresher.

 

IMG_20141017_091315 Golden Harper – the founder of Altra Running.  Not only did he share his personal athletic story, he also shared his Altra story.  More than the “this is our technology and why our shoes are better than anyone else” type of story.  His philosophy of a foot-shaped shoe resonated with me.  I typically wear men’s shoes, they are wider in the toe box.

The more I heard from him, the more I knew I was going to be an Altra Running fan. I had the ONEs, but I wanted him to tell me if they were the right shoe and fit for me.  After the Altra presentation by Golden and his business partner, David – I asked Golden if my current ONEs were the right shoes for me and my goals (Marathon training and racing).  He said he designed ONEs to be a marathon shoe, but it is perfect for racing flats, too.  BINGO!  He refitted me and put me into a women’s size.  Within one minute, I could feel the difference and I was giddy inside.

IMG_20141017_102701 I joined my fellow bloggers at the iFit presentation with Kristin.  You may have noticed I have posted/tweeted a series of photos regarding my new iFit band.  (I will be writing a product review and hosting a giveaway, in the very near future.  The Prize?  A $130 iFit wristband.  Yep! The real deal.)

After the iFit presentation, we were onto our Yoga and Relaxation session.  We walked over to the Steel Stacks visitors center and was warmly greeted by our Instructor.

We were given a collection of yoga equipment.  A yoga mat, bag, block, band, foam roller & foam stick.  I was glad I brought a larger suitcase for my travels!

 

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The Instructor was wonderful and very helpful to show us how to use each item.  Since I am not a fan of traditional yoga, this was all new to me.  I tried to keep it light and not too hard, as I had a 5k and Half to race. The stretching felt great and much needed for my body.

IMG_20141017_133924  Afterwards, we had lunch with wonderful food from the Runner’s World Cookbook.  I love how they take care of us and ensure there are vegan and gluten free options.  And guess who sits by me?  Editor, Joanna Golub.  My dorm-mate from Boston.  It was so good to catch up with her!  (can I take a worse picture?  The humidity is getting to my hair, can you tell?  haha)

Our first speaker was Elizabeth Comeau from the new women-focused, women-inspired website, Zelle.

IMG_20141017_124713 From the moment she opened her mouth, I thought, “I like her!”  She was real, she was mature enough to realize what women wanted to be successful with their running careers.

IMG_20141017_125600 Our next speaker was, Sean MacMillen from Team Red, White & Blue.  He shared his story of horrific PTSD and how running saved his life.  Since I am a big supporter of TRWB, I was thrilled to hear his story.  He was another person who was real, mature and had the right focus in life.

After our last session, we were released for the day.  I had my back pack and the yoga bag, I needed to drop it off at the hotel. Luckily, the hotel is less than a mile away.

Myself, Katie and a few others made our way back to the hotel and did a quick freshen up before we headed back to the expo.  The expo was at the ArtQuest building (where we spent our morning).

Up a few flights of stairs to pick up the shirts and other race goodies.  Back down the other side to enter the expo.  While the expo was smaller in comparison to most, I was thrilled to see a small expo.  It’s no secret that I do not like expo’s and have not liked them since Day 1.  I loved the smallness of this expo as you see one expo, you have seen them all, right?

 

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As I did in Boston, my focus was to meet the sponsors and thank them for their generosity and supporting the event.  This has become a highlight for me! I have a chance to spend one on one time with each sponsor and get to know them & their company focus.  This is my type of networking & socialization.

I took pictures of the sponsor booths who were kind enough to chat with me about their products or events, I had so much fun chatting with them!

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After the expo visit, Katie and I met up and she made a great suggestion to stay for the Kid’s Run.  In Boston, I missed the kids run’s and I cannot remember why I did.  This time, I wanted to see the Kid’s and share with you what I experienced.

That’s the next blog post. There will be a Day 2, part 2 blog:  Kids races.  They deserve a dedicated blog post, don’t you think. Wait until you see the pictures…they are adorable!

Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.  I look forward to sharing the next few days with you in upcoming blog posts.

*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.