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.

4-summerlin-half

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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.

6-summer-series

lvtcchampionshipstandings-june

 

 

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.

8-legends

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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. 

finalstandings

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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Blog Series: Runner Safety | Travel Tips

If you have not had a chance, please check out my previous post in the

Runner Safety Blog Series:

Why I Don’t Post my Running Courses Online

Today, I am going to share with you some safety tips pre and during your traveling.  Within the excitement of traveling to and from a race, we can often forget that we still need to be diligent with our privacy and safety.

Don’t post your hotel information on social media. That includes no location tagging or obvious signs of where you are.  Just as not posting your training courses so people know where you live or work, etc – you don’t want people knowing where you are staying the next few days.  I will never forget my first-ever runcation.  It was the Surf City in 2012, I walked into my hotel lobby and there was a person arguing with the hotel desk about where is a certain person. They were demanding to know where they were and they had proof they were in that hotel (showed them a Facebook post).  Come to find out, the argumentative person was not a friend nor a relative of the person in question.  That was a game changer. I have never posted where I am staying on social media since that day.

Same as your hotel, don’t post your travel plans. Why does anyone need to know what your flight information is?

Always, always – complete the medical information on the back of the bib.  For emergency contact, I make sure it is someone at the race who can reach my family if needed.  While I could put my family on the bib, having someone nearby is much better in the event of an emergency.

Before you depart, make sure your family knows your hotel information and at least one other phone number they can find you if need.  Such as a running buddy, friend or your coach.  Sometimes cell phones don’t work, so a back up plan for the family to get in touch with you is wise.

It is never good to be paranoid, but one should also be mindful of your trip and keeping yourself safe.  Why spend your time worrying about safety when you should be focusing on the big race day!

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).

menieres-inner-ear

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
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My Nemesis: Water Retention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WaterRetention

Run Fab,

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by
RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and HoneyStinger
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
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RACE REPORT: 6 Tunnels Turkey Trot | It Was a Family Affair

Last year, I was on the sidelines watching my friends & family run this race.  I am glad I was healed and well enough to participate.  It is my favorite course, so any chance I get to race in 6 Tunnels, I want to be there.

Earlier in the week, I battled a fierce head cold, so I came to the race with some stuffiness and very low expectations.  You may recall, my last 5k was in PA, when I felt wonderful and failed miserably at my 5k, for no apparent reason.

Arriving at 6 Tunnels, bro and I met up with mom and his Canadian friends, Andy and Rachel. We know it’s Thanksgiving when Andy arrives, for his yearly trek.  This year, he brought his sweet girlfriend to experience Las Vegas.

Bro was scheduled to race the 12k, but a glute issue was keeping him from racing his best, so he decided to drop down to the 5k and run with me.  Since I suffer from Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) and I had chest congestion, this was not prime conditions.  I didn’t care, I was out there to push as hard as I could and enjoy being at 6 Tunnels with my friends and family.

Andy (Bro’s friend) was scheduled to run the 12k and Rachel (the friend’s, girlfriend) was participating in the 1 mile.

  • 12k started at 8:00am
  • 5k started at 8:05am

That was the first problem.  With the size of this race (over 1000), the 5k’ers were bottle necked at mile 1/2, since we had reached the 12ker’s walkers.  I have finally come to the decision, that walkers will not move over.  I respect they also paid for this race, but please move over when others are trying to run around you.  They really should start the 5k at 8:00am or even 8:30am.  The first half of this race was nothing more than weaving and running into other people.  That can be completely avoided with a different start time.  I have been to plenty of races where there is at least 30 minutes between each distance start.

Coming into the first tunnel, the dust was the worst and I have run this course a lot.  I even had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from breathing the dust through my mouth.

Out of the first tunnel, I tried to surge a bit, but I was at the 8:23 mile mark.  That is my half marathon pace, not my 5k pace, even on that trail/dirt course.  Then, into the second tunnel and that was dust was even worse.  Ugh.

Turn around and back through the tunnels, at least I was mentally prepared for the dust.  Coming out of the second tunnel, I went into my surge…well, I tried.  Once we hit the 1 mile turn around – we were met with 4 and 5 people across (walking) and blocking the course.  Bro tried to plow a way but people were not listening to us “runners coming through, please move aside”.

I felt good and I felt strong, but I knew a PR was out of my reach, I was held up way too long on bottlenecks and moving around others.  I was NOT that far back, I was in the top group and these crowds made us feel like we were in the middle or back of the pack.

Came in a 25:20.  Respectable on a trail course and missed my course PR by a few seconds.  I was very pleased and much happier than my race in PA, that was for sure.

Once I crossed the finish line, the sneezing and wheezing started.  Oh mercy, that kept coming for at least 10 minutes.  Rachel met up with Kirk and I.  Next, we had to wait for mom on her 5k and then Andy on his 12k.

While I was in my sneezing attack, Kirk ran out to find mom.  I was quite concerned she was on this dirt/gravel course. I didn’t want her to do it, as he is so prone to tripping and falling.

Mom and Bro come in and sure enough, she fell.  Allegedly, someone tripped her on the course.  Oh, Mom. 

We checked results and I was 2nd in my AG (again).  This is a pattern, I always get 2nd in my AG at the Turkey Trot and this was my 3rd 2nd place AG for this Turkey Trot. I finished 88th overall (including men) out of 723 racers.  No complaints from me!  

Here I am with my AG award and Ladybug’s ball (the course, where Ladybug’s ball tradition began in 2011)

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Mama got 2nd in her AG.  And even though Kirk was tagging along with me, he got 3rd in his AG. We both giggled, at this one!

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Andy came in strong on his 12k finish and we had a great time chatting about the race. Here is our group photo with medals and AG awards.

 

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I am so happy I could run this race, again. I missed it!  Once again, beautiful day and great temps.  This course never, ever disappoints me.  The only disappointment was the overt crowding and bottle necks.  That can be completely avoided, hope the RD makes those changes for next year. 

My race gear:

Shoes:  Altra One2’s (purple)

Socks:  DryMax

Headband:  (Black) Bondi Band

Shorts: Brooks

Shirt:  TSH singlet with a black tech shirt underneath

 

Another Turkey Trot is done and I am so glad I went.

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
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#FABRunner Time! | Meet Sonia

As a blogger, I have been blessed with amazing opportunities to travel, meet vendors and more.  The best part of being a professional blogger is meeting your followers or “fans” as my family refers to them.

 

Today, I want to introduce you to Sonia Willens of Southern CA.  We met during my time as a Team Super Hero Ambassador.  She remains consistent in her training and achieving great goals for herself, I am so proud of her.

 

Follow her on Instgram and enjoy her fun posts about herself, newly married life, dogs and running (of course).

 

Say hello to my FAB-O friend, Sonia Willens!

 

Sonia.FABOfriend

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


Organizing Your Race Shirts #FABHacks #FitnessHacks

Back in 2011, I posted a tip to roll (and rubberband) your race shirts.  Here is the original link.

It remains one of my most viewed blog posts, thank you!

 

I love to evolve and always believe there are ways to improve upon anything in life, including organizing, don’t you?

 

A few weeks ago, I was browsing Pinterest and found this neat tip for shirts.  I was happy with my rolling & rubber band method, but I felt I wanted it to be better and more organized.

 

Shirts

For an hour, I sorted through my shirts (again).  Created my donation pile and kept the ones I really wanted for training.

 

At the end of my hour, this was the final result, sorted by colors (3 drawers).  (I keep a separate plastic drawer unit in my closet, just for my racing shirts.)

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My drawers still look the same, weeks later.  So, this is a winner!  I find this even better than my rolled, rubber band method. I can find specific shirts, much easier.

 

How do you organize your shirts?  Do you hang them or put them in a drawer?

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*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

 


RACE RECAP: Inaugural Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon Weekend | Part 1

I love Disneyland, that’s not a secret, so when another race opened up for DL, I jumped at the chance.  In addition, it was pretty close to my birthday.  I decided I would go to the race and spend some time the park to celebrate my birthday.  That’s been on my Disneyland Bucket list for many years.

As the days drew closer, I needed to juggle my schedule and even considered not going to the weekend, at all.  No race, no park time.  Yet, my husband and brother figured out a way for me to go to the race weekend and get some park time.  Although, I went down kicking – I am glad they held to their guns and insisted I go.

Bro, Mama and I left on Friday as Mama had her 5k on Saturday morning.  After arriving in our hotel, we got ready for the next day. After her race, I planned to visit the park for about 6 hours.  While it was not what I planned nor a full day, I would take any moment I could be in my favorite place in the world.

We got up at 3am and was out the door by 4am.  It was about a mile walk and mama was excited.  She was not nervous like Dumbo Double 5k, she was at piece and we were confident she would do well.

We walked her to the Corrals and then, Bro and I set ourselves in the bleachers to watch the finishers.  Gun time was at 5:30am, she was in the last Corral.

By the time she started, the wheelchair winner was crossing the Finish Line.  We had a general idea when she started by not, exactly.  Based on our calculations and what the announcers said, she was 12 minutes behind the gun time.

At 56 minutes, the gun time clock stopped.  My heart sunk, my first thought was they have swept the course.

Within seconds, she was at the Finish (found out the clock broke).  Based on that clock time, and her crossing time, she finished in the 44-45 minutes range and that is a gigantic PR for her. Although it was not an official timed 5k, it was still a big deal to her (and to us)

 

Mama

#RunningMama

 

After her race cool down, we head over to get some coffee and warm up.  I was started to get antsy to get into the park.  So, they headed off to their day and I headed over to get my park ticket.  I chatted with a few cast members and did some pin trading, too.  I love trading with cast members.

I was meeting my friend, Jacqueline in the park.  Before I met up with her, I decided to purchase a Chip n Dale hat.  I saw this new edition the last time I was in the park and wanted to buy it for a birthday present, to myself.

Jacqueline

My sweet friend, Jacqueline and I

After the hat purchase, I made my way to Small World.  As you know, it is my sentimental favorite ride and I begin every Disney trip to Small World. One exception was in 2013 when we were there during Halloween. The ride is closed to prepare for Halloween.

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(please excuse the squinty eyes)

It was so much fun to be in Small World again.  I feel like a kid and I can feel the joy, as I sing along with the ride.

After Small World, Jacqueline & I spent the rest of the day riding rides & pin trading

Button Carousel Goofy ChipnDale Grotto Oswald Pluto Tikki Room

I headed back to the hotel, early enough to get some rest, roll out and stretch. I had a Half Marathon in the morning & I hoped to do fairly well.  Most importantly, fuel up with my typical meals and ensure I am well hydrated.

Next up…Day 2 of Avengers Half Marathon and what it was like to run in tornado winds.

 

 

 


Icing Your Feet | #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

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

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

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

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

 

1.  Traditional ice pack

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

 

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

 

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

 


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.