#FitnessHacks #FABHacks | Preventing the Short Mileage Runs

We have all been there, we set out on a run, let’s say a 3 mile run.  We reach 1.5 miles, turn around to come back home and we finish at 2.98.  Ugh!

GPS

After a few frustrating runs that ended up being short, despite my perfect planning, I decided to try something new. When I reach the turn around point, I keep running for another 2 minutes, then I turn around and head back.

I no longer have shorted out and back runs.  You see, 3.97 is not 4 miles and that last .03 can make a difference between a podium finish and a PR.  I am going to run and train for every mile I can, not going to cheat myself, not even for .03 miles.

 

Until next time – keep running, FAB!

 

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-15
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RACE RECAP: Disneyland Inaugural Avengers Half Marathon | Part 2 and LOTS of wind!

In case you missed my Part 1, CLICK HERE

After an exciting day at Disneyland park, celebrating an (early) birthday, I was ready to give the Half Marathon shot.  I felt very rested (thank you foam roller) and I felt I could have a strong performance at the Half.

Bro, mom and I left the hotel around 3:45am as Bro had a special meet-up (details, coming soon).

It was chilly and I absolutely needed a jacket. I was wearing my Team Super Hero singlet, shorts and arm warmers.  I put my hair in pigtails and wore a sparkly head band (for my mom), instead of a visor. This move, would prove to be the smartest thing I could of done for my race.

We made our way to the corrals and my brother was escorted to behind the announcer platform.  During a special Veterans moment, he was representing the Air Force, with Captain America (character).  I was giddy at that thought of him being up on the stage.

Disney had representatives from Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army and Navy.  I couldn’t be more proud to see him up there.  My bro is the one in the Team Red, White & Blue (red) shirt.

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Photo courtesy of Emil Cheng

Afterwards, he made his way back to Corral A and we had our traditional pre-race selfie. I am cheesing it here,don’t ya think?

Sis and Bro

We started the race at 5:30am and I was anxious to get it done and well, be done. I love Disney races, but I wanted to go home. As you know, I am cutting back on my traveling and I couldn’t be happier.

The course was slightly different vs the Dumbo Double Half.  Different direction throughout the park and then we made our way into different sections of Anaheim.

As I made it to Mile 3, I was at a 8:12 pace and holding it without much effort.  Then…right at the Mile Marker sign there was a huge gust of wind. So much so, that people’s bibs were ripping off their shirts.  One runner ran right into me and I was able to catch him from falling to the ground.

Palm tree leaves were flying everywhere and the DUST!  Ugh!  I put on my sunglasses, even though it was still dark.  I needed to protect my eyes from the dust and debris.  In my mind, I thought “okay – this won’t last long”  I was so wrong.  So, very wrong.

Mile Marker 4 was DOWN.  If you have run Disney, you know how huge those signs and clocks are, it was down.

I don’t remember seeing a Mile Marker for 5 or 6 or 7. They must of all been down, too

Coming into the parking lot of the Crystal Cathedral, I saw aid stations tables down and one was tumbling across the pavement.  Tumbling!  Runners were tossed and pushed aside from the famous Santa Ana winds.  This was bad and I wondered if they were going to Black Flag the event.

We all kept going and I felt like I was running through mud.  Dirt in my mouth, leaves hitting our faces and I began to think about mama being at the Finish and how cold she must be.

Around Mile 6, I knew my race was out the door, as was everyone else’s.  It was a matter of staying upright and trying to stay safe.  I felt I was running at a 13 minute pace, I couldn’t imagine being at a sub2 pace (9min miles).

We made our way to a bike path leading into Anaheim stadium. The wind got worse and worse.  I stumbled a few times, but stayed upright.  Several runners were tossed to the ground.

Along the bike path – there was a long line of Avenger characters.  I would say every character there ever was.  I felt so bad for them and the volunteers braving the elements to help us out.

Making our way into the Stadium, the photographer got this picture of me.  This is a screenshot of MarathonFoto.com – you can see the dust & haze.

Stadium

 

Ran through the Stadium and coming out on the other side, we had a bit of rest from the wind, I decided to surge to possibly gain some time, so I can finish sooner vs later.  That didn’t last long. Back came the winds and flying Aid Station tables.

I saw the Mile 10 marker ahead. I knew I needed a 1:30 to hit my sub2 and even though I felt I wasn’t on track, I could have an idea of when I could finish.

I passed Mile 10 at 1:27:##

I gasped. There was no possible way I was running an sub2 pace in this wind, there was no way.

I passed Mile 11 and I was still on a sub2 pace.  The winds were still just as strong and I was more determined to finish.

The self talk had to kick in and I remember thinking, “oh come on now…you trained all summer for moments like this.  You trained your legs to run when it hurts”

As we continued, I felt if I could just hold my pace, I could squeak in a sub2.  That would make me really happy in this race.

Finally, into the park and running by Paradise Pier. I knew the Finish Line was just around the corner.

Once again, Rudy Novotny cheered me and always has a knack for making all the racers feel loved and welcomed.

I crossed at 1:54:33.  I have never hurt so much after a Half Marathon. I felt like I had run for 48 hours straight and used every ounce of my energy.  I couldn’t get to mom nor Kirk (the barracades), so I picked up my medal and food and met them at gear check.

Here is my exhaustion picture – I am pointing at mom and Kirk at the Finish Line.

Finish

Ladybugs Ball

 

Medal

My legs were thrashed.  From Miles 3-10, it was the more exhausting thing I have ever done.  I really should of slowed it down, but I ran by feel and what I could manage.  My right leg started hurting again (like my old injury) but since I didn’t feel a pop, I think I twisted it from the windy gusts.

I liked the course, I just wish I could of enjoyed it more.  I will certainly be back in years to come. 

We had a chance meeting with Jose, who is an Island Boost Ambassador. Always great to meet new people, as the opportunity arises.

Jose

All of us were freezing cold, dirty and tired.  We headed back to the hotel within 30 minutes of my finish.  I couldn’t wait to get into a warm room and out of that wind.

Packed up the car and started the long journey home.  YES!

At some point during the drive home, I decided to see the results.  I knew Kirk did well, as always.  I pulled up my results and let out a scream.  At that moment, I was 3rd in my Age Division which means I placed at a Disney race.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be able to say I placed in my AG, during a Disney race.  I cried, mom cried and Kirk was beaming.  What is more amazing to me, I kept a fairly consistent pace, after the winds kicked in.  Based on my Garmin, I was on a 8:12 pace at Mile 3 and by 3.1 it had already dropped to an 8:42.  That boggles my mind!

My results

I checked Kirk’s results and he won his AG…and the Military Division.  That’s my Bro!

When all was said and done, Mom had a 5k PR, Kirk won two awards and I won my first Disney award.  In addition, we had wonderful family time and made more memories.

I can say, this was one of the best birthday’s, I have ever had.

I want to thank…

  • my husband, my brother and my mother for making sure I came this weekend.  You knew, I needed to be there and you were right.

 

  • The volunteers, cheering squads, RunDisney staff and everyone who braved those wicked winds to ensure our safety.  I wish I knew every single one of your names so I could tell you THANK YOU, personally.
  • Island Boost.  I was toast at Mile 8 and you brought me back to life.

 

  • Altra Shoes.  While runners were falling around me, somehow you kept me upright and my legs stable. I swayed and staggered, but never came close to a fall.  I know your shoe design kept my feet planted and my legs strong.

Onward to the remainder of 2014 and resting my still, very painful and sore legs.

Have you raced or run in brutal winds?

How have you trained for windy races?


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.