Friday, September 19, 2014


FAB Running has moved to Word Press - 
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Thank you! 

Charlene Ragsdale


 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Customizing Your Pacing Wristband | #FitnessHacks #FABHacks

The #FitnessHacks and #FABHacks are piling up!  Time for me to get busy and share with you.


We all know that a pacing wristbands can be beneficial for any race. I typically wear a pacing bracelet for a Half or Marathon, depending on my goals.  In one way, I use them to help me ensure I do not go out too fast and in other ways, I use them to ensure I am not being lazy.

  • I take it one step farther.  Before the big day, I download a pace bracelet from MarathonGuide.com (it's free).  
 

 
I review the course description (aid stations, porta potties, etc) and I highlight or mark on my bracelet when the aid stations will appear and more. 

Close up:

 

At this race, I knew there would be porta-potties at every aid station, so I didn't specify.  If I needed to, I would write a "PP" next to the porta-potty mile.  

This is my Big Cottonwood Marathon wristbad.  The aid station miles are marked by a yellow highlighter.  I also added a "C" for the stations with Candy (just in case) and "F" for the stations with "Fruit"

I don't know about you, but I can never remember anything while racing.  While I know in my head the aid stations are every 2 miles, I will forget that while racing. So, this bracelet is my brain for those miles and requires no thinking nor remembering on my part. In the moments after my fall at 18-19ish.  I remember looking at my bracelet and thinking, "okay - good, I can find help at 19".  

In addition, I laminate my wristband. I have a laminator at home, so it's very easy.  If you don't own a laminator, you can go to any office supply store to have yours laminated.  I also cover the ends with scotch tape to make it moisture resistant.  If I don't do this, the bracelet will be a paper wad by mile 5.  (Yea, I sweat a lot.)

Other ideas to mark on your wristband
- reminder to take your fueling
- reminder to take your salt tablets
- when to take walk breaks (if applicable)
 

Hope this #FitnessHack #FABHack helps you in your next race!




(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

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
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer - Click Here

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

RACE REPORT: Big Cottonwood Marathon | My First DNF


Back in May, I began my first-ever Marathon training program.  While I have run Marathons, I never trained for them.  I have a goal to earn my spot at Boston 2016, that was going to take training.

My eyes were on BCW 2014, not for a BQ but to gauge my legs & summer training.  I wanted to see how I felt after a training program.

RunningBro, RunningMama and I arrived in Murray, UT (just south of Salt Lake City) on Friday evening.  Just enough time to eat and go to bed. I got about 6 hours of sleep and that was okay for me.

In the AM, Bro and I loaded the buses and headed our way up the mountain. We had throw-away jackets on, the race company provided gloves and mylar blankets.  It didn't really help.  They needed some type of heating lamps. To be 8,500 in elevation at 5am?  That's too cold.  We shivered and shook for over an hour.

Race started late because the buses didn't arrive on time and I was told they didn't have enough buses.  So, makes me wonder - how did that happen?  Didn't they know the registration numbers?  We started about 7:25, when it was suppose to start at 7am. 

We lined up and off we went.  14.5 of the course is downhill.  It was great to FINALLY run in cooler temps.  My goal was to run by effort, not pace.  I was not pushing myself, I had no need to.  To grasp the effect of my training, I had to hold back, somewhat.

Views were stunning, but I am more of a city runner. I prefer the views of the city and hearing the roars of the crowds.  Along the way, I ate some bananas and just went into cruise control.  As I looked at my pacing bracelet I realized I was sitting at around a 3:35-3:40 finish at the 5mile mark.  WHOA NELLIE!!!


  • I pulled back as I knew I couldn't keep that pace for another 21 miles.  At the 13.1 mark, I was sitting around a 3:49 finish time. I needed a 3:59 for a BQ and this is after my first potty stop.  

In my mind, as we made our way up the out and back section of the course, I was feeling like a "slow runner" and I moved over to the far right to let the racers pass me.  Yes, the weird things that goes through my runner mind. 

That was a costly mistake as by 18.27 I had a catastrophic fall.  One that left me face down in the pavement and I could not move.  Immediately surrounded by runners and spectators to help me sit up.  My first thought, "NOT AGAIN!" (remember, I fell in 2013 and that is how I fractured my leg).  I looked at my knees and then I saw blood dripping down my arms and hands.  Small amount from my knees.  My hands and shoulders had taken the brunt of the fall and it was not pretty.  I tried to get up and I couldn't.  I finally hung onto someone and said, "I need help"  Standing up and starting to walk, the pain in my right shoulder was intense and I began hobbling to the next police office about .10 from me.  More people came around me and even one joked I looked like a cast member of the Walking Dead with my arms hanging down and a trail of blood behind me.  I had to laugh, I am sure it was a sight.


  • The police officer wouldn't help me, he pointed me to the aid station.  Okay...flashbacks to the RnR2011 where I was pushed aside by race officials when I needed help.  Ugh.  That irked me. I am dripping with blood and begging for help and he points me in the direction of help.  It was obvious to me and others I could barely walk. 

I hobbled to the turn around and the aid station had bandages.  The aid station attendants were wonderful (more helpful than the police officer). They began to pour water on my wounds and even offered me a chair.   My mind was beginning to imagine rocks and grease lodged into skin and I panicked.  Once I had the initial blood wiped away, I decided to keep moving.  I know, not wise.  I felt I could jog it in and at least finish.  I was only a 10k away.  Easy.

Somewhere after 20, I fell again and I was done.  I tried to crawl to the freeway barrier to help me up and more wonderful runners came to my aid.  I felt so bad, they stopped for me.  All I could think was to get to 21 and they had medical. I wanted off this course and be done with it!

Thinking my brother was finished by this time, I texted him to tell him where I was and I was getting help.  No answer.  Then, he answers that he is at Mile 25.

1.  Why is he checking his phone in the middle of the race? 
2.  Why is he only at Mile 25, when he should of been done by then. He is a 3:05 marathoner.

I made my way to Medical Tent at Mile 21, all the while begging the photographers NOT to take my photo.  I don't need to see this ugly mess.

In my trek to Mile 21, I panicked, again.  I cried.  I felt I was going to be abandoned AGAIN on the course.  Flashbacks to Laughlin 2011 and RnRLV 2011.  I decided if they would not transport me to back to the finish, I was sitting ON the course until someone came to get me. I was not finishing, period.

The Medical personnel took one look at me and started cleaning me up. They offered me a Wagon and I gladly accepted.  Meanwhile, I heard from Bro and he has been sick on the course from Mile 6 onward.  Oh dear.  I texted Mama and my husband and assured them I was safe and I would be at the Finish soon, enough with transportation.  Hubby was at work (in Vegas) so he felt very helpless, as you can imagine. Mama was being mama, and was in a panic to see me. 

30 minutes later I arrived back at the Finish line and into the medical tent.  Two personnel worked on me to clean up the wounds.  It was evident the shoulder was swelling up.  I had ice on my shoulder and knees.  They bandaged my hands up to keep the bleeding from going all over.

Once I decided to DNF, I cared about nothing else but to get to Mama and Bro.  The BCW medal is stunning, I do not feel I missed out on a thing.  I made the right choice and glad I did.

While I know the general running population thrives on seeing bloody messes, I will not show you my wounds before the clean up.  I am not that Ugly Black Toe person who posts those type of pictures, sorry. 

After the Finish Line medical (shoulders, hands and knees are iced bandaged up)



I will show you this, this shows my shoulder, after the medical tent clean up.  The hands are just too gross and I am not wanting to share with the public. This is Bro and I at breakfast.  He finally has color in his face, after eating a good meal.  Not only did he have to take care of himself, he had to take care of me.  He had to cut my food, so I could scoop it up.  Pushing down on an eating utensil was impossible, for me. 




Here is bro at the Finish Line.  



As word began to spread I took my first DNF, my running friends were naturally concerned I would be devasted.  I appreciate genuine concern for my emotional well being, but I am not devastated in any way.  I am was not then,  and not now.  Yea, there is a part of me that feels a small sense of disappointment I didn't finish or get that BQ, but it would of been far more disappointing to push and drag myself to the Finish, for a medal.  I believe the extra miles would of caused me more harm, than any good. 


Here is a screenshot of my splits.  According to my Garmin I fell at 18.23. I was surprised, I thought it was closer to 19 if not farther.  Not sure how I mustered the ability to walk over 2.5 miles to medical station, it truly is a blur. 

You can see the 18.75 split where the times drop. Before that...all was great.  This makes me happy!



Many have asked how I fall.  That's a great question.  The only thing I can think of, since I was hugging the right side, I tripped over the uneven part of the road.  Bro and I have discussed this and since I moved over to let the faster runners pass me, that was my error. 

Bro has pointed out to me that since I was at a 3:45 pace, I am a faster runner - stop moving over!  If you ever run with me, you will see I hug the right side, for that reason.  It's a habit I need to break and I guess I need to realize I have earned my spot to run the center of the road.  This will take awhile for me to accept that I belong in the center of the road.  

What's next?  Healing.  I am under Dr's care for rehab and healing.  I can begin running when I can do an arm swing without pain.  As far as a marathon.  My next marathon will not be until 2015.  I have plenty of time to heal and train for the next Big Show.

Will I run Big Cottonwood again?  I won't say, never - but probably not. I wasn't impressed with their Start or Finish Line set up.  It started way too late (and to make us freeze, while waiting) and the Finish Line was congested and on the lap of the medical tent.  The volunteers were getting frustrated with the loud speakers in our ears and they could not hear nor help those who needed aid.  They do have a wonderful medal, but not enough for me to travel 7 hours one way. If I was local to Salt Lake City, I might - but there were too many operational issues I didn't like (Finish Line area was over crowded and a bottle neck).  

Yet, their medical staff is WONDERFUL! I cannot thank them enough for their help and compassion.  I would advise them to have a clear idea and planned driving route to get the injured back to the Finish Line Medical Tent.  Having to drive around and then the police tell us we cannot go that route, was frustrating.  Maybe better coordination with the police department.  I would also ask them not to turn away injured runners.  That was very discouraging to be turned away when I asked for help just before the 19 mile marker. 

The positive in this experience is we had some amazing Mexican food at Red Iguana's on Saturday night and we were able to visit my dear friend, Karen on our way home.  








Thank you Mama and Bro for taking care of me and ensuring my safety for the rest of the weekend.  I couldn't of done it without you.  xo   

To my race angels. I do not know who you are, but I want to find you and thank you.  Thank you for giving up part of your race to help out a total stranger.  May the Lord bless you 100x fold for your sacrifice and compassion. 

Onward to my healing, the rest of 2014 racing season and 2015.



(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

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
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer - Click Here

Friday, September 12, 2014

National Veterans Day Run in Las Vegas is Open for Registration | Join us!

I have been sitting on this news for over a month, if not two months.

Last year at the Turkey Trot, Running Bro and I were approached by a Rep from the National Veterans Day Run asking for feedback on previous years.  The person knew he and I had run the event and we were glad to offer some insights.  

Fast forward to this summer. I receive an email from the National Race Director for NVDR and wishes to speak with me. 

Little did I know, that they were wanting to offer me the RD position for the Las Vegas location.  I was thrilled and most of all honored.  I love to RD and I love to show the running community (racers and volunteers) how valuable they are. 

After weeks of preparation I am able to share with you the good news!



WHEN:  Sunday, 11/09/14
WHERE: Bruce Trent Park, Las Vegas NV
TIME:  8:11am
DISTANCES:  11k, 5k and 1 mile fun run
 
For those who have run the event in the past, you will notice a BIG improvements at the 2014 event! The national office heard your requests and will be doing their best to implement many positive changes. 


-Accurately measured & easy to follow course
-Medals for the 11k and 5k finishers
-NEW! Finisher Certificates for the 11k and 5k!
-1 mile Family Fun Run
-Finish Line refreshments
-Professionally Chronotrack timing
-Professional Race Announcer & DJ!
-A true Veterans event on race day. Special surprises coming!
-Running Troops is a proud sponsor of this event.


Register today! http://veteransdayrun.org/register/las-vegas

***If you own or work at a business that offers military discounts and wish to participate in this event with a vendor spot, booth/table set up or sponsorship, please contact me at runningtroops@gmail.com

RUNNING TROOPERS – you may participate in a city near you OR virtually! 

For those who participated in our Inaugural Running Troops event in 2013, this year’s Veterans Day event will count as our 2nd Annual event for the 5 year jacket. 

Register today! http://veteransdayrun.org/register/las-vegas

Stay tuned - I will be introducing the Las Vegas racing staff
 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

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
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer - Click Here

Thursday, September 11, 2014

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Marathon Goddess Pendant to a Lucky Winner | Enter Today!

Running Troops is focused on giving back to others through our races and our time. 

We are delighted to sponsor a giveaway for Marathon Goddess, Julie Weiss! 

The winner will receive one pendant, compliments from the Running Troops.  


Proceeds from the pendant sales benefit the Lazarex Cancer Foundation which has established the Maurice Weiss Pancreatic Cancer Fund, named in honor of my father. Monies raised through my efforts will benefit the fund and help pancreatic cancer patients who want to participate in clinical trials. A donation to Lazarex Cancer Foundation is a gift of time and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. Providing dignity and life for end stage cancer patients and the medically underserved, providing navigation services, increasing awareness and addressing financial barriers to improve participation in FDA clinical trials and patient access to cancer care. 

Giveaway ends on 9/21 at 12:00amPST.  Enter today!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In Julie's famous words, "WE GOT THIS!"

Good luck and we look forward to announcing the winner!

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

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
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer - Click Here

9/11 - 13 Years Later | We Never Forget







(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

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
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer - Click Here

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Running Troops News | The 2 Year Wait is Over!

Here I am!  I haven't forgotten about my FAB-O Friends! What a whirlwind life has been pre and since Disneyland Dumbo Double weekend.  More on that later.

I want to share with you the most exciting news!  For almost 2 years I have waited for this moment and it is finally here! 



Running Troops was founded in late 2012 with the dream of honoring runners, volunteers and race directors. Runners would be honored by race miles ran, not by the number of races. 

*Every runner from a 5k’er to the most extreme ultra marathoner could achieve the same rank advancements and membership perks.
*Our volunteers will receive equal recognition and honor by their volunteer hours they have spent at aid stations, cheer squads and other volunteer duties.
*Race Directors would be honored for their skills in organizing a safe and ethical business.
Since that time, that vision has not changed and will remain the cornerstone of who we are. Today, we embark on the next step of our club. Our paid memberships. 

We offer a paid membership with a PURPOSE

To benefit our runners, volunteers, race directors and our title charity, Team Red, White & Blue. 

-> http://www.runningtroops.com/signup

From the start, I refused to charge a membership fee, without giving something in return. ***Running Troops, paid members receive the following:

1. Tracking of your race and/or volunteer miles to achieve our club ranks (i.e. Recruit, Corporal, Captain, etc.)
2. Product and vendor discounts from BicBands, SnuggBuds, RobKellerMD, NeoCell, Allied Medal Hangers and more!
3. Exclusive race discounts & comp’s (as they become available)
4. Discounts on our club gear and other related products (to be launched in November)
5. Recognition in our online newsletter and special shout out’s on our FB club group page
6. A sense of belonging and being a part of a team. Sharing your love to Inspire.Challenge.Serve. one another.
7. A portion of your membership dues will be donated to Team Red, White & Blue at the end of the calendar year.
8. And more perks to come! 


Our memberships are divided into individual and family. We have yearly and lifetime options, to meet any budget.

Before you become a member, please read our Credo. This is our core values and who we are. If this is something you feel you can align yourself, then we welcome you into our club! 

http://www.runningtroops.com/credo.php

In addition, please take a moment and look around our club website. Find out about our HONOR GUARD on our OUTREACH tab. 

I would like to thank the following Running Troops Founding Council Members who helped pull this all together in the last 2 years: Kirk Buckley, Daniel Widdis, Julia Beaver, Jeff Lui, Rob Erekson, Scott Gibson, Angela Wozniak, Diana De Leon, Jim Tello, Gary Allen and Kitzzy Aviles. 

Lastly, the construction of our website could not have happened without 4 very talented people. Abbi Auger, Daniel Widdis, Rob Erekson & Marina White. Their time, their efforts and expertise is greatly appreciated!

This website is for YOU, the running, volunteer and directing community. Thank you for your support, your dedication to make a difference. I look forward to having you as a member. 

http://www.runningtroops.com/signup

As with any new venture, if you find any glitches with the website or have any questions regarding our club, please feel free to contact me.

Please share this announcement with your friends or with those you believe could align themselves with our Mission and Credo.

Thank you again for your continued support and I look forward to having you as a Running Troops member!

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

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
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter
~Blog Disclaimer - Click Here