I am Alex Bridgeforth. A 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. I am addicted to running. I share running in my world; shoe, nutrition, training, and book reviews are just the beginning. Enter your email to keep up. It's free.


Tuesday Talk [Interview] with @CRagsdale

imageThis is my 19th interview for my blog. I met Charlene during a #runchat on Twitter and sine we’ve done plenty of chatting on Twitter.

She’s a RRCA Certified Running Coach and an IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist. If you need info about either running or nutrition, she’s one of the first people I would go to. She was on the USATF Masters All-American Team in 2011 and 2012 and was RRCA Nevada/Idaho Most Improved Runner in 2011.

Charlene has done close to 50 races in the past two years. Here’s a link to her Athlinks page. Check out Athlinks if you aren’t using it yet, it tracks all your race times just from results posted from the races that you do.

She has done 18 5Ks (24:44 PR); 4 10Ks (52:26 PR); 11 Halfs (1:44:16 PR), 1 Full (4:46:51 PR). 

She runs in Las Vegas. Here’s Charlene (@CRagsdale);

1. When did you start running?
2010.  I was 48 yrs old and I was regaining my health after several health scares.  I wasn’t overweight, and I was regularly working out.  My family and I went to a local park that had a gravel track for a power walk.  My youngest son (then, 9 yrs old) asked me to run a mile with him.  I couldn’t.  Every part of my body and lungs hurt.  The look of disappointment on his face was heart wrenching.  I vowed at that moment to run a mile, so show my son I could do it.  For one month, I went back to that park and ran and ran until I could run a mile.  At the end of one month, I did that mile.  Then 3 miles and then 7 months later I ran my first long distance RACE of any kind = Half Marathon.  Since then I have run close to 50 races of all distances, including Full’s. 
2. What do you enjoy about running?
It’s me time.  When I train, I can clear my head of what is swirling around and when I race, the Finish Line is mine.  No one can take it away from me, no one can say it was given to me and hopefully inspire others to strive to achieve their goals.  
3. What questions are you asked most about running?
"Why do you run so much?" " At your age, why are you still doing this?"  "Don’t your knees hurt?"  And lately, "how does it feel to beat mean and women half your age?"  (which I find funny - as I am not sure how I should feel?)
4. Trail or Road?

Both.  I discovered trail running in March, I fell in love with the change of scenery, different type of workout and terrain.  I love road, it’s a part of me (I am a former champion youth sprinter) , so I will never stop road running.

5.  What shoes do you run in?

[UPDATE] As of September 2012 she stopped wearing the Kinvara and is back in the T7s. Currently, I am wearing Kinvara 2’s.  I use to wear Brooks T7’s but after the Los Angeles Marathon, I felt I needed a wider shoe for my longer distances.  My goal is to work to even more minimalist shoe for shorter distances.  

6. Thoughts about the minimal/barefoot running movement?

I am all for it.  I believe form is the basis of all injuries.  I am a classic example of that.  I was a canidate for knee replacements and hip surgery.  I did blow out my hip in 2011 (during a Half Marathon, of all places).  After recovery, I learned proper form, which lead me to more minimalist shoes (I use to wear VERY supportive shoes with inserts) and now - I have been injury free for 16 months.  For me, I learned and apply ChiRunning.com techniques.  Too much support on a shoe negates the ability to feel how you are running and thus, you cannot correct your form.  

7. If you had to pick one sponsor for yourself who would it be? And why?
Just one?!!! I have so many great relationships with so many companies, it would be so hard to choose!But,  I would pick KT Tape.  I have been using their product since I had my hip blow out in 2011.  It’s almost a trademark of mine.  Everyone knows by the tape on my leg and I love telling athletes about the benefits of KT Tape.  I have met the owner and several of the PT’s at very events, they are such a great group of people, I would be honored to be a part of their company in any capacity.  
8. What’s your take on programs like Crossfit Endurance/Insanity/p90x as endurance training instead of only running?
In general, I believe if you want to be a better runner - run.  Not to say that other activities aren’t benenficial to overall health, but as a replacement to running?  I think that is the wrong way to go.  Nothing can replace the training of being on your feet for 3-4 hours. Not only are you training your body, but you are training your mind.  How can you train for the wall at Mile 20 if you don’t train for it?  If someone wants to add x-training to their training schedule, that’s fine - but to take away from the running training?  I don’t agree with that.  Look at the Elites. They run and spend time in the gym.  They might cycle - but never as a replacement to the miles on the road.  If someone is x-training because running is too hard on them. They need to re-examine their training schedule and yes, their form.  Running is a natural part of our being, we shouldn’t look for replacements to make us a better runner.  Again, some might not agree - but I prefer to keep things simple in my training and it has worked out for me and my coaching clients. 

9. Favorite race or event you’ve been apart of? And why?

One of my all time favorites was the Calico Racing Hoover Dam Half Marathon in 2011.  It was the first time I sub2 on a Half.   It was 70% trail and a very difficult course, but I was determined to reach that goal.  Running along a lake and coming into the Final turn into the Finish Line and having so many people chanting my name and rooting me in - they all knew I was about to achieve the goal I chased for 10 months.   Even now, it brings tears to my eyes.  That was a very special event to me.  

10. If you could run with someone famous, it would be?

Ryan Hall & Meb  Keflezighi.  I would love to run with either of them or better yet - BOTH!  To chat about running, goals and about their faith.  

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