I have had a little secret for over a year and I feel it’s time to share with all of you.
As I am a Certified Running Coach, I specialize in helping those get started – my skill set is not to coach those of high competitive level and certainly not Elite racers. I recognize that a Coach (myself) needs a Coach, to improve. I need someone with a elite trained eye for competitors to see my training, my form and all elements to help me improve.
I also need someone who respected my current level and that I don’t have decades of experience (I did not run in college nor post college). More importantly, I need someone to respect that I was in my 50’s and not going to run against those who are 20’s. Well, I do compete against them, but the changes of me beating a college athlete is slim to none.
A runner friend came to me about a year ago and I spoke for a long while and I had to drop my walls. I had been burned twice, bad. I had been burned twice by people who appeared to have the best of intentions for my health and training, only to learn their motives were not to help me, but to promote themselves. I didn’t need to be used, I would rather not have a coach.
Sstarted working together in 2013. He took me through a base building of speed that quickly provided results of 5 minutes+ off my Half Marathon time and I finally PR’d on my 5k (by 30 seconds) a goal I had been chasing for 18 months.
He renewed the belief in my racing and that I could be competitive on a Masters Level. Not only is he a great friend, he is my mentor in many ways. During the time of my injury, we continued to mentor me and when I started running again, he gingerly guided me (with the approval of my Doctor) on my mileage.
As a Elite athlete, who have competed against some of the best in the world, I am humbled and honored he considers me a friend and values my racing enough to invest in me. Not only does he push my body to the very limit, he has taught me about race strategy and pacing at those critical race moments.
While I know he is uncomfortable with attention on him, please allow me to share with you some of his great racing accomplishments. I am so proud of what he has accomplished.
2nd place OVERALL - St. George Marathon.
2nd OVERAL - Brentwood 10k
1st twice in Age Group at Masters Carlsbad 5k (not once, but TWICE)
1:08:00 1/2 MARATHON
I would like to introduce to you my Coach & Running Mentor, Jeff Gardner. Those in Nevada, especially Las Vegas knows the name well. Raised in PA, he is a veteran of the Air Force and long standing citizen of Las Vegas. He is a man that many respect, admire and trust in the racing field. A man who pulls no punches and will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Here is a picture of Jeff and I in 2012, when we both won the Masters Title at the local Turkey Trot 5k. This is one of my favorite pictures and it was an absolute honor to share this moment with him. It’s been a great year working under his leadership and I look forward to many more years with him. I am confident that I will improve as a racer, but more importantly, grow as a person - with Jeff's guidance and belief in me.
|Jeff Gardner and I - Las Vegas Turkey Trot 5k Masters Winners 2012|
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-13
Run F.A.B. & Boston Strong,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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