Thursday, October 27, 2016

Running Safety

Yesterday, while I was "walking" the dog (if you follow along on my Instagram Stories you know why walking is in quotation marks), a neighbor stopped me. He said that something happened the previous day that he thought I needed to know about. He told me that he saw a FedEx driver being a peeping tom in our community (while having his privates exposed). He showed me a picture of the man, told me he was pressing charges, that FedEx would be firing him later that day and urged me that if I saw him in the area to call the police.

I think often times we take our safety for granted (at least I know I do myself). We feel safe, think "nothing will ever happen to me", well, unfortunately, that is not always the case. With that said, I thought I would put together a few ways to stay safe while running - specifically when it comes to creepers (instead of tips such as wearing bright clothing, using reflective gear between sunset and sunrise, running against traffic, etc).

Running Safety Tips

Carry Identification

In case there is ever an instance where you are unable to speak for yourself, having something that can speak for you can save precious moments. I rock RoadID bracelets (and have them in just about every color to match my outfit ;)), but know that there are other companies out there that offer something similar. I prefer the Wrist ID Sport because it has Velcro and I can make it as small as I need (remember, my wedding ring is a size 3.5, so I have tiny wrists too), but there are a plethora of products - including ones that can attach to your Garmin or FitBit products, ones that are made of silicon or leather and ones that can attach to your shoe if you would rather not wear something on your wrist. Also, I carry my Driver's License on me at all times. (My phone case holds 3 cards, so as long as I have my phone I have my ID and two credit cards on me.) God forbid that something ever happens, but if it does, you should be prepared.

Use Tracking Apps 

I always tell my hubby he is too much of a worry wart, but I know that I may be on the other end of the spectrum and am a little too naive. With that said, he appreciates when I use a tracking app so that he can follow along on my solo long runs. There are a couple options that I've used in the past (both the RoadID app that send eCrumbs along your route and the LiveTrack option within my Garmin Connect) which send notifications while you are out running (or riding). You can even set up alarms that will go off if you are in one space for more than a specified time limit. One thing to keep in mind is that this will use your location services on your phone so can run your battery down faster than normal, but it's a small price to pay for piece of mind (especially if you ask my hubby).


Consider Mace / Pepper Spray

Let me preface this by saying I do not carry any type of spray with me on my runs, but, if I am honest, it is because I don't want to carry yet another thing in my hands (I normally run with my phone in one hand and my keys in the other). Once I shared about the FedEx peeping tom incident with my mom, she said that maybe I should consider it. I haven't completely ruled it out and know that some of my runner friends do carry some sort of protection, so I figured I'd at least throw it out there as something to think about.


Run with Friends / Join a Running Group

There is definitely strength in numbers. I am lucky that my hubby runs with me (anywhere from 1-3 times a week), but the majority of my runs (especially my long ones) are done on my own. I realize that I am a bigger target on my own than if I was running with a friend or group. Have you ever considered joining a running group? I know our local running store offers fun runs and workouts (although I have never taken advantage of them) and many areas have running clubs that meet up weekly. Maybe you can't make it happen on a daily basis, but finding a running partner or group to join can definitely help with your safety. PS Running friends can totally have 4 legs (those may even deter creeps more)!

Change Your Route

Do you run the same route all the time? Don't get me wrong, sometimes it is out of necessity. I know for me, there is a route around our place that I run once or twice a week because I don't have to drive anywhere and can leave straight from our house. The issue is, if anyone is creeping on you, they know exactly where to find you! If you aren't willing to change up your route on a daily basis, at least consider adjusting the times of day at which you are running. Obviously some of us don't have that convenience (i.e. having to run before work, on our lunch break, before grabbing the kids from school, etc), but when at all possible - change it up! (Breaking the routing can also help to keep running fun.)


Run in Well Populated Areas

If you are going to run on your own, make sure you do it in a well populated area. Although where we live is safe (or at least it feels that way to me), if I am heading out for a long run before the sun comes up, the hubby stresses the importance of me running a specific route. It is slightly inconvenient because I have to drive there, but I know that I will see bikers and runners out (one of the many benefits of living in health-conscious Southern California) no matter the time of day. Sure, creepers may creep no matter where you are at, but they tend to be less likely to creep when there are more people around to witness and report their creepiness.

I know that following these tips does not guarantee safety, but anything we can do to increase our likelihood of making it home another day is something I am willing to do...

Are there any tips you think I might have I left out?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

REVIEW: StrideBox

I was contacted a while back by the folks over at StrideBox to do a review of their product. I have tried subscription boxes in the past and think they are a super awesome idea so obviously jumped at the opportunity to give theirs a go. I love that you get an assortment of goodies which arrive at your door {or in your mailbox} once a month.


Each StrideBox contains an assortment of sample and full-size products from a variety of companies and brands. The box includes, but it's not limited to: nutritional bars, gels, drinks, snacks, apparel, gadgets, skincare and hygiene products, as well as other accessories.


The cost per box ranges from $15-20, based on the subscription option you select, and it includes free shipping to US addresses. For what you get in the box (averaging 7 items), this seems to be a very reasonable price. 

Thus far I have received four StrideBoxes - the goodness just keeps on coming! I thought I would do a quick recap of what was in each of them so you can get an idea of the types of items you can expect on a regular basis.

July StrideBox: 

July Contents: NUTRAPLEX - Energy and nutrition bar / GO CUBES - Chewable coffee / VOKE TAB - Chewable energy / VITALYTE - Electrolyte replacement drink {grape} / JUSTIN'S - Honey peanut butter / BOOSTER BLENDZ - Smoothie booster {herbal blend} / STRIDEBOX ESSENTIALS  - Inspirational hydration bottle

August StrideBox:

August Contents: RXBAX - Protein bar {chocolate sea salt} / GU ENERGY - Stroopwafel {satly's caramel} / NUTRIGARDEN - Beet boost drink {tart cherry} / BUFF BAKE - Peanut spread {red velvet} / THE CHIA CO - Chia shots {white chia seeds} / ALOE UP - Sunscreen {pro ultra sport SPF 30}

September StrideBox:

September Contents: RAW REV GLO - Bar with superfoods / NATURE NATE'S - All natural honey / GLUKOS - Energy drink {lemon} / PROTES - Protein snacks {zesty nacho} / PRINCE OF PEACE - Ginger honey tea crystals and candy / LIGHTLOAD TOWELS - Compressed towels / STRIDEBOX ESSENTIALS - Double pocket running belt

October StrideBox:

October Contents: NEW GROUNDS - Coffee bar / SPORT BEANS - Extreme / EVOKE FOODS - Muesli {athlete fuel} / TAILWIND - Endurance fuel {berry} / SPORT TEA - Daily energy tea / PJUR ACTIVE - 2Skin {anti chafing gel} / RUNDANA - Stridebox anthology special edition

As you can see, the variety is great (it's not just all gels or funky hydration mixes). I would have to say there was at least one item per box that I was super stoked about (and had been eye-ballin' on my own to check out). Including a 'Stride Guide' is a great idea - and the fact that it tells you when (before, during or after a workout) to use the product is a HUGE plus. I was also thrilled to see that there was a recipe card and suggested workout included in each box. Pinterest is great, but having ideas from fellow runners right in the box is much appreciated. 

I have to be honest (since you know I am all about #KeepingItReal), I am a pretty boring gal... When I find what works for me, I tend not to stray too far from it. StrideBoxes are helpful because it isn't a huge commitment (the price point is very doable and you can either select a specified quantity or cancel your month-to-month subscription whenever you would like) and it can open your world up to products that you never even thought to try before. 

Obviously, you are the best judge as to whether this subscription box is right for you. If you are the type of runner who tries the freebies you get in a runner's bag or at a race expo, then this is probably right up your alley. If you are set in your ways and never veer from your tried-and-true products, then this would probably leave you with a cupboard full of goodies that you have the best intentions of using but may never actually try. (PS Neither type of runner is 'right' or 'wrong' - but knowing which category you fall in may help you decide whether a product like this is up your alley or not.)

Have you ever tried a subscription service (other than magazines) before?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Day in the Life

People really seem to enjoy these "A Day in the Life" posts to see what 'real life' is like (instead of just the highlights that make it on social media), so why not give the people what they want?! Today's recap is from YESTERDAY.

5:40am - Woke up

5:40am - 5:50am - Checked Instagram

5:50am - 7:50am - Worked

Love that I can work from the comfort of my own home... and
from the comfort of my pajamas!

7:50am - 8:00am - Made the hubby breakfast, coffee, and lunch, got the pup's food out

Just a few of the pieces for the hubby... 

8:00am - Woke up the hubby

8:00am - 8:30am - Sat with the hubby and pup while they eat their breakfast

8:30am - 9:00am - Walked the pup

I have no idea what he thought he saw, but isn't he a cutie?!

9:00am - 9:45am - Strength training workout

Don't judge... I watch my trashy "Real Housewives" when I workout inside!

9:45am - 10:20am - 4 mile run

10:20am - 11:00am - Showered and got ready for the day

11:00am - 12:15pm - Got groceries

The bell peppers were HUGE!

12:15pm - 12:30pm - Made lunch (a giant salad) and chowed down

Don't judge... I eat my food on the floor!

12:30pm - 1:00pm - Put away groceries and did some meal prep (chopped veggies, cleaned fruit, etc)

1:00pm - 2:00pm - Worked

2:00pm - 2:30pm - Walked the pup

I swear... Walt has the itchiest chin ever... Whenever he doesn't
want to walk any longer he sits down to scratch his chin... WEIRD-O!

2:30pm - 3:00pm - Did Growth Group Homework

3:00pm - 4:00pm - Took down the trash and recycles, vacuumed the house, started the dishwasher, scrubbed the toilets

4:00pm - 5:30pm - Worked on upcoming blog post

Sometimes blogging can make me start going cray-cray

5:30pm - 6:00pm - Checked on my social media platforms

6:00pm - 6:20pm - Made dinner

Chili-mac on this "chilly" night (okay, it wasn't cold at all, but we did have thunder
and lightning today... that's gotta count for something!)

6:20pm - 6:40pm - Ate dinner with the hubs

6:40pm - 7:00pm - Walked the doggy

7:00pm - 8:15pm - Went to Lowe's to buy a new dishwasher

The installers will be calling us... hopefully it is in sooner rather than later...

8:15pm - 9:15pm - Researched candidates/ propositions for mail-in ballot

I love the mail-in option... I just wish we got the cool 'I Voted' stickers... 

9:15pm - 9:30pm - Foam rolled and stretched

I try to roll and stretch every evening before bed... I truly believe it has helped in
me avoiding injury while running!

9:30pm - 9:40pm - Got ready for bed

9:40pm - 10:00pm - Checked my social media platforms while in bed

10:00pm - Turned off the electronics and tried to go to sleep

Yup, it's not glamorous, but it's real life ;) And aren't you glad that all the boring stuff doesn't make it to my social media most of the time?! I'm sure I would have a lot fewer followers if the grocery shopping pictures were my main focus.

Have you researched how you are going to vote yet?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 43

Sunday, October 16th – 5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, October 17th – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 4 progressive miles, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, October 18th –  8 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, October 19th – 15 mile bike ride, 6 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, October 20th –  4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, October 21st – 7 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, October 22nd – Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

With another week or two before I get on an official training plan for the Phoenix Marathon, I'm enjoying the freedom of getting in what I can, when I can. 34 miles run, 15 miles biked, a strength training session, and, of course, a rest day!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Favorites

HECK TO THE YES! WE MADE IT TO FRIDAY! I swear, some weeks it feels like this day will never get here... But now that it's here, I'm sure it'll fly by... Weird how that works, eh? Anywho, you know the drill, it's FRIDAY so it's time to share a few of my recent FAVORITES with some of my FAVE FOLKS in the InterWebs world - YOU! Let's do it, do it!

Handful Bras

Remember how I posted about the FLASH SALE going on right now?! {If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my post from Wednesday HERE.} Well, it ends TONIGHT! You do NOT want to miss getting your hands on a Handful bra for only $20! And, just in case you aren't 100% sure about them and don't want to simply take my word for it, there is FREE shipping (on orders over $25) and FREE returns... so, what's the harm in giving them a try?!

The Runner's Guide to Walt Disney World

One of my friends, Megan, wrote this book and it is now in it's FIFTH edition (it is updated annually seeing as runDisney and the Disney Properties are always changing - and she wants you to be as up-to-date with all of your info as possible!). I have the first edition and think this resource is a MUST for anyone running at WDW. It has information on everything from registration to hotels and resorts to meal plans and restaurants to running or spectating the races.

For the first month of the 2017 edition launch, they are including some fun added bonuses to make your runDisney race experience even more magical!
  • runDisney Dos and Don'ts eBook 
  • The Best of runDisney: Walt Disney World eBook (2017 edition) 
  • runDisney Race Weekend Packing List 
These bonuses are FREE if you purchase the paperback version of Magical Miles: The Runner's Guide to Walt Disney World before November 1. Order your copy, then claim your bonuses!


I posted on Monday about my need to step up my hydration game. So many folks jumped on board to either step up their water consumption, make (or break) another habit, or just continue to encourage me along in my journey. I love how the folks around me always want to see me succeed - YOU ROCK MY SOCKS! PS If you don't want to be held accountable for something, don't put it out for the InterWebs to see... cause they will keep hounding you about it (in a good way)! {And just in case you haven't been following along on my Instagram Stories, so far - so good! Approximately 100 ounces a day since Monday! SCORE ONE FOR THE GOOD GUYS!}

Can we take a second and all talk about how AWESOMESAUCE these unicorn slippers are?! As some of you may know, I qualified for the Boston Marathon almost three weeks ago. Well, with their 'mascot' being a unicorn (and a BQ being ever elusive and magical like a unicorn) a sweet friend sent me a pair of these slips as a way to say CONGRATS! They are AMAZEBALLS and you should put them on your Christmas list right now!

That's it for this week, but I'd love to hear what you are loving lately!

How's your water consumption going?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Handful Bras FLASH SALE

Remember when I posted about becoming a Handful Bra ambassador a few weeks back?! And how I said that although I was SUPER STOKED for myself YOU should be pumped too?! Well, here's one of the reasons. I was able to chat with the lovely ladies of Handful to get a FLASH SALE for my friends, family, and followers (you all are THAT special to me).

So, here's the deets - Handful just added more products to their CLOSEOUT section of their site (meaning everything is already at a killer discount), but if you order between today and Friday evening you will save EVEN MORE!

PS I would appreciate no one counting the number of bras I have and telling the
hubby how much I've spent... seeing as I've never bought them for as cheap as they
are now being offered... #OurLittleSecret 

If you order NOW, you will be able to get your hands on these bras for $20, which is nearly 60% off the original price (and almost unheard of)! I promise you, once you give these bras a try you will see they are worth every penny (even when they aren't crazily marked down)! Also, I swear I am not trying to sound like an infomercial, but I just really don't want you to miss out on a deal as crazy amazing as this one!

Take about versatile! You can wear the straps on these bras THREE different ways! 

And, just in case you are new to these parts, believe me when I tell you, I will only share a product that I fully believe in and stand behind. Just take a look at my Instagram account to see Handful all over (because when it's summer in SoCal, you join the #SportsBraSquad and rock your Handful bra loud and proud with no shame of who sees it).

I cannot stress the urgency enough - this deal (or the inventory) will NOT last, so make sure to take advantage of it and stock up NOW! The size large bras have already completely sold out, so if you are an XS, S or M you better place your order ASAP or potentially risk missing out on this killer deal!


HOW TO SHOP: Use my ambassador link ( and scroll down to the "Adjustable Handful Bra - Closeout Fall '15" image. Click and get your shop on. When you add any of the items from this page into your cart, the discount should be automatically added. In case you have any issues at all, type "MCFLASH" in the coupon code area when you check out to get the lowest price possible ($20 plus FREE SHIPPING over $25!)! And, like I mentioned, this sale is only good through Friday, October 21st at 11:59pm PST so time is of the essence. STOP, DROP & SHOP!

PS If you want to order something other than the CLOSEOUT inventory, you can still score 10% off by using code "CARLEEMCDOT"! I'll try to offer a few more FLASH SALES for other products between now and the end of the year (such as the Spring 2016 sale items or the NEW Holiday 2016 items), but I wanted to get the biggest sale going first so if you haven't tried Handful before you could do it as cheaply as possible and see what everyone is RAVING about!

What's your go-to brand for sports bra?