Friday, July 29, 2016

Fitting It In

The last couple days I have been fitting in my workouts when I can.

For example, yesterday I had a couple errands to run. It was my cross-training day so I looked to see if any of them were bike-able. Low-and-behold, The Home Depot was about 8.5 miles from the house and I needed to go over there to pick up a saw that we were getting some warranty work done on. I threw on my book bag (because you should probably have some way to safely carry a saw the 8.5 miles back to your house) and took to the trail. Thankfully I was able to ride on the bike trail for the majority of the trip (minus the last mile or so). It was already toasty when I started, and I got a few strange looks as I wheeled my streamer-adorned bike into the hardware store, but hey, I got to cross off a to-do list item AND get my workout in!


It is great to kill maim take care of two birds with one stone (the vegetarian in me just couldn't use the saying without a minor edit). I did end up jumping in the car so I could take our donation pile over to the local thrift store, but that was more because I couldn't carry all of the items on me without tipping over, not because I didn't want to bike more errands.

This morning I had to grab my dad from the airport. He is in town for a convention and is staying at our house tonight before heading to the hotel tomorrow. I had a 20-miler on the schedule for today so I figured I would head down to San Diego to get my run in along the water before picking him up from the airport.

The views did NOT suck!

I'm not sure if you can see the haze, but the humidity was socking in San Diego

It was not only a great way to change up my route, but it also forced me to keep a decent pace because I knew I had to be at the airport at a certain time. Also, it was nice to have my long run out of the way before the festivities began (I haven't seen my parents since our trip back to Michigan in December so it will be #AllTheFun).

20 miles DONE!

Oh yeah, and apparently running 20 miles in the morning wasn't enough... because when the padre asked if he could use the hubby's bike I offered to head out on a 5 mile ride with him.

Of course I had showered already, but I'm always down for another good sweat!

I may also be counting some of the cleaning I did to get the house ready for my parents arrival as more daily workouts... I mean, with this humidity, I have been sweating non-stop, whether I am running, biking, dusting or vacuuming, so I guess that means it should count, right?!

With a busy calendar, I know sometimes our workouts can get shifted around and then potentially skipped, so I am stoked I have been able to fit them in when I am able. Shoot, a short run is better than no run at all... So get out there and get it done!

How have you creatively fit in a workout with the hectic-ness that is your life?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Conqur Endurance Group Ambassadorship Results

Remember last week when I shared my embarrassing application/ audition video for the Conqur Endurance Group Ambassadorship? If you don't remember, or just want a good laugh, feel free to check it out HERE. It is a somewhat long video (almost 10 minutes), but if you stick with it till the end you will get a cameo from the ever dapper Walt the Wiener Dog and an "impression" by yours truly (Arrrrrg you ready for it?! I guess you'll just have to see!).

We found out who made the team and guess what... I MADE THE SQUAD! There was some fierce competition this year (just like last year) and for some reason the Conqur Endurance Group team liked me enough to give me the nod!


There are six returning ambassadors and six newbies - AWESOMESAUCE! There are some real ROCKSTARS (both as runners and as social media gurus) on the team and it's an absolute honor to be accepted back for a second year in a row! As one of the ambassadors joked, IT'S TIME TO CONQUR LA! (It was just too pun-y not to share/ borrow!)

Now you might be saying to yourself, "Well, that's cool for you, Carlee, but what's in it for me?". I'm glad you asked selfish reader. Seeing as Conqur Endurance Group puts on races like the Santa Monica Classic, the Pasadena Half and the Los Angeles Marathon, I am hoping to have some super snazzy discount codes to share with you all! We will be having a 'welcome to the crew' meeting in the next couple weeks so I will get more deets then, but for now, sit on the edge of your seat and clear your calendar for those dates if you aren't already registered for those races!

Are you planning on running any of the Conqur Endurance Group races in the coming months?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Idyllwild Adventure

At the beginning of last week, the hubby and I were looking at our upcoming calendars. Minus last weekend, every weekend from them until mid-September was BOOKED SOLID! We've got my parents coming into town, hubby will be hiking Mt. Whitney, we will be heading to Vancouver for SeaWheeze and an anniversary trip, a camping trip with friends to Kern River is on the calendar, Ryan will be in Portland for work, we've got the runDisney Dumbo Double Dare, and oh yeah our birthdays.

Well, when we saw last weekend was empty we thought, "why not fill it with a mini camping trip?!". We looked at a couple campgrounds and found a site that was still available for Friday night so added it to the schedule.

I had never been to Idyllwild before and Ryan has only been once when he was there to hike San Jacinto Peak a few weeks back. We thought it would be a perfect little getaway, minus the fact that we are in a mini heat wave and they were expecting temperatures in the triple digits out in the desert.

Once Ryan got home from work on Friday and we got all packed up (we had everything but the cooler and a few last minute items packed the night before), we hit the road. The drive was only about two hours and we pulled into Idyllwild Park around 5:30pm. (At that point it was still about 95*, but thankfully our site was in the shade which legit made it feel at least 15 or 20 degrees cooler).

You can see the hubby thru the back window putting the cooler
in the cab so we can hit the road!

Since this wasn't our first rodeo, we have the majority of our camping down to a science. I started putting together the beds in the back of the Adventure Mobile and Ryan started getting the food ready (I guess running 18 miles in the morning had caught up to my stomach because it was growling like a mountain lion... wait, do mountain lions growl?!).

Walt has it MADE! We even bring a separate chair for his bed!

And one of his favorite places is in the hammock!

Ryan loves our Hobo Tacos (taco fixings in a Doritos bag) so since we were only doing one dinner on the trip he adimately voted for those. We grabbed a couple of the single serving bags from the grocery store and brought the rest of the mixings with us (which also worked well since we were planning on breakfast burritos in the morning).

"Burger" crumble, red onions, avocado, cheese, salsa and crushed
up Cool Ranch Doritos ;)

Little did I know that our camping trip was going to turn into a climbing adventure, but hey, happy hubby, happy life (oh wait, that isn't the saying, is it?!). There were quite a few boulders near our site and what a surprise, the hubby had already done some research, so after we finished our dinner we made our way over so he could get his climb on.

He climbs and I tame the wiener dog (and try to snap a couple pictures)

Due to our late start and the sun starting to set, hubby only got to climb for about an hour or so, but it seemed to be about perfect (not to mention the pup was pretty bored and was ready to do a little exploring).

Once the hubby gets on the boulder, Walt claims Ryan's climbing pad as his own
little bed... Thankfully Ryan hasn't fallen on Walt... yet...

Even though the temps were high, when the sun went down it started to cool off nicely. I had called the campgrounds the day before to make sure they were still allowing fires (with the drought and high heat sometimes they will restrict them) because I wanted my s'mores! Legit, I was telling myself during that morning's humid 18 mile run "earn your s'mores, earn your s'mores".

Reese's in your s'mores are GAME CHANGERS! It's the ONLY WAY to s'more!

After hanging out by the fire for a while we called it a night because we knew we wanted to get a little hiking in the following morning before the heat got too bad.


Walt definitely has a rough life... Making himself comfortable wherever he is!

Saturday morning we woke up and got our breakfast burritos going. They were delish, as always, and a great way to fuel up for our Summit hike. And, yes, just in case you were planning on judging me, we pack extra Taco Bell sauces that we've "acquired" for camp trips, so judge away ;)

The hubs loves to man the stove while we are camping

Egg substitute, potato, soy sausage, red onion and cheese in a tortilla

The campground had a ton of hiking trails nearby (and most of them were doggy friendly), which was awesome. We decided to tackle the Summit Loop. The trail was just over two miles (which we thought was perfect for Walt and the heat). There is a bit of elevation gain (like 1,000 feet in the first mile), but the views make it oh so worth it.

It sort of felt a little Dr. Seussical ;)

If you don't selfie, it didn't happen, right?!


A panoramic view from the summit

Which way do we go?

We make sure to bring just as much water for the pup as we do for us!
Gotta keep that wiener hydrated!

By the time we got back to our campsite it was really heating up so we packed up and decided to drive around. The hubby wanted to check out Boulder Basin on Black Mountain, so off we went. Although the campground was about 10 miles from where we were, the majority of the roads were dirt trails and two-track roads so it took a good 45 minutes or so. It definitely makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, but I think I would pass until the heat breaks.

It was a bumpy ride for sure!

After our offroading adventure we decided to drive back into town and check everything out. The area is totally puppy friendly, I mean, for goodness' sakes, the mayor of Idyllwild is a dog... Yep, you read that right - Max the Mayor! And WE EVEN GOT TO MEET HIM!

We were coming out of one of the stores and I saw this Jeep out on the street!
I told Ryan that we HAD TO go meet him ;)

I'm just gonna say it... It was a little scandalous that the mayor wanted to lick our wiener... 

We grabbed a quick lunch and decided it was time to hit the road. We were back to our house by about 2:30pm so all-in-all we were gone for less than 24 hours. It was an awesome getaway and is crazy to think that you are still in Riverside County because it feels like you are somewhere so much further.

A boy and his dog, waiting for their lunch
I think Idyllwild is definitely a place we would like to return to. A friend of ours was actually telling us that she loves to go with her family around Thanksgiving time (and they even have a fun little Christmas tree lighting ceremony). The area has such a mountain-y, hometown feel, it's great (even if it is a bit touristy).

Do you do mini getaways or would you prefer longer vacations?

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Blogging Story

I think there are a lot of preconceived notions when it comes to blogging and bloggers so I thought I would give you a little insight to my blogging story in case you haven't heard it before.


I started my blog back in December of 2006 (holy crap, we are coming up on 10 YEARS of blogging... how did that happen?!). I originally started blogging because I had recently moved from Michigan to Southern California and I thought it would be easier to have my friends and family back home read about my adventures in one spot rather than having to email everyone individually (so I guess you can say my blog beginnings were really out of a desire to be lazy).

If you ever go back and look at the archives, you can tell I had no idea what I was doing (shoot, you may even still feel that way). Some posts were all of like 25 words (telling people I was busy and would get back to blogging soon), while others were just articles that I thought were interesting and wanted to share.

Obviously once I got into running a few years back (the Disneyland Half Marathon coming up in a few weeks will mark my FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY of half marathon races - man, how time flies!) my blog started to transition into being more about running/ training/ racing since that was what was going on in my life.


Now, some folks out there may think that I make money at this whole blogging thing... HA, I WISH! Sure, there are a few campaigns I may work on every so often that will compensate me $25 or $50 for my time, but for the most part - this is a very non-paid gig.

The majority of the products I review or post about are ones I either buy myself or actually contacted the brand about (Dear Brand, I think you are pretty awesome. I love your products and would be super stoked to try out your newest _______. I have a blog and am active on social media. If you'd like to team up, I would love to review the item with my followers and hopefully get you some new orders and lifelong customers. XOXO, Carlee). Many of my emails go unanswered (whomp whomp) - but that doesn't stop me from sending them... What's the worst someone could say?!

I know there are some bloggers out there that are making money on their posts (or on advertising that they have on their blog), but I am not one of those. I literally am doing it just because I enjoy it. Oh yeah, and also because my Fibro Fog causes me to have TERRIBLE memory, so if I don't write it down or record it somehow I will completely forget about it within a couple weeks. Because it is something I enjoy, I worry that if it turned into a legit job I might not love it as much (and would feel more pressure to put out content that I might not be completely happy with).


PS I am in no way saying that making money from your blog is wrong or selling out (shoot, if I could do it, I probably would), it just isn't where I'm at. I would love to find someone to pay me to run, post pictures and blog about my life (actually, truth be told, I would much rather that person come find ME, because going out on my own to find that is not only scary and intimidating, it's filled with a lot of rejection and I am not super stoked on that)... but I know that isn't a reality for 99.9% of us out here in the 'real world'.

And even though I don't get paid for blogging, it takes up a large chunk of time. I'd say most posts take me at least an hour to write (then I go back and reread them like 19 times and have to add pictures and images as to not overwhelm readers with all my babbling) - and some of my more in-depth recaps could take upwards of four or five hours.

Currently, this is an outlet for me - to share my feelings, record my training, write about my daily going's-on's, etc. #RealTalk - If you know someone who would like to pay me to do that, PLEASE feel free to pass along my contact info, but otherwise I will continue chugging along, posting about things that interest me and the adventures of the McDots.

Did you think I got paid to blog?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 30

Sunday, July 17th – Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Half Marathon, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Monday, July 18th – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 5 progressive mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Tuesday, July 19th – 8 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Wednesday, July 20th – 18 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Thursday, July 21st –  3 miles of #Yasso800s and 5 miles of trail running with #TeamSparkle, Stretched & Foam Rolled



Friday, July 22nd – 18 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Saturday, July 23rd – Rest Day [2.5 mile hike with the hubby and puppy], Stretched & Foam Rolled


52.1 miles of running while not training for a full marathon or goal race?! HOLY CRAPOLY... WHO AM I?! With a track workout on Thursday morning and a trail run that evening, Friday's long run was all about just getting the miles in. It is encouraging to know that I could technically add a full marathon to my schedule at any point because I am somewhat still trained for them (even though currently my next one isn't until Phoenix in February).

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

I always love finding new favorite things through the recommendations of friends... And that's what we are, right?! So then, who's ready for another round of #FridayFavorites?! Hope you are, cause it's comin' atcha no matter what!



#VanLife


Ryan and I have been talking about potentially selling all of our stuff and adventuring around the country in a van. We don't have any of the specifics worked out, and technically it is still just a dream, but I'm positive that one day we will make it happen (even if one day is in 30 years)! For now, I will continue to look at adventure mobiles on Pinterest and research rental companies to rent out our condo for us. And, yes, in fact we DO wanna 'live in a van, down by the river'.

Source

#PalletFurniture


I had been asking Ryan to build me a box out of pallets for our throw blankets for probably three years now. The last couple of weeks he has been talking about wanting to build other furniture (a climbing chair, a table, etc) and I told him that I would prefer he not build furniture that we didn't need before something we could legitimately use. Well, that lit a spark under his booty and last weekend he finished my pallet box. I measured the area next to the couch where it would go and he grabbed some pallets from his work and TADA - I LOVE IT! Isn't she purrrrrty?! 


#TrailThursday


I originally had plans for last night so wasn't going to be able to make the second #TeamSparkle Trail Run, but when the plans fell through I made the drive - and I'm so glad I did! Running trail with sparkly ladies is always a GREAT time! Wanna know what makes it even better? When you stop to regroup and form a spirit tunnel for bikers coming through on the trails... Oh yeah, and then they repay the favor and set up a cheer station a half mile down the path - PURE AWESOMESAUCE! There's one last official #TeamSparkle Trail Run on the calendar, but I'll be in Vancouver for SeaWheeze so won't be able to go... But if you're near Chino Hills on August 11th you MUST stop by for a run!


#SportsBraSquad


The AMAZING Kelly Roberts (PS If you don't already follow her on every single social media platform you are on, you are missing out - so do yourself a favor and ADD HER NOW!) started up the #SportsBraSquad and I am STOKED! As you know, I have terrible self-esteem and just about HATE my body, but had recently been finding some confidence (or at least caring a LOT LESS what others think) and taking to pounding the pavement in my sports bra. This squad has no requirements - it's just a way to say "F YOU" to society telling women who is strong and beautiful! So often women feel ashamed or not good enough to rock what they've got... And why?! Because we have been told for so long that we aren't as beautiful as that model or we aren't as strong as that athlete... But you know what?! WE ARE STRONG, WE ARE BEAUTIFUL! So take back your confidence and ROCK WHAT YOUR MAMA GAVE YOU! [And, yes, just in case you are wondering, you are TOTALLY able to love yourself while working towards a stronger you! Shedding your shirt may not fix all of our problems, but the crazy thing is is that it somehow helps shed some of our insecurities.]


So, that's what I'm loving lately... Now it's your turn!

What are some of the products, activities or mantras you are diggin'?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Conqur Endurance Group Ambassadorship

I don't know if you remember or not, but last year I was selected as one of the lucky few to be an ambassador for the Los Angeles Marathon. This year, I reapplied to the Conqur Endurance Group Ambassador program (the master brand behind the Los Angeles Marathon, Pasadena Half MarathonSanta Monica Classic, etc).

Me at the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon earlier this year

Last week I received a "congrats" email because I was picked to move on to the second round.


Don't get me wrong, I was honored to be selected to move on to the next step of the process... Well, that was until I saw we had to record another video...


If you've been around CarleeMcDot.com for a while you might remember my application video for last year's ambassadorship (if not or you just want a good laugh, feel free to check it out here). Well, I was hoping we would be exempt from this little charade this year, but apparently no such luck.

Being selected to move on in the application process meant I would need to record another "audition" video - but thankfully this year we didn't have to sing/ lip sync a song. In the video we were asked to answer two questions and do an IMPRESSION! Oh crap, I don't do any impressions... Maybe singing "row row row your boat" was easier last year...

Watch the video below for my thoughts on both a runner's high and advice for someone tackling their first full marathon! And if you stick around long enough you will get a Walt the Wiener Dog cameo and see what I did for my impression.


We won't find out who was selected as a Conqur Endurance Group Ambassador until late next week, so for now it is a bit of the "hurry up and wait" feeling... Wish me luck (both in my patience and in securing one of the coveted spots)! 

What would you have done for your impression?