Sunday, March 24, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 12

Sunday, March 17th – 10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, March 18th – 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, March 19th – 10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, March 20th – 8.88 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, March 21st – 75 minutes on the stationary bike

Friday, March 22nd   16.8 mile run (broken up into an 8, 6.2 and 2.6 mile run 4 hours apart, mimicking #Ragnar4Rett legs), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, March 23rd – 10 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

So, Friday's runs were supposed to add up to a 22 mile run, but when I started my third run my stomach decided to revolt (not so much a bathroom issue, but a large knot that was painful whether I was going up or downhill, couldn't shake it, so after about two and a half miles I pulled the plug). The hubby had a 10 mile run on the calendar for the weekend, so since my Friday run was changed so I could listen to my body I decided to join him for some Saturday miles. All in all I got in the miles I needed to, just not the way I wanted (nor with the confidence boost I was after). Here's to a better week next week.

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I'm PUMPED! Although, the hubby and I won't be going to our normal chips and salsa dinner tonight (FYI - I do eat a vegetarian quesadilla as well, not just chips and salsa ;)) because he has a golf outing, I am still excited for the day. I mean, it's one step closer to the weekend (you can almost taste it, can't you?!) and hopefully a little sun since we've had showers the last couple days. But now for the reason you're all here to begin with - some of my current faves!

Momentum's Spring + Summer Collection

It's springtime, a time of birth and rediscovery. Like a breath of fresh air, Momentum's newest sayings and colors were designed to recenter you on your way to becoming your most authentic self, igniting a renewed passion for your hopes & dreams. I am loving the new colors (fern, sweet cream and watermelon) and the sayings are AMAZEBALLS ("what if you fly?", "I CAN DO HARD THINGS" and "find your spark"). And, if you order one before March 25th, you'll save on a second item automatically (no discount code needed!). Buy 1 Spring + Summer Motivate Wrap, receive 25% off any 2nd item

Home Hoodie from The Mitten State

It's been a few weeks since I've included anything from The Mitten State, so I'm about due, right?! I got an email earlier this week about a new hoodie that they added to the website (which is a limited edition - once they run out, they're gone) and I thought "I need that one". So, in case you wanted to gift it to me, I'll take it in a size XS ;) #PleaseAndThanks And if they ever add size XS to the long sleeve t-shirts, I'll take a Dockside, Outdoors and Lake Effect while you're at it ;)


Free Races in Chicago

I came across this article from Runner's World and was STOKED! I the focus of the 'Go Runs in Chicago, which are put on by the Chicago Area Runners Association, is to go where the "normal" running crowd isn't. They want to be where running needs them the most - which is helping underserved communities fall in love with the act of running! The races are free and are publicized by a grassroots effort - hanging fliers around neighborhoods, going door to door, etc. The purpose is to get everyone and anyone out and active! Participants can even complete different tasks (from volunteering or bringing a friend to running without stopping or setting a personal record) to work towards free shirts or other prizes.


Cute Tees

I am on Pinterest as part of my job and see cute things from time to time. I saw a few tees from Brooklyn Backroom that caught my eye and I figured I'd pass them along. I mean, one can never have too many t-shirts, am I right or am I right?!

Left: Hug a Dog / Center: Happy Camper / Right: Pet the Puppies

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Volunteering at a Race

At the beginning of the year I shared my 19 goals for 2019. You may be surprised, but not all of them are running related (although, #RealTalk, I do have a handful of those too). I have goals that include everything from learning to French braid and attending four concerts to being able to do three pull-ups and mailing at least four cards (via snail mail) a month.

One of the goals I set for myself was to volunteer six times in 2019. A few weeks ago I posted about the first volunteer opportunity I had this year - where I went to a camp and helped cook meals for 200+ high schoolers for a long weekend

Today I am sharing about the second.

Last week a friend of mine asked if the hubby and I were available on Saturday, March 16th. I looked at my calendar and surprisingly we were free. She wanted to know if we would be willing to help at an aid station for a local race, the Ramblas Run. The trail race offers a 5K (a standard one and one specific for youth), 10K and Half Marathon. She was manning the Harbor Saddle Aid Station at Mile .7 and 2.7 {there is a loop the runners take, hence coming back to the aid station a second time} and was looking for more volunteers. I checked with the hubby and he was in! 

The game plan was to meet at the race around 7:30am, which meant we needed to leave the house a little before 7. (The trail was about 30 minutes north of us, but since I wasn't 100% certain about the parking situation I figured I'd give us a little extra time and we left the house around 6:50am. We got there in plenty of time!) 

Still wearing our jackets since it was about 45* outside

We met the crew at the finish line and walked  to our aid station about .75 miles away (on the walk there I could already tell I was thankful to be volunteering instead of running because the course seemed tough with quite a bit of elevation gain!). All of the supplies were already there for us, we just had to hike ourselves there and get everything set up.

Always stoked when the hubby is willing to come along for the adventure! 

There were two different start times, with the Half starting at 8:45am and the 5K/ 10Ks starting at 9:30am. That gave us plenty of time to get the aid station set up (pre-pour some water and electrolyte cups, cut up oranges, pour pretzels and potato chips in bowls, open up the cookies, pump up the jams for a mini dance party, etc).

The dark mass on the horizon is Catalina Island!

The views from our spot were pretty spectacular. Flowers a plenty and the trails were covered in lush greenery (which is not the norm in this dusty area). The sky was clear and you could even see Catalina Island between the hills.

Where we were located on the course was a little hectic, but we helped the runners as best as we could. (All three distances came through our aid station twice. They got to us at Mile .7, then did a 2 mile loop and hit us again at Mile 2.7, then the Half Marathoners and the 10K'ers veered off and continued their race, while the 5K'ers went back the way they came originally. It was easy to direct everyone from around 8:50am till 9:35am, because we knew they were all half marathoners and needed to continue through, but then once the shorter distance runners started coming {and there were still half marathoners in the mix} we really had to be vocal about where everyone needed to go.)


It's been rather mild here in SoCal lately (not to mention the rain we have been getting recently), so it was a bit surprising when it started warming up quickly. Thankfully we had plenty of hydration and fuel to keep the runners chugging along. (And hopefully our encouragement and running tunes kept them motivated to charge the rest of their race!)


Around 10:45am everyone had come through our aid station so we were able to break everything down and call it quits. It was awesome being able to give back to the community and hang out with some of my Orange County running friends.

Some amazing trail running, ultra OC mommies!

On the way home we made a quick pit stop at the SoCal Adventure Vehicle Show and then made our way back to Oceanside. Unfortunately, seeing as it felt like summer out, the summer traffic was already out in full force and our drive which should have taken us about 25 minutes took over 90! And, of course the hubby slept through most of it ;)

Friends joke that falling asleep in the car might be the hubby's super power...
I don't disagree with this assessment... 

Have you ever volunteered at a race before?

Monday, March 18, 2019

Superbloom Sadness

If you follow me on social media (you can find me @CarleeMcDot on all platforms), you may have noticed that the hubby and I went out to see the "superbloom" yesterday morning. What you may not have realized (especially if you either don't follow me or you just look at the pictures and don't read the captions) is I didn't want to go. Like not in the slightest.

Don’t get me wrong, I big puffy heart L-O-V-E nature, flowers, etc, but I knew not only would the poppy fields be a mad house but people would be destroying God’s creation, making me frustrated, annoyed and disappointed. Let’s just say I wasn’t wrong... the flowers were gorgeous, but the people were terrible (not all, but definitely the majority we saw).

I like it when you call me BIG POPPY!

The only reason I went was because the hubby was actually really excited to go, so I decided to take one for the team and stock up on a few extra "good wife points" ;) I mean, I even had to go as far as to wake up at 3:45am so I could get my 10 mile run in before we made our way to the poppy fields. That's what you call love (or maybe insanity ;)).

Had to start running by 4:45am so I could be home by 6:45 and showered and ready to go by 7:30.

I was actually pretty surprised that the hubby wanted to go, because he HATES crowds and lines - and I figured that's exactly what we were walking into... And, I was right. Think of it as Disneyland crowds when Star Wars Land opens.

Not sure if you can see the traffic at the bottom of the hill, but this is at least 2 miles from the open
exit and the line of cars is already stopped... And this was before 9 in the morning! And can you see
all of the people that look like lines of ants coming up the hills?!

We left our house around 7:30am so we could get to Lake Elsinore before 8:30. (Technically we could've went earlier, but the poppies don't open up fully for a few hours after sunrise, so we were walking a thin line of when to go so we'd beat the mad-dash of people and yet not get there too early so we wouldn't see them in all their glory.) As soon as we got close to the exit we could already see the pandemonium. Sure, the hills were gorgeous and covered in orange and purple, but the lines of cars and hordes of people were very disheartening. I could already feel my cynical side coming out.
We originally got off at the main exit, but as soon as we got off we were directed right back on the freeway because the parking areas were full. We decided we'd drive down to the next exit, take some of the side roads and then just walk in. 

Although we walked along some of the paths in the canyon, I didn't want to stop and take pictures because
the crowds were so insane... so this is a shot on the walk back to the car (hence the barbed-wire fence)

On the drive down to the next exit we saw so many visitors disrespecting nature. People were trouncing up the hills wherever they wanted, stepping all over the flowers, laying down in the fields, picking the poppies, etc. It literally made my soul sad. Not only did it hurt my heart to think about how the environment was being impacted, but it frustrated me because I assume 95% of the people visiting (and, I might be wrong about this, but that is at least how it seemed as an outsider) were just "doing it for the 'gram". Well, I'm so stoked they got their Instagram shot and killed a ton of beauty in the process {that's sarcasm, in case you weren't pickin' up what I was puttin' down}. #ThisIsWhyWeCantHaveNiceThings
In fact, it got so bad that the city of Lake Elsinore had to SHUT DOWN the canyon! Literally, the freeways and side streets were at a standstill! In a statement city hall released, they said "#PoppyShutdown: The situation has escalated beyond our available resources. No additional shuttles or visitors will be allowed into Walker Canyon. This weekend has been unbearable. We will evaluate all options next week including ways to shut this down. Thank you for your understanding. We know it has been miserable and has caused unnecessary hardships for our entire community."


I get it, public lands are for the public to enjoy, and although at one point I literally said out loud "I sort of wish these people would stay home and not #OptOutside", I really do want folks to take pleasure in the great outdoors... but I don't want them to destroy it. I want everyone to be able to enjoy it - that includes future visitors! Sitting or lying down to take a selfie or even walking off an established trail can damage both existing flowers and the next generation that would have grown if the soil hadn’t been disturbed. You may think it's not a big deal, but multiply that act by tens, hundreds or thousands of visitors and it can quickly destroy an area! We need to be respectful - period!

On our walk back to the car we came across this artist painting the hills. Sort of loved it!

If you are planning to check out the superbloom (or anywhere in nature actually), visit responsibly. While I encourage everyone to take in the incredible sights of God's creation, I hope we will all be a responsible visitor while there. That means walking on marked paths only, taking photos in front of the flowers rather than on top of them, and otherwise leaving no trace. In fact, while we are at it, let's leave it better than we found it! If you see a piece of trash, pick it up. If you come across a ranger or employee, thank them for their hard work. And wherever possible, make as little an environmental impact as possible (carpool, visit during an off-season, look into ways of volunteering, donate, etc).

An assortment of the flowers and weeds currently in bloom

And, with that, I will step down off of my soapbox (although, let's be real, I could go off on this topic for quite some time!).


What is one way you will leave it better than you found it?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 11

Sunday, March 10th – 10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, March 11th – 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, March 12th – 8.5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, March 13th – 8.68 mile run

Thursday, March 14th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, March 15th   22 mile run (broken up into an 8, 6 and 8 mile run 4 hours apart, mimicking #Ragnar4Rett legs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, March 16th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

I swapped around my runs a bit this week (moving my cross training day from Monday to Thursday and then moving my 4, 8 and 8 miles up a day) because the hubby and I were volunteering at a race aid station on Saturday and I knew I wouldn't be able to get in my long run so had to move that up to Friday. Instead of running my 22 miles straight, I decided to break it up into three legs and run them four(ish) hours apart to mimic #Ragnar4Rett. I don't remember having done this in the past, but when I saw a fellow teammate doing it on one of her long runs I thought it was a great idea and wanted to give it a try. Although the back-to-back runs weren't fast or pretty, getting in the miles was a bit of a confidence boost. Now to do it a time or two before the race and I think we will be all set! And on Saturday the hubby and I were able to give back to the running community by volunteering at a trail race aid station! I'm gonna call this week a MAJOR success!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Favorites

WHOOO HOOOO! It's Friday! I think the whole "Spring Forward" thing this past weekend really threw me and my body for a loop (even though, truth be told, I do appreciate more sunlight in the evenings for when the hubby and I take Walt for his "Walt Walk Streak"). I swear it feels like we lost more than an hour... Anywho, I'm stoked it is finally the weekend (and we get the full 48 hours this time around) and I'm stoked to share some of the things I have been enjoying recently.

O'Dang Hummus Dressing

If you follow my Instagram stories, you have probably seen that I have been loving my BIG FREAKIN' salads for lunch recently. With the weather starting to warm up (hello spring), I am loving all the fresh veggies I can get my hands on. And recently I found a new salad dressing that I have been LOVING! It's the O'Dang Honey Mustard Hummus Dressing. I was originally looking for a salad dressing that was vegan (and although this is dairy free, obviously honey is not vegan so as you can tell from the name, this dressing isn't completely plant based), but when I saw this one I wanted to give it a try. The ingredients are super basic and there's no crazy additives! I love how thick it is - like a hummus, DUH! I don't know why I never thought of using a hummus as a dressing, but now I might look into making my own!

My salads normally contain spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots,
and some sort of protein (baked tofu or a meat substitute).

#TrashTag Challenge

Let's be honest, most of the viral challenges can be rather silly or idiotic (read: Tide Pod challenge), but I was STOKED when this most recent challenge started to catch on. The #trashtag challenge inspired people to go to locations covered in garbage, pick up the trash, and post before and after pictures on social media. As you may remember, as part of the Wild Keepers program I took part in last year I did "impact" days where the hubby and I went and picked up trash in February, March and April. Although I haven't done a specific clean-up recently, the hubby and I do our best to leave places better than we found them. With that said, I think we need to jump on the #TrashTag challenge and get our garbage pickin' on!


Brooks Off-Road Runners

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you probably know that I've been getting more into trail running recently. (I'll be honest, it took be a while to take the plunge - I was always scared of seeing the slower paces or hurting myself - but once I did, it was hard to look back.) Well, Brooks announced earlier this week a new trail running ambassador program, Brooks Off-Road Runners, created to inspire other runners like you to get outside, enjoy the trails and celebrate the outdoor spaces we all love to explore. I'm not sure if they will ever open up the program to public applications, but I'm still stoked that they have a handful of runners on their team who spend the majority of their time on the trails - that can only mean more and better trail focused products are coming down the pipeline, right?!


Ultra-Low-Cost 3D-Printed Homes

I came across an article about these Ultra-Low-Cost 3D-Printed Homes and had to pass it along! Over the past year, in a lab in Austin, a team of engineers and materials scientists tweaked and tested the design of a massive machine that can 3D print the frame of a small house in less than a day. Later this year, it will begin printing a neighborhood of more than 50 homes. The new neighborhood – the first of its kind in the world – will be built in a semi-rural part of Latin America for families who earn less than $200 a month. The machine builds walls and floors by squirting layers of concrete, and can finish a house in a day or less. Adding a conventional roof, windows, and utilities can be completed a day later. The company plans to fund the houses, with the new homeowners paying for them via a no-interest loan that the new home owners pay back with a monthly fee based on income. The money will go into a community fund for more community improvements over time. HOW STINKIN' AWESOME IS THIS?! #DoGood


Small Ways To Reduce Plastic Consumptions

As I am sure we are all well aware, America has a HUGE waste problem, and municipalities are now burning recyclables. Why? Because in 2017, China, which used to buy most of America’s discarded recycling, decided it was tired of being the world’s garbage bin. Unfortunately, the U.S. isn't equipped to do its own recycling. This Outside article includes nine ways we can stop using so much plastic. Sure, some of them takes a little forethought (like making sure to bring your reusable bags with you to the grocery store), but a little effort can go a long way! For example, throw a set of utensils in your car for when you grab food on the go and skip the single-use plastic cutlery from the restaurant. #EasyPeasy


What are you loving lately?