Sunday, February 26, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 8

Sunday, February 19th – Rest Day

Monday, February 20th – 4 mile progression run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 21st –  Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 3 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 22nd – 75 minutes on the stationary bike

Thursday, February 23rd – 3 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 24th –  Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, February 25th – Phoenix Marathon [recap coming soon], Stretched & Foam Rolled

36.2 miles of running this week. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday (seeing as my back is still screwed up from December and my chiropractor mentioned she thinks it could be a compression fracture and suggested x-rays), so hopefully I can get my body back to 100%... Thankfully it doesn't hurt any extra while running, so might as well do something I enjoy if it's gonna hurt anyway, right?!

How were your workouts this past week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Goals for the Mesa-PHX Marathon

Had you asked me what my goals were for the Mesa-PHX Marathon in October I would have had a very concrete answer, a very specific time goal. I would have said to best my marathon time by at least 50 seconds, to run a sub-3:30.

"Why 50 seconds?", you ask.

Well, in October I ran my first (and only) Boston Qualifying marathon time. [To qualify for the Boston Marathon, you must run a specific time requirement based on your age and gender. As a 32 year old female {which I was at the time of the St. George Marathon}, I needed to run a 3:35 marathon or faster.]

Finisher selfie from the St. George Marathon

But just because you run a qualifying time does not automatically guarantee you the ability to run the Boston Marathon - it simply gives you access to the application for registration. When registration opens, people who run a marathon time over 20 minutes faster than their required time get to register first. The following week, people you who run a marathon time over 10 minutes faster than their required time get to register next. The week after that, people you who run a marathon time over 5 minutes faster than their required time then get to register. Finally, open registration will allow anyone who ran a qualifying time to submit their time for approval.

The issue is, once the race hits its max registration it closes. That means some people who run Boston qualifying times may not be able to register or run the race since they allow the fastest runners to register first. For example, for the 2017 race, in order to be accepted, runners needed to run at least 2:09 faster than their age group's qualifying time. In 2016 the cut-off was even harder, requiring entrants to run 2:28 faster than their age group qualifying times.
Well, in October, when I ran the St. George Marathon and claimed a Boston Qualifying time as my own, I ran it in 3:30:50... Four minutes and ten seconds faster than my qualifying time. Although in past years this would have allow me a spot, I would feel much better knowing that I was getting my name in the week prior to open registration - hence the sub-3:30 goal (getting me a time over 5 minutes faster than that required). 

With that said, my body has pretty much shot that goal down every chance it got... Since October I've dealt with an angry knee (which stemmed from my hip), a bad belly, and a bum back. I'd say from October to December my running/ training was minimal at best. Although during January and February I was able to get in the mileage listed on my calendar, the speed work has NOT been there (I'm just grateful to be able to run and not want to cry every step I take). 

So, when I toe the line on Saturday for the Mesa-PHX Marathon, I plan on taking whatever the day gives me. I doubt it will be a stellar performance (especially since I have to keep in mind the fact that I'll be running the Los Angeles Marathon in three weeks, and then an Ultra relay two weeks after that), but I plan to give it my best shot.

Maybe I'll run with friends, maybe I'll try and chase down a sub-4, maybe I'll get a PR in high-fives given out... whatever the case, I plan to arrive at the starting line with a smile on my face and hopefully cross the finish line with it still there.

I can't believe Saturday will be my TENTH full marathon... Even without a concrete time goal in mind, 26.2 miles is a BEAST and it deserves respect. Although I've readjusted my goals, I'll forever be grateful each and every time I have the opportunity and ability to lace up my shoes and run - no matter what the clock says when I cross the finish line.

Have you ever had to reassess your goals?

Monday, February 20, 2017

#WeRunSocial Mesa-PHX Marathon Meet-Up

This weekend will be my THIRD time heading to Arizona to run the Mesa-PHX Marathon (although, in the past the race was simply called the Phoenix Marathon - Recap: 2015 & 2016).

Apparently I have a signature pose... Finisher picture from 2015 on the left and 2016 on the right

The 2015 Phoenix Marathon is actually where Pavement Runner's brain-child, #WeRunSocial, was born. I was lucky to be involved from the get-go, so when Brian asked me if I wanted to help host the meet-up for this year's race you know I had to say HECK TO THE YES!

Some of the crew after the 2015 race

I will be tagging along with two of the heavy-weights in the running community - Pavement Runner and RunEMZ (I don't know why they would want little ol' me to help out, but I am all about it) and we want YOU to join us!

The hosts for this year's meet-up

If you will be in the Phoenix area on this Friday afternoon you should totally come hang out (even if you aren't running in any of the races). We will be meeting at the PRO Compression booth at the the Mesa-PHX Marathon Expo (which is open to ALL) starting around 4pm. Stop by, say "HI", selfie it up and meet some AWESOME runners (who also happen to be overall AMAZING human beings).

I have a box of goodies to bring for giveaways, so just in case seeing our bright and smiling faces isn't incentive enough, you could win some goodies so should definitely put this event on your calendar!

Who will I see this weekend?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 7

Sunday, February 12th – 3 mile run with the hubby

Monday, February 13th – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 14th –  5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 15th – 4 mile run (1 on my own followed by 3 with the hubby), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, February 16th – 8 progressive mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 17th –  Rest Day

Saturday, February 18th – Rest Day

Instead of Christmas gifts, a group of my girlfriends and I do a trip. I think it was planned PERFECTLY because it was during taper - which meant it gave me something to focus on rather than the fact that I wasn't running, along with the fact that I didn't mind the extra couple rest days (and lighter suitcase because I wasn't packing running gear). I was still sure to get in all of my runs pre-trip and decided that any of our exploring would count as my 'cross-training' workouts.

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

As you read this I am enjoying a girls weekend in San Francisco - WHOOOO HOOOO! (Some friends and I do a trip instead of Christmas gifts, and this was the weekend of our adventure.) Along with LOVING a few days away and girl time, below are a couple additional Friday Favorites that you all may be interested in checking out for yourself!

Target Swimsuits

I never thought I'd put "bathing suits" on a list of favorites, especially because bathing suit shopping is probably one of the worst things that I can think of voluntarily doing... but it happened! When the hubby and I were going through our purging phase a couple weeks back I got rid of all my old bikinis. They were ill-fitting, faded and old, but I kept them because I never wanted to A. spend the money to replace them or B. go shopping for bathing suits. I figured that if I got rid of all my two piece bathing suits it'd force me to buy a new one (or be left with a really white belly all summer long from rocking my one-piece). Low and behold I was at Target the other day and figured I'd take the plunge. To my surprise I actually found a suit that I liked! I think it's probably because it was similar to my Handful bras, but that's okay. I appreciate that you can mix and match tops and bottoms (especially for women who aren't a straight size across the board). I was able to pick up a top and two bottoms (one for laying at the pool and another for being active). Normally I'd wait until they went on sale, but I knew it was now or never so I bit the bullet and actually paid full price!


If you don't know what this is A. you probably don't follow me on Instagram (but you can HERE if you'd like) and B. missed my blog post about it. It's okay, I won't hold it against you. Anywho, not only do I like posting my finds, I LOVE when other people "play" along and post theirs as well. But this is about neither... The other day I received a notice in Facebook that I had been tagged in a post. A friend shared about her experience "treasure hunting" and I couldn't help but smile. Not so much because of what she said, but that she sees me as a positive person, someone who looks for the good, and someone who was actually making a difference in the world (no matter how small it may seem). With that, I just wanted to challenge you to keep doing good, spreading kindness, finding reasons to smile - you never know who you may be impacting, but you ARE making this world a better place!

Take It All Back by Judah & The Lion

I think I like this jam so much because it reminds me of a folk-y version of my main man Eminem. Obviously the hip hop artist from 8 Mile doesn't rock out on a banjo or mandolin, but the lead singer's voice definitely has a little Marshall Mathers feel to it (or maybe that's just me). I also love what they had to say about the song in a Red Bull interview, "It's our way of saying that our successes do not define us as people. We would give up everything we do to have the things that matter most to us: love, friends, family, ice cream."

DIY Cards

I feel like I used to be so much more artsy and creative... but I got to rectify this a bit earlier this week. For Valentine's Day, the girls in my small group decided to shower our leader in surprises throughout the day (his wife passed away two years ago from cancer and we wanted him to know he is still deeply cared for). Along with a near botched flower delivery that I made at 6:20am, I also made a homemade card. And while I was at it, I decided to make the hubby a pop-up card as well. They might be a little corny, but I had fun (and they at least acted like they appreciated them ;)).

What are you loving lately?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Our Engagement Story

Today marks NINE YEARS since Ry and I got engaged, so I thought it'd be fun to share our engagement story. I'm not sure if I've told it before, and was too lazy to look before I started typing, so I'm sorry if this is a re-run for some of you ;)

This is one of the pictures from our 'engagement' photo shoot
(that we did with a tripod & a point-and-shoot camera w/ a timer)

As some of you may know, the hubby and I started dating our sophomore year of college. I had 'noticed' Ryan because he actually liked the girl who lived across the hall from me freshman year and was always hanging out over there. Fortunately for me, she didn't like him 'like that' and I was able to swoop in ;)

There's the stud I thought was so dreamy... and artsy... and skater-ish... and God loving... and so unlike anyone I had dated before

We both went to Orlando with our college campus church during the summer between our freshman and sophomore year as part of a leadership training program. As part of the program, we were required to work full-time jobs. Universal Studios had a 'deal' with the organization that they'd hire as many of us as they could - so instead of hunting for our own jobs, the majority of us decided to work at the theme park for the summer. Ryan and I carpooled every day to and from work and got to know each other. Love blossomed and we started dating the beginning of our sophomore year.

Not sure if you can tell, but we were secretly holding hands behind Ryan's leg... Yup, young love ;) 

We look like BABIES! This was 14 YEARS ago! WE WERE BABIES!

Let's stop right here and mention a few things. First, before Ryan and I even started dating, I told the girls in my summer small group that I could see myself marrying him (apparently it would take a little more convincing for Ryan to believe it for himself). Next, it is MY PERSONAL OPINION that you date someone to decide whether or not that is the person you could spend the rest of your life with. Okay, now we can proceed.

Halloween 2006

At this point in our relationship (February 2008), Ry and I had been together for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS. We had dated while living in the same dorm, while living across the country from each other, while moving across the country from everyone we knew but still living in different cities, etc. I felt as though we had dated through just about every phase and I still knew I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life... WHAT WAS TAKING HIM SO LONG?!

Celebrating our birthdays in 2007 (they are 3 days apart)

Although I am NOT a Valentine's Day celebrator, I thought that this would be a decent time for Ryan to propose, but alas, he did not. I remember being so frustrated with the situation that I called my mom and told her that I thought I was going to have to break up with him because obviously the relationship was going NOWHERE. She tried her best to calm me down, to tell me to 'stick it out' and reminded me how much I loved him. (Little did I know he had already called and asked my parents for my hand in marriage and she was trying her hardest not to spill the beans just days before.)

Ryan's sister and her hubby were in town that following weekend, visiting San Diego, so we were planning to head down to spend some time with them. On the way, Ryan thought we could do a little geo caching. (If you don't know what geo caching is, it's sort of like high-tech treasure hunting. You use coordinates and GPS to find caches that could have tradable items or just a log to sign showing that you found it. It was something we enjoyed doing because it helped us discover areas we may have never found on our own. Being in a new city and state, it was a great way to adventure.)

A picture of us geo caching from 2007... I thought RC Pirates was the perfect name for
us because R = Ryan, C = Carlee & Pirates look for treasure like geo cachers!

We stopped at Kate Session's Park to grab a couple caches before meeting his sister for a little sight seeing downtown. When he was ready to pop the question, he called me over (normally, once we got to the location we would divide and attempt to conquer, looking around to find the cache) saying he had found it, and had the ring in his hand.

I always poke fun at him because he was down on both knees, but really it was such a cute proposal, and so US, that he could have been standing or speaking Spanish and I still would have said YES (or maybe sí).

Thumbs up for love

And how fun is it that two of our friends ended up going to the geo cache we got engaged at after our wedding and grabbed the coin we left?! (PS We got married 6 months to the day after we got engaged - note the dates in the log.)

And now you know ;) It might not be uber romantic or what little girls dream about when pondering the way their prince charming asks to spend the rest of his life with her, but it was PURE PERFECTION for me and the man of my dreams!

How did you get engaged?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K

Once again #TeamSparkle is running So Cal Ragnar in order to raise awareness and money for Rett Syndrome and Girl Power 2 Cure. This terrible disease has trapped almost half a million girls in their bodies, leaving them unable to speak, walk, or even use their hands. #TeamSparkle is running because these girls can’t, but we believe someday they will!

I am HONORED to be running on the team for a third year in a row! And I promise my running abilities are slightly better than my
synchronized jumping abilities ;) 

We will be running 200 miles for 200 girls (dedicating each mile to a specific girl) during our #Ragnar4Rett adventure. But just because you aren’t running the Ragnar Relay with us doesn’t mean you can’t participate. This year we invite YOU to join #TeamSparkle and participate in our #Ragnar4Rett journey by signing up for the THIRD ANNUAL #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K (and yes, all profits will be donated to Girl Power 2 Cure).


Participating is easy:

1. Sign up for the #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K. Registration is open NOW until it sells out.

2. Run/ walk /roll at least 3.1 miles (5K) anytime between now and Saturday, April 8th, 2017. However, we’d suggest you complete the 5K the weekend that we are running Ragnar So Cal (April 7th-8th). This year is the first year that three different options are being made available. No matter which route you go, you will be receiving a real, actual race bib and a beautiful, sparkly, die cast, 2017-edition #TeamSparkle medal. And then, depending on whether you 'upgrade' to one of the other packages, you could also receive a special edition #Ragnar4Rett shirt and/or a limited edition GP2C Dream Big Running Skirt. Everything will be shipped the week of March 27th.


3. Share your pictures with the rest of #TeamSparkle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtags #Ragnar4Rett and #TeamSparkle. Post pictures of your #FlatSparkle (the clothes & gear you are rocking), your medal, your run, and anything else you want to share. Although you may be racing virtually, by posting your pics to our Facebook page, or using the hashtags on Instagram & Twitter – we can cheer everyone on!

Have you ever participated in a virtual race before?