Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's FRIDAY, FRIDAY, gotta share my favorites on FRIDAY! Wait, that's not how the song goes?! Silly me! Anywho, might as well share some of the things I am loving lately with YOU, right?! Let's get after it already and jump on in!

Pixar's Coco

I have been patiently awaiting the release of Pixar's newest movie Coco since I saw the first trailer. Well, they released a new trailer last week (but since we were out of town and off the grid I didn't see it till this week). I love the visuals (and all things Dead of the Dead related) and know it'll be amazing on the BIG screen. We will be in Zion camping over Thanksgiving, but you better believe that the hubby and I will be hitting up the theater to see this one once it comes out!

Knead To Cook's Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Since we are still in the middle of summer in SoCal, I haven't started making any soups or chilis, but let me tell you that I am greatly anticipating the cooler weather (oh yeah, and it will be AMAZING for running since the summer has been hot and humid NON-FREAKIN'-STOP!). So when I saw Robin's vegan broccoli cheddar soup I knew I needed to save it immediately (otherwise I'd probably forget about it and miss out on the amazingness). Everything Robin makes always looks AMAZEBALLS, so although my presentation probably won't be as pretty as hers, I know if I can follow the easy recipe the flavors will be spot on! I will definitely report back once I make it, but for now the recipe is going on my list!


Sarah Marie Design Studio Giveaway

If you don't follow me on Instagram or didn't see my blog post from Tuesday, you're missing out! I currently have an AMAZING giveaway going on for a TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR gift card to Sarah Marie Design Studio. The giveaway ends TONIGHT at 11:59pm PST, so if you haven't entered yet, what are you waiting for?! HURRY UP ALREADY!

Find THIS PICTURE on my Instagram feed and enter NOW!

PostSecret Exhibit

I have LOVED PostSecret for YEARS (I found about it in college, so legit it has probably been 12 or 13 years that I've been following along)! PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. Their secrets are posted online, every Sunday. To date, the project has received over a million submissions, some of which have been displayed at the White House and featured in six best-selling books. Frank Warren, the PostSecret's creator, is working with the San Diego Museum of Man to create a new exhibit featuring postcards collected from contributors in San Diego, across the country, and around the world. The exhibit won't open until April 14, 2018, but since I found out about it on Sunday I had to spread the word! Mark your calendar San Diego!

Brooks Limited-Edition Pins

I received an email from Brooks Running a couple days ago and FELL IN LOVE! They have some limited-edition pins that are AMAZEBALLS! I mean, the runner girl emoji and #RunHappy?! It doesn't get much better... Well, I guess it would if they sold the pins separately so I could place an order right now, but you can get a FREE pack if you order a sports bra from Brooks while supplies last (use code "RUNNERGIRL" at checkout to get the pin pack for free).

What are you loving lately?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mammoth Moments

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, you probably don't know that the hubby, pup and I made our way north to the Mammoth Lakes area this past weekend. Seeing as the hubby is currently full-time freelance (as opposed to in an office 9-5), we have had a lot more flexibility with our schedules and want to adventure as much as possible.

Of course Walt was "too cool" to look at the camera... He was actually focused on all of the free-range cows walking about.

I posted a couple of the pictures I snapped during our camping trip on Instagram (or on my IG stories), but we were running low on data for the month so we tried to limit our connection as much as possible (not to mention it is AMAZING to unplug). Now that we're back "on-the-grid" I thought I'd share some of the pictures we took along our journey.

We left Thursday afternoon (pulled out of Oceanside around 1pm), stayed on some BLM land Thursday night, hiked around Parker Lake and drove the June Lake loop before checking into our campsite Friday afternoon.

The pup doesn't want to miss out on anything... 

Friday morning when we woke up we were shocked at how chilly it was... Hovering around 32*, so Walt tried
soaking up as much sun as he could and the hubby made a warm breakfast of Kodiak Cakes

I did a quick Google search of "dog-friendly hikes in Mammoth" and found Parker Lake

It was a 2 mile hike to the lake and then 2 miles back to the car.

Walt normally doesn't love longer distances, but he rocked it!

The views were pretty hard to beat! Definitely worth the hike!

The river ran along next to the trail for the majority of the trip. So peaceful!

Still snow on the mountains... And I bet more is on its way in the next couple weeks!

The open road

Some of the treasures we found while hiking around for the day #CarleesTreasures

The boardwalk out to Mono Lake

Not sure if you can see the limestone pillars in the right portion of the lake, but they form
underwater and are poking out now... The lake used to be a lot higher!

The sunsets were hard to beat! And impossible to capture the true beauty!

But they left us smiling from ear to ear while experiencing God's greatness!

One of my favorite shots Ryan snapped of the #AdventureMobile

Saturday morning I ran around the campgrounds (running in 33* weather at 6,850 feet above sea level is no joke) before we made our way to Lake George for the morning and then sightseeing and bouldering in the afternoon. Ryan also tried his hand at a bit of fishing on the Owen's River, but wasn't having much luck with the set-up he had going on.

2 warm-up miles, 4 miles @ 7:35, 2 cool-down miles

I told Ryan this was going to be Walt's rap cover shot ;) #ThugLife


We love us some Smokey the Bear so obviously we stopped on the freeway for a picture or five ;)

Hiked around Lake George. Although it was only about a mile and a half, it was all bushwhacking and mud puddles... 
Walt normally doesn't go in the water, but he kept charging in to dive for sticks. We loved it!

The hubby didn't do much climbing, but he got in a couple fun routes

I couldn't have said it better myself... America's Playground!

Watching another sunset with the pup while Ryan threw his hook into the river

Hubby had a filter on the lens for this shot, which is why it seems a little more brownish/ yellow.

Ryan loves playing with the camera, so I end up being his test subject most of the time... This picture actually turned out fun!

The clouds rolled in so they obscured the subset a bit, but it was still amazing to watch the sky go to sleep

Sunday morning we packed up and made our way back home (getting stuck in a bit of traffic due to some accidents, making the six hour road trip more like seven or eight, but ah well - it's all just part of the adventure, right?!).

It was a quick trip, but any time you can get out to see somewhere new (I had never really been to the Mammoth area) and enjoy God's creation is time WELL SPENT in my book! We will definitely be back (as in next weekend with friends)!

Have you ever been to Mammoth Lakes?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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, September 19, 2017

REVIEW: Sarah Marie Design Studio (& GIVEAWAY)

I have been a fan of Sarah Marie Design Studio for like... EVER! But the hubby and I have been trying to simplify our lives, which means less purchasing things, so I never pulled the trigger and ordered anything (another reason is because I love just about EVERYTHING and haven't been able to narrow my "Wish List" to less than ten items).

So when Sarah reached out to me and asked if I wanted to help her out and host a giveaway, it was like the stars aligned, the heavens opened and the angels rejoiced ;) Okay, that might be a little much, but I definitely jumped for joy and let out a little squeal when I got the message. HECK TO THE YES!


She didn't just send one item, she sent a boat-load. I was beyond floored when I opened the package. #HappyDance

Let's just say it was a love at first sight! In the past I haven't been one for muscle tees, but lately I can't get enough (I love rocking them with a Handful bra underneath so I still feel covered, but can add a little extra pop of color).

Is this new slogan amazing or what?!

Even though Mother Nature is unrelenting and I doubt it will be sweatshirt weather any time soon, I think I found my travel outfit when I fly to the Windy City next month for the Chicago Marathon (insert panicked but excited emoji here).

A few of the essentials that I know will make my carry-on for my trip to Chicago in a couple weeks!

And tell me this tank is not PERFECT! I mean... I literally think I might live in it while they hubby and I are out and about on our adventures. #WhoUsesThePhoneToActuallyCallAnymore #NotMe #PleaseJustText

I can't forget about the AWESOME Steve Prefontaine pin. I honestly had to hide it when it first arrived because the hubby wanted to steal it from me. So freakin' amazing, right?! Legit this is my fave pin EVER!

Don't forget the moisture wicking hat! Normally I'll run in a trucker (since that's all I have), but this is definitely a step up in my headgear game! It even has UV protection in the fabric - SCORE!

PS Please ignore the fact that the bill isn't straight... I had just rocked the hat on an 18-miler (in 80% humidity) and was a little disheveled. 

Now, if only Sarah had a "Run all the miles, Eat all the chips and salsa" shirt I'd be all set! But really, Sarah, hint hint ;)


Oh yeah, and the reason you've come here... THE GIVEAWAY! You can enter to win a $200 gift card on my Instagram account {@CarleeMcDot}. Entering is super easy, so head over for all the details (but, honestly, it's as simple as following two accounts {me and @SarahMarieDesignStudio} and tagging a friend or twenty seven {just remember to tag cautiously or else you may end up in Instagram jail... but I wouldn't know anything about that... HA!}). The giveaway runs until Friday, September 22nd at 11:59pm PST. The random winner will be selected and contacted on Saturday.

What would your running slogan be?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Boston Marathon Registration

Today was the first step... okay, maybe more like step #63,794, but it was a BIG step... in realizing a GIANT goal of mine... one I've been chasing for quite some time... Today I put my name in the hat for the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Today I did a thing!

For those of you who don't know, the Boston Marathon is one of the oldest and most prestigious marathons IN THE WORLD! Unlike most other races, Boston requires participants to qualify (or run as a charity runner and raise bookoo bucks). The qualification process is intense and some runners try their entire running career to claim a coveted spot.


And the crazy thing is... even if you qualify, it doesn't automatically guarantee you a spot in the race. The way they allow runners to apply is by opening registration to those runners who beat their required time by the most time (i.e. runners who ran a time better than 20 minutes faster than their qualifying time are allowed to register first, then runners who ran a time better than 10 minutes faster than their qualifying time are allowed to register next, then runners who ran a time better than 5 minutes faster than their qualifying time are allowed to register, then open registration begins).

Can we just say OUCH?!

With limited number is spots, the faster runners gobble up the entries first and then we are left to see what the actual cut-off time is. In the past few years, the required time has ranged from 1:02 to 2:28 better than the qualifying time. I've been reading a few articles and the predicted cut-off time for the 2018 race seems to be estimated around 1:50 faster.

Source@BostonMarathon's Instagram Feed

My current BQ {Boston Qualifying} time is 3:30:50, which I ran at the St. George Marathon in October. (Yup, it was only a couple weeks after the deadline for the 2017 race so technically I've been waiting for almost a year to see if my time will be fast enough to secure me a spot.) The requirement for a 33 year old female is 3:35, so I have a 4:10 buffer.

From everything I've read and the data I've seen thus far, it would seem as though my time would be fast enough, but only time will tell... So, now it's just a bit of a waiting game... But thankfully I'm good at waiting... Okay, truth be told, I may not be the most patient person out there, but I have technically been waiting since October 1st, 2016 {the window closed for the 2017 race on September 15th, 2016}, so what's another couple days?!


PS I've had folks ask me about future Boston Marathon races (for example, I'm currently training to PR/ BQ the Chicago Marathon in a couple weeks and since it would be for the 2019 race they want to know if I would go to Boston if I, God willing, qualify again). Currently, I think Boston would be a one-and-done for me. I may totally change my mind once I get there and experience everything, but currently I think with the cost the race (and trip), I want to go and experience every bit of magic the race (and city) has to offer, but then let others have the opportunity to do it as well. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I won't shoot for future BQs (even if I get in this go-around for the 2018 race, there is a ton of time between now and April so in case I would happen to get injured or sick or who knows what, then at least I would have a shot for a future race), but I think I may only run Boston one time.

A friend sent me this tee when I qualified last year. I have only worn it once (on Patriots Day earlier this year for
the 2017 Boston Marathon) because I didn't want to jinx it, but I thought I could use all the extra Boston luck today!

And I can't conclude this post without a quick sidebar... For those of you who have been following along on my journey, I want to offer a deep and heartfelt THANK YOU! You all have believed in me even when I haven't believed in myself. You continually encourage me to chase down my dreams, no matter how outlandish or unattainable I think they may be. Yes, running the Boston Marathon is a personal goal of mine, but getting there was anything but an individual effort. You all have played a role in this journey and for that I will be forever grateful! So again and again - THANK YOU!

What giant goal are you chasing down?