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?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 37

Sunday, September 10th – Rest Day {#McDots33AOK}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, September 11th – 6 mile run (Goal HR 150), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, September 12th – 8 mile run (Goal: 2 miles easy, 4 miles @ 7:35, 2 miles easy), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, September 13th – 4 mile run with the hubby (Goal HR 150), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, September 14th – 20 mile run (Goal: 10 @ 8:00, 10 @ 7:45), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, September 15th – 4 mile hike with the hubby and pup

Saturday, September 16th – 8 mile run (Goal: 2 miles easy, 4 miles @ 7:35, 2 miles easy)

Just when I thought I would be able to run my workouts on the appropriate days we head to Mammoth for a quick camping trip ;) Had to shift my Thursday workout to Saturday and my Sunday long run to Thursday, but I still got everything in. I was actually pretty surprised with my run on Saturday because when I started it was 33 degrees (and only 38* when I finished), I was running at 6,850 feet above sea level and running on loose gravel and I still killed my workout. Guess I needed it after Thursdays rough (but final) 20-miler [my stomach was off, my fueling was off, my paces were off, but at least I got it done].

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Favorites

The hubby and I are in Mammoth Lakes to camp for the weekend (we actually left yesterday afternoon, but with the magic of scheduling posts I am "posting" while off the grid!), but that doesn't mean I was going to leave you high and dry without a post. I know I for one love getting "real" recommendations from friends rather than looking at ads, so hopefully you find these posts a great resource of something new to check out. These are some of the things I'm digging lately:

SDRVC Coast to Crest Challenge

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy announced a fun hiking challenge. From July 1st, 2017 through June 30th, 2018, you need to complete five specific River Park hikes. You can complete them in any order, in your own time, or with the Conservancy (they will lead guided hikes throughout the year). Each hike has a designated spot where you’ll take a selfie. Once you’ve completed all five hikes, you email all your selfies to SDRVC for verification. Everyone who completes the challenge and submits photos will receive a special certificate and decal, along with $10 in Adventure Bucks from A16 and a 20% coupon from REI--plus bragging rights and at least five cool outdoor adventures! The hubby and I are IN! Plus dogs (on leashes) are allowed on at least four of the five hikes... so Walt's in too!

Handful + Momentum Jewelry BeYOUtiful Campaign

If you have been around my neck of the woods for a while, then you know two of my FAVE brands are Handful and Momentum Jewelry. I have been an ambassador for each of them for a while now, but have loved their gear (and what they stand for) for much longer than that! With that said, I am STOKED that the two companies teamed up... and not only just teamed up, but are doing something AMAZING! Yesterday they launched the BeYOUtiful Campaign. This world could use a little extra self love and body positivity. The goal of the initiative is to promote a supportive community that inspires others to live more active and healthy lives - with each person moving towards their own best version of themselves (not some ideal as defined by our judgment passing culture). There are three really AWESOME wraps (for a great deal) and three AMAZING bras (also on sale). All BeYOUtiful purchases will receive a printed BeYOUtiful sign in their shipment, for participation in the October 18th campaign (which aligns with National Love Your Body Day).
PS You do not need to make a purchase to participate, you can download the #BeYOUtiful sign and spread the word!

Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant

The hubby and I were down in San Diego earlier this week (for the hubby's birthday he wanted to go see a documentary on The Avett Brothers, which happened to be showing in Hillcrest the day before his birthday). I had looked up on Yelp to find a vegetarian/ vegan place to try out and came across Plumeria. I told the hubby about it and he was down so we hit it up. O.M.Geeeeeee! It was AMAZEBALLS! We split the Crispy Tofu as an appetizer and then he had the Yellow Curry with vegan beef and I had the Broccoli Delight with vegan duck. Everything was FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC! We're a little bummed that it isn't closer (because we'd be there weekly), but are glad we found it... and now need to find other reasons to head down to University Heights. They have so many different meals (plus a ton of different protein options including vegan chicken, vegan shrimp, vegan beef, vegan duck, steamed or fried tofu) that I bet we could eat there 100 times and not try all the different combinations. I promise, meat-eaters and plant-based folks will both love this place!

Women's Running Cover Runner Contest

I had seen a few posts about the Women's Running Cover Runner Contest and wasn't sure if I should throw my name in the hat. I've entered a few of these before and have never heard anything. I have a few hang-ups about contests like this... First, I feel like I don't really have an exciting story. I found running, I love running, I run. There are so many inspirational runners out there that I feel like my boring story will never grab anyone's attention. Next, this type of contest ends up going to a "vote" once the finalists are selected. I am not one to constantly be asking folks to "vote for me", so I feel like even if I did happen to make it to the next round I wouldn't fare well when it comes to the popularity contest portion. But, even still, you never know if you don't try, so I submitted my application a couple days ago. The deadline for submissions is September 21st, so if you want to try your luck, make sure to enter before then!


Proud Box

If you've been around for a while, you've seen your fair share of subscription boxes. I think they are an amazing idea and love giving them a try (whether they are snack boxes, running items, etc). I got an email from MDen and I fell in love with Proud Box! Proud Box is the official monthly subscription box of the Michigan Wolverines. Each delivery brings great clothing, gifts and treats for Wolverine fans and students alike. It's the ideal pick-me-up for students away from home, or the ultimate spirit booster for football fanatics of any age. They offer both a Student or Football subscription - AMAZING! I am STOKED that they are doing this! I might even ask for the Football Fan box for Christmas (although since the boxes are only shipped from October to January I'd have to wait for the 2018 season).


What are you loving lately?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

REVIEW: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars

When I was at the grocery store a couple weeks ago I saw that some of the generic Greek Yogurt was on sale. I checked out the nutritional facts (because I seemed to remember that Greek Yogurt was supposed to be "better" for you, but didn't remember exactly why) and saw that it was a great source of protein.


I grabbed a couple containers (because I'm frugal AND healthy ;)) and had really been enjoying it. Some mornings I would use it for breakfast (on days I wasn't running afterwards because I didn't want to get all phlegmy from the dairy), some afternoons I would use it as a snack (I try to either munch on fruits and veggies or something higher in protein to fill me up), some evenings I would use it as a dessert (adding sliced bananas or apples and granola).


Somehow the Greek Yogurt gods must have sensed my love (that or they read my tweets) because the good folks at Yasso reached out to me about trying their Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars. I've gotta be honest, although I have heard of them before (mostly because if you are a runner you probably know the name Bart Yasso, so when I noticed "Yasso" in the ice cream section of the grocery store it stood out), but I had never tried any of their products.


Funny story. I had spent the morning food prepping for the week and I got a knock at the door. When I answered it (after I got Walt the {ATTACK} Wiener Dog under control), it was a delivery from Yasso. I guess that's what you call balance ;)

I was STOKED to give the treats a try (and had to warn the hubby I was writing a review and NOT to eat them all). You see, Yasso doesn't compromise on ingredients or quality. They believe dessert can be spectacularly delicious and nutritionally beneficial (so you won't find words you can't pronounce or things not based on real food in Yasso products).


I was sent four flavors, but they have A TON (15 stick bar flavors, 2 sandwiches and 2 candy bars) - something for everyone! I was lucky enough to try the Black Raspberry Chip, Cookies 'n Cream, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Each stick bar ranges from 80 to 130 calories {most right at 100 calories} and packs 5 to 6 grams of protein. 


I honestly can't pick a favorite. The Coconut is so refreshing, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough tastes exactly like you would expect with little chunks of cookie dough, the Cookies 'n Cream is fan-freakin'-tastic and the Black Raspberry Chip is scrum-didily-umptious. I know some folks say that Greek Yogurt can take a bit of getting used to, but in these bars they taste just like the "real" thing. I wasn't left with a "healthy" aftertaste or feeling as though I was missing out on anything. These were definitely an amazing dessert (and one that I am a little bummed it took me so long to find).

And isn't my Hello Apparel popsicle tee just PERFECT for when I'm eating these stick bars?! 

Now that I know how yummy Yasso is, I am definitely going to have to check out what flavors our local grocery store carries. For me, I found these to be the perfect size dessert (not to mention not a huge caloric intake) to appease my evening sweet tooth. The only con was the box only has four bars in it so the hubby and I can crush one in two days ;)

Do you like Greek Yogurt?

Wednesday, September 13, 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...


I thought this one was PERFECT from this past weekend because today is the hubby's birthday!

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