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?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Momentum Jewelry GIVEAWAY

If you follow me on social media, then you probably have seen quite a few pictures of my wrist (if you don't follow me on social media, maybe you should, hint hint, nudge nudge... go follow me at @CarleeMcDot ;)). I post #wristies because A. it helps record my workouts and B. they are probably better shots than you would get of my flushed, sweaty face.

Just a few over the last month or so... I swear, I take at least five a week ;)

The majority of the pictures contain a shot of my Garmin watch (because I am a numbers girl and run 99% of my workouts with my watch recording as much data as possible), but they also tend to have some #WristCandy.

Momentum Jewelry is one of my favorite companies when it comes to adding to my #ArmParty. Why? Well, for quite a few reasons. First, because who couldn't use their own personal cheerleader on their wrist when the run or workout gets tough?! Next, because the wraps are so comfy I don't even realize they're there (till I look down for that little boost of support or kick in the pants that I need). Also, because everything is made in the USA and hand-crafted with love!


How can you not LOVE a brand who wants to encourage you to go the extra mile and be the best version of yourself you can be?! I love being a cheerleader for others, but can't be there 100% of the time... but Momentum Jewelry can!

Not only does Momentum offer awesome motivate wraps, but I have a necklace that I NEVER take off! 

So I thought I would spread the encouragement and share some pieces with you! I've got a Momentum Jewelry prize pack up for grabs! It contains "beat yesterday" SPARKlet, "runner GIRL" necklace and "make it happen" FootNote.

Entering is easy, all you need to do is use the Rafflecopter below and then wait (some of the entry options are available daily, so I would highly recommend entering early and often to have the best shot at securing this prize for yourself)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will run through Friday, September 15th at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Rafflecopter account and has 24 hours to claim their prize. US Residents only. All entries are verified, so be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected (don't miss out on a technicality).

What is your go-to running mantra?


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Workout Recap - Week 36

Sunday, September 3rd – Disneyland Half Marathon, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, September 4th – 6 mile run (Goal HR 150), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, September 5th – 7 mile run {1 mile warm-up, 10 x .25 mile hill repeats, 1 mile cool-down}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, September 6th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, September 7th – 8.82 mile run (Goal: 1 mile warm-up, 4 x 400 {at 7:00 pace w/ 2:00 recovery}, 4 x 800 {at 7:00 pace w/ 2:00 recovery}, 4 x 400 {at 6:20 pace w/ 2:00 recovery}), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, September 8th – 4 mile run (Goal HR 150), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, September 9th – 18.33 mile run (Goal: 9 @ 8:10, 8 @ 7:40), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Just when I thought I'd be able to run my workouts on the appropriate days I decided to move my long run that was going to be on Sunday to Saturday. (Sunday is my birthday and I wanted more time to spend doing acts of kindness for #McDots33AOK, so figured I'd swap my rest day and long run.) Since I did two long runs, my mileage looks higher than normal {57.25 miles} and next week's will look low because it'll look like I had two rest days - but it'll even out.

How were your workouts this past week?