Sunday, November 30, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 48

Sunday, November 23rd – Rest day, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Monday, November 24th –  5 mile (easy pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Tuesday, November 25th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), Foam Rolled & Stretched 

Wednesday, November 26th –  10.75 mile bike ride with the hubby, Foam Rolled & Stretched 

Thursday, November 27th Oceanside Turkey Trot 5-Mile Race, Oceanside Turkey Trot 5K Race with the hubby, Foam Rolled & Stretched 

Friday, November 28th – 12 mile (long run pace) run

Saturday, November 29th – 6 mile (long run pace) run

This week I got in 31.1 miles run, 10.75 miles biked and a strength training day. And before I forget, IS IT REALLY DECEMBER TOMORROW?! Where the crap did November go?!

This weekend Ryan and I were camping outside of Julian, CA. I've never run at altitude before, but now I can definitely agree with the folks who say it effects your running. I ran 6 miles of hilly trails at 4,500+ feet above sea level and I feel like it was just as difficult as a 12-15 mile run at sea level... But even though it wasn't an "easy" run, man was it beautiful (even with the burnt trees from the 2003 wild fires)!

How were your workouts this past week?  

Friday, November 28, 2014


This morning I had 12 miles on the training calendar. I decided whenever my internal alarm went off I would get up and run. Hubby, puppy and I are leaving to go camping in Julian this afternoon, so my run was the only thing I needed to get in before we finish packing and hit the road.

As I was waiting at one of the traffic lights early in my run a woman on her bike came to the corner to wait so she could cross the street as well. She saw the timing chip on my shoe from yesterday's Oceanside Turkey Trot and said that she had run the 5-miler. She was so proud of herself. She said that she was able to keep 10-minute miles the whole time and although there were other people faster on the course, "they were all younger than me" - she was a proud 58-years young! She was so stoked with her performance that she told me she actually went home and looked up MORE races to run! She was confident she could run a 10K but didn't see any coming up nearby, but did see the California 10/20 in February. I let her know that hubby and I ran it last year and there were a few hills to be aware of, but the 20 bands along the course help to keep you entertained (and your mind off the 10 miles). She said she would definitely think about it.

Then the conversation turned to me (don, don, don)... She then asked me, "So, are you a marathoner?". I was honestly taken back. I said, "Well, currently I am training for the Phoenix Marathon in February, so I have 12 miles on the calendar today". Shortly after that the walk sign appeared and we started to cross the street. She wished me luck with my training and I told her to keep up the running and racing!

(I know, I know, it seems like we had QUITE a while to talk, but the light is to cross a State Road, which is somewhat of an expressway with traffic lights on it, so the wait is a good 3-4 minutes to cross the street, especially if you get there right after it changed.)


Even though it was a short conversation, it had me thinking for the next 10+ miles... Am I a marathoner? Sure, I have run a marathon before (and have 2 more on the calendar over the next 3 months), but is that all is takes to be a marathoner? I guess in my mind I am thinking a marathoner is someone who can (and does) run marathons on a regular basis. Does running a single marathon make you a marathoner? 


Let's be real, although I run, most days I don't know if I would consider myself a runner. Maybe it is because I just starting running about 2.5 years ago and still consider myself a newbie. Maybe it is because of my low self esteem. Maybe it is because in my mind only "fast" runners are "real" runners (but if you were to ever say that I would yell at you - I know, it's stupid, huh?!). Maybe it is because I am scared to "fail" at being a runner.


Yes, I run, but am I a runner? Yes, I have run a marathon, but am I a marathoner? How do I identify myself? I wish I could say that after my morning run I had clarity, saw myself in a different light, etc, but sometimes things just don't end up like that. Some runs leave you with more questions than you started with... But you know what? That's okay (and even if it wasn't there isn't much you can do about it, eh?)!

How do YOU identify yourself? 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Liebster Award Q&A

I was nominated by Kelly over at Miles To Go for the Fall 2014 Liebster Award! YIPEE! Time to answer 11 random questions about myself and nominate some more bloggers ;)

1. What is your pre-race ritual?
What seems to work best for me is very little sleep (not because I want to, but because I am so worried that I will sleep through my alarms {yes I set MULTIPLE} that I end up tossing and turning ALL NIGHT LONG). But hey, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone ;)
2. What is your favorite meal?
Chips and salsa - NO DOUBT! Oh, you don't think this is a meal?! I guess you've never seen me consume said food ;)
3. What is your dream car?
'67 Ford Mustang (red, hard top, automatic)
4. What is your favorite band?
Ha, good one! 
5. Where is your dream place to live?
Living there already ;) Sunny Southern California (we pay a HIGH sunshine tax to live here, but it is worth almost every penny). Hard to beat 70s and sunny 95% of the year. (Although if someone could work out how I could "retire" - lay by the pool, blog, run, take pictures, AND GET PAID, that would be the life!)
6. What is your favorite breakfast?
I pass on grass. Breakfast food is not my jam, but wanna know what is?! Pitaya bowls! Oh holy yum! Those and acai bowls - DELISH! 
7. What do you like most: peanut butter or chocolate?
Peanut butter FO SHO! I don't prefer chocolate (what one of my best friends has her kids say when they don't like something... I guess it is more PC). 
8. What’s your go-to pump up song?

Journey - Don't Stop Believing 
9. What is your favorite race?
I will have to default and say the Disneyland Half - it was my very first half marathon in 2012 and I have been back every year since to run it. But honestly, I consider myself blessed to be able to put on my running shoes and move, so there is joy in EVERY SINGLE STEP OF EVERY RACE (and run)!
10. What is your night ritual?
Foam roll, stretch, normally watch some sort of Detroit/ Michigan sports, have hubby "tuck me in" (I am a morning girl, he is a night guy), and try to get a couple puppy snuggles from Walt (for some reason he thinks our bed is a wrestling ring, so whenever I try to give him a hug he starts jumping all over and runs away...).
11. Random fact!
Hmmmmmm.... I feel like I am an open book (or at least I have done a few "random facts about Carlee" posts and have nothing left to share)... Did you know I was a custodian/ janitor for one of my jobs when I was younger? 
Now I nominate Smitha with Running SD Mom, Shane from Shoots Kden Aloha (even if he is taking a brief hiatus from the blog world), and Kara of Wonderfully Kara for the Fall Liebster Award! The next step - answer these 11 randomly written questions and nominate a few bloggers to help widen their following. 


1. Top three races on your running bucket list.
2. Pre-race fuel.
3. What will you ask Santa for this Christmas?
4. Recent accomplishment you are proudest of.
5. Running essentials. 
6. Race on your current schedule you are most looking forward to.
7. Who is your biggest inspiration?
8. If you could compete in any Olympic sport, what would it be and why?
9. Turkey or tofurkey or tur-duck-en?
10. Favorite movie.
11. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

PS Even if you weren't nominated, I'd love to hear your answers to some of the questions above!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Motivational Mondays: Dani of Weight Of My Shoulders

I'm really LOVING this Motivational Mondays series (and hope you are too). This is week 5 and we have yet another AMAZING lady on tap (don't worry fellas, I've got a gentleman coming up next week). In case you aren't caught up - I'd suggest you get on it! [Week 1: RunEMZ, Week 2: Kat of Katrina Elle, Week 3: Krissy of Shiawase Life, and Week 4: Christina, The Athletatrian]

I don't know if you remember, but while I was in Lake Powell this summer I had Dani do a guest post for me - Running For Fun vs. Running For Time (Can it be BOTH?!). I have been stalking following Dani for quite some time now - first finding her through runDisney of course! If you don't read her blog, follow her on Instagram, tweet (no, I did not say twerk) with her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, then YOU, MY FRIEND, are definitely missing out! She is one inspiring woman... She has shed over 80 pounds (with the help of Weight Watchers, healthy eating habits, and an active lifestyle) and has gone from a self proclaimed couch potato to marathoner and beyond. She is proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, and I am stoked to be along with her for the journey (even if it is virtually). But I'm getting ahead of myself, I want HER to tell the story!

When did the running bug first bite you? What is your running story?

The running bug avoided me at all costs for most of my life! I tried to play sports that had limited running - catcher in softball, volleyball, swimming, etc. In January 2005, I finally gave running a shot because the people I saw running looked in shape and I wanted to lose weight. Well with my dad by my side I trained, raced and completed my first marathon in September 2006. I then stopped running for four years. I was done, injured and over running. That is until I was told I couldn't run again. I had back surgery for a herniated disc in January 2011 right around the same time my wife picked up running. Please enter my competitive side. Once I was cleared to do activity (June 2011) I was back to running and have kept running since then to the tune of 22 half marathons and 5 full marathons since 2011.

How do you balance it all (especially since most of us have other 9-5 jobs, families, friends, commitments, etc)? 

Early morning ... late at night ... outside ... treadmill ... it doesn't matter as long as it gets done. Planning is the key to success when it comes to training. I will try to do weekend workouts early in the morning so I can try to be done before my wife wakes up. This isn't always the case, but I try my hardest. Now training for a Spring marathon makes things easier as there aren't as many vacations, trips, parties, etc happening in the cold winter months in Boston. ;0) 

I'm also lucky to have family and friends that will work out with me. They will join me on a run or in a Spin class - it benefits both of us AND we get a workout in. Additionally my dad and wife will bike with me while I do a long run. It is great accountability for both of us and a good chance to catch-up.

What does your training/ routine look like?

Training for me is constantly changing. I like to give all types of races a chance - road races, trail running, obstacle course runs, triathlons, etc - so I am always trying to find new ways to cross train. I normally try to run 3-4 times a week, bike or Spin 1-2, swim 1-2 and rest. As you can see I am lacking in the weight lifting department and keep promising myself I will work on that... and I intend to at some point. :P 

If you could impart one piece of advice/ wisdom for someone starting their running journey, what would it be?

Take the pressure off the pace and focus on the fun! Running and races are supposed to be fun, but sometimes when we are caught up in the pace we lose the experience. There have been a few times where I lost an entire race to looking at my Garmin. I missed the spectators, the cheers, the high-fives and the awesome vibe that all races have!

What is one of your recent accomplishments you are most proud of?

Like today? This week? This hour? :P If we are going most recent then it would be completing my first Half Ironman on September 7! It was 9 days before my 32nd birthday and an item on my bucket list. I was wicked nervous before the race and even thought about skipping it, but I am so proud of myself for pushing through the fear and trusting my training!

What are some of your favorites (i.e. foods, workouts, fuels, gear, etc)? Anything you can't live without (other than running and oxygen of course ;))? 

Ohhh my three must-have are: Sparkly Soul headbands, Sparkle Athletic skirts and my knee socks! :) Fuel/food would be ENERGYBits, KIND bars, mini LUNA bars and low-fat Chocolate Milk. Oh and beer. Duh! ;)

If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would change?

I would've started running earlier. I am jealous of young runners I see today and think of all the BLING I am missing out on. Haha. :)

And don't forget your Social Media links - how can we follow you?

Uber inspiring, right?! And just a word of warning... NEVER tell Dani she can't do something ;) She will make you eat your words and have the BLING and tons of selfies to prove you wrong!

What do you think? Are you as excited about these Monday posts as I am? Did I leave out any questions you would have asked? 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 47

Sunday, November 16th Avengers Half Marathon with the hubbyFoam Rolled & Stretched

Monday, November 17th –  5 mile (easy pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Tuesday, November 18th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs)

Wednesday, November 19th – 5 mile (tempo pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Thursday, November 20th – 19.5 mile bike ride, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Friday, November 21st – 10 mile (long run pace) run

Saturday, November 22nd – 8 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched 

Like I mentioned last week, since the Avengers Half Marathon was technically my long run for last week, but ended up on this week's recap, the numbers were a little skewed. Last week I only had 17.5 miles (with 3.5 of them coming on a technical rest day), but this week I was at 41.1 running miles.

Although the weather was a little funky this past week (we actually got RAIN DROPS and had HIGH WINDS), I am stoked I can still run in shorts and tank tops at the end of November ;) #BeyondBlessed

How were your workouts this past week?  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Avengers Half - Post Race

If you haven't been following along, this is the FOURTH (and final) post about our Avengers Half weekend :) First there was the Costume Creation, followed by the Pre Race Festivities, and yesterday was the Race Recap! So, if you haven't read those posts yet, STOP AND DO IT!

I left off with us heading back to our hotel after the race (due to the HIGH WINDS runDisney kicked us out of the Family Reunion area and since Ryan didn't feel like meandering for too long after his 11.5 minute PR we made our way back to the hotel). 

We stayed at the SpringHill Suites (in case you missed my post about the debacles I have gotten us into with hotels, feel free to check out the post about the 2012 Disneyland Half hotel or better yet the story about our TinkerBell hotel... you will NOT be disappointed ;) ), which was super nice (DUH! I am no longer allowed to book the hotel, so obviously it was swanky). They had a big breakfast spread, so even though we had plans to meet up with friends for lunch we still hit it up for a bit (I mean, let's be honest, most of us use running as a reason to eat extra calories, #AmIRightOrAmIRight?!). 

Ryan and I were planning on meeting AJ, Ivie, Kara and her sister Kelly in California Adventure for lunch before we all had to part ways. AJ was dealing with some foot issues (yes, I might have tried to talk him into borrowing one of his sons' Razor Scooters to make a boot-scoot, but he shot me down), so they were a little ways behind us. After we got our moneys worth at the breakfast buffet fueled up we went up to the room to get ready. We showered, Ryan napped a bit, we watched some football (GO LIONS), and then packed up. 

Around 10am we checked out of the hotel and drove over to park at Disneyland (we technically could have kept our car at the hotel, but figured it would be closer and faster to park at the parks and then leave from there rather than having to walk back to the hotel after lunch). They were still diverting traffic a bit from the race, so we ended up at the Jessie and Woody parking lot. There were quite a few folks heading to the parks at that point; it seemed like we had to wait a good 20 minutes for a bus to take us over.

As the bus was pulling in I saw Carrie and Elise from Sparkle Athletic. I was hoping I could meet up with them after the race (in the Family Reunion area) so we could all get a picture together in our costumes, but when Mother Nature stirred up the wind we weren't able to make that happen. I pointed them out to Ryan and asked if he cared if I ran over to say "Hi". Of course he didn't, so we jumped off the bus (I am pretty sure it was stopped...) and scurried over.

Yes, Elise is 29 weeks pregnant and finished the Avengers Half in 2:04.
These ladies are SPARKLY SPEED DEMONS!

We were meeting up with the crew around 11:30am. Once we got into California Adventure it was around 11:15, so we had a few minutes to burn. To kill a little time we went into a few of the shops along Buena Vista Street. THAT'S WHEN WE SAW HIM..... SANTA! I KNOW HIM! Ryan asked me if I wanted a picture and I, OF COURSE, said HECK-TO-THE-YES! We jumped in line and got a picture with the main man!

Although Ryan thought I had been naughty this year,
I assured Santa that I was on the good list!

Once we were done with Santa and his helpers we went out to the fountain to wait for our lunch buddies. I got a text from Ivie and AJ that they were running a little late (the boot was making the trek over a little slower than expected). Kara and Kelly were also a few minutes delayed while checking out of their hotel. As I was telling Ryan about our lunch guests the newsie kids pulled up on a trolley cart for a little performance. Instead of watching them, Ryan noticed that the photographer by the Mickie and Walt statue was looking a bit bored. He asked if I wanted to go over for a picture - HA, you don't have to ask me twice!

When we got to the photographer, Ryan noticed he had a Mickey wreath on his hip. Ryan asked if we could use it as a prop and the photographer was stoked! Since everyone was watching the performance, no one seemed to want any pictures. The photographer took full advantage of us being his subjects and had a mini photo shoot with us :)

Mickey wreath ;)

Okay, now you stand like Mickie and you stand like Walt....

Now swap places...

Look into each other's eyes...

Once we finished being models, we met up with Kara, Kelly, AJ, and Ivie and made our way over to Flo's Diner for lunch. Ryan decided that his breakfast buffet wasn't enough calories, so he paired his lunch with a strawberry shake topped with Oreos. Oh yeah, and then, since our food was taking an extra long time to come out (not sure why, we both got the kid's mac 'n cheese with a side of fruit and carrots) they offered us a pie for the wait, so he also had a mini pumpkin pie with lunch ;) SUGAR BOMB!

Lunch was a blast, but unfortunately it was time to say good-bye. We took some pictures and then all split up. We will see each other again in just a few short weeks at the Star Wars Half Marathon in January, so it made leaving a little easier (not to mention we text daily so it makes the time go by faster ;) ).

The Crew!

The Ladies!

Obviously Sunday afternoon traffic is LAME-SAUCE, so it took us about 75 minutes to Oceanside. We had to go pick up Walt the Wiener Dog from our friends' house (we are blessed to have some amazing friends to love on Walt while we are out of town, not to mention he has a girl friend named Dizzy he gets to sleep with while he is there ;) ) before making our way back to our house.

Dizzy the Frenchie and Walty the Weeney
Source: KatLouHod's Instagram

By about 4pm we were pulling up to our place, ready to unpack and get Ryan packed again! Yup, it would be just a few short hours before he would be heading out to catch a plane to Hawaii (he had to go art direct a photo shoot on the North Shore for Reef... rough life, huh?!).

It was a whirl-wind weekend, but one I wouldn't change for a thing. To be honest, I think I might pass on the Avengers Half in the future (my heart belongs to the Disneyland Half, even though the weather {minus the crazy wind} is much better in November than August), but that doesn't mean I didn't love every moment of it. runDisney is all about the magic, miles and memories, but the BIGGEST part are THE PEOPLE! Thank you to each and every one of you for making it a weekend to remember!

How long do your Disney Blues normally last?!