Saturday, October 31, 2015

Workout Recap - Week 44

Sunday, October 25th – Rock 'N' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Monday, October 26th – 5 mile progression run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Tuesday, October 27th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), 4 mile run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Wednesday, October 28th – Rest Day (SHAPE Meet and Tweet), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Thursday, October 29th –  40 minute pool workout, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Friday, October 30th –  3 mile run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Saturday, October 31st – 8 mile run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Can you believe this is my last workout recap before REVEL Canyon City?! I am freaking out just a bit, but hopefully holding it together decently. I got in 33.1 miles this week, even though it feels like I haven't really run much. The longest run between now and my race is FOUR MILES! Hopefully this taper will have my legs good and rested... AND READY TO RUN!

How were your workouts this past week? 

Friday, October 30, 2015

SHAPE Blogger Meet & Tweet

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to attend the SHAPE Magazine Blogger Meet & Tweet. It was held up in Santa Monica at the Annenberg Community Beach House - talk about an AWESOME venue!

Sometimes I think Blogger/ Social Media events should only include your
handles... No one knows your "real" name in the social media world ;)

Let's get this party started!

SHAPE brought in some wonderful speakers and had an amazing day planned out for us.

I have to say, I think the first talk with Jennifer Widerstrom (one of the trainers from The Biggest Loser) was my fave! I could have listened to her all day. She was so real and relatable that I wanted to be her best friend (because not only would she shoot straight with me, but she could also help kick my butt and turn me into a BA like her!).

Although I am sure a lot of people walked way motivated themselves after her talk, which I TOTALLY did myself, I also loved that she motivated me to motivate others! She said that her strength as a trainer is believing in others before they believe in themselves - she's gotta believe for the both of them. A light bulb went off in my head and I thought "THAT IS EXACTLY ME". I want folks who interact with me (whether it is on social media, reading my blog, or in real life) to walk away believing in themselves more because they know I believe in them! I want to create a space where people feel heard and appreciated and that we can grow TOGETHER.

The other panels were great, but I felt like I had heard a lot of what they were saying at other blogger events (i.e. "Content is king", "You can't rush success", etc). I totally appreciate what all of the speakers had to say, but, for me, it seemed a bit redundant.

The ladies on the How to Build Your Brand panel

The Tone It Up Girls

I did absolutely LOVE the sponsor rotation that we did during our lunch break. The way it was set up was we were given something that looked like a bingo card and we had to get stickers from each of the sponsors before we left so that we could claim our "goodie bag" (intriguing, right?!).

I was pumped to go around and learn about all of the products, yes, but even more stoked because I knew some of the lovely ladies working at some of the booths (Bethany at the Brooks Moving Comfort booth and Katrina at the Garmin booth). YAY for big hugs and catching up!

Katrina is Garmin's ambassador contact and pretty AMAZING!

Some of the sponsors had activities for you to do. At the Seiko booth you dolled up your wrist/ hand/ fingers and had to take a picture of your arm on the red carpet wearing one of their watches. You got measured and fitted for a FREE sports bra at the Brooks Moving Comfort booth - FRICK YES! I even got a hand massage at the Skinfix booth.

Jumping for joy because I LOVE BROOKS!

While I was trying on the Brooks Moving Comfort bras I saw this
MUST HAVE shirt in the tent. #DearSanta

Of course my wrist candy was invited to the red carpet!

Thanks for the rub down!

Sure, why not have two vegetarians pose with the tuna guy ;)

Hearts on Fire let me try on their BEAUTIFUL diamond star necklace

I had heard from bloggers who had attended this event in the past that you walk away with a TON OF SWAG, but I really wasn't ready for how much we got. Not only did some of the sponsors give out some samples while we were filling our "bingo card", but when we went to leave, we got the biggest swag bag I have ever received. LEGIT, I HAD A HARD TIME CARRYING IT TO THE CAR!

The overflowing bag we were sent home with

These sponsors (along with SHAPE) went ABOVE AND BEYOND and really ROCKED MY SOCKS! It made the 6+ hours of traffic worth it (yeah, it took me over 3 hours both ways to get to and from the beach in Santa Monica...).

Stuck in LA traffic... Can you see my excitement?!

Trying to capture ALL of the goodies we got!

Some of my faves were the Sparkly Soul headband, the
Garmin Vivofit2, a Brooks Moving Comfort sports bra,
and an Erica Sara Designs bracelet.

Tons of beauty products to try out!

Legit it kept going and going!

Yup, even got a pair of waterproof boots!

A BIG THANKS to SHAPE and all of the sponsors for putting on a FANTASTIC event! I would totally attend again in the future if I had the opportunity (and if the opportunity ever presents itself to YOU, you should TOTALLY jump on it!).

Champs cheers to SHAPE for the great day!

What's the best thing you've ever gotten in a swag bag before?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Advice From An Unlikely Source

No, it wasn't from a fortune cookie, although I have had a few zingers from those in my time ;)

Let me preface this by saying I LOVE MY HUBBY! He is my number one cheerleader. He comes to the majority of my races just to take a couple pictures and see me for maybe 5 minutes of running. He gets up early, fights the crowds and chases me around the course to cheer me on. He is proud of me NO MATTER WHAT and is always there to give me a big, sweaty hug and congratulate me on however I do. 

With that being said, the running world isn't his world. He runs because he loves me but it's not his passion, focus or love. Now, if I had a question about surfing or art, he would TOTALLY be my go-to-guy and my expert on the subject. But, let's be honest, when it comes to running, he doesn't know a ton (and I don't expect him to). 

I am beyond blessed to have some amazing running friends who are not only awesome runners, but also are just fan-freakin'-tastic wonderful people. Whenever I have a question or concern about my running (or, let's be real, about life in general), they are the ones I reach out to and try to pick their brains on certain topics. So, normally, my nuggets of running wisdom come from them.

...But not this time!

This time, it was my hubby that said something that rocked my world!
I was talking to him in the car on the way home from the RnRLA Half Marathon on Sunday. I was telling him that one of my running friends legitimately thought that I might be able to qualify for Boston ("That's truth. Not hype." - his words ;)). 

Ryan then said something like "Of course you can". And I told him that he has to say that because he is my hubby and he has this crazy, blind faith in my abilities, but it isn't necessarily the reality of the situation. (At least I know that when a runner friend says something like that they know what it actually means and if I legit have the training/ ability to even attempt something like that.)

Then Ryan said something that really hit home.

He said, "Carlee, you run for fun. You run because you love it. You are out there having a great time, handing out high-fives, cheering on other runners, thanking the spectators and volunteers, but I know you can do it. YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW IT MIGHT HURT." (Emphasis added by me)

He was soooooooo right! It's was like an AH-HA moment. I realized I am a runner... NOT a racer! 

Sure, I run races, but for the majority of the time I am not out there to push as hard as I possibly can. I run races because I love the running community, the camaraderie, the common love for the sport, but I am usually not running to race. 
Maybe it is because it is too much pressure, maybe it is because I don't want to disappoint myself or others (because, #RealTalk, I go in with a defeated attitude most of the time), maybe it is because I don't want to lose the love of running, but whatever the reason, I normally don't run till it hurts. I normally run and finish with a smile on my face and probably a little too much left in the tank. 

But if I want something that I've never had, I've got to be willing to do things I've never done. I've gotta get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And if my goal doesn't scare me, then maybe it's not big enough, right?! Because, if there isn't a chance for failure, how will I know what it feels like to exceed my expectations?
I know, I know, I sound (and feel) like a broken record. I don't believe in myself, but realize that there is really NOTHING to lose. I know I will be more disappointed in myself if I don't give it my all than if I do give it my everything and miss my goal - so I've just gotta go for it! 
Now, please hear me, I am not saying I am going to run through injury or try to hurt myself. I am saying that when the going gets rough, instead of pulling back and "just having fun", I am going to push to see what I am actually capable of. I am going to run strong and run with a smile on my face, but I'm also going to run hard and run even if it hurts! And I'm going to run to leave it all out on the course.
Where's an unlikely source you've drawn inspiration or sought advice from?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Recap

The hubby and I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon on Sunday morning. And you know me, I gotta #KeepItReal. Normally the Rock 'n' Roll series is not my jam (big races {read that as very crowded}, expensive registration fees, less than stellar courses, somewhat sub par entertainment, etc), but they were having a great deal on the LA race a few months back (I think it was as low as $50 per person) and with the lure of more bling (running more than one Rock 'n' Roll qualifying event gets you the chance to acquire Heavy Medals) I signed Ryan and I up.


[Let's be real, it is hard to find many races around here with a $50 registration fee, so although the race was two weeks before my "goal" race, I was very woo'ed. I decided if Ryan would run the race with me, then I would do it (seeing as his pace is slower than mine and I wouldn't be tempted to run too fast). Even with the both of us registering, it was only about $100, which is what I normally pay for a single half marathon registration, so I considered it a win.]

We had a wedding to go to in San Diego on Saturday afternoon, so unfortunately we missed out on the #WeRunSocial Meet Up {BOO HISS}. I was originally going to have a friend pick up our bibs for us from the Expo because we wouldn't be able to make it, but quickly found out they were not allowing other's to pick up your bibs for this race. I took my complaint to the Twittersphere and quickly heard back from the Rock 'n' Roll team! They said that we would be able to bring our IDs and confirmation sheets to the Solutions tent on race morning and grab our bibs then - AWESOMESAUCE!

We normally don't dress up, so when we do, you know we better
document it for the world to see.

Anywho, we ended up getting up to Los Angeles around 9pm on Saturday evening. We checked into our hotel (which was pretty junky, but within a half mile from the start/ finish lines so we made it work), did some foam rolling, laid out our clothes for the race and then it was time for bed.

Flat Carlee included a red Sparkle Athletic skirt, a pair of Pro Compression
marathon socks
, Brooks PureConnect 2, my Garmin Forerunner 220, a sport
, a Mud Love bracelet, my Garmin Vivofit2, and two Sparkly Soul
(one with a bow and one without).

Oh, did I forget to mention that this was a costume race?! Ha, silly me! This was one of the first non-runDisney costume races I have done, so I had tons of ideas to work with. I finally decided on Rosie the Riveter. I have never run with a piece of foam core strapped to my back before, but figured it probably wouldn't be terrible (I mean, I have run carrying Thor's hammer, Steamboat Willie's boat helm, Lumiere's candle sticks, Aunt Beru's blue milk jug and a sign telling everyone who I was, etc before - a piece of thick cardboard couldn't be that bad, right?!).

Bib pick up was super easy, especially because we got down to the LA Live area about an hour before the race. We pinned on our bibs, grabbed some water and bananas, used the rest room (well, Ryan did... I, on the other hand, was worried I wouldn't be able to fit in a port-o-potty with my costume so made sure I was empty before heading to the race), and  took a few pre-race pictures before heading to the corrals.

Rosie The Riveter was ready to ROCK the LA streets!

I guess we'll just consider Ryan "Patriotic Joe"...

The sunrise was pretty amazing! 

Corral selfie

Walking Corral 8 up to the starting line

The corrals were pretty much a free-for-all. They had signs saying which corral it was, but nothing was roped off, no one was checking bibs, etc. I was originally seeded in corral 2 and Ryan was supposed to be in corral 10. We ended up around corral 8 (based on where the official pacers were lining up). Being at the front of the corral seemed to work out well for us, because someone from the California Triathlon snapped a picture of me when it was our turn to go.

Everyone around me looks thrilled to be there, huh?! :)

They were letting the corrals go every 1-2 minutes, so although the official race time was 7:00am, we started closer to 7:15am. I asked Ryan before we started if he had any goals for this race. His only goal was to finish, so I knew it was going to be all about having fun, cheering on our fellow runners, handing out as many high fives and fist bumps as possible, and checking out the fun costumes.

Brian (aka Pavement Runner) and Michael (aka PointOneMiles) were doing the 5K/ Half Challenge (NOT an official thing, but they realized that because the 5K and half start at the same spot, that they could technically run the 5K as fast as they could and then jump back in line to start the half marathon while they were still releasing corrals). We saw them within the first mile or so (this course had many out and back parts, so you could see runners heading in the opposite direction as you) and cheered our little hearts out for them. Other than that, we kept chugging along until we got to the Coliseum. Sorry USC (and USC fans), but you are sort of like "that team down south" so I dislike you greatly. But, while we were there, we ended up running into Smitha (aka RunningWithSD) and Tam (aka TaMarathoner). Since this race was all about having fun, we decided to stop for a quick chat and a few pictures (well, I chatted and took pictures, Ryan used a "real" bathroom).

These ladies are always a blast!

Tam is such a sweetheart! Love seeing her at
the local races!

Love me some Smitha!

After hugs and wishing each other well, we were off to the races again. There was a bit of cloud cover, which was great, especially since I was running in a jean jacket... We just can't seem to shake the humidity lately, but other than that, it was a pretty great morning for running.

On one of the out and back portions we were able to spot Brian, Michael and Dave (aka FitFam6). Obviously we pulled over in the median and grabbed a quick picture. So stoked to be doing the SD2LV challenge with those guys in a couple weeks - such a great group of runners (and people!).

The #WeRunSocial crew knows how to have a good time!

We also caught up with Henry (aka BarefootElvis) a few miles later. He was chugging along (I always am so amazed at his ability to not only run in a full Elvis costume, but to do it BAREFOOT!) so I grabbed a quick picture with him. Than he sprinted ahead of us to take a picture of Ryan and I (how sweet is that?!).

Thanks to Henry for grabbing this picture of Ryan and I!

Around mile 7 we started hitting the "hills". The first one was more of an overpass, but was still fairly steep. After that was more of a slow and steady climb. Well, between the two hills I ate it... Yup... A rude man hole JUMPED out of the ground and bit me... I guess I was focused too much on chatting it up with the spectators to see it and MAN did it stop me in my tracks! I hit the ground HARD. The police officers that were near by all offered to help, but I assured them (and the hubby who seemed more startled than I was) that I was fine. Thankfully there wasn't much blood. I decided I needed to keep trucking though, because I knew if I would have stopped I would have ended up crying and maybe not be able to start up again.


After the fall I was just trying to focus on anything other than my throbbing knees and forearms. I was cheering on the runners on the other side of the street, commenting on runners' costumes, and even doing a little dancing. I saw Linzie (aka SharpEndurance) KILLING the course {he was running so fast that we didn't even get a chance to grab a picture together} and Jessica finishing up her FOURTH half in less than 48 hours {yup, she is crazier than me and actually did the Ragnar Ultra in Napa starting on Friday!}. We saw Brian, Michael and Dave again, although it must have been before their Starbucks stop because they didn't have cups in their hands at this point.

A BIG thanks to @Awoo773 for sending over this picture! 

I know out and back courses aren't a lot of runners favorite, but I really like them. I like being able to see and cheer for fellow runners on the course. Especially during races where people are dressed up (like costume runs or runDisney races) because you can look at all the creativity - AND it gives you something to take your mind off of the running ;) It is also extra fantastic when you know so many people and get to shout out friends while they are rockin' and rollin'!


Other than the bathroom stop around mile 3, my fall around mile 7, a stop around mile 10 to stretch Ryan's hip flexor and walking a couple of the water stations we kept at a great pace. Ryan's PR (personal record) is around a 2:12. I noticed around mile 11 that we probably wouldn't hit that (we had a couple of the hills to go), but that we could be in the 2:15 range. I gave Ryan the heads up and he told me to tell him when we had about a half mile to go and then he would start his kick.

So when I took a spill around Mile 7.3, it looks as though I somehow
managed to add an extra little lap in there, so "split 8" is .31 miles long.
It looks a little funky, but at least you get the idea of our pace...

I could see the 13 mile marker in the distance and that's when Ryan looked over at me and said he was going to sprint it in. Normally I can hang with him when he sprints, but this time I was left in his dust. He beat me by a good 5 people. We joked and said that maybe he left too much in his tank if he could kill it at the end like that, but at least he was able to go surfing later that afternoon so he considered it a perfect race plan.

As I was trying to catch up with Ryan a few people caught pictures of me. First, Competitor took a picture of me and added it to their article (just like they did for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco the previous weekend).


Also, I was included in the finish line Instagram video that Rock 'n' Roll posted HERE!

A video posted by runrocknroll (@runrocknroll) on

After we finished, we grabbed some goodies, went back to the Solutions tent to grab our participant tee (I much appreciate that we didn't have to pick it up before the race and then gear check it), and then went to check out the Toyota booth. They were giving away personalized vinyls if you did a couple little tasks, so we figured we'd play along. Come to find out (when we put them in our record player at the house) the records were blank (the personalized part was just a sticker with your name on it), but it was still a fun little souvenir.

Like I said, it was a Halloween themed race... YAY for jack-o-lantern medals!

The girl at this station asked if we wanted any props... I looked at her and said that I had enough ;) 

My record in front of a giant record!

So, a lot of folks have asked about running with the foam core on my back. Thankfully there wasn't much wind on the morning of the race, so I didn't feel any type of extra drag from it. Funny story though, apparently my pony tail was rubbing on it for 13.5 miles (not sure where I picked up the extra distance unless the course really was long), that it made a portion of my hair into dreadlocks! I had some big chunks that had painted foam core and bunches of hair wrapped around the pony tail holder and itself. I ended up having to cut some chunks out...

You can see the hole my hair rubbed in the board in this picture ;)

Yeah, even with tons of conditioner and detangle spray
this was NOT coming out on its own...

You can see where my hair and shoulders rubbed the board.
As you can see, I just painted a white piece of foam core
and added some elastic straps (like a book bag) - easy peasy!

All-in-all, I think it was a successful race. I didn't go in with super high expectations and it seemed to be exactly what I expected. The costume was a hit, but not everyone knew who Rosie The Riveter was (I think most folks thought I was just someone who was trying to be encouraging and motivational, which I was, but there was a point to the sign and denim jacket ;)). Two days later my knees are still a bit swollen and painful to the touch, but at least I can run without any additional pain.

Any race that I do with my hubby is a WIN in my book!

Have you ever dressed up for a race before?