Monday, February 29, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 9

Sunday, February 21st – 5 miles run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, February 22nd – Strength Training (abs, back, legs [minus squats due to this weekend's marathon] and arms), 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 23rd –  3 mile run with the hubby, 4 mile solo run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 24th – 10.5 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, February 25th –  3 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 26th –  REST DAY {travel day}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, February 27th –  Phoenix Marathon, Stretched & Foam Rolled

45.2 miles for the week... Not too shabby, especially with most of it being a "taper"... And can you believe I don't have any marathons in March?! HA! I am pretty sure my body is THRILLED, but what it doesn't realize is because I have another one at the end of April (Big Sur), we are technically in the thick of that training right now too! Good thing I LOVE this running thang!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

WE MADE IT! Can you believe it?! Some weeks it feels like Friday will never get here... But low-and-behold, thankfully it always comes! (Although, I gotta keep it real, this week flew by for me, because, by the time you read this, the hubby and I will be on our way to Phoenix and my SEVENTH marathon! HOLY CRAPOLY, WHO AM I?!) Anywho, onto the main event, the reason you all are here... The random things I am LOVING lately!

Get Hope. Give Hope. MudLOVE bands

I have talked about MudLOVE a couple times on the blog before [my original review can be found here, as well as my post during my #12DaysOfCarleesChristmas]. They are an AMAZING company with AWESOME products. When I heard about the new campaign that they had going on, Get Hope. Give Hope. with Ben Higgins, I was STOKED!

Get Hope. Give Hope. is a collaboration with local nonprofit, the Humanity & Hope United Foundation. Over the last 5 years, Humanity & Hope has built relationships with villages in Honduras, helping those trapped in the cycle of poverty to learn, grow, and prosper. Through this partnership, every "hope." band purchased will create one day of employment for someone in a Honduran community. Sustainable job opportunities, such as farming, will allow families to live freely and confidently. Each band will also provide one week of clean water in the Central African Republic through the work of MudLOVE's giving partner, Water for Good.

You can read more about the campaign and Ben Higgins' role with the product here.


Hanging Around Run8va Medal Hangers

I know, I know, runDisney races are all about the magic and the memories, but the medals aren't too shabby themselves... And with so many amazing races and challenges to choose from, you can start to accumulate lots of BLING! Well, that's where my friend, Joe, and his Etsy shop comes in.

Source: @run8va's Instagram Feed

Although I don't have one of these racks personally (not yet anyway), I can only imagine how AMAZING they are! Each hanger is made to order and hand cut - and if you know Joe, then you know Disney love is handcrafted into each and every piece! Customize your rack with as many or as few hooks as you'd like and start showing off those medals that you worked so hard to earn!

Market Pantry Antioxidant Fruit Blend

I don't know why I've never tried this frozen fruit mix from Target before... IT'S DELISH! I throw some of the frozen mix in with a heaping handful of spinach, a banana, and a splash of juice (or almond milk) and the smoothie that appears is SCRUM-DIDILY-UMPTIOUS! Sure, fresh fruit is always better than frozen, but for a smoothie this works amazingly well!

So, anything new that has struck your fancy lately that you are willing to share with the rest of us?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Meet Ultra #TeamSparkle 2016!

The team has been selected, legs have been assigned and we are ready to announce it to THE WORLD! So, without further ado, please meet Ultra #TeamSparkle for the 2016 SoCal Ragnar Relays

Emily: The treadmill is her playground. You'll find her doing 99% of all her training on it. When this vegan isn't running....she's still running her 16 year old to all things volleyball or running after her 1.5 year old. You can follow her on Instagram at @runemz.

Carlee: This vegetarian, puppy mama caught the running bug about 4 years ago and hasn't stopped since. She loves sunshine, encouraging others and spending time with her hubby. If she could find someone to pay her to run, take pictures and blog she'd be in HEAVEN! Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter at @CarleeMcDot.

Allison: Mom of two, who runs for her daughter because Rett Syndrome has stolen her daughter's ability to run & do anything independently. Now Allison runs for her & all the girls who can't, so that someday they will. You can follow her on Instagram at @afoley09.

Elise: She’s a cupcake-loving, triathlon-addicted, sparkle-wearing Ironman who can't get enough of her two kids, trail running, and all the sweets nearby. You can follow her on Twitter at @cupcakeactivist and Instagram at @elisewallace.
Kristen: She's a runner that took up triathlons on a whim and fell in love. Kristen works out to work off her two favorite food groups: pizza and tacos! Cousin Martilee, born with Rett Syndrome, inspires Kristen to always run, bike and swim #untilshecan. Follow along on Instagram at @kgriff_run.

Carrie: This mother of 4 uses running and biking to make new friends and keep her sane. She loves cheering races almost as much as running them (as long as #teamsparkle and unicorn masks are involved). She’s the happiest with sun on her face, dirt on her feet and sour candy in her hand. You can follow her on Instagram at @thisiscarrie.

And, as I've mentioned before, just because you won't be physically running the relay with us, you can join in the fun and participate in the Virtual 5K! Register HERE, then head out and run/ cartwheel/ walk 3.1 miles on the weekend of April 1st - 2nd, while we are tackling SoCal! Use the hashtags, cheer one another on and spread the word UNTIL SHE CAN!


Another way to help is to donate directly to Girl Power 2 Cure in honor of #TeamSparkle! You can head over to the site HERE and donate as much (or as little) as you can - remember, every penny matters!

Have you ever ran for a cause before?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Random Ramblings

Had some random thoughts bouncing around in my head today... Nothing super important or lengthy enough in and of themselves for their own post, so I figured I'd wrap them all together with a bow and present them this way ;)

Empty Inbox

I posted this on my Twitter yesterday, but I am SO proud of myself that I have to share it here as well! MY EMAIL INBOX IS COMPLETELY EMPTY! I don't know if this has EVER happened before, and I don't know how long it will last, but I am STOKED and I will live it up for as long as I can!

My Friends GET Me

Today I checked the mail after getting a text from a friend saying there might be something for me! Well, shoot doggy, who doesn't love surprises?! I had an AWESOME care package from sweet Shelby with a card (congratulating me on another successful marathon training cycle and reminding me that the race is the VICTORY LAP) AND my FAVE candy - Sour Watermelon Slices (from Target)! I gave up sweets/ treats as of January 31st until after both of my marathons this month, so I can't wait to dig into these on the drive home from Phoenix!


Sometimes you never know how much of an impact you have on those around you. Sure, I say that I want to change the world and be a light to those around me, but who knows if that is actually an obtainable goal?! Well, today I got a Twitter notification that I was tagged in a post, so went to check it out. A sweet runner actually featured me (and two other AMAZING ladies) on her blog today as runners that inspire her... WHAT?! I guess I am doing something right ;)


New Reactions On Facebook

So, if you are on the book of face, you probably noticed that new reactions were launched today. Now, instead of liking a post, you can go a little "deeper". If you are on your phone you can hold down the LIKE option and if you are on a computer you can hover over the LIKE option - this will open up a world of possibilities... Well, at least the option to LIKE, LOVE, HAHA, WOW, SAD or ANGRY a post. [I've gotta say, I've been throwing around the LOVE a lot today, but would have still appreciated a DISLIKE button.]


Nothing Packed

Can you believe that the Phoenix Marathon is Saturday morning and I don't have an outfit ready yet?! The hubby and I are planning on heading out by 5:30am on Friday morning (we've gotta be at the Expo by 1pm so we are there in time for the #WeRunSocial Meet-Up) and I have NOTHING packed... Well, I have my #WeRunSocial banner and now a bag of Sour Watermelon Slices, but other than that - NADA! It's actually freaking me out a bit... I guess I have TOO MANY options. I am sure my final outfit will include PRO Compression socks, a Sparkle Athletic skirt, a Sparkly Soul headband, a Handful sports bra, and a pair of Brooks shoes, but WHICH ONES?! AHHHH THE CHOICES!

What random ramblings you got rollin' around in that head of YOURS?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

JHill Design Giveaway

Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, now is the time to head over and give me some love.

Why am I asking you to head over to my IG account? Because I have an AWESOME giveaway going on right now, but the ONLY way to enter is via Instagram!

The lovely ladies over at JHill Designs reached out to me a couple weeks ago about teaming up for a giveaway. I was STOKED when I saw the email because I have been eye ballin' their Marathon Map Prints for a while now.

Entering the #JHillDesign Marathon Print Giveaway is easy:

          1. Like the giveaway image
          2. Follow @CarleeMcDot
          3. Follow @JHillDesign
          4. Tag a friend on the giveaway image (this can be done as many times as you'd like for additional entries, but each tag must be its own comment)

The  giveaway will run through midnight Thursday, February 25th with the winner receiving their own 8x10 personalized print of their preferred marathon map.

I received a personalized print from the Los Angeles Marathon last week and LOVE IT! (I can't wait to order my Big Sur print after I complete the race in April.)

And, just in case you aren't the lucky winner of the personalized print, EVERYONE is a winner because JHill Design is offering up a discount code for ALL of my friends, family and followers! Use RUNCARLEE for 15% off sitewide until 2/26.

If you are interested in following JHill Designs on other social media platforms, check out the links below!

          Twitter: @jennifer_hill
          Facebook: JHill Design
          Pinterest: JHill Design
          Google+: JHill Design

Have you found a creative way to commemorate your races? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 8

Sunday, February 14th – LA Marathon, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, February 15th – 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 16th –  5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 17th – 16.3 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, February 18th –  3 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 19th –  12 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, February 20th –  REST DAY (5.4 mile hike with the hubby and puppy), Stretched & Foam Rolled

I know this week included the LA Marathon, but still... 50.2 miles of running is pretty great, don't ya think?! And now it's time to "taper" again for the Phoenix Marathon that I've got coming up on Saturday... The forecast is anticipating 90* temps (I guess this whole global warming thing is for real, huh?!) so I will be turning it into a "fun run" and taking the time to enjoy the scenery and some great running friends!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's that time again... Friday ;) So why not share a few things I am diggin' on lately?!

QALO Rings

You may have seen my post about them last week (and if you didn't, you should check it out here), but I'm loving these rings! They are a perfect alternative to your engagement ring or wedding band - silicone, colorful and comfy! I'd HIGHLY recommend them to anyone wanting to share their commitment with the world while living an active lifestyle (because who wants to get hit on at the gym just because the meat head doesn't see a ring on your finger?!). And if you use THIS LINK you can save $5 on your order (full disclosure: I would get $5 off my next order too)!

Um, when my QALO Ring matches my weights you KNOW it's gonna be a good day!
And, PS, I enjoy stacking them depending on what colors I am wearing that day ;)

Touch The Sky - Hillsong UNITED

I normally try to keep my blog pretty secular (with a bit of Jesus sprinkled in, since he is my MAIN MAN), but I couldn't help myself with this one... Worship music FTW! This song has been my JAM for about a month now. We sang it at church a while back and it has been in my head since then. LOVE IT! "You traded heaven to have me again"

Phone Case Wallet

Specifically the "Speck Products CandyShell Card Case". I received an Amazon gift card for Christmas and this was one of the first purchases I made with it. I have to be honest and confess, there are many times when I drive without my license/ wallet; for example, when I head to the beach to run for a couple miles or if they hubby and I are going somewhere and I know he has his wallet. I realize how bad this is (not only if I were to ever get pulled over, but God forbid, if I got into an accident or something), but I would do it constantly. With this phone case wallet (doubt that is the correct term, but at least it's descriptive) I always have my ID and two credit cards with me. Now I just need to make sure I never lose my phone or else we will have a BIG issue on my hands!

You are able to use the smaller opening to push the cards up and out - EASY PEASY!

Ninja Blender

Ryan and I ordered a Ninja Blender last week. We both try our hardest to eat healthy, but have wanted something a little better for ourselves, especially when it comes to breakfasts. I'd been doing a bit of research and came across this blender. I love it because not only does it have two single serving cup options, but it has an EXTRA LARGE blender jar as well. We've been wanting to try smoothies with spinach and more leafy greens, but the cheap single-serving blender that we had just didn't have enough space to allow for it. We've only had the blender for a couple days now, but I can tell we are definitely going to get our money's worth out of it!

This smoothie had a heaping handful of spinach, a banana, a half a can of pineapple chunks with the pure pineapple
juice, and a few frozen berries. DELISH! And the blender chopped the crap out of everything in SECONDS! 

Any favorite goodies you've been enjoying lately?!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Run Streak

I don't know about you, but when I hear about folks doing a "Running Streak" I am always a little intrigued (and for those of you who haven't heard of one before, it has NOTHING to do with running in the nude!).


But quickly after my interest is peaked I end up saying "I would NEVER do that!". Well, that coming from the girl who said she would NEVER run a full marathon and has TWO in February along probably doesn't mean much, but still, at least to the present time I have never participated in a Run Streak.


You see, I personally have a couple issues with Run Streaks. First, I don't think my body appreciates running every day. When I was training for my first half marathon all I was doing was running... and, well, my body revolted (more specifically my IT Band and it threw a HISSY FIT!). At that point I knew I needed to include both strength- and cross-training into my fitness routine or my body would ultimately pay the price. Next, if all I was doing was just adding a single mile to the days I wasn't currently running "simply to streak" I didn't see any benefit to my fitness. I mean, sure, running a mile is probably better than not running, but I don't see how much value a single mile has in the grand scheme of things.

Well, I figured that if the topic of a Running Streak was something that I had questions about, maybe it would be something that would intrigue you as well. And, certainly, if that is the case, then it is worth a blog post, now isn't it?! 

Thankfully for us both, I have quite a few friends who are currently or have in the past participated in a Run Streak. And some of them have even been gracious enough to take the time to answer a few of my questions about their experiences.

So, without further ado, SOME STREAKERS:


Gina: [@happytrigirl on Twitter & Instagram / Blog:]

Dani: [@irisheyes1982 on Twitter & Instagram / Blog:]

Mindy: [@mindybobe on Twitter / @roadrunnergirl on Instagram / Blog:]

Meghan: [@beachrunner78 on Twitter & Instagram]

Alicia: [@dishouttawater on Twitter & Instagram]

And, again, I just wanna say a BIG THANKS to my streakers for taking the time to share their insight with me (and you)! I included some of their social media handles - so do me a favor and give them a follow 'cause they ROCK MY SOCKS! It was great hearing from those who have or are still participating in Run Streaks! Now, I am not planning on starting on of my one anytime soon, but I have learned NEVER to say never (and maybe not to knock something until I've tried it...)!

Have you ever tried a run streak before?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

LA Marathon Race Recap

Let me start out by saying it has been an HONOR to have been an ambassador for the LA Marathon this past year. I was lucky enough to be one of the few asked to help promote this amazing race to the world (and hopefully I didn't do too bad of a job). I hadn't run LA before, but last year I spectated the race and just KNEW I needed to be a part of it in 2016!

We were last year's self proclaimed BEST CHEER SQUAD on the course ;)

In case you missed my recap of Saturday's events, make sure you check it out... Don't worry, we can wait while you catch up. Because, legit, LA WAS ON FAYAH the whole weekend with so much going on and I would hate for you to miss out on any of it.

Okay, onwards and upwards!

I decided to stay at a hotel in Culver City instead of in Santa Monica or DTLA (Downtown LA) the night before the race. The prices near the start and finish line were pretty cray-cray, so I figured I would TOTALLY prefer saving $300, even if that meant driving 15 minutes the morning of the race over to the shuttles.

I thought with the race being on Valentine's Day that there would be tons of
reds and pinks, so my neon yellow would stick out... Well, that is until I got
to the race and saw the "Students Run LA" had the exact same color as me...

Quick side note, since I had to catch the shuttle at 4:30am, I figured I'd check out of my hotel around 3:45am (always overestimating how long it will take me to get somewhere and giving myself 30 minutes to drive to the parking lot and then 15 minutes to walk to the buses). As I was chatting with the desk clerk, there were kids coming back to the hotel all dolled up (like maybe they were at a formal)... Yup, I was waking up to go run 26.2 miles and they were just getting back to the hotel... The life of a runner isn't so glamorous, but I wouldn't change it for anything!

This girl is ready to #RunLA!

Anywho, once I checked out I walked outside to throw my stuff in the car and was welcomed my SUPER THICK fog! I had three immediate thoughts. First, I was glad I overestimated my time, since I would need to really slow down on the drive over to the shuttles. Second, I was worried that the fog would make it much more humid than I was expecting, especially since we have been having such dry weather with the Santa Ana winds. And third, I was hoping that the fog would help keep the temperatures a little cooler than they were originally predicting for the race.

The drive to the parking lot was very smooth and uneventful (minus the whole white-knuckles due to the inability to see more than a few feet in front of me while driving). I had pre-paid for parking so the morning of was super easy and seamless - just had to give them my confirmation form and I was good to go.

I parked at one of the lots that was about a half mile away from the shuttles (because, let's be real, it was $10 cheaper and I am "frugal"). The walk over to the shuttles was super easy and I've gotta be honest, I was very glad the hubby talked me into grabbing one of his hoodies from our "donation pile" for a throw-away layer because the cooler temps were definitely evident.

The shuttles were very well organized. I didn't count them, but it legitimately seemed like there were at least 40-50 buses at the pick-up location. The volunteers were filling them with runners as soon as they walked up and off they went (I guess because there were such specific times like 4:00am, 4:30am, 5:00am, I was expecting that they would be leaving at regimented times, but thankfully it was super effortless and fluid). I got on a bus and away we went.

On the way over to Dodger Stadium I ate a PROBAR BASE Bar (mint chocolate), along with a banana, and sipped on water. Although I had been hydrating well throughout the week, one can never be too careful!

Once at Dodger Stadium I found some friends, rested my legs, and relaxed for a bit before we had to get into RACE MODE. It was great chatting with everyone and feeling the excitement that comes with race morning.

Source: Tam's Facebook

Photo CreditSmitha

Linzie and I went to the VIP Tent (thanks to our ambassador hook-up), but I've gotta say, we were SUPER unimpressed. I think had I spent the money on the upgrade I would have been PISSED! The tent was freezing cold, there were very little snacks, no coffee or warm drinks, the private port-o-potties were a joke and had a longer line than the "public" ones, etc. Like I said, thankfully I hadn't doled out my own cashola for it... So, just a heads up, I think I'd probably suggest skipping the upgrade and saving your money if you were considering it... Hanging out inside of Dodger Stadium was more comfortable, warmer, had "real" bathrooms and was FREE!

With the corrals closing prior to the race start (if you aren't in the seeded corrals prior to closure you are forced to start in the open corral which I did NOT want to do), so we made our way to our respected corrals, said our goodbyes and wished one another the bestest race EVER! I made my way to B and found some more friends to hang out with until it was go time (isn't it the best when you run into friends at races?!).

Let's be real, I'd MUCH RATHER be at Tiger's Stadium, but I'll take it ;)

The starting line

Casey, Pam and I before the race - these ladies are so sweet!
Photo Credit: Pam

Loved that we were able to spend a little time together before the race!
Photo Credit: Pam

I didn't really go into the race with a game plan. Seeing as I have the Phoenix Marathon in less than two weeks, I wanted to try and take LA easy... Easier said than done, I know, especially when the excitement that comes along with a race is pumping through your veins... I figured I'd shoot for a time between 4:00 and 4:15. I knew the heat would definitely be a factor and I figured I'd just take it as a training run and see how I felt.

I've gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was able to stick to my game plan. SPOILER ALERT: I finished with a 4:01 (and since the course measured long, I was right at 4:00 at 26.2 miles, at least on my Garmin). This was actually the strongest I have ever felt in a marathon... sure, it was also one of my slower times, but I kept it consistent the whole time and felt like I was truly in control and dominating my run!

But... I'm getting ahead of myself... Let's back it up and start at the beginning. Casey, Pam and I chatted before they let us loose. Casey said she was going to shoot for a 4:30 or so and decided to pull over to the side as to not get run over. I told Pam my "plan" and she said that she was going to take what the day gave her as she also was running the Phoenix Marathon. I ended up running with Pam for the first mile or so, until she pulled over to use the first set of port-o-potties. I ended up seeing for about a half mile later handing out her Valentine's - SO AMAZING (she actually made 26 Valentine's to hand out to spectators along the course!). {I ran up on her around mile 12 too, which I knew was a BIG problem, because she is MUCH faster than me. Unfortunately her sciatica was acting up and she had to pull out of the race. She encouraged me to keep chugging and finish strong though.}

Shortly after Pam broke away for the potty, I saw a familiar face pop up next to me - RICHARD! He and Michael started in the front of corral C and gave us a shout and a wave before we took off. We chatted for a few minutes and grabbed a quick picture "before we looked sweaty and nasty".

Photo Credit: Richard

Once we snapped the picture, we said our goodbyes and wished each other the best. After that I ran by myself for the rest of the race. I mean, sure there were 25,000+ runners on the course, I just didn't have a running buddy - but no need to fret, I do the majority of my runs on my own, so I am TOTES okay with it!

Seeing as this is my little space of the Interwebs, I've gotta take a quick second and jump up on my soapbox... As I'm sure you've realized, I run my fair share of races, so see some of the same things at multiple races. One such thing that I LOATHE is "those Christians" who have blow horns and signs, screaming at runners that pass by. JUST STOP IT, K?! Like, really, I don't know how many people can actually say they were saved because while they were running a race some crazed lunatic screamed at them about how they were going to burn in Hell and at that moment they gave their life to Christ... YOU ARE JUST GIVING CHRISTIANS (AND JESUS) A BAD NAME! If you want to make an impact, fill up a cooler of ice cold water and hand it out to runners along the course - THOSE WERE THE ANGELS I SAW! And now I will get down off my soapbox and continue on with my recap.

On the note of the angels on the course, I've gotta say, this was BY FAR one of the best spectated races I've done. It's like the whole city of LA comes out to cheer everyone on! I loved seeing the city rally around the runners! I know how annoying races can be to non-runners, I mean, the headaches of the traffic, the garbage, the road closures, etc, but there were so many people out legitimately proud of what we were accomplishing and truly happy for each and every one of us! From a 99 cent store handing out free bottles of water to neighbors with kegs of beer to families with otter pops to firehouses spraying down runners with squirt guns and hoses - the city TOTALLY SPOILED us!

If you are friends with anyone running the race, I'm sure you heard ALL about the heat! They were expecting the temps around mid-day to be in the 90s (#SoCalWinter). I am happy to report that Mother Nature was kind to us and it didn't get nearly as hot as they were expecting. The first half of the course was actually rather cool (I found lots of shade to run in and at one point saw a temperature reading on a Jimmy Fallon billboard that said it was "only" 64* around mile 12).

The second half of the course definitely started to heat up. I normally don't run races with my hydration pack, but with the weather they were predicting I figured I'd better be safe than sorry. I think I would have been okay without it, but was definitely happy I had it along the few hot stretches of road running we did. At two points along the course I actually grabbed some ice from spectators and put it in my IBG to help cool me down a bit.

And although I "gave up sweets" starting January 31st until after my two marathons, I partook in a pink otter pop and a orange popsicle along the course and they were DELISH and quite possibly Heaven sent! Not to mention, ice cold orange slices are AH-MAZING when you are running in 80 degree weather! I took my fuel (PROBAR BOLT Chews {strawberry flavored}) around mile 6, 12, 18, and 22, but the "treats" in-between were definitely complete AWESOMESAUCE!

Like I said at the beginning, this race was one of my strongest to date. I did stop for a few seconds to say HEY at the #WeRunSocial cheer station, walk two of the aid stations when I needed to get a little electrolytes in my system, and took one other walk break, but other than that I was trucking right along.

A shot of me running up to the WRS Squad! Thanks Christina!

You can see where my pace dropped the four "breaks" I took, but other than that I was chugging along smoothly

My times might not look amazing, but they were consistent, and THAT is what I needed. I hit 20 miles right at 3:00, which was perfect for a "training run". In my head I was thinking it would be awesome if I could have a strong first 20 miles and then, if I needed, I could take the final 10K easier. And that is EXACTLY what happened. My first 20 miles I had an average pace around 9 minutes per mile and overall my pace was 9:08/mile. I'm especially proud because I didn't look at my pace AT ALL during the race (and most of the mile marker clocks were broke so I wasn't even doing mental math!).

Some of my non-runner friends will make comments about how crazy I am because I run 26.2 miles "for fun"... But this is a picture of me around mile 22... SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR... Because I LOVE it... And have been blessed with the ability to be out there... So don't want to squander the opportunity I've been given!

A friend found this picture on her marathon training group's Facebook page

And I would be remised if I forgot to give shout-outs to the amazing friends who were out on the course! A HUGE thanks to AJ & the WRS crew for holding it down for us runners! Also, I absolutely LOVE when I see Ken {president of Superhero Events} at a race, especially when he's giving out FREE HUGS! (You can see me take Ken up on his offer around 3:20 of the video, as well as Pam, Andrea, Ivie & crew, and so many other friends going in for a BIG SQUENCH!) #AllTheFeels

Free Hugs - Valentine's Day Love
Free Hugs - Valentine's Day Love #FreeHugsProject
Posted by Free Hugs Project on Monday, February 15, 2016

As we were coming into Santa Monica the marine layer (aka fog) was rolling in and cooled down the temps - PRAISE THE LORD! The air was heavy, but it was a welcomed relief from the heat we had been trudging through for the prior few miles. I figured I could pick it up a bit and kick it in for the final mile. As I was coming through to the finish line I heard Rudy call out my name (and then tell everyone how much he enjoys my HUGE smile - YAY!)... Just the last push I needed to cross the finish line strong!

After I finished I saw a couple friends, snapped a couple pictures, grabbed a few snacks and made my way to try and find the Ragnar tent. You see, Ragnar Relays and the LA Marathon teamed up this year to create a challenge. If you ran a Ragnar Relay in 2015 and the 2016 LA Marathon, you receive a Golden State double medal. Or, if you ran the 2016 LA Marathon and run one of the upcoming Ragnar Relays then you will receive the additional medal.

Michael passed me around mile 14. He beat me today, but
I'm coming for him! 

Sean ROCKED the race... even with some knee pain!

Double Bling BABY!

The tent took me a good 30 minutes to find... But at least it gave me a little time to shake out the legs before getting in the car for 2 hours to drive back home, right?! ;) And when I got back to the car, I dropped off my goodies and then asked some beach goers if they wouldn't mind taking a picture of me and the Santa Monica Pier in the background.


The bling did NOT disappoint! The LA Marathon medal is double sided (and AMAZING!). The Double Medal is HUGE (and has TWO bottle openers). And then I figured I should probably include a picture of my Ragnar medal that helped me qualify for the double medal (as well as the FIRST PLACE MEDAL we got for being the FIRST Female Ultra Team at SoCal Ragnar last year). #Blingtastic

All-in-all this race is AMAZING! And just in case you are bummed you missed out on it, you're in luck! Until Friday, you can register for the 2017 LA Marathon for the LOWEST PRICE EVER! Head over HERE and register NOW (because, let me warn you, this deal will NOT last so you better take advantage of it while it's here!)!

Source@LAMarathon's Instagram

Have you ever #RunLA before?!