Tuesday, May 31, 2016


By now I am sure there are a few things you know about me (even if you are relatively new to these parts).

          1. I love running. 
          2. I love the running community. 
          3. I love races (even if I don't "race" them - they are an AMAZING way to combine #1 and #2). 
          4. I may be a bit crazy.

You might not remember, but last year I took part in a #SD2LV Challenge. Some friends and I ran a half marathon in San Diego (the Silver Strand Half) in the morning and then flew to Las Vegas and ran a half marathon in Vegas that evening (the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half). 2 Half Marathons, 2 States, 1 Day! [And, YES, we're doing it again in 2016!]

So when some friends recommended we do another two part challenge you had to guess that I was ALL IN! This time it will be the Fontana Half Marathon on Saturday and the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon on Sunday.

The game plan is to race Fontana. The course is pretty straight and has over 2,000 feet elevation loss, so I am going to be chasing a PR for this one (like I mentioned in my list above, although I love races I don't run them for time very often, so my current half PR sits at 1:44 and is from 2014). {Goal A: Sub-1:40, Goal B: Sub-1:44, Goal C: Finish with a smile on my face and some gas in the tank for the following morning.} Then, San Diego will be all about the people, selfies and fun (there may or may not be tequila and donut stops planned for this race like there were during last year's race).

And if you are planning on being in or around San Diego on Sunday (whether you run RnRSD or not), you are invited to the #WeRunSocial Meet-Up at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp. The party starts at 11:30am and is going to be a BLAST! So, if it isn't on your calendar already, make sure you add it NOW!

Since PRO Compression is helping host the meet-up (we are just about in their backyard), they've teamed up with #WeRunSocial to give out some FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC tees to the first 75 folks who come wearing PROs to the shindig! [Sizes are limited, so make sure to show up early if you want to snag one of these limited edition shirts!]

The #WeRunSocial crew is THE BEST! And an added bonus of an amazing shirt?! You better believe I will be there!

If you won't be in town for the festivities (BOO ON YOU), make sure you follow along on social media. I will be posting race recaps next week, but to stay up-to-date on the shenanigans we are getting into, you'll wanna make sure @CarleeMcDot is an account you follow on your favorite platform. [There's even a rumor that the PRO Compression Sock of the Month for June will be make its debut at RnRSD on the legs of some of the PRO Ambassadors!]

PS You MUST head over to Pavement Runner's post about the weekend festivities (apparently we had the same idea about spreading the word) HERE. His post includes some EVEN BIGGER news... Like a SUJA Signature Cocktail and the release of a new Sparkly Soul headband that you do NOT want to miss! SERIOUSLY... DO NOT MISS IT!


Do you consider yourself a little bit crazy?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Strawberry Festival 10K Race Recap

Yesterday morning Ryan and I ran the Vista Strawberry Festival 10K. This race holds a special place in my heart because it was one of my very first races when I started running. In 2012, when I was training for my first half marathon, I ran this 5K and have been back every year since.

          2012 Race Recap
          2013 Race Recap
          2014 Race Recap
          2015 Race Recap

Although I normally go with the berry theme, this year I thought I would show respect to the fallen soldiers we are honoring this Memorial Day with a red, white and blue ensemble. (I may have ordered the skirt from Sparkle Athletic special for my patriotic theme.)

#FlatCarlee included PRO Compression socks, a Sparkle Athletic skirt, Handful
sports bra, Brooks shoes, Road ID, Garmin Forerunner 220, Sparkly Soul
headband, Momentum wrap and QALO wedding bands.

With the race starting a 6:45am, we figured we'd leave a little after 6am to get over and parked before the starting gun went off. We were able to grab our bibs the day before at a local car dealership so we didn't have to worry about it race morning (it is normally easy breezy, but we didn't want to have to go back to the car to drop off our shirts and goodies since there's no gear check).

The temps were decent for the race. We've been dealing with May Gray lately so we were expecting dreary and humid weather (and we were not disappointed). It's always funny because you expect Memorial Day Weekend to be the kick-off of summer, yet the weather never really feels that way in these parts (even with the HIGH Sunshine Tax we pay).

We were able to leave the house around 6:15am, get parked by 6:30am, get over to the start by 6:35am, use the port-o-potties by 6:40am and find some of our friends at the start line before the National Anthem was sung. Local races are the best, am I right?! 

We look SO ready for this fun run, right?!

Source@SharpEndurance's Instagram Feed

I had asked Ryan the day before what our game plan should be for the race. He said he was down for a "fun run". He joked and said we would stop for all of the characters along the course (he must runDisney too much ;)), so I knew we would be taking it easy. With that said, we decided to stick with Linzie and Sarah who were taking it easy as well since they were running BACK-TO-BACK RACES (yup, they registered for both the 10K AND the 5K!).

When we saw a HUGE America sign on the course we knew we needed to stop. I mean, did you see my outfit?! And of course I thought it would be super funny if I would stand in front of the A for the picture.


The 10K course has two decent hills on it (one through Brengal Terrace and the other along the streets of Vista). Since no one was out there to be a hero, we took them easy and walked when we needed to (don't you forget, Linzie, Sarah and I will all be tackling the #Fontana2SD challenge this upcoming weekend and need to save our legs for that). I have to say, I LOVE the new course! Putting the Brengal Terrace hill earlier in the race makes it seem a little less daunting. Also, there seemed to be less winds and turns at the end. I hope this new course stays around for years to come (since obviously you know we will be back in the future!).


The one drawback was the lack of water on the course. There were two water stops, but for some reason it seemed a bit insufficient. Maybe it was the humidity, maybe it was the longer time on the course or maybe it was runners around us asking about water that reminded me how long it was between stops - but whatever the case I would have loved one more aid station along the run.

Go Speed Racer, Go Go Speed Racer! 

Oh yeah, and there was one other con of the race, a lack of Barry the Berry (ha, I don't know if that is his name, I may have just named him that)! As you know, I love my character stops! I only saw the giant strawberry once and he (or she) was at the finish line. The issues was, you couldn't get back into the finishers shoot to snap a photo with him. I hope next year I get another photo opp w/ my main berry Barry ;)

Look at Colin! He LOVES to #RunHappy and #KeepItTight!

Linzie CRUSHING it in his strawberry themes attire!

The finishers area was nice. After crossing the finish line you are funneled into a park where you pick up your bling and berries (yup, everyone gets a baggie of strawberries, along with a portion of bagel, a half of banana and a cup of water). They also have a backdrop where you can take pictures with fun signs. Obviously Ryan and I were ALL ABOUT IT!

Shoe shot while waiting in line

Who doesn't love running BERRY FAST?! 

You all know I love a good #ArmParty, right?! 

Official results for the morning

The beer garden (and reason that Ryan runs this race year-after-year) didn't open until 8:30am, so we decided we would go back out and cheer on the 5K runners. It was just about perfect timing because once we saw all of our friends the beer garden had opened and we made our way over to pick up our complimentary drinks (I don't drink beer so Ryan lucks out and gets one free beer with his bib and one with mine #BestWifeAward).

For some reason he really enjoys dipping his medal in his beer
for his picture... WEIRD (and a little gross)... 

We also found some of our friends who were coming for the kids races (not only do they offer a 10K and 5K, but there is also an 8 years old and over 1-miler, an 8 years old and under 1-miler and a 1/4-miler for the wee-ones). I love seeing kids getting stoked about running!


It was a BERRY AWESOME morning with great friends and a fun run. Not only is this an excellent little local race, it is a reminder at how far I've come in my journey. I normally don't race it for time, but it is still great to return to your running roots whenever you can and just enjoy the run! As long as we are in town for the Memorial Day Weekend, I am sure this is a race that will continue to find its way on our race calendar (and, shoot, maybe next year I will even consider the double race option!).

What could be better?!

What is your "anniversary" race? And do you make sure to do it year after year?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 22

Sunday, May 22nd – 6 mile run {Yasso 800s}, 3 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, May 23rd – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, May 24th – 18 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, May 25th – 5 mile #runch in San Diego with friends, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, May 26th – 8 mile progression run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, May 27th – 12 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, May 28th – Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

I feel like I am really earning my rest days lately but hopefully that means great things when I go and try to PR at my next race (the Fontana Half Marathon on Saturday). Although I normally don't "taper" for half marathons I think next week will be a little lighter, especially since I have a half on Saturday AND Sunday...

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's FRIDAY! Or maybe we should rename it FriYAY! Every time this day rolls around we all get a little extra pep in our step and why shouldn't we?! So I figured now is as good of a time as any to share a few of my current faves with all of you! This week is a little different from Friday Favorites of the past (some faves are reads, some are new flavors or versions of old favorites and some are just tried and true favorites), but hopefully you're still along for the journey!

Halo Top - Birthday Cake

I know I posted a review about the low-cal, high protein ice cream a while back but I was finally able to try the infamous Birthday Cake flavor earlier this week and it did NOT disappoint! It is so creamy and delicious that it's hard to show any self control/ restraint and not eat the whole pint in one sitting (but thankfully the whole thing is only 280 calories so even if you down it all at once it isn't completely a deal breaker)!

Little Beastling's "Naked On The Run" Post

I shared Christina's post on Facebook and Twitter last week when she wrote it, but in case you haven't read it yet I wanted to link it HERE as well. As you know, I have some pretty craptastic self esteem. I am super self conscious and just pretty much hate my body. Well, I made a comment on one of Christina's IG pictures and it started her thinking, which lead to the blog post. She makes some amazing points (even if some of them hit a little too close to home).

Rock 'N' Roll Series

I am stoked that my Rock 'N' Roll adventures are finally starting (I know some of the Heavy Medalists crew are already on their ninth or tenth RnR race for the year). I will be running San Diego next weekend (as the second part of the #Fontana2SD adventure), Seattle a few weeks after (thanks to my ambassador role with Athlete IQ and Alaska Airlines) and then later this fall I've got Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I'm hoping to add a couple more tour stops to my calendar, but have to work out the details such as flights and hotel costs before I pull the trigger (come on lottery, big money, big money!). If you want to join in on the fun, use CARLEEMCDOT when registering and save a couple bucks (valid on half marathon and marathon distances, some exclusions apply).

PS One of my friends, Victoria, has some AMAZING NEWS! She is unable to use her Global Tour Pass [valued at $479] (that is not the good part, but thankfully the reason is wonderful - she's expecting!) and is offering it up as a giveaway! YOU COULD BE JET-SETTING TO ALL OF THE RnR RACES IF YOU WIN THIS! Well, you'd have to pay for the jet, but all of the race registrations would be covered! Enter her giveaway HERE!

#WeRunSocial Momentum Wraps

You KNOW I love my #WristCandy, so it had to be OBVIOUS that a #WeRunSocial + Momentum Jewelry collaboration was like a match made in heaven for me. If you want to pick up one of these amazing wraps yourself you can head over to Pavement Runner's site and place an order TODAY! I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I may have had a hand in making these (and selecting the heather gray color) so it is AMAZING to see them become a reality!

QALO Ring - Foxfire

Just like with the first favorite, this one is another that I've talked about in the past, but this time it's a 'new-to-me' color! After I received a couple of the QALO rings to test and review, I placed an order for 4 more (Foxfire, red, purple and pink). The Foxfire has quickly become my new fave! I love stacking this one with my white, but my favorite feature is that it GLOWS IN THE DARK! How stinkin' cool is that?! [And if you want to place an order, click HERE to save $5!]

So, spill the beans, what are you loving lately?

Thursday, May 26, 2016


When the amazing folks over at JORD Watch contacted me about their watches I was FLOORED! I mean, if you know me or even just look through my Instagram feed then you can probably notice that I am a pretty plain-Jane. I don't have too many pieces of jewelry - in fact, my jewelry mostly consists of Garmin gadgets and QALO silicone wedding bands - so to hear they wanted to give my #WristCandy an upgrade rocked my world!


I was able to select the watch I felt best fit me and my style. JORD watches are made of wood and are one-of-a-kind! I decided on the Ely watch in Maple {but it was a struggle to choose because there are so many amazing choices}.


When it arrived it was more beautiful than in the pictures! Maybe it's because I don't have many nice things, but I honestly couldn't stop looking at it! And for someone who has TINY wrists, to have a watch that was a perfect fit is a GAME CHANGER! Literally, most watches look HUGE on my wrists and if I ever buy a cheap watch I end up having to poke a hole in the band to make it small enough. (You can provide your wrist size when placing your order with JORD so you receive a customized fit, as well as additional links in case you screwed up with the tape measure!)

Watches are not just timekeepers; watches are statement pieces, watches speak to the style and personality of the wearer. JORD watches tell more than time. The expectation for a JORD timepiece is pretty simple: great style, visible craftsmanship and unyielding utility. Raw material. Refined design.

If you're interested in your own JORD watch (and why wouldn't you be?!), you can see their full line of wooden women's watches HERE {try saying that three times fast}. And just because the majority of my friends/ family/ followers are ladies doesn't mean I'd forget about the guys! The men's watches are here (and if my wrists weren't so tiny I was thinking I would have rocked the Bamboo & Blue Topaz Carbon from the Delmar Drift series because it's AMAZEBALLS). 

Every piece is truly one-of-a-kind because no two trees or two pieces of wood are the exact same. The wood comes from sustainable trees throughout the world and the watches are hand crafted in the USA (St. Louis, Missouri to be exact)! As soon as you put the watch on your wrist you can feel all of the love and work that went into the timepiece. It is UBER elegant, but even with it being such a stunning piece, it's perfect for every day wear (which is ideal for me because we get dressed up all of like three times a year so I would be bummed if this didn't see more use than that).

The closure is a super easy-to-use clasp. Pinch the clasp to open, snap the
band into the clasp to close. 

Now, I will be the first to admit that these watches are a pretty penny, but I believe the craftsmanship, quality and beauty make the price well worth it! Maybe this is something you put on your birthday or Christmas list. These would make AMAZING anniversary gifts {hint hint!}. Or maybe it is something you treat yourself to when you hit your goal weight or get that promotion you've been working towards. And looking at the calendar, these would work perfectly as Fathers Day gifts for that special guy in your life! Whatever the occasion is that you decide to splurge, know that you are getting a remarkable watch that was hand crafted, will last for years and will get you compliment after compliment!

You won't even have to wrap it... Because LOOK at how it arrives!

And, since it's Thursday, you know I'm linking up with Smitha and her Try It Thursdays post. Head over to her blog and see what everyone is giving a go these days (and make sure to add your own review to the link-up).

How many watches do you own?
Wooden Watch Review

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Negative Influences

Recently I've been struck with how everything around us influences and impacts us TO OUR CORE {whether it's social media, entertainment we partake in or even friends we associate with). What's the saying? Garbage in, garbage out...

Ryan and I have a radio in our kitchen that we have on if we aren't watching TV (which means it's on 99% of the time). It's not necessarily to rock out to, more just ambient sound (and to block out noises Walt may hear and want to destroy).

I know it may not seem like a bit deal, but recently we changed radio stations from a Top 40's type channel to a Christian station. Yes, I totally realize that some of the songs or stories may be corny, but it is honestly crazy after listening to it and then going back to "normal" radio at how blatantly obvious some of the messages we are being inundated with can be. And I'm not even talking about the music... Just the commercials themselves are bind boggling! Liposuction to make you more desirable or attractive, the next big party or event that everyone who is anyone will be at, products that you don't need but will obviously make you the best friend, lover, employee that you can be, etc.


The negative bombardment in our lives can be overwhelming! And, shoot, some of it can come from those closest to us {thankfully that is NOT the case for me, but I know a lot of you have had to deal with this reality}.

Don't get me wrong, I really do love social media, but man it can be taxing (and unfortunately has the capability of being super negative)! Sometimes I consider pulling the plug altogether, but then I remember how much of a positive impact I can make, how bright of a light someone can be, ESPECIALLY in a dim, dark room! Like it says at the top of this blog, "Even if what I do only makes a small difference, I will be a difference maker. I can do it and so can you. BE THE CHANGE!" With that being said, I'll be the first to admit that it can be extremely difficult and draining to continue chugging along with a smile on your face when you are being beaten down by the forces around you. But DON'T LET THEM WIN! Don't give them that power! Be unapologetically you, make a difference in the lives of those around you and do it with a joy in your heart that no one can take away!


For whenever you have the opportunity to choose, I urge you to always choose happiness. I think now is the perfect time to do a major overhaul in our lives to get rid of whatever negativity we have the power to remove. Maybe we will need to make some tough decisions and hide, block or un-follow some people in our lives. Maybe we need to delete a social media account. Maybe we need to change the type of movies or guilty pleasure TV shows we indulge in. Maybe we need to step back from a few relationships and reevaluate the people in our lives. But we can't have a positive life with a negative mind and if we let the negative in it will grasp its grimy little fingers on us before we even realize it.


How are you choosing happiness? Are there things you need to cut out of your life?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

REVIEW: Nathan LightBender RX

Remember when the AWESOME folks at Nathan sent me some new (to me) products to test out?!

A couple weeks ago I posted my first review of the Nathan SpeedShot Plus Insulated Handheld and now it's time for my Nathan LightBender RX review! If you read my "Getting It Done" post on Friday then you might have noticed I wore the new lighted armband out on my early morning run (if you didn't read the post or didn't notice it, don't worry, I won't hold it against you, but feel free to check it out HERE if you've got a few spare minutes).

I swear, I look like a Christmas tree when I go out on my
runs, but I'd rather be seen and laughed at then unnoticeable
and in potential danger!

The band was on the solid red option in my 'after' shot. It was about 7:30am
so the sky was bright (even with the May Gray that's been sticking around lately)

Some of the gear I took with me for my 15-miler (which started around 5am).
As you can see, my Nathan SpeedShot Plus Insulated Handheld, as well as my
Nathan StrobeLight that I use as a back light came along for the run!

Anywho, since I'm sure you are well aware, taking pictures in the dark is HARD, especially when the product you are trying to shoot is a light... Either the flash would blow out the light or if the flash was off then the pictures would be super blurry. With that said, I thought the best way to do a review might be a vlog {video + blog}. Now, please don't judge, I'm still trying to get comfortable with video, but I'd love it if you took a few minutes (or 14 because apparently I am a chatty Kathy) and check out my thoughts on this new product.

I wasn't sure how well the light translated in the video because I was filming in a bright room so I went into the closet and took a couple pictures. I also cycled through the different light patterns while in the dark so hopefully they are a little easier to see. 

In the videos below I cycled through the three lighting modes (the steady blink, the "heartbeat" and the solid light), each of which I kept on for a few counts. Here is the red light:

And the green option:

And last but not least, the blue light:

As I mentioned in the video, I am digging this lighted armband! With the warmer months quickly approaching and athletes trying to beat the heat with their workouts, having good visibility and reflective gear is an absolute MUST

If you are interested in checking out the Nathan LightBender RX or any of the other awesome LED lights, you can visit your local running store. [Nathan is currently working on an eCommerce site of their own, but in the meantime, I would always urge you to #ShopLocal.]

What safety gear do you use on your early morning and late evening runs to help you to be seen?