Sunday, February 25, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 8

Sunday, February 18th – 8 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, February 19th – November Project workout, 10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 20th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, 3 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 21st – 4 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, February 22nd – 8.8 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, February 23rd – Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, February 24th – Phoenix Marathon with the hubby {recap coming soon}, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Quite the week... The hubby became a MARATHONER and I was still able to hit 60 miles during taper time! Let's just say I am running on fumes and need some sleep... but I can't wait to share all about our adventures over the coming days!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

It's Friday, Friday. I'm here to share my favorites on Friday! Wait, that's not how that song goes?! Weird... Anywho, that's what I'm here to do... share my favorites with you! None of the things I share on my Friday posts are sponsored, just legit endorsements by me of things I've stumbled across and am loving lately. Hopefully you find them as awesome as I do ;)


The hubby and I hold our publics lands near and dear to our hearts. When the Trump Administration ordered that Bears Ears National Monument be reduced by 85 percent, we knew we couldn't just sit by and watch with our hands folded in our laps. The first thing we did was donate to help fund the Bears Ears Education Center. Visiting the area is a MUST for us! When the hubby told me about this short film, we had to watch it! It's less than 10 minutes long and worth the time.

In response to the current administration’s decision to open up Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to extractive industries, filmmakers Yeehaw Donkey, producer Andy Cochrane, and photographer Johnie Gall created the film Messengers. It follows 17 adventurers, three dogs, and a film crew as they run a 250-mile relay race across the desert in honor of the native messengers who used to travel this landscape by foot.

How-To Videos

I don't know about you, but my hubby STRUGGLES to get on his compression socks. Like, legit, it often times looks like a workout BEFORE the workout to get them on. I normally just chuckle and shake my head, but recently I showed him this video from PRO Compression and his world was ROCKED! Now he gets them on so easily and tends to wear them more frequently since he doesn't have to struggle to get them on. In case you (or someone you know) has a hard time, I thought I would share this GREAT video with tips on how to get on your socks ;)

San Diego Running Co.

You may remember them as HP Movement, but recently they changed their name to San Diego Running Co. I have worked with them a few times (they are the event production company for races like the San Diego Santa Run, Pacific Beachfest 5K and Balboa Park 8 Miler) and the guys that run the company are AMAZEBALLS! Anywho, they asked if they could use one of my pictures for an upcoming article and of course I said YES! Part of their mission is to make sure you have the best experience at their events. They gathered their 5 best tips to help you crush race day and I thought it had some AWESOME suggestions so wanted to pass it along - 5 Tips to Get You San Diego Race Ready!

Say It Forward

I was listening to Kelly Roberts' new podcast - She Can and She Did - last week and her guest, Stacy Stahl, shared her new venture "Say It Forward" and I was SOLD! Say It Forward is a way to send kind, uplifting, and unexpected notes to the ones you love. To encourage your kindness to continue, they send your card anonymously. Then, after your friend reads the note and smiles, they can unlock who it’s from in one of two ways: SAY IT FORWARD {they send a card to someone else!} or DONATE TO A CHARITY {even a dollar does the trick!}. Not everyone always has money to give, but everyone can share a kind word! It literally takes seconds! "Join the conga line of kindness by writing a card today!"


Be Awesome Unicorn Trucker Hat

Shoot, remember a couple of Fridays ago when I said we were in the process of downsizing/ simplifying?! Well, then Sparkle Athletic keeps releasing awesome products and I have trouble saying "no" so my closet doesn't seem to be shrinking... I mean, I'm pretty sure I NEED their new Be Awesome Unicorn Trucker. It would be pretty perfect to rock around Boston when I go (in less than 8 weeks), right?! #DearSanta

What are you loving lately?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim Training

Since I've had a couple people ask about our Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim adventure, I thought I'd do a quick blog post about it to try and answer everyone's questions thus far in one place. PS If you have NO IDEA what I'm talking about, I nonchalantly announced our next BIG escapade in a recent blog post (which you can read HERE if you missed the first go around).


What is Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim?

The Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim hike {“R2R2R”} is an amazing 44-48 mile trek (depending on the trail(s) you take), with an approximate elevation change of 20,000 feet and a potential temperature change of 70+ degrees. You technically start on one side of the Grand Canyon, hike down, cross the Colorado River and out to the other side... then back!


When do you plan to tackle R2R2R?

From the intel we gathered, we were told that April or October tend to be the best months weather-wise. Since we'd already be marathon trained in April (the hubby has the Phoenix Marathon on his training plan for February, while I have the Phoenix Marathon in February, the Los Angeles Marathon in March and the Boston Marathon in April on my schedule), we figured it was perfect timing. Currently we're planning to attempt our R2R2R hike on April 27th (we'll be camping in the Grand Canyon from the 26th through the 30th so we can truly enjoy the National Park while we're there).

The South Rim is open all year. The North Rim is closed for the winter and reopens on May 15th. With that said, we'll be camping (and starting our hike) at the South Rim, hiking to the North Rim and then finishing back again at the South Rim. 

How are you training?

Remember when I mentioned all of the marathons I have on my calendar? Well, those will definitely help in the training aspect! Thanks to the generosity of the folks at the Los Angeles Marathon, the hubby was also comped an entry to the race, so he has added his second full marathon to his calendar and will be running LA with me - yup, he added his second before running his first! (The training plan we're using had a 50K scheduled for the day of LA, so we said "why not?!".) 

Since this isn't technically a race (we've invited a few ultra friends to join the party, but there's a possibility it'll just be the two of us), we're sort of on our own for the planning and preparation. There's a decent amount of info available about the hike and we're lucky enough to have folks in our lives who have tackled the beast before that we can ask our million and a half questions to. We aren't going for a speed record (although, since it will be the first time we're tackling it, it'll automatically be a PR {personal record}, right?!), but we still want to make sure we're trained for what lies ahead.

I did some research online and found a 50-miler training plan that I have adjusted slightly to fit our schedule. In case you are interested in something similar, we used this Ultra Marathon Training Schedule Generator from the Santa Clarita Runners. I'd say the majority of folks we've talked to said that the distance isn't the killer... it's the elevation change! 

The hubby and I are planning to run the downhills and the flats, while hiking the uphills. Even still we want to make sure that our bodies can handle the trek. Our game plan is to start adding stairs after all of our runs beginning next week (I wanted to wait until after Phoenix so Ryan could "celebrate" his first full before focusing on the next, HUGE goal). So if we have a "short" run, we plan to do 15-20 minutes of stairs afterward and if we have a "long" run, we plan to do 5-10 minutes of stairs afterward. Also, we are hoping to take all of our "long" Saturday runs to the trails, which hopefully will also include more elevation training. We know that the main point of ultra training is "time on your feet", so for our "shorter" Sunday runs we are planning to hit the trails, but are okay it those runs on tired legs turn into more of a hike than a sprint.


Do you have any time goals for R2R2R?

The short answer - NOPE! The longer answer - I would love to go fast enough to not be out there for longer than we need to, but slow enough to enjoy ourselves, the view, etc. For some context, we hiked Half Dome in Yosemite (16.5ish miles round trip, 7,000ish feet of elevation gain) and kept around 29 minute miles (including all of our stops, photo opts, scaling the cables, etc), we we hiked up and ran down from Observation Point in Zion (8ish miles round trip, 6,000 feet of elevation gain) and kept around 17 minute miles, and we recently ran a 20 mile trail run with only about 1,200 feet of elevation gain and kept under 10 minute miles. I think the coming trail runs with more vert we will give us a better idea of what we may actually be able to do time-wise, but I'd love to say we could be somewhere around 15-20 minute mile pace (which would take us between 11 and 15 hours). But, again, time's NOT the focus - enjoyment, safety and adventure are!


I'll be sharing updates over the next nine weeks (which is all we have before we tackle this beast - EEKS!), but, in the meantime, follow me on Strava if you're interested in seeing our workouts. And if you have questions, keep 'em comin'!

Have you ever hiked the Grand Canyon before?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


If you follow me on social media (specifically on Instagram), you've probably seen my #CarleesTreasures posts. They're pictures of the assorted items I've found while out and about - usually during my runs/workouts or while walking around with the pup. It originally started when my body decided to revolt against me and somewhat sidelined me from my normal runs. I knew I had to listen to my body, no matter how much it sucked; I was obligated to take it easy and let off the gas!

I needed something to look forward to, especially since being forced to walk for exercise reminded me I wasn't running and it took twice as long. Around that time I noticed a "treasure" on the ground and knew what I was going to do. I had an epiphany... lightning had just struck my brain! Looking for discarded items was a perfect way to spend my time while I wasn't putting the pedal to the medal and grinding through my workouts. Taking joy in the little things and looking for trinkets brought a smile to my face (and I definitely needed that when the frustration and self pity were sky-rocketing!).


Let me clarify — not everything on the ground is a treasure (even though some say "one man's trash is another man's treasure"). I don't pick up edible items. Something I wouldn't give to someone as a 'gift' (whether that is a bottle cap, spit out gum, a dirty diaper, etc) is not coming home as a treasure. I also tried to keep things smaller than the size of my palm (mostly because where I was storing my goodies would fill up way too quickly if I had tons of giant finds). Items that qualified were buttons to bouncy balls, pennies to pins, lighters to Lego's, beads to bracelets and everything in between.


It's been about a year and I knew I needed to do something with all the treasures. We've been simplifying/ downsizing lately but there has been an overwhelming pile of goodies on our dining room table I haven't been able to part with. I couldn't just throw everything I had been collecting away, so I decided to try and do the next best thing... MAKE ART!

The treasures may have been taking over our dining room table ;)

I used four large canvases that the hubby had in the garage and decided to attach (i.e. hot glue) everything to them. The thought was I could then display everything I had found during the project (whether that be in our garage or in a gallery). Because, if you know me, you know I am pretty OCD about organization, I obviously had to arrange the treasures by color. I was originally going to try and make a rainbow (ROYGBIV), but the space wouldn't allow it to turn out perfectly. Even still, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out (especially since everything is technically trash). Not only did I have some pretty awesome individual finds, but the final product to display them all looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

The red and orange items I found throughout the year.

The yellow, pink and purple treasures I collected.

I would say the most frequent treasure I found was definitely a Nerf dart!

The white, silver and black treasures had some of my favorite items.

It might not be a perfect rainbow, but I love the way it turned out!

PS In case you were wondering where the canvases ended up, they're now hanging on the walls of the Backfence Society Clubhouse in Vista, CA. You see, this local non profit is dedicated to positive community engagement through art. They have a program called "Only Losers Litter" and I thought my project aligned PERFECTLY! I spoke with Sarah (a tattoo artist out of the shop the hubby and I go to, and the founder of Backfence Society) and she wanted to display them. The hubby joked and said it's my first official art show. I wouldn't go that far, but I'm still pumped! And if they happen to be included in an upcoming art show you better believe I will be sharing about it with you ;)


I didn't glue everything I found to the canvases because I found money throughout the year and wanted to give it to an organization doing good things in the running community! In the end what I collected totaled $34.21. I decided to donate it to Girls On The Run, a non-profit dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Running is used to inspire and motivate the girls involved; encouraging lifelong health and fitness, and building confidence through accomplishment. At each season's conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5K which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result — making the seemingly impossible, possible, and teaching girls that they can.


Now I can't say I'm done collecting #CarleesTreasures, but I don't think I'll accumulate such a collection in the future ;)

What was the coolest thing you've ever found on the ground?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wild Keepers Impact Day {February}

I shared a couple weeks ago about the Wild Keepers program I am honored to be a part of. In case you didn't get a chance to read that post yet, let me give you a brief rundown of the program. It isn't your normal ambassador program. It isn't focused pushing products or getting a brand more publicity; it's about getting out there and doing something! It's about leaving this place better than we found it! It's about making a difference and inspiring others to do the same!
One of the "requirements" of the relationship is that you participate in monthly "Impact Days" (because, remember, the main focus of the Wild Keepers program is helping the environment). The stipulations for an Impact Day are simple:
  1. Go outdoors
  2. Pick up trash
  3. Share your impact
There are so many locations that could use a little extra love, so I am stoked that this gives us that extra nudge to get outside and help leave an area better than we found it. (Because, let's be real, sometimes activities like picking up other people's trash are the first to fall off the calendar when we are overwhelmed with the rest of life.)


The first place we decided to hit up to help was a nearby climbing spot where the hubby likes to go. The last couple times the hubby and I have been over there, it made us super sad to see how much trash we saw blowing around the boulders.

We took one extra large trash bag and two grocery bags (thinking we could put the recyclable stuff in the smaller bags and the trash in the bigger one. Little did we know we'd fill up all of the bags in less than a half an hour and not even detect our impact. The hubby commented that we could fill up a garbage bag on the daily and people would still probably never even notice. Apparently the climbing spot seems to be quite the party place "after hours" because we ended up carrying out tons of bottles (both broken and whole), spray paint cans, food wrappers, clothes and just general trash.

This was about half way into our clean-up... And we didn't have to veer too far off the path to grab it all.

Lucky for us (saying this half sarcastically), we actually found more bags while we were cleaning up so we filled those too!

When we got home we weighed everything and it was over 23 pounds... TWENTY THREE POUNDS OF TRASH! And it literally took us about twenty minutes to grab what we did (had we had more bags we would've been able to get more).

He sort of looked like Santa with his sack... too bad it was filled with trash and not toys for good girls and boys!

I'll be honest, the amount of trash was very disheartening and frustrating, but although we may not be able to physically pick it all up ourselves, hopefully our efforts are somewhat felt and maybe help encourage others to help out too!


When was the last time you helped with a clean up effort?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 7

Sunday, February 11th – 12 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, February 12th – 15 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, February 13th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, 4 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, February 14th – 6 mile run with the hubby

Thursday, February 15th – 10 mile run

Friday, February 16th – 3 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, February 17th – Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

It's taper time! Although I have three full marathons over the course of seven weeks, this is the hubby's FIRST FULL, so we are still having him taper a bit (even though we will be running the Los Angeles Marathon three weeks after the Phoenix Marathon and then attempting to tackle the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim challenge about a month and a half later). He's feeling great and ready to become a MARATHONER... and I couldn't be more proud! He's a ROCK-FREAKIN'-STAR!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Our Engagement Story

Since today marks TEN YEARS since Ryan got down on BOTH knees and asked me to join him in the crazy adventure called marriage (and since so many of you are new to my corner of the InterWebs) I thought I'd share how we got engaged. Sorry if this is a bit of a re-run for some of you, but hopefully you'll still enjoy the show ;) #FlashbackFriday

This is one of the pictures from our 'engagement' photo shoot
(that we did with a tripod & a point-and-shoot camera w/ a timer)

Some of you may know that the hubby and I started dating our sophomore year of college. I had 'noticed' Ryan because he liked the girl who lived across the hall from me freshman year and was always hanging out over there. Fortunately for me, she didn't like him 'like that' and I was able to swoop in ;) {But I swear I'm not a creeper or anything!}

There's the stud I thought was so dreamy... and artsy... and skater-ish... and God loving... and unlike anyone I had dated before

We both went to Orlando with our college campus church during the summer between our freshman and sophomore year as part of a leadership training program. As part of the program, we were required to work full-time jobs. Universal Studios had a 'deal' with the organization that they'd hire as many of us as they could - so instead of hunting for our own jobs, the majority of us decided to work at the theme park for the summer. Ryan and I carpooled every day to and from work and got to know each other. Love blossomed and we started dating the beginning of our sophomore year.

Not sure if you can tell, but we were secretly holding hands behind Ryan's leg... Yup, young love ;)
This shot is from Orlando before we had technically started dating

We look like BABIES! This was 15 YEARS ago! WE WERE BABIES!

Let's stop right here and mention a few things. First, before Ryan and I even started dating, I told the girls in my summer small group that I could see myself marrying him (apparently it would take a little more convincing for Ryan to believe it for himself). Next, it is my personal opinion that you date someone in order to decide whether or not that is the person you could spend the rest of your life with (the end game is always marriage). Okay, now we can proceed.

Halloween 2006

At this point in our relationship (February 2008), Ry and I had been together for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS. We had dated while living in the same dorm, while living across the country from each other, while moving across the country from everyone we knew but still living in different cities, etc. I felt as though we had dated through just about every phase and I still knew I wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life... WHAT WAS TAKING HIM SO LONG?!

Celebrating our birthdays in 2007 (they are 3 days apart)

Although I am NOT a Valentine's Day celebrator, I thought that this would be a decent time for Ryan to propose, but alas, he did not. I remember being so frustrated with the situation that I called my mom and told her I thought I was going to have to break up with him because obviously the relationship was going NOWHERE. She tried her best to calm me down, to tell me to 'stick it out' and reminded me how much I loved him. (Little did I know he had already called and asked my parents for my hand in marriage and she was trying her hardest not to spill the beans just days before.)

Ryan's sister and her hubby were in town that following weekend, visiting San Diego, so we were planning to head down to spend some time with them. On the way, Ryan thought we could do a little geo caching. (If you don't know what geo caching is, it's sort of like high-tech treasure hunting. You use coordinates and GPS to find caches that could have tradable items or just a log to sign showing that you found it. It was something we enjoyed doing because it helped us discover areas we may have never found on our own. Being in a new city and state, it was a great way to adventure.)

A picture of us geo caching from 2007... I thought RC Pirates was the perfect name for
us because R = Ryan, C = Carlee & Pirates look for treasure like geo cachers!

We stopped at Kate Session's Park to grab a couple caches before meeting his sister for a little sight seeing downtown. When he was ready to pop the question, he called me over (normally, once we got to the location we would divide and attempt to conquer, looking around to find the cache) saying he had found it, and had the ring in his hand.

I always poke fun at him because he was down on both knees, but really it was such a cute proposal, and so US, that he could have been standing or speaking Spanish and I still would have said YES (or maybe sí).

Thumbs up for love

And how awesome is it that two of our friends went to the geo cache we got engaged at after our wedding and grabbed the coin we left?! (PS We got married 6 months to the day after we got engaged - note the dates in the log.)

And now you know ;) It might not be uber romantic or what little girls dream about when pondering the way their prince charming asks to spend the rest of his life with her, but it was PURE PERFECTION for me and the man of my dreams!

How did you get engaged?