Thursday, March 22, 2018

GUEST POST: Set & Get Your Goals by Rachel

As you {hopefully} read yesterday, the McDot clan has packed up the Adventure Mobile and hit the road. But just because we are enjoying the great outdoors doesn't mean I was going to leave you high and dry. Since I love you all dearly, I reached out to a few AWESOME folks and have lined up some AMAZING guest posts over the coming weeks. First up is a topic I think we could all use help with... setting yourself up for success when it comes to goals (whether they be fitness, health, business, etc). So, without further ado, let's give Rachel a warm welcome as she drops some knowledge on us!

Hi everyone! I’m Rachel, a licensed therapist, certified health coach, and of course, a runner! I see clients for different reasons, but most often to help with wellness goals. I love what I do. It’s amazing to provide the tools for someone to make positive changes stick in the long term.

Almost everyone struggles with motivation at some point. We hear about it all the time, right? If you follow any fitness Instagrams, those inspirational quotes designed to get you up and moving are EVERYWHERE. Despite the reminders of “You’ve got this!”, it’s not always easy. We’ve all been there. You set a goal and it’s much harder than you thought. You get frustrated and quit. It’s an awful feeling, and can make you never want to try again. But those inspirational posts are right. You can do it. You are capable. You just have to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success. How? The Three Be’s!


Be Realistic

Whether you’re tackling a new race distance or trying to eat healthier, your goal has to be realistic for YOU. It’s easy to think that what works for one person is right for you. Instead, pick a starting point that’s a challenge, but something you’ll actually be willing to stick with. Maybe you want to improve sleep. If you’re sleeping five hours a night, making the jump to nine right away probably isn’t going to work. Instead, start with 5 ½. If that goes well, try 6. There’s no reason to make it harder on yourself! Start small and realistic. You’re more likely to keep it going.

Be Mindful

This is one of my favorite quotes. We’ve all had a situation in which we had a temptation in front of us, and we took the bait. The best way to avoid this is awareness. My favorite way to keep goals in my mind is to put a reminder on my phone so I see it often and remember what I want to achieve, or avoid, throughout the day.

It’s also crucial to know your “why”. Why are you trying to improve your nutrition? Is it because want a PR at your upcoming race? Put a reminder somewhere you can see it. It’s easier to put down that cake if you remember why you want to. Your “why” is what will get you through those tough moments.


Be Kind

You’re kind to others, but are you kind to yourself? It’s easy to feel awful when you miss a day of running or you procrastinate on that project even though you swore you wouldn’t. When that happens, it’s okay to give yourself a break. You’re a person, not a robot! Progress is rarely linear. It often looks like a cha cha, with a few steps forward and then one step backwards. If you have to take that backwards step, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. A client came in one morning feeling down after not sticking with her nutrition goals on vacation. My response? It’s vacation! Isn’t the point of pushing through new challenges to make life better? Well, same goes for that fruity drink on your beach getaway. If you’re never allowing yourself to do what you enjoy, you’re not living or enjoying amazing experiences. The key is balance. Allow yourself the freedom to not be perfect. You’re still doing an amazing job.


Need more inspiration or positive vibes? Feel free to reach out! E-mail me, follow my blog, or find me on Instagram or Twitter. I’m here to help! Good luck with whatever you’re working towards. Keep at it - it’s always worth it in the end.

I love how manageable these suggestions are from Rachel. Sure, goals should excite you (and scare you a little), but they also need to something you can hopefully attain or else you will eventually give up if you aren't seeing any progress.

What goals are you currently chasing?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Road Trip

It's time to let the cat out of the proverbial bag {don't get me wrong, cats are NOT my jam, but I'm not crazy enough to stick one in a bag!}... The hubby and I (and Walt the Wiener Dog) packed up the van earlier this week and hit the road!


We're currently on a THREE WEEK ROAD TRIP up (and back down) the coast. We have a general idea of where we are going, but we're also leaving some of the plan not fully baked so we have the freedom to go where the wind takes us.


I plan to post updates along the road, but I also wanted to let you know that it probably won't be as frequently as normal. Although the hubby will still be working occasionally (wouldn't it be great if we could do a three week vacation where we unplugged completely?!), I'm not 100% sure what our connection will be like so you'll just have to bear with me.


There are some great guests posts on the horizon, so hopefully they'll keep you entertained enough that you don't check out permanently from on my hiatus (but if you do, I understand and please know that you'll be missed).


PS I guess now is as good of a time as any to remind you to follow my social media accounts since I'll update those more regularly than the blog while out on our adventure. I'm @CarleeMcDot across the board {Instagram, TwitterFacebook}.


And don't you worry, I'm still in the process of running my buns off for the Boston Marathon (which is why our trip will only be three weeks, because we have to get back in time to fly to the East Coast). The hubby and I will also be doing our darnedest to get in all of our training miles for the Grand Canyon #Rim2Rim2Rim adventure we've got at the end of April.


And with that, it's time to blow this popsicle stand and explore the West Coast! Peace out, yo! Catch y'all on the flip side!


What is the longest road trip you've ever taken?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wild Keepers Impact Day {March}

I shared a few weeks ago about the Wild Keepers program I'm STOKED to be a part of. In case you didn't get a chance to read that post, let me give you a brief rundown of the program. It isn't your average ambassador program. It isn't focused on pushing products or getting a brand publicity; the main objective is to get out and do something in your community! It's about leaving this place better than you 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 top priority 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.)


This was the second month we have been able to take part in an Impact Day. Last month the hubby and I went to a nearby bouldering stop that he likes to climb at (and always comments on how trashy and nasty it is).

Within 20 minutes we were able to pick up TWENTY-THREE POUNDS of trash!

This go around we wanted to switch it up (although, truth be told, we could probably go back to the same spot month after month {or even week after week for that matter} and our impact wouldn't even be noticed because there is unfortunately THAT MUCH trash!). We decided to head to Carlsbad for a coastal cleanup. I'd say we live in a relatively environmentally conscious area. There are groups who do beach cleanups regularly throughout the year (whether it is the Surfrider Foundation, local boy scout troops, groups of surfers, etc) so we figured we'd try to focus on areas that don't get as much love and support. It wasn't so much of a beach cleanup per say, but more of a parking area / walk-to-the-beach mission. 


We picked up everything from cigarette butts to bottles, lighters to food wrappers, shoes to plastic straws, road signs to condoms (I made the hubby grab those since he had gloves on). We took an extra large trash bag and a grocery bag (figuring we'd put the recyclable stuff in the smaller bag and the trash in the bigger one). When we got home we weighed everything and it was over 21 pounds... TWENTY ONE POUNDS OF TRASH! And it literally took us less than an hour.

PS I have NO IDEA why this rusted pole I found was wearing a sock... 

I'll be honest, seeing the trash can be very disheartening and frustrating, but we did have quite a few folks thank us this time since we were more out in the open. Hopefully our efforts encourage others to help out when and where they can!


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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 11

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

Monday, March 12th – 4 mile run with the hubby & 20 minutes of stairs

Tuesday, March 13th – 8 mile run with the hubby, 20 minutes of stairs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, March 14th – 12 mile run, 12 minutes of stairs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, March 15th – 4 mile run with the hubby, 20 minutes of stairs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, March 16th – 5 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, March 17th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

45 miles the week of a marathon?! I'll take it! Surprisingly my legs haven't felt too bad. I'm getting a little nervous about our lack of elevation training when it comes to the Grand Canyon, but I'm hoping the extra stairs we are throwing in at the end of our runs are helping. Thankfully out R2R2R adventure is all about the journey (and not the time on a watch).

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

WHOO HOO! We did it! I think we all need a HUGE round of applause (or at least all the chips and salsa you can eat) for making it through the week! I'll be honest, this week wasn't bad, just crazy busy... And it doesn't look like this weekend is going to slow down any... But it's all great and exciting things, so I'm gonna stop whining and start sharing!

Spring Momentum Line

Momentum Jewelry released their new Spring line last week and they have some super cute stuff! They named it the "Your Journey Awaits" collection and I am loving every piece of it! The ‘Your Journey Awaits’ Collection celebrates the fresh start of springtime with surprising bursts of color and personality-filled pendant designs. From living with intention to following your passions, their hope is that you will be filled with a sense of possibility, hope, and daring to live your dream.


Say It Forward + She Can & She Did

A couple Fridays ago I shared about Say It Forward. If you missed it, 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!}. Well, Say It Forward collaborated with She Can & She Did to launch some #BadAssLadyGang cards and they are AMAZEBALLS! Lori Richmond illustrated them and they're FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC! So join the conga line of kindness by writing a card today!


Where Dreams Go To Die

A few of my friends have talked about this documentary, so the hubby and I put it on our list of ones to watch. I'll be honest, we haven't had the time to sit down and watch it yet, but I'm pretty sure we will make a point to do it over the next few weeks. The documentary is created by Ethan Newberry (The Ginger Runner) and follows Canadian ultrarunner, Gary Robbins, during his two attempts at completing The Barkley Marathons - a 100+ mile event many consider the toughest endurance run on Earth. Spanning more than 2 years, this journey is emotional, powerful and truly inspirational. FYI: You do have to buy the film ($7 for the download), but I've heard it's worth every penny!


Say Yes To The Dress Cameo

I have been lucky enough to be able to run the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon for the last couple years. As you can imagine, the race is a PAR-TAY! You actually get to run the Strip at night in all of its neon glory (one of the only private functions that completely closes down the Strip to cars and allows runners to cruise up and down Las Vegas Blvd). As I'm sure you are aware, there are a ton of drive-thru chapels in Vegas and the race actually offers a "run through" wedding. Last year two friends celebrated their new marriage at this very event. Well, little did we know that a bride who was going to be featured on Say Yes To The Dress was planning her ceremony during the race and some of us would be captured on the episode! If you are interested in watching it, it is Season 16, Episode 7 (around the 41 minute mark). 

What are you loving lately?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Moosejaw Madness GIVEAWAY

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for any extended period of time, there are probably a few things you know about me. In no particular order, here are some potentially obvious attributes:

  • I like to run... A LOT
  • I married my best friend almost 10 years ago
  • We rescued a super cute (but super sassy) wiener dog and named him Walt
  • I grew up in Michigan but require sunshine and warmth so moved to SoCal after I graduated from U of M
  • We love adventuring (hiking, camping, exploring)
  • I love Jesus
  • Michigan/ Detroit sports are my JAM
  • Chips and salsa are my weakness (or maybe my strength - HA!)

When you can combine a handful of said things in one entity, it's truly magic... And THAT is Moosejaw Mountaineering!

Moosejaw is an outdoor retailer that started in Michigan - so you can already imagine my affinity for them out the gate. I discovered them in college because they opened their eighth store near campus in Ann Arbor. Their vibe is a little loco and I LOVE it! They're all about the silly, crazy and nonsensical. Instead of trying to gain customers by strictly marketing their products, they try to get their audience ENGAGED! Think "Battle of the Twins" (where customers voted for their favorite set of twins in a bracket type tournament), impromptu games of hide-and-seek in the shop, staff hiding rubber rats around the store (customers who find them win a free tee), etc. It's #MoosejawMadness and it's FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC!


It's a one-stop shop. They literally have everything you could want under one roof (okay, maybe not EVERYTHING... I don't think they sell unicorns, but I digress). They have gear for yoga, gear for skiing, gear for biking, gear for travel (ding), gear for hiking and camping (ding ding), gear for running (DING DING DING!), the list goes on and on my friend.

Oh, wait, am I the only one who started singing this when I think "on and on"?!
Well, hope you can get this out of your head now ;) 

No joke, I could spend thousands upon thousands of dollars there and still not get everything I need want. This is just a small assortment of goodies on my overflowing wish list. And if van-life becomes a reality the list will grow exponentially.

1. Buff / 2. Brooks Cascadia 12 Trail Running Shoe / 3. Patagonia Duckbill Trucker / 4. Patagonia Nano Puff Vest /
5. Moosejaw Don't Stop Believin' Hoody / 6. Jetboil MiniMo / 7. Outdoor Research Gaiters / 8. Patagonia Sticker Patch Trucker /
9. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets / 10. Nathan VaporHowe 12L Race Vest / 11. Hydro Flask 40 oz

Like I said, they've got it all. You can get everything from yoga mats to fishing poles, running shoes to sleeping bags, cameras to luggage, rain jackets to snowboards, sports bras to strollers, climbing harnesses to activity trackers.

Speaking of activity trackers, that's one of the main reasons why we're here (unless you wanted to find out what you should buy me for my next birthday, in that case, please take note ;))... I'M GIVING AWAY A GARMIN VIVOACTIVE 3!

Thanks to the AMAZING folks at Moosejaw, one of you could win this AWESOME watch! Entering is simple, just head to my Instagram account (@CarleeMcDot), find the picture below and follow the instructions (two easy steps: follow two accounts {me and Moosejaw} and tag as many friends as you'd like). The giveaway runs through Sunday, March 18th!

I think the only way Moosejaw could get better is if they opened a store closer to us (the closest one is in Boulder, CO, but thankfully the online store is available world wide) and if they served complimentary chips and salsa in said store ;)

If you had to choose between a pet squirrel (house trained of course) or free nachos for life, what would you choose?

Wednesday, March 14, 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, March 13, 2018

Garmin Ambassador

I've been BEYOND BLESSED to work with some AMAZING brands over the past few years. Apparently I must be doing something right because some of my favorite companies want to continue working with me. One such brand is Garmin!


In case you're unfamiliar with the brand, Garmin is a technology company, known for its specialization in GPS technology development for use in automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sport activities. They're big players in the wearable technology field and if you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for any extended period of time you know I've been rocking a Garmin watch from the jump (or at least once I knew running was here to stay and could justify the investment).

Some of the Garmins I've had over the years... Forerunner 110, vĂ­vofit 2, Forerunner 220, Forerunner 735XT and the Fenix S5.

Whether you already live an active lifestyle or you just want to get started, Garmin has the gear to take you further. From fitness bands to smartwatches with built-in sports apps — and even smart scales with wireless connectivity — taking steps toward a more active lifestyle starts with Garmin. They (and their products) truly help you #BeatYesterday!


And I've been fortunate enough to work with them for the past few years. In fact, they even asked me to be part of a marketing campaign a while back. To say I felt like a complete rockstar might be the understatement of the decade!

Drumroll please... I'm stoked to share that I'm officially back as an ambassador for 2018! HECK TO THE YES! (I had to wait till the i's were dotted and t's were crossed, but now that the ink is dry I'm able to share the announcement publicly!)

If you could be an ambassador for any brand, what would it be?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 10

Sunday, March 4th – 10 mile run (3 with the hubby and 7 solo), Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, March 5th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, March 6th – 4 mile run with the hubby, 20 minutes of stairs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, March 7th – 10 mile run with the hubby, 10 minutes of stairs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, March 8th – 16 mile run, 16 minutes of stairs, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, March 9th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, March 10th – 10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

The hubby was gone for the second half of the week (his dad came into town from Michigan and they went to Mammoth to go snowboarding/ skiing for a couple days) so I was on my own for a few runs. My thought is - if the hubby is willing to run, I am willing to run his paces with him. With that said, I wasn't sure if I had "lost" all of the speed I used to have. It felt great to get out there and see some faster paces during my 16 and 10 mile runs. And another 50 mile week?! I'll take it!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Favorites

It's Friday... so hopefully at this point in your love of following you know what that means ;) It's time to share some of my favorite finds! And I definitely need a little ray of sunshine today because my game plan for the morning is to tackle our income taxes - BOO! So, without further ado, I better get on with the show so I can pay Uncle Sam.

Feminist Pins

I came across these pins on Pinterest the other day and I fell in love! Now I just wish I had more places to rock pins because I am pretty sure I NEED these in my life! I mean the Stronger Than You Believe Wonder Woman pin is AMAZEBALLS and the Self Rescuing Princess Princess Leia pin is pretty FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC too if you ask me!

Nerds Covered Chewy & Bumpy Jelly Beans

I believe I've mentioned these on here before, but it's about that time of the year for these to start making an appearance on a shelf near you so I have to sing their praise. I haven't grabbed any yet (because I have zero self control when it comes to them and I can smash a bag in about seven point three seconds), but I know I'll be stocking up soon!


The Parks Apparel Stickers

I know I've said how much I HATE Instagram ads in the past... but I've gotta be honest, they also serve me up some pretty awesome brands that I've never heard of before. This week I was introduced to The Parks Apparel. Since the hubby and I are trying our best to simplify and downsize, I know I shouldn't be stocking my closet with more clothes (even though some of them are a need vs. a want)... but stickers are totally fine, right?! Now I just need a new water bottle to decorate ;)

Some of my current faves!

Patch Physical Therapy

I was contacted by this company and thought the idea was awesome so wanted to pass along the info in case you could use them. Patch matches injured clients with top physical therapist who travel to treat clients at their home, office or gym.

Source: Patch Health's Facebook Page

Injuries and pain happen, unfortunately a lot (50% of US adults every year). Between busy schedules, weekend plans, and staying on top of health & wellness goals, taking time to deal with those injuries often gets put on the back burner. And that is no surprise, since just to see an appropriate physical therapist, it can take 6 weeks of doctors visits and close to $150 of co-pays and travel. And then clinic-based physical therapy is such a hassle! Patch makes dealing with injuries simple and convenient. Instead of interrupting busy life, they help clients get back to living it – pain and injury free. Patch matches clients with an appropriate physical therapist that travels to clients in as little as 48 hours. Matching is key: after all, if a client is training for a marathon, they should work with someone with experience helping competitive runners.

When you think about the cost of your co-pay (or out of pocket), these packages seem competitive!

They are currently only located in New York City, Boston, Nashville and Denver, but they are hoping to expand nationally.

What are you loving lately?