Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Do Good. Be Kind. GIVEAWAY

I don't really remember how I ran across this website, but I'm so glad I did. Do Good. Be Kind.® was born by way of a simple e-mail signature. It was a personal reminder that has evolved into an invitation to everyone, everywhere to proactively do good and to lift ourselves and others through kindness. They are a small company with a big heart and simple mission; they exist to make a difference. They have school programs and business programs, along with a growing apparel line. Together they believe we can shift the dialogue in classrooms, homes and communities towards more human [kind]ness. Um, let's stop right there, shall we?! I mean, if this brand isn't right up my alley then I don't know what is!


When I originally found Do Good. Be Kind.®, I knew I needed some of their trucker hats. My first order was for three hats and I have been hooked ever since. Since then my collection has grown and the amazing owners, Chris and Brittany, were even kind enough to HAND DELIVER a package to where I was staying in San Francisco before the San Francisco Ultra so I would have the perfect gear for the race. How amazing is that?! Perfect for the race AND the trip back home.

How amazing is this care package?!

And recently they added kids' sized trucker hats which is I LOVE because my head is on the smaller size and youth hats fit me way better than "one size fits most" caps. I think I might just need to round out my collection and pick up the last few color-ways I don't own yet ;) {I know, I know, I don't "need" them, but maybe they'll sneak onto my #DearSanta list.}

Recent race I've rocked DGBK hats in - Left: Rock 'N' Roll San Diego / Center: Black Mountain 50K / Right: San Francisco Ultra

With that said, when they reached out to me a couple weeks ago to team up and host a giveaway for them I was STOKED! Not only do I love the brand and what they stand for, but I know you will too! We need more people spreading love and kindness to those around them! The giveaway is now LIVE on my Instagram account. Entering is easy peasy. Just head to my Instagram account (@CarleeMcDot), find the image below, like it, make sure you are following me and @DoGood.BeKind, then tag a friend or eighteen (each separate tag is an additional entry in the giveaway). The giveaway will run from today through Thursday, August 22nd at 11:59pm PST. Not only do they want to bless two winners with a trucker hat of their choice, but they also want to do a little "pay it forward" by also giving the friend that the winner tagged a hat of their choosing! SCORE! The random winners (the person who left the winning comment, along with the friend who was tagged {x 2}) will be selected and notified on the morning of the 23rd and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.

One hat for you, and one for a friend (of course, you get to select the colors!)

What is your favorite way to spread kindness to those around you?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 33

Sunday, August 11th – 30 minute run + strides and drills, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, August 12th – 25 minute warm-up, 12 x 1 minute "on", 2 minutes off", 25 minute cool-down, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, August 13th – 60 minute run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, August 14th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, August 15th – 40 minute run + strides and drills, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, August 16th  30 minute warm-up, 2 miles at MP, 5 minute jog, 2 miles at MP, 5 minute jog, 1 mile at threshold, cool-down to 2 hours

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

I'm super excited that my runs are finally returning to be pain-free, but, man, marathon training is no joke. My coach is basing the majority of my runs on time, rather than distance, which is throwing me for a bit of a loop (not knowing necessarily how far I will be running and therefore not exactly sure which route I need to run so I finish at the appropriate time and place), but I know a change in my routine is what I need to potentially break through my running plateau. With my goal marathon just over two months away, let's hope this training whips my booty into shape to attempt my PR!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday Favorites

Whoo hoo! I think I'm getting back into the swing of things. I might not be blogging on the daily, but two weeks in a row of Friday Favorites?! I'll take it! It probably doesn't hurt that I can put these together sporadically throughout the week when things strike my fancy, but hey, I'll take what I can get! And hopefully you will too ;) Anywho, onto the main event!

Sparkle Athletic + PRO Compression Socks

These three pairs of Sparkle Athletic socks (made exclusively by PRO Compression) actually went live last Friday but my post had already published by the time I saw them so had to wait a week to share them. I'm a little bummed the Sparkle socks only some in S/M, since I wear an XS, but the patterns on them are pretty AMAZEBALLS! The rainbow ones remind me of the cloud pattern from Toy Story... anyone else?! And the donuts and holiday lights are awesome too!

Left: Mini Donuts / Center: Rainbow in Sky / Right: Holiday Lights

Be A Kind Human Collection from the GSF

I can't tell you how much I love this new collection from the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. I think I might just need every piece in the line! The slogan is awesome, the logo is amazing and the proceeds go to help increase global awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. We all have a part to play, no matter how small or insignificant we believe it is (although, NEWS FLASH, it's not small or insignificant!). It all starts with kindness. Small conscious decisions can lead to big positive impact. We have power in our choices, in our purchases, in holding the door for a stranger, in teaching our children the value of saying "please" and "thank you." And, guess what! If you buy more than three items in the "BE A KIND HUMAN" collection and you can get 10% off your entire order with code: KINDHUMAN.

Helpful Bloggers of 2019

I was just notified that I was included in a list of KT Tape's 2019 Roundup of Helpful Blogs for Runners. Seeing as I normally right most of my posts for myself (as a way to remind myself what went down at a race or share with my family some pictures of recent adventures), I'm stoked and honored to be a part of the crew. If you are in need of some running help or motivation, you should definitely give this list a look (and follow some {or all} of the awesome runners there)!



Okay, okay, so we aren't much for celebrating anniversaries and 11 years isn't some landmark year, but since our wedding anniversary falls on a Friday Favorite, it sort of feels like I "need" to include it ;) But honestly, I loved our wedding because it was "us". We got married in the sun, by the water, had cupcakes, ate yummy vegetarian food and even "rode away" on a beach cruiser with Diet Mountain Dew cans tied to the back of it ;) Every day isn't rainbows and unicorns, but most of them are when you marry your best friend (and keep God at the center of your relationship). #11YearsDownForeverToGo

What are you loving lately?

Monday, August 12, 2019

Brooks Best Fest

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you've probably seen my love for Brooks and may remember that I've been lucky enough to be part of the Run Happy Ambassador program for the last couple of years.

Well, they're kicking off a 6 week challenge starting TODAY, the Best Fest, and I'm STOKED to share a little about it with you all. And, SPOILER ALERT, if you stick through to the end of the post there may be something in it for you ;)


Best Fest is six weeks of running adventures. It's a way to celebrate breaking personal records of all kinds. Brooks is launching Best Fest to recognize and celebrate runners' personal records, podium or not. Because, let's be real, you don't have to be a professional - or even particularly graceful - to get the most from running. #RunningRocksMyFreakinSocks


Note: Brooks will be posting a new challenge on each Monday of the six week campaign. Make sure to follow them on social media so you're "in the know". (PS I've seen the challenges but have been sworn to secrecy ;) With that said, they are all pretty fun tasks, and ones I know you can tackle!) Runners who share their records and celebrations using the hashtag #BrooksBestFestSweeps and tag @BrooksRunning will be entered to win a pair of Limited-Edition Ghost 12.


They also have a Brooks Best Fest Half Marathon Challenge on Strava that you can participate in. It's easy peasy. All you have to do is run 13.1 miles between August 12th and September 1st (FYI - You don't even have to run the half marathon distance all at once - you just need to get in the 13.1 miles within the first three weeks of the challenge!). If you do that you will earn a Brooks Best Fest Half Marathon Badge and a chance to win the Limited Edition Ghost 12. #SignMeUp


And, now, for the part you've all been waiting for (or at least to the part I alluded to at the beginning of the post) - A GIVEAWAY! You see, the first week's challenge is to "run one song longer". The AMAZING folks at Brooks sent me a pair of Jaybird XT Headphones as a way to help me tackle this week's challenge. Well, I actually don't listen to music while I run or workout, so my loss is your gain! Yep, that means I am giving away a pair of brand spankin' new Jaybird XT Headphones to one lucky winner. Entering is easy, just head to my Instagram account (@CarleeMcDot), find the image below, like it, make sure you are following me and @BrooksRunning, then tag a friend or eighteen (each separate tag is an additional entry in the giveaway). The giveaway will run from today through Wednesday, August 14th at 11:59pm PST. The random winner will be selected and notified on the morning of the 15th and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. 

And how awesome is the "6 pack" that they sent us?! Each can is correlated with a different week's challenge (and has
 something that will help us accomplish the goal)! Such a creative and AWESOME package to receive in the mail! 

What is your favorite song to run to?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 32

Sunday, August 4th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, August 5th – 30 minute run + strides and drills, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, August 6th – 60 minute run

Wednesday, August 7th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, August 8th – 40 minute run + strides and drills, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, August 9th  90 minute run

Saturday, August 10th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Definitely a different week than I am used to with my old training plans - THREE REST DAYS?! But, I've gotta say, with the addition of the strides and drills (which will take some getting used to), the home renovations and my body still dealing with a fibromyalgia flare, the rest days were greatly appreciated! It was strange to do runs based on time rather than distance, but I'm trusting my coach ;) Here's to hoping my body starts feeling better soon (because this lower back/ glute/ groin/ nausea thing is really crampin' my style... and making me question whether I want to be pursuing my fall goals).

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday Favorites

Wowser, this whole home redo has really sucked the life out of this little ol' blog, hasn't it?! But I guess that's what happens when you're living in a constant state of dust and projects. I'd love to say we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that may just be another dumpster fire off in the distance that we'll have to put out... Anyway, a few things popped up this week that I'm extra stoked about so I thought I'd share them (if any of you are still out there...).

Keep Nature Wild Stickers

Keep Nature Wild just released a new line, the Happy Camper Collection. I am loving the new tee designs (although I can't justify buying more clothes), but the stickers are my fave! I think I might need to get a new water bottle just so I have somewhere to put them (or we need our new AdventureMobile like yesterday so we can start accumulating more vinyl!).

Far Left: Roamin' Sticker Pack / Mid-Left: Happy Camper Sticker Pack /
Mid-Right: Follow The Signs Sticker Pack / Far Right: Vintage Camper Sticker Pack

True Detective

I know, I know, we are late to the game on the third season, but we don't have HBO so didn't have a way to watch it. And, after the second season being not as amazing as the first we weren't rushing to track down a way to see it. Well, this past week we were dog-sitting for some of our friends and they happened to have HBO so we "binged" the third season (we watched two episodes a day for four days). The hubby and I both really liked it - and I thought the way they seamlessly transitioned between three different time periods was a pretty cool idea. Definitely not as creepy or as intense as the first season (and potentially not as gripping either), but we were hooked through all eight episodes.


rabbit's Catch Me If You Can Splatter Shorts

The Catch Me If You Can line of shorts from rabbit might be my favorite shorts to run in and I am loving the new splatter color options. I know their gear is on the pricey side (which is why I normally only buy it when it's on sale), but if you're interested in giving any of it a try you can use THIS LINK to save 10% on your order over $10.

Left: Pink Yarrow Splatter / Center: Black Splatter / Left: Greenlake Splatter

Momentum Jewelry's Dog Days of Summer Sale

You know I love me some Momentum Jewelry (I mean, there isn't a race that goes by where I'm not wearing a motivate wrap or two), so now is the time to stock up! As a way to celebrate the final days of summer (can you believe fall is right around the corner?!), Momentum is discounting select items. Whether you grab one (or seven) for yourself, for your BRF, for your kids' teachers, for your running group, etc, it's a great time to snag a good deal! Shoot, I'd even suggest grabbing some as stocking stuffers for the holidays (I promise, even though we don't believe it, they'll be here before we know it!)!


What are you loving lately?

Monday, August 5, 2019

REVIEW: Quest Tortilla Style Protein Chips

It's been a hot minute since I've received a surprise delivery. The majority of our packages (which have been many in the last few months) have been related to home renovations, so I was pumped when a box arrived and wasn't from Amazon ;)

Okay, okay, there wasn't a puppy in the mailbox, because that'd be AMAZEBALLS, but it was still exciting!

I was stoked when I opened the package and saw the box inside was from Quest Nutrition and it was taco themed... because who doesn't love tacos?! I'm pretty sure it could be #TacoTuesday every day and I wouldn't be mad about it.

Quest Nutrition recently released some new flavors in their protein chip line - Loaded Taco and Chili Lime - and sent me a few bags to try. The hubby and I might have done a little happy dance when we opened the box and saw the contents!

Score one (or eight) for the good guys!

Oh yeah, and not only did they send a few bags of each flavor, they also sent a fanny pack (complete with a taco pin).

Now if only they would have sent an actual neon light in the shape of a taco we would've been all set ;) 

Now onto the main event: TASTE! The hubby and I both gave 'em a try and I'm here to share our thoughts on each flavor.


First up, LOADED TACO. I was slightly nervous that this flavor might not be vegetarian friendly, seeing as the packaging had a picture of what seems to be a beefy taco, but after looking at the ingredients it appeared as though it was meat-free.


I'll be honest, I was expecting these to taste a bit like the Taco Flavored Doritos (although, truth be told, it has been a while since I've sampled them so I don't know if my comparisons are on point or not), but in my opinion, this flavor tasted a little more like bell peppers to me than anything else. Maybe more of a fajita flavor than say taco seasoning. In fact, when I was standing next to the hubby while he was eating them, I even smelled a "lettuce" smell. Not that they were bad (both the hubby and I did enjoy them and would definitely eat them again... which is good since we have a few more bags for the cupboard), they just weren't exactly the taco seasoning flavor I was expecting. I think the hubby hit the nail on the head when he said they tasted like a complete taco (not just the seasoning you put on the meat/ non-meat).


If you were doing a side by side comparison of the nutritional facts for the Quest chips and the Doritos, you'd see that the fat and carbohydrates are higher and the protein is lower in the Doritos, which bodes well for the Quest chips, but the sodium content is almost twice as high in the Quest chips (which is an issue for the hubby since he has hereditary high blood pressure and needs to avoid high sodium foods if and when possible). #PickYourPoison


Cost is also a factor when it comes to these chips. If you were to buy the Quest chips online, you can get 8 bags (1.1 ounces each) for $16.75. If you were to buy the Doritos online (I am using Amazon Prime Pantry for the price, but you can find them similarly priced elsewhere), you can get one bag (9.75 ounces) for $2.50. Price per ounce means the Quest chips are $1.90 per ounce while the Doritos are $.26 per ounce. Now, don't get me wrong, I realize we often are required to pay higher prices for "health" foods because the government isn't subsidizing the ingredients, you are paying for higher quality products, etc, but it is something I felt was worth noting (especially since you all know how "frugal" I am).


Now, onto the second flavor - CHILI LIME. I was a little nervous about this flavor, but not because I was worried it wouldn't be vegetarian friendly (although I still double checked the ingredients). I was a little concerned because the graphic on the bag had a red pepper on it and I don't do spice very well. I made sure to water close in case I needed to tame the flame.


Although there appears to be a Doritos option that has a similar flavor (the Flamas® Flavored Tortilla Chips) because I normally don't eat the spicy flavors I can't really compare the two. The hubby does enjoy Takis (our best friends' kids got him hooked) so although these may not be a rolled chip (apparently Doritos also has something similar to the Takis - the DINAMITA® Chile Limón Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips), I thought the flavor profiles of the Quest chips and the Fuego Takis might be similar so asked him to compare the two. (Let's be real, the hubby has never turned down the chance to be a taste tester, no matter the food, but especially if chips or sweets are involved, so he was all about this ;)) He said they had a similar flavor but the Quest chips were much more enjoyable. The Takis can be a little overwhelming (not to mention turn your fingers a bright shade of red) and he said the Quest chips had the same profile, just turned down a notch or two.

If you were doing a side by side comparison of the nutritional facts for the Quest chips and the Takis, you'd see that the fat and carbohydrates are higher and the protein is lower in the Takis, which bodes well for the Quest chips, and the sodium content is slightly higher in the Takis as well. Seems like in a head-to-head battle, the Quest chips come out on top. (The sodium is about half in both the DINAMITA® Chile Limón Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips and the Flamas® Flavored Tortilla Chips compared to the Quest chips, but since neither the hubby nor I have tried these flavors I figured it wouldn't be an accurate comparison since I have no idea if the hubby would actually eat either of these options).


Similar to the first flavor we tried, the prices for comparable options are much lower than the Quest Protein Chip. Obviously cheaper does not mean healthier or better, I'm just mentioning it because if someone has the choice between the two (or three) options, the cheaper one may win out some days... especially when the paycheck is being spread thin.


Surprisingly the Chili Lime was my favorite flavor of the two (but not a crumb was left of either when I finished ;)). It definitely had a little kick, but I felt like you could taste the spice and the lime both independently and they were yummy flavors - not too spicy for a wimp like me. I gave them both a try on #MexicanMonday (I realize you don't need alliteration to eat something yummy for dinner, but I still think it's fun) and they paired great with my chick'n tacos. You could also use them as "toppers" on a Mexican salad or just as a snack. Neither the hubby nor I felt like either flavor left a funny taste in your mouth when you were done and the texture seemed spot on for a baked tortilla chip.

Obviously I am NOT a food blogger... seeing as this was the best I could do with "plating" a couple
veggie chick'n tacos and the tortilla style protein chips - HA! I promise it tasted better than it looked!

If you're interested in trying either of these flavors, you can now order these (as well as the other flavors in Quest's protein chip line) online. Sometimes you can find them locally at your health food or nutritional store (think GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, etc), but in case you can't, hit up Quest Nutrition's website (or keep your eyes peeled for sales on Amazon).


What is your spice tolerance?

My First DNS

If you follow my running calendar closely (although, don't worry if you don't, I don't even think the hubby can keep up-to-date on all of my races ;)), you may know that I had a race on the calendar this past weekend - the Balboa Park 8-Miler.

And, if you follow me on social media (you can find me at @CarleeMcDot on all platforms), you probably saw ZERO mention of said race... at least not in the last week... And that's because I did something I have never done before...

There are many acronyms in the running world, so if you aren't familiar with them all, have no fear, I'm here to help! For those of you who don't know these three letters, let me explain. DNS stands for did not start. Yep, although I signed up for this race months ago, I had to do something I'd never done before and pull the plug before I even crossed the start line.

If you read my recap of the San Francisco Ultra, you know I've been dealing with a pretty bad "fibro flare" recently and the pain has not subsided in the least. {REMINDER: The pain I have is NOT due to an injury. I do not encourage or support running injured! Listen to your body (and your doctor) because no event, finish line or run is worth risking your health.}

At this point in the race, Brian was using the potty so I sat down on a curb and was
trying not to break down (for the ump-teenth time)... 

In the back of my mind I kept hoping and praying that I could get a handle on the pain and make it to the race, but by mid-week I knew it wasn't a possibility. Sure, I could run (painfully) or walk the event, but I needed to weigh the pros and cons.

Thankfully the race company who manages the event, San Diego Running Co, is AMAZEBALLS and allowed the hubby and I to defer our entries to the 2020 event without having to pay any type of penalty fee. You better believe we plan on being there next year and as soon as the date is released it will be penciled in the calendar.

So, why is a DNS such a big deal?! Well, maybe it's not. Maybe runners make it into a bigger deal than it should be. Shoot, maybe not all runners make it into a big deal but somehow I do did. I guess I am used to seeing the "motivational" images that say things like "DFL (Dead 'Freaking' Last) > DNF (Did Not Finish) > DNS (Did Not Start)" and internalized that to mean not making it to the start line is somehow the biggest failure of all. But, you know what?! Although I was disappointed in myself for a hot minute (okay, maybe it was more like a day and a half if I'm being real with myself {and with you}), I have to say I'm also pretty proud of myself because in the end I was honoring my body and doing what's best for me - no matter how hard it may seem. I could've laid out a flat runner, muscled my way through 8 miles and collected my bling at the finish line, but I also know that no matter if I cross the finish line (or even the starting line) of another race that I AM ENOUGH. That I AM A RUNNER. That I CAN DO HARD THINGS. That I AM PRETTY FREAKIN' AWESOME! {PS Thanks to my recent read of The Happy Runner for reinforcing those importante and much needed reminders!}

Maybe not so motivational for those of us who have to DNS

Well, I might not have started my race this past weekend, but that doesn't mean the trend will continue (or at least I pray it doesn't). In fact, I decided to get right back on the pony and sign up for another race, the Diablo Trail Marathon in a few weeks. I think it'll be great training for when the hubby and I tackle climbing Mt. Whitney at the beginning of September, seeing as the course gains over 6,700 feet of elevation. Here's to hoping my fibro flare has subsided by then.

Have you ever registered for an event and then not started it?

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 31

Sunday, July 28th – San Francisco Ultra {Part 2}

Monday, July 29th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, July 30th – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, July 31st – Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, August 1st – 2 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, August 2nd  60 minutes on the stationary bike

Saturday, August 3rd – 40 minute run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Recovery after last weekend's ultra hasn't been too bad... Well, let me rephrase that... I am definitely still struggling through a BAD fibro flare, but the 52.4 miles I put on my body between Saturday evening and Sunday morning have not given me any additional issues. Really praying my this flare is on its way out because it SUCKS! Not only does the pain hurt, but it drains my energy more than normal and I don't want to do anything (especially run). I hate feeling like this and just want to be back to my normal pain levels... I do appreciate that my coach has switched up my plan a bit and now I am running based on time, rather than miles. Interested to see how it impacts my training for my fall goals! #LetsDoThisThang

How were your workouts this past week?