Monday, November 18, 2019

Q&A with Carlee

From the feedback I've been receiving thus far, it seems like you all have been enjoying this Questions and Answers series, so I'm going to continue it until you run out of questions to ask ;) [If you've missed the previous posts you can find them HERE, HERE and HERE. I am loving the variety in the questions that have been coming my way. Keep 'em coming!]

Do you specifically train for races or just maintain a steady fitness and long run distance?

This is a great question. I always seem to have at least one "goal" race that I'm working towards on my calendar - whether that's because I'm hoping to run a "fast" time or because it's an ultra distance and I need to be training for the longer mileage. With that said, I normally have a plan hung on the fridge (yep, I'm an old school pencil-and-paper sort of girl!). Within the training plan I usually add in my other races as training runs. (For example, when I was training for the San Francisco Ultra I used the Black Mountain 50K as a "long run". The majority of the races I do I'm not "racing", so I can use them just to get the miles on my legs {and who can pass up having aid stations and spectators during a training run ;)].) I find it easier to stay trained than to get trained, so once I'm in marathon shape, I try to stay somewhat consistent with the training so I could technically throw in a race whenever one pops up on my radar (or add in speedwork to attempt a PR). Sometimes this is easier said than done and your body needs time to rest, refresh and reboot (especially to avoid burnout or injury), but, for me, I find my sweet spot to be 40 to 60 miles per week with a long run of anywhere from 13 to 20 miles.

Have you always loved reading? If not, what got you so into it?

I have NOT always loved reading. In fact, when I was in high school Cliff's Notes were my jam... And maybe that's why I enjoy it so much now - because I missed out on it when I was younger and I'm making up for lost time ;) In 2017 I set a goal to read at least 17 books for the year... and the love of reading was born. In 2017 I ended up reading 88 books and in 2018 I finished 77. 2019 has been a bit slower, but I still love grabbing a good book (or seven) from the library! (It also helps that we don't have cable and that I work {very} part time so I have plenty of time on my hands to read.)

How do you create training plans and how can I create one that's easy to follow?

If you know me, you know I am a list-maker and a box-checker. For me, I "need" to have a training plan - I get a little flustered if I am just flying running by the seat of my pants. I have used a running coach a couple times in the past, but if someone doesn't lay out a training plan for me then I normally find one online. I have found the Hal Higdon training plans work great for me for the marathon distance. You can select different levels of training (whether you are training for your first race, want to add in speed work, etc). I normally use it as a guide and then add in any other races I may have along the way. If I am training for an ultra (FYI: I have "only" done the 50K or 50-Mile distance), I have used THIS training plan generator from the Santa Clarita Runners' website. My biggest piece of advice for finding a training plan (if you don't want to use a running coach) is to find something that will work with your schedule and that you will actually stick with. If you know you can only realistically run 4 days a week, do not find a training plan that has six runs on the schedule. If you want to incorporate strength training or cross training in your training, make sure there is an option for that in your calendar.

Did you guys go vegan?

I have been a vegetarian for many moons (golly gee, it'll be 15 years on January 1st), but recently have been trying to transition to more of a vegan lifestyle. I am not perfect, that's for sure, but have been doing my best to eliminate animal products (although we don't keep milk or eggs in the house, we haven't been strict about limiting them as ingredients in our food, so I am doing a lot more label reading these days). The hubby is a little tougher to get to transition because he loves his cheese and some foods that have dairy or eggs as ingredients {for example - donuts, some breads, ice cream, cookies, etc}, but as I am finding better or at least equally as yummy alternatives he is slowly coming around.


What got you into running?

I started running in 2012 when a friend told me about runDisney and that you could actually run through Disneyland! The hubby had a ton of hobbies and I was looking for something to call my own. She knew how much I loved Disney and I figured even if I hated running, at least I'd be doing it at the Happiest Place on Earth. I started training for the Disneyland Half Marathon around the beginning of the year (starting with walking a mile or so on my lunch break at work, then transitioning to using the elliptical in the office gym for about 45 minutes a couple times a week and eventually moved outside and started running). I guess you could say I didn't hate it because I haven't stopped running since ;)

I have Megan to thank for introducing running into my life!

And, there you have it, a handful of your questions with my honest to goodness answers. Hopefully you found some of the information interesting. I think this might be a fun series to continue, so as long as people keep supplying the questions, I’ll keep supplying the answers. Leave a question in the comments or reach out any of the social media platforms you follow me on (I should be @CarleeMcDot on all of them) and let me know what you've been dying to know about me.

Any questions you are dying to ask me?

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