Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sorry For The Silence

I feel as though I need to apologize for the lack of posts lately. I realize that I don't "owe" anyone a post, but I also feel as though some of you (mainly my mom and dad) come to expect posts on a regular basis and I have left you all hanging for the past couple of days.

So I hope you accept this sincere apology! I AM SORRY FOR THE SILENCE!

But, at the same time, please tell me I am NOT the ONLY one who tends to withdraw when the funky funk rolls in... Bueller, Bueller?! Okay, maybe it's just me on that one...


Lately I have been in a bit of a shweird funk and I can't seem to shake it. When I am "less than myself" the last thing I want to do is share with the world... I'd much rather cuddle with the pup, watch trashy TV and eat my feelings away. And there starts the downward cycle (or death spiral if you will)...


It seems as though lately the issue has been surrounding body image (but, let's be real, isn't that normally what it surrounds?). It's like I eat something "unhealthy" or a bit "too much" of something and I beat myself up about it. I tear myself down and tell myself that "that is why..." (that is why I don't have the body I want, why I am not fast, why [dot dot dot] you fill in the blank... my mind does it all the time anyway). Then I withdraw because A. who wants to be around a lame/ sad/ frustrated Carlee and B. my inner dialog tells me that because I am [blank] I am not worthy of love, not good enough to hang out with, etc etc etc. When I pull back I tend to make bad food choices and the cycle continues.

And, now, instead of apologizing for the silence, maybe I should be apologizing for the over-sharing... I mean, I know we all have our junk and sometimes it is nice to know that you aren't alone or that others share your current mood/ feelings, but I also don't want to be a Debby Downer. I realize people stop here to get a boost, a shot of happiness and positivity, so this is NOT the post for that... But, #RealTalk, man, it can be hard and tiring being happy (for others) all of the time!


Unfortunately for you, this blog is my little corner of the Interwebs to work through issues, and it's not always rainbows and butterflies... And you know what, I shouldn't have to apologize for that! It is life and I am real and I will not filter my feelings just because folks expect something else from me.  #SorryNotSorry


So, although this isn't a happy-go-lucky post, I am hoping it strikes a cord with someone... Someone who needs to know they aren't fighting their battles on their own... We all have our own struggles, that's what makes us human! It's time we share our difficulties and stumbling blocks with those around us, have one another's backs and do this thing called life TOGETHER!

What demons are you battling lately?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Packing For An Ultra Ragnar

I did a similar post to this last year when I was getting ready for SoCal Ragnar, but did it in a step-by-step process. Honestly, I think this post is more for me (and making sure I am packing everything I need) so I can double check my packing process, but I figured maybe some of you may find it helpful too (or possibly notice something I'm forgetting and remind me before it's too late).

As you know, I will be joining #TeamSparkle and tackling the SoCal Ragnar Relay later this week. Our start time is slated for 11am on Friday morning and we are expected to finish around 3pm on Saturday afternoon. Not only do we want to ROCK THE RACE, we are also hoping to raise money and awareness for Rett Syndrome. [If you are interested, head to GP2C and make a tax-deductible donation here.]

Oh yeah, and in case I haven't mentioned, we will be running this event as an Ultra team - which means instead of the "normal" two vans and 12 runners, we will have one van and only six runners. This means I have to pack twice the amount of gear because each of us will be running six legs of the relay instead of the standard three. If you are running as a normal team, feel free to cut the clothing items by half the amount.

Here is a shot of my #FlatCarlee for the race. This will give you an idea of what we will be wearing for each of our legs. Obviously I will be changing the under garments (sports bra, bottoms, socks, etc) but you can see what our "uniform" is for the most part.

As I mentioned, it is GREAT to have fresh under garments for each leg (especially when you are running in the middle of the day and turn into Sweaty McSweaterson). I make sure to pack at least one sports bra per run, one pair of bottoms per run (I threw in a couple pairs of capris in case the night legs are chilly and I would prefer those instead of the spandex-y type bottoms) and one pair of socks per run (to be honest, last year I wore the same paid of PRO Compression Marathon socks the entire time).

All but one is a Handful bra (the other is a Moving Comfort sports bra from
). I figured these went with our color scheme best ;)

**HUGE PROPS to PRO Compression for outfitting the team with three pairs of socks per runner. We each wear gifted a pair of Marathon Pink socks, Elite Pink socks and Mid PC Racer Pink socks. AWESOMESAUCE!**

Our #TeamSparkle tank dries out very quickly and I was able to wear it on most of my legs last year, but just in case it doesn't (because, let's be real, no one wants to put on a cold, wet tank to go run a night leg) I have a couple extra black tanks that will go with our ensemble.

Random black tanks I've acquired from places such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls

Although we are running in SoCal, the evenings can get a little brisk (especially if the marine layer rolls in and we are near the coast). I threw some "cold weather" gear in my bag just to be safe (it's also great to have while you are waiting for your runner to come in so you don't get too chilly). I know, I know, you are probably chuckling at my mitts, but hey, I'd rather be safe than sorry!

Our #TeamSparkle sweatsuit from last year, along with sleeves (to go with my
tank), mittens, a knit hat and a reflective windbreaker. 

And, in case you are unaware, Ragnar runs on open streets - meaning the course isn't closed to traffic (let's be real, they wouldn't be able to get runners to sign up for the relay if they had to pay to have the 200ish miles of roads closed because the cost would be astronomical). With that said, safety is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE! If you are outside of the van between dusk and dawn you are required to wear a reflective vest, headlight and back light. (I got myself a vest and blinking back light with a Christmas gift card this year because I do quite a few early morning runs and they are great to have. The headlamp I have is actually one we use for camping.)

Of course my cowbells are in my safety gear... You need to see me AND hear me!

I did throw in a few non-running tops as well. Last year I don't think I really changed out of my running tanks very often, but one can never be too prepared (especially if we are going to grab dinner after the race).

My "I Hate Rett" Shirt, #TeamSparkle Princess baseball tee and OF COURSE
a ton of #WeRunSocial gear ('cuz I've gotta rep the crew!)

Last year I ran in the same pair of shoes for each leg. This year I am bringing a couple different pairs to rotate through. (Let's be real, mostly because the colors of my shoes match our outfits and you never really know how I'll be feeling ;)) Obviously they are all outfitted with Shwings - DUH!

You knew I had to pack my bright and bangin' shoes, right?!

And you can't forget to pack your chargers, right?! Although the only electronics I will have with me are my watch and phone, I've gotta make sure my car chargers and external batteries are coming with me - otherwise how will I keep you all up-to-date on what is going on during #Ragnar4Rett?!

My "power brick", car charger with two ports, iPhone cord
and Garmin Forerunner 220 cable.

As far as fuel, I will be bringing some PROBAR BOLT Chews (although I'm not sure how many I will need since my legs average about 4.5 miles per run), some PROBAR BASE Bars, some Clif Bars, gum (I've been told it's weird that I run with gum... I think it helps keep my mouth from getting dry) and purple Powerade (yes, I know there is a flavor, but I always refer to the electrolyte drinks based on color for some reason). I also threw some honey wheat pretzels in for the salt. The ladies are also planning on bringing some treats for us all to nibble on (as well as we normally stop for a couple meals throughout the race).

And last but not least, all of the "extras". Some of my little accessories (like my sunnies, Road ID bracelet, QALO wedding band, Garmin Forerunner 220, Momentum wraps, ponytail holders, etc) are in my #FlatCarlee picture so I didn't duplicate them in any of my gear lay downs.

My last set of goodies includes most of my hygiene accouterments - deodorant, Aquaphor (which I use for anti-chaffing), lip balm, sunscreen (both a stick for my face and lotion for my body), tissues, baby wipes (both for "showers" and for the port-o-potties when they start running out of TP), icy hot for sore muscles, band aids, a travel towel (both for sitting on when I'm sweaty and to use for changing in the van), Tylenol (I am allergic to ibuprofen so I prefer to pack my own pain reliever just to be safe) and KT Tape.

At times I feel like I am over packing (because I could probably get away with wearing a lot of the stuff over and over - but I don't know that I would want to do 'that' to my van mates ;)) and yet other times I worry that I won't have enough stuff. Thankfully all of my gear (which I pack in individual Ziploc bags to not only help with organization but also to contain the stink when I swap clothes) fits easy peasy in one of my backpacks and I am all ready to go!

I will be heading up to Orange on Thursday afternoon so I can meet up with the LOVELY ladies and help get the van ready to go (it takes a good 6-10 people three or so hours to decorate it and get it perfect!) and start this crazy adventure! Obviously I will be writing a few recap posts once Ragnar is over, but in the meantime make sure to follow along on social media so you can join in on all the fun!

Instagram: @CarleeMcDot // Twitter: @CarleeMcDot // Facebook:
Hashtags: #Ragnar4Rett #TeamSparkle #UntilSheCan 


Is there anything you think I forgot?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 13

Sunday, March 20th – 5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, March 21st – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 4 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, March 22nd – 3 mile run with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, March 23rd – 18 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, March 24th –  3 mile run with the hubby, 5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, March 25th – 12 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, March 26th –  REST DAY, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Still working through a little tightness in my knee so tried to take the majority of my workouts easier this week. Next week is supposed to be my final 20-miler of this training cycle, but since I will be running SoCal Ragnar (Ultra edition) and be getting in 26+ miles in about 24 hours I will be using that for my long run. Now it's time to pack and get everything ready for the adventure!

How were your workouts this past week?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Let's Be Encouraging

Let me preface this post by saying that I TOTALLY understand everyone is hardwired differently. I will state, for the record and from the get-go, that being a cheerleader to those around me and encouraging others comes easily for me.

With that being said, I do NOT want you to read this post and think I'm saying everyone needs to conform and be like me because my way is the best or only way (although, don't tell the hubby I admitted that ;)), because that is NOT the case!

Alrighty, now that we got that out of the way, let's get into the meat and potatoes of this post.

I wanted to take a couple seconds to spur you to be encouraging to those around you (whether friend, family or foe). Now, I know that it might be outside of your comfort zone to give verbal shout outs to those around you, but head nods and eye contact works just as well. And if that is too much to ask, remember the lesson we learned from Thumper: IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!


I don't know if I am just extra sensitive to it right now or if it is happening more and more frequently, but it sure seems like people are tearing each other down constantly lately... I swear, I see it everywhere I look, whether it is on social media or in conversations at the grocery store. {And just because you don't think the person can hear you doesn't make it any less painful or less wrong... If it's not positive, my suggestion is to not even let the words come out of your mouth.}


I had something happen on Sunday and have been thinking about it ever since it occurred. After my workout, I was heading to my car to drive home. I street park near the beach, so I was waiting near my car door as vehicles and bicycles were going by me. A girl hanging out a van window yelled, "Smile, because that is NOT a cute face ma'am.".

First off, if you know me, you know I am often SMILEY! I don't know if I was in a daze staring at the traffic or if I had a bit of a RBF, but whatever the case may be, why did this girl find the need to not only yell at me, but to try and belittle me?


If she was truly interested in making people smile, why not yell "Happy Sunday", "Have a great day", "You're awesome"?!

I know, I know, you will say "It was just some snotty teenage girl, that's how 'they' are, so brush it off, ignore the comment and move on", but why do we excuse bad behavior? In fact, why don't we want to stop it in its tracks and spin that train right around? We shouldn't pardon inappropriate behavior even if it is a social norm! DON'T BUY INTO IT FOLKS!

We (especially women) are already constantly bombarded with pressures from society that we aren't good enough, aren't pretty enough, need this, that or the other thing to make us more valuable as a person... In my opinion, we definitely don't need individuals around us trying to instill those thoughts into us even more... Shoot, with my terrible self-esteem, those type of comments are whispered in my head 95% of the day, I truly do NOT need them coming from strangers going by...

Let's build one another up (in fact, the ONLY time you should be looking down on someone else is if you are helping them UP!)! It is tom foolery that we would spend even a single moment of our day putting someone else down - whether it is about their looks, their political views, their economic status, their education or their lot in life. Blowing out someone else's candle does NOT make yours shine any brighter! Just be nice, k?! And if you can't be nice, just SHUT YOUR FACE!

What is one way you are willing to encourage those around you?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fall Racing Calendar

If you know me, you know I normally have a fairly full racing calendar. With that said, although I have a lot of races on my calendar, I tend not to "race" a lot - meaning, I'll run races as training runs/ with friends/ not with a PR as my main focus.

This past marathon training cycle has included THREE full marathons. I ran the LA Marathon on February 14th, the Phoenix Marathon on February 27th and will run the Big Sur International Marathon on April 24th.

Ha, I didn't realize until I put these two finisher pictures side-by-side how similar
my two February marathon outfits were... I guess I'm pretty predictable!

Let's be real, the distance is a BEAST! I guess my thought with doing so many so close together is that if I'm already in "marathon shape", I might as well get in as many as I can before my fitness level dips down and I have to ramp it up and train all over again.

After Big Sur, I don't have any full marathons on my calendar for the year. I entered the drawing for the NYC Marathon, but if you remember the news from a couple weeks back - I didn't get in. So now my calendar is WIDE OPEN.

Yes, I realize it is crazy to already have a race on the
calendar for February 2017, but the registration prices
are just THAT good... Also, as you can see, my fall
(& winter) months are WIDE OPEN as of right now!

Having said that, I think I would like my fall full marathon (if I were to add one to the calendar) to be a FAST FULL! I think if I'm going to go through the motions, I'm going to give it my all and see what I can really do (I will be the first to admit that this training cycle I put in the mileage, but totally slacked on any and all speed work - hence my slower times).

Now, that doesn't mean I am going to be charging for a BQ or necessarily a PR, but I do think that if I run a fall full, I'd like it to be a fast course and one that I could really get serious about (unlike Big Sur which is TOTALLY all about the views... I mean have you seen that course?!).

So, here is where I need your help...

I'd love to hear the suggestions you have for a FAST FALL FULL! I have a couple potential races in the back of my mind (the Detroit Marathon {it would sort of be like a homecoming for me, finally getting to run a race in the state that I grew up in and love dearly}, the St. George Marathon {I've heard great things but it is a lottery entry so even if I want to do it, it's up to the race gods as to whether or not I get in and can run it}, the REVEL Canyon City Marathon {let's just say I have some unfinished business from last year and might need a redemption race}, etc.), but I know my scope is narrow and limited, so I figured I'd open it up to YOU!

Any suggestions for a fast full marathon?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leaving a Legacy

Sometimes there are posts that I write which are aimed at the general public (whether it be about training plans that work for me and may work for you or packing tips that I've found helpful), but there are other posts that are sometimes just me working through a topic "out loud". If I had to guess, I think this post is going to be one of the latter types.

I was thinking the other day about what type of legacy I want to leave behind.


I always say that I want to be a person who makes a difference, someone who brings a little light to those around me, a person who loves deeply, someone who is willing to lay down their pride and serve others, a person who puts others needs and desires ahead of their own, someone who does what's right, even if it's not convenient, a person willing to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves, etc.



It's easy to donate to a cause around the holidays or offer to help a friend move when it's convenient for you, but what do I do when it isn't easy or convenient to show those around me love? What do I do daily to build an attitude and habit of gratitude and service into my life? If I can't think of consistent examples, maybe that is just the type of person I hope to be, but not necessarily the person I am (at least not currently).

It's sort of like fitness - it's totally what you put in is what you get out. If you're not willing to put in the work, you won't be able to reap the rewards. But if you are willing to put in the time and effort required, you might just be able to exceed your wildest expectations... You can't work out once and expect to be fit... Just like you can't do one or two nice gestures a year and expect to be a generous person.


Like I said at the get-go of this post... I was not expecting to come to an earth shattering conclusion or solve the world's problems... Just trying to work through a couple thoughts that have been rattling around inside of my noggin for a few days now. And, shoot, maybe this is something we ALL should be thinking a little more about...

What type of legacy are you hoping to leave? And are you doing things frequently enough to make sure that others see that lifestyle or those traits in you?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 12

Sunday, March 13th San Diego Half Marathon, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, March 14th – 5 mile run with a friend, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, March 15th –  Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, March 16th – 15.2 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Thursday, March 17th –  5 mile pace run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Friday, March 18th 5.5 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, March 19th –  REST DAY, Stretched & Foam Rolled

This was NOT my best week... Technically my 13-miler that I ran during the San Diego Half was last week's long run. This week I was supposed to have a 20-miler on Friday and my knee had other thoughts about that... Thankfully it seems to be feeling better now, but I think I will just have to consider that long run a lost and not try to force myself to make it up in the coming days. Listening to your body, especially when it tells you to NOT run, can be SUCKTASTIC, but it's part of this running game, right?!

How were your workouts this past week?