Friday, November 30, 2018

November Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88!) has morphed in this passion for books. Let's be real, not having cable TV to keep me "entertained" also gives me more free time to dive into a great book or seven ;)

There were SEVENTY books in the first ten months of the year, so when I add November's TWO that brings my total for 2018 thus far to SEVENTY-TWO! If you're interested in what I read (or how I'd rate them), check out my previous recaps which I post on the last day of the month! {January's Books / February's Books / March's Books / April's Books / May's Books / June's Books / July's Books / August's Books / September's Books / October's Books}

  • Ghosted by Rosie Walsh - Another book that I don't remember how it made its way onto my reading list (it was either recommended by a friend, found on a "must-read" list or maybe it just had a long wait line at the library so I assumed it was good), but another winner! I don't want this to sound like I am tooting my own horn, but I can often figure out the plot of story pretty quickly (whether it be a TV show, book or movie). Maybe it's that I watch too many Law & Orders or read too many books and the story lines just seem to repeat themselves, but, I've gotta say, this one had me guessing the entire time. And just when I thought I had it all figured out, everything got flipped turned upside down! It did take me a few chapters to really get into the story, but once I was hooked, I WAS HOOKED! It was definitely a page turner (with a HUGE plot twist I did NOT see coming) and one I wish had kept going and going! I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Boy Erased by Garrard Conley - I grabbed this book because I saw they were making a movie adaptation from it and recently the books made movies have been some pretty great reads. (I am of the camp that believes books are better than the movies 99.95% of the time. #SorryNotSorry #Truth) This is a memoir about a nineteen year old who was subjected to "conversion" therapy - a way to 'pray the gay' out of him. I won't get into my feelings on the topic in this post (although, if you are interested, let me know and I am more than willing to share my thoughts on the subject), but suffice it to say I found this a very interesting read. At first I felt like it was a little slow and hard to stick with, but you have to remember - this is a real story! This isn't being dramatized or embellished to sell more copies. When you take the time to really sit and ponder the damage that this type of thinking has done to men and women, boys and girls, it is astonishing (and sickening!). Folks in liberal, progressive communities may be shocked to learn that there are still 77,000 people in conversion therapy across America. Hopefully this book (and subsequent movie) will shed some light on the topic and get people talking. Major props to Garrard for opening up about his experience. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

With that, November has come to a close. My reading definitely took a drastic halt (due to getting all of my blog posts ready for my #12DaysOfCarleesChristmas and being out of town for Thanksgiving), but I definitely hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this month?

Thursday, November 29, 2018


If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you may remember a series I've done the past few years called #12DaysOfCarleesChristmas. It's my way to spread some extra holiday cheer by offering 12 days of giveaways.

With the amount of success the series sees, I had to do it again! This year I started planning even earlier than in years past. I decided to reach out to some of the brands I have had the pleasure of working with in the past to see if they wanted to team up (I even began emailing my contacts as early as the first week of October!). The response was AMAZING!

I'm stoked to get this party started! These companies came to play... no rinky-dink prizes here, they're the REAL DEAL!

I will be posting the giveaways here on the blog and you will enter via a Rafflecopter widget. Each giveaway will run for seven days, with the winner(s) being drawn on the eighth day. The winner(s) will have 24 hours to reply to my congratulation email to claim their prize. All entries will be verified (which means, if you don't complete the entry you'll be disqualified and a new, random winner will be selected in your place). You can enter as many of the giveaways as you'd like, just make sure to do the required action or the entry won't count. Also, the giveaways will only be open to US mailing addresses (international shipping can cost an arm and a leg and customs can be a major pain in the butt headache).

Keeping track of all of the product, entries, posts, social shares, etc is a lot of work, so I hope you forgive me but for the next couple weeks I will only really be sharing giveaway posts and weekly workout recaps on the blog.

Hopefully this is NOT what you are thinking!

I don't want to spill the beans, but know these are all giveaways that if I wasn't hosting myself I'd 150% be entering to win! I would actually suggest setting a daily alarm on your phone to remind yourself to come back to this little blog, that way you don't miss out (some of the entries can be done daily, so I'd recommend entering as early and often as possible).

Okay, have I wet your appetite enough?! I'm not trying to pull on your heart strings or play with your emotions, but I want to get the adequate amount of hype for these upcoming days - because, as the kids say these days, 'it's gonna be LIT'.


What is the best giveaway prize you've ever won?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

REVIEW: Epic Wipes

A few weeks ago Epic Wipes slide into my DMs on Instagram to see if I would be interested in giving their product a try.

PS They were not inappropriate when they messaged me, I just thought that was the lingo kids were using these days. 

When they reached out I had just added the self-imposed #Dirt2Strip challenge to my calendar and thought a "packable shower" would be perfect for this adventure. [In case you don't know what #Dirt2Strip is, it is where some friends and I ran 3 races in 2 states in 2 days - the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon on Saturday morning, then flew to Vegas to run the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas 5K Saturday evening and then the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Sunday afternoon.]

I have used wet wipes/ baby wipes in a pinch before in place of a legit shower (think Ultra Ragnar Races, while on our 3 week road trip up and down the West Coast, during camping adventures, etc), so had a good idea of the product before it arrived, but, as you will see from this video, I didn't realize how it would stack up against the competition.

Before we even get into the review, can we talk about how awesome some of the features are?! Like how HUGE they are?! (They offer two sizes - Large {which is 25.6 inches x 11.8 inches} and XL {which is 31.5 inches x 19.7 inches}.) Like how they donate one to someone in need for every 10 they sell?! (When you check out you can select who should get your 'gift of clean' - deployed military, disaster relief or the homeless.) Like how they are made from a renewable source (bamboo) which makes them biodegradable?! Like how the preservatives they use are food-grade and non-toxic which means they can be used on all of your precious cargo, like your kids or pets and could even be eaten (although, unless you're a panda, they would probably suggest against it)?! Like how they are easily tearable?! (You could technically rip one into strips and use it as toilet paper if need be.) Like how they are gentle on your body and respectful of the earth?! (The formula is 99.8% water and the remaining .2% is chamomile, calendula, eucalyptus and sugar-based detergent.)


Like I mentioned, I was planning on using these during #Dirt2Strip - specifically after running the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon and before jumping on a plane from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. (Although I wasn't too overtly concerned about my filth or stench, I figured I'd be kind to my fellow passengers, even if it was only a 45 minute flight ;))


I love how small the package is for these HUGE wipes. In fact, the 'strange' dimensions are because they were doing their best to make them fit better into a smaller, "pocket-sized" package. The wipes were originally going to be 2 ft x 4 ft but no matter how they folded it or tightly they packed it they could not manage to fit it comfortably inside a pocket. To solve the problem they asked themselves what size they considered to be perfectly pocket sized and worked backwards from there. The size was perfect to conveniently fit in with all my running gear that I was packing for our adventure.

As you can see, I even included it in my #FlatCarlee!

After we finished the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon we had a tight turn around before we had to be to the airport, so I grabbed my gear from the car (I had pre-packed a separate bag for the things I would need to change and then left my "dirty" gear with the hubby so I didn't have to fly with it) and got to work. The wipe down was quick and painless. The smell of the wipe was fresh and I didn't feel sticky or have any strange residue left afterward. I actually felt like I could have probably gotten away with using maybe half of a wipe since the trail race wasn't too dirty (and either saved the second half for another use or possibly used it to clean something else - like the AdventureMobile counters, floor, etc).

I used the "Large" size and it was more than enough to get me clean!

And since we were going camping to the Superstition Mountains for Thanksgiving, I figured I'd bring another wipe with me then. (When I'm camping, I normally don't worry about my 'dirtbag-ness', but I knew we would be doing multiple trail runs and hikes, so I figured those around me would prefer at least a wipe-down every couple days.) The wipe came in handy at the Lost Dutchman State Park even though there were showers (seeing as I didn't pack a towel - oops!).

I would definitely give these wipes two thumbs up. I think if we were doing vanlife they would be a staple in our AdventureMobile cupboard. I'm thinking we should buy a box and keep a couple in our camp box, a couple in the car, and a couple in our trail bags. The price per wipe (20 Large for $29.99 or 10 XL for $24.99) ranges from $1.50 to $2.50 per wipe - which, when you compare it to how many ordinary wipes you'd use (they are approximately 16 times larger than a standard wipe, not to mention how much stronger they are), this seems to be a fair price. Obviously it wouldn't be something I'd use all the time, but I think the convenience would be definitely worth it in certain situations.

But just in case that cost is a little too rich for your blood, you're in luck! Epic Wipes is having a week full of sales, so now is the perfect time to stock up! They'd make perfect stocking stuffers for the trail runners/ dirt bikers/ campers in your life! The Cyber Wednesday deal is 40% off any purchase of the Large Box with discount code: EWCyberWednesday2018. (That means, with the coupon, the box is only $17.99 for 20 large wipes, which makes them $.90 each! #SCORE)

Have you ever used wipes in place of a shower?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Christmas Came Early

You may have noticed that every once in a while, if I see a product that catches my eye, I will mention something along the lines of #DearSanta or reference that I know I'm on the nice list (in hopes that Dear Old Saint Nick comes through and gifts me whatever I have my eye on at that moment). Well, I don't know if Santa Claus has heard my wish list {Christmas is still a few days away but I am leaving plenty of room under our tree for whatever he decides to bring me}, but boy oh boy, apparently I am on the nice list with Brooks and I couldn't be more excited! #AlmostAsGoodAsSanta

You may remember earlier in the year when I announced my ambassadorship with Brooks. I've been honored to be a part of the team for 2018, and along with my relationship came some amazing opportunities. I was able to gift a running inspiration of mine a head-to-toe outfit, I went to Seattle to check out the Brooks headquarters and cheer on the athletes at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies, not to mention testing out some fan-freakin'-tastic gear! I really don't know how I got so lucky to be included in such an awesome crew, but here's to hoping my luck doesn't run out any time soon!

But back to Christmas coming early... A few days ago there was an unexpected knock at the door (and a first-class freak out by a crazed wiener dog who hates delivery trucks {maybe it's the diesel engine or maybe he's just possessed}). When what to my wondering eyes did appear, not a miniature sleigh or eight tiny reindeer... but a big, beautiful box from Brooks!

I sat down to open it and the surprises began even before I got into the contents of the package... See for yourself:

CHRISTMAS MUSIC IS MY JAM! If I could listen to it all year round without getting scoffs and strange looks, you better believe I would! I mean, how can you sing along to Frosty the Snowman and have a scowl on your face?! You can't... Christmas music just puts you in a happy mood! So before I even got into the goodies I was already stoked!


But as much as I love a great Christmas tune, I couldn't control myself, I had to dig in to see what was inside the box!

One of the coolest gift boxes that has arrived on my doorstep in quite some time (maybe EVER!)

OH MY GOODNESS, OH MY GRACIOUS! I saw the new Ugly Sweater Levitate 2 shoes pop up on the InterWebs a few days before this box appeared on my porch (and had been coveting them in silence), but I would've never guessed we would get them! They are AWESOMESAUCE! And I have been loving the Levitate 2 model (they were actually the shoe I ran and PR'ed in at the Ventura Marathon) so I am stoked that this AMAZING pattern came in a model that I can run in!

They even have tiny jingle bells on them! It's all in the details, folks, and these deets ROCK!

And look at the sweater! I'm always looking for a good ugly Christmas sweater, and although I wouldn't consider it "ugly", I'll definitely rock it many-a-times this holiday season! It is absolutely coming on our Christmas trip back to Michigan!

You better believe I will #RunHappy when I am rocking all of this gear!

Did you notice all of the extras in the first picture?! The sweatband has antlers to make me look like a reindeer, the wristbands have jingle bells on them so folks can hear me whenever I'm coming and the string of lights actually work!

And aren't those the cutest post cards you ever did see?! Running Christmas Trees?! 

The hubby and I have the Riverside Reindeer Run this weekend and I am sure some of these goodies will come in handy (probably not the sweater, seeing as it is still pretty warm in SoCal, but the rest of the stuff FO SHO!)! I can't wait to get decked out in all these incredible items for our upcoming holiday festivities (Christmas runs, tree lightings, a boat parade, gift exchanges, cookie decorating, and, shoot, maybe I'll even talk the hubby into going to see Santa at the mall with me!).


The elves at the Brooks headquarters really outdid themselves with this one! I don't know how they'll ever be able to top it!


Because Brooks is spreading the love to us, they've asked us to give to others and help spread a little extra Christmas cheer too. (Some of the items in our box even came with cute gift tags attached so we could share them with our running buddies.) As we enter this season of giving, they've challenged us to look for creative ways to help those around us.


Hopefully this is something you can and will join in on too! Let's clean out our closets and donate some winter clothing (or running gear) to someone who could use it as the seasons change. If you don’t have extra gear to spare, you could always donate your time, talents or resources. A few of the ways the hubby and I are giving back are by stocking the car with blessing bags, water bottles and blankets to hand out to homeless friends we meet, by leaving a goodie box by the front door for the delivery drivers when they are out and about during a long shift, and by serving at a homeless shelter on Christmas morning with my parents. The old adage is absolutely true - giving is so much better than receiving!

And don't forget to use Charity Miles (now you don't even have to remember to open the app - you can integrate your Strava with your CM account and it'll sync your workout for you!) to help Brooks unlock an extra donation to help under-funded high schools with running gear! It's FREE to you and sponsors donate for something you'd be doing anyway!


How are you planning to give back on this #GivingTuesday (or over the Christmas season)?

Monday, November 26, 2018

Gift Guide for Runners

Happy Cyber Monday! If you're like me, you slept in (and hopefully decided to #OptOutside instead of standing in line at your local electronic store) on Black Friday... which means you probably need to start your holiday shopping about now.


In case you have a runner in your life and are stumped on what to get, I put together a list of great gift ideas for runners. (PS If you'd like to expand your holiday shopping to include a special blogger, let me know and I'll get you my address ;))

**I separated the gift into categories. Also, I included a range of price tags, from a couple dollars to a couple hundred dollars. FYI: This post is NOT sponsored, I'm NOT getting paid by any of these brands, nor did they ask to be include. They're just gifts I'd love to receive and believe my fellow runners would be STOKED to find them in their stocking.**

Ways To Commemorate Special Races

  ★ Kudos Coaster Plus ★

I heard about these a few weeks ago and have been telling everyone I can about them. Your race medals are symbols of hard work and outstanding accomplishment, and these coasters are an AWESOME way to display that bling proudly. Now you can relive your memories and celebrate life’s moments year-round with the customizable Kudos Coaster Plus. They are personalized and easy to use. Simply choose a background, adjust the tru-fit inserts, snap them closed and enjoy!

  ★ Personalized Race Map ★ 

I may not buy goodies or gear at race expos, but that doesn't mean I don't want to remember the race. A personalized race map from RunInk is the perfect way to not only celebrate the event, but you can then use it to decorate your office, your home gym or even your living room! Commemorate the race with their signature personalized Marathoner Map. Choose from over 150 races, each in 3 different sizes. And if they don't have your event, they can make a custom map - for any race, no matter the distance. They also offer Christmas ornaments, course map mugs, and so much more!

  ★ Project Repat Quilt ★ 

I don't know about you, but I never wear the participant/ finisher shirts I receive from races. Either they aren't my style, they don't fit well or they're plastered with sponsor logos. With that said, I can't part with them because they represent the miles, smiles and memories from the event. That's where Project Repat comes in - they turn those shirts into a blanket you can use and enjoy! They even offer gift boxes so the recipient can choose the shirts and design themselves!

Self Care

 ★ Massage, Chiro, Acupuncture, Cryotherapy ★ 

The saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is definitely true when it comes to running. I mean, talk to any injured runner and they will probably try to convince you (and themselves) why they should be out pounding the pavement. Whether the runner you are looking at gifts for is injured or not, a gift certificate to a local sports masseuse, chiropractor, acupuncturist or cryotherapy center would be greatly appreciated for the tired, weary bones.

 ★ Recovery Compression Boots/ Pants ★ 

I'll be honest, I have never tried these, but I know quiet a few athletes who swear by them. They are definitely a pretty penny (upwards of $1,000), but from what I've heard it is money well spent. The system, which utilizes dynamic, sequential air compression, is based on important medical technology and principles proven to improve circulation, mobilize metabolites and other toxins like carbon dioxide from muscle tissue, flush out lactic acid, mitigate edema, reduce exercise-induced swelling, alleviate inflammation, and facilitate protein synthesis by increasing blood flow to muscles. In short, it speeds up your body's natural process of healing, allowing you to recovery quickly and consistently.

 ★ Epsom Salt ★ 

Don't want to splurge and blow a grand on your favorite runner?! It's okay, I won't tell. But even an inexpensive gift of some epsom salt that they can use in a nice, relaxing, recovery bath would be greatly appreciated by their sore muscles!

Running Gear 

*WARNING: Running gear can be very personal, so unless you know the exact brand/ model/ size your runner wears, I'd probably suggest sticking with gift cards so they can pick out the products themselves*

 ★ PRO Compression Socks ★ 

These could've been included in the "Self Care" section, but I use them both during and after runs so I categorized them here. Everyone can benefit from stepping into PRO Compression products—because increased circulation is always a good thing. Whatever you do—from standing all day on the job to hoofing across 18 holes, from flying frequently for business to competing in triathlons—their socks and sleeves will help you perform at your peak and feel your very best. Along with graduated compression, their socks feature two stabilization zones—so they stay snug and won’t budge while you move. The designs also offer comfortable, supportive arch compression, unlike many other socks on the market. But their products aren’t just tight and technical. A proprietary moisture-wicking, poly-nylon fabric makes their gear soft, comfortable, and easy to pull on and off. Plus, the socks feature a roomy toe box, cushioned padding underfoot, and slick yarn along the sole for added comfort and ease. Not to mention their is a color or pattern to go with any running outfit ;)

 ★ Running Shoes ★ 

There's a quote that says "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy running shoes and that's almost the same thing" and I couldn't agree more! I'm usually not a big shoe girl (90% of the year I can survive with a pair of flip-flops or Toms), but I can never have too many pairs of running shoes. Normally I have 5-7 pairs in rotation. I can bet you that if you buy your runner a pair of their favorite running shoes you'll see their face light up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

 ★ Fuel ★ 

Just like with gear, runners can be very specific about the fuel they use while pounding the pavement. Some folks prefer goo's and gels, while others want real food (I've heard of folks carrying anything from dates to sweet potatoes in their hydration vests). For me, I fuel almost exclusively with PROBAR BOLT chews. They are easy on my stomach, don't have a funny consistency (I think the gels remind me of the texture of snot), and are delicious (pink lemonade and strawberry are my two go-to flavors). If you know your runner's favorite fuel and they have an upcoming event, making a race kit with things like fuel, safety pins, hair ties, band aids, etc (and maybe including some post-race treats {like a beer, a gift certificate for a sports massage, a piece of clothing to commemorate the event, etc}) would be an awesome idea.

 ★ Gift Card to Local Running Store ★ 

I know some people see gift cards as impersonal or the "easy way out", but I absolutely disagree with that thought. There are always a TON of running goodies on my "Dear Santa" list that I want but may not buy for myself. Having a little extra disposable income to splurge on myself (and my running habit) would make me super excited and grateful!

Non-Running Running Gear

  ★ Sarah Marie Design Studio Gift Certificate ★ 

What runner doesn't love running related gear when they aren't running?! And Sarah Marie Design Studio has some of my favorites! The designs are simple (mostly just text, nothing too fancy), but I love just about every single one of them. In fact, I have quite a few on my wish-list myself right now. And I'm sure you can find a "All The Miles" shirt for that special someone (if only there was a "Run all the miles, eat all the chips & salsa"... I'd LIVE in that shirt!). Not only are the clothes amazing, but you can also grab wine glasses, nail wraps, enamel pins and patches, coffee mugs, tote bags, etc.

  ★ Erica Sara Jewelry ★ 

We may not be able to wear our race medals every day (well, I guess you 'could' but it may not be socially acceptable), but we can definitely wear jewelry that reminds us of our running accomplishments, goals and tenacity. Erica Sara has some amazing pieces that any runner would love to add to their jewelry collection. I mean, shoot, she can even turn your favorite picture into a silhouette necklace; handcrafted in sterling silver. I'm pretty sure I will need a custom elevation necklace after finishing my first official ultra in January. (PS She also offers amazing non-running related jewelry.)

Enable Their Habit

 ★ Race Entry ★ 

Let's be real, although running can be a cheap/ free sport, that definitely is not the case all the time. Sure, you can lace up a pair of shoes and head out for a run just about anywhere and at any time, but there are definitely a few pricey aspects when it comes to running... and races are one of them. Depending on the race (location, distance, perks, etc), they can cost a pretty penny. Covering the race entry for a runner is an extremely kind gesture - especially if you potentially run in the event with them. If the budget allows, maybe you could even make a little trip or racecation out of it!

 ★ Running Date ★ 

Even though I would love to receive each and every one of the gifts I've included in this gift guide, I think what would top them all would be going on a run with friends (especially if they weren't necessarily a runner and were willing to step out of their comfort zone to do something that I love with me). Talk about speaking my love language! I'll be honest, I am normally a solo runner, but if a friend offers to run with me, I will definitely take them up on it! And, if it works out, you could consider a "light run" where you run through neighborhoods to check out all the Christmas decorations!

As I'm sure you can imagine, I could have gone on and on with gift ideas for runners (Garmin watch, hydration vest, treadmill, trucker hats, reflective gear for night running, flights and hotel accommodations for destination races, etc), but this will at least give you a good jumping off point. If you are still stumped, I'd recommend checking out their social media platforms to see the type of products or services they are following/ liking/ engaging with. #NotStalking #JustResearch ;)

What is currently on your running wish-list?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Workout Recap - Week 47

Sunday, November 18th – 10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Monday, November 19th – 10.10 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Tuesday, November 20th – 24 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Wednesday, November 21st – Rest Day

Thursday, November 22nd – 10 mile trail run with the hubby & 6.75 mile hike with friends

Friday, November 23rd  4 mile trail run with the hubby & 4.5 mile hike with friends

Saturday, November 24th – Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Despite being out of town from Tuesday through Saturday, I was still able to rack up over 58 miles of running for the week (and over 10 miles of hiking with friends). Stoked I was able to hit up the trails a bit this week (I definitely need to get more of that into my training seeing as my 50 miler will be all trail). Body is still feeling surprisingly great... guess my recovery plan (all of the stretching, foam rolling, mixing up terrain and paces on my runs, etc) is working!

How were your workouts this past week?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Charity Miles + Strava

If you have been around my corner of the InterWebs for a couple months, you may remember that I did a little thing called #Carlees34. For the 34 days leading up to my 34th birthday, I did at least one intentional act of kindness a day. It was my attempt at putting a little extra love and goodness back into the world around me. #DoGood #SpreadKindness

One such act came when I signed up for Charity Miles. If you haven't heard of Charity Miles, let me tell you about it.

Since I was sharing my acts on social media (to help encourage others to join in),
this was a shot of my first run using the app (and my attempt at what the logo looked like)

Charity Miles is a socially-driven company connecting charities, individuals, and corporate sponsors to create social change. Their product is an iPhone/Android app enabling you to earn money for charity every time you walk, run, bike, skip, dance or do any human-centered activity. So far their members have earned over $2.75 million for charity!


Just choose from 1 of the over 40 charity partners like Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, She's The First, National Park Foundation or World Wildlife Fund and get moving. When you finish, you have the option to share your activity on Facebook or Twitter, which helps build awareness about the cause you supported and to say thanks to your sponsor.


Based on how far you go, you will earn money for charity just by using the app. The money comes from the corporate sponsors who are re-purposing their advertising budgets for good. The app uses your phone's GPS to track your exercise. Each time you open it up, you can select a charity. You'll then earn 10 cents a mile for biking and 25 cents a mile for walking and running. While the app is open, they show you an ad from the sponsor donating the money.

It's literally like free money donated to a charity for doing something you were going to do anyway! I mean, everyone wins!

When I first signed up for Charity Miles in August, the only option was to have the app open and tracking while doing your activity. Since then (as recently as in the last week or two), Charity Miles has integrated with Strava and now you can sync your activity from Strava. I find this extra awesome because before, when using the Charity Miles app, I found my battery was quickly dying from having my GPS location service running constantly, but now that isn't a requirement. (And because it would drain my battery I was only using it on my shorter runs and therefore not getting as much money for charity as I could've been.) What's even better is that Garmin Connect (the app that syncs all of the info from my Garmin watch) links with Strava, which then transfers the info to Charity Miles - so essentially I don't have to run any apps while running (saving my battery life for important things like my camera or map services) and can still raise money for charity! [NOTE: This is currently only an option on iPhones, but they are working on the integration for the Android market as we speak!]

In fact, as of Friday of last week, Brooks teamed up with Charity Miles for a partnership to help underfunded high schools get the gear they need to perform at their best! They’re hoping to collectively run 10,000 miles to unlock a special donation to the Brooks Booster Club. This special donation would provide grants to two under-resourced high schools in addition to the 25 they donate to currently. The grant each school will receive includes training and racing shoes, racing uniforms and warm-ups for a 30-person team and $2,000 to help with expenses including pay-to-play fees, meet entries, transportation costs, etc. Through its Booster Club, Brooks will have invested more than $1.2 million in cash and product by the end of the year, providing for upwards of 3,500 young runners since the program’s 2015 inception. #AMAZEBALLS

What I saw when I was scrolling through my Charity Miles app

I hope this post didn't come off like I was trying to sell you on an app or anything... Like I said, everything is FREE for you... Now that you don't even have to remember to open the Charity Miles app before heading out on a run, who wouldn't want to use it?! Go out for your run or ride like normal and get FREE MONEY for a charity of your choice! If you were going to get active anyway, you might as well get active and raise money for a cause, right?! It's like a win-win-win! 

**UPDATE - Because many of you have asked (and apparently I didn't spell out the steps in the original post - sorry about that), here's HOW to link your Strava account with your Charity Miles account {which will transfer the info on its own}:
Step 1: Open Charity Miles App
Step 2: Click the "cog" wheel in the upper right hand corner for your settings
Step 3: Select "Strava" by clicking the plus sign next to the app {there should be a plus mark by three different apps you can sync together (Walgreens Balance Rewards, Just Giving, and Strava)}
Step 4: Go through the steps of authorizing the sync between the apps
As I mentioned, when I upload my workout from my watch to my Garmin Connect app on my iPhone, my miles sync automatically with Strava, then with Charity Miles. I don't have to do anything once I've approved the syncing of apps.

What's your favorite charity?