Saturday, February 29, 2020

February Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 201777 in 2018 and 67 in 2019!) has morphed into this passion for books. As you can see, my reading has slowed a bit, but my love for books has not! In the past couple years I've added longer distance races (which means more time running/ training and less time reading), we've remodeled our condo (I think it legit took us six months to finish the whole thing... DIY seems to take twice as long {and cost twice as much} as you originally think it will), and I've added another part time job (which means I'm now working 40ish hours a week, cutting down on my reading time). Even still, I love getting my read on whenever I can.

Truth be told, I was never much of a reader when I was younger (CliffsNotes were my best friend when it came to books), but recently I fell in love. Although I may not read at the same speed as I previously did when I first caught the reading bug, I still want to keep the hobby going (and what better form of accountability than to post a list of the books I finished at the end of the month?!). I don't have any set number of books I am shooting to read this year, but hopefully a lack of goal doesn't mean a lack of books completed. So, without further ado, let's jump into everything I read in February!

  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher - When the hubby and I were planning to drive to Phoenix for the Mesa Marathon, I figured we should get a couple audiobooks. I came up with a list of possible titles and let the hubby choose. I enjoy biographies and he likes Star Wars so I thought this would be a win-win. Low and behold he ended up falling asleep for the majority of the book (and the drive in general), but I was still happy we had selected it. I didn't know much about Carrie Fisher prior to listening to this book, but what it reminded me of was the old adage - you can't tell a book by its cover. I would have never known some of the "demons" Carrie dealt with. For example, I had no idea she had electroshock therapy! I find true stories so fascinating and this was no exception. In fact, this book was actually based on a one-woman show. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy by Ann Rule - This is another audiobook we listened to on our Phoenix trip. I'm not sure if you're like us, but we've recently been entranced by all the real crime docs on Netflix so when we saw this title on Hoopla we thought it might be interesting. The author was actually a friend of Ted Bundy's (and she didn't realize he was the serial killer she was reporting on as a journalist until later in the investigation). I guess in my mind I was hoping there' be some new insight shared in this book. Don't get me wrong, the personal side was an interesting aspect, but the overarching feeling from most of the info I've come across is he was well-spoken, intelligent, handsome, the opposite of what someone would stereo-typically think of when they pictured a killer... and this was more of the same. It kept me entertained (yet again the hubby nodded in and out of nap-land), but I'd say if you've seen some of the other documentaries (or Hollywood movies) then this is "old news". I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - I know I've mentioned it a time or two before, but I didn't read a ton growing up... which means a lot of the "classics" most kids read in high school I probably only perused the ClifNotes and learned the basics that I would've needed to write a paper or pass a test (not what I'd suggest, but what happened...). With that said, when I see a "classic" these days I try to snag it and give it a read. Well, the other day I came across this book in one of the free libraries I walk by and figured I'd give it a try... I mean, it's a classic for some reason, right?! Well, this was NOT my jam. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but what I got was what felt like a lot of whining from a privileged, entitled kid... Now, when I mentioned this a friend of mine who happens to be a high school English teacher he said that he's the "anti-hero" (and that with social media these days there are a lot of parallels between the main character's feelings towards "phonies") and I guess I can see this, but man, when I finished this book I felt like there were no redeeming qualities in Holden. I sort of felt like I wanted a refund on the time I spent reading this one...I would give it a 4 out of 10.

  • Tweak by Nic Sheff - I read (and then watched) Beautiful Boy last year and when I found out the author's son had written his own books I put them on my 'to read' list. I am not sure why I haven't checked one out until now, but when we were on our way home from Phoenix and had finished both of the other two audiobooks we grabbed this one (which the hubby and I had to finish after the roadtrip {on our own}). I will be very upfront by saying that addiction runs ramped in my family, so I am well aware of the fallout and consequences that this disease can have (especially on loved ones of those suffering). With that said, this book is heart-wrenching. Maybe that isn't the word most people would use to describe it, but because I have a first-hand experience with addiction, I know how tortured someone can feel. This is an eye-opening, real and honest account of someone who grew up on methamphetamines (along with plenty of other drugs, as well as struggling with mental illness). I was also very impressed with how well Nic was able to recount experiences, seeing as he was "high out of his mind" during some of the events. I give him major props for not only sharing the good, the bad and the very ugly, but also for getting clean. I would give it a 9 out of 10. 

  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson - This is another classic that I found in one of the free libraries I walk by on my lunch break. I'll be honest, I sort of knew the outcome (which I found made it not as "impactful" because I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop) but I still loved this one. Don't get me wrong, I never want an animal to be injured (sometimes it is more devastating than when something happens to a human) but I found this story so heartfelt and full of love that I just had to smile. Old Yeller did his best to keep this family protected and, not only that, but he gave them his undivided love. What a great pup! It made me hug Walt a little longer (even if he is a butt-head and definitely couldn't protect me from a wild boar or sick bull). I would give it an 8 out of 10.

With that, February has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I 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 year?

Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday Favorites

Can you believe it is the final Friday of February?! For some reason it felt like January took FOR-EV-ER yet February flew by... I've come across a few things over the last couple days that I wanted to share with YOU! As always, no one pays me to share these things (wouldn't that be nice though?!), I just know I appreciate hearing what friends find helpful/ inspiring/ exciting/ etc, so I think you may be interested in my recent finds... Hopefully you find them just as amazing as I do!

Called To The Front Lines Documentary

I love what Ken  and the Free Hugs Project stands for (I've been lucky enough to meet him on a few different occasions and get a couple of his "free hugs") and was STOKED when I saw he released an official documentary. I would strongly urge you to not only give it a watch, but also really take time to think through how you personally can be a peacekeeper and difference maker in your own community. This world needs more love and it needs to start with us.

Hyperice Hypervolt Percussion Massage Gun

Let me start off by saying that I don't think I would ever drop the $350 that's listed on the price tag for this piece for recovery equipment, but the fact that I can use a demo gun while at work makes me add it to my list of recent favorite finds. If you ever look at my weekly workout recaps, you've probably noticed that my stretching and foam rolling has been non-existent in the past couple months. I'm not sure exactly why I "fell off the wagon", but ever since I stopped I haven't been able to add it back into my daily routine for some reason. Although I haven't been foam rolling regularly, I have been using this message tool since it has arrived in our store and I'm pretty sure my legs have been loving it.


Awesome Architecture

I am on an email list from Field Mag, which is a modern outdoor lifestyle publication for lovers of good design and the great outdoors. Each week the editors publish a wealth of original content to inform and inspire readers to get outside and explore the world around them. The last two emails I have received had some pretty amazing architecture in them - one in the form of a microhotel in the PNW and one in the form of a series of interconnected elevated tree houses and one-room cabins. The hubby and I always talk about one day buying a piece of land and building a little A-frame on it, so when I see places like this it absolutely makes my heart swoon. And just stokes my dream's fire. #HopefullySoonerThanLater

Left / Right

Camping Hedgehog

Sometimes you just need a little extra dose of cuteness to brighten your day... and this camping hedgehog will do just that! These cute pictures may just be the best thing you'll see today! And now that I've seen things like this exist, I'm pretty sure Walt needs some wiener dog sized camping goodies too! (Does REI or Patagonia sell pup sized gear?! ;))


What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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, February 25, 2020

"Just Being Honest" {Daily Harvest}

As some of you may remember, a few weeks ago Daily Harvest contacted me about giving their deliciousness a try. I did a little happy dance when I got the email because I had been stalking following them on social media for a while and was STOKED to taste some of their products. The first go-around I selected an assortment of their smoothies (since I felt like that was what the majority of the people I follow loved the most). You can check out my review of them HERE if you didn't read it the first time around. This second delivery I decided to try some of their soups and bowls (you see, although we live in SoCal, it can still get "chilly" in the wintertime so I thought some warmer options would be great to chow down on).

Just in case you didn't know before, you can probably tell from my flavor choices... Mushrooms are my jam!

Ordering from Daily Harvest couldn't be any easier. You get to build your box with 9, 12 or 24 cups (choosing any combination from their smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, bites, oat bowls, chia bowls and lattes). They even have a filter you can use when making your picks to input your likes and dislikes, key benefits and dietary restrictions. (Just in case you were wondering the specifics I use to narrow down my search, I love most fruits and veggies but hate cucumbers and am trying to eat vegan.) And then, BAM, the deliciousness arrives at your doorstep like it's Christmas morning.

GET IN MY BELLY (but, first, in the freezer)!

And, because I forgot to address it last time but still think it's uber important to mention, I appreciate that all of the packaging is recyclable. The cardboard box, cups and insulated bag surrounding the dry ice are all recyclable. The lids on the cups can be recycled in most locations. The liner that holds the dry ice is biodegradable (it is made from recycled denim - how cool?!) and can either be brought to a fabric recycling facility or tossed in the trash to degrade (yes, really!).

Love that they use recyclable packaging (and the least amount of it required to keep your food frozen)!

Anywho, enough chit-chat, let's get to the "important" part of the post... THE TASTE! As you can see from the first picture, the three cups I decided on (which, let's be real, narrowing down the options to my top three took close to 30 minutes...) were the Broccoli + Cheeze Harvest Bowl, the Spinach + Shiitake Grits Harvest Bowl and the Mushroom + Miso Soup.


The first cup I tried was the Broccoli + Cheeze Harvest Bowl. I actually scarfed it down after finishing a 24 mile run. I will say that it was definitely scrum-didily-umptious (although, doesn't anything taste amazing after a long run?!), but next time I may put it over a baked potato or maybe some rice. A 240 calorie lunch (especially after expending upwards of 2,000 calories) just wasn't enough for me, but the taste was yummy. I love that the nutritional yeast added that "cheeze" flavor without the need for dairy (and even the color was on point... even if I'm not the best at photographing food, hehe).

I cooked this one on the stovetop (and did not need to add any water or broth) for about 6 minutes.
As you can see from the far right photo, it didn't stand a chance against my runger ;)

Next up to try was the Mushroom + Miso Soup. I'll be honest, I didn't have high hopes for this one. With only 100 calories, I was expecting it to be a very flavorless soup (with a few flakes of mushroom floating in it). Surprisingly it was chocked full of goodness. I am normally not a squash fan, but I didn't really notice it in there (obviously there were many pieces of it, but I mean I didn't notice disliking the flavor or texture because of it). With that said, I'm not exactly sure why (since I LOVE mushrooms), but the smell was a little off-putting for me. I normally don't have miso, so maybe that is just something with the soup, but for some reason the smell didn't sit right with me. Also, although there was much more than just water in the soup, it was a bit bland for me, so I ended up adding a little black pepper and umami seasoning (because one can never have too many mushroom flavors ;)). I don't know that this would be a go-to for me (it might be better if you used a vegetable broth instead of straight water), but for a quick soup to warm you on a chilly day this would do the trick.

I didn't realize there would be so much butternut squash, but in the end I didn't mind!

My final cup to demo was the Spinach + Shiitake Grits Harvest Bowl. Confession time - I have never had grits before. I have a "texture thing" and for some reason grits always seemed like something I wouldn't like (I understand oatmeal can be great for you, but I just can't get over the soggy oat feel, and I guess in my mind I figured grits would be the same). I was slightly nervous about the texture of this one, but was excited about the flavor profile. Thankfully this one delivered on both fronts. I cooked it on the stovetop for about five minutes and I'm not sure if I cooked it too short or if the millet was supposed to still have a little crunch left in it, but either way I was glad it wasn't just a gooey mush. Similar to the soup, I did add a little extra umami seasoning (but it probably would have been fine without it). At only 140 calories, this strangely seemed more filling than the Broccoli + Cheeze Harvest Bowl (but then again, I did mow down the first one right after a 24 mile run, so I'm not sure my stomach can completely be trusted on that one ;)). Side note - I realize my pictures don't do the food justice (I'm not sure how food bloggers do it...), but I promise the taste was spot on!

Okay, okay, so the picture looks like a pile of mush, but it actually had different textures and a crunch to it!

At Daily Harvest, they believe in eating more whole, organic fruits and vegetables (as does the McDot household ;)). Contradictory and confusing messaging makes it hard to determine what’s actually “healthy”. In an effort to capitalize on trends and produce “healthy” foods that taste like their unhealthy counterparts, the food industry has become reliant on gums, natural flavorings, fillers, additives, and highly processed flours, oils, and sugars. Americans consume these artificial ingredients on a daily basis without fully understanding the long term effects. Daily Harvest is “Just Being Honest” to help educate consumers on what it means to be healthy. I mean, shoot, just take a look at their ingredient transparency to see what I'm talking about... their ingredients are things you can pronounce and real food that you recognize!

Source: @dailyharvest Instagram feed

Curious about what you're actually eating? Get Vegucated and text 917-267-0722 to find out what’s actually in your food.


In case you are looking to give Daily Harvest and their REAL ingredients a go, you can use code "CARLEEMCDOT" to save $25 on your first order. (And, because you know I always gotta shoot straight with you, I want to be upfront with you and let you know that I do make a couple bucks any time my code gets used, but hopefully you know by now that I am only going to rep and share about brands that I legit believe in. Obviously I'm not in this whole blog thing for the money...)

Do you look at the ingredients of foods you eat?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 8

Sunday, February 16th – 8 mile run

Monday, February 17th – 10 mile run

Tuesday, February 18th – 6 mile run

Wednesday, February 19th – 4 mile run

Thursday, February 20th – 120 minutes on the stationary bike

Friday, February 21st  Rest Day

Saturday, February 22nd – 24.25 mile run

And, just like that, it's time to taper again ;) I guess that's what happens when you use two marathons as training runs during your 50K build-up... Here's to hoping my legs (and the rest of me) start feeling rested with this taper. I'm sure standing on my feet for 9 hours a day at work isn't doing much for resting my weary bones ;) I can't believe my next marathon is less than two weeks away and my next ultra is less than a week after that. Man, it is going to be a busy (but super fun and exciting) March! PS Tell me I'm not the only one who thought January drug on FOR-EV-ER but February went by in the blink of an eye... I know, I know, we still technically have another week in the month, but this one flew by.

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday Favorites

It's been a hot minute since I've shared some of my favorite finds - sorry about that! I'm still trying to get the hang of working outside of the house (for 30+ hours a week), not to mention my mother-in-law has been in town for the past two weeks. But, enough of my excuses, let's just get on with some of the cool things I've been loving lately. And GO!

SMDS Ribbons

Because first place isn't the only thing that deserves celebrating, Sarah Marie Design Studio created some new, amazing award ribbons! I'm pretty sure I need to stock up on the "Didn't Poop Your Pants" ribbons to give out to friends ;) PS If you want to buy anything on the Sarah Marie Design Studio website, use code "SMDS-MCDOT" to save 15% on your orders!


Emergency Contact/ Medical ID Screen

Okay, this may be old news (in fact, I am SURE this is old news), but I recently upgraded my phone from an iPhone 6S to an 8. Along with a slightly better camera and more storage, I also noticed there is a new feature on the "emergency" screen. Before, on my 6S phone, if you hit the "emergency" option from the lock screen you were able to call 911. Now you can enter some of your important medical information, as well as your emergency contact(s). Not only can you put in their names and numbers, but you can also call those contacts directly without unlocking the phone (in case the person is somehow incapacitated or the phone is found apart from the owner). Hopefully this is never needed, but it does give me a little extra peace of mind knowing that the information is accessible to whomever may need it if it is ever required.

Keep Nature Wild - Spring Adventure Collection

Yep, another share about some of the new Keep Nature Wild gear. I swear, they are always putting out some awesome stuff. I am loving the new Say Yes to Adventure, Life is Better Outside, Hike More Worry Less and Camp Hike Repeat designs. If I don't snag them in a tank or t-shirt, I at least need to grab the stickers of them. #DearSantaEasterBunny

Momentum Jewelry's #ShareTheSPARK Campaign

I have been a part of the #ShareTheSPARK Campaign from the jump and I love it just as much now as I did from the inception. You see, Momentum believes that everyone can benefit from a little extra show of support and encouragement. Their #ShareTheSPARK campaign is all about seeing how far we can spread kindness and make a difference in people's lives. Like I said, it's AMAZING! As an ambassador I was gifted a few items that I could then pass along to others in hopes to motivate, encourage and inspire. Well, let's just say I can't wait for the recipients to receive the goodies! PS If you want in on the action to spread the love, you can join in the campaign too! From February 18th until March 3rd, all #ShareTheSPARK Motivate Wraps will be on sale for $12, including the 2 new sayings! BONUS: Buy 3 #sharetheSPARK Motivate Wraps and receive a FREE Foot Note (no coupon needed)! I'm telling you, even if you don't want to "share the spark" right now, I'd definitely suggest stocking up on these wraps for future gifts - they're AWESOME!


Solar-Powered Plastic Removing Barges

I came across this article on Facebook (I know, you might be surprised that I click on articles other than ones about dogs, hehe) and had to share it. While removing plastic waste contaminates the ocean is crucial for protecting marine ecosystems, it is arguably more important to stop the plastic trash from entering the ocean in the first place. Fortunately for humanity, The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit taking on plastic waste in the ocean today, also has a novel solution for stopping plastic from entering it via rivers. Their solar-powered barge resembles a large houseboat and uses a curved barrier to catch waste floating downstream. The trash, much of it plastic, is directed to the “mouth” of the barge — which operates autonomously and silently — from where it rolls up a conveyor belt and is dropped into dumpsters. Apparently, it is capable of collecting up to 50 tons of waste a day. I picture it sort of like a whale eating up plankton. I know, I know, I would prefer we use LESS PLASTIC FROM THE GET-GO, but if people aren't going to change their consumption habits, we need more companies like this coming up with different ideas on how to pick up after the travesty humans create.


What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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?

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 7

Sunday, February 9th – 10.20 mile run

Monday, February 10th – 10.10 mile run

Tuesday, February 11th – 4.14 mile run

Wednesday, February 12th – Rest Day

Thursday, February 13th – 105 minutes on the stationary bike

Friday, February 14th  8.08 mile run

Saturday, February 15th – 10 mile run

I realize I'm a "spoiled" runner when the temps get around the 40* zone and I bust out a sweatshirt to throw on over my long-sleeve shirt and a pair of gloves ;) This was a cut-back week for me, which is great seeing as last week I had a marathon (even if it was "just a training run"). I'd love to say my body feels great but my Fibro seems to be hating me recently (randomly in my tongue and the base of my skull)... Here's to hoping things start settling down again because I've got a peak week mileage-wise next week before I start to taper again for the LA Marathon and the Old West Trails 50K.

How were your workouts this past week?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

My New York City Marathon Plan

If you read my "Heartbroken" post, you probably know that although I ran a time-qualifying race for the TCS New York City Marathon, when I went to register, the spots for runners who had a non-NYRR qualifying time were ALL GONE... I'll be honest, I was (as the title of the previous post referenced) heartbroken. I never imagined not getting in. Ever since crossing the finish line at the REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon and running a 1:32:50 I started planning my NYC trip in my mind... And then this happened... And I was left shocked, disappointed, sad and stuck having to decide what to do next.

The first thing I did was allow myself to feel the feelings for 24 hours. I wanted to give myself the space to feel the disappointment for having put in the work and not being able to capitalize on it. I wanted to have the option to be a little bitter at my job since that was why I wasn't on the computer right at 9am PST when registration opened (I was working at a local elementary's jog-a-thon). I decided I'd give myself a day to wallow and then I'd have to let those feelings go.


I figured I had two (main) options. First, I could enter the lottery for a FOURTH time and see if the lady luck would be on my side. Second, I could forget about the race (at least for 2020) and look into doing something else (at the time I was throwing around the idea of maybe running a 100K or something non-official like the Zion Traverse).


Well, when the hubby was trying to console me, he mentioned something that he probably thought was just a nice thing to say, but I sort of grabbed the idea and ran with it... literally! He said, "If you don't get in with the lottery, we should just plan a trip there anyway and you can do your own marathon." And, that, folks, was what I would call a lightbulb moment!

So, now I have my two options. First, I am going to enter the lottery. If I don't get in, then I am going to run my own NYC marathon. I haven't worked out the logistics yet (since I don't want to "waste" my time if I end up getting in via the lottery), but the hubby and I will fly to New York (on a different weekend than the official race) and I will run 26.2 miles. I am thinking of maybe adding a virtual aspect of my adventure if folks want to join (or possibly even an IRL meet-up so people can run/ bike/ scoot along with me) and maybe a charity aspect in case folks don't want to run but want to donate to a cause. Again, I haven't worked out the deets, but I am pretty excited about the possibilities. It doesn't matter what cards I'm dealt, I'm gonna make the most of them... and RUN NYC (one way or another)! Who's coming with me?! 


Are you entering the lottery for this year's race?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Trail Tuesday

Happy Trail Tuesday! It's a thing, right?! Well, if it isn't, it totally should be... Let's make it a thing, k? I mean, if tomorrow can be considered National Tortellini Day (no joke, look it up), then we can deem every Tuesday "Trail Tuesday", right?!

Anywho, enough about semantics, let's get to the meat and potatoes (what's the vegan alternative to "meat and potatoes"? maybe "tofu and lentils"?) of the post. The whole point of today's post is to announce some BIG NEWS!


I was recently selected to be a 2020 Ambassador for the Dirtbag RunnersWHOOO HOOOO! OH HECK TO THE YES! 


If you aren't familiar with Dirtbag Runners, it's a community of trail & ultrarunning dirtbags exploring the world and sharing their stories. Let's just say I've been stalking following their accounts for a while and am stoked I took a chance and applied for the ambassadorship. I love what they do, what they stand for and am honored to be part of the crew!


For those of you who don't know my running "story", I started running in 2012. A friend of mine told me about runDisney and challenged me to train for the Disneyland Half Marathon. I didn't have a hobby to call my own at the time and figured even if I hated running, at least I'd be running through the Happiest Place on Earth. Well, spoiler alert, I didn't hate it, in fact, I feel in love with it (you could even call it an obsession a passion), and I haven't stopped since.

The hubby and I after that first half marathon!

With that being said, you may be questioning an ambassadorship for a trail running group, but stick with me here. Although my love for running started on the open roads (and sidewalks, bike paths, etc), it has evolved as of late.

And I can blame my love for the trails on the hubby. Well, the hubby's boredom ;) He started running because he saw how much I loved it and decided to give it a try (he definitely still enjoys rock climbing, surfing, etc more than running, but this is something we can do together). Even though he doesn't hate running on the roads, it's totally not his preferred place to run (he gets bored easily and running on the roads isn't as fun for him as it is for me, especially longer distances). He thought he might enjoy running more (or at least dislike it less ;)) if we were doing it in "nature"... so we grabbed some trail shoes and hit the dirt. #RealTalk: I was pretty hesitant to transition to running on the trails before taking the plunge.

First, I'm TERRIBLE with directions. Legit, ask the hubby and he will probably have to refrain from laughing when you mention my name and directions in the same sentence. It's pretty bad. Pounding the pavement is nice because not only can I run routes I'm familiar with (for example, starting at a park, running down the street for 4 miles, turning around and running back... there are very few ways to get lost on a run like that... although I wouldn't put it past me ;)), but you can also use map apps to figure out a route to run or even to help you find your car if you get off track.


Second, I'm not the most coordinated person. I don't trip and fall often, but for some reason I was always nervous to hit the trails because I was worried I'd twist my ankle on a rock, fall over a root, run off a cliff, etc. I'm also not a fan of snakes (read that as I'm pretty fearful of them) and I swear, every stick I see is a snake until proven otherwise.


Thankfully with some patience and practice I was able to get over my hesitations and fall in love with the trails. Since finding the dirt, the hubby and I have been able to have some amazing adventures together - running the Grand Canyon (Rim to Rim to Rim), exploring Zion National Park on our feet, climbing Mt. Whitney (the tallest peak in the continental US), running all along the West Coast while on a three-week van trip, etc. I've also run some amazing trail races recently (the Avalon 50-Miler, Griffith Park 50K, Fremont Canyon 28K, Black Mountain 50K, Diablo Trail Marathon, etc).

And I can only see a TON MORE adventures in our future now that we have the new AdventureMobile (with its 4-wheel drive capabilities and dependability!) {I know, I know, I owe you a post on the new rig, I promise I'll get to it soon...}

Let's just say this is MUCH MORE reliable than the VW EuroVan we had before this... 

So, all that to say, although I originally fell in love with running on the pavement, I have deepened that love through the dirt. I don't know that I'll ever truly turn my back on the roads, but I'd be lying if I said I preferred them currently... 


If you don't already, I'd totally suggest giving Dirtbag Runners a follow on your favorite social media platforms. {Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube} And I can't forget to share their STORE in case you want to snag Dirtbag Runners gear!    {PS If you use the code FRIENDSNFAM2020 you can score 10% off all of your orders - BOOMSHAKALAKA!}

PS If you're new to the trails and are looking to swap the pavement for dirt, check out my TOP THREE TRAIL TIPS.

Do you prefer the pavement or the trails?