Tuesday, December 22, 2015

TOTR: Running Survey!

Before I get into my Tuesday's on the Run post, can we talk about the fact that I'm wearing shorts around on December 22nd? This weather is insane and coupled with the craziness that is moving/renovating TWO bathrooms in our new house... well, I'm in serious need of some Christmas spirit people! 

Anyway, I've already done my 2015 running highlights so I figured I'd pop in for TOTR with a fun survey I've seen floating around lately.

Linking up for Tuesday's on the Run!

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

As long as the beach path isn't directly ON the beach, that's my pick. ha. I love running AT the beach, just not on it. This sounds totally stupid and I feel like I SHOULD love it but.. I get bored. ha. My favorite place in the world to run is on Hilton Head island though! We go there every year for the Fourth of July and I've found this SWEET running path that takes me directly to the beach. So, I run 3 miles there, take a breather while watching the waves, and then head back. It's PERFECT.

2.  If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

Lemon Lime all day, every day. 

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

Shoes, duh! I've only mentioned it about 10 million times but I'm dying for the new Saucony Triumphs! BEST SHOE EVER!

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

Wake up and run. I'm not a fan of training plans. I know some people need them for structure (which is awesome) but for me, I felt "trapped". Toward the end of my marathon training, it took some of the joy out of it. I love just letting my body dictate my run and going with the flow. 


5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

Start on the uphill. My motto is to get the hardest part of anything done first. 

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

Any and every kind. ha. Insanity / HIIT workouts are my favorite though! In 2016, I plan on incorporating a lot more weight training to my schedule as well.

7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

Depends on the day and my mood. 

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

A good pair of running shoes, no doubt. The "add-ons" are great but if you have a good pair of running shoes, you can conquer the world. ;)

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Just a few dogs here and there. 

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Hmmm....... I don't think so?

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

If calories don't count.... I'm going with a brownie sundae with lots of whip cream. Sweets are the way to my heart!

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

SHORTS! I hate running in tights or capris. I'll rock tights/capris if it's under 40 and raining/snowing but other than that, I wear shorts about 99.9% of the time.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

Usually about a mile in I start getting in the groove.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

I'll hold on to it or if I'm carrying my water bottle, tuck it in the zipper part. 

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

I've said it before and I'll say it again... the Kentucky Derby Half. The race of my LIFE.

16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?

To be honest, I don't think I have a least favorite. I enjoy different aspects of them all. 

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

To be honest, I just love to MOVE and I love the feeling you get after a long, hard run. There's nothing better. Not only that, I'm trying to fit in as many miles I can before the end of 2015!

18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

To be completely honest, most of my runs lately have been on the treadmill in the morning before work. It's just easier. ha. 

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

Sunglasses. ALWAYS.

20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

I just legitimately love running. There are days when it's the absolute last thing I want to do but I've never, EVER regretted a run. Why quit something that brings so much joy? There will be a day when I can no longer lace up my shoes and hit the pavement but that day isn't today, and hopefully not anytime soon, so until then, I'm going to run my heart out.

Have a great day! And go for a run!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Favorites

I wish I could begin to tell you the whirlwind my life has been lately but I think that would take more than just a simple blog post! Life has been crazy-hectic the last few weeks (hence my lack of posting!) but I thought I'd pop in today (two days in a row!) and give you the low down on a few of my weekly favorites!

Linking up with Heather, Jill & the Virginia Bloggers for my Friday Favorites!

1. Christmas with my best friends. You guys are probably sick of hearing about my best friends but we make it a point every year to get together and have our annual Christmas celebration. It's been going strong since we were juniors in college--aka, a billion years ago! This year it was at my place (no traveling for me! yay!) and we had an absolute blast. And may or may not have crushed like, 5 bottles of wine and a random 40. ha. Needless to say, I certainly couldn't hang like I could when I was a junior in college... ;)

A photo posted by Sarah Smith Carlson (@sarahc33) on

A photo posted by Sarah Smith Carlson (@sarahc33) on

2. Speaking of my best friends (ha), remember when we did that photo shoot about a month and a half ago? We finally got our pictures back and they are amazing! Seriously--if your bucket list doesn't include a photo session with your BFF's, add it now. I'll cherish these pictures forever. And when I'm old and gray, at least I can look back and say that damn, we looked good. ;)

A photo posted by Sarah Smith Carlson (@sarahc33) on

3. Good grief.. I guess I should have just dedicated this entire list to my BFF's but a trip to Nashville is in the works for my birthday in February! I decided that it's my last birthday in my 20's (UGH!) so might as well go out with a bang, right?! More details to follow on this. ;)

4. Dude. Can we talk about how Christmas is TWO WEEKS AWAY??? I'm no where near ready.. we don't even have a Christmas tree up this year.... but there's good reason for this..

5. .... BECAUSE WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! As of last Friday at approximately 3pm, Peter & I are officially home owners! And broke! ha. We bought a "fixer upper" and are totally excited/scared/nervous/pumped about doing a reno. It's not all totally horrible but umm, there's carpet in the kitchen. So.. yeah. ha. I'm excited for all of the hard work and headaches that are sure to follow. And finally getting a dog! Is it bad that that's probably what I'm most excited for?! ;) I'll be sure to take lots of before photos so that maybe one day and I can do a before/after post. :)

Have a wonderful Friday! I'm off to our work potluck--bring on the stretchy sweat pants!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Year in Running

Wow. What a year. I feel like it was just January and I was crazily committing to run 2,015 miles in 2015 (side note: I completed it back in September! AH!). This has by FAR been one of the best years running wise I've ever had. I PR'd EVERY SINGLE distance, won several races, and well, duh... completed my first marathon!

So, to recap it all and not drive you guys crazy, I'm linking up with Eat, Pray, Run DC to talk about my year in running. 

Eat Pray Run DC

Best Race Experience:  Definitely the Richmond Marathon. I had an absolute blast, everything was well organized, it was a FUN race, weather was great... it was just an overall enjoyable experience. Maybe it's partly because it was my first 26.2 but I'll always look back on this race with a smile on my face. I worked my BUTT OFF for it and I'm so glad I got to mark it off of my bucket list. 

Best Run: The Kentucky Derby Half Marathon, hands down. I went into the race not expecting much but ended up with a HUGE PR (1:36:58!!!). It was the run of my LIFE. It was the first half marathon I did where I felt great the entire race and never got that "I'm going to die" feeling. ha. I plan on doing the race again this year because I enjoyed it so much.

Best new piece of gear: Probably my Fitbit Surge. I love that it not only tracks my steps but also has a built in GPS so that I can track my runs as well. I wear it every. single. day.

Best piece of running advice you’ve received: I'd have to say "run the mile you're in". As I've gotten more into distance running, sometimes I have a tendency to psych myself out over the miles I have left to run instead of focusing on the one I'm in. I did a much better job at this in Richmond than I thought I would and it really helped. 

Most Inspirational Runner:  Hmm... good question. I'd have to say all of the runners on my Instagram feed. On the days I'm really dreading a run, I look to them for the motivation to get up and get going. 

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This one by far. Okay boys, I'll take it from here... ;)

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: I'm totally counting Spartan races for this one. I had a blast at Wintergreen and would totally wake up at 3:30am, volunteer until 1pm, race until 7pm, and not get home until 11pm all over again. It was that awesome. This was the first Spartan race I ever did by myself and it was so much fun. I met a lot of really great people, the race was KILLER, and anytime you can spend a day running up and down a bunch of mountains is a good one.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? I only need one word--INSANE. This year, I ran more races, ran more miles, and ran more PR's than I ever have in my life. This was definitely the year of the run. I have no idea what 2016 will have in store but I couldn't be prouder of the hard work I put in during 2015. And man... was it EVER fun.

PS--Just in case you're interested, with 21 days left until 2016, I've officially ran 2,348.4 MILES! 

Needless to say, I think I'll be running a few less in 2016. ;)

Here's to more runs, more PR's, and more medals!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TOTR: Gifts for Runners

Happy Tuesday! Good news--my energy/legs are finally back from my marathon! I've put in some major speed work and operation lose my 10 pound (ugh!) marathon weight gain is officially in session. I'm going to post more on that tomorrow!

In the meantime, today's Tuesday's on the Run topic is close to my heart--Gifts for Runners. ;)

These are just a FEW of the items on my list.. ;)

1. Saucony Life on the Run Triumph ISO 2. 
I'd be happy with just getting these shoes for Christmas. I made the switch over to the Trimph's last Christmas and couldn't be happier. They finally updated the shoe and omg--I need them in my life!

2. These Pro Compression socks. 

I never got the whole compression sock thing until about a year ago. And these totally saved my life during my marathon. I think they were one of the reasons I was able to jump back in so quickly after my race. And plus, this version is pretty badass.

3. Runner's World Meals on the Run cookbook.

My schedule is CRAZY and about to get crazier starting next semester. I rarely EVER have time to cook a meal for Peter and I during the week but 30 minutes? I could totally commit to that! One of my many 2016 goals is to clean up my diet and this would be a perfect addition to my cookbook collection. :)

4. A Spartan Race season pass

Okay, totally a DREAM gift but a Spartan Season pass would DEFINITELY be at the top of my list. I'm kind of obsessed with Spartan and plan on getting my Trifecta in 2016!

5. RRCA Running Coach Certification!

I really, REALLY want to become a certified running coach in 2016 so this would be a great gift. ;) I have big, BIG plans.

There you have it--a few gift ideas for your favorite runner out there...... or, me. ha.

Have a great Tuesday!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I seriously can't believe it's already Thursday.
ACTUALLY, I seriously can't believe that this time next week we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving!
Where the HECK has 2015 gone?

Anyway, time to do a little Thinking Out Loud--linking up with Amanda!

1. I'm definitely still on a major, MAJOR marathon high. It's super surreal. But that being said, I'm kind of lost at the moment. ha. I've never NOT had the thought of a marathon floating around in my head. It's been that ONE thing that I've always wanted to accomplish as a runner and now I have. I'm actively working on coming up with a few new goals but man... it's pretty awesome that I can now say "I DID IT!".

2. Speaking of my marathon, I've tried to take it FAIRLY easy this week. But man. I'm just so, so, SO exhausted! I've had a few easy runs (5 miles at most) but by the time 5pm rolls around, I feel like I could sleep for days. I plan on taking it nice and easy this weekend and hope to be back at ALMOST full force next week.

3. Let the holiday festivities begin! This weekend, I'm heading to Louisville for my family's Thanksgiving. I'm going to do my best to pace myself and keep it as healthy as I can. Carbs have been my best friend for about 3-4 months now and I have 7-8 extra pounds to prove it. ;) I also have Thanksgiving with my immediate family on Thursday and then Peter & I are heading to Charlottesville next Friday for his family's Thanksgiving. ha.

4. Okay, I'm totally a hater when it comes to decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving but I did buy a Gingerbread Glade Plug in for my office and it's AMAZING. I've had so many people stop in and ask about it--it's that good!

5. And finally... I bought another new pair of tennis shoes. The struggle is real ya'll. I bought a new pair of Mizuno's to teach/workout in and they should be here anytime. Peter and I recently did a MAJOR fall cleanup and we're not even going to discuss how many old shoes I donated........

Have a wonderful Thursday!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Wow. I honestly have absolutely NO idea where to start on this one. Saturday was... amazing. Everything I had imagined and MORE.

Linking up for Tuesday's on the Run.

I know most recaps go mile by mile but there's no way that would even begin to do this race justice. Everyone told me that the first marathon would be "special" but I had no idea what they meant until I crossed the finish line.

Saturday was the most emotionally/physically draining thing I've ever done.

The morning started out a little hectic. I slept surprisingly well but for some reason I thought I'd have more time than I did before the race and kind of took my time. I made it to the start line with plenty of time to spare but the porta potties? Not so much. I stressed out a bit about not getting a chance to take advantage of them but it turned out to be okay in the end.

The weather on Saturday was seriously perfect. It was a little chilly at the start (around 40 degrees) but I decided to go ahead and drop my throwaway sweat shirt before the race started so I wouldn't have to worry about doing it later. The sun was out and I had gloves on so I knew I'd be okay.

I made the decision to start off with the 3:35 pace group and just see how long I could hold on. I thought MAYBE if I got lucky I'd be able to hang with them but unfortunately that wasn't the case. Oh well. The first marathon is all about learning, right?

The first 13-14 miles absolutely flew by. I guess maybe it was the adrenaline rush and the excitement that I was FINALLY running a marathon but I had no major problems. I've been dealing with a bout of achilles tendonitis recently so it took a while to get fully warmed up but once I got there, I was fine. I stayed with 3:35 pace group up until mile 17 or so and that's when the wheels started coming off a bit.

I totally hit the wall between miles 17-20. No question about it. My body was okay but mentally, I wasn't doing so hot. Going into the marathon, I KNEW from day 1 this would be my biggest challenge. Instead of taking it one mile at a time, I started thinking about how many I had left and it was tough to take in.

Luckily for me, my family was waiting for me at mile 19. And good thing too because it was right before a pretty decent size hill. I knew if I stopped, I'd have a hard time getting going again but just seeing them helped more than I can explain. Peter handed off my final two gels and I was totally bawling my eyes out because I was so emotional but I don't think he noticed since my sunglasses were on. ;)

I slugged it out through mile 20 and then, the realization hit that although I wasn't going to hit 3:35, I could still get a sub-4 hour marathon on my first try. And that was the motivation I needed to get my butt in gear again.

From 20-26, I took it one mile at a time. I ran as much as I could but admittedly took a few much needed breaks. I'd run half a mile, walk for about 1 minute (or the length of 2 cones, ha) and then pick it up again until I hit the next water stop. Luckily, Richmond had water stops every mile from 20-26.

Miles 23 & 24 were my slowest miles of the day, 10:12 & 10:06. Not terribly happy with those but I got through them and that's what counts.

And then I hit mile 25. This was by far my favorite mile of the day. I was in pain, I was tired, the thought of shotblocks and gels made me absolutely sick to my stomach but oh my gosh--I smiled the ENTIRE time. The crowds started picking up again, my adrenaline was pumping, and tears were already starting to flow. I couldn't stop thinking about how I was about to finish something that I said I would NEVER do 3 years ago.

I ran mile 25 in 9:12--a far cry from my normal pace but the fastest mile I'd had since about mile 17. And then we hit the magical number 26 and it was literally all down hill from there. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. I sprinted down the hill--there was no stopping. I caught a glimpse of my family cheering me on and it was everything I'd hoped for and more. I crossed the finish line in 3:50:22 and just like that, I was a marathoner.

I got my medal, blanket, and hat and SLOWLY started making my way to the finisher area. I heard someone shouting my name and looked up to see my best friend Anna sprinting toward me. As soon as she got to me, the happy tears just started flowing again. I couldn't' hold it in and didn't want to. That was one of the most surreal and proudest moments of my life.

I ran a marathon, I hit my B goal (sub 4 hours), and I got to celebrate with my family. It was one of those days I'll never forget.

And for those of you wondering how I felt afterwards, I was pretty tired and a little stiff but after some food (pizza and potato wedges! ha), a shower, and a nap, I felt pretty good all things considered. I took it fairly easy on Sunday and yesterday but today, I decided to test out my legs and went for a 5 mile shakeout run. So, I'd say my training was pretty successful. ;)

So there you have it. I'm now a marathoner. It's weird FINALLY knocking it off my bucket list because it's been there for so long and I feel like I've been working toward it since I started running 10 years ago! I guess that just means it's time to find a new goal, right? ;)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, November 9, 2015


Holy cow guys! It's officially MARATHON WEEK! 

My emotions are pretty much all over the place right now but I just wanted to pop in real quick and check in.

Up until this morning, I'd been feeling a little if-fy about Saturday. I've been letting the pressure get to me.. a LOT! For just an "everyday" runner, I'm pretty fast I guess and as a group ex/personal trainer/fitness professional, people automatically expect more. I've had so many people come up to me and ask if I plan on trying to BQ, telling me I WILL BQ, and even predicting race times for me. Crazy, I know. I know it's a compliment and they definitely mean well but man.... that's a lot of expectations for my first marathon. 

For the last month or so, I've really been worried about letting them down and about being embarrassed if I have a less than stellar race day. 

And then this morning, something just "clicked."

Who cares what anyone else thinks? 

For the last year, I've worked my butt off. I've gotten up at 5:30am Monday-Friday to get in my workout before work. I've logged WELL over my goal of 2,015 miles for 2015. I've PR-ed every single distance I've ran this year and I've made a HUGE head start on my dreams of becoming a fitness professional. 

And now, to put the icing on the cake, I'm running my first marathon. And you know what? If it takes me 6 hours, it's still a PR, right?! 

The funny thing is that this all arose from hearing "Lose Yourself" on the radio this morning as soon as I got in my car. That's my JAM and I took it as a sign of a good start to race week. Instead of being nervous, for the first time I'm feeling PUMPED




There's a lot of power in those statements. I'm not doing this race because I HAVE to do it in order to be considered a "real" runner.

I'm doing this race because my body is capable of it, because I'm blessed to have a support system standing strongly behind me, and because I love this sport and love pushing myself to be better. 

And that my friends, is powerful. 

I have no idea what's going to happen on Saturday but here's to doing what I love for 26.2 miles. 


Friday, November 6, 2015


Sorry for the radio silence this week! It's been another doozy. My brain is beyond fried so no favorites BUT I'll be back next week with some last minute marathon updates (T-minus 8 days!). I'll also be recapping my SIXTH half marathon (how did that happen?). Spoiler alert--no PR but it went VERY well. :)
Linking up today with Heather, Jill, and the Virginia Bloggers.
Current book: My NASM personal training textbook, Kinesiology book, and Anatomy book. All text books for my Masters Program. Which I still love by the way, in case you were wondering. Isn't it awesome when you get to study something you LOVE? 
Current song: "My House" by Flo Rida. Weird? Maybe. I listened to it like, 20 times on the way to my half last weekend.  I've also been listening to "Lose Yourself" a LOT this week in prep for next weekend. There's just something about that song.

Current drink: Mango Strawberry Spark. 
Current guilty pleasure: Dexter. Peter & I are almost done with season 4! Unfortunately he goes back on night shift next week so I'm not sure when we'll finish but we've been watching it non-stop for the last 2 months. At first I wasn't a huge fan but now, I totally get it. 
Current food: Sweet Potatoes. I have no idea why it took me so long to jump on the sweet potato train but I've been obsessed lately. So good! And they've been very helpful during my marathon training. 
Current craving: Chocolate. Always. 
Current need: The new Saucony Run Your Life Triumph 2.0. This shoe is SICK. It may have to be a gift to myself for completing (hopefully) my first marathon. 

Current quote: "Run the mile you are in." I keep repeating this over and over again. Besides it's obvious life connotations, it's something I keep trying to tell myself to keep in mind next Saturday. Sometimes in running, I get overwhelmed and discouraged when I start thinking about how many miles I have left in a race. My goal on Saturday is to simply take every mile in stride and enjoy the journey. I've worked my butt off for this and there's absolutely no pressure. No matter what, I'm PR-ing baby. 
Current workout: The new Insanity format. It's so killer and a great update to one of my favorite workouts. I love doing it AND teaching it. I'll always have a soft place in my heart for Shaun T and this program. :)
Current excitement: Umm, marathon. Duh! I get to do what I love, accomplish a MAJOR bucket list item, and spend time with my family & friends. 
Current procrastination: Figuring out what I'm wearing next Saturday. This has been majorly stressing me out! 
Current confession: I only did one 20-miler the entire training cycle. I did a few 18's but only one true 20 mile run. That being said, my weekly mileage has been anywhere from 45-60 a week so I'm hoping it balances out. 
Current blessing: Getting to do what I love. I realize it more and more everyday!
Current mood: NERVOUS. I keep dreaming about my marathon and all of the things that could potentially go wrong. ha. Kind of like how I did with my wedding too. Go figure. ;)
Current link: Ummm.... my instagram?! Shameless plug, I know. 
Have a great weekend!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! Seriously--how is it already the end of October? This time next month we'll be gearing up for CHRISTMAS! This year has seriously flown by. 

On the bright side, it's FRIDAY which means it's time for some of my favorites!

Linking up with Heather, Jill, & the Virginia Bloggers today. :)

1. Girls weekend was awesome! Totally low key and absolutely perfect in every way. We went to the farmer's market, decorated pumpkins, went on the Blue Ridge Parkway and took professional photos---it was much, much, MUCH needed! I know, I know.. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times but I'm so lucky to have these three incredible women in my life. And I can't wait to get our photos back! In the mean time, you can just look at mine. ;)

just awkwardly holding a pumpkin in my lumberjack gear

2. This brownie recipe is STILL my favorite. They're healthy AND delicious. There's no beating that combo. I've made it a MILLION times at this point and never tell anyone that there's no added sugar and they're only about 90-100 calories a piece until after. No one believes me. Ever. And if I'm feeling really froggy, I'll sub applesauce for the eggs and it's even better!

3. My niece turned THREE on Sunday. How is that even possible?! LOVE this girl. It's so neat watching her grow up and seeing her develop this spunky, sassy, and totally funny personality. Not to mention she's already a crazy cat lady and it's awesome.

4. I'm running the Haunted Half Marathon tomorrow! I've wanted to do this race EVERY YEAR but something ALWAYS comes up. Not this year! I'm debating on running as a cat or geek.. right now geek is totally winning out though. This is supposed to be a super fun race and will help me finish out my LAST long run of my marathon training cycle. HECK YES! 

5. And finally, speaking of my marathon...things got SUPER real yesterday when I got this email...

I guess there's no backing out now, right? 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! And Happy Halloween! 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thinking Out Loud: Just Breathe.

Did you know that October is National Healthy Lung Month? Don't worry, I didn't either. And as a fitness junkie, I'm so very grateful for my own! They help me teach group exercise classes, run marathons (hopefully!) and live an all around healthy life. So today, I thought I'd do a little thinking out loud and talk about ways to stay healthy and how we can help our lungs keep us breathing for a long, LONG time.

Linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons!

1. GET MOVING! This is an obvious one but in order to get our lungs in the best shape possible, we have to get up and move! Whether it be walking for 30 minutes a day, taking a Zumba class, or training for a marathon, just as if you were training a specific muscle, the more you work your lungs, the stronger they get! And not to mention how awesome you feel afterward!

2. If you're smoking, quit and if you're not, don't start! You wouldn't drink poison would you? So why inhale it?!

3. Healthy eating! Eat good, feel good. Research has shown that anti-oxidant rich foods are good for your lungs. You don't have to tell me twice to eat more broccoli. Okay, maybe sometimes but most of the time I can't pass it up. ;)

4. Be aware of indoor toxins. Many products that we use on a daily basis can be carcinogenic--some may even contain asbestos. I know when I think of asbestos, I typically think of all the home renovation shows when they tear out walls and ceilings and find it but did you know that some companies still put it in their products? Even though it has been shown to cause mesothelioma, also known as asbestos cancer? Crazy, right? Everything from adhesives, to crockpots (!), to BABY POWDER can contain the dangerous chemical. Absolutely insane. Read your labels!

5. My final tip? Laugh. A LOT! Besides the obvious benefits of laughing (hello, HAPPINESS!), laughing helps work your abdominal muscles, which aid in posture and ultimately allow your lungs to breathe a little easier. I'd say that's a win-win, don't ya think? I know my lungs got an awesome workout this weekend with my best friends! Who knew that all that laughing was so beneficial? I guess that's just an excuse to visit with them more often, right? :)

Have a wonderful Thursday everyone! I've got my last 20 miler of my training cycle this Saturday and I'm glad I've got a good set of lungs to get me through it!

For more information on mesothelioma and products containing asbestos, check out this website.

See you tomorrow for my Friday Favorites!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TOTR: Crunch Time

So...... that awkward moment when you're watching a movie trailer on TV while on the treadmill and you immediately freak out because it comes out on November 13 which just so happens to be the day before your marathon.... yep, that happened this morning.


Linking up for Tuesday's on the Run!

I know I talk about my marathon a LOT but with it just around the corner, it's basically the only thing on my mind these days. 

I've got my last long run coming up this weekend and I'm hoping it will be a big confidence booster. I'm kind of terrified of the race at this point (been reading too many horror stories!) but if something scares you, it's GOT to be good for you, you know?

I literally have no clue what's going to happen on race day. I could bomb out at mile 18 or feel great the entire day (wishful thinking) but I just want to finish. That's it. That's my #1 goal at this point and anything else is an added bonus. 

My thoughts on marathon training up until this point? Ehh. I love running--it's probably my biggest passion--but I like the freedom of running when I want, how I want, and how long I want. And that's not to say I haven't taken some "creative" liberties while training but I won't know until after I cross the finish line whether I'll do another marathon or not. Okay, maybe SEVERAL days after crossing the finish line. 

But all of that being said, there have been countless moments during the last few months where it's really hit me just how AWESOME it is what I'm doing. I'm pushing my body to run 26.2 miles... for fun! Not many people have the guts to take that on and I know it. So who cares if it takes me 5-6 hours to cross the finish line? I got out there didn't I? 

And there are so many people out there who have believed in me during this training when I haven't. My husband, my family, my friends, my exercise clients. When training has gotten hard and I've lost confidence, they've been there to pick me back up and get me on track. I'm so very grateful to each and every person who has helped me along this (hard) journey.

So, here's to my last few weeks of marathon training. No matter what happens, I'm proud of myself and the effort I've put in. It's not been easy by any means but it's been worth it. And WILL be worth it on November 14th.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Popping in for a quick Friday favorites today! I have a LOT on the agenda for the weekend but wanted to get one more post in.

Linking up with Heather, Jill, & the Virginia Bloggers!

1. GIRLS WEEKEND! The entire reason for my quick pop-in! In a few short hours, I'm packing my bags and heading to Roanoke for another edition of girls weekend! I think this one will be SLIGHTLY more low key than Charlotte (still recovering!) but much needed! I can't believe we haven't been together since JULY! We literally talk every single day so it doesn't feel like it's been a SUPER long time but I can't wait to head out! So blessed for wonderful girl friends. I don't know what I would do without these girls.

2. As an addendum (I guess?) because I love my BFF's so freakin' much, I moved my last 20 miler to next weekend and suffered through 12 miles this morning bright and early. That's love folks. Next weekend I'll be running the Haunted Half and can't wait. I've wanted to do this race FOREVER but it always seems to fall on a bad day.... but not this year! I'm stoked to dress up--I think I may rock out 13.1 as a skeleton?! I've never done a costume race before (unless you count the time I dressed up as a Christmas tree....) so I'm looking forward to it!

3. Tom Keene because he's totally one of my favorites this week. So obsessed with The Blacklist!

4. Okay, not to bring up another TV show (I swear I do more than just run and watch TV!) but Peter & I have been slowly making our way through the show Dexter and it's so good! Everyone has been telling me to watch forever and finally a few weeks ago we decided to take a stab at it (no pun intended). We're on season 3 now and still have 5 to go but man--it's good. Can't believe we waited this long to watch.

5. And finally, because I finally made the jump to Pro-team, I'm LOVING the new Insanity format. Last night was my first night teaching it and it was so much fun! It's slightly different than before but the changes make ALL the difference. I've been teaching Insanity for a little over a year and a half now and to say it needed a breath of fresh air is an understatement. Well, err, at least I needed a change. Not that I'm not ALWAYS enthusiastic to teach (really, I am!) but sometimes it's hard to teach the same thing over and over and over again. New music, new moves, whole new ballgame. It's hard to tell in the picture below but I was literally DRIPPING in sweat last night. That's how you know it's a good workout. ;)

Not the most exciting update I've ever had but hopefully I'll have some good stories for you on Monday.

Have a great weekend!