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!