Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's been a hot minute since I've done a Friday Favorites post. Since I have a few minutes to spare this morning, let's dust off my favorite list and see what we've got. ;)

Linking up with Heather!

1. I got this picture in my email yesterday....

Ummm..... how is this even possible? Has it really been FIVE years since I graduated from college? Good grief. I guess this officially means I'm old? Or even worse.... an ADULT? I'm coming up on my five year work anniversary (at the same school I graduated from, ha), have a husband, bought a house, pay a mortgage................. yeah, never mind. I'm old.

2. Speaking of graduation, this popped up on my timehop today...

My best friends and I got together the night before graduation, reminisced about our time in college, and decorated our caps.. which at the time, was totally NOT something you were supposed to do. And then the next morning, we woke up and were totally classy and had kegs & eggs for breakfast. ;)

3. Moving right along, those same best friends are coming in for a spur of the moment visit. Funny how that works out. To think, five years ago we were getting ready to graduate college, had no idea what we were doing with our life (well, besides Chiz--I'm pretty sure she's had her ish together her entire life), and were nervous about the future and whether or not we'd remain close. I guess the answer is yes?! Maybe we'll start our morning tomorrow with a flashback in the form of kegs and eggs?
Or, since we're old, cream of wheat? and OJ? Is that more appropriate now?

4. In non-nostalgic stuff, I've had a Flapjacked Mighty Muffin sitting on my desk for the last 6 months or so and finally decided to try it this morning after I was too lazy to make my protein pancakes. Verdict? GOOD! I wish I hadn't microwaved it so long but for breakfast that's ready in 60 seconds, I could totally do this again.

5. And finally, my last favorite this week is my house. Adulting too hard right now. It's still VERY MUCH a work in progress but each day, we're getting closer and closer to making it our HOME. Renovating a house is probably the most frustrating/rewarding thing you can do. We've basically been living in a construction zone for the last 3-4 months but seeing progress is addicting! We MAY have it complete before summer's over.....Lol.

Here's a before and after picture of our master bathroom. I'm not sure if I mentioned it on here before but our ENTIRE house was carpet. Gross. And our master bathroom? It was basically the size of a SMALL closet. We've taken down walls, put new ones up, new floors, new paint......... it's been a process, no doubt. Maybe in the next month or so I'll give a tour of our full house. But for now, here's this to tide you over. And a picture of Mila. Just because. ;)

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Happy Thursday! This is pretty much a regular occurrence around here lately but this week has been crazy. I thought life would slow down JUST a tad but of course, it's been full throttle since Monday. Go figure. :)

So, because I have about 10 minutes to spare, let's think out loud for a few minutes.

Linking up with Running with Spoons!

1. You know what's really hard? Being named head coach for a sport 2 weeks before everyone leaves for summer break. ha. This week, I've been scrambling to get in individual meetings, come up with a summer training plan, and just generally try and wrap my head around this entire thing. It's crazy but I'm so excited about this opportunity. It's funny how the universe works sometimes. I never dreamed I'd be a coach and especially not for running and especially not in college. :)

2. Speaking of running, I'm ending my (several) month long racing hiatus and tackling a 4-miler this weekend. It wasn't really on my radar but I got an opportunity to race for free that I couldn't really pass up so, here I am. I think part of the reason I haven't wanted to race is because I don't feel like I'm my "best" runner right now. I've been training hard but still trying to shake off some "winter weight" and I've definitely been faster. We'll see how Saturday goes though. My motivation is slowly coming back so this could be a good confidence booster.

3. This past weekend, I headed to Charlotte for another girls weekend. I always love seeing my best friends and feel so lucky that not only do I have three but that everyone is dedicated to making sure we get to see each other as much as possible. I have friends outside of these girls obviously but there's nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like being with your besties. This weekend, we went to a fun horse race near Charlotte and had a blast. Nothing like reliving college with some jello shots at 10am, right? ;)

4. Our Mila dog is getting BIG. I'm pretty sure the last picture I posted on here, she was tiny. Not anymore folks. Last time we weighed her (over a month ago) she was right at 50lbs and keeps growing! She's right at 6 months now so... I think we're going to have a big girl on our hands. I never thought I'd turn into one of those crazy dog moms but.. here I am. I show pictures off wherever I go and have to catch myself from talking about her constantly. ha. I love this "little" girl though and she's brought so much joy into mine and Peter's lives.

5. And to end with, I'm currently celebrating the fact that I'm 2 classes away from finishing my MASTERS!!! Yeah! This semester has been insanely difficult so I'm thankful that it's OVER! :) I had two MAJOR projects due in the last 3 weeks AND had to take and PASS (!!!) my NASM Personal training exam. :) Time to celebrate!

See ya'll soon!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TOTR: Running Updates/BIG NEWS

Quick running update with some big news at the end!

Linking up for Tuesday's on the Run!

1. I had my highest mileage week since my marathon last week--50 miles! I haven't pulled one of those weeks in a while but it felt good! I've been listening to my body and running how I want, when I want, and how long I want and last week my legs decided to go for it. I don't know that this trend will continue but we'll see what happens. Either way, it felt good to know I could still pull it off. ;)

2. I still don't really have any races planned. Weird? I don't know. Racing doesn't really excite me at the moment. I've enjoyed running for me and me alone the last few months. I don't need a medal or trophy or validation to know that I love this sport. Last year I raced a lot. And put so much pressure on myself to perform that it wasn't fun anymore. More updates on this to come.

3. This semester has really taken a toll on me, mentally and physically. I've used running as my coping mechanism--thank goodness. So many long, long, LONG days. I've taught a few physical education courses, my normal group-ex classes, working on grad school, working on a HUGE project for work (new software!), renovating a house, becoming a puppy mom, and trying to be a good wife. Whew. I'm almost at my wits end but thanks to running, I've managed to survive somehow. This is my last week of pulling off 10-12 hour work days multiple days (like, 4) a week. I can do this!

4. Probably my biggest (and scariest!) running/life update of all--I'm now a NCAA D2 Cross Country coach. I was a little hesitant to put this out there but decided it's my blog, my life, so let's do it. This was definitely something that was never really on my life "radar" and took a LOT of thought. This is just a part time gig for the time being--I still have my full-time, 40+ hour a week day job.

I kind of knew this opportunity was a possibility a few months ago when my name had been tossed back and forth for the job but I didn't really take it too seriously until our assistant AD came and spoke with me directly. Up until that point, I had no desire to take the job--mostly because I was afraid of failing. But after speaking with the assistant AD and talking it over IMMENSELY with Peter, I decided that it was a great opportunity and I'm always preaching to others that if you want to get anywhere in life, you've got to get out of your comfort zone. So, here's me getting out of my comfort zone. Big time.

I'm really looking forward to this opportunity and excited to bring my passion and experience to a great group of runners. I'm hoping my background in fitness can bring a new dimension to training and amp up the excitement for this program. I probably won't talk much about it on here (heck, at this point, I barely talk on here anyway) but you never know.


So, there you have it. The cat's out of the bag. This is what I've been up to lately--lots of running, little racing, and a new part-time gig. As always, I won't make any guarantees about when I'll be back again but now that summer is approaching, I'm hoping to start posting a LITTLE more regularly. I miss this space!

See ya'll.... soon?

Coach Sarah

Monday, March 28, 2016

I'm Alive! .. Barely!

Hey guys!

Sorry for the crazy long hiatus. The first 3 months of 2016 have been absolutely insane. I wish there was a better way to put it but that's about all I've got. Between renovating our house (pictures soon!), working on finishing up grad school (home stretch!), and my non-stop schedule at work, time to blog has been few and far between as of late.

I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon! I've got lots of exciting updates that I want to share, including a fun (aka, TOUGH) fitness challenge I started today as a way to get back into the weight room on a more regular basis.

On the running front, I'm still running almost every day but still no races yet in 2016. I'm doing my first Spartan in 2 weeks so all of my efforts have been put into that as of late.

So, there you have it. My plan is to be back tomorrow for Tuesday's on the Run.

Have a wonderful Monday and go out and kick some ass.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday's on the Run: My thoughts on Racing post marathon

Happy Tuesday and more importantly--Happy Tuesday's on the Run! It's been a hot minute since I've talked about running on my "running" blog so I figured there's no better day than today to jump back into it.

Linking up!

In case you didn't know, I ran my first marathon back in November (and it was awesome!). I had a pretty decent race and even hit my B goal of getting under 4 hours. Crossing the finish line was a moment I'll never forget and definitely ranks up there with getting married, engaged, and buying a house.

So, with it being such a momentous time in my life, why am I finding it so hard to commit to any races in 2016?

The thought of racing at the moment just.... doesn't sit well with me. I love racing and it ranks up there as one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning. But right now? I can't even bring myself to LOOK at any upcoming races. I've lost some of that racing MOJO and I need to find it.

That being said..... I'm in no hurry.

There are a variety of reasons I contribute to my current mindset--

1. I raced a LOT last year. I ran an insane amount of 5k's, a few 10k's, and snuck in 3 half marathons along with my full. I put a lot on my plate and ate every single bit of it. I had a ton of fun and don't regret any of those races but man... looking back, I should have been smarter about planning.

2. I put a TON of pressure on myself to perform at the highest level possible. I won a lot of races last year--either overall female or my age category. When you start winning, people expect you to win every single time. And that turns into a LOT of pressure, a lot of nerves, and a lot of self doubt when you don't perform at your best. I remember one day in particular last year--I had 20 miles on my training plan and ran a half marathon that morning (1:42), 4 miles after, and then laced up for a 5k that night at 8pm. I won overall female but finished in a little over 22 minutes. And I was UPSET. HELLO! Do you understand how crazy that is to be upset?? Looking back on it, I do now! Ridiculous. The fact that I was still in good enough form to RUN a 22 minute 5k should have been good enough.

3. Post marathon blues. Running your first marathon is a funny thing. You work your ass off for 5-6 months for a race that lasts 4 hours. I put my blood, sweat, and LOTS of tears into that race. And let's be honest... waking up on a Saturday morning knowing you have to log 18 miles isn't exactly the most fun way to spend your weekend. (Those of you who do this often, I commend you!) The next day after I crossed the finish line, it kind hit me--running a marathon was that end-all item on my running bucket list and it was officially completed. The feeling of "What now?" hit almost immediately.

So, here I am at the end of February, with racing season getting ready to kick into high gear, and I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs. I'm still running--in fact, I log miles almost every day. I could probably go out and wing a half marathon tomorrow and have no issues. But... I'm not. At least not yet.

I've learned a lot from running. I've learned to be patient, to follow through on something from start to finish, to believe in myself, and I've learned that my body is capable of some impressive shit. But I've also learned that I can't force myself to do something when my heart isn't fully there yet.

Am I worried that I'll never rekindle my relationship with racing? No. I'll get there. I'm a competitive person and you can't keep me down for too long. I'm signed up for a few OCR's and am very stoked about those. But when the time is right, I'll know. It could be next week, it could be next month, heck... it could be next year.. but I'll get there.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

I'm back from my girls weekend--barely! I tried going back to work today (Wednesday) and had to come home a few hours early due to a nasty stomach bug. Yuck!
But on the bright side, it was an awesome long weekend, I celebrated like a 20 year old, and had the absolute BEST time with my girls!

That being said, I thought I'd pop in today with something a little more serious. Well, not SERIOUS but just some issues/problems/lack of motivation I've had recently.

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud!

I'm a fitness instructor/personal trainer for a living and sometimes, I think people think we have it all together. If only! I have issues just like the next person and to be completely honest, lately, I've felt a little all over the place.

Peter and I are right smack dab in the middle of a MAJOR reno and have been living with my parents for the last month and a half. We have zero space, zero privacy, zero MONEY and it's been HARD! We're making due but man, it's been stressful.

That on top of working some absolutely INSANE hours at work recently--we're talking 12-14 hour days every. single. day., teaching multiple classes, fitting in my own workouts, and some additional stressors at work and I'm wiped guys. Which I guess it's no surprise that I'm home sick today, huh?

My motivation to pick healthy, fresh, and nutritional foods has definitely been on the back burner. Instead, there's been a lot of chocolate and a LOT of ice cream in my diet as of late. And it shows. I don't think it's super noticeable to others but my clothes are fitting just a little bit tighter and overall, I'm feeling more sluggish and get drained more easily.

And let's be honest--my diet this weekend consisted of a LOT of fried food and a LOT of alcohol. I don't regret it but I certainly don't feel awesome today, stomach bug or not.

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

But you know what? This weekend was exactly what I needed. It was my chance to relax, get off schedule, and have FUN for the first time in a few weeks and it felt good. Damn good. And coming home yesterday, I felt motivated to get my butt in gear for the first time in a few months. It kind of blows that I'm sick today but hey, what can you do.

So, I decided that with the first day of Lent being today (yesterday), I'm making a goal for myself. For the next 40 days, I've decided to make better choices, get back to tracking, and get rid of sweets. I'm normally not on board for cutting items out of your diet completely but in my case, my sweet tooth is getting slightly out of control and I need it.

Sometimes, you just need a little kick in the butt and this weekend was mine. I'm ready to start feeling my best again! And not to mention, I've got some OC races coming up, want to get in a half marathon or two, and I'm going to LA in July!

So with that being said, I guess there's nothing left to it but to do it! I'll keep you guys updated with my progress or lack thereof but I thought the best way to keep myself accountable was to throw it all out there.

Have a great Thursday! We've ALMOST made it!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Quickly popping in today with a list of my current fav's! Enjoy your Wednesday--we're almost to the weekend people! :)

Drinking: Advocare Chocolate Meal Replacement shake... one of my favorite sources of protein in the morning! So good.

Wanting: To live in my own house! Reno is coming along SLOWLY but we're getting there. I'm so ready to make new memories and start a family and be a grown up.... okay, just kidding about that last part. Never going to happen.

Feeling: Old. My birthday is on Sunday! Also, kind of feeling the urge to start the process of considering starting my own personal training/fitness business....still just a thought but one I've been thinking about more and more lately.

Eating: EVERYTHING CHOCOLATE! I feel like February = chocolate. Anyone else?

Listening To: The "Hotline Bling" Remix. So. Good. And side note, please tell me I'm not the only one who automatically thinks about Jimmy from Degrassi every time they listen to Drake?
(side note, can't actually find the one with Drake on the track too but close enough)

Pinning: EVERYTHING FOR MY HOUSE! I officially made a "Projects for Peter" board and it's slowly but surely filling up... ;)

Loving: My husband. He is amazing. And has been working non-stop to get our house ready to move into. I'm amazed each and everyday at all that he has done and feel so unbelievably lucky that he is MINE! <3
I've also been on a big snapchat kick lately. I've had way too much fun with it. ha.
Okay, and duh, my dog.

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

Clicking: Youtube! I've found so many awesome fitness vloggers and have been watching non-stop! I love it.

Excited About: NASHVILLE! My birthday + my bff's =  trouble! We're heading down Friday for a long weekend away and I'm BEYOND excited. After some crazy long hours of work lately, I'm ready for a weekend of relaxation and FUN.

Buying: I bought some samples of PEScience Protein yesterday after hearing everyone rave about it. I love when companies have sample sizes because I'm so picky about my protein!

Saying Good-Bye To: 28. I've had lots of good and not so good times during the last year but as with anything, I wouldn't change it. I'm a firm believer that everything is a learning experience--both good and bad. And let's be honest--I've learned a LOT this last year. I feel like I've become a better wife, trainer, friend, daughter, sister and person this last year... so I'd say it's a win. Here's to my last year in my 20's!

What are some of your current favorites?!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

Hey friends! Happy Thursday! My week's have been feeling super long here lately with way too many 12-13 hour work days so I'm always glad to see the end of the week roll around. I figured I'd do a little catching up today with some Thinking Out Loud.

Linking up with Amanda from  Running with Spoons!

1. I have a love/hate relationship with my 5am work days. I love how quiet it is, I'm super productive in the wee hours of the morning, and it's pretty nice to TECHNICALLY be done with work at 2pm (although most Tues/Thurs I'm not out of here until 6 or 7... yikes). That being said, my 5am work days are NOT good for my bank account. Apparently I turn into an online shopping fiend and buy ALL. THE. THINGS. Just me?

2. One of the things I bought? I finally broke down and bought a new pair of Saucony Triumphs! I've been wearing my current pair WAY too long (like, got them back in early October and they probably have close to 800 miles on them.....). Even better? I got the 2.0s in the color combo I've been lusting after since they came out. <3

3. Peter & I are going on one month living with my parents. I'm so beyond grateful that they've let us mooch off them while we complete some MAJOR work on our house but oh my gosh... I'm so ready to have our own space again! And Mila needs a yard to run around in!

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

4. Probably  the most depressing point of this entire post--next Sunday is my LAST birthday in my 20's. UGH. Can we talk about how freaking painful that is to even type??? Since I knew it was going to be kind of a downer, I decided to go big for my last twenty-something birthday and my best friends and I are heading to Nashville for an extended girls weekend / birthday celebration! I'm sad I won't be spending my birthday with Peter but I'm excited to go out and party like I'm 21 again... or something like that.

5. So, our house. I guess I owe a bit of an update, right? It's coming along nicely. When it's all said and done (well, for now), I'll post some pictures but basically, we gutted both of our bathrooms and started from scratch. Hence the reason we're staying with my parents. Our house is AWESOME but needs some TLC so we figured we might as well get some MAJOR projects out of the way before we get in there. Both our master and guest bathrooms had CARPET--GROSS! Not to mention our master bath was basically the size of a small closet. ha. We made it bigger, made our master closet bigger, and made a new laundry room to make our guest bathroom more functional. So, that's where we stand at the moment. I'm so excited to show you guys the final product! And let me tell you.. the people on TV make this whole process look a whole lot easier than it really is. Especially the decorating part!

6. And finally, probably the most exciting news--I'm going to the IDEA World Fitness Conference in LA in July!!!! SO FREAKIN EXCITED! My boss and I always try and find a fun fitness conference to attend to get CEC's and learn new things/get new certifications/HAVE A BLAST and I finally talked her into this one! I've been dying to go! So STOKED! And plus, I've never been to California so there's that. :) Any tips or rec's for a first timer?!

Have a wonderful Thursday everyone! Time to go save the fitness world... or something like that.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites... long overdue!

One day, when grad school is over and we're not renovating a house and it's not January at a gym, I'm going to get back to a regular posting schedule. I miss this space and having a chance to get out my thoughts on a SEMI-regular basis.

Until then, since it's snowing outside (a LOT), work is closed, and everyone is still asleep (early bird gets the worm, always), I figured it was about time I wrote a Friday Favorites.

Linking up with Heather & the Virginia Bloggers this morning.

1. THESE BROWNIES! Only four ingredients and they are KILLER! I added some additional water, a few chocolate chips, and just a tad bit of Splenda and they turned out super fudgy and delicious. Even my husband approved which is a good sign.  (I used a mashed sweet potato)

2. I have absolutely NO races on my schedule besides a Spartan Sprint and.... I kind of like it? That's not to say I haven't been training because to be totally honest, I've worked my butt off so far in 2016. But I've been training hard because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to. There's a big difference there. Towards the end of my marathon training plan, it was beginning to become a chore and I hated that. I decided that this year I would just take it one day at a time. When it's time to sign up for a race, I'll know. I've been running 30 races or so a year for the last 3-4 years and it's time to RELAX (relatively speaking).

3. Mila. Mila is crazy and hyper and basically everything a puppy should be. She will drive you nuts chewing on everything she shouldn't be one minute and the next come up and snuggle while you're trying to fall asleep. She's been such a wonderful addition to my little family.

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

4. SNOW!!! Remember that time last year I was off of work for 2 weeks straight and HATED IT? Apparently I've seemed to forgotten that because with 10-14 inches in the forecast, I'm pretty excited. I've stocked up on my peanut butter and protein bars and I'm ready to ride it out over the weekend.

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

5. So, today's apparently the one year anniversary of starting my blog. I never in a million years thought I'd stick with it a year so... cheers to that! ha. I'm excited to get back into regularly blogging and maybe eventually one day take this blog a little further. Once I get through with grad school. And renovating my house. And January. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend and for those of you on the East coast like me, stay safe and warm!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Catching Up Over Coffee

I don't drink coffee but lately I don't really blog either so.... why not catch up with a pretend coffee date?

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you all about how the moving process sucks. I'd also tell you that I've moved every. single. year since I was a freshman in college. And you'd probably think I'd be an expert at it but.. I'm not. And I may or may not be a hoarder.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that even though it didn't really feel like Christmas this year (it was 70 on the 25th) and that I didn't even get to put up a tree or decorations because of the move, I still had a great time visiting family and friends. I'm grateful for the gifts (mostly Lowes gift cards, ha) but more grateful for the time I got with my loved ones. No gifts will ever beat that.

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

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about how a week before 2015 was over, I realized that I was only 60 miles away from hitting 2500 miles for the YEAR. And if you know me, you know I couldn't NOT go for it, right? So.. I did. And it took me up until the very last day of the year but I managed to run 2500 miles. And not get injured. I talk more about my journey on Tuesday.

If we were having a coffee date, I'd tell you about how terrible I am making interior design decisions. My husband likes to think it's "easy" but hello, we have to LIVE WITH IT FOREVER!! Okay, maybe not forever but at least for the next few years. Owning a house is hard. ha.

If we were having a coffee date, I'd tell you how I'm having a hard time deciding what my goals for 2016 are. I want to do something BIG but not sure what yet.

And finally, if we were having a coffee date, I'd tell you about how instead of partying hard on new years, my husband and I kept it pretty low key.... if low key includes picking up the newest addition to our family, Mila. (I wanted Miles (running) but she's a little lady so... MilA it is).

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

I hope you all have a wonderful, lazy, active, whatever-you-want-to-do kind of Saturday. It's my last day off before all of the madness of January joiners begins on Monday!