Sunday, April 23, 2017


It's been almost a year since I last posted anything on my blog. Completely unintentional but sometimes life gets in the way and it's better to just live in the moment and see what happens. I've missed this thing! And boy... has life changed since last May. Ha. If you'd told me then what I'd be doing currently, I'm not sure I would have believed you. It's this very reason that I want to start my small space on the internet back up and running again. I want to remember absolutely everything about this moment in my life.

So what's the big deal? 

Well, I wouldn't say BIG--he was actuallly quite small. 6lbs, 10oz small in fact.

On March 6, 2017, Peter and I welcomed our first child and my future running partner, Cooper James. 

He's happy, healthy, and a handful. All things little boys should be, right? Parenting is completely different than anything I've ever done in my life. Much harder than I could have imagined and requires a lot of patience, a lot of initial life changes, and lots of love. More love than I think I ever thought possible. 

I'll do a recap at some point of my pregnancy and birth story, both of which were not nearly as bad as the horror stories I've heard. But I guess that's what happens when you don't know you're pregnant until 13 weeks in. Ha.

So, there you have it. It's crazy how much your life can change during the course of a year, huh? I now feel like it's the right time to reopen this space and begin documenting my life again. I've got big goals for myself--mom goals, fitness goals, running goals... and I need a place where I can come and hold myself accountable again. I want to be the best person and MOM (a month and a half in and still weird to say!) I can be.

Here's to being back. Let's chat again soon?


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!!