Runners Spotlight - Let Me Introduce Carolyn

Every runner has a great story, that pushes them and drives them to do what they do.  I find it fascinating to learn about others, and in return it also inspires and motivates.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  So Runners Spotlights are a weekly series I do every Thursday.

This week I'd like to introduce Carolyn.
I asked Carolyn several questions, to help tell part of her story and introduce you all to her. 

Carolyn Blogs at CCMcAfee Perspective

Looks like you run everything from 5k to Marathon and even Triathlons.  Do you have a favorite distance?

I like a good challenge challenge and each distance and discipline has it's own.  I like each of them!  I wasn't sure if I'd be a one timer on the marathon distance, but it's safe to say now I'm not!

Because I am from Utah, I want to ask this question.  Do you find a difference that training at a higher altitude gives you, versus a lower altitude?

Well where I live I'm at a lower altitude, but the air is thick and humid, which has it's own issues for breath.  In UT I'm at higher altitude, but the air feels clear and easy to breathe.  They both have their challenges, but I haven't felt enough of a difference to really care much.  
Last year my first run in UT I did feel so out of breath, and attributed it to the altitude, then I looked at my watch and saw I was running much faster.  I don't think the altitude hinders me.  Now the hills, that's a change for me!  I live in flat lands!

What states have you run races in?  Have you run in any other countries?

I have run races in UT, ID, and NY.  I've not raced in other countries, but while on vacation recently I ran barefoot on the white beach of the DR... loved all 5 miles of it!

If you could run any race in the entire world, which one would you pick and why?

I'm not like other runners in this aspect.  I enjoy the training and the competitive push racing gives me, but I don't have desires to travel around racing.  It's more about the run for me.  I like to be  near home, near family, in my bed.  Maybe as I race more and more I'll desire different courses, but really I'm good with a few races a year, all close to home!  There are so many things to fit into my life, that is good for me!

Because I think you're such an experienced runner, I'd like to ask you to share your advice to someone who is thinking of starting to run, or just getting started themselves.

My first bit of advice to any new runner is to invest in some good shoes.  I am also a dancer and the understanding of body awareness and alignment transfers over to running.  Your body will hurt if you don't take care of your fee.  Go to a running store, learn about your own alignment and bone structure and go from there.
My next bit of advice is to be consistent.  To get your body used to running... you have to run!  You don't have to run a marathon, or even three miles the first time out, but you do have to consistently run to grow in this discipline.  It's try for anything... practice!  As you become consistent you can increase frequency and your body gets stronger and adapts along the way.  
It's amazing!

Additionally, do you have any training tips or suggestions for intermediate runners who are looking to take it up a level?

I spent a lot of time at an intermediate level, not that I think I'm an all-star or anything.  But I have increased in my performance level from a number of years ago.  I was in new mom mode and at the time I was running about 3 miles 3 or 4 times/wk.  I'd do 6 miles occasionally.  After baby #3 I really kicked it up a notch.  It started with increasing my frequency.  I stayed at 3 miles but went up to 5 times/wk.  That change alone started affecting my body and then my strength as a runner.  As I got stronger I increased my miles.  As my miles increased I pushed my speed.  I could get more miles in, in the same amount of time...  consistency and frequency.
The key to getting faster, as any elite runner will tell you, is speed and hill work.  You don't realize what your body is capable of until you kick it up a notch, then, when you don't die... you see!
I had a neighbor, who runs a few times a week to try bumping up her speed just a few times during her 3 mile run.  Not even a sprint, just pick up the pace a little until you get to a certain mailbox.  She didn't feel she over-exerted at all and finished 2 minutes faster than usual.  
See?  As you get stronger the faster pace feels easier.  And, the great thing... no matter how fast you get, you can always try to get better and faster!

We all know as runners we get asked crazy questions from time to time.  What is the craziest question you have been asked?  What is your answer for that or "odd" why do you run questions?

I don't get asked questions!  I think people know I'm a runner!  When I photograph people, they think I'm a photographer, when I teach dance, they think I'm a dancer.  I think some of my close friends don't realize how into running I am!  I don't talk about it a ton, it's just something I do!

From your blog, you look like a woman with MANY talents.  Fashion, Scrap booking, Blogging, Photography, Crafting, etc...  Can you tell us how you plan your time to fit everything in, as well as your training and family life?

Prioritize!  There is definitely a challenge in finding balance, there always is.  I put the things I need to get done first then get to the rest as I can.  I like to be busy, so for the most part I'm happy jumping making lunch to editing a photo or two, to picking up toys.  AND I go to bed late sometimes!  I don't stop during the day and I really only feel justified in 'down time' after everyone is sleeping!  That makes for a late night sometimes!

Do you have a favorite of all hobbies?  or do they all have an equally special place in your life?

I love all of my hobbies!  Photography remains pretty constant, since I do that for money.. and the others tend to go in waves.  I'll spend time making hair things for a while, then be cleaning and decide I need to redecorate.  I'll put my hair stuff away and then get out paper crafts, then jewelry.  I bounce around, it goes in waves!

Because I love your fashion:)  Tell us how you got into it.  Besides daily fashion, do you also like to run in style?

I actually did a blog post about my style evolution.  it's pretty funny!
As for running in style?  Hmmm, maybe not so much!  I should evolve in this area... thing of the possibilities!  I have a bunch of stuff but mostly stick to biker shorts to avoid the chafe!  Black seems to be what is available!  As for tops, I do have a plethora of choices, but I don't go crazy in this realm.  I spend my good money on shoes!

You are a gifted photographer!  Have you ever taken the camera out on a training run?  Or wish you could take one?  What are your favorite types of photo's you like to take?

Well, thank you!  I've not taken my big camera out, too much of a risk for both my camera and myself!  I did buy a little point and shoot to keep with me for the times I'm not lugging my big camera around.  I was a little nervous about running with it, but took it out for the Buffalo Half.  it was interesting keeping pace and taking photos!  I love having them though.  It helped me recap my race so vividly.

In your photography field, you just did a "Project: I am beautiful"  I read about why and what you did and I found it inspiring!  The photo's were beautifully done, and I loved that they were women of all kinds.
We all know runners come in all shapes and sizes/ speeds and distances.  Some know they are runners no matter what, but some feel like they may have to look a certain way to think of themselves as a runner.  Do you have any type of inspiration you can share with us for (any) runner that you discovered or found while you worked on this project that may help remind us we are all beautiful?

Well, I clearly feel that beauty is a belief, a truth.  That is what that project was all about.  Into the realm of running I feel the same.  Whether you do or don't run, doesn't determine your beauty, what you believe about yourself does.  
I do think there is a joy, that brightens our spirits, that comes from taking care of our bodies, from practicing self mastery and discipline.  I think that joy helps us believe the truth about ourselves.
I've thought about this a lot lately.  You know, I don't call myself 'a runner'.  I still feel funny saying that.  Just as I do saying I'm a dancer, or a photographer.  I'm not an Olympian or on a professional company, but does that define what I am or am not?
I have only done one triathlon, but I've grown to love all three disciplines.  Am I or am I not a triathlete because I've only raced on?  Oh the silly labels!
Truth is I'm just me... I'm neither a runner or a dancer or a photographer.
I'm me and these are thing that I love doing.
We give so much credit to running sometimes, but running is just a movement.  It has no impact on you unless you choose to do it, to engage in it.  That choice is really hard some days.  But, when you make that choice you benefit from it.  YOU get the credit for choosing to run.  Do you need a label of 'runner'?

Tell us about your blog, what do you blog about?  What can readers expect if they follow your blog?

As stated before I have many hobbies!  My friends tell me they have a love/hate relationship with my blog.  I AM involved in many things and I enjoy many things, so I want to share as much as I can, with hopes of inspiring and connecting.  I keep a schedule with hopes of drawing different types of audiences.  Sunday-faith, Monday-running, Tuesday-CCMcAfee Photography and CCMakesStuff business, Wednesday-fashion and style, Thursday-home, crafts, decor, projects etc., Friday=my family stuff, and Saturday- guests and giveaways.  There is something for everyone I hope!  There are weeks I don't post every day, but I stay true to this schedule.  Be sure to stop by!

Visit Carolyn's Blog

Take a minute and Visit Carolyn's Facebook Pages

You can also check her out on Pinterest

Thank you Carolyn for taking the time to let me spotlight you!  I enjoyed learning more about you and all the journey's and activities you are into!  Also want to wish you Good Luck next week on your Deseret News Marathon in Utah!  I know a few people running it this year, and since I am unable to run I have plans to be out cheering along the way.  So when you come off the mountain into the valley, know I will be sending some cheers your way too:)  


  1. a runner, dancer and photographer and I'm sure many other things too.
    Great feature, that's for being part of Kristy's blog, love hearing about other runners lives

  2. Wow, another awesome lady profiled.


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