“Get after it”
I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about a blog entry as I am right now about this one. Maybe one of my handful of Boston Marathon-related blogs…but still, this one is so exciting.
Meet Olympian Carrie Tollefson!
This month’s interview (I know, it’s technically a day early) of awesome fit people is about as awesome and fit as it gets. In honor of the kickoff to the Rio Olympics – and just because she’s one of the funnest, coolest, realest people I’ve ever met – I finally get to share this one with you all. Blog pals, I’m pleased to introduce you to: Carrie Tollefson!
L: Most of the best athletes start their sport really young so I assume you’ve always been into fitness and running?
C: My dad was a college football player and he liked to run so we went to races all the time as a family. I was the youngest of three girls so I wanted to try keep up with my very athletic older sisters. My mom was always there as well but she likes to call herself the bag lady. She was like the team manager and always encouraging and supporting us on the sidelines even though she was probably the most competitive one in the group;-)! We had fun as a family working out and being together.
L: When did you start racing?
C: I ran my first race at age five (the police escort helped me the last mile ;-)). I ran another at 10, then when I was 12 I made the varsity team and fell in love with my sport.
The greatest honor in sports & she was there.
L: We have to talk about the Olympics! What are your top three memories from that experience?
C: I would say walking in the opening ceremonies. I’ll never forget all of the American flags waving and Lebron James walking right behind me with tears coming down his face.
The cafeteria too. Seeing every size and shape of the world’s best athletes was so much fun!
And having my family there. We all devoted a lot to my career and I wouldn’t be the
athlete or person I am today without all of them.
L: What’s the best part about being an Olympian?
C: I think the best part is knowing that all of my hard work paid off. It was amazing representing my country, state, family, team, sponsors, etc. but knowing how tough we can be as individuals is amazing! I will never forget how hard I had to run at the trials and it will forever be a moment I reflect on to remind myself to keep getting after life!
L: Who do you have your eye on at this summer’s games?
C: In the men’s and women’s steeple, I think Evan Jäger and Emma Coborn will be the standouts. I also think Molly Huddle will be great in the 10k, and all of the women in the 1500.
As for medals for Team USA, I like our chances in both the men and women’s 800s.
L: There are so many great Olympic running events – but you’ve gotta have one non-running that you love to watch, right?
C: Yes, I like to watch swimming a lot!
New episodes of CTolleRun every Wednesday.
L: Now let’s talk about what you’re doing now. How much do you enjoy doing your weekly show, C Tolle Run?
C: Ever since it took off, my team and I have loved every minute of it. Bringing workouts, race highlights, nutrition, feel good stories, interviews – whatever it may be – we have loved encouraging others to Get After It!!!!
L: You’re always funny on-camera but there have to be plenty of funny moments that never make it in the show – any really good ones that come to mind?
C: Oh my, as you know I am an open book sort of a person so nothing is really off limits. I really don’t hold much back. I think the best moments are when I say things that I am not quite sure are actual words or phrases?
We have some laughs about that every now and then. I have been in a pregnancy or new mommy fog for way too long and I have that excuse once again. I have a three young children so most people can understand that being quick on-air can equal lots of bloopers! Ha! Not quite sure I have a favorite! We usually air them all!!
L: Speaking of on-camera, you’ve done commentary for some major events – do you have a favorite?
C: I really enjoy doing all running events and my favorite thing to do is chat with the athletes before and after the event. The New York City marathon is one of my favorites along with the Footlocker National Cross Country Championships. Being able to commentate on the world’s best pros is amazing but then watching our nation’s best high school athletes at Footlocker is equally as fun.
L: Supercool news, you ran your first marathon not too long ago – congrats! And what inspired you to do that?
C: I have always felt that I needed to run one to really know what people go through during 26.2 miles. My marathon had some factors but it was a great learning experience. My second child turned 4 months the week of the marathon so I had a really short buildup after childbirth and I was nursing so I had to try and deal that in top of being a newcomer to the distance and going out way too fast! Needless to say I didn’t meet my goal but had a blast doing it!!
L: What’s your all-time favorite distance to race and why?
C: Two-part answer here: The 3k is my favorite distance and cross country is my favorite discipline!!!
I love the 3k because you have to be really fast and strong to run it really well.
Cross-country is sort of the same but I could run so focused on the courses! I loved getting lost in my thoughts while running in trails or on grass!
L: Now for my most important question: As an elite runner, what’s the most important food for you? And, what’s your favorite food?
C: I think for me, as a distance runner, greens were always important to keep my iron levels up. I also needed my carbs and protein so lots of pasta and chicken in our house.
As for favorites, my nightly milkshake was a must. It was my reward and also have me a little of everything I needed. I just had one actually!
L: I love your personal slogan, “Get After It!” How/when did that start?
C: I used to say it all the time while racing and working out when I was competing professionally. It has just stuck with me throughout all aspects of life.
L: Lastly, the part of the interview I’m calling “Anything but the Obvious” – what’s something totally unrelated to fitness and running and all the obvious stuff, that you’d want people to know about you?
C: I minored in criminology so I always say I could go back to school to be a police officer or private investigator!
I eat PB&J straight out of the jar.
I am scared of failure and letting people down but also try really hard to not let people get in the way of getting after my dreams!
If there was ever any doubt, I think you can now understand why Carrie’s my favorite athlete! She’s such a great role model for young athletes, an example to adults still chasing goals, and just a supercool person you could hang with and bust a gut from laughing so much. I’m so lucky our paths crossed so we could become friends!
Keep up with Carrie on Twitter @CTolleRun. And watch her weekly show, C Tolle Run, full of great tips, workouts, recipes and fun.