And this trait floods into other aspects of Carrie’s life. Her and her family foster rescue dogs. With her and her husband’s love of running, they frequently will take these dogs out for runs in the river valley. She says, “These frightened, anxious and uncertain dogs come out of their shells and become completely different. The physical exertion releases the anxieties, being in a pack creates connection and safety, being outside feels familiar, and the shared energies are positive. It is so incredibly rewarding watching this transformation. I’m sure coaches must feel the same way.”
Undeniably, Carrie’s positivity and zest for nature continue to fuel her motivation to get out and run. She claims that her main motivation has always been grounded in well-being – both physically and mentally.
Yet, she’s faced hurdles along the way.
In 2007, Carrie became very sick with an antibiotic resistant gastrointestinal infection. After a rough recovery, she was back at it. She did a half marathon and a few triathlons. However, she was thrown another wrench. During one of her triathlons, she had a bad wipeout on her bike. She hurt her shoulder and became fixated on the idea that her active days were over. She became depressed. Yet, Carrie says, “It was a climb up a mountain several months later that made me realize that everything was going to be okay and that I was stronger than what life was dishing out, and there is so much more I had left to experience in my life. I was ready to fight back.”
From there, trail running became a significant pillar in Carrie’s life, particularly for moving forward. She emphasized living life to the fullest and being grateful for each and every experience.
And Carrie’s still looking forward. She says she plans to retire in 5 years and is oh-so-ready for it. She’s excited to explore her life more and gain the freedom to train, volunteer, give back, travel, and spend more time with her family and friends. She adds, “I plan to be active as long as I can be!”
As for those wanting to start trail running, Carrie offers the following advice, “Just get out there and give it a try but stick with it because it takes a while to get comfortable running on uneven terrain.” She adds, “Don’t worry about being last – it just doesn’t matter where you end up, the value is in showing up and pushing through the challenge.”