Anyone who’s met Carrie Tollefson, seen her covering running events on national broadcasts, or listened to her podcast C Tolle Run would likely describe her as a positive person. She’s known for both her Minnesota kindness and her optimistic tagline, “Get after it.”
But her athletic career was, as she puts it, “not all happy, happy, joy, joy.” Along the way, she had a number of serious setbacks, including a cancer scare when she was still in college at Villanova, years of plantar fasciitis, and a painful abdominal injury that eventually required an extensive repair procedure.
The fact that she came back from these injuries to secure a total of five NCAA championships, a spot on the Olympic team in Athens in 2004, and a long-term career covering the sport prompted us to interview her for our book Rebound—and then to follow up with her again on the podcast.
Carrie joined us today to discuss:
- How runners tend to view injuries, and how she’d always come back stronger (5:50)
- The major, unusual injury that almost ended her career before it truly began—and how it changed her entire life (8:12)
- How she cross-trained when she couldn’t put any weight on her foot or even get into the water (14:13)
- The powerful mindset shift that increased her gratitude during her recovery process (17:05)
- The painful moment that led to her second major injury—one she had to aggressively manage during the Olympics (21:14)
- How she navigated injuries with her sponsors (30:18)
- Whether her positivity comes naturally to her or if she actively works on it (34:19)
- What she’s learned about mindset and injury from watching and interviewing other top runners (38:51)
- How two injuries—one real, one invented—played a role in her husband Charlie’s proposal (41:03)
- The biggest pieces of advice she gives athletes competing right now on mindset and injury (44:43)
Resources/links we mention:
- Carrie’s website, Instagram and Twitter
- Her podcast, C Tolle Run
- Other athletes Allie Kieffer and Kara Goucher
You can subscribe to The Injured Athletes Club on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or a review in Apple podcasts. That helps other injured athletes find the show.
To access more resources for injured athletes:
- Order our book, Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries, out from Bloomsbury Sport Oct. 15
- Join The Injured Athletes Club mailing list, for weekly news and updates
- Join The Injured Athletes Club Facebook group, for support and camaraderie
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, guest suggestions, or other feedback
DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational & informational use only and & does not constitute medical advice. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have heard in an episode of this podcast. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for proper evaluation & treatment. Guests who speak on this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions, and The Injured Athletes Club podcast hosts nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular treatment option discussed in the episodes of this podcast and are not responsible for any actions or inactions of listeners based on the information presented. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk.