Meet Carrie Joy L

Group Leader and Dog Lover

Group Leader and CARA member, Carrie, is a 33-year-old teacher. When she isn't running she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Mochi and Mr. Peabody. She also runs on behalf of the PAWS charity team, and is an active volunteer for them. Carrie plans to compete in her first Half-Ironman this summer!

1) When you run and want to quit, what’s the one thing that always keeps you going?

Whenever I feel like giving up, I remember how far I have come as an athlete. If I would have given up every time I felt discouraged over the years, I would never have become the athlete I am today. Also as a group Ieader, I know that people look up to me and that I am often an inspiration to others. I can’t slow down when others are counting on me to lead.

2) How has CARA influenced not just your running, but your life in general? 

CARA has provided me with the training and support that I needed to become the runner that I am today. Over the years CARA has pushed me to speed up, branch out, and take on challenges that may have otherwise scared me. I’ve gone from being a participant in a beginning running program to becoming a marathon group leader for multiple seasons. The friends I have made through CARA are some of my closest friends and my biggest inspiration.

3) Who is your support system?

My CARA pace group (10:30s, you know who you are!) is hands down my biggest support. We are a running family and take care of each other as athletes but we also support each other emotionally. These people are the best friends a girl could have. They challenge me to be a better runner and a better person overall.

4) What has been your hardest running-related moment? 

I’ve had one serious injury in my running career. Four seasons ago I had to have back surgery and was out for over six weeks in the summer. There is no worse feeling than not being able to do the one thing that makes you the most happy. I remember sitting on the bus and riding down lakeshore drive; I couldn’t look out the window at the runners on the lakefront because it would make me cry. But I decided to put my energy into supporting others in their endeavors and they supported me through recovery and before I knew it, I was back out on the path myself. I completed my first Triathlon that fall.

5) What has been your most surprising or favorite CARA running moment?

My Favorite CARA moment is running the Ready to Run 20 Miler with our marathon training pace group. There is nothing more empowering and satisfying than leading a group on a 20 mile run after a tough, long season. Seeing every CARA marathon runner come together for one day, with a single goal and celebrating all together after is magical.

6) Why do you keep coming back to CARA year and year for training?

I know people train on their own, but honestly I just don’t understand how or why. The thing I love best about running is overcoming the hardships as a team and sharing the time with the people I love at CARA. Without that love and support, it’s just you and that’s just plain boring. And lonely.