Kristine Carleton has been training solely on a treadmill for the last 10 years while living overseas in Southeast Asia in pursuit of her dream to qualify for the US Olympic Trials. Being a full time/elite athlete living and training in sub optimal conditions has required her to travel globally over the past decade to compete, train, medical needs, training supplies/nutritional needs – one of which is Australia. Join us below as we explore further into Kristine’s experiences in training away from home, on the run and in pursuit of her life dream.
- Tell us about yourself….
Besides being an endurance athlete? 🙂 …I’m creative, adventurous, self motivated, determined, extremely hard working, and very rarely will you find me in a bad mood. I love life! I love waking up every day and look forward to taking on the new challenges that go along with them- athletic or otherwise. I love sports. All kinds. (Okay, Rugby and Aussie Rules I may need some guidance on still!) Outside of running I love fast cars, traveling, shopping, fashion, dance, yoga, & kickboxing classes, fine dining, photography, and looking at real estate. I love the beach, marine life and have an odd affection for great white sharks in particular. Additionally, I am strong believer in looking after one’s mental, spiritual and physical self. Take care of yourself and you can take care of others. Self love isn’t selfish. 🙂
- How did you first get involved in running?
I was never on a track and field/Athletics team in High School or University. I’d say my very first introduction to running was watching my family do it. My father was a professional boxer in the US and my brother was a international and US professional soccer player. They each used running in different capacities as part of training in their sport. I too, was involved with sports from a very young age so I had always run as part of them, but I probably first picked up the true running bug after my first year at University. It was the most inexpensive way for a college kid to stay fit!
- What would be your running career highlight to date?
Oh there’s so many different ones! ….Various trophies/awards, meeting Haile Gebrselassie and Paul Radcliffe, an overall second and third place finish in 2 marathons is certainly a highlight, but to be honest I have a few recent ones that really underscore myself as an athlete and why I love this sport so much.
I fell flat on my face about 6k into a 1/2 marathon last April. My foot got stuck in a metal grate going over a bridge. I tore up my knee and fractured my foot. Never having done this I was initially embarrassed and then had the world’s shortest retirement. I was shouting, “I’m done after this race” after I stood up and kept running. Finished the race in a sub par effort, but I finished. I finish everything I start. Everything. Part 2 to this memory is at the Blackmore’s Running Festival last year. Just coming off this injury and with little training in my system, my coach and I decided that I needed to get back out there and just run even with the knowledge that I wasn’t race fit. This race completely reinvigorated my racing juices and reminded me why I started running. Sub par performance and all, I was just so happy to be out there doing what I love! I clearly remember coming up around the museums and some cheer group was blasting Macklemore’s “Glorious.” Hearing, “I made it through the darkest of the night and now I see the sunlight…. I feel glorious” reminded me why I was out here and why I love to run. I actually cried a bit of happy tears.
My other awesome memory is when a cousin of mine asked me to help coach her through her very first 5k last fall. She’d never ran before. Was so humbled that she entrusted me with this and Ioved watching her go after her own goal. I helped her yet she also helped motivate me in my own training as well.
- What are you currently working towards?
I just finished peaking for the spring, so I’m in a bit of recovery cycle now and just starting to run again. We will be working towards the fall marathon season and looking for a solid qualifying time to be able to use for 2019. (Having been injured last year I lost out on qualifying for 2018 races.)
- What has been the greatest challenge in this journey for you so far?
Again, so many but to be honest but besides initially adapting to non-traditional training practices (i.e. the treadmill) I think its been getting out of my own way, particularly insecurities and changing my thinking patterns around being an athlete as I mature. There’s such a stigma attached to age and performance in distance running. I work really hard each day to remind myself that age is just a number, and I am actually in the absolute best shape of my life. My goals, my journey… 🙂
- After the US Olympic Trials, what is next on the list?
Running, and more running of course! I plan to complete the World Marathon Majors circuit and become a Six Star Finisher.