Mind Games

LaurenNews, Races

This weekend I had the opportunity to race in the HyVee triathlon, non draft olympic distance World Championships. There was $500,000 worth of prize money and the race attracted the top 30 males and 30 females in short course non drafting racing from all over the world. I have watched the race the past 2 years and regretted not being on the starting line. This year, I made it a focus to qualify for the race.

Going into the race, I was coming off a win at Rev3 Wisconsin, traveling and working with sponsors for 8 days in Aspen, and a 3rd place finish at Rev3 Maine all in a month’s time. My mind was wrecked, I had not trained properly in 4 weeks, and my body felt terrible when arriving to Des Moines. The night before I left for the race my disc wheel and bottom bracket broke so that was a mess in itself. **Special shout out to Neil Stewert in Tucson for helping me sort those things out last minute. Thursday night I called my mom in tears telling her I couldn’t do the sport anymore because I was so exhausted from traveling every week and being away from my family. My mom simply told me to suck it up or do not go to the race. After hearing that, I pulled myself together and got to Des Moines.

On Friday and Saturday, I just was not in the mood to be racing. I had no motivation, no hunger, and no excitement. This is really rare for me because 99% of the time I am so excited and anxious to toe the line. This was especially weird because I had waited 2 years to race in this event—why was I not motivated!!!?? I decided to make sticky notes with the names of the girls I wanted to come out of the water with, the watts I wanted to hold, and the time I wanted to run and put them all over my hotel room. I wrote the names of Meredith Kessler/Laura Bennett, 235 watts, and 35:30. I received so many encouraging messages from friends giving well wishes for the race, and this really started to help me get focused. A friend messaged me and said “Go be somebody”. This simple text was a slap in the face and for some reason got me motivated. Why? I have no idea. The Clemson Tigers also beat UGA, so this may have had something to do with it as well…who knows. I found myself listening to our fight song on repeat race morning.

Race morning started off well actually. It was raining, and I have a track record of racing well in the rain. On the ride over to the race on the bikes, one of the girls crashed on railroad tracks and I wasn’t paying attention and crashed into her. This kind of threw me off, but I tried to stay calm and forget about it. I had a great warm up and was starting to feel my mojo. I have had some pretty terrible swims this year, so I wanted to stay laser focused on 1 person’s feet in the swim instead of trying to stay in the “group” (Thanks Mere!!). I was successful and I had a pretty good swim! On the bike, I decided to go all out from mile 0 and just bonk whenever the gas ran out. I found myself riding with super biker Alicia Kaye for 20km and then I started getting a little dizzy and backed off. I ended up riding 236watts (my sticky note goal!) and was 1min down off the bike. At the end of the bike, I had no idea how I would even put my shoes on fom the run because I was wrecked, but I just remembered to breathe and relax. During the run I focused on not looking back and breathing. I ran 36:15- so :45 off my goal time. I ended up 5th on the day at HyVee!! There were so many talented women in the race and I feel privileged to have been able to race them all at once.

THANK YOU to my family, my friends, Paul Thomas, my sponsors, HyVee Tri and to all of the girls and guys who raced. Next up for me is training in Tucson and sleeping in my own bed.