IRONMAN 70.3 Pan American Pro Championship Panama

LaurenUncategorized

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Well 2016 is officially under way much earlier than in seasons past. The past few years I have sat behind my computer and followed these early season races from Boulder and thought to myself “I should have gone to the race”. So, this year I decided I was going to actually do one regardless of my coaches advising me not to. My lead up to the race was pretty good. I would say I was as best prepared as I could have been given the time I took off over the holidays and the training conditions in Colorado.

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The start list was full of awesome runners but not many good swimmers. However, the swimmers that were there are the best in the business. I knew it would be vital to get in the main swim group with Lauren Brandon and Sarah Haskins- two women I have never been able to come out of the water with over my entire career. My plan was to sit in on the bike as long as possible and then use my strength on the run and try and win the race. It seemed manageable and I assumed I would be able to run a 1:25 half marathon given the run splits I had in my last 5 races. Panama brought the heat on race day and I for sure suffered. I was able to get out of the water as planned with Lauren and Sarah. I was extremely shocked to be leading out of T1. I rode with them along with another athlete and friend, Heather Lendway. I would not say I was struggling with the effort on the bike but it definitely was not comfortable. The heat and humidity zapped me along with the fact I hadn’t ridden 56 miles yet this year in training at once. The group was riding strong and kept pushing the pace each lap. At ~65km I hit a pothole on a downhill and my back tire started going flat. It did not completely flat so I just kept riding as I only had 20km left (the bike course was 3km short). At this point I lost the group and I rode the rest alone. I was actually okay with this and I just told myself I was resting up for the run. Once I hit T2 I was happy to be off the bike and have total control over the situation. The bike course was 3 loops and very congested with passing age groupers. Many times I thought I was going to crash out. The run was an absolute death march. I felt exactly how I did last year at New Orleans 70.3- miserable. I wouldn’t even say I blew up- I had nothing from 1km. I refused to DNF and just kept shuffling along and getting passed. I ended up finishing 7th and with a 1:33 half marathon. This is the lowest place ever in a 70.3 but I am still proud I hung in there and finished.

Overall, the event was a very humbling experience. I was fortunate to have a very good second half of 2015 and it was a big fat reality slap in the face. Racing well takes hard work and focus. I have so much to work on and learned that I cannot take anything for granted. Some of the women really stepped in up on the run in Panama and they all inspired me to get back to some serious work. Congratulations to Sarah, Lisa, Heather, Kirsty, Linsey, and Lauren B. for some great runs. I hope to be closer to my best in the next one. Thank you all for the support and following! On to the next.

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TYR Sport Re-signs 4X IRONMAN 70.3 Champion Lauren Goss

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Press Release TYR Jan 2016 header

Seal Beach, CA- January 22, 2016- TYR Sport is proud to announce the re-signing of 4X IRONMAN 70.3 Champion Lauren Goss to its roster of sponsored athletes.

With extraordinary first place finishes at IRONMAN 70.3 Syracuse, IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman, IRONMAN 70.3 Ecuador and most recently, IRONMAN 70.3 St. Croix, it is safe to say Lauren Goss is a star on the rise. And if you ask us, she’s only getting started. In what has proven to be a stellar year of performances, Lauren has brought home six first place medals, as well as two second place finishes in Escape from Alcatraz and the New York City Triathlon and one fourth place ranking at IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans.

“I am very excited and truly grateful to continue my sponsorship with TYR Sport for the fourth consecutive year,” said Goss. “When I race I am confident in the reliability of my swim and triathlon gear, which is a really great feeling.”

“Lauren has been an incredible addition to the TYR family. Her accomplishments and dedication to the sport are proof that she is a force to be reckoned with,” began Matt DiLorenzo, Chief Executive Officer of TYR Sport.  “We are excited to continue supporting her as she dominates in 2016.”

About TYR  

Named for TYR, the Norse god of warriors, we are a company started by athletes and powered by athletes. We are dedicated to re-imagining technologies that help athletes obtain peak performance through innovation and design. Like all athletes, we always work with an intense spirit of competition. Everything we do revolves around creating the fastest, most advanced performance products. Always in front.

Original press release from TYR Sport.

The things that are important

LaurenUncategorized

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I recently read the following online (incorrectly attributed to Steve Jobs prior to his death, but powerful no matter who wrote it):

I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors.
This post really hit me hard. I found myself getting caught up in a lot of the “stuff” that isn’t really important and it drained me emotionally and physically. I had a very consistent season in triathlon and I achieved the goals I set going into 2015 in sport.
 

If someone had told me on January 1st, 2015 that I would have the year I had in sport then I would have said I would be 100% happy in life. Well, I learned by the end of the year that even after reaching the financial and athletic goals I set for myself I was not completely happy. I was missing something and I still do not really feel complete.

My goal for 2016 is to step back and really focus on the things that are important in life- my relationship with my family, my interactions with my peers, and giving back to others. Racing triathlon as a professional is hard because of the demanding training schedule and constant travel. During 2015 I saw my younger brother (top photo) a total of 10 days, my parents probably around 15 and my grandparents only 4. All you really have in life is your family and your health.

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I plan on making more time for my family and friends along with sharing my knowledge of sport and with others who are eager to learn. In 2016, I will surround myself only with those who bring positivity and I will remind myself that triathlon should not consume every second of my life. I want to live and enjoy the people I have in my life. Of course triathlon will always be a priority to me; however, my family and my relationships with others comes first.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far.

I hope 2016 brings happiness, love, and success to you all!

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Challenge Florida Win and Pro Career Reflections

LaurenRaces

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The 2015 race season is over. It is ironic because I cannot tell you how ready I was to be finished racing. Now that I just finished Challenge Florida I am a bit sad and ready to start preparing again for another race. I guess it is true- we always want what we don’t have.

Challenge Florida was my last race for the season. I included it on the schedule as it was a good chance to get to Clermont to see good friends of mine and it also gave my parents an opportunity to see me race. My dad historically is bad luck, but he really wanted to be there so I gave him the OK.

While training in Clermont the Thursday before the race I had a pretty bad bike crash. I came away with zero road rash but I hit my head pretty hard. I decided to race anyway…why not! I am the hardheaded kid so skipping the race was not an option.  Race day went exactly how I wanted it to go. I swam and rode conservatively and ran my way to the win. Even though my “social off season” pretty much started after Silverman 70.3, I was able to pull off the win – and log the fourth fastest run of all the athletes – men and women.

This year has hands-down been my best year professionally. This was my 5th full season racing and as cliché as it sounds, I truly am thankful to be where I am right now. I raced ten times this year and finished with six wins, two 2nd places, one 4th place and one DNF due to illness.

In Boulder I spend a lot of time with athletes who are in their early 20’s and just getting their athletic careers started. It makes me reflect on how I got to where I am now and how many times I failed in the process. I believe that luck and opportunity along with work ethic will get you where you are in life.

I had no idea what a triathlon even was until I met a guy in a bar when I was 21 who told me about the Ironman he was training for. I immediately was intrigued by triathlon and from that night (March 17, 2009) my life changed completely. If I did not go to that bar on that night and met that guy I would have NEVER done a triathlon. It just was not where my life was heading…an athlete for a living!? Absolutely no way. My family is not athletic, I did not own a bike until I was 21 years old, and I was a sorority girl. I remember when I told my parents I was going to pass on Physician Assistant school and instead I was going to be a “professional triathlete”. Mom freaked out and insisted I use the degree she just spent her savings on. I insisted she give me a few years just to see what happens. I gave the classic “well in 20 years I do not want to regret not giving triathlon a try”. So, I packed up the books and had some training to do!

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from my very early triathlon archives 

The first two years were not glamorous. I was so broke and living off of selling things on Craigslist. I floated around the US in different cities training under a few different coaches and met some really awesome people along the way. I was barely making enough money to get to the races but I just kept my head high.

I met a few special people who gave me various things to help me out- bikes, power meter, running shoes, body work, a few flights, and places to live. Without these people maybe I would not have continued with triathlon. Who knows. But I for sure was lucky to have these folks in my life. I could no longer use the excuse that I did not have the equipment and I had everything I needed to be successful.

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With Sara McLarty and Kelly Whitley in 2012
 

In 2012 the Rev3 series was getting bigger and it gave an athlete like myself an opportunity to make some money and get my name out. I took full advantage of it and raced almost every single race in 2012 and 2013. I was consistently on the podium and my name was getting out in the triathlon world, which ultimately led to sponsorships. Without the Rev3 series would I still be racing? Probably not, to be honest…the money I made there was crucial to keeping my head above water and being able to pay for the resources I needed to get faster.

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With Sara McLarty in October 2012
 

In 2013 I moved out to Tucson and worked with Cliff English. Cliff was a great coach and convinced my current manager, John Jones, to represent me. John represents Timothy O’Donnell, who Cliff also coached at the time, and he agreed to take me on. John helped me learn the business side of triathlon and taught me the things I needed to do to form business relationships. Since then, I have created very good sponsor partnerships with remarkable people that I hope to have the rest of my career.

During the last two years, 2014 and 2015, I have really considered triathlon to be my career. I finally made a decent living doing sport with solid sponsors and consistent results.

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IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman, September, 2015

Life is much easier now and the results finally represent my athletic ability because I do not have the stress like I did in 2011. I am not wondering where I am going to live or if I will make enough prize money at a race to cover the cost of getting there. Don’t get me wrong- I still have a LONG way to go. But as I mentioned earlier, as I reflect on this season I think back to the luck and opportunities I had that made 2015 possible. This season means so much more because of the challenges I went though in order to get to this point. Results don’t just come. It takes patience, humility, luck, opportunity, dedication, hard hard work, and the support of others including my family, friends, and incredible sponsor partners!

Never settle- keep on going until you find what makes you happy.

IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman – Fifth Win of the Season

LaurenRaces

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I’m not sure where to start on this one! I landed back in Denver from Beijing 12 days before IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman. I had a really hard time getting over the jet lag. Traveling east is much harder than traveling west and my body just wasn’t coming around. The Saturday before Silverman I told Simon and Darren I wasn’t racing…no way I could be ready. It did not help that I had a little too much fun celebrating Beijing with some friends after my return.

I had pretty good training sessions Sunday and Monday so I committed to racing. My travel was already booked and I had an awesome homestay set up so I stuck with the original plan and just figured I would test myself. Could I come back after winning two races and perform on less than ideal prep? Either way, win or lose, I was going to learn something about myself. Off to Vegas I went!

The travel to Las Vegas was flawless and I was staying in a very low stress/relaxing environment with two other athletes. I did this race last year and it was an epic fail. I blew up at mile 40 of the bike and really struggled just to finish. I finished second last year but the competition was not as deep as it was this year.

Going into the race this time around I had a plan. I would swim comfortably, ride the first 25 miles (all uphill/headwind basically) very very conservatively and then start riding with a normal 70.3 effort from mile 25 to 56. The goal was to feel good getting off the bike and ready to run a fast half marathon on an extremely difficult course.  Even with the heat and slower course I kept my nutrition similar to other 70.3 races. I had my normal breakfast with Beet Performer. And in the race I had 160 calories of EFS PRO before the swim, 500 calories of EFS PRO on the bike with 1 additional bottle of water, and I took a sip of EFS liquid shot every mile on the run, which was 200 calories total.
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Race morning conditions were rough. It was super windy and the water looked similar to when I was jumping off of the boat in Escape from Alcatraz. The current was ripping and I was unsure of how to attack the course. Swimming efficiently with the current is not something I am very good at. I prefer a glassy lake or even a pool with lines on the bottom. I had a pretty average swim coming out further back than I thought I would from the leader in 2nd position.

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I stayed calm and just got on my bike. Instead of chasing the leader, I settled into a very slow pace with my HR pretty low for the first 10 miles. By mile 25 two girls had passed me and two more were on the way. At this point I was pretty unmotivated to be honest. I was not really tired but my mind did not want to fight like usual. The wind was so bad and the entire course was exposed with the sun beating down. After about 5 miles of feeling like this I realized that I felt pretty good and the other girls were fading. At mile 40 I caught one girl who blew by me earlier like I was standing still so this gave me a reality check to GET MOTIVATED.  I finished the bike feeling strong over the last 15 miles. I had a slow T2 messing with my orthotic in my shoe but finally got out on the course.

The 3-loop run course consisted of 1 mile downhill, 2.4 miles uphill, 1 mile downhill. It is the hardest run course I have ever done. I learned a lot as I slowly melted in 2014. This year I rode the course in a way that would set me up well for the run. I felt great getting off the bike and just maintained a pace I knew was sustainable in the conditions. I was 4th or 5th off of the bike and I slowly started catching women but just remained patient. I knew if I maintained the same pace I could work up to first. By mile 8 I was leading and just enjoyed the rest of the run.

It was awesome to see so many people out on course cheering and making it fun. Silverman 70.3 is a great event- organized and challenging. Obviously, I am beyond happy to execute my plan and get the win.  I really was unsure of how my body would respond after a lot of recent travel, minimal training, and a few nights seeing 2am.

I have to thank: my coaches- Lisa, Simon, Darren for making me confident in my abilities and for preparing me the best they could. My sponsors for having me on the best equipment and making sure I have everything I need.  My friends for keeping me sane and helping me achieve balance in life. John and Cortney for managing me and keeping me on track. And of course my family for giving 110% support from day one. I am happy, healthy, and extremely thankful for how the year has gone so far. I will race once more for 2015…undecided where… stay tuned!

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