Lauren Hurley is new to the running scene. She had her first child in July of 2020 after retiring from professional triathlon in the fall of 2019. She did her first track race at Portland Track Festival in May of 2021 and qualified for the Trials in the 10,000 meters. She runs with Tom Schwartz in Boulder, Colorado and also works full time. Lauren has not pursued sponsorships and currently is running purely for the enjoyment of running.
How does it feel for running and racing to finally be back to normalcy?
I was pregnant for all of Covid so I fortunately never missed out on “racing”. I would say returning to racing after having my son in July of 2020 has been a surprisingly quick turn around. I just started focusing on running and did my first “workout” post partum in February of 2021 so this is all pretty quick for me!
What was one of the things you missed during this year of Covid restrictions?
During Covid it was really hard being a new parent. My husband and I were in lockdown mode with a new born so there was no outlet for us to relax or to interact with other parents. On the flip side, we started a business with the down time at home and now it is really successful.
What was one of the biggest training hurdles during this period and how did you deal with it?
The hardest part for me training these past few months has been time. I have about 9 hours a week to workout because we do not have a nanny at all or family to help with my son. Also, my husband and I both work full time so running really was not a priority. I made sure I got in 2 workouts a week and then on the other days I just ran when I could for about 1 hour a day.
What was your experience like in this year's Olympic Trials?
Trials was freaking amazing!!! I definitely felt out of place and was in awe of the other athletes. At the same time though I have competed at a high level in triathlon so I understood that championship mindset going in. I did not have any expectations going into the race I just wanted to be in the race and have a small impact. I knew I needed to run the Olympic Standard time to even have a shot however, with temperatures on the track of over 100 I knew that would be nearly impossible. I decided to go for the time anyways and hold on as long as I could and that put me leading the race for 5 laps. I faded but still finished 18th and I am really proud of that!
What was the most special moment you took away from the Olympic Trials?
Having my son and husband on the sidelines was pretty special. Also, just racing in the new Hayward Stadium was so surreal. The venue is absolutely stunning and World Champs in 2022 is going to be awesome.
What lesson did you learn at the Olympic Trials that you will take with you for future competitions?
I learned to have no fear. During my triathlon career I was always scared of failing. Going into Trials I literally did not have any fear and I made a plan and followed though. Some people may say I was stupid for going hard at the beginning but again I had to get a certain time to even have a shot. I am so new to running as well as I still do not know what I am capable of. I have no regrets going for it and I will carry that “no fear” mindset through this running journey.
If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be?
I wish American races kept the prize money for Americans. As I sit here trying to find races to go to it is really hard to justify going when I know the podium will be an international sweep. I also wish races paid out proportionally instead of giving first place 75% of the prize purse. Triathlon did a good job of paying people pretty well through the top 8.
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
My biggest strength is my mind. I can go into pretty dark places. My weakness is experience and also mileage. I do not have time to run high mileage or to do any type of strength work
What's your biggest pet peeve?
Running with people who half step. Ask my husband, ha!
What's your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is not maximizing the opportunities I have and regretting it later in life.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobbies do you enjoy?
Right now running is my hobby and it takes up really any free time I have.
What's it like being an 11-time Ironman champion?
I am proud of my triathlon career. Looking back though I was so unhappy and I never really enjoyed any win. I always looked at triathlon as a job so I collected the money and went to the next race. I hope to enjoy running this time around.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
I look up to anyone who is racing and also parenting. It is really really REALLY hard. I did not respect these athletes like I do now that I am also a mom.
Who is one of your favorite athletes to train with?
I train pretty much alone always! We have a small training squad in Boulder but we are all at different levels. I appreciate having anyone on the track with me during workouts to know that I am not suffering alone.
What's next for you?
I will race the Peachtree 10K Road Race on July 4th!
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