Thanks to Grant Boland for this interview and best of luck to him in the blog contest!!
Before I get called out on this, the fish tacos pictured were actually a Chef Jordan creation. However, I think we can still refer to them as "Lauren's fish tacos" because I do recall devouring a pretty hefty portion...and the leftovers the following day.
Olympic Goddess: Lauren Groves
Thursday, March 12th, 2009
GRANT: She’s a Canadian Champion and one of the bright lights on Canada’s triathlon scene. She’s also a wonderful blogger AND poodle lover. Lauren was kind enough to sit down for an email interview to discuss her training, quilting, blogging and about a little crush she used to have on a fellow Olympian. You should definitely check out her blog. She’s updating it regularly on her training, her cooking, crafts and poodles. There are lots of pictures and videos. What made you want to become a triathlete?
LAUREN: I first learned of the sport in 2000 when I watched Simon win gold in Sydney. I was a student at Queen’s University at that time and just staring to get involved with running. I didn’t make the university cross country team and when looking at other sports, I discovered the triathlon team didn’t make “cuts.” I was a swimmer when I was younger so adding running to the mix was really a no-brainer. Also, I knew how to ride a bike, so really what else did I need?! Well, I am not being entirely honest here…part of the reason I joined the club was to meet Simon (this is really embarrassing to admit now because I know Simon, and any trace of a crush is GONE ;-) Anyway, Simon came to swim with the tri club one day and I was so unbelievably nervous that I went to the back of the lane and didn’t say a peep the entire time!
GRANT: Something that always fascinates me about endurance athletes is what is going on in their minds while they are putting in the hours and hours of training. What do you think about while you are training?
LAUREN: My mind is often all over the place while training. During harder, quality sessions, I am usually quite focused on the task at hand. But, if it’s an easier day, my thoughts usually revolve around poodles, recipes, and Adam (my “better-half”).
GRANT: I have to say, you have the most interesting blog on the internet. Do you plan out what your posts are going to be or do you just go with whatever is happening in your life?
Lauren's Poodle Cookies
LAUREN: I really just go with what is happening in my life. Training is clearly what consumes most of my time right now but I seem to be more inclined to write about the “other” aspects. If I am out at the farmer’s market and come across a new and exciting item, I can’t wait to get home to blog about it. I often wish I had a small camera I could bring along during runs because I am often treated to incredible sunsets, or spot little dogs wearing knitted sweaters that make my heart melt. I don’t know if others would enjoy these sights as much as I do, but it would still be fun to share. But, I know there are people out there who are curious about the training, so I try to mix it up and share experiences from all aspects of my life.
GRANT: Interesting note about the camera. Vicky and I talked about getting little cameras and carrying them around everywhere while we run. It’s true you see the most incredible things. Lauren is also on Twitter @ljgroves. I find it awesome to follow athletes like Lauren or Lance Armstrong on Twitter. (ex: Just back from a 7hr bike ride). One of the features I enjoyed about Lauren’s blog were the updates on a quilt she was sewing. I haven’t seen any in awhile so I have to ask… Lauren, how is the quilting coming along?
LAUREN: Sadly, quilting has taken the back-burner these days. I have absolutely fallen in love with this craft and spent an incredible amount of time working on a couple projects over the winter, but I have struggled to find the time (and energy) to continue now that training is full-on. I was having to do most of the sewing at the quilt shop so matching my schedule with the classroom openings was difficult. I have SO many more projects I want to begin and I know that if I were to walk into the quilt shop “just to look” it would be all over again and I would become a full-time quilter and part-time triathlete. So, I will restrain myself, at least until the end of the World Cup season!
GRANT: So disappointing! When I was watching that quilt being sewn all I could think about was, I have to get myself a blog, then I have to develop some kind of skill like quilting or needlepoint or painting. It looks great on a blog. Maybe I can be like that painting dude with the ridiculous hair on PBS. It’s beautiful and it’s fun to watch coming together. I have a quilt on my bed that my mom made and I have another one my grandmother made. Quilting Rules! Lauren, what are your favorite blogs?
The Joy of Painting
LAUREN: I love to browse cooking and healthy lifestyle blogs. A couple of my favourites are www.101cookbooks.com, and www.marksdailyapple.com. Of course, I also follow plenty of athlete’s blogs, enjoying reading their experiences.
Lauren's Fish Tacos
GRANT: Mark’s Daily Apple is cool. He’s all about the “Primal Diet” which any fan of Jane Goodal’s can appreciate on some level. I subscribe to that one. What is the most motivating thing anyone has told you about blogging, or about athletics?
LAUREN: My past coach, Siri was an incredibly motivating person and I learned a lot from her. Probably the most profound, yet simple lesson she taught me was to be kind to myself. Yes, it sounds simple and it is, but I can’t even begin to describe the difference it had on my mental approach to sport. I used to be hard on myself if I struggled in a session or didn’t perform at the expectations I had set. I now approach each day with the same attitude, with the goal of getting the most out of each session, regardless of how good or rotten I am feeling. Some days I find I am going great but others might be near-disaster. I’ve learned not to go overboard with excitement on those great days and not to dwell on the not-so-good ones . It’s amazing how much FUN sport can be when the stress of expectations are removed and you just “play”…and of course, go hard!
GRANT: That’s great advice! You were down in Hawaii with Simon Whitfield and Adam Van Koeverden. This trip will be covered in the next edition of iRun Magazine. Do you have any embarassing stories about Adam or Simon from Hawaii?
LAUREN: Oh, boy, this could get me in trouble!! I might take a pass on this one…
GRANT: In the main picture on your blog you have a big smile on your face as you are running. What do you love about the sport?
LAUREN: I absolutely love to compete. You hear a lot of athletes who love to train, love to get out there everyday, etc. I definitely “train to race” and I often have to remind myself of that on days when it is really tough to get out the door. For me, racing is a celebration of all the hard work I do day-in and day-out. There is nothing more satisfying that putting it all out there on race day, which is why I often have a smile on my face at the finish. Don’t get me wrong, racing is HARD, and it really, really hurts, but I love playing the “game” and seeing what I can achieve.
Of course I am also smiling because the race is OVER and I can sit down, relax, and enjoy some tasty treats.
GRANT: Thank you Lauren. So much. You know when Vicky and I started this goofy little blog I’m not sure we really realized how cool it could be. We had our favorite blogs like Simon Whitfield and yours but putting together our own… well, it was very hard to imagine. I emailed you right after we got the word from iRun that we were one of the finalists. You were so enthusiastic and welcoming that we couldn’t help but start to email other people with the same request. And everyone has said yes. It’s hugely inspiring. We’ll have a big number of interviews over the coming weeks. It’s going to become a major feature of the blog and frankly it’s one of the most interesting and exciting parts of putting this thing together. You had a huge part in that and we just want to say… thanks!!!! You rule and go kick ass this season.