Featured Athlete, May 2019 – Lawrence Gray
Athlete of the Month
When you trust the process, good things happen! It’s a pleasure to introduce you to D3 Athlete Lawrence Gray.
Coach Julie shared, that she has had the privilege of working with Lawrence for almost a year and while he has been with D3 much longer than that (he was previously featured for his success in 2016), she is genuinely impressed with how willing he is to listen, adapt and trust the process. He will take any challenge, any workout and go with it. “I write the workouts and Lawrence just gets them done, no excuses, no issues, he just executes and is open for the next one.” She said that when she presses him on power and paces he is open to giving it a go each and every time. All of his hard work paid off at the Oceanside 70.3.
They set a goal going into Oceanside 70.3 for 1:30 OTB, and that “watching him on the run course at the race was so impressive, he absolutely crushed it running at 1:28:19.” He ran 90 seconds faster than the run goal and PR’d his race by over 7 minutes. Then, just 8 days later ran a 3:09 in Boston for a PR there too.
All of this great training and commitment is translating to his racing and Coach Julie said, I am ‘excited to see what he can unleash at Ironman Boulder.’
Enjoy his Q&A
1. Your coach mentions your commitment to training and how you trust the process. How have you arrived at the confidence to ‘trust the process’?
Process is definitely the correct word. Although I still consider myself a novice at this sport, I’ve been on the podium, and have also been on the side of a course with an IV in my arm. If you don’t figure out how to trust the process, it can be a very long road. Trusting the process for me has been made much easier because of the people that support me, my coach Julie Dunkle, my teammates, my training partners, friends, family, D3, and many more.
2. What did you think about the challenge to run a 1:30 at Oceanside 70.3 … and even better, how did you feel when you crossed the finish line?
I had run 1:30 once before, but not off the bike. I thought if everything went right, I might be able to go 1:30, but my coach Julie thought I could go faster. I just looked at her and shook my head in agreement when she said that to me, but I really didn’t think that was possible. While going through my plan, the morning of the race, I said to myself that I would be lucky to go 1:30, but I knew I couldn’t go any faster. When I got off the bike and started to run, I felt pretty good. As the miles ticked off, I would look at my watch and it kept saying 6:45 pace. I found it hard to believe, but I still felt good, so I kept running. I crossed the finish line with a 1:28:19, and obviously very tired, but also very surprised that I could run that time. I guess the coach knows best!
3. What is a favorite workout that Coach Julie has written for you?
I don’t think I have a favorite workout that my coach Julie gives me. All I know is that my coach wins, she’s on the podium always, she goes to Kona. These are things I want, so when she puts a workout in my plan, I show up and do everything I can to get it done.
4. How did you manage the quick turn from Oceanside 70.3 to the Boston Marathon? What did you do strategically with your recovery and training to garner back to back PRs? Can you share a few things you learned in this race sequence (for others who might have similar plans)?
I consider myself a triathlete, so Boston was just a privilege and an honor to run such a prestigious and historic event. I was racing Oceanside, and running Boston. My training was designed for a 70.3 but with a marathon as the run instead of a half. My training between the two events was just my normal post 70.3 workouts with a little more swimming to stretch the body out and not have as much impact.
For anyone considering doing something similar, my advice would be to concentrate on one of the two races and not put any pressure on yourself about the other race. Keep the stress to a minimum. I went to Boston with my 14-year-old, and we did all the typical Boston things. We went sightseeing, a Red Sox game, good food, and then I ran a race. I will say this, when I finally got to the starting line, this was no longer an honor and a privilege, this was race! On a side note, I never new the history, prestige, and that you had to qualify for Boston until I met all of you crazy endurance people. As a New Yorker, I always thought that the New York marathon was the greatest, like everything else in New York, right Mike?
5. What are you looking forward to as it relates to your next race, Ironman Boulder?
As for Boulder IM, I’m looking forward to not having all of my nutrition come flowing out of my mouth in T2, and then not ending up on the side of the run course with an IV in my arm and the bag hanging from a tree branch. I am also looking forward to about 70 degrees, overcast, and a nice light rain on the run. All joking aside, I’m looking forward to following my plan, getting off my bike feeling good, so I can run like I know I can. Or even better, run like my coach knows I can.
6. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I know that we all come to this sport from different backgrounds, and for different reasons. Some want to win, some want to be on the podium, some just want to finish. But the biggest thing I’ve gotten out of this sport and D3 is the people I’ve met. I have lifelong friends and memories, and I’m a better person because of it.
Coach Julie also recognizes that Larry is D3 through and through as he is willing to help out, wait for others, and pitch in when asked. Check out his social media and you will find his D3 hat lurking in most of his posts!