March 21, 2014
We had a chance to visit with Tamara Gorman, Rapid City Stevens senior and Z3 athlete, about her recent experiences racing in Florida. Take a look…
Z3: Over the past two weekends you’ve competed in your first Elite (Pro) triathlons. How did they go?
TG: Clermont and Sarasota were my first Pro events ever and I was so excited to compete coming off a long winter. Clermont was a complete mess. I’ve never really raced this early in the year. I just think I put to much pressure on myself and it ended badly.
Z3: What do you mean you put too much pressure on yourself?
TG: In Clermont, it was weird for me to see my past competitors racing in a totally different race than I was in. Honestly, I didn’t think I realized who I was going to be competing against. Racing against past Olympian Sarah Haskins was an honor to me. (I was actually thinking about maybe getting a picture with her before the race in the athlete lounge… but I didn’t want to bother her so I kept to myself. LOL!)
Z3: How was the experience different than what you expected?
TG: Going into Clermont I expected to win. I didn’t really realize who I would be racing against and I thought it would kind of be just like any other race that I had raced in the past. Nothing too bad and kind of laid back.
I soon realized the night before the race at the race meeting, and the next day during the race, that I wasn’t racing girls anymore. I was racing women and these women were strong!
Z3: So, how did the race go?
TG: Coach Guy, and my Rapid City Racers teammates, trained really hard this winter. I was in pretty good swim shape.
Then the bike portion of the race came and I couldn’t seem to hold on to any pack. I had to ride nearly 2 miles an hour faster than I had as a junior – even faster than what I was riding at the World Championships. That was pretty tough for me considering I had just gotten my new Giant Propel from Bike World. It’s been such a snowy and cold winter here in Rapid City, so I didn’t have a lot of on-the-road training over the winter months.
Z3: I suppose for you, losing is new territory. How do you handle those experiences?
TG: Yes, I’ve lost some and I’ve won too. Like, during my first year racing Juniors I was second place in every race except when I went to Worlds. Then this year I had a terrible race at the South Dakota State XC Championships.
I don’t like losing but I try not to dwell on it. I don’t really see it as losing. I mean, yeah I get mad about it. But, I just take a look at what happened, make plans for fixing the problem, and then get back to work training and racing. I’m just so lucky to be doing what I love.
Z3: If you had to change one thing you did leading up to Clermont and Sarasota what would that be?
TG: Well, even though I’d been focusing on swimming and running, and doing tons of core and dynamic strength work, I would have definitely ridden my bike a little more (okay a lot more) in the months leading up to the race.
Z3: So what did you do between Clermont and Sarasota to get things turned around? Going from DNF to 3rd is a big difference.
TG: I spent the week between the races at my Z3 teammate Braden Tetmeyer’s grandparents home in Florida. Mike and Madeline Tetmeyer treated me so awesome! It helped having all the good food and everything I needed right at my fingertips. It was so comfortable… just like being at home with my real grandparents but in sunny, warm Florida.
Coach Jenny and I talked after Clermont and set up a plan of attack to hit the track for some speed work and get to know my new Giant a little better. Braden and I, and also Z3er Alex Libin and his training posse (John, Sam, Brian and Eric) trained some together. I got to spend more time on my Giant, swam outdoors (so awesome) and did some good speed work on the track!
Being surrounded by these one of a kind people made all the difference!
Z3: What did you learn from Clermont and Sarasota?
TG: Between the two races I spent a lot of time thinking and talking with my mom and Jenny and figured out that competing with these women is totally possible. If I believe in myself I can actually keep up with them! And, even though these girls have been racing much longer than me that I can compete.
I mean, I came out of the water really well in both races against some really tough swimmers (Sarah McClarty and Sarah Haskins are so fast!).
In Sarasota I caught on the wheel of Johanna Brown (a Canadian who I raced against in New Zealand in 2013) and just did my best to hold on! And, I did… which set me up for a good run.
Z3: You’re 18 years old (your birthday was just a few weeks ago). What do you see in your future related to swimming, biking, running and life?
TG: Well, I’ll be competing for my track team at Rapid City Stevens and then I will be graduating from high school at the end of May.
This summer, I’ll be training for the Olympic distance, and plan on racing a couple Junior Cup events and maybe travel overseas for some other triathlons. At the end of tri season in August I plan on competing in the Junior World Championship again… this time in Edmonton, Canada.
Right after Worlds I’ll head off to cross country camp with the University of Minnesota where I will compete on the cross country team and track team. I want to get an Elementary teaching degree. While attending the “U” I plan on still competing and training for triathlons.
Z3: Most girls your age are thinking about prom dresses and graduation. Sounds like you’re graduating in a lot of new ways…new college team mates, moving from home, racing against new people… how are you navigating all of this new stuff?
TG: I have loved my high school experience. All the girls on my XC and track team and Coach Coy – we’ve been through a lot. I love them all and I’m going to miss them and Rapid City so much. But I’m really excited and ready for the next things to happen.
I’m working with Coach Jenny, my parents, my high school coaches and USAT to figure out the best path to accomplish my goals.
I want to get an education. I want to race at the highest level. There’s lots up in the air but I am so excited about the future and what’s to come!
Z3: Anything else you’d like to say?
TG: I am so thankful for all the likes and texts everyone sends me. It means a lot to know people care… I am just doing what I’ve dreamed of all my life.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my parents, Coach Jenny, my high school coaches… and all the athletes in Rapid City and on Z3. My hometown has been so wonderful – including Mike and Mieke Meyer from Quarq… which is made near Rapid City.
Z3: I can’t NOT ask about all of the different ways people say your name. How do you say it?
TG: You’re funny! I really don’t care – but everyone who knows me says it like the spelling Tamra (TAMruh). I think the spelling is what goofs people up. It’s become a running joke between my coaches and Z3 teammates. People make it harder than it seems. But, it’s just my name!