bio

Welcome to my website, I’m so glad you stopped by!   Hopefully I will be able to inspire, or at least entertain you with tales of my adventures as a professional triathlete.

In case you were wondering, here’s a little bit about me and how I ended up here:

I was twelve years old when I decided I wanted to be an Ironman.  I was sitting in my living room in my tiny hometown of Winfield, Kansas, when I saw the Kona broadcast on TV.  I was fascinated by the challenge, and despite the pained faces of the competitors, vowed someday I would give it a shot.  It wasn’t until much later that I bought my first bike and joined a triathlon team, but throughout the years, the goal of racing Ironman stayed in the back of my mind.

As a kid I spent most of my time in the pool.  Every day my loving parents drove me 45 minutes each way to swim with a club team in Wichita. I think my parents were beyond excited when I got my driver’s license, especially after I started swimming doubles.  Although I never reached my dream of swimming in the Olympics, I developed a strong work ethic at an early age, which would later pay dividends as a triathlete.

In college, I wanted a new athletic challenge.  I joined the Southern Methodist University Rowing Team my freshmen year, and was lucky enough to get a scholarship after my first semester.  As one of the shortest girls on the team, I narrowly escaped being the coxswain, something at which I’m certain I would have been terrible.  I enjoyed being part of a true team sport for the first time, but I longed to get back to endurance sports.

Shortest one in the boat!!

After graduating from college, I began training for my first marathon.  It took me almost 4 hours, and I crossed the finish line incredibly sore, but excited and hungry for another challenge.  That’s when I realized if I was actually going to become the triathlete I had always wanted to be, it was time to get started.  In the spring of 2006, I bought my first road bike for $600 and joined a triathlon team in Dallas.  I was instantly hooked.  Just 3 months after my first triathlon, I (naively) signed up for Ironman Coeur D’Alene.  In June of 2007 I became an Ironman.  Although I had accomplished the goal I set for myself in my parents living room when I was twelve, my first Ironman was really just the beginning.

Just finished my first Ironman - can I PLEASE sit down now??

A few months later, I married my incredible husband, Mark.  (My veil barely covering my lingering Ironman tan lines.)  Mark had just applied to graduate school so we knew we would be moving, we just weren’t sure to where.  When the acceptance call came from Stanford, we were both over the moon.  Little did I know before we moved, California would prove to be the land of opportunity for me. Mark and I always joke that we only thought we were moving here for him.  Coming from an almost completely flat area, to a place where I can’t seem to find a flat road to save my life, was quite a change.  The hills forced me to build strength on the bike just to get to the top! 

Once we were settled, I decided it was time to sign up for Ironman #2 and Arizona seemed like a great place to go.  When I raced IMAZ in 2009 I shocked myself (and my family) with a 2 hour and 20 minute PR and my first Kona spot (by less than a second!) That’s the first time I realized I might have more potential as a triathlete than I had originally thought and the dream of racing as a professional was born.

 

On my way to my first Kona spot - gotta love the road bike wtih aero bars!!

After Arizona, I decided to get more serious about my training.  I took on a second job teaching swimming lessons to buy my first TT bike, and joined Team Sheeper, (an amazing local triathlon team).  Over the next 3 years, with a lot of help from coaches, teammates, friends, family, and sponsors, I progressed from an average age-grouper to the 2011 70.3 Amateur World Champion.  After the win in Vegas, my coach and I decided it was time to get my pro card.

Celebrating the win in Vegas post race with then coach, Matt Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness

Now I am a professional triathlete, working and training in the Bay Area, and loving every minute.    My schedule is a bit hectic, balancing training, racing, and a corporate job in San Francisco, but it is also incredibly rewarding.  I have amazing teammates to train with at Velo SF, Stanford Masters Swimming, and Team Sheeper Triathlon team, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am.  They push me every day and I am grateful for their friendship and support.  I work for an amazing company, Williams Sonoma, Inc., who has allowed me to reduce my work week to 32 hours and work 2 days a week from home to focus more on pursuing my athletic dreams.  I have set big goals for myself in this sport and I know with patience and perseverance I will get to where I want to be.  It might not happen overnight, but I have faith it will happen!  Stay tuned.smiley

 

Hanging out with two of my biggest fans - my Hubby, Mark, and my newphew