The things that are important



I recently read the following online (incorrectly attributed to Steve Jobs prior to his death, but powerful no matter who wrote it):

I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors.
This post really hit me hard. I found myself getting caught up in a lot of the “stuff” that isn’t really important and it drained me emotionally and physically. I had a very consistent season in triathlon and I achieved the goals I set going into 2015 in sport.

If someone had told me on January 1st, 2015 that I would have the year I had in sport then I would have said I would be 100% happy in life. Well, I learned by the end of the year that even after reaching the financial and athletic goals I set for myself I was not completely happy. I was missing something and I still do not really feel complete.

My goal for 2016 is to step back and really focus on the things that are important in life- my relationship with my family, my interactions with my peers, and giving back to others. Racing triathlon as a professional is hard because of the demanding training schedule and constant travel. During 2015 I saw my younger brother (top photo) a total of 10 days, my parents probably around 15 and my grandparents only 4. All you really have in life is your family and your health.


I plan on making more time for my family and friends along with sharing my knowledge of sport and with others who are eager to learn. In 2016, I will surround myself only with those who bring positivity and I will remind myself that triathlon should not consume every second of my life. I want to live and enjoy the people I have in my life. Of course triathlon will always be a priority to me; however, my family and my relationships with others comes first.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far.

I hope 2016 brings happiness, love, and success to you all!


Challenge Florida Win and Pro Career Reflections



The 2015 race season is over. It is ironic because I cannot tell you how ready I was to be finished racing. Now that I just finished Challenge Florida I am a bit sad and ready to start preparing again for another race. I guess it is true- we always want what we don’t have.

Challenge Florida was my last race for the season. I included it on the schedule as it was a good chance to get to Clermont to see good friends of mine and it also gave my parents an opportunity to see me race. My dad historically is bad luck, but he really wanted to be there so I gave him the OK.

While training in Clermont the Thursday before the race I had a pretty bad bike crash. I came away with zero road rash but I hit my head pretty hard. I decided to race anyway…why not! I am the hardheaded kid so skipping the race was not an option.  Race day went exactly how I wanted it to go. I swam and rode conservatively and ran my way to the win. Even though my “social off season” pretty much started after Silverman 70.3, I was able to pull off the win – and log the fourth fastest run of all the athletes – men and women.

This year has hands-down been my best year professionally. This was my 5th full season racing and as cliché as it sounds, I truly am thankful to be where I am right now. I raced ten times this year and finished with six wins, two 2nd places, one 4th place and one DNF due to illness.

In Boulder I spend a lot of time with athletes who are in their early 20’s and just getting their athletic careers started. It makes me reflect on how I got to where I am now and how many times I failed in the process. I believe that luck and opportunity along with work ethic will get you where you are in life.

I had no idea what a triathlon even was until I met a guy in a bar when I was 21 who told me about the Ironman he was training for. I immediately was intrigued by triathlon and from that night (March 17, 2009) my life changed completely. If I did not go to that bar on that night and met that guy I would have NEVER done a triathlon. It just was not where my life was heading…an athlete for a living!? Absolutely no way. My family is not athletic, I did not own a bike until I was 21 years old, and I was a sorority girl. I remember when I told my parents I was going to pass on Physician Assistant school and instead I was going to be a “professional triathlete”. Mom freaked out and insisted I use the degree she just spent her savings on. I insisted she give me a few years just to see what happens. I gave the classic “well in 20 years I do not want to regret not giving triathlon a try”. So, I packed up the books and had some training to do!


from my very early triathlon archives 

The first two years were not glamorous. I was so broke and living off of selling things on Craigslist. I floated around the US in different cities training under a few different coaches and met some really awesome people along the way. I was barely making enough money to get to the races but I just kept my head high.

I met a few special people who gave me various things to help me out- bikes, power meter, running shoes, body work, a few flights, and places to live. Without these people maybe I would not have continued with triathlon. Who knows. But I for sure was lucky to have these folks in my life. I could no longer use the excuse that I did not have the equipment and I had everything I needed to be successful.

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With Sara McLarty and Kelly Whitley in 2012

In 2012 the Rev3 series was getting bigger and it gave an athlete like myself an opportunity to make some money and get my name out. I took full advantage of it and raced almost every single race in 2012 and 2013. I was consistently on the podium and my name was getting out in the triathlon world, which ultimately led to sponsorships. Without the Rev3 series would I still be racing? Probably not, to be honest…the money I made there was crucial to keeping my head above water and being able to pay for the resources I needed to get faster.

With Sara McLarty in October 2012

In 2013 I moved out to Tucson and worked with Cliff English. Cliff was a great coach and convinced my current manager, John Jones, to represent me. John represents Timothy O’Donnell, who Cliff also coached at the time, and he agreed to take me on. John helped me learn the business side of triathlon and taught me the things I needed to do to form business relationships. Since then, I have created very good sponsor partnerships with remarkable people that I hope to have the rest of my career.

During the last two years, 2014 and 2015, I have really considered triathlon to be my career. I finally made a decent living doing sport with solid sponsors and consistent results.

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IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman, September, 2015

Life is much easier now and the results finally represent my athletic ability because I do not have the stress like I did in 2011. I am not wondering where I am going to live or if I will make enough prize money at a race to cover the cost of getting there. Don’t get me wrong- I still have a LONG way to go. But as I mentioned earlier, as I reflect on this season I think back to the luck and opportunities I had that made 2015 possible. This season means so much more because of the challenges I went though in order to get to this point. Results don’t just come. It takes patience, humility, luck, opportunity, dedication, hard hard work, and the support of others including my family, friends, and incredible sponsor partners!

Never settle- keep on going until you find what makes you happy.

IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman – Fifth Win of the Season


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I’m not sure where to start on this one! I landed back in Denver from Beijing 12 days before IRONMAN 70.3 Silverman. I had a really hard time getting over the jet lag. Traveling east is much harder than traveling west and my body just wasn’t coming around. The Saturday before Silverman I told Simon and Darren I wasn’t racing…no way I could be ready. It did not help that I had a little too much fun celebrating Beijing with some friends after my return.

I had pretty good training sessions Sunday and Monday so I committed to racing. My travel was already booked and I had an awesome homestay set up so I stuck with the original plan and just figured I would test myself. Could I come back after winning two races and perform on less than ideal prep? Either way, win or lose, I was going to learn something about myself. Off to Vegas I went!

The travel to Las Vegas was flawless and I was staying in a very low stress/relaxing environment with two other athletes. I did this race last year and it was an epic fail. I blew up at mile 40 of the bike and really struggled just to finish. I finished second last year but the competition was not as deep as it was this year.

Going into the race this time around I had a plan. I would swim comfortably, ride the first 25 miles (all uphill/headwind basically) very very conservatively and then start riding with a normal 70.3 effort from mile 25 to 56. The goal was to feel good getting off the bike and ready to run a fast half marathon on an extremely difficult course.  Even with the heat and slower course I kept my nutrition similar to other 70.3 races. I had my normal breakfast with Beet Performer. And in the race I had 160 calories of EFS PRO before the swim, 500 calories of EFS PRO on the bike with 1 additional bottle of water, and I took a sip of EFS liquid shot every mile on the run, which was 200 calories total.
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Race morning conditions were rough. It was super windy and the water looked similar to when I was jumping off of the boat in Escape from Alcatraz. The current was ripping and I was unsure of how to attack the course. Swimming efficiently with the current is not something I am very good at. I prefer a glassy lake or even a pool with lines on the bottom. I had a pretty average swim coming out further back than I thought I would from the leader in 2nd position.

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I stayed calm and just got on my bike. Instead of chasing the leader, I settled into a very slow pace with my HR pretty low for the first 10 miles. By mile 25 two girls had passed me and two more were on the way. At this point I was pretty unmotivated to be honest. I was not really tired but my mind did not want to fight like usual. The wind was so bad and the entire course was exposed with the sun beating down. After about 5 miles of feeling like this I realized that I felt pretty good and the other girls were fading. At mile 40 I caught one girl who blew by me earlier like I was standing still so this gave me a reality check to GET MOTIVATED.  I finished the bike feeling strong over the last 15 miles. I had a slow T2 messing with my orthotic in my shoe but finally got out on the course.

The 3-loop run course consisted of 1 mile downhill, 2.4 miles uphill, 1 mile downhill. It is the hardest run course I have ever done. I learned a lot as I slowly melted in 2014. This year I rode the course in a way that would set me up well for the run. I felt great getting off the bike and just maintained a pace I knew was sustainable in the conditions. I was 4th or 5th off of the bike and I slowly started catching women but just remained patient. I knew if I maintained the same pace I could work up to first. By mile 8 I was leading and just enjoyed the rest of the run.

It was awesome to see so many people out on course cheering and making it fun. Silverman 70.3 is a great event- organized and challenging. Obviously, I am beyond happy to execute my plan and get the win.  I really was unsure of how my body would respond after a lot of recent travel, minimal training, and a few nights seeing 2am.

I have to thank: my coaches- Lisa, Simon, Darren for making me confident in my abilities and for preparing me the best they could. My sponsors for having me on the best equipment and making sure I have everything I need.  My friends for keeping me sane and helping me achieve balance in life. John and Cortney for managing me and keeping me on track. And of course my family for giving 110% support from day one. I am happy, healthy, and extremely thankful for how the year has gone so far. I will race once more for 2015…undecided where… stay tuned!

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Victory at the Beijing International Triathlon



On August 19th I received an invitation to the Beijing International Triathlon. It is an invitational-only race for the professionals. I have been applying to this race for four years now so there was no question I would accept the slot! IMG along with the Chinese government sponsored the race. They flew the professionals over to Beijing and set us up in a beautiful hotel.


The women in the race included myself, Caroline Steffen, Magali Tisseyre, Radka Vodickova, Felicity Sheedy-Ryan, Ricarda Lisk, Laura Bennett, Yi Zhang, and Mengying Zhong. We all arrived well before the race so we had time to train a little together, catch up on some gossip and enjoy some meals. To be honest, it was so nice to get out of the Boulder bubble and just relax with some other girls and get to know them. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Gmail—the anchors of my existence these days) did not really work. Therefore, I was able to check out of any responsibility I had and really enjoy the time in Fengtai and prepare for the race. The hotel offered an extravagant breakfast buffet so we would all just load up on food and coffee and sit around and talk. I loved it!



The course they set up for us was hands down the most beautiful and challenging course I have ever experienced. The swim was pretty straightforward in the Yongding River. However, we had a 1km run to transition, which got my heart rate up. The bike course took us up climbing Quinling Mountain to a temple and then down and through a small town where tight and technical roads were created just for the race. The run course was through the botanical gardens of the Garden Expo and we climbed and descended 600 stairs each way. There was no time to think during the race as the course constantly was changing.

Fortunately, I did not have any jetlag from the travel and my body was feeling ready to go.  I made a mistake and did not bring any warm clothes to the swim start and got very cold after the swim warm up during the introductions. At the start of the swim my muscles felt locked up and I was worried I was never going to catch back up to the leaders. Fortunately, I just maintained my technique, stayed calm, and slowly caught back up to Laura Bennett. We battled a bit the last 500m for the swim prime. It was really fun and I hope the cameramen got it on film. I just couldn’t shake LB and she ended up being first out of the water and I was right on her heels.



I moved into first position on the run to transition and had a very smooth T1. Onto the bike I felt pretty good but I could not really get my heart rate up. I felt like I was stuck in 70.3 mode and that was all I had. Once again, I tried to stay focused and get through the climbing portion of the bike to the turn around so I could see how much time I had on the rest of the girls. I stayed in the lead into T2 and quickly had another smooth transition.

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Onto the run, I made sure not to go out too fast. My back was really tight and I was constantly trying to stretch it. My legs felt amazing though and I was able to maintain a strong pace through the entire run. The stairs were really challenging and coming down was even harder!


I was so happy to finally see the finish line after a very long last 1km. I really wanted to win this race obviously but to actually finally do it was unreal. There were so many people cheering and it was really a special moment for me. Also, to see my good friend, Radka, finish second was icing on the cake! We both have been racing together for a while and its great to both have good results.




I have to thank IMG for truly treating us all like professionals.  The trip to Beijing was an experience of a lifetime and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity. If you are looking to do a destination race I highly recommend this one.

I am now back in Boulder recovering for a few days and then some more preparation for IRONMAN Silverman 70.3.

Thanks to all of my supporters and sponsors and to Boulder Coaching for making this possible!

Race coverage:

Photos: 2015 Beijing International Triathlon, by, September 20, 2015

USA Dominates with Eric Lagerstrom and Lauren Goss Winning 2015 Beijing International Triathlon, September 20, 2015

Why I am not racing at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships



Many people have asked me why I am not racing at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships this weekend in Austria. My main goal going into 2015 was to win the HyVee triathlon. In 2013 I was 5th place in my first ever HyVee and last year I was 4th place. So naturally, I wanted to go for the big paycheck this year.

Unfortunately, around March, I found out almost all of the Olympic distance races were no longer happening for professionals and this included HyVee. I had to change my focus to 70.3/ half-distance racing and make a new schedule.

I started with a DNF at Monterrey 70.3 due to illness in March followed by an epic blow up to finish 4th at IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans  despite a huge lead off the bike. I made some adjustments in my nutrition and won IRONMAN 70.3 St Croix and the Challenge San Gil half. However, I still did not feel very strong throughout either race and I did not have confidence over the distance yet.

In early June, I raced Escape from Alcatraz and finished with a very strong run to give me a big confidence boost, only to follow up with a mediocre performance at NYC triathlon that made me question my training and recovery. By the time August 1st came, I honestly just did not have the confidence to travel to Europe for the World Championships and hope to have a good day. I really don’t believe in showing up to big races unless I am prepared to be on the podium so I made the difficult decision not to go.

I raced IRONMAN 70.3 Ecuador on Aug 9th and finally had the race I was looking for. I felt strong and in control over all three disciplines and finished with a very strong run compared to what I had been doing. This race gave me the confidence I needed to race the best in the world, but by this point my mind was exhausted and I needed to recover from recent travel and actually train. I am very motivated to see where I stand against the top 70.3 girls but Austria was not meant to be.

So what’s next? I was invited to the Beijing International Triathlon, which is an invitation-only race with 9 very strong girls. I will fly to Beijing on September 14th and race on the 20th. I then will race a 70.3 in October (Miami or Los Cabos) and I will finish the year with Challenge Bahrain on November 20th. I view Challenge Bahrain as my World Championships, as it usually draws an even more competitive field, and I will properly prepare for it. I am very hungry, healthy, and happy.