Yes, I was in the hospital and Yes, I took 1st First Place, 5 days later. This was my first 1st place in a triathlon EVER! and a comeback for my heart reminding me how much I love this sport. Oh how things change in a week

After I wrote my St. George DNF race report, I still wasn’t feeling great. The pain in my gut was getting more intense and the pain had moved to my lower right side. I decided to give it one more day before I went to see a doctor.

Monday night, I told my hubby we needed to go to Instacare, the pain was unbearable. We went to Instacare and they immediately moved me to the ER. All signs led to appendicitis. WHAT?! Are you serious? They needed a CT scan and blood to confirm, but they’d be prepping the general surgeon. Both the ER doctor and the nurse were convinced I’d be going into surgery for my appendix.

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However, after many hours, lots of tests, drugs and morphine… I didn’t have appendicitis or a cyst. My white blood count was high and my gut lymph nodes were very enlarged. It was a viral infection but they didn’t know why. They weren’t sure if I may of had this prior to racing in St. George or it was caused by racing, but either way my body was pissed. As with all viral infections… the prescription was wait it out. UGH!

After talking to my hubby and texting with my coach Nate, we all agreed I probably shouldn’t race on Saturday. (However, in my head… I was like… we’ll see how I feel.)

I love Women of Steel Triathlon by Tri Utah. It was my very first triathlon in 2009 and this triathlon brings together so many amazing women. One of my favorite races.

I rested all week. Okay, by rested I mean I took one day off (but worked from home), I still went to work and was a mom, but no workouts and tried to get a goodnight’s sleep each night. By Thursday, I was feeling better so I decided to pick up my packet for Women of Steel, just in case.

I was still on the fence about racing. Honestly, I was feeling several things. It would be nice to sleep in on a Saturday morning. I was nervous to race from the previous week’s DNF. I still wasn’t 100% and would racing make whatever “it” was worse, and last but not least, what if I race and crash and burn again? Not sure I could take that kind of rejection.

Friday morning, I talked to Nate Last, from Mental Grit, our club’s sports psych. We had a great talk about the St. George DNF and we talked about racing Women of Steel. He asked my purpose for racing on Saturday. I said to cross the finish line. He asked me if I could control that…. ummm… he’s was right. I can’t control if I cross the finish line. I can control my attitude. So I made a goal to just do my best and have fun!


I got up at 4:45 am to head north. The race was an hour from my house. I had a long drive to reflect on triathlon. The past week I was kind of feeling liking throwing in the towel to be honest. I decided I really wanted to go have fun today, regardless of the outcome.

When I pulled in, my coach, Nate and his wife Jen, also pulled in and I saw my friend Mary. I unloaded my gear and biked over to transition. I was the FIRST person to set up. Guess I was super early. haha!

After I set up my transition, I had fun talking and laughing with friends. We took pictures and pumped each other up. I love this part of racing -chatting and hanging with friends.

My wonderful hubby drove an hour to come watch me and then had to leave so he could go work a conference. I was so grateful he was there. Regardless of the outcome, having him there raised my spirits.

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We lined up for the pool swim. Seeding yourself in a pool swim is always an adventure. You don’t know how fast the person is in front or in back of you are. You can only rely on what people say. So I put myself at 5:30. I passed the gal in front of me and finished at 5:29. One of my fastest swims. Very happy. I could hear my hubby and my coach cheering me on. Super motivating by the way!


I am getting faster in transitions. Nate’s clinic was the BOMB a few weeks ago! That clinic made me even faster. Free speed right?!



My chain had fallen off my bike. I didn’t realize it until I tried to mount my bike to take off. I quickly jumped off and re chained my bike.

The course was flat and fast! I was really able to start to get some speed. I felt strong and was giggling. I didn’t know how fast I was going. I love riding my bike. My watch is only set up to show me heart rate, cadence, distance and time. I like it that way because speed messes with my head. After looking at my Garmin later, little did I know I was averaging 20-22 mph on the bike. I saw tons of Salt Lake Tri Club gals and it was so fun!

I came back into transition and tried the whole dismount out of my shoes. I did it about half right. I got out of my shoes, but didn’t do a flying dismount. haha! I need to keep practicing. But it was easier running with bare feet. My T2 was :40 secs, I think that’s my fastest T2 ever. I felt like the Flash.



I took off on the run, I was feeling good so I pushed it. I always seem to fall apart on the run. The last mile, my gut started to hurt again. Ugh! I looked at my watch and said to myself only 7 more minutes and it’s over, keep going. It’s 7 freaking minutes.

I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. I didn’t even care about my about finish time (that’s a first in a long time). My hubby greeted me with a huge hug and kiss and said he couldn’t believe how fast I was. I couldn’t believe it either. Really?! I was just having a great time! I relaxed, let the pressures go and just went.


After the Race

After the race, I hung out with friends. It was so fun to see my friends cross the finish line. I did wonder where I placed. But I told myself it didn’t matter. This was about winning in my head and my heart and not about what the results said.


When the results were posted, I didn’t see my name.  I thought they had forgot about me, but they had me in the wrong age group. I talked to the results folks and told them. He fixed the age group and said, “Congrats, you took 1st place in your age group.” SAY WHAT?!!! 1st place. HOLY COW! It’s the first time I have ever taken first place in a triathlon.

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First Place Win in my Heart

Taking first place at Women of Steel means a lot. It is a competitive race. These women are tough competitors and have amazing hearts. Women of all skill levels gather to “tri” and it’s so inspiring. Women of Steel was my very first triathlon in 2008. Timehop reminded of that today. 7 years of doing this sport! WOW!


Finishing that triathlon was a first place win in my heart too. I relaxed, stopped worrying about my time, my pace, who was doing what, what people thought or any of the other pressures I was putting on myself. It felt amazing!

I have 84 days until Ironman Boulder. My very first full Ironman distance. The next 84 days will be filled with more HEART and less head.