Meet Jenny! Not only does she love the challenge of triathlon, but she also supports a well rounded approach to mental health for all!
Get to Know Jenny!
Q: Jenny, what are you passionate about?
Jenny: " My daughter, traveling, working out, and Colts football!"
Q: How did you get your start in triathlon?
Jenny: " Every so often I need a new challenge. In 2010 I knew a lot of people who weren't into fitness but were suddenly doing the Couch to 5K. I was teaching fitness classes and decided I should probably try Couch to 5K also. So I created a Walk to Run Strength Class and we set our sites on running the Pike 5k Race for Education at the end of the summer. It was a blast! I spent the next few summers running 5k's and 5 mile races. Then, in 2015 I was invited to swim for a team tri at Eagle Creek. So much fun!!! I felt bad b/c my part was so short but the runner and cyclist were happy not having to swim so it all worked out. It then took a few more years before I needed a new challenge. In 2017 I decided to see if I could ride a bike (I'd had a knee injury in my teens and my knee didn't like the cycling motion. It would stick and was very painful unsticking!). I took it easy in a few cycle classes, just working out the bum knee. Eventually I was able to make it through a whole class w/ no knee sticking. Cycling was hard!! I thought maybe road cycling would be easier and since I knew I could run a 5k and had been swimming for a long time, I decided a sprint tri would be my next challenge! I googled training plans and combined a few into a plan that worked for me. I borrowed a bike, talked w/ friends who had also done tri's or Ironmans, and signed up for my first one - Tri Indy 2018! That summer I worked my butt off but I loved it, even when I grumbled I was still loving it. And race day - wow! The exhilaration! The camaraderie of people I just met! The challenge of keeping going and knowing I could do it! The sprint to the finish! It was amazingly fun and only took me a week after to decide I would do it all again the next summer!"
Q: What do you enjoy most about our sport?
Jenny: "I love how supportive, welcoming, and helpful tri-athletes are! Going into my first race I'd talked w/ loads of people and attended the pre-race meeting by Phoenix Fitness for tips. But I felt out of my element. I had no idea how to rack a bike! I was so nervous about being DQ'ed. And I just wanted to finish w/ a good time (even though my dad kept saying the goal was finish, haha). I met friendly people who showed me how to set up my bike, shared how they took their time on the transitions in order to stay focused, and generally helped me feel at ease. I just didn't expect competitors to be so helpful! Plus, I love swimming :)"
Q: Are you coached or self-coached? How did you land on going that particular route?
Jenny: "I'm self-coached. See how I got into the sport above, ha! Mainly, I'm cheap and since I train other people as a career, I figured I could also train myself."
Q: How do you juggle your family, job, social life, other hobbies & your training?
Jenny: "This is hard! I post my training schedule on the fridge so the family knows what long trainings to expect each week. I tend to pick up more classes in the summer but reduce my personal training load. And I plan my training around my daughter's swim practice so I'm not gone when she's around all the time."
Q: What was the greatest challenge you face when training?
Jenny: " It's either reducing my bike time, which I really struggle with, getting enough to eat (I'm always hungry during the season!), or trying to avoid arguments w/ the hubby about why I'm training ."
Q: Who, or what, in triathlon inspires you?
Jenny: "I am just amazed at the different types of people who do triathlons. It's all kinds and many of the ones I wouldn't expect kick my butt!"
Q: Favorite race or training moment?
Jenny: "Hmmm, I think I have a couple...my favorite moment of the swims are when I'm swimming in the canal and I can hear my dad cheering me on. I love that my daughter and parents can be right there along side me on the swim! But another exciting moment happened during my first race when I came around the corner on my bike and heard a coach cheering for me. I'd worked for this coach for a short amount of time teaching fitness classes and it had been a couple of years since I'd seen him last. To hear him cheering me on as if I was one of his team members was very exciting and encouraging! "
(Bonus question) What question did you hope that I’d ask you, but haven’t? And what is the answer to that question?
Jenny: "Either something about barriers to overcome (heart surgery as a baby where I had restrictions on endurance sports growing up. Yep I was a Riley kid. But look at me now!) or future race goals (still working to get my time under 1 hour and 30 minutes w/ a focus on drastically reducing my swim time! I'd also like to be competitive in my age group, but I'm a ways away in the big races so that will take a lot more then I'm currently giving, I think!) "