4/4/17

Athlete spotlight: Elizabeth Kenny: Police Chief inspiring her daughters to always "tri" hard and never give up.


Name: Elizabeth Kenny

Age: 48 years old

City/State: Saint Johns, Florida

Primary sport: Running and triathlon

How many years in the sport: 9 years

What Trimarni services have you used: RETUL, training plan, nutrition consult, coaching

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Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?

I have been an athlete all my life. I grew up participating in team sports like basketball, volleyball, and softball. I played basketball in college and then I coached high school level basketball for 5 years. I always ran to stay in cardio-shape for other sports, so once my basketball days came to an end, it was an easy transition to become more serious about running. I started with local 5k's and then progressed up to marathons. At the age of 39 I had a neighbor talk me into entering my first sprint triathlon. I had never done organized swimming or been on a fancy bike but I figured, why not? I'm always up for a new challenge and experience! I talked another friend into allowing me to borrow a bike (which was too big), but it had two wheels and meet my basic needs at the time. For the first few times at the pool, I would inevitably pop myself in the face while putting my swim cap on - I was a fun site to see! But I showed up on race morning ready to give it a go. To say I got hooked right away is an understatement. I have since completed 3 Ironmans, 7 Half Ironmans, and several Olympic and Sprint triathlon races.

What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?

I keep training because my body, mind, heart and soul crave the entire experience. It is a part of who I am and what I want to be. Not only is it the satisfaction of pushing the body to a certain limit and realizing that you are more than who you thought you were, but the other athletes and spectators involved in endurance sports are a special breed. We have a uniqueness that is so inviting and attractive to anyone introduced to the sport. It is the one sport that welcomes every level of athlete to participant with open arms. What other sport has as many, if not more, fans for the last athlete that crosses the finish line last compared to the winning athlete? With this atmosphere, in some special way, we all become family and build strong friendships that last beyond swimming, biking, and running. So I train and race not only for myself and my teenage girls but for all the others that I have met in my journey in the sport of triathlon.


What do you do for work?
Police Chief for Jacksonville Sheriff's Office


How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?
Now that I am permanent M-F, my work schedule does not interfere with training like it used to. There are times when there are emergencies, such as in the hurricane season or unscheduled meetings that pop up, which require me to pull long shifts for several days in a row, which kept me from training. This happened a lot in the past. It was hard when I was on shift work, with hours at night, because there were days when I just did not want to train. But now I find that as long as I make a schedule, stick too it, and am flexible with emergencies (without stressing), I tend to balance my life and training pretty well.

Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?
Allow yourself flexibility. Make a schedule and be dedicated to it, but know that there will be days when you have to adjust. Be honest with yourself and your training progress. Don't make goals that you are not ready for in your development. Be willing to change goals if life happens.


Do you have kids?2 teenage girls (Blake and Peyton)


How does having kids affect your training? How do you balance it all?
My kids schedule affects my training more than my work schedule. I have two active teenagers that participate in sports. They have practice 4x a week and travel every weekend. This calls for early morning training sessions and indoor trainer rides. Again, the balance comes with a set schedule and being flexible if something important comes up.


What tips and tricks do you have for other athletes who struggle to balance training with family? 
First the schedule. That goes for all of family activities, as well as your own. But most importantly, remember that you need time for yourself. Do not feel guilty about taking time out of your day to train and to make yourself better/healthier. When you feel better about yourself, you are able to help your children and family feel better about themselves. I want to be a positive role model for my girls. I want them to see that I can set goals and work hard for them.

How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?
I am not married but in a relationship. Be honest with your partner about your goals. Take them and their needs into consideration when you make your schedule and the races you enter. Even during the key parts of your race season, do not forget to take time for them. I would encourage athletes to have their partner be a part of the journey so that they do not feel like an outsider.

  
What are your top tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?
  • Consistency
  • Rest
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself.
  • Don't worry about other peoples goals. Define your own goals.
  • Have fun!

How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?
Athletic success to me is not quitting!!! Actually quitting is NOT an option! Life happens and roadblocks get in our way at times, but never give up. Even if you have to adjust your goals, DO NOT QUIT!

What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food?
Post race I really like to treat myself to a Yuengling Light beer.



What key races do you have planned in 2017?
Currently I am only registered for Augusta 70.3 this year. I just had shoulder surgery at the end of March so my race calendar will depend on my recovery.


What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?-1st goal is to focus on recovery from shoulder surgery in a smart but aggressive way. Included in this goal is to get stronger and more fit.
 -2nd goal is to compete in and finish another full Ironman - not certain of the race venue. -3rd goal is to reach out get as many new athletes, of all ages, involved in the sport of triathlon.
-4th goal is qualify for World's at the 70.3 and/or 140.6 distance.
You can follow Elizabeth on social media: Facebook @ Elizabeth Kenny
Instagram @ 
ewkenny
Twitter @
ewkenny7059


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