My name is Jennifer Jones. I’m a 44-year-old mom, wife, and triathlete with a full-time job and I live in Bel Air, MD. I was a competitive swimmer and avid skier growing up but the skiing took a toll on my knees. The first knee surgery was after a skiing accident racing my husband and crashing on ice in my early 30’s. I tore my medial meniscus which was partially removed.
I hated running and anything that had to do with running until being introduced to multisport by my friend in 2012. She had just participated in a triathlon and mentioned there was another race coming up in our area; she asked me to join her so I went out and purchased a Hybrid bicycle and a huge fanny pack with everything I thought that I needed to complete a sprint triathlon! I finished the race and loved it so much that I went out and purchased a road bike, quit smoking and started preparing for the 2013 season!
Two of the biggest fears I had as a new triathlete was riding my bike on the road and swimming in open water. I was pretty sure there was a Bull shark or a python that was about to swallow me whole! Needless to say, I have overcome those fears!
I joined Harford Multisport Club in 2014. My goal then was to complete a 70.3 Half Ironman distance race so I hired a coach and bought another bike, this time it was a triathlon bike and I named her Betty! In the fall of 2014 my friend and I signed up for Ironman Maryland to take place the following October in 2015. Our goal for IMMD was to finish.
I continued to train and receive multiple injections to the knee joint; the last injection was a month before Ironman Maryland. I started the run feeling great but while running on the cobblestone section of the course I heard a pop and my knee went out. I had 4 ibuprofen tablets in my pocket and an espresso gel which I took, walked for about 2 minutes and continued on. I’m pretty sure it was pure adrenaline I was running on due to the fact that my 2nd marathon half was faster than my first!
It was by far the most memorable triathlon. Hearing the words “You are an Ironman” and finishing a race you prepare so long for is absolutely awesome. Training for an Ironman is sometimes lonely and long but I have no regrets.
I had significant swelling, pain after the race and did a lot more damage and was told by several doctors I would never run again. They were wrong; I’ve had three more knee surgeries since IMMD with my last one this past September for the hardware removal. I’m running again and training for my next Ironman! I’m still working on strength but my knee feels great thanks to my amazing surgeon.
My next big race will be Ironman Lake Placid set for July of this year. I also have some other smaller races leading up to Placid to help me prepare. After Lake Placid I may attempt one more Ironman in November to celebrate my friend’s 40th birthday.
Harford Multisport Club is an amazing group of very supportive people. I have always felt welcomed and encouraged by HMC. I definitely think a new triathlete would benefit from the club. There is always someone that can answer a question, help with equipment advice or just give you some encouraging words to start your race. The training groups and practice triathlons are definitely a plus. Everyone in this group was a beginner at some point and understands.
I have never met an unhappy triathlete, only amazing ones that are now some of my closet friends. The best part for me is coming through the finish line, whether it is a sprint distance or a full Ironman. Just finishing, I think, is an accomplishment.