Today’s Rockstar Runner is an ex-cross country star that took an extended time off and recently rediscovered her joy of running. Meet Janice!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Janice, and I am so very thankful to be a part of such a supportive group of ladies.
I recently celebrated the first of my 49th birthdays (LOL), and I have two fantastic, nearly-grown children- Emma, and Chase. They both encourage my running, and sometimes even race with me…well, we all run in the event, and then they wait at the finish line for me to eventually join the party.
Currently I belong to two local running clubs here in Carroll County, Maryland; The Eldersburg Rogue Runners, and the Westminster Road Runners Club. I am also excited to have been chosen to represent Honey Stinger brand organic energy foods as a 2015 Team Hive Sponsored Athlete and Brand Ambassador.
How/why did you start running?
I’ve always been an active, athletic person. Running has always been my first love. I ran varsity all throughout my high school Cross-Country and Track years, and Gymnastics as well. My skill and passion for running landed me one season of Division One Cross-Country in college, but I quickly became burnt-out…jaded, and lost my joy for running. In short, I walked off the team, away from the sport, and out of school.
What do you love about running – what keeps you coming back time after time?
I came back to running many years later. It was a way to help my own son’s efforts as a high school runner, and provide him the medical support he needed as a runner dealing with Epilepsy. His school administration and coaches were initially less-than-supportive. I spent two years on my own supporting him medically before they finally reached ADA compliance and provided him with a nurse. STILL, I had to carry an extra set of emergency meds because his nurse wasn’t up to the rigorous physical demands of tough cross-country courses.
How do you get yourself out the door on days when you’re just not ‘feeling it’?
For me, getting out the door is my biggest challenge, and an every day struggle versus my Inner Mean Girl (IMG). I suddenly find myself coming to terms that my marriage will NOT have the “Happily Ever After” I envisioned years down the road. For me this book ends at Chapter 21. I will admit, there are days my IMG wins, but I am a thrifty New Englander at heart, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let her keep me from all the races I’ve already paid for! I will win THOSE battles! Grrrr!
Do you have an inspirational and/or funny running story (or stories!) to share with us?
Probably one of my funniest race moments came just this season…during the Columbia, MD Half Marathon. I started off with a friend but we soon became separated. I eventually caught up to members of yet another organization that I am a part of- Athletes Serving Athletes (ASA). They enable athletes with physical challenges the ability to compete in mainstream race events by using “Wingmen” to push or assist the athlete as needed. They are the group who graciously provide a Companion Runner to my own son to compete in these events at no charge. I became separated from them too…at a crowded water stop. After I got my bearings, I spotted their distinctive teal Sparkle skirts up ahead, and pushed myself to eventually catch up! Only to discover that…this was a different ASA team altogether. As I soldiered on, a runner (a stranger) gifted me with a teal blue “Fellow Flower”. Such amazing encouragement during this race! I eventually crossed that finish line a full TWENTY minutes better than ever before. So the key to my success seems to be: Get Lost, Make New Friends, and Have Fun!
How has running changed your life?
Running has always kept me grounded. It is the constant in my life, alongside that of my family and my closest friends. Running has reconnected me to emotions, feelings and strengths that I didn’t realize I would so desperately come to depend on right now. Places, smells and experiences are so much more vibrant; felt more vividly. It’s been a HUGE comfort to see how quickly and decisively my circle has come together to help lift me up and stand with me. From new friends who have proven stalwart, to the indomitable running legend Sid Busch himself, and ALL those who have reached out- I thank you.
What words of wisdom do you have for brand new runners?
Best “Words-of-Wisdom”? That first mile never really gets any easier! Get past it, settle down, and settle into your stride. Establish your race rhythm and breathing. Enjoy yourself. Remember that your only competition should be yourself!
What are your favorite inspirational blogs to follow?
What social media do I follow? Honestly…I don’t follow many on a frequent basis. I sometimes sort through recommended blog entries and posts…and try to stay connected to healthy living social media. Eating/Exercising and healthy mind stuff. The only online source I follow day-in-and-day-out is our RWC community, and Jill Angie’s related works. She is a true motivator and support mentor.
Have you ever been injured running, and how did you recover?
My most serious injury? Ugh ☹ Technically I WAS running, but it was during a friendly, competitive soccer match in a local adult league about 3-4 years ago… POP! Just that immediately, I blew out my hamstring, and slammed into the grass in a cloud of dust. I suffered a Grade 3 Hamstring Tear, (a Grade 4 requires surgery), so it wasn’t a minor issue. My leg lit up that monitor screen like a Supernova. I shredded that hammy! It took months of PT/REHAB, and still aches and cramps during weather changes, and if I do not warm up carefully. It’s why I always wear a compression sleeve on that thigh. It is THE ONE THING that I cannot live without while running. It keeps that bum hammy warm and supported, and serves to remind me that I am not superhuman after all
What’s your favorite race distance and race?
I think my favorite race distance continues to be the 5K, surprisingly enough! It’s the one distance that has bee the hardest for me to improve upon. (STILL chasing that 30 minute mark)
My favorite race experience so far, continues to be the Frederick, MD Running Festival. It was my first-ever Half, entered on a whim with NO distance training…I’m a nut, or more specifically, A Nut Job Challenge finisher because I run both their 5K and Half race distances during the festival.
What are your top 3 songs to listen to when you run?
I’m old-school- so I don’t listen to music while running. I’d rather hear the scrunch of gravel under my shoes and the world around me. I wouldn’t mind sometimes drowning out the sound of that IMG, though!
Treadmill or outdoors?
I have no aversion to treadmills especially when extreme weather or safety is a concern. A treadmill can be a fantastic tool when learning how to establish a consistent race pace.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
I’d love to meet more of our RWC community. I have the Rock N Roll Philly Half coming up on Halloween this year. Let’s get in touch! I love wearing costumes, Sparkle Skirts and INKnBURN gear.
How can we find/follow you on social media?
I’m most active on Facebook. That is by far the easiest way to reach me.
Thanks Janice! If you’d like to read about other Rockstar Runners, click HERE.