Why I Run: Janice’s Story


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I love this woman! I met Janice after she completed the Tulsa Run (a 15k tradition in Tulsa). She is spunky and funny and I can’t imagine her in any way other than setting awesome goals and kicking them in the teeth. I’m pleased as punch to know her.

Two years ago at the age of 48, a doctor said to eat healthier, lose weight and get in shape so that I could reduce cholesterol levels and balance hormones. Prior to the follow-up appointment, I exercised more consistently and paid attention to what I ate which did help me feel better physically and emotionally. I also gathered test results from my siblings as I thought that I would show the doctor that the high cholesterol was due to heredity as my three siblings and I have battled this for many years. I showed the doctor the results and her response was that 80% of the problem could be controlled and 20% heredity.

When she rechecked my cholesterol, the levels were within range which meant if I would eat healthy and increase the workout intensity, I can control the cholesterol. My thought was ʻWhy did I go to the doctor, if I wasnʼt willing to make the changes she recommended?” I did make the changes including increasing my level of physical activity. My siblings also needed to increase their level of physical activity so we set the goal of competing in the Tulsa Tough bike ride.

I happen to live in Tulsa, OK which has awesome trails for biking and running. As part of my routine, I ran intervals on a track for cardio. After successfully completing the Tulsa Tough in 2011, my siblings and I thought of doing a sprint triathlon as it would be an activity that someone could compete individually or as a team. In preparation for a sprint triathlon, I decided to run a 5K so I increased the length of the intervals and signed up for the the Bixby Green Corn Festival 5K with a friend. I finished the race and continued to run as part of my workouts. After running a couple of 5Ks, my niece, my sister, and I competed as a team in a sprint triathlon.

My family has continued our tradition of participating in some type of physical activity whenever my family gathers so we have ran Turkey Trots at Thanksgiving, 5K/10K runs, bike rides, and sprint triathlons.

Through the training for the events, I have developed a love for running. As I neared my 50th birthday, I wanted a goal that would challenge me so I decided to run a half- marathon. As part of the training, I ran a 5K in August as part of a sprint triathlon team, a 10K in September, the Tulsa Run in October and then completed the Route 66 half- marathon.

Others have asked if I have always run, wondering if I was I athletic as a kid. As a kid, I played outside and played softball for several years but nothing at a competitive level. I remember coaches telling me that it was a good thing that I hit the ball so far because I ran so slow. Sports was more for fun than having natural athletic abilities. In the past, Iʼve tried to run several times but was never successful because I would start running then wonder why I was breathing so hard by the half- mile mark that I would quit because I couldnʼt do it. I was successful this time because of running intervals and I took the time to increase my cardio and physical fitness level. For me, running is therapy. Itʼs a great stress release and my slogan is Iʼm running my way through menopause.

During the half-marathon, I said the famous last words “never again” but Iʼve already registered for the next one.

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