Friday, September 13, 2013

The Beginning of my Love Affair with Running

I ran one race before my on again off again run-mance truly began in 2008.  It was a 5k with my friend Marissa, and if I remember correctly, it didn't go all that well.  Believe it or not I was able to find the results!

343.Janell Weaver        Canton, PA          25 F     39:15 12:38 148/183   F25-29:16/20      
344.Marissa Piazza       High Bridge, NJ     25 F     39:15 12:38 149/183   F25-29:17/20  

Don't get me wrong, I know we were both pretty happy and proud of ourselves for finishing, but looking back, it should have been easier on a pair of 25 year olds!  That was the Run with Rotary 5k April 29, 2007 in Montgomery, NJ. 

Why did I want to run it?  To be honest, I'm not completely sure.  I have always held an admiration for runners.  Their endurance, athleticism, physiques, and mental toughness are all things I wanted to have.  So maybe I thought I would just jump in and give it a try.  I did not know about training.

Fast forward a few months and I have met my BFF Crystal.  We both had just left our homes to accompany our husbands to U.S. Coast Guard Station Oak Island.  There was a 5k and 10k held every April on the island so we decided to train for the 10k.  Okay, so this time I knew about training, but we still had no idea what the heck we were doing.  Nevertheless, we survived and I think that race sparked something within me.  I finished in 1:11:10, an 11:28 pace.  That pace was better than my first race, but I wanted to get better at running- faster, stronger, tougher. 

The four of us (Joe, Crystal, Aaron and myself) continued to sign up for races here and there, I believe only 5ks.  Our next race was the NC Freedom Run 5k, June 27, 2008.  I finished in 32:11, a 10:22 pace.  So despite my lack of understanding of training, my persistence was paying off.
Next up was the Inaugural Go, Jump in the Lake 5k, August 30, 2008.  I actually placed 3rd in my division for this one!

Our next 5k was the Oyster Fest 5k October 18, 2008.  I finished in 29:27, a 9:28 pace!  Getting speedier!  (I got to say tougher too.  This race was cold, wet, and poorly organized!)
Crystal and I did a 5k run as part of the Soldier Ride through the Wounded Warrior Project on October 25, 2008.  If it was timed I don't know, but it was a pretty nice run and we hung out on the beach a little bit afterwards.
Next up was the Bald Head Island Maritime Classic Road Race on November 8, 2008.  Joe, Crystal, and I ran the 5k and Aaron did the 10k.  My time was 29:26 with a 9:29/pace.  Aaron (of course) kicked butt and got 2nd in his division with an 8:15/pace WHILE carrying all of our junk in a backpack AND running twice the distance as the rest of us.  That was my last race before finding out I was pregnant with Cullen, but I did run two races while pregnant.
My first pregnant race was the Steve Haydu St. Patrick's LoTide Run 5k on March 14, 2009.  I was 4.5 months pregnant and finished in 38:10 with a 12:17/pace.  I remember this finished on the beach in some very-difficult-to-run-in sand! 
A month later I did the Oak Island Lighthouse 5k.  I finished in 35:58 with an 11:36/pace.  This was my last race pre-baby. 
An amazing thing was happening through all this running and racing.  I was beginning to not only look better, but I was also beginning to feel a lot better.  It was as if I found a piece of me that I never even knew was missing.  Running did make me faster, stronger, and tougher.  It lifted my mood and made me happy.  Having a baby definitely changes everything, more on how that ties in to running later!


  1. Aww I love this recap of your earlier days of running! (And I'm quite jealous of the Oak Island Lighthouse 5K/10K!)

  2. I love you. It's crazy how much speedier we both are now....and older. haha! You have always inspired me and motivated me to be a better person in anything I do. Thank you. (and it's okay if I put you up on a pedestal!!!)


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