Tomorrow will be exactly SEVEN months since I woke up and decided to try my hand at Couch to 5k. I had spent months fighting pain and swelling in my joints, especially my knees and ankles. At one point it was so bad, my rheumatologist gave me some super duper diuretics and I lost 9 pounds of fluid from my body, mostly my lower legs.

I was tired of being fat and winded and quite frankly, jealous of those people running down Peachtree as we drove down to eat a greasy breakfast on Saturday mornings.

The one goal I set at that moment was to go for a jog in Central Park during BlogHer. There seemed to be something magical about jogging around one of the most beautiful parks in the world, in the city that is my Happy Place.

A Twitter friend, Kelly, agreed to get up early on a kid-free morning to jog with a VERY slow me in Central Park. We ended up walking most of it because it was hot, I was swelling already, and it’s hard to talk and run at the same time!


Somehow I got talked into running a half marathon. I think that can be defined as the moment I officially lost my mind.

I’m running the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. I’ll be running 13.1 miles in memory of my baby boy who would be ten this year. I’m running in memory of and in honor of the children and families who have made the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia their Home Away From Home. I’m running, as my friend Shoshana said, “for the life I am living, and for the life I am living for.”

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Couch to 5k took a lot longer than it should have. About 4 months, actually, when it should have taken like 10 weeks. Arthritis is a bitch, but I was destined to finish it and run my first 5k.

My first 5k was in October, and I was lucky enough to have Sharon, a mom of a kiddo in Henry’s Scout Den, offer to run with me. Bless her heart, she’s run like nine billion half marathons and can run like 9 minute miles and she ran slooooow and walked and finished a 5k in just under 50 minutes with me. Just so I didn’t have to do it alone.

I threw up after this race and thought I would surely die. I thought I was done and couldn’t foresee being able to do this again EVER.



But then November brought the 5k celebrating the Ronald McDonald House’s tenth anniversary… I ran with friends, family, and now Teammates! It was a non-hilly course that was ULTRA hilly. Hurt, but I finished. And then the kid clocked a 9 minute mile in the fun run! Showoff!


Me, Karen, Amy — Team Charlie’s Angels

I’m so glad to have these girls by my side. They’re faster than me, but they’re not letting me quit. They’re running the Disney Princess Half with me on Team Charlie’s Angels.

And I’m so grateful to have Sharon here locally who pushes me along… even when we’re donning jingle bells in Dunwoody for the Jingle Jog!



I’m slow and I hate every single second of this process. But by God, I’m doing it.

Today, almost exactly 7 months after I started, I ran a whole SEVEN MILES*.


That’s a little more than a 10k.

It’s a little less than the 15k I’ll run next Sunday.

It’s a little more than half of the half marathon I’ll run in 47 days.

I’m almost halfway to my fundraising goal of $2500 for the Ronald McDonald House in memory of my Charlie. When I run in February, I’ll be running for my sons, both living on Earth and living in Heaven. And I’ll be running for you. For all of you who have “liked” my statuses, who have said “way to go,” and who have pushed me along the way.

After February 24, I may never run again, but I can promise you one thing. I’ll cry when I cross that finish line, and not just because I met my goal dressed like Princess Leia but also because the next day I can start Vikki’s new program, Couch to Cappuccino*.

My legs don’t swell anymore, I’ve dropped 4 pants sizes, my arthritis still bothers me but the pain is managed, and the best part?

I feel amazing! 

So here’s to the rest of the training. And for all of you who have resolved to start Couch to 5k, I say go for it. Follow the plan and take your time. You’ll rock it!


* Full disclaimer – I run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. I don’t run the whole time.

* Couch to Cappuccino needs to happen.

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  1. And I am ONE PROUD MOTHER !!! Phillippians 4:13 Love ya !

  2. I am so happy, excited, proud and in awe of you. You rock. Now I need to get running again because I NEED this, too!!
    Andrea recently posted..Happy 2013!My Profile

  3. Mary Anne says:

    Go Jana! So excited for you a d a little jealous. I thinki have t backward-I’m on the Couch to Cappacino program…
    Mary Anne recently posted..Hot Flash Fridays – CRS DiseaseMy Profile

  4. I make fun of exercise A LOT. It’s one of my treasured pastimes. I’ve never been terribly athletic (playing rugby badly for 4 years doesn’t count). I suspect that I mock it so much because I’ve never enjoyed it and have never stuck with anything.

    That said, I am getting older and though my weight is fine, I know that I can no longer get away without taking care of my body.

    I am also going to confess something: I often have dreams in which I run marathons and I’m always surprised and excited and really proud.

    So, yeah – I am doing the couch to 5k and I’ll see what happens. Reading your story keeps the spark burning.
    Vikki recently posted..The Year of the FoxMy Profile

    • I think I just read that you’re going to run a half marathon with me… Is that what I read? Rock on with your bad self, Vikki. You got this! And I think we’re really onto something with the C2Cappuccino plan. :)

  5. BRAVO!! I spent 6 weeks on C25K week 6 and never got past it. I am determined to try again this year so I can do my daughter’s Girls on the Run 5K with her. You have inspired me with this post! :)
    thedoseofreality recently posted..Damn You, Amazon.comMy Profile

    • Week 6 was SO hard. This time you can do it! I hear that GOTR is such a wonderful program. They do it at our school. Wish they’d do Boys on the Run :)

  6. Running with you in Central Park was most definitely a highlight from BlogHer!!!! I’m so proud of you for sticking with it!!! You rock!!! :) xoxo
    Kelly recently posted..TransformationMy Profile

  7. Stephanie says:

    Rock. On.

    Your pace and mine are very similar and I have challenged myself to do 90 miles in January. Today was my longest run ever in my life at 4 miles and I walked probably nearly half of that.

    You are my inspiration right now.
    Stephanie recently posted..How to spend less on baby equipmentMy Profile

  8. This is so wonderful! You are an inspiration! Sharing in your joy. What a wonderful way to honor both of your boys.
    Renee Schuls-Jacobson recently posted..Tingo Tuesday: Tell Me About A Krawattenmuffel MomentMy Profile

  9. I’ve been thinking about starting Couch to 5K for a while now. This post–and you–may have just given me the push I needed. So proud of you for not giving up!
    Jaime recently posted..Yet Another Year-End Review Post (or Not)My Profile

  10. I’m so proud of you!!

  11. I am in awe! I have always wanted to be a runner – but for whatever reason I am convinced that my body just isn’t made to do it.
    Dresden (@DresdenPlaid) recently posted..dominoMy Profile

  12. I’m so proud of you!! Go Jana!

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