It is my pleasure to introduce you to our newest East Nasty of the Week (ENOW), Janet Parry! I just recently met Janet. We’re both P2T coaches this summer & after our first training session, we ran into each other at Target. We stood in the store talking for easily 30 minutes, which shouldn’t surprise you if you know either one of us. Here is what fellow P2T coach, Susi Glenn Willis, has to say about Janet:
“One of the greatest thrills of coaching a Couch to 5K group is to watch a runner’s progress. Last year after the Potato 5K, Janet started posting her training runs on Facebook: treadmill runs, after work runs, Saturday runs at Percy Warner Park… and the mileage kept growing! Not one year had passed and Janet had run her first 1/2 marathon, Country Music, in the pouring rain no less! It is so fun to see another Lasty Nasty reach their running goals. I have been so happy to see Janet’s beautiful smile each week this summer and share coaching future 5K-ers with her (and Saturday post run Nashville Biscuit House breakfasts)!”
Janet was born in Portsmouth, VA (Navy dad). She spent several years up and down the East coast, but grew up primarily in St. Louis, MO, where she also went to college at Saint Louis University.
Janet relocated to Nashville from Chicago in March 2010. Her mom, sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nephews had all relocated to Nashville and lobbied for several years to get her here. It was meant to be after a year of unemployment in 2009 and expanding her job search outside of Chicago. She found a great job and took the plunge to move from the Windy City to Music City.
Janet works for a healthcare company, AMSURG, in the IT department. She says, “I’m not a techy type though – I am in more of an operational role.”
Janet started running in 2010. That summer, she participated in a Couch To 5K program and tried to continue running, but says that each run felt like a chore and not fun. Running was put on hold in 2011 due to a sprained, then fractured ankle. After rehab, she decided to give running another go and joined the 2012 East Nasty P2T group. After the Tomato 5k, she ran a few other 5k races and somehow found herself registered to run (or swim, as it turned out) the 2013 Country Music Half Marathon.
Janet’s biggest accomplishment in running is running and finishing the 2013 Country Music Half Marathon. And as parenthetically noted above, not only just finishing, but finishing under some pretty biblical conditions. Janet says, “The rain felt like a monsoon and on top of that, I had a bad cold and hadn’t been able to run two weeks prior due to a bout of plantar fasciitis. After running with those conditions, I couldn’t wait to find my next Half Marathon and hopefully have better conditions to see what I can do!” In fact, Janet just signed up for the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank International Half Marathon!
Janet goes on to say, “I’ve NEVER been athletic, let alone a runner. I never played sports in school and really didn’t like gym class. I remember when living in Chicago, a friend of mine talking about her experience running the Chicago Marathon. I thought, WOW, that’s an awesome accomplishment, but I’d never be a runner and even made the comment I wouldn’t even run being chased by someone threatening to beat me with a big stick. Never say never.”
Janet first heard about East Nasty through her friend and co-worker, Daniel Hudgins. She says that Daniel was always so enthusiastic when talking about running, as well as East Nasty, his experiences with the group and friends he’s made. She was intrigued. So, finally after rehabbing the ankle, decided to give it a try through the P2T program. Although she had been working out with a personal trainer for strength training, running was a different type of fitness and she was slow. At first, she was worried about feeling intimidated. Not only for being slow, but also not being what she felt is the image of a typical runner. She found though, she wasn’t intimidated in the least. She describes all the coaches as fantastic, “continually encouraging, pushing us along and celebrating the accomplishments with us every step of the way”.
Speaking of Daniel, here is what he has to say about Janet:
“Janet is so dedicated to running. It was incredible to follow her journey from non-runner, to 5k, to her first half marathon. I knew she was really dedicated to her running and the joy it brings when she started talking about a day or a time that she hated missing a run. Also, I love having a running buddy in the office to talk with about “that time we ran Country Music in the rain” and other running related musings. Now, she’s totally in her element, volunteering to help others who are in the same shoes she once was in, training with new runners for their first 5k. Above all, she is an inspiration and a great asset to our community in East Nasty. I’m so excited for her to continue on this path and can’t wait to see what she will do next!”
One of the challenges Janet faced was running in the summer heat and learning that the clothes she was wearing (say it with me, “Cotton is rotten”) weren’t helping her progress. She had been fit for shoes, and purchased running socks, but found it difficult to find the right moisture wicking clothes in her size. Janet says, “I love a challenge, so I continually searched online and asked in several stores. Most retailers don’t carry plus size athletic clothing in-store. However, I found online, there are several options and if patient, you can find a deal.” Below are some options Janet has had luck with:
6pm.com – “They are the outlet website of Zappos. I have found a lot of Nike clothing here at a great discount. Enter plus size athletic in the search box or if you want to search a specific brand, enter that (Nike plus or Nike extended size) in the search box
Zappos.com – same as above
OldNavy.com – I haven’t personally purchased from Old Navy, but have friends who have and like the product
Lane Bryant – Some of their athletic clothing is still cotton, so be careful. They do carry a Reebok brand of athletic wear that is moisture wicking
Tworoadsfitness.com – this is a company out of Minnesota that has several plus size options. If you sign up for their emails you’ll find they typically offer discounts around holiday weekends
Nordstrom.com – Nordstrom carries a lot of Nike, Moving Comfort and Zella (their own label) plus size active wear. If you check back occasionally, you will find certain items on sale
Nike.com – search by extended or plus size
MovingComfort.com – search by extended size
Athleta.com – within each clothing category, you can search for plus size.”
I asked Janet what she enjoys most about East Nasty and she said, “I love the camaraderie, support and encouragement from everyone – people I know and those I’ve just seen in passing. I’m one of the Lasty Nasties, those of us who are not elite runners, not quite as fast – we are usually last, but have lots of fun along the way (check out our FB page, Lasty Nasty). We typically meet a bit early on Wednesdays nights between 5:30 and 5:45 pm to get a little bit of a head start and finish along with some of the other pace groups. It’s awesome to hear the random ‘Great Job’ or ‘Keep it up’ as some of the other runners pass by. My experience in East Nasty has taught me that runners come in all shapes, sizes and speeds. I’ve enjoyed my East Nasty experience and wanted to give back this year, so I volunteered to be a coach for the P2T program.”
Here is what Joy Whitus Howard has to say about Janet:
“Watching Janet grow as a runner over the past year has been amazing. Last year she was a P2T participant I had the pleasure of coaching. Over the past year she has turned into a half-marathoner and a P2T coach, helping others develop a love for running. Her smiling face is a pleasure to see three times a week – even when we’re headed up Mt. Nasty for one of our post P2T training sessions.”
Janet’s most memorable East Nasty experiences include:
“At some point during the P2T training, I’m not sure exactly when, but I remember feeling like running wasn’t a chore. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but somewhere along the way it became fun. I finally began to like and ultimately love running.
Two or three weeks after finishing the Tomato 5k last year, The Nasty was the run of the week. It was hot and a tough run. The feeling I had after conquering Mt. Nasty and earning my sticker was one I won’t soon forget.”
When Janet’s not running or coaching, she enjoys traveling. She’s been to 43 of the 50 states and is in the process of making plans to visit the remaining 7 within the next 5 – 7 years. She loves live music and has incorporated her love of travel to see a couple of her favorite bands (Poi Dog Pondering and Carbon Leaf) this year by heading to Denver and an upcoming trip to Chicago. She loves taking classes to learn how to do something she’s never done. So far, she’s taken pottery, knitting, glass fusing, glass blowing and painting. Next on the list is cake decorating. Janet also loves sporting events, although never having been an athlete, she LOVES watching sports, especially Chicago sports. She says, “Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks, to be specific.”
Janet, I’m so glad I met you! Congrats and welcome to the ENOW club!