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MommiesRun Monday: Jana

Each Monday I feature a different Mommy who Runs. We discuss different aspects of balancing motherhood, running, career, and health. If you are interested in being featured, please email me at mommiesrun@gmail.com

I'm so excited for this week's MommiesRun Monday because my super awesome friend, Jana, has agreed to write!  Jana is such an inspiration to me and you'll soon find out why.  She's super speedy and seriously adventurous.  She's an amazing mommy to a sweet and sassy little beauty named Ryan.  She's a newish friend but I feel like I've known her forever.  Take it away Dr. BananaCakes!

Hey y'all! So, our wonderful blog friend and one of my personal fav running moms has asked me to write a blog post on her fancy schmancy blog. Because I'm just so awesome (read: she gave me no choice), I obliged.

Before I get to business, let me tell you a little bit about yours truly. My name is Jana. Some may call me Jana Bananacakes. Siri calls me Dr. Jana Bananacakes. I am a recently divorced momma to a beautiful six year old little girl, Ryan. I  graduated pharmacy school in May of this year and work full-time as a pharmacist (obviously!) at a major chain. I love my job and really enjoy helping people and encouraging people to be healthy, get healthy, and stay healthy. Wait, that sounds alarmingly similar to my company's goal. Anywho, I enjoy helping people. I run when I can. I run alone. I run with some awesome mommas when I can. I run with my super awesome running boyfriend. I run races. A lot. Earlier this year, I ran 4 races in about 36 hours. So much fun!

During one of our group mommy texts, the idea of writing about my top 5 most favorite races came up as a topic. It seemed like a fun topic! And I have run a few races since I started running 4 years ago.  Without further ado...

Dr. JB's (JB stands for Jana Banana) most favorite, awesome, fun races (in no particular order):

1) St. Jude Marathon Weekend (Memphis, TN) www.stjudemarathon.org

While I have only done the half marathon, this race day consists of a 5K, a half marathon, and a full marathon. I have done this half marathon 3 times, the most of any races. Obviously, this is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. It costs about $1.5 million dollars a day to run that place and no parent ever has to pay a penny out of pocket. During pharmacy school, I was able to spend a month inside those walls and meet some of the most amazing, full-spirited kids ever! During the half marathon and full marathon, you actually run through the hospital campus. That part of the course is lined with parents of sick kids, survivors saved by St. Jude, even current patients all showing their support for YOU and appreciating you for supporting the efforts of the hospital. Talk about trying not to cry while trying to breathe and run! One of the most meaningful runs one may ever experience.

2) Ragnar Relay (Tennessee) www.ragnarrelay.com

Wow. This is probably THE MOST fun I have ever had. Ever. It's a 196 mile race starting in Chattanooga, TN and ending in downtown Nashville. We ran on backroads in the middle of the night, having to dodge roadkill, and pray no animals of the dark jumped out to eat us! One of my memorable legs of my three legs was my last one. I ran along some country roads with the sun shining bright, horses grazing in fields, just pure beauty. My team consisted of mainly my fellow pharmacy students with the coolest team name: The Memphis Drug Lords. My team finished in just over 29:30 hours.

3) Midnight Madness 5K (Bradford, TN)

I did this race in May of this year. It was surprisingly cold that night. And rainy. However, the rain slowed to a light rain right before the race started. This race was in a small West TN town. The course through a neighborhood was pitch black. You could not see where you were going but the spirit of all the runners was untouched by the cold mist! I actually placed in my age group at this one, too.

4) Run Under the Stars (RUTS) 10-hour endurance run (Paducah, KY)

This year was my first time doing this crazy, insane run. The race starts at 8:00 PM. P freakin' M. Shall I remind you of the name. It's 10 hours long. It starts at night. Yep, you run all.night.long. It ends at 6:00 the next morning. It's only open to first 150 people to register. The course is a 1/2 mile horse track. Yes, a horse track. A dusty, yet soft gravelly horse track. You actually kinda do get tired of running in circles. But, you set up camp somewhere in the middle of the track and you stop for food and drink whenever you want! The race director also provides hot pizza around midnight. Yum! I was completely exhausted by the end, but it was so much fun hanging with all these runners and some of your closest friends all night! It's been my longest run yet. I managed to get in 26.5 miles in about 8 hours. Yea, I stopped to eat and chill a time or two. It's something worth doing again, for sure.

5) Memphis Runners Winter Cross Country (now called Winter Off Road) Series www.wintercc.racesonline.com
This 4 race series takes place mostly on trails. It's a 3K, a 5K, an 8K, and a 10K. What I like about this series is it gives me a chance to change up my running grounds. The 5K and 8K are hard core trail races at a place nicknamed Stanky Creek. This series is definitely challenging but so much fun because you feel so accomplished in the end. I've done the series twice, in 2011 and 2012. I'm hoping to be able to do it next year.

Thank you so much BananaCakes!  Do y'all see why she's such an inspiration to me now?!  She's run some of the coolest races around!  Ragnar is definitely on my race bucket list and I hope I get to do it with Jana one day!  Please leave some love for one of my favorite Mommy buddies!  Love you JB!

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