Tortorice after her weight loss

Janel Tortorice
Age: 39
Hometown: Midtown, Houston
Occupation: High School Physics Teacher and Anthropology Adjunct Professor
Marathons Completed: 1

For many years Janel Tortorice was unable to run because she carried an extra 170 pounds of weight. In August 2005, she underwent gastric band surgery and has since lost all 170 pounds. Running helped her lose the last 30 pounds and she credits it to helping her keep the weight off.

After the weight loss, she remembered her dream to complete a marathon and decided it was time to accomplish it. She has since raced in and finished the 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon, three half-marathons and multiple 5Ks.

Tortorice is thankful for her running club, Runner’s High Club, where several of her current fantastic friendships began. “Running also makes me feel more strong and confident about myself,” said Tortorice. “Because I know I can endure 26.2 miles of running, I feel as if nothing is impossible!”

In preparation for the 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon, she enjoys running in her local neighborhood park, Elizabeth Baldwin Park. She runs beneath the lovely old oaks which envelop this neighborhood gem just outside her doorstep.

She hopes to improve her previous time and successfully complete the 2012 marathon. “Whenever I feel tired or need motivation, I just have to think of all those years I could not run because of the enormous extra weight I carried around,” said Tortorice. And like the countless runners who have come before her, she says to herself, “I run because I can.”