Jason's March to the Marathon: And it begins

Jason's March to the Marathon: And it begins

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Let me start with this. Most of my life, I haven't been a runner and didn't like running, especially when I had to do it for a coach, growing up. Up until summer 2014, I got winded after just jogging for a few minutes. Now, I'm embarking on one of the biggest journeys of my life: training for a full marathon.

We're starting this weekly blog "Jason's March to the Marathon" to hopefully inspire others to get fit, healthy, and maybe set a high goal like a marathon or another type of race. This is also a chance to share my experience, the ups and downs of training for my first marathon, maybe some advice you could use.

This is not a goal I made lightly. A couple years ago, if you had told me I'd be running 26 miles at one time, I would say no way! Now, I feel I can achieve it, through discipline and perseverance - and have fun in the process. It's still difficult and sweaty at times, as you see pictured after a recent run.

Believe it or not, I enjoy running now. And I enjoy the results, especially being able to eat more food because of calories burned.

I believe setting goals is very important with anything in life, including running, and also having the right reasons for doing something. My reasons for running my first ever marathon, as pictured in my training journal, include: Prove I can do it, glorify God, inspire others, new challenge, turning 40 years old in February, and to stay healthy.

The Beatles, now that they're streaming, have been the soundtrack to the 20 plus miles I've run so far in 2016. I'm now one week into my 16-week-long training program from MarathonRookie.com, running only 4 times per week, building up to a long run of 20 miles in three months from now.

Along with picking a training program, – other helpful parts of my training are to have high quality running shoes, get advice from more experienced runners, register for specific races, and have a running partner. I've checked all those off my list.

Every 300-400 miles, I get a new pair of running shoes, lately from Big Dog Running in Columbus. I have several friends who have run multiple marathons, and I've picked their brains.

Our target race is the Rock n' Roll Marathon in Nashville, benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I typically do training runs by myself, but will run some now with several friends, including Jimmy Davis, who just finished the Disney World marathon.

Anyone can do this. It all started with me simply going through the "Couch to 5K" program two-and-a-half years ago, then running my first 3.1-mile race at Midnight from Country's BBQ in Columbus. Next up: Marathon.

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