You see, the marathon wasn't just a race, but rather an enormous milestone in my journey. During this transformation, I ditched my regimen of fast food, heavy drinking and smoking – the very habits that took me from a fit, Division 1 football player at Georgia Tech 20 years ago to a 250-pound couch potato. I chose to make a positive change, which we all know is a deep, methodical and uphill battle. I traded in my vices for water and teas, juicing, plant-based eating and the elimination of any self-inflicted carcinogen known to mankind.
To test my inner strength, I decided to run my first marathon in 2012. When the gun sounded, a group of fast marathoners surged from the crowd like greyhounds chasing rabbits. It would have been simple to follow suit while burning fuel reserves within the first hour. Yet, I remained calm and collected while remembering the coaching both Nina Russin and Chris Anderson offered during a six-week training period. Yes, I said six weeks, which is most likely the culprit for the nearly six-hour run. [Read more: The Vegan Marathoner: From 250 Pounds to 26.2 Miles]