Laced up and ready to go, it's one step at a time for these running enthusiasts.
Phyllis Aswell started "Go Run" - a running training program in Lake Charles, La.; with about 40 runners.
"Every time we meet as a group we're celebrating our health, so we act like that. It is a big party," Aswell says.
The program has grown to 250, including Rebecca Stockman and Jason Guidry, who had both never really completed more than a mile.
"I was getting older, definitely not doing anything at all, and so I wanted to try to be active," Stockman says.
She took her inspiration from an episode of The Biggest Loser where she saw contestants finish a marathon.
"I thought if they could do it, there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to do it," she recalls.
Stockman's immediate goal was to do a marathon, 26.2 miles.
"I had my eye set on it, and I wasn't going to veer off of it," she says.
Jason Guidry wanted to start with a 5k - three miles - and possibly build up to a longer race.
But as his endurance, outlook, and body changed to 60 pounds lighter, he decided to run the Houston Marathon, making a dream come true.
"My family was there, and so it was very emotional seeing them there and them supporting me all the way through," he says. "It was so good to see that finish line!"
Phyllis says conditioning your body for a half or full marathon takes a solid six months of training, running between two and five miles three days a week and longer runs on Saturdays.
"We take you up a few miles, and then we drop you down a few miles, and then up take you up a few miles. But we train with the philosophy of easy and hard days," she explains.
Each step of the way, these runners say they had to learn to listen to their bodies when rest was needed, take every other day off and live out the saying that it's "a marathon, not a sprint."
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