TYLER (KYTX) -- It was a goal 10 months in the making, but Graham Jones, 43, never intended to be a marathon runner.
"My older brother has been running triathlons for about 20 years now," Jones said. "He's always tried to get me to do it with him. He challenged me and my little brother to run it with him."
At the time Jones weighed 210 pounds and he really didn't want to take on the Tyler Rose's 26.2 grueling miles.
"But then I looked at myself in the mirror," he said. "It was really time to do something. So he [older brother] said 'you sign up and I will give you a plan.'"
By January, Jones was on that plan and running. He said he started slow -- running for five minutes and then walking for five -- for a total of 25 minutes.
"If you haven't run before," he said. "You really have to start slow and build it up."
Within three months, Jones' commitment to pounding the pavement melted 20 pounds off his frame and eliminated the medications he was taking for indigestion, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
"My cholesterol used to be through the roof and now it is perfect," he said. "It's just been great."
Jones used an 18-week marathon training plan. He's gone from not being able to run five straight miles to being just days away from conquering more than 26.
"My longest run so far has been 21 miles and at the end of that 21 I could have kept going," he said. "So I'm pretty sure I will be ready for the race."
Jones' goal is to finish the Tyler Rose Marathon alongside his two brothers. Afterwards, he plans on running another race in March.
He said it's a lifestyle for him now and he's happier and healthier than he's ever been.