Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome to Runners Anonymous

"Hi, my name is Jay, and I am a runner!"

Whew! There. I admitted it to the whole world.

I, Jay Stancil, am a runner.

Never thought I would ever be saying something like that. Ever.
See, I've not been a runner very long. I've only been serious about the sport for not even a year yet, but here I am averaging 25-plus miles a week, braving whatever temps Mother Nature throws at me as a I gear up for my second - yes, second - half marathon.

Honestly, I never thought I could be a runner. I had bad knees, messed them up in high school being a showoff in the weight room. (Let's just say a 180-pound teen should never try to squat 650 pounds.) And I am not even going to sugarcoat this: growing up, I hated running.

Running was torture for me growing up. PERIOD.

I'm not the swiftest of foot. Never was, and will likely never will be. And when I played basketball, I was the slowest kid on the team, by a longshot. We had track stars on our team. Like any other team sport out there, our punishment was to run. A lot.

Making the punishment even more fun, our coach would have us run until I won. Translation: we ran for a long, long, long, long time.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I was on the track team but competed in shot put and discus only. I did run the 200 once at an open meet just for the fun of it, and my time was right there with a lot of those who competed in the 400.)

As you can tell, running is not something I enjoyed to do. Especially since my dad ran, and being a typical teenager, I thought he was crazy.

On January 1, 2002, my lovely bride, Genople, and I began our weight-loss journey. I was quickly approaching 300 pounds, and something had to be done. We began to diet and exercise. I did a lot of treadmill work but really was never much of a fan of the "dreadmill." But I did it to get in shape. (By the way, I was able to drop 80 pounds and I have been maintaining ever since.)

When we moved to where we live now, the option of going out for a run became available thanks to sidewalks and an abundance of streetlights. Still, I wasn't a dedicated runner per sa. I only went out when I felt like it and only from March through November. No cold weather running for me.

Then, a funny thing happpened.

Good friend and fellow sports information director, Dave Parsons threw out a challenge in April of 2010 on Twitter asking any and all to join in running a half marathon, specificly, the Nationwide Better Health Columbus Half Marathon. Dave had never run a half marathon before, and like me, he hadn't been run at all.

For whatever reason, I said yes.

At the age of 38, I began training for a half marathon (despite the fact I had never ran anything long than a 5K and that was 20-25 years ago), and my world has never been the same. Completing that first half marathon was an amazing experience. So much so, I was planning when I could run my next one within an hour of crossing the finish line.

The whole purpose of this blog is to share with your my experiences and the knowledge I've gained along the way. Never in a million years did I ever think I would call myself a runner with a straight face and without laughing.

But here I am. I am a runner and proud of it.

So, lace up those sneakers and let's go!!!


  1. Good post, Jay! I'm glad that we both started running a year ago. It's amazing the journey that it can take you on and the great people you will meet. Keep putting one foot in front of the other! :)

  2. Thanks, Dave! It is amazing to think how far we've come in the past year, not to mention all the wonderful people we've met along the way. Best 'rash' decision of my life LOL :)

  3. I recently started a blog as well about my experiences of being a runner with Multiple Sclerosis ( The Nationwide Columbus Marathon 2010 was the first marathon I ran and I plan to run it again this year! Great first post Jay!

  4. Great job Jay! We must have been right next to each other at the finish line in Columbus. My time was 2:33:04.

  5. Lisa - I love your blog. So much so, I'm linking it to this one. Your story, journey is amazing.

    George - thanks!

    TCal - Let's sing it together: "It's a small world after all" :-)

  6. Yea Jay! I will give you partial credit (you told me your story last year at CoSIDA) for my taking up running again. It's a struggle, but I'm getting there. The final push? My running daughter in California called and said she signed us up for a 5K at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend. Just tough to run in Montana in winter--so I joined Snap. Treadmills are okay when it's ten below and blowing! Thanks.