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Chip Gaines Reveals Training for His First Marathon Is Harder Than He Planned

People logo People 1/10/2018 Megan Stein

a man standing in front of a window © Provided by TIME Inc. Chip Gaines is fixing to make it to the finish line in 2018!

The Fixer Upper star, who recently announced he and wife Joanna are expecting baby number five, has a new dream for the new year: Completing a marathon.

“Monday was my first official day of training, and all I can really say is — that hurt,” the HGTV host wrote in a post on the Magnolia Market blog. Because, “the only thing I’m absolutely sure of is that I can run .2 miles,” his initial goal was a modest 1.7 miles.

“I’d been looking forward to my first run for weeks, and every time I imagined it in my mind, I looked strong, my breathing was steady, and I remained fully upright the entire time,” he said. “Honestly, I thought it would be a piece of cake.”

But for many who have tried to master the sport, they know the bleak reality of that inaugural jog.

“Turns out I would have been better off running to the mailbox and back because by the time I rounded the first mile mark, I was gasping for air,” he wrote. “It took everything I had not to keel over right there.”

a man wearing a suit case © Provided by TIME Inc.

Although his first try was tiresome, Gaines remains inspired, thanks in part to a chance encounter he had in New York City with long-distance runner Gabriele (Gabe) Grunewald.

“Back in 2009 Gabe was diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), a rare form of cancer—so rare that it only occurs in 3.5 out of every one million cancer patients,” he recalled. “But from what I can tell, this young lady hasn’t let her diagnosis or treatment slow her down for a minute.”

He added, “After hearing Gabe’s story, I realized two things: I didn’t want to spend another second standing on the sidelines, and secondly, given what she’s gone through, I didn’t have any excuse not to give this a shot.”

With Grunewald’s coaching, Gaines plans to continue toward his goal — and hopefully achieve it by the time he and Joanna host a race in Waco, Texas in May.

“There’s no doubt that I’m looking forward to crossing that finish line, but every day of training up until then is something to be proud of — because I’m making it happen!” he said. “And 26.2 doesn’t sound so long when you think of it like 2.62 x 10. That somehow sounds doable.”

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