Alan Faneca spent 13 seasons with the Steelers, Jets and Cardinals, and for most of that time he operated as one of the NFL's best offensive guards. When he called it a career in May 2011, he had been to nine Pro Bowls and was a nine-time All Pro.
In his playing prime, Faneca weighed more than 300 pounds. Now, two and a half years since retirement, Faneca has dropped 100 pounds. And on Super Bowl Sunday, he ran his first marathon in an impressive 3:56:17.
According to Runner's World, Faneca started training for the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in October but was still nervous on race day.
“I was very nervous about going from the slow long run pace to all of a sudden running 30-45 seconds faster,” he said. “I got the adrenaline thing but adrenaline doesn't last for four hours.”
Faneca had nothing to worry about, finishing in under four hours, a nine-minute-a-mile pace.
“I was always very strict in my training, taking notes and writing things down,” he said. “I had something to lean on.”
And when Faneca reached the finish line he celebrated with an Abita beer.
“A lot of people ask me, do I miss football? I don't miss football but what I do miss is that first beer after a game," he said. "I had the same feeling after the race.”
It's hard to believe that this is the same guy who spent Sunday afternoons dispensing pancake blocks to unsuspecting defensive linemen.