1st marathon a humbling experience

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

First of all, if you have the desire to run a marathon, get proper shoes, train and go for it. It is quite an exhilarating experience and athletic accomplishment. Besides the physical grind it takes to complete a marathon, there’s a mental toughness component as well.

I don’t recommend training for too many marathons because the constant road pounding takes its toll on your feet, knees and hips, especially for women. Ladies, you’re not built for long distance running unless you don’t have childbearing hips. Female femur bones are torqued from hips to knees, and can cause wear and pain. Of course, there are exceptions, and I commend your dedication.

Fourteen years ago, I decided to run the Houston marathon for my 40th birthday. The race is typically in January, so I started training in August. My training was progressing very well in distance and time. Then my daughter was born in November, and all training stopped. I was the father who did all late night feedings.

January came around and I hadn’t run in over two months. I decided to go for it, since I’d already invested money into the race. The weather was sunny and cool, which made for perfect running conditions.

The race started and I felt fairly well until the 12th mile. That’s when King Kong jumped on my back and I carried him the rest of the way. I did finish the 26.2 mile race, which took me five and a half hours.

There are large crowds of people who attend these events cheering on the runners. During my last few miles, the crowd felt sorry for me and kept yelling “You’re going to make it.” That’s what happens when you look like a zombie limping down the road.

I finally crossed the finish line crying like a newborn baby. Someone snapped a picture and sent it to me. I had the picture blown up to poster size, so I could boast to all my friends and family. Well, to my humility, the oversized picture exposed my crocodile tears and large snot bubbles exploding from my nostrils. The poster never made it to the wall.

It took me two months to recover and I haven’t run since.

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