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JR Martinez Starts the NYC Marathon in Last Place

The Iraq war veteran, motivational speaker, and Dancing With The Stars champ takes on the ultimate race challenge.

But know when to cut yourself a break. “Don’t be foolish and damage yourself either. If you’re tired, if your body needs a break, listen to your body and just stop and walk for a block and pick it right back up and keep going.”

Don’t go it alone. “Two years ago I got a black lab named Romeo. He’s my running partner—we run everywhere together. Even though he has two more legs than me, and he should run faster than me, I just try to keep up with him. He’s my motivation. Last night we ran eight miles. He’s right there with me.” 

Ask for advice. “I’m an amateur, so I'm always asking people for running tips, especially through Twitter (Tweet me at #runjrrun). I used to get blisters on my toes on my long runs, but people turned me on to Injinji socks, which are like gloves for your feet. They’re a pain in the ass to put on—they go between all your toes—but they’re great.”

Commit yourself even when things don’t go according to plan. “My job (as a motivational speaker) is not a nine-to-five. I’m on a plane in one city one day, another city the next, back to back. It’s hard. I got a late start on training because I was finishing my book, so I didn’t really start training till the middle of July. I’m not on the traditional path of marathon training—I missed that whole boat—but I’ve got mad respect for people who do marathons and train like this. It’s hard mentally let alone physically. I’m just trying to do the best I can possibly freaking do. Last night I flew home to L.A. from Colorado, ate dinner, and went for my hour and a half run at 9 p.m.”

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