J.R. Martinez is training for the New York City Marathon and is determined to strike it big for charity. Timex has partnered with the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ winner and promises to donate $1 to the city’s Road Runners’ youth program every time J.R. passes a runner along the way. Martinez, who plans to raise $31,000 for Road Runners, recently sat down with Parade.com to talk about marathon training and fatherhood.
Training for the marathon.
“I’ve never run a marathon. I’ve only done a couple of 5Ks. This is completely out of my comfort zone, but it’s going great. I’m running almost every day. I am running as much as I brush my teeth.”
Marathon vs. ‘Dancing With the Stars’
“At this stage, dancing is harder. With Karina [Smirnoff], as much as I love her, I had to deal with her telling me ‘No, no, no, no, no. That’s not how you do it. That’s not the step. That’s not this. That’s not that,’ every day for three months. And I still love her and she loves me, but it was like, ‘Oh, my God, here we go again.’ You’re dancing literally for 8 or 10 hours a day. But yesterday I ran 11 miles and it was two and half hours. It’s just a different way of training. You train every day for that 90 seconds of dancing, but here, I’m training every other day, pacing myself for 26 miles on November 4. So it’s different, but I do like that nobody yells at me.”
“Fatherhood is another challenge. It’s another marathon. But it’s amazing and beautiful. My daughter [Lauryn Anabelle] has really blessed us. She’s had a really good sleeping schedule so far. She recently started waking up throughout the night because she’s teething. But it doesn’t matter if you got two hours of sleep. Somehow, the precious little face makes it worth it. I’m always on the road and I miss her, but her mom always sends me pictures and videos of her. One day she’ll be able to look back and be like, ‘Oh man, my dad ran a marathon? That’s crazy.’ Maybe I’ll get her running in a marathon.”
Dealing with growing popularity.
“When I was on All My Children, I probably had two people out of 10 recognize me. Now, I have at least nine people come up to me and recognize me. Obviously, I don’t like to use my new celebrity status as a way to get first class service at a restaurant. For me, it’s just more special to use it for good. And for me to be able to use this new platform, this new voice that I have, to raise awareness about things I’m passionate about and inspire people, to me, is really what it’s all about.”