First-Time Marathoner Finds the Experience Exciting

August 16, 2017 by Kavita Sherman, writer

Dr. Ira Taub and his daughter, Daniella, are shown at the Girls on the Run race in 2014. The 5K took place in Akron, starting and finishing at Lock 3, right across from Akron Children’s. Peeking around Daniella is Dr. Taub's younger daughter, Shani.

Running a marathon can be a heart-stopping experience for many first-time marathoners. For Akron Children’s pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ira Taub, that was the case. Dr. Taub, who completed his first marathon last spring, remembers the day vividly.

“For me, it was a discovery process,” he said. “I had never run more than 15 miles at one time. At mile 17, my legs started to quit on me. I walked a little, then began jogging again. People were calling out and shouting encouragement, and I kept going. Finally, I could see the crowds and hear the music as I ran the final stretch. The best part was that my wife and 2 of my kids were waiting at the finish line and cheering for me.”

During his medical residency, Dr. Taub took up running to release stress and get exercise. But as his family and responsibilities grew, he had less time for self-care, including regular running. It wasn’t until 3 years ago when one of his daughters, then age 8, ran the Girls on the Run race, that Dr. Taub got into organized running. The two of them completed the 5K together.

“I’ve always loved sports,” Dr. Taub said. “I’m not big or fast, and I’m not very coordinated, but I’ve always been able to run. I like the fact that running is a very efficient workout, too. It’s free and I can do it anywhere.”

It’s also a way to ward off coronary artery disease, something that runs in his family.

“I have a maternal uncle who inspired me to run and be active,” said Dr. Taub. “My uncle was in his 40s when he had a heart attack. He had to have quadruple bypass surgery, but approximately 1 year after his surgery, he ran a marathon. He then went on to run 6 more marathons.”

Dr. Taub ran the Cleveland Marathon this past spring.

In addition to running the Cleveland Marathon this past spring, Dr. Taub ran the Cleveland Half Marathon in 2016.

“I felt like I could do more, which is why I signed up to run the full marathon this year,” he said.

Although he’s not sure when he’ll race again, Dr. Taub knows he’ll continue running.

“I run for my physical and mental health,” he said. “It clears my head and changes the tone of my day. I run 3 times a week, and in a good week, it might be 4 times. Even on the days when I don’t feel like going out to run, I’m always glad I did. On the trail where I like to run, I might see a deer or bunny while listening to music or a podcast. Later, when I walk back through the door at home, I feel like a million bucks.”

In his practice, Dr. Taub often counsels his patients about the importance of physical activity.

“I tell people it’s important to have something like running be a part of your life,” Dr. Taub said. “When I talk to preteens or teenagers, I tell them if it (running) feels like they’re taking medicine, they’re probably not doing it right. Regardless, there are plenty of other things they can do to be active. For instance, dance is just as good of a workout. Find an activity and stick with it.”

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