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BY Judy Overton

The Dreamsicle-colored sun rose slowly as I entered my fourth mile at the high school track. I've just completed the first week of an 18-week training for the 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon, my second attempt at the 26.2-mile run.

My first and only marathon was in 1995, a month before my 40th birthday.

As I round the 13th lap, I recall encountering my small fan base -- my husband Tom and our sons Nathan and Matt -- on...