A few years ago, no longer being a guy that could literally jump into his running shoes and bang out (seemingly, at least) any amount of miles, I invented a little running trick that I employed today.
I woke up yesterday and enjoyed walking around my house doing tasks that I knew I wouldn’t get to do again for a number of weeks.
These tasks including exciting things like walking up and down the stairs, opening the refrigerator and grabbing items, standing at my computer, and taking a shower… things like that. Simple things. Things we often take for granted.
…but that doesn’t make this feel any better.
I knew it was time. I know I had to do this, but it still hurts.
…and with that long run, my 2019 marathon dream is over.
Today was supposed to be my last long run, a final effort, to prove to myself that I could actually do the marathon. The truth, the reality I must face, is that I can’t. Not this year.
I gave it everything I had.
And then some.
It all started as a sort of lark. A few dads from my school were talking about forming a baseball team and jokingly (or not) asked me if I was interested in playing. I immediately declined. While I have played competitive men’s softball for decades, I hadn’t played baseball since I was sixteen years old. While I might be pretty good at softball (on my good days), I was never very good as baseball.
If I had one, my prime would have been a long time ago. I’m fifty years old, well past baseball age. I knew that a league like that wasn’t for me.
I ran my first marathon in 2002. Since then, in my running “career,” I have completed 21 marathons. That’s 21 marathons in 17 years, a pretty good rate.
I have run some races pretty quickly, with my PR taking place in Chicago in 2006 (3:25:16). But, as I have aged, I have (not surprisingly) gotten slower. I knew going into this year’s New York City Marathon that I would be very slow and that it would be a huge struggle for me for numerous reasons including the fact that I was coming back from an injury (Achilles tear) that kept me out of the previous year’s marathon and the fact that, while I was upping my mileage, I still wasn’t 100%, nor was I properly trained for a good showing.
You get out of it what you put into it.
I put in determination and heart. Those traits got me through the race. I din’t put in the necessary training miles. That resulted in my slowest marathon time ever (4:47:47).
While I am not overjoyed with that result, I have to admit that I actually thought I’d be a lot slower. I was concerned that 2018 would be my first ever five hour marathon. Determination and heart prevented that from happening because I was not, by any definition of the term, in marathon shape.
Now about a month after the marathon, I’m still not in great shape. But, I am determined that when I take the starting line for what I hope will be two marathons in 2019, I will be in much better physical shape. I have been on a cycle of poor showings for quite a while now…and I’m ready to break that pattern.
It is to that end that I designed this new marathon plan – a 10-month plan that (I hope) will get me to the starting line in my best shape in many (many) years. While I persevered and got through the 2018 New York City Marathon, I did it with a lot of self-doubt. Most of my most recent marathons have been run that way. I need to change that. Continue reading “My 2019 Marathon Plan (Part 1)”
During my youth, the word “hero” meant one thing to me – a professional baseball player.
My first hero was Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles. I loved Nettles. He was a hard-nosed power hitting third baseman. Nettles led the American league in home runs in 1976. In 1977 and 1978, he earned the Gold Glove for his stellar defense at third base.
As a runner, I was Superman. But, that was a while ago.
When I started running marathons, I thought I was invincible.