The week leading to my third start was rainy and filled with more evening responsibilities that interrupted my throwing program, but, like in previous weeks, I was able to have a very special catch with a very special person.
My third start of the season was scheduled for Sunday, May 5. We were going to be back to Wright’s Field in Bloomfield to play a different team from the area. It seems that a few towns, Bloomfield being one of them, have more than one team in the league. I was looking forward to this opportunity to see if I could build off my modest success the week before.
This would also be my first chance to pitch in back-to-back weeks – a true test of whether or not my arm, and body was up to this challenge.
It wasn’t to be.
Rain, dreadful rain, washed away our chances to play.
It was a great joy to get out on the mound and pitch again.
Since my first outing on April 7, I have been reliving much of that game over and over in my mind. I have also been surprised by the amount of people who have asked about the game. It’s been fun to tell the story to so many others. (To re-cap: It had been going surprisingly well through three innings before it all fell apart in the fourth.)
I did show in that game that I could still throw strikes, that I could throw a lot of pitches, and that I could still get guys out.
But now that it’s over, all of that isn’t enough.
My new baseball career begins today. It’s Opening Day!
We’re playing in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
I am excited, hopeful, and nervous.
“Just throw strikes.” “Just throw strikes.” This is what I’ll tell myself.
I hope I pitch well enough to get a second shot at this in a few weeks. I don’t think a no-hitter is in my future. I just hope my pitching performance doesn’t result in a no-outer.
I’m sure my arm will hold out, I just hope my Achilles does as well.
I woke up today, April 6, feeling pretty terrible. Awfully terrible. I still feel terrible.
But yesterday I felt even worse – even if the actually feelings were different kinds of terrible.
In the end, terrible is terrible no matter how or where it feels.
PUBLISHED BY WIPF & STOCK!
Thank everyone who believed in me, and God, of course, for helping make this step in my dreams come true.
(No other words are necessary.)
I am fifty years old. I’ll turn 51 this summer. I’m no longer young. I’m not as flexible, strong, or physically able as I used to be. All of this comes with age. Of course. I’m not in the best shape of my life, but I’m not in bad shape. Last November, I ran the New York City Marathon. I was slow (4:47:47), but because I was coming off a torn Achilles and was under-trained, I was pleased. In the first Rocky movie, Rocky said, “All I wanna do is go the distance.” I went the distance. It was my 21st lifetime marathon. Not bad.
I also still play in two pretty competitive men’s softball leagues. One league is a 30+ league where I’m becoming one of the older players. I still play shortstop and handle myself well enough. The other league is a 50+ league where I play more of a utility role. That team won the league’s championship last year.
I love to play ball.
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)”
I have had the great pleasure and honor of sharing inspirational words with my fellow runners at the Interfaith Chapel at the start of the New York City Marathon a number of times. I find it extremely inspiring to share God’s word before the race as we all prepare for the long miles ahead. This year I participated in two services and, as such, delivered two “sermons.” I will share both of these messages here on my blog. The first message I delivered is directly below this one on the blog’s home page. I hope, these words inspire you and your faith as well.
Rejoice in Suffering:
I have had the great pleasure and honor of sharing inspirational words with my fellow runners at the Interfaith Chapel at the start of the New York City Marathon. I find it extremely inspiring to share God’s word before the race as we all prepare for the long miles ahead. This year I participated in two services and, as such, delivered two “sermons.” I will share both of these messages here on my blog. I hope, these words also inspire you and your faith as well.
God Is With Us Today: