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)”
It may seem like this passage is about running, but it’s not. It’s about me and you and all of us. The place where the idea was born, though, came out of running. Stick with me, you’ll understand in a moment…
While I have always tried to push myself to do things that I didn’t think were possible, and sometimes succeeded (but just as often failed), and while I have always believed that I could do anything (and I do believe we all can), I am sometimes (believe it or not) hampered by self-doubt.
This all might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t. As we push to attain new goals, part of us often wonders if that new goal is possible. I’m a big believer in trying. I like to go for it, but as I do, there are times when I wonder if attaining the goal is even possible.
Continue reading “At 50, I’m Back To 40”
It’s not quite forty degrees here in New Jersey. It’s cold. Hand stinging cold. It’s the cold that makes your nose and ears hurt.
Did I mention it’s April? I think the fact that it’s actually spring makes the temperature outside that much colder.
At least the sun is out, though the day will remain in the low-40’s.
Yet, even with the (close to) frigid temperatures, I am excited, very excited, unbearably excited, to get outside this afternoon. Today is the Opening Day of our softball season.
I just love to play ball.
Continue reading “Opening Day 2018”
A few months ago, I shared how people who I will never know might be impacted by the words I read from my basement in the early hours before school each day. I read a health report and share words of inspiration for a radio show in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area.
As a high school kid, when I dreamed of being a radio announcer, I thought I’d be doing things a little differently than what I’m doing now. I also thought that if I was on the radio, I’d be talking about baseball – especially the Yankees.
Continue reading “Radio Star II”
“Is this Heaven?”
from Field of Dreams
There is a Heaven. I know it absolutely. I have been there.
Now, to be clear, I haven’t been to that Heaven, just one that, to me at least, might be awfully close.
There is a God. I also know this absolutely. God played a big role in making my trip to Heaven a reality.
A few years ago I traveled to the legendary Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa to have a catch with my dad. I have often shared the story of how that trip came to be. I wrote about it and have put it on both of my blogs. The story has been published as part the book Impossible is an Illusion. Titled “Is This?” it might be my most widely read piece (to date). Many people, including a number of prominent authors and, I’m pretty certain about this, the President of the Baseball Hall-of-Fame have read that story.
But, I have never told the story about what happened on those magical days in Iowa in 2016 with my dad and my mom. I shared all about our decision to go there, but I’ve never told the tale of the wonderful memories we created on a little baseball field in the middle of nowhere.
This, then, is that story…
Continue reading “It Is!”
I think, in a way, we are very spoiled. The world is at our fingertips. We can see amazing things whenever we want. Some of the amazing things we see are real, some of them might even be staged (“reality TV”), but, nonetheless, in the moment at least, what we are watching seems real, amazing, other worldly, and significant.
Continue reading “Insignificant?”
I have run a countless number of races in my life. Yes, this includes 20 marathons. (I always keep an accurate count of my marathons.)
I love to run.
I have often stated that the marathon defines me.
Continue reading “Day #1”
(This post can also be found on NYY_Report (“Start Spreading the News”):
We are sports fans. There is something special and wonderful and unique about being a sports fan. We love our teams and certain players. We get excited by special moments.
And when disappointment hits, it hits hard – and it often hurts.
Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Matsui & Meb”
It has been the strangest autumn of my life. Or, at least the strangest autumn of the last fifteen years – since 2002.
I’ve shared on these pages before that I’m not running a fall marathon this year.
It’s an unfamiliar feeling. And I don’t particularly like it. The beloved New York City Marathon, the race I love and adore, will go on without me.
Continue reading “No Marathon 2017”
(Author’s note – I changed the names of the student in this true story.)
Way back, a long time ago, when I was a teacher, I had a student named Beth. One day in class, during a discussion about Pre-Columbian America, Beth shared that she was of Native American decent. That prompted me to bestow a nickname on her. (I gave happy nicknames to lots of kids.) From that day forward Beth was “A Shining Light in the Sky.” Beth loved the nickname. She came to class every day with a warm smile.
Beth was one of those kids who was easy to like as a teacher: She was happy, enthusiastic, a hard worker, and team player. A model student, Beth was the type of kid who makes teaching a joy.
Continue reading “A Shining Light”