I believe that the marathon is about equal amounts of physical and mental toughness. I think the mental toughness aspect of the race is often times more important than the physical side. There comes a time in every race, and in every training run, when most runners want to quit. I can say this unequivocally, there comes a time, usually multiple times, in every run when I want to quit.
Running is hard. Very hard. I have to continually and constantly resist the urge to quit.
Continue reading “A Willingness To Cross Boundaries…”
My favorite runs are the ones I spend with my dear friend Ed. Ed is a 33 time marathoner (I have just done 21 of them). He’s also an IRONMAN (something I will probably never be). Ed is a warrior and an inspiration.
He’s also a close close friend. I cherish the times we run together.
Continue reading “Progress (S-L-O-W Progress, but Progress Nonetheless)”
The NYC Marathon is 7 weeks away.
I upped my long run (on the treadmill, again) to 12 miles. Again, not fast, but, slow and steady covers (if not wins) the race.
I just have to push through the pain that accompanies the run. The tears in my right Achilles aren’t exactly fun to deal with, during, or after the run. But pain is temporary, pride is forever!
I took only one quick walking break today, for less than a minute, at 5.0 miles.
Today was another step in the right direction.
I’ll push the distance to 15 miles next week.
New York City…here I come!
(I’ll see the surgery center after the race.)
This week my orthopedist said that they’ll schedule my Achilles surgery in mid-November… after the NYC Marathon.
“If you want to try to run it… run it,” he said.
I have to ramp up my long runs very quickly. I only have 8 weeks until the race.
Today was a BIG step in the right direction. I wasn’t fast. I took quick walking breaks (less than a minute each) at .5, 1.5, 3.5, and 8.5 miles.
A BIG STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!
Next Saturday, I’ll do 12.
TOUGH AS NAILS!
Pain is temporary… Pride is forever!
This is the story I didn’t want to write…
Two days after I pitched on June 23, I had my first appointment with the orthopedist. This doctor is very well known and very respected. He took X-Rays, put me through a battery of small tests, he examined my legs, took careful note of my right Achilles, and, after all of that, said that my baseball season, my softball season, and my running season are all over.
I knew this was coming.
We all knew this was coming.
I just didn’t want to hear it.
I still don’t.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 13) – The Doctor, The Bench, and an All-Star”
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.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 5)”
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.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 1)”
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. 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:
Continue reading “NYC Marathon: God Is With Us”
My family has been struggling through the realities of cancer. Through this I have seen loved ones, especially my mother-in-law, exhibiting tremendous strength and character in the face of difficult news. Throughout all of this, the American Cancer Society has been a shining light – comprised of true miracle workers filled with kindness, support, and most of all, love. As I run the NYC Marathon on November 4, 2018, I would like to give back to this wonderful organization that does so much for so many. Thank you for your support.
Here is the link to my fundraising page:
DR. SEM RUNS THE NYC MARATHON FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY