My 2019 Marathon Plan (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)”

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NYC Marathon: God Is With Us

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”

Please Help Support a Great Cause!

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

The Power of 20

You know, it’s funny…

I was getting very nervous about my upcoming NYC Marathon. And although I have run twenty marathons, coming back from an injury that sidelined me for so long had me scared.

(Let’s just say this – an Achilles tear is simply no fun.)

Because it’s been so long since I have run far.  I’ve been scared.  Very scared.

Continue reading “The Power of 20”

At 50, I’m Back To 40

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”

Possibility is Everything

Well, I have finally done it.  I think I came up with the title of my next book, the follow-up to Impossible is an Illusion.  

I think the title my next book will be Possibility is Everything.  

Right now, I really like that title.  The words, short, succinct, and precise sum up much of my philosophy on life.  I think it also goes extremely well with Impossible is an Illusion.  In that text, I explain and demonstrate that people can do things they never thought possible by trying, believing, giving their best efforts, and by never giving up. 

Continue reading “Possibility is Everything”

Input and Output

It was a cold, bitterly cold, November morning in 2002.  After many months of training, I sat, shivering, at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island awaiting the start of the New York City Marathon – my first such race.  The feeling of anticipation and excitement was palpable.  I was eager, and deathly afraid, to begin.  I had never run 26.2 miles – not even in my training.  I didn’t know what would happen to me on the streets of New York…

In short, what happened was that my life was changed.  Radically and forever.  It was on those streets of New York that I became a marathon runner.  I became a champion.  I became a warrior. I became something I hadn’t ever been before.

Continue reading “Input and Output”

Day #1

 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”

Sometimes You Can’t?

Sometimes we can’t accomplish what we set our minds to do.

Sometimes impossible isn’t an illusion… it is real.  Or, at least it seems real.  We strive, we reach, we try – and we fall short, we stumble, we fall.  We reach and try again.  And fall and fail.  We fall and fail and fail again.  Or so it seems…

Sometimes the goal, whatever it is, seems too hard, too distant, too impossible.  We say, “I can’t.”  We say, “It’ll never happen.”  

What then?

Continue reading “Sometimes You Can’t?”