Today is January 8, 2021.
Exactly one year ago today, I walked into the surgery center to meet Dr. Braver for him to perform surgery on my right Achilles tendon. As I walked in, I said to the receptionist at the counter, “I am here to begin my training for the 2020 New York City Marathon.” She smiled and said, “You must be Mr. Semendinger.”
Indeed. And yes.
Dr. Marissa Chapnick, my physical therapist, was also there. She came to observe the surgery so she would know exactly how to help me heal. (I have been blessed with great doctors who care for me. )
The surgery was a success. Dr. Braver is an amazing doctor.
I am, indeed, 100%. It feels great.
This evening, I celebrated by running a hard four miles on my treadmill. I completed the run in 39:26. I ran the miles in under ten-minute-mile pace. That’s not fast like I used to be. (I used to run four miles in under twenty-eight minutes.) But I’m now 52. Still, I’m running hard again.
Today was also a big day because with the four miles, I finally had my first 20-mile week. I have completed the next big step in my recovery. 25-mile weeks are on the horizon. Then 30 milers, 40 milers and…
Well, maybe I’ll stop there.
My recovery went great. The doctors gave me great care. I attended PT regularly and I worked hard in my recovery. I haven’t run every day, but I have worked out every single day. I do my stretches. I listen (now) to my body.
I wouldn’t have been able to ramp up for the 2020 Marathon. That was too big of a mountain to climb for me. But, let me tell you, if they run The NYC Marathon in 2021, I’ll be there. I’ll be strong and fast and ready and able. I’m looking forward to my 22nd marathon. I think I have at least 22 more in me after that!
On these pages, I have chronicled this journey – the journey to my full recovery. I am fully recovered. A few weeks ago I went back to PT for a tune-up and have felt great and even stronger ever since.
I ran for years on that torn Achilles. I am thrilled to be able to run pain free. I feel like a new man. And I am.
I am back – and better than ever.
(While this specific “series” concludes with this post, I’ll still share my stories of running, writing, motivation, and inspiration here. Since my comeback is officially over, I am back, I just won’t be continuing posts with these titles. Thanks for taking this journey with me. Always believe in yourself. Always strive to be better. And always run with a smile on your face. It’s better that way.)