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!
I just got off the treadmill. I’m tired. I’m in some pain. I’d like to go to bed, but it’s morning. I’m tired. Real tired. But, underneath all of this exhaustion, I feel alive. I feel more alive than I’ve felt in a long time.
It’s good to feel ALIVE!
Continue reading “Replacing One Type of Pain With Another”
It had been over a month since I last pitched.
On June 23, I enjoyed pitching against Jersey City. Then, on June 25, I had my first visit with an orthopedist who did as I feared he would… he shut me down.
On June 25, my baseball season ended. On June 25, my softball seasons ended. And, on June 25, my hopes for running the 2019 New York City Marathon also ended.
The orthopedist looked at my swollen right ankle, the MRI that showed tears in the Achilles tendon, and his own X-Rays. He said, “This isn’t good, Paul.” The word “surgery” came up, but he also said, “I’m not ready to go there yet.” I think the thing that made him shut me down totally was when I could perform a simple exercise in his office – standing on just my right foot and going to “tippy toes.” When I couldn’t do that, it cinched the deal.
I was given a night brace, an anti-inflammatory prescription, and little hope.
I left the office with the brace, a discouraged countenance, and a follow-up appointment.
But all of that is old news.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 14): Making It Back To The Mound”
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”
It all started as a sort of lark. A few dads from my school were talking about forming a baseball team and jokingly (or not) asked me if I was interested in playing. I immediately declined. While I have played competitive men’s softball for decades, I hadn’t played baseball since I was sixteen years old. While I might be pretty good at softball (on my good days), I was never very good as baseball.
If I had one, my prime would have been a long time ago. I’m fifty years old, well past baseball age. I knew that a league like that wasn’t for me.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 9 -The Second Start)”
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)”
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.)
My first novel, Scattering The Ashes, will be published on October 22, 2019 by Artemesia Publishing and is now available for Pre-Order here.
This novel tells the fictional story of Sam Holmes as he struggles though the aftermath of losing his father and having the responsibility and obligation of fulfilling his late father’s final request.
Readers will become attached to Sam Holmes as he seeks to find himself in this trying period of his life. Initial reviews of the novel have been very positive.
Baseball is one (of many) themes that forms the framework of the story. Throughout this year, leading up to the book’s release, I will share excerpts from the novel here on these pages and on my Yankees site: www.startspreadingthenews.blog.
The following is an except from Chapter 5. In this scene, early in the novel before his father passes, Sam Homes awakes in pain the morning after his longest training run as he is preparing for his first marathon – the New York City Marathon. He is feeling doubtful about his abilities as a runner. Soon the prospect of a fictional encounter with two former baseball stars changes his outlook on the day…
(From Scattering The Ashes (2019, by Dr. Paul Semendinger, with permission from Artemesia Publishing)
The next morning, after I swung my legs out of bed, I realized I could barely stand. The plantar fasciitis in my foot screamed with pain every time I put even a tiny bit of weight on it. I had never felt such pain. Have you ever stuck hot needles into the bottom of your foot? I haven’t either, but it sure felt like I had. In addition to this foot agony, everything else, especially the fronts of my thighs, seemed to ache. I wondered if I had pushed my body further than it was able to handle. Was twelve miles my limit? Maybe I wasn’t built for a marathon. Dr. Alfonzo, my chiropractor (who is also a miracle healer), advised me to always stretch before a hard run and also to always ice this injury after the effort. Why didn’t I listen to his advice yesterday?
Continue reading ““Scattering the Ashes” Preview & Excerpt (Coming October 22, 2019)”
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:
Continue reading “NYC Marathon: Rejoice In Suffering”