Chronicling A Comeback

Today was Day #2 of my running comeback.  

My goal was to run a half mile without stopping.  I measure all my runs in distance, not time, but my physical therapist wants me to run just in time increments.  Her recommendation was for me to run for five minutes. 

My goal was a half mile.

In the end, it was basically the same thing.  

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The Road Back To 26.2 Began Today…

Twelve weeks ago I arrived at the surgery center, walking in, knowing that I wouldn’t be walking out, and, in fact, that I wouldn’t be walking at all for quite some time.  

When I checked into the surgery center, I told the receptionist that I was there to begin my training for the 2020 New York City Marathon.  She smiled and said, “You must be Mr. Semendinger.”

Indeed I am.  

I hobbled out of the surgery center on crutches my foot wrapped and in a heavy boot.  The surgery was a success.  

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Learning To Walk Again

It’s a strange feeling, learning to walk again.  Because of the surgery to repair my right Achilles tendon, I went about seven weeks without walking. 

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My 2020 NYC Marathon Training Began Yesterday (but not how you might think…)

I woke up yesterday and enjoyed walking around my house doing tasks that I knew I wouldn’t get to do again for a number of weeks.

These tasks including exciting things like walking up and down the stairs, opening the refrigerator and grabbing items, standing at my computer, and taking a shower… things like that.  Simple things.  Things we often take for granted.

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The End of My 2019 Marathon Dream

…and with that long run, my 2019 marathon dream is over.

Today was supposed to be my last long run, a final effort, to prove to myself that I could actually do the marathon.  The truth, the reality I must face, is that I can’t.  Not this year.

I gave it everything I had.

And then some.

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12 Miles Closer…

Today I bit off way more than I could chew.

I was fortunate, all three of my sons were home to celebrate a birthday, and two of them, Ryan and Ethan, are training for some upcoming long races.  Because of that, they were both willing to slog along on a twelve mile “run” with me.

Our goal was to complete the entire Saddle River Bike Path, from Ridgewood to Rochelle Park, and then back again…a twelve mile jaunt.

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A Willingness To Cross Boundaries…

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.

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Progress (S-L-O-W Progress, but Progress Nonetheless)

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.

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Achilles Tears… What Achilles Tears?

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.)