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.
Continue reading “The Road Back To 26.2 Began Today…”
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.
Continue reading “Learning To Walk Again”
…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.
Continue reading “The End of My 2019 Marathon Dream”
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!
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”
My third start of the season was scheduled for Sunday, May 5. We were going to be back to Wright’s Field in Bloomfield to play a different team from the area. It seems that a few towns, Bloomfield being one of them, have more than one team in the league. I was looking forward to this opportunity to see if I could build off my modest success the week before.
This would also be my first chance to pitch in back-to-back weeks – a true test of whether or not my arm, and body was up to this challenge.
It wasn’t to be.
Rain, dreadful rain, washed away our chances to play.
Continue reading “One Last Shot… A Real Life Baseball Story Part 10 – RAIN!”
This is a continuation of the story of my attempt to once again play baseball…
(Click here for Part 1 of this story.)
Buoyed by the fact that I had thrown, at least well enough with my son, I let my baseball dreams slowly grow in my mind. Here I was, fifty years old, a fifty year old man, the age long past when most people hang-up their spikes and their gloves, and I was thinking about getting mine back out, and on, and playing baseball once again.
I couldn’t wait to see what I could do.
Continue reading “One Last Shot…A Real Life Baseball Story (Part 2)”
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)”
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”
I just finished reading, Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography (by David Michaelis) an excellent book that provided an in-depth look at Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip and franchise. Schulz’s life was fascinating. He was successful beyond his wildest dreams. His characters became household names. His sayings have been quotes by millions. In many ways, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, Sally, and Snoopy defined America in the second half of the 20th Century.
Continue reading “Schulz and Success”