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.
Continue reading “Chronicling A Comeback”
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…”
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.
Continue reading “A Willingness To Cross Boundaries…”
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”
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”
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”