First and foremost, you’ll see the photo at the top of this section. That’s my team and the best cheering section a runner could have. They give the best hugs at the finish line and haven’t missed a race yet. Thank you to my incredible family for allowing me the time to run and for always being my top Runspirational loves.
So, as the home page stated, a torn Achilles tendon. That’s basically the root as to where the story begins for Runspirational.com. I didn’t care to run, especially really long distances, until after I tore my Achilles tendon in two places. That was rock bottom. I felt horrible from not being allowed to even walk for a couple of months. No movement at all can make your body feel extremely terrible.
On my 34th birthday, I was far enough along in my rehab that I was allowed to finally run. I remember thinking to myself, if I can run 5 or 10 minutes that will be huge. I ended up going for 20 minutes on the treadmill. It was a birthday gift from my mind. It served as my first Runspirational moment.
After that, I decided I needed something to train for. I found an 8K, the Ashenfelter Classic, that was close to home. The race was on Thanksgiving morning. It also happened to be one year exactly since my Achilles surgery. I thought, it’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to do this. I’m going to work hard, train my body and mind, and I’m going to finish this race. I was lucky, I had the support of my wife and daughter. They were also there in the cold to cheer me on. I wanted to change my health and be an inspiration to my daughter (and my son too, who was not born then).
During my training for my 8K, I felt good and decided this wouldn’t just be a one time thing. I added a 5K that was a week and a half after the 5K. I signed up for two spring 5Ks in 2015, where my times dropped pretty dramatically (well at least in my mind). I even ended up placing 4th in my age category in one of them. It was a small race, but hey, it felt damn good to me.
Then we decided to renovate our entire house. We had to move out all summer. It probably wasn’t the best idea I ever had, since my wife was in her third trimester, but she never gave me any you know what for it. My focus was on our renovation and trying to get back in before our baby was born. Running started to be sporadic and I wasn’t on a schedule. Our son was born a few weeks early and running stopped for a few weeks.
We finally got back into the house in October and I really started focusing on running again. I signed up for the Ashenfelter 8K Classic and also the Reindeer Run 5K again and told myself, no matter what, you will beat your times from last year. I did and was proud.
I continued to run but started having major issues with my back. I’d always have back issues flare up, so I figured it would go away as it always had. This time, it didn’t. It was different too. I had a constant pain/odd feeling running down my right leg. I could tell it was a nerve just sending signals down my leg. I finally decided to get it checked out and was referred for an MRI. As the three doctors that reviewed the MRI said, I had one of the worst bulging discs they’d ever seen. It was pushing my sciatic nerve and that was why I was having the issues. I ended up having a microdiscectomy surgery in July 2016. I have felt wonderful since the surgery (knock on wood).
The rehab wasn’t easy, as I wasn’t allowed to bend at all, pick up anything heavier than 5 lbs, and couldn’t sit longer than 20 minutes at a time. I couldn’t pick up my kids. It was hard but I had a lot of help from family, especially my wife. If I dropped something on the ground, and no one was home, it sat there. It definitely motivates you when you can’t do things you take for granted. I was focused on recovery.
The best part of rehab was that I was supposed to walk at least three times a day, starting the day after the surgery. After a couple of weeks, I was cleared to run. I started running. When I would see my doctor for check ups and tell him I ran 3 or 4 miles that day, he was impressed. It was always a Runspirational moment for me. It made me want to do more.
After my rehab was done, I continued running. The Ashenfelter 8K and Reindeer 5K have become traditions for us. I was able to PR the 8K in 2016. I was worried about the 5K though. My training was focused so much on the longer distance, I wasn’t sure if I’d beat my previously year time. When I saw the time at the finish, I almost fell over. Side note, my gps watch didn’t go off until after the race started, so I wasn’t sure how my pace was going. When I saw I ran an 8:30 pace, I wanted more.
I always thought I would just stay with 5Ks, 8Ks, and eventually 10Ks, but that would be it. I thought a half or full marathon was just crazy. But I started to look forward to running. I enjoyed how it’s a stress relief for me. I like pushing myself. I look forward to the Runspirational moments you have when you’re out there.
I decided 2017 was the start of something new. I knew throughout December of 2016 that I kept thinking a half marathon was possible. On New Year’s Eve, I knew 2017 was the year to do it. I am now training for the New Jersey Half Marathon that will be held in Long Branch, NJ on April 30th.
Oh, and that thing I never thought I’d do, a marathon, well I think that’s going to happen sooner rather than later.