It's Official - I have registered for my FIRST MARATHON!

It has been a long time coming with multiple injuries to sideline me, but it is now finally official - I have chosen, and registered for my first marathon!

The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon on November 14th 2009, will be my first official marathon.  I am very excited as this has been a very long time coming.  I ran my first Half Marathon back in February of 2008 and was planning my first Marathon later that year.  That was before my trip-up and broken collarbone that took me out of the running scene for 8 months.

I also registered for my next half marathon in the process.  The ING Marathon is starting a new Half Marathon series called 13.1 Marathon and the first time it will be in Atlanta is October 4th 2009.

I will be looking into training schedules soon, but I know I am well on my way to being ready.  I just need to make sure I stay focused and injury free.

S.W.A.T. Trot - Take 2

It is coming up on the one year anniversary of the S.W.A.T. Trot.  This was the race last year that I was tripped in and fell and broke my collar bone.  You can read the whole story here, and throughout the month of June last year or I can tell you the quick story here.

Start Quick Story

I was tripped coming out of the gate, landed on my head and shoulder, broke my collar bone in two places, had a pin put in to help it heal, was kept from running for 8 months.  I just started running again at the first of the year.

It was a very long 8 months of not being able to run, not to mention all the other things that I had to put off, or not do at all in normal life during that time.

End Quick Story

Well, I have just filled out the paperwork and am signing up for it again this year.  This year my daughter, Payton, will be running the 5k with me instead of just the 1k like she did last year, and my son, Brady, will be running the 1k with me.

I am excited but also kinda apprehensive about this race.  I am not worried about being tripped again, but I am sure I will run this race differently than I was trying to run it last year.  Last year I was trying to set a PR so I was running up with all the faster people at the start.  That is probably what put me in the wrong place at the wrong time, causing the accident.

The race will be run on Saturday, June 13th at 8:00 PM.  It is one of very few evening races that I have been a part of.  This will be my daughters first 5k race.  She has just started to practice with her Cross Country team this week and we have put the 5k distance in a couple times together.

Wish us a fun and injury free race!! 

Tim Wilson - - subscribe - follow

Side Note:

The race is put on by Greater Gwinnett Road Runners - I have wanted to run with them, but have never been able to get in touch with anybody affiliated with their group.  They never update their website, and the e-mail address bounces.  I really wish I could get in touch with someone to see if the group is actually active.  I may even be willing to offer my services to keep their website up to date!

A New Personal Best

Today sets a new personal best for me.  It is not a PR, but it is really close.  It was not a race, but I ran it almost like a race.  Today's run was one of the best I have ever had and came very close to being a PR, even though it wasn't a race.

Since today is a holiday and I am at home I decided to not get up at 4:40 to go running, but rather sleep in a little bit..... OK, a lot.  I rolled out of bed just before 9:00 and decided to head out for a run.  My running partner is out of town so I could run whatever I wanted to.

I actually set out for a 4 miler, but about 1/2 mile into it I decided I would change that up and see if I could finally break into the 7's.  I have been flirting with the 7's for about a month now and have gotten as close as 8:02, but have not been able to break through........ until today!

The first mile didn't get me there (8:08), but it put me at the pace that I needed to be at that would get me there in the second mile.... all I needed to do was keep it up.  The second mile felt great, but I really could feel that I was pushing the limit a bit.  As I rounded the corner coming up on the last 2 tenths of the second mile I looked down at my watch and knew that I would accomplish what I set out to do.  The second mile did in fact turn out to be my first 7:xx mile in over a year.

Just over a year ago I was running most of my races in the 7's, including my 10k's, but then as many of you know that all came to an abrupt end when I was tripped in a race and fell and broke my collar bone.  After 8 months of not running, I was nowhere near the 7's.  I have now officially made it back to the 7's and I am happy :)

My second mile turned out to be a 7:36, so I didn't just get into the 7's I blew past the top of the 7's and settled just above the mid 7's.  As if the second mile was not good enough, I was in a good groove and continued to run what felt good.  My third mile was even better than number 2, clocking in at a 7:19!

I finished off the run with a .1 so I could call it a 5k, plus I wanted to see how close I could come to my Racing PR of 23:23 for a 5k.  I came much closer than I would have guessed.  This is the fastest 5k training run I have ever run, with a 23:49 and a 7:40 pace..... and I came in just 26 seconds above my 5k race PR, a race PR set over a year ago before my injury.

If you cannot tell from the way this is written - I am very very happy! :)

Need..... New..... Shoes.....

I am way beyond needing new shoes.  I am going to save myself the ridicule by not telling you all how many miles I have on my current shoes but let's suffice it to say that I am way beyond the suggested mileage..... way beyond!  There are ways for you to find out online but I refuse to point it out.

I have known that I have needed to replace these shoes for some time, but was putting it off while I took care of some other things financially.  I was given a gift card for Fleet Feet, where I bought my first two pair, that would have purchased my next pair but I chose instead to use that gift card to take my daughter to buy her first pair of real running shoes.

I had found a place online that I could buy the shoes I currently run in for just $70, but was still putting it off till I could come up with the extra money.  (yes, I am aware, putting it off could cost me more in the long run)  I really like the shoes I am currently running in.  They are the New Balance MR768ST's.

It has finally started to become critical.  I am starting to have strange issues very similar to the last time I needed to replace my shoes.  I am having issues with my ankles, my hips, and other very strange aches and pains.

I finally decided it was time and I was going to make the purchase.  I went back to the site that had my shoes and would you guess..... they no longer had my size and it looked like they were being phased out.  I did all kinds of searches and came up empty everywhere I looked.  Many websites had the shoes but nobody had my specific size and width.  I was getting discouraged.... I really didn't want to switch shoes.... yet.

This morning I was happy, but somewhat cautiously optimistic when I went back to all the sites I went to Thursday and checked again..... only to find one website said "hurry, only 1 left" when I entered my size and width.  I was also pleased to see that it was the store that had it cheaper than most other stores..... and they were having free shipping this weekend.  I checked, and double checked to make sure I entered everything correctly and made the purchase.  The final price being only $63 with tax.  I will be happy when they arrive.

The store that came through for me? Joes New Balance Outlet

What did I learn?  Don't put off buying shoes this long next time.

I did a little more research and found that New Balance has replaced my shoes with a new shoe so next time I will probably have to change shoes.... but I am happy that now is not the time.

***UPDATE 5-26-09****

I just received an update - they just cancelled my order saying the shoes were not available.  I was worried about this - now I guess my worries came true.  Now I don't know what shoes I will buy.  I am not comfortable just buying a different pair because I don't know what other pair will actually give me the same support I need.  It seems the only option I have will be to go to the store and get fitted again.  I just didn't want to do that because I didn't want to pay $100 for my next pair of shoes..... really can't afford that right now!

Probably shouldn't have done that

Tuesday my running buddy and I set out to run 3 miles.  We decided that we would run the first easy and then kick it in for the next two miles.  We wanted to try to stay between 8:00 - 8:30 for the second two miles.  We ended up doing what we wanted with a little bit of trouble.  The second mile was 8:05 and the third was almost 8:30, not really what we had in mind, but accomplishing what we set out to do.

This is where the interesting, and maybe not so bright part of my day starts to take fold.

I didn't get to run with my daughter on Monday night since I had to work late.  Since she is training for Cross Country I felt it was really important for her to get her mileage in so we planned she would do her 2 miler on Tuesday instead.

I was reminded during the day that Tuesday night my wife and all the kids would be gone till almost 8:30.  Now, this meant two different things...... I had the night to myself, and my daughter and I wouldn't be able to do that 2 miler till 8:30.

I decided I would seize the opportunity, you see Fleet Feet in Lawrenceville started a Tuesday night Group run back in March and I have wanted to join them ever since they started.  I have never been able to because of other commitments, however tonight was different.

I struggled back and forth with whether or not I should run since I had already run that morning, and because I was going to need to run that night, but the thought of running with the group got the best of me and I made my way to Lawrenceville.

Since it was my first time I really didn't know what to expect, but I knew it would be somewhere between 3-5 miles..... just not sure what pace.  We set out with 4 miles as the goal.  I was very clear with my neighbor who I was running with that if they decided to do 7:30 miles I would see them at the end.  The run felt really good at first, but as it continued the 8:20 pace was starting to get to me.  I was, however, able to keep it up and finish strong.  We finished the 4.3 miles with a steady pace of 8:20ish.  It was a lot of fun to run with the group, and I will do it again..... hopefully soon.

I made it home and decided I better eat some dinner quick since it wouldn't be long till my daughter was home.  I ate a quick Turkey sandwich and some cottage cheese, and then waited till 8:30.  We headed out the door for our 2 mile run which went really good.  She is getting better each and every time we go out.  It was a tough run for me..... but I am still trying to figure out why :)

All being said I ran three times, for a total of 9.4 miles at an average of just under an 8:40 pace.  I felt really good, but don't think I will be doing that again anytime soon.  Probably shouldn't have done that!

Tim Wilson - - subscribe - follow

Two Runs Today

Being that it is Saturday, all I really wanted to do was sleep in a little bit, but I knew that it was supposed to rain most of the day and I really needed to get a long run in.

I woke up early (for a Saturday) and hit the road running. I wanted to hit the road by 8:00, but still managed to hit the road by 8:30 and was happy because according to the weather it looked like I was still going to beat the rain.

I went out easy and tried to keep an easy pace. I didn't want the same thing to happen to me as did the last time I went out for a long run.  I know the conditions were all quite different, but once you cut a long run short you have a little doubt running in the back of your head.

The run went really good, I ended up putting in 9 miles, and felt good throughout.  I even added a little side-track by running into a neighborhood that I had never been into before.  I had always wondered what was down this road so I gave it a shot.  As soon as I entered this neighborhood the road went straight down.  I questioned my sanity, but continued down the hill knowing I would have to run back up it to get out.

I didn't run fast, but I was pleased with my pace for a long run at an average of 9:16 a mile.

After getting home I looked at the lawn and decided I needed to get it mowed before the weekend of rain hit the door.  So, with very little rest I headed out the door to mow the lawn.  I was happy to get it done, but was completely beat.

To add insult to injury, you will remember from my last post that my daughter Payton is training to run Cross Country her Freshman year in High School.  Today she was scheduled for 3 or 4 miles, and it is supposed to rain all day once the rain hits.  That being the case I knew I didn't have time to rest and we needed to get out and put her miles in.  This was not going to go over really well after what I did to her yesterday with her 2 mile run. Yesterday my MyTach was not working right so I didn't realize we were running faster than we had been.  She had a long day at school, it was hot, and I pushed her at a pace 30 sec/mile faster than we had been going in previous runs.  

So, we headed out for 3 miles.  She had never gone further than 2 miles so this was another new distance for her.  I am very proud, she did a great job, and finished strong.  She is now starting to notice that it is starting to get easier as she puts the miles in.

And then the rain came.......

The day has worked out really nice, I got my lawn mowed, and I got a total of 12 miles in.  Sure it took me two runs to get the 12 miles in, but I will take them even so.

Looking forward to another week of training with my daughter.

Training for Cross Country

I am not the one training for Cross Country, but someone I care a lot about is..... and it really makes me happy and proud.  Payton, my soon to be high-schooler, daughter has decided she wants to run Cross Country in high school.

Payton will be a freshman this coming school year at Brookwood High School, and they are already starting to train for Cross Country.... before school is even out this year.  I don't remember when we started training when I ran Cross Country back in "the day" but it seems like it is earlier now.  I am not opposed to it, I am actually very happy that they do since it will make sure they are well prepared when it comes race time.

They officially don't start summer conditioning till school is out, but they have been given a schedule to start running till that time comes.  I wanted to start running with her last week but then I started having trouble with my ankle and had to put it off for a couple days to get back on my (running) feet.

Monday morning was the first time I got out and tried out my ankle.  It was a normal running day but I was not ready to head out for very far, and wasn't even sure I wanted to run at all with the way my ankle was feeling.  I went to the gym and did some lifting.  Once I finished I looked over at the treadmill and decided to give it a go.  My ankle was a bit stiff still but the run felt good.  I knew at that time that I would be able to start training with Payton.

I am going to try to keep my normal running schedule since I need the extra miles and speed, but also because I have a running partner in the morning to run with.  That being the case it looks like I will be running every day this week and next, some in the morning, some in the evening, and some both in the morning and evening.  I plan on doing her three miles on Saturday at the end of my long run so I will probably be much more forgiving that day.

Monday evening when I got home from work we set out for two miles.  We took it easy because the only time previous that we had gotten close to two miles before she gave up on me at about 1.8 miles.  I knew I needed to keep her at it till two miles, and if that meant slow, that would be fine.  There would be plenty of time to speed up later.

The run started out good and we were nearing the one mile mark.  She started to complain that she was hurting.  We had run the first mile in just over 9 minutes so I knew we weren't going too fast.  I asked her what was hurting and she told me it was her side.  Me being the kind and compassionate type that I am told her she was going to have to run through it and in a week or two they would be a distant memory :)

The run went on, every couple minutes a complaint.... I can't go on, I hurt too bad, I can't do it, how much further, etc, etc.  But like I mentioned above, I am kind and compassionate and I said..... yes you can do it, and no you won't die, and.... I will tell you when we get to 2 miles, not before.

We got to the two mile mark, and you guessed it... she didn't die, and yes she ran the whole way.  I am very proud of her, and I know she will do great.  I told her today that she will be running down in the 7 minute miles before the season is over.  Time: 18:50

We went out again today for another two miler.  She did better, and she did say it was easier.  She only tried to quit on me one time.  I took her a different way so she wouldn't know where the end was again today.  I will not be able to do that too many more times before I run out of routes. :)  Time: 18:47

Friday we are scheduled for two miles and then Saturday 3-4 miles.  I am thinking it will just be 3 this Saturday..... because I am kind and compassionate. :)

A bum ankle

Friday I went out for a run and my ankle gave out on me just 1/2 mile in. I have not run since and my ankle has been hurting. Not sure what caused this, but it has happened before about 18 months ago. Usually I just have to wait until it snaps/cracks and then it is on the mend. That happened about 3:00 this morning on one of my trips out of bed - yes, I am getting older :) 

I wasn't going to run this morning so I went to the gym to do some lifting instead. I decided to give my ankle a shot on the treadmill. I was just going to walk but it felt good so I kicked it up to a run. It felt good and didn't have any pain. 

I will continue to watch it and be careful though, I am not sure I am quite out of the woods yet.... it was just one mile :)

Tim Wilson - - subscribe - follow

Saratoga 5k Fun Run - The Race

The third annual Saratoga 5k Fun Run is now a memory.... a good one.

I didn't think for a moment that it would be anything but a good memory, but as I have proven in the past, you never can tell.

The race, as the two years previous was low key and a small field.  I really like this part of the race, but I can see how it can be a bit discouraging for the race coordinator.   I think today's race was about 25 runners which is very close to what the first year was, but not as good as last years turnout of over 50.  Fifty is still a good number for a small race, I would have liked to see close to 50 again today.

I encouraged a friend of mine to run it as well and I was happy to hear just a few days ago that he was going to run it.  The cool part was he really had a shot at winning the race, but the unfortunate part was so did the guy that beat him. :(  He will be coming back last year to finish what he started today.

The starting was just like in years previous, kinda informal, and again with the Chick-fil-a cow.  It didn't take long and we were off.  I started off fast, but not too fast.  I was running a good pace to start a 5k race... especially knowing what hills I had ahead of me.  The first 1/2 mile was everyone falling into place and setting up their race.  I watched ahead as the two leaders ran side by side (one being my friend) and then the two more in front of me just a little bit.  The one guy that started pulling away a little bit is one of the better runners that has come out to this race before.  Last year I beat him, but I was sure that this year that was not going to happen.  The other guy was running just a little bit in front of me and I intentionally used him to pace myself and keep myself from starting the race too fast.  As we started up the first hill he started to slow down a bit so I went ahead and passed him making the statement..... if only we knew this was the only hill. :)  From this point in the race I ran alone.

The hills in this race are an absolute killer, anybody that disputes that needs to get their head examined.  This being the third year I have run it I have yet to hear anybody say "that wasn't too bad"

I continued to run feeling each hill worse than the one before.  My legs were feeling good but my breathing was an entirely different thing.  As I neared the circle before the turn-around I saw my friend..... but not till after I saw the other guy.  I felt bad for my friend as I knew that it wasn't looking good and the other guy was pulling away.

The second mile of this race is the absolute worst.  It has the worst hills, but it also sets you up for a nice third mile.  The third mile has it's share of hills, but the last 3/4 mile is a nice reprieve following the lung and leg blasting of the first couple miles.

I was heading down that last 3/4 mile and I was moving pretty good, and I was very happy.  I knew I was going to be close to my goal time of 25:00, but was also quite suspicious that I would not quite make it.  As I rounded the corner to finish off the race I still had all kinds of energy that is only a result of the miles that I put in.  I finished really strong with an official time of 25:22.  Not at my goal, but close enough that I have a smile on my face.

I stood around for a few minutes talking and when I finally started to head for a banana I felt what the hills had done to my calves.  Nothing a little walking wouldn't help.

My mile splits:

8:07 - 8:37 - 8:04 - see more at my running log

Now - a little history

This race was my first race 2 years ago, and that was the first running of this race.  I came in last that first year in 36:37, being beat out by a guy running with a hernia.  My weight on that day was 219 (down from 258 at the beginning of the year)

Last year I had a few races under my belt and had just recently ran my first half marathon.  I came in second overall with a time of 23:23.  My weight on that day was 166.

Just one short month after that race I was running the SWAT Trot and trying for a PR when I was tripped and fell to break my collar bone.  I have been off for 8 of the last 11 months.

Today was only my second race back following my return from the injury.  My first race back was a much flatter course and I finished in 26:26.  Today, I finished in 25:22 and 4th overall.  My weight today is 178...... and dropping!

You can read more about my history with this race at these links:

Links to the official results and pictures: