Am I still a runner?

Over the last couple weeks I have run exactly zero times..... Does that mean that I am no longer a runner? I think the easy answer to that is no, but why is that?

I have gone through a few different emotions over the past couple weeks, not to mention the emotion of pain..... Well, as I know that pain is an emotion, that really hasn't been the type of pain I have been going through. If you are new to my blog, you can get the story of my injury starting here, with updates here and here. Some of the emotions I have gone though have been because of the pain medication I am sure, but some of the emotions have also been brought on by passing runners on the road as I am driving or being driven around town.

Yes, I do still consider myself a runner. Just because John Smoltz had shoulder surgery taking him out for the rest of the season doesn't mean he is no longer a pitcher, he just isn't actively pitching. And what about Tiger Woods, would anybody say he is no longer a golfer? OK, I am not trying to compare myself to John Smoltz or Tiger Woods, so don't even start :). But, if you feel the need to talk about me and compare me to one of the two I don't mind.

Why do I still consider myself a runner?
  • I still want to get out there and run, I really miss it.
  • I will still be walking the Peachtree Road Race, even though I can't run it... just for the experience. Even though the Doctor told me I could run it.
  • I am still reading other running blogs, even though I haven't had much to talk about lately.
  • I still talk to my friends and family about running every time I am around them.... sorry!
  • I still find other runners to talk to and enjoy sharing stories.
  • I wear my sling as a badge of honor that I was hurt while running a race... and enjoy telling people how I was hurt.... OK, I am getting sick of this now. I really like the idea someone gave me to write the story out on poster board and tape it to my arm.
There are many other reasons why I still consider myself a runner, but I am also concerned about not being able to run and how this will affect the progress I have made. I won't be able to run the Peachtree, and it will probably be at least a month before I will be able to start running a bit, with no telling how long it will be before I can run another race.

These setbacks also have shattered my hopes of running my first Marathon this fall. I will now start to look for and focus on a spring Marathon. I would probably still be able to if my healing took place quickly, but I am at the point now where I really should start to ramp up my mileage if I was going to do a Fall Marathon.

The healing is going well, I am still in a lot of pain, however I have just over the past few days been able to start typing with two hands again. Two weeks of one handed typing was making my job as a developer a very slow process, not to mention as you have seen has slowed down my blogging quite a bit. As I am sure you can empathize, after spending all day fighting the keyboard with one handed typing the last thing I wanted to do was come home and type a one handed blog post.

It is a real eye opener how much we use and rely on both of our hands. Life has been different to say the least, and a down right chore in some areas. I have learned to cope, but has really given me a new concern and caring for those who have not just lost use of their arm for a time, but have permanently lost use of or entirely lost a limb.

I am able to start going without the sling a little bit, but still have a few more weeks before the doctor will allow me to start moving my arm in the complete motion. I am slowly feeling like there is some progress being made, but have to continue to remind myself that I am still on the Injured list. Each time I get brave and try something new I tend to almost bring tears to my eyes as I clench my teeth and hope the pain quickly subsides.

On the bright side.... my shoes will last longer :) But with the current miles on my latest pair I do need to start thinking about what will be next.

Until next time, keep running!

Tim Wilson -

Surgery went well

Well, the surgery talked about here, has come and gone. Yesterday was a long day. As my body is used to eating every 3 hours and drinking well over a gallon of water a day, it was tough to stop eating and drinking the night before. My surgery was scheduled for 1:30 which meant it was going to be over 12 hours of no eating, drinking or pain medications by the time I had to arrive at the hospital at 12:00 noon. It was nice of the nurse checking me in to talk about what she was eating for lunch and then we went back to the waiting room to pull it out for me to see and smell as she ate it.

This week has been an interesting week of firsts, running my daughter's first race with her, getting tripped in a race, breaking my first bone, learning to dress with one arm, learning to type and program with one arm, going without eating and drinking for 19 hours, going through surgery, and being put out.

I arrived just before my scheduled time of arrival and they took me back to check me in pretty quickly. I was starting to get nervous as this was my first surgery, and first time I was going to be put out. I have had other small in office surgery's but we will leave it at that. We didn't have to wait too long to be called back to Pre-op, but once they hooked up the IV, and had me change into the stylish hospital garb, that is when the waiting began. The doctor was running behind and so instead of the surgery starting at 1:30, they didn't take me to the operating room until 3:30. I remember them hooking my right (good) arm to the table and remembering thinking it was going to hurt when they did the same to my left arm...... well, that was the last thought I had before waking up in a different room sitting in the recovery chair. It didn't take long before I was drinking a Powerade and Lisa was again by my side. I drank a couple small bottles of the Powerade, took some pain medication, and had a couple crackers with peanut butter and I was ready to go. Two stops to pick up two of the three kids later and I was home crawling in bed. Had myself an Arby's sandwich and a chocolate shake and I was ready for bed.

I slept good, better than the last couple days, and so far have not had any pain. I am sure the block has not worn off yet and I have been taking the pain medication. I am sure the pain will start before too long, but so far everything is going good.

The funny thing is when the Doctor came by to see me before the surgery, my wife asked if I could still run the Peachtree Road Race. I wouldn't have dreamed of asking that, I had already decided I would be walking it since I had gotten such a good number, but didn't dream of running it. The Doctor told me I could run it if I wanted. He said if I could deal with the pain that there would be no reason for me not to run it. He also said that I could run it with the sling which would make it less painful, or that he could write me an excuse to get out of it completely if that is what I wanted. :) Kinda funny, but I am still leaning towards walking it.

I am going to hold off with any running or other exercises other than walking until I go back to see the doctor next Thursday. At that point I am sure I will have a better idea of recovery time and when I can start adding some of the exercises. One benefit of the surgery is much faster recovery. I am off work the rest of this week so I will have some time to recuperate and get over the initial pain at home.

Tim Wilson -

Surgery it will be

If you didn't read my previous post you will want to do that catch up.

I went to the Orthopedic Doctor this afternoon and he will be doing surgery...... tomorrow! There was two options, to let it heal and be crooked and protruding out of my neck a little bit the rest of my life, or to do surgery to make sure it heals straight and right.

The surgery is tomorrow afternoon and then I will be on the road to a quicker recovery, and better healing then if I let it heal the way it currently sits.

Tim Wilson -

Down for the count

Yesterday was the S.W.A.T Trot 5k at Brookwood High School in Snellville, GA. I had been looking forward to this race for a long time for multiple reasons.

The good news first. My Daughter, Payton, and I first ran the 1k fun run together. It was her first race and we were both looking forward to it a lot. My plan was to run the 1k with her and then I would run the 5k following. We took off and some of the kids took off really fast, but I knew they would run out of steam quickly, and they did. We ran hard and she came in second overall with a time of 4:13 (on my watch - 3:59 on the official clock seen in the picture). She was only beat by a young boy who did an excellent job pacing himself and running a good race. She got a nice plaque for being the first place female, I am just bummed she was not there to receive her reward.

Now, the bad news. I lined up to run the 5k and I was excited to hopefully set a new PR. I was secretly aiming for a sub 22 5k as my last 5k was the Saratoga 5k Fun Run, a very hilly course, and I finished in 23:23. I started near the front, but not right at the front. It was neat to see that Mike Beaudreau was there to run this race as well and lined up right in front of me.

The race kicked off and I was taking off fast to try and get a good place and position to run the race in. Not even 100 yards into the race we were all going at a pretty good pace, but yet all bunched together. Someone behind me hit one of my feet and tripped me up. I thought I was going to be able to catch myself and continue but it threw my balance off too much and I went down, and went down pretty hard too.

When I hit the pavement moving along like I was there was no way to catch my fall so I hit the ground really hard with my left elbow, shoulder, and head. I heard the scream, RUNNER DOWN! and unfortunately it was me. A runner stopped to help me up, and then I waddled off to the side where I tried to catch my breath and analyze the damage to see if I could continue. The fall really knocked the wind out of me pretty good and I was having a hard time breathing so I knew I wouldn't finish the race. I started by looking at my shoulder because it was hurting pretty bad. It didn't take long to see I had broken something with the bone feeling so much different than the other side.

Luckily my wife and kids came to watch the race, and after she didn't see me come by she started walking down the road a bit. I told her I was tripped and I thought I broke my shoulder. She looked at me and told me that I had a pretty big knot on my head as well. We couldn't find any paramedics at the race, but there were lots of cops as it was a race to benefit the Gwinnett County S.W.A.T Team. We hopped in the van and headed towards the hospital. Luckily the hospital was only a few miles away.

My wife dropped me off and she ran back home to drop off the kids and get my wallet. While I was sitting in the waiting room I was hurting pretty bad and at one point I started feeling really dizzy and felt like I was going to black out. Luckily My wife got back just in time before they took me to the back. The x-rays came back and proved my theory. I had a broken collar bone. The doctor told me that it was a good break as far as collar bone fractures go and just put me in a sling. My elbow is scrapped a bit, but not bad, and my head is scrapped and has a little bump. The fun thing with my head is wondering how I will continue to shave it.

Well, that is my race report for the S.W.A.T. Trot. Not the type off race report I wanted to give, but that is the way it goes sometimes. I am just really bummed that I will not be able to run the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th now. I just got my Peachtree number this past week, and with my qualifying time of 48:03 I got a number in group 1A, 10521. Depending on how my shoulder goes I may still go down and walk it... we will see.

Wow is it ever hard to type with one hand!

Tim Wilson -

Hot and Humid

This mornings run was hot and humid. Even though the temp started out at only 76 degrees, the sun was really hot. I had plans to put in 12 miles this morning, but had some friends over last night and stayed up too late to get up when I needed to if I was going to get the 12 miles in.

I got out and hit the road at 8:30, but needed to be home by 9:30 because of the first day of All-Star T-Ball practice. I figured all I could get in was a 10k so I would run it a bit faster to work on maintaining a faster pace since I couldn't do my long easy paced run. I miss-judged how hot it was out because the temperature was under 80 degrees. As I was hitting the first mile I started to realize how hot it was and how hot the sun was.

I was doing good, but the heat was noticeably taking it's toll on my energy. After mile 5, it would have been very good to have a running partner to keep me going, but because I was running on my own, I gave in and started to walk. This was at the base of the biggest hill on my course, and that had an impact on my choice to stop and walk.

The rest of the day wasn't any better, it was just an out right scorcher.... and we spent most of the day outside. I was pleased with my run today, even though I cut it short. At just over 5 miles, with a pace of 8:12 it was one of my better training runs, especially considering the heat. Run stats.

Tim Wilson

1 Month Countdown

Just one month left to the Peachtree Road Race. I am once again looking forward to the Peachtree. This will be my second year running it, however, this year will be much more exciting due to the following reasons.
  • I now have experienced it so I know what to expect
  • I have a qualifying time so I should be near the front, with a chip
  • I am going to set a new PR :)
  • I may have a chance of getting my name in the paper!
Wish me luck. I have one more 5k race to run before that time, the S.W.A.T. Trot, but other than that the Peachtree is next on my list.

Tim Wilson - 26.2 Quest


Enough said!

But you all know me well enough to know that I cannot leave it at just that. So what is it with drivers and their disrespect for runners? I am sure we all have stories of drivers and what they have done to use, or not done for us.... etc. (if you have a good story post a comment!)

I have had some interesting times with cars, and their drivers over my short running time. One of my most interesting was when a car swerved like they were intentionally trying to hit me during one of my early morning 8 mile runs.

This morning I was running a normal route and this part of my route was in our neighborhood. I was coming up past a side street and a car was coming up to the stop sign as I was entering the intersection (without a stop sign on my street - the main street) Now, mind you I will usually slow down, speed up, run behind the car, etc when coming up to an intersection just because I know most drivers are inconsiderate and/or not paying attention, but this morning I was clearly coming into the intersection before the car even arrived. The driver proceeded to run the stop sign and continued to roll forward coming within just a foot of me, never stopping at the stop sign or at all and apparently trying to tell me through his actions that I was in his way. Why is it that these people are allowed to drive? These are the people I think about when I hear about pedestrians getting hit by a car. I know there are some careless pedestrians and runners, but more times than not I think it is just an inpatient driver thinking that he doesn't have to slow down or stop for a pedestrian or runner -l just my 1 cent!

I think we need a national campaign (maybe there already is one) that is similar to the Share the Road campaign for motorcycles or bicycles.

Tim Wilson - 26.2 Quest