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Saturday, May 28, 2011

How many steps in a marathon?

"Why couldn' Pheiddipedes had died at 20 miles?"  Frank Shorter

Even Olympic athletes struggle with the marathon distance. I read in fitness magazine a few months ago only 1% of Americans have completed a marathon.  This will be number five for me and I ran them all having CMT.

Pheeiddepedes ran from the planis of Marathon to deliver the message of victory by the Greeks over the Persians.  He ran the 26 miles and dropped dead.  Not a good start for the history of the race.

The marathon distance was increased by .2 miles during the London Olympics so the Royal children could see the finish of the race from their palace balcony.

The 26.2 mile distance is 1,660,032 inches. With each stride I move 30 inches, so it will take me 55,334 steps to go the distance.    If  Pheiddipedes had stopped at 20 miles he would have saved me lots of steps.

  I will take it one step at a time tomorrow. There will me many times I will want to stop and those last 6 miles are always the hardest. The body is fighting fatique and that voice inside the head asking you "what on earth are you doing to me?" I have to concentrate on every step so my foot does not catch and cause me to trip.

I've had lots of encouragement as I prepared for this race.  Thanks to everyone that has joined Team CMT.  You all inspire me, especially our four team triathletes with CMT.  Thanks to everyone with CMT, Team CMT runs for all of you who live every day with pain and the challenges CMT brings. Thanks to Kevin, Wes and Cheryl, Team CMT members who will run the Half Marathon tomorrow.

Thanks to my friend Cheryl who is always waiting at the finish line after running her own race.  Thanks to friend Jon Helminiak who reads all my stuff and provides ongoing feedback and encouragement. Thanks to my mom who I have dedicated this race to. Thanks to my brother Norbert, friends Ann and Kevin and niece Courtney who will be out on the course tomorrow to cheer me on.

Tomorrow I will line up at the starting line ready to take those 5745 steps. Can't wait till I get to the last one as I cross the finish line.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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