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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Running Your Own Race

Boston Athletic Association
" We will win and live with it if we can't, but you will never know how far you can go unless you run."  Penny Chernrey in the movie Secretariat

Boston Training- Week 10
One of the nice things about my entry into Boston is I get regular email updates.  The picture was from a recent update.  The runner behind the pack Desiree Davila chose to run her own race and stayed behind the pack.  She ended up finishing second, just seconds behind the winner.

Wise runners learn not to go out too fast in any race especially a marathon. You have to live with the decision in the later stages. Go out to fast and you might not finish. So you learn to run for a pace you can sustain for 26.2 miles. You learn to run to your ability or run your own race.

You have to wonder what was going through her mind as she saw that pack break away. What doubts must have been going through her mind.  It takes real courage to run your own race, whether it the Boston marathon, a local 5K or a decision in your everyday life.  Sometimes it's tough to stay the course when aren't sure it's the right decision.

Almost every time I run a marathon or half, I have trouble sleeping the night before.  I often ask myself "Why I am doing this?" Then I run the race and I am always glad it did.  I love to test myself and I can't do that if I don't run. If you've finish a marathon you know the exhilaration of running the best you can to conquer the distance. As a runner with CMT I know I run a greater risk of being injured, but if I didn't push myself I would never know how far I can go. If I hadn't taken a risk, I would never have set the goal of running Boston. Yet in 49 days I will be lining up with thousands of other runners.

I'm doing quite a bit of questioning this week. Work is tough and has been exceptionally stressful.  Sometimes running my own race at work, seperates me from my peers.  I know the feeling of running alone. I know I've made the right decisions and done the right things.  Sometimes running your own race means taking a risk even when there is no pay off on the horizon. Right now I'm not sure of the outcome, but I am willing to live with the results.

Well this week the training got tough too. I fell off the music wagon this week and used the radio for my 9 mile tempo run.  I was tired and since I gave up soda for lent, there was no available caffeine and sugar boost. So I cheated a bit by listening to talk radio, but I got the workout done.  I didn't have a choice to move the run to a later day because we were expecting rain and snow the next day.

 I planned a 20 mile run for this weekend and I was determined to run it outside.  Saturday was in the 20's and cold. I was tired, so I pushed the run off until Sunday when the high was supposed to be 40F.  Well it was 28F when I got started and winds were predicted to hit 30 mph with gusts up to 45mph.  I got out as early as possible to get at least part of my almost 4 hour run done before the winds were at their worst.

The run did not start out well when the bathrooms at the Lake and in a near by park were all locked.  I had to make a pit stop at home, which messed up all my route plans.  I was tired and only finished about 90 minutes of my run. I didn't think I was going to complete the workout.  I was feeling some pain in the knee that was just like the pain I had when I got a stress fracture. My hamstrings were hurting and I was determined to get through the workout without music and did I mention the wind.  40F sounds warm until you have 40 mph wind gusts. So I told myself just run around the block and see how it goes. I wanted to be close to home in case I needed to stop.

I read a trick in a running magazine this week that I tried out as I ran the block. The article said when things get tough to take your mind off of it by repeating a phrase like left, right, left right. So as I ran around the block I counted every step.  As I ran around the block I counted; 1,2,3,4,....until I got to 100. Then I would start again.  I counted them off on my fingers until got to 1000. Then I repeated 5 times and switched to another block.  There were even a few hills.  I was so able to concentrate that I did not feel any pain. Funny how the counting pushed every other thought out of my head. I watched the minutes tick off my watch until I reached 3 hours and 50 minutes, my goal time for the workout.  Counting also helped me maintain a faster pace later in my workout.

This was a tough workout, but I made it.  Every time I run one of these long workouts I find it hard to believe on race day I will have to run another hour. I wonder if I will ever make it.

The decision I made today will pay dividends when I run Boston. I know on a really tough day I was able to get through the workout. These are the small pieces that have to be in place for me to run my race.

Post workout my legs feel good.  I'm still fighting a few trouble spots and I hope new running shoes this week will help

This week is going to be even tougher as my easy days go from 4 miles to 5 miles. I also have a 9 mile tempo and another 20 + mile run.  If it gets tough, I'll count or do whatever it takes...that's what it takes to run my race.

So whatever tough choices or decision you have to make do it. You won't know how far you can go unless you do.

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.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

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