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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Team CMT was All in for Boston

"I've learned finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible."- John Hanc

I watched the weather reports all week before I left for Boston.  The final one I saw said 80 F on Sunday with a front moving through and temps in the 60's for race day. I remember saying to a friend what if the front doesn't move through?

Every time I logged onto Facebook through the weekend there was another update from the B.A.A. upping the temperature for race day.  Non elite runners were advised not to run.  Final forecast was for 86F.  The final temperature ended up being at least 89F.

I felt like I'd been training for this race my whole life.  Although I'd been offered a deferment I was ready to go. I'd dedicated the run to teammates Allison Moore and Joyce Kelly. It isn't much of a dedication if you don't run. I knew if they were in my place they would run.  Lots of people were following me and praying for me. I felt in my heart and soul it was the right thing to do and I would be ok. God had gotten me this far and he wasn't going to abandon me now. I was injury free and ready to do my third marathon in a year. As the signs say in every town, Team CMT was all in.

I boarded the bus on the Boston Commons at 7 am. Team CMT members Robert Kearney and Cheryl Monnat saw me off.  I was working on about 4 1/2 hours of sleep due to a snoring roommate.

I got to the athletes village at about 8 am. My wave started at 10:40 so I had lots of time to hydrate, listen to music, find some shade and think about the race.

I had trained so hard and planned on running this race in 4 hours and 41 minutes. I didn't just want to run Boston, I wanted to run well.  All thoughts of a fast time went out the window. The goal was now to survive the heat and finish. I planned on walking through every water stop and taking walking breaks as needed.

I also carried  my own fluids. I train with Accelerade and it works well for me. I was not about to change on race day.

As my wave pushed off I felt good and it was hard to hold back. I hit the first mile at around 9:52. The course is down hill and its easy to go out too fast.

Marathon officials planned for 3 cups of water at every stop. I used all three. Two on me and one in me. Staying cool was the primary mission. Running on blacktop with no shade in the upper 80's for 26.2 miles is a challenge.

The spectators were fantastic. Many came out with garden hoses and coolers of ice .Some offered to dump buckets of water over runners. Local fire departments set up showers of water or opened hydrants. I took advantage of all of them.  Entire families lined the route since Patriots Day is a state holiday. I took so many orange slices from young kids and gave countless high fives.

The half way point came and it was tough.  It felt like enough, I questioned whether I could complete the race. This always happens in the middle, that space between 13-16 miles. So much yet to go and then I hit Wellesley College.  These women are known to be the most enthusiastic fans on the course. Just when I needed a boost, there they were yelling there heads off.  As they yelled, I yelled back "Wellesley girls rock" and they would yell even louder. It was just the boost I needed. Thanks women of Wellesley!

Friend and Team CMT member Cheryl Monnat was at mile 17. My shoes were sloshing with water. A quick change of shoes and socks, some restocking of gu and I was good to good. HNF President Allison Moore was at mile 21 miles. A quick stop for pictures and I was on my way. I felt strong, but was splitting my time between walking and running.  I knew if I broke 6 hours I had a shot at 3rd in the division.

Could I have gone faster, maybe but it didn't seem worth the risk. As an athlete I have to listen to my body. It was a day that saw 252 runners go to the hospital and 2000 treated on the course.  I chose to be conservative and finish.

Before I knew it I was running down Bolyston Street. Cheryl was at 25 miles to cheer me on.
Running through the tunnel of fans to the finish is an experience I will never forget. I even was hydrated enough to shed a few tears.  Running Boston has been an emotional experience I will never forget.

I not only finished, I took 2nd in the Mobility Impaired Division. If I had pushed it a bit more,  I could have had 1st.
I am a little disappointed in my time. I ran safe, but not the great race l am capable of running.

I guess I just have something to look forward to next year.  Running a marathon is more than just conquering the distance. It's also about mastering your mind to let your body do the things it's meant to do.  Sometimes the biggest limits we have are the ones we set on ourselves. That happened a bit during this race. I know I still have a ways to go to fully push myself in a marathon.  Can't wait till the next one.

Team CMT member Trenni K also finished in 4 hr 5 minutes. Way to go Trenni!!

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

1 comment:

  1. Better safe, and able to run another day. Congratulations on a fantastic accomplishment!