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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Own Worst Enemy

Cap Tex Tri 2012 Finisher Medal


"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves."- Sir Edmund Hilary

Sir Edmund could have been talking about me as I raced the Cap Tex Tri.  I was my own worst enemy. Inexperience, mistakes and disappointment were all demons I battled against.

It all started the day before when I did not classify into the T3 para triathlete category. I was told I was not impaired enough and too strong. Gone was any shot at the National Championship and a chance for competition at the World Championships.  I was transferred into the physically challenged open division. I had to give back my number with my name and national championship designation. That hurt.

Later in the day when I took out the rental bike for a test ride, the tire was flat and it had to be taken back to the shop.  I only got to do a short test ride on the bike since my family was waiting for me.  So I was not off to a good start. 

On race day I was denied access to the transition area.  I had racked my bike in the sprint area as directed. I did not know there was a rack in a different area for those competing in the open division. It seemed like it took forever to get a race official over and get me to the right transition area.  I felt like I barely had time to set up my gear and that added to my stress.

I also had trouble getting into the swim start until I pointed out to the official I had the same color swim cap as the athletes in the water. Once in the water my goggles were fogging despite the defog applied. Even though I rinsed the goggles, the defog was stinging my eyes. No effect on the fogging goggles. As I looked down the course the swim looked so far. I had to remind myself I have been swimming twice the distance in practice.

When you can count on one hand the number of tri's you have done, you're not a pro. I had only done 5 and only 4 had open water swims. My experience showed in the swim.  The course, had was triangular. I had seen the map and had it explained to me. The swim was going fine, I made my fancy turn around the buoy like I had learned at swim clinic. Only problem was it was the wrong turn, I was asked by one of the race Marshall's if I was OK and was informed I had missed the turn. Had to go back and redo it.  Still  I did the crawl stroke the entire way which was a big improvement over previous races. 

Then in the bike leg, my race belt must of come undone and I lost my number. I informed the race official in transition about what happened and was instructed to complete the course. I was scored, but if I had been in the National Championship, that mistake would have gotten me dis-qualified. Also missed a turn around on the bike leg. Did not miss by much, but it cost me some time.  I also hugged the right of the course to stay out of the way of all the elite athletes speeding by me. The run was the only part of the race that went smoothly, but it is also where I have the most experience.

I was also racing without a bike computer since the rental bike did not have one and I did not notice until the flat was fixed. So I was basically racing blind. I won't know my speed until race results are published.

Well I have a lot to learn and a lot of mistakes to correct for next time.  My clock time was  1 hr 45 when I crossed the finish line. I would know my time if I had remembered to start the watch I was wearing. I did beat the time of the T3 champion. Chip times have been published and I finished just a big over 1 hr 39 minutes.

 I raced like a complete moron, but still managed to win the Physically Challenged Open Division.  I even beat the time of the winner in T3 which the category I was denied entry. Looking forward to the next time and maybe just maybe a spot in the National Championship race. 

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

  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




Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good Enough for Boston, but Not for Austin

Boston Marathon 2012

" You miss 100% of the shots you never take."


In April in ran in the Mobility Impaired Division of the Boston Marathon. I gained entry based on my diagnosis of CMT. I submitted notes from the neurologist exam to prove I was eligible.  Those same notes were not even looked at today when I was rejected to compete in the Paratriathlon National Championship this morning.

I knew going in there was a chance I would not be classified in.  I had talked extensively with United States Triathlon Association (USTA) officials last year about the medical classification process. The process is very secret and at least for me not very extensive.  I knew there was a pretty good chance after the time, expense and preparation I would not be allowed into the National Championship.

After a few questions about how CMT affects my swimming, biking and running, the physical therapist present did a few strength and range of motion tests.   The strength test consisted of me pushing against her resistance. A child could  have pushed harder. It was completely ridiculous.  

I was told I was not "impaired enough" and I was "too strong".  Fellow CMT athlete Donna DeWick was also rejected.It didn't matter that the Boston Marathon accepted my CMT or that the International Triathlon Union has given me the same classification I was seeking today based on a review of my medical records. Now that I have gone through the USAT process, the ITU classification is no longer valid.

   I feel the strength alone measure is not fair, since Donna and I have both worked hard to preserve strength and function. I would like the USAT officials to see the bills for chiropractic care, physical therapy, massages, and doctor care. It is a struggle every day to maintain the activity level necessary to try and compete on any level.

It is not a surprise to have this happen since CMT is not well understood even in the medical community. Ignorance about CMT is something we face everyday. How disappointing to see it once again at the National level.

I will compete tomorrow and represent Team CMT.  I will be proud to race in the same group as Donna. I have admired her determination and dedication for a long time.   The USAT has promised to take a look at the classification process for our category. I can only hope they are open to education about CMT and its affect on athletes. The mission of Team CMT has been to raise awareness and educate. I just didn't think I would need to educate the USAT.

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Least Likely to Succeed

Joyce Kelly, Chris Wodke, Morgan Johnson Denton Texas

"Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it."- HH The Dali Lama

When I was in Boston in April I started the trip with a visit with my college friend Viktor.  We talked about my Boston Marathon run and the fact I would be competing at the National Triathlon Sprint Championship.  He laughed and said I was the last person he would have expected going to a national competition. I laughed and agreed.  I'm still trying to wrap the mind around the fact that if I place 1st in my group I will gain a spot on the US team and a chance to compete at the World Championship in New Zealand.   I've come a long way from the girl that sat the bench for two years of grade school volley ball and endured endless taunting about my slow running.  

Athletic and grace would never be terms that come to mind to anyone who knows me really well. I've overcome lots of limitations by working hard. I had to do something even harder to get ready for this race. I had to stop working out to let an ankle injury heal.  I realize how much athletics have become a part of my life and who I am. I had to put it aside for four difficult days so I could get to Austin injury free.  I ran tonight for the first time in weeks and it felt wonderful.

I put off doing triathlons for years because I was afraid of doing the open water swim. I panicked the first two races. I had to do the backstroke to through the race, but I made it.

There are fears and doubts for this race too.. This is only my 5th triathlon and I still feel like a beginner.  I have very little experience doing open water swims.  Still figuring out bike racing and transitions.  Just hope I don't make any big mistakes and I get through the race.

I'll have tough competition. The current champion lives in Florida and has probably been riding for months. I have had a few weeks to get used to my new clip less pedals.  I will be competing against athletes that are younger and more experiences. 

Life is funny. You never know what unexpected opportunities will present themselves.  The chance to compete in a national championship is one I never expected.  I am going to make the most of it. I am so excited to be there and am going to have as much fun as possible and not worry about anything else.  I'll remind myself how far I've come and what I've had to give up to get there. And I will try not to focus on how much I have yet to learn.  If there is one thing I've learned its the biggest limitations anyone faces are the ones they put on themselves. 

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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


Friday, May 18, 2012

A Challenged Athlete

Boston Marathon Post Party-Fenway Park

"Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated."- Russell Warren

Just 10 days to go until the National Sprint Championship in Austin Texas.  I know I like to compete and work out, but I didn't realize until this week just what an obsession it is.  I've been thrown yet another challenge as I get ready for Austin.

I have been fighting an injury on my right ankle.  It happened right after a swim clinic about 3 weeks ago. I remember bumping my ankle at work and finding the pea size knot on my ankle. It hurt like hell. At first I thought it was tendinitis, which could have sidelined me for weeks. It's also an injury that is tough to heal.
It's probably the result of 3 marathons in the last year including a very hot and hilly Boston Marathon just over a month ago.  I went right from Boston into training for Nationals.  Maybe I was trying to do just a little too much.

It seems to be a muscle knot and it is putting a serious crimp in my training plans.  To have a shot at the national championship I am going to have to run my absolute best race. I can't do that if I'm injured. If I stop training to let it heal, I lose valuable training time. I lose both the physical and mental preparation for the race.

Usually with running I can work around most minor injuries. So I 've been trying to keep training and it's not working well. First I stopped running except in the pool.  I kept up with the cycling including a hilly 2 hr ride last Sunday in Governor Dodge Park.  It got so bad last week and this that I took 2 days off in a row. I don't even do that when I'm sick.

Last night it hurt to drive.  So I may be taking the drastic measure of three or four days off to see if I can get my ankle to heal. I haven't had that many days off since I had shoulder surgery 14 years ago.  It is driving me crazy. Working out is such a part of my routine it just doesn't feel right not to be doing something. Most days I training in at least two and sometimes 3 sports.

The injury takes a toll mentally as well. I always questions if I've done enough of the right training for an event. Now I will have to second guess both the decision to keep working out and now to take time off.  My coach and doctor both assure me my performance won't suffer much.  I guess we will find out race day. I know I would feel more mentally prepared if I was working hard.  Doing nothing is harder for me than working out.  I can't wait until I can bike, swim and run pain free. I love being active and miss it. I  get some of my best ideas when running.  I can't even remember the last time I ran

So yes I am probably obsessed, but I think its a pretty healthy obsession. Will see if rest helps and if I can resist the temptation to get back at it.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
WWW.RUN4CMT.COM


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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Boston's Done-What's Next?

Boston Marathon 2012

" The Finish Line is just the beginning of a whole new race."- Unknown


There was a reason I was so calm and cool about the Boston Marathon.  I knew I had another event following closely after.   I stayed calm in Boston by focusing on all the things I was going to need to do to get ready for my next event.


On May 28th, 2012 I will be participating in the USA Para triathlon National Championship in Austin, Texas.  With only 6 weeks between events I went right into training for the tri.  I am really supposed to be in recovery mode. It takes about a day to recover for every mile you run. That means I should be taking a bit easy not training for another event, much less a national championship. The athlete that places first in each category will represent the USA at the World Championships in Auckland New Zealand in October. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I am going to a National competition with a shot at the U.S. team. It was a chance I couldn't pass up.


I never expected to be running this event this soon.  Last year just for fun I ran the Denton Pioneer Sprint triathlon just for fun. I did about a month worth of swim training and a bit of biking since I was already training for Marine Corp Marathon.  To my surprise my performance was good enough to land me a qualifying spot.  So National Championship ready or not here I come.


I start to get nervous every time I thought about it, so running Boston seemed like no big deal. It was marathon number seven after all. I feel like I have been running and racing half my adult life. It seems second nature now and I know just what to do.  This event will be triathlon number five, so I am still a novice.   I panicked in my first two triathlon swims, so the swim will continue to be a challenge.

So I focus my nervous energy on all the things I needed to do to get ready. Here is my list and my progress;


New bike-          Yep Fuji Altamira 1.0
Bike Fit-             Check, done by Dave Sneider at Wheel and Sprocket this week.
Coach-                Yes, currently being coached by Joy Von Werder
Wet suit-             still working on that
Swim-                 working on this one, been to 2 swim clinics
Flight                  Done
Hotel                   Done
Support               My brother and sister in law will be my support crew
Documents-        yes, application and medical info received by USTA
Bike Transport    $400 to ship, but I found a solution.
New Helmet         Done
Pictures  required by USTA- not yet
Bike                     going to a bike clinic this week to work on technique.
Clipless pedals-  still working on this. One crash already.  Hope they're worth it!!!
So I have had a lot to arrange and this has helped me to fight my nerves. I know the swim will be tough since I am not experienced at open water swims.  I got a  little practice at my swim clinic and some good technicques for turning around the buoy.

The one thing I can't control is injuries. I have what has been determined to be a muscle knot on my right ankle. I've lost several days of training this week as I battle that.  Going to swim and bike today to see how it goes.

There is still plenty to do. I still have to make it through the USTA medical appointment and classification.  So until I stand at the start at Ladybird Lake in Austin I have lots to do to keep me busy until then.

Chris Wodke
Manager & Founder 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






Sunday, May 6, 2012

Boston Marathon Fenway Post Party




"Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever."-Lance Armstrong

I don't know if Lance made that quote before or after he ran the New York marathon. Anyone who's run a marathon knows the legs can feel it for a few days.  No matter I finished and it was time to hit the marathon post party at Fenway Park.  My friend Cheryl had never been there so we had to go.

There were 27,000 runners in town for the marathon and right in the entrance to Fenway was my ex. Of all the places in Boston he happens to be there right in the only open gate.  He was wearing his finisher medal and I thought what a geek. His race was over hours ago. His fiance was not there so just who was he trying to impress.  No matter we ignored him and took a look at the field. Totally missed getting our picture taken of the World Series trophies. 

It was still in the 80's even after dark. The only hot weather clothes I had was a Boston Marathon tee shirt and a running skirt I bought at the expo.  It seemed ok since everyone at Fenway were runners.
I had not eaten much all day and was really getting hungry. Since all they had was ball park food at Fenway we needed to be on our way.  Stopped for a few photos Teammates statue outside of Fenway. Some guy wanted his photo taken with me. We actually match. Guess we're a couple.

House of Blues also had a party, but I needed food, not booze. I had been drinking water for hours after the race and was not putting anything out. I was a bit worried and didn't think alcohol was a good idea.  We instead headed to an Italian area for pizza and pasta. Home by 10 pm for some well deserved rest.  Can't wait to come back and run again next year and spend a little more time at the post party and hopefully I won't run into any former friends.

Chris Wodke
www.run4cmt.com

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

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Boston Marathon Weekend-Race Day

Athletes Village-Boston Marathon


"Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."-Thomas Edison

I was strangely calm on race day.  Usually I'm really nervous before a marathon. I've run enough of them to know what waits on the course.  Maybe it was the signatures and good wishes written on papers I had pinned to my numbers, maybe it was all the prayers and good wishes or the fact that I felt like I had been training for this race my whole life.  I know I had trained harder for Boston than any marathon I've ever prepared for. I was calm and confident as I boarded the bus at 7 a.m. in Boston Commons for the ride to the race start in Hopkinton.

I had only slept about 4 1/2 hours since one of my roommates snoring kept me up from 1:30 a.m. until I got up at 5 a.m.  I felt lucky to get that. Most of my marathons I don't sleep at all the night before. I had worked hard I couldn't wait for the start.

Although I had banned my iPod from the race, I used it on the bus and in the athletes village. I arrived in the athletes village at 8 a.m.  My wave started at 10:40. So I had over 2 hours to rest,  find some shade and try to relax. Music helped to center me and mentally prepare for the day ahead.

As I made my way to my corral in wave 3 I mentally went over my plan for the day.  Gone was the goal of  4:41 and even finishing in the top 3 in my division. I just wanted to finish. So many people were tracking me or had donated to me, I couldn't let them down. I knew on a day when the temperatures were expected to be near 90F it would be a battle and a victory just to finish. I planned on walking a bit through every water stop.

Just as I got to my corral the race started and I was off.  I hit the first mile at  tabout 9:00.  Way faster than I expected. I slowed down knowing a fast pace early on would take its toll later.

My most vivid memory of this race will be the crowd support. So many families with garden hoses, buckets of water and ice to cool down runners. I took advantage of everyone of them.
 So many offers of orange slices, twizzlers, pretzels, and countless other food items.  So many high fives all along the course.  So many families with young kids, all cheering us on like we were ellite athletes.

The B.A.A. planned 3 cups of water for each runner at every water stop. I used all three. One in me and two on me.    It was a struggle to try and stay cool. I carried my own sports drink so I could keep my electrolytes balanced.

I was really starting to drag at the half way point. I was starting to doubt if I could finish. This is the tough middle of the race. Then I met the girls of Wellesley College. They are famous for being the loudest fans on the course.  They were screaming their heads off. When I yelled back "Wellesley Girls Rock" they screamed louder. We went back and forth and by the time I was past them I was ready to rock and roll.  I felt great.

Mile 17


I 've never had support on the course when I've run a marathon. So it was a real treat to have Cheryl Monnat waiting at mile 17.  I think I looked pretty good although I was struggling.I had so much water in my shoes it was sloshing around. Time for a quick stop for dry shoes and socks. I also got a full bottle of sports drink and GU.  I was off and then met Allison Moore and friend Valarie at mile 21. Stop for a quick picture, hug and encouragement.  By the time I hit mile 20 I know I going to finish. At this point I was splitting my time between walking and running.  Almost everyone was and they looked like walking wounded.

I saw runners down and lots in the first aid tents. There was a runner collapsed in the last .2 miles. Imagine getting that far and not be able to finish.  It was no time at all before I was headed down Bolyston street. I don't know how she did it by Cheryl was at mile 25 as well. I cannot tell you how much the support helped.    I came down Bolyston lined with a sea of people all cheering like I was the first runner they were seeing.  I was so excited and happy to finish and yes I cried a bit. Not too much because I think I was pretty dehydrated.

Now all that was left to do was get my finisher medal, pick up luggage and meet Cheryl.  While I waited I propped my feet up against a building wall.  I got a couple of killer leg cramps so I think I finished just in time.  My time was terrible 5:27, but I finished and even won 2nd in the Mobility Impaired Division. I was thrilled since I have never placed in the top three in any race over 10K. I didn't find out until the next day when results were posted.

I was not the only one that struggled. My elite runner acquaintance was 40 minutes slower than usual. Last year's top men's and women's runners did not finish.  All in all it was a good day.  One I will always remember.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Boston Marathon Weekend-Day 3

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something."- unknown

Sunday was the last workout before the race.  A quick 3 mile run just to loosen up the legs after two off days.
Friends Robert and Cheryl were lucky they had a 10 mile run on their schedule as part of their training for the Door County half marathon. They had a nice run along the Charles River.

We had lunch at Quincy Market and did a quick tour of Harvard.  The biggest event on the schedule was the HNF event scheduled at the John Harvard Brew Pub.  The event was organized by Team CMT member Duane Olsen.  It was a chance to meet Gerry Lynch our sponsor from System 7 and his family.

Gerry and his wife adopted daughter Ollie from China last year and found she had CMT.  Ollie is just an awesome young lady and it was great to meet her.  It was also a chance to re-connect with HNF president Allison Moore and to meet teammate Louise Gerhardt.

It was an early night since I needed to be in bed by 8:30 so I could get a good nights sleep before the race.
We all have our part to play in this battle with CMT. I run, some of us raise funds, some generously donate or run a foundation. We all have the same goal, for others to recognize this disease and to end its progression in our lives.

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



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Boston Marathon Weekend-Day 2

The most coveted number in all of running



" There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."  Bill Bowerman


Saturday was number pick up day. Number pick up happens at the South Seaport on the Boston Harbor and is billed as the world's largest runners expo.  I was excited to see the expo, buy my Boston Marathon gear and pick up my number.

Even though I arrived on Friday, I waited to go to the expo until friends Robert Kearney and Cheryl Monnat could come along.Since they're runners as well, they were looking forward to the expo as much as I was.

I wanted to pick up the number first thing. I had waited so long for this day. But there was a problem. When I presented my ID to pick up my number, I was given a slip and told to go the resolution center.

Once there a Boston Athletic Association official warned me about the weather. They could not remember what condition I had, but strongly advised I don't run. Temperatures were expected to be in the 80's. I assured them I do well in the heat.  The official wanted to talk to me personally to offer me a deferment to next year. I was guaranteed entry as long as I didn't start the race.  I told them I would be running. They said my number was flagged in the database and the medical staff would be aware of any medical issues I had. I was also told to fill out the medical emergency contact information on the back of my number in case anything happened. I was also handed material on how to hydrate properly.  I appreciate the concern race officials.

I was given my number and was able to pick up my goodie bag.  I waited so long for this day. It seemed real now. Runners are seeded by qualifying time and my time put me at 21,611 among the 27,000 runners. I would be starting the very last wave, but I was "all in".

The expo was huge. I bought two Boston jackets, Not crazy about the orange color of this years gear, but I wasn't going to pass on buying a Boston marathon jacket.  Half the fun is being able to brag a bit by wearing my jacket around Milwaukee until next years race.

Well we finished up with some shopping at the expo and headed to a nearby brew pub for lunch.
As the day went on the temperature forecast got higher and higher. It topped out at 86F by Sunday night.  The B.A.A. was asking all non elite runners not to run. That should have been me, but I knew I was ready. I'd never trained harder for a race and I couldn't wait to run.  I just had to get through one more day.

Taking the deferment was never an option.  I had already qualified for 2013 when I ran the Marine Corp marathon,  Besides what is a little weather. We Wisconsin folks are tough. Bring it on!!!

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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