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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Boston 3 Week 3- Arctic Vortex

Chris Wodke at Boston Marathon

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop, but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age, it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."  Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon Champion.

Week 3
Sunday-  bike 120 minutes, run 60 minutes       6F
Monday-  weights 30 minutes                        -12F
Tuesday-   Run 50 minutes                           -12F
Wednesday- Bike class 2 hours                      14 F
Thursday-  Run 35 minutes                             24F
Friday-  Bike 1 hour 30 minutes                      33F
Saturday-Swim 90 minutes, Run 90 mins         37F
Sunday- Bike 1 hour 20 minutes                      31F

It was a tough week for lots of reasons.  It was a week of extreme temperatures. During the first part of the week we were affected by an arctic vortex. Extreme cold air came into the Midwest from the arctic.  That means indoor workouts. So it was the bike trainer, pool, treadmill and track this week.

By the end of the week we had rain that froze and turned everything to ice. I got out for one outdoor run on Thursday when the temperature was a warm 24 F.  The alley by my house was icy and I fell just walking to my back door.

The week started with a fall. I was taking my bike off the stand on Sunday. It was resisting and when I freed it, it lurched forward. I leaned to catch it and lost my balance. I fell, the bike fell and I took out the computrainer stand. Quite the dramatic exit. Falls happen when I am tired.

I had four falls last week. Three of them were just walking in icy parking lots. With CMT my balance is just not as good as a normal person. I am always worried about getting hurt when I fall. Other than some bruises the only damage is to my ego.

Saturday was the second part of a two part swim clinic. Both clinics including video taping and form analysis with a coach. I was disappointed I looked as bad as I did swimming at the first clinic. I spent two months doing drills and was looking forward to seeing some improvement. I looked at the tape and did not see any improvement.  After two months of drills, my technique looks about the same. I find that very discouraging.
It makes me wonder if I will ever improve. I was counting on improved technique for some improved times in swim portion of the triathlon. Makes me wonder why I work so hard when nothing seems to change.

I was also really sore after my 90 minute track workout. My ankles were also so sore I could barely walk on Sunday. Also very discouraging.  It is so early in the training and wonder if my body will hold up to get me to the starting line.  I know my CMT has progressed to the point where this will most likely be my last marathon. It makes me think about what is ahead and what else I will lose to CMT.
When my body struggles it is time to get mentally tough and that is hard when it is so cold. Let's hope for a better week next week.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012  National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

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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