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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Boston 3- Week 8 Taking Risks

Boston Marathon 2013

"Sometimes success is just outside of your comfort zone."- Jack Canfield

2/9       Sunday         7F         pool run          60 minutes
2/10     Monday      -7F         run/swim        35/45  minutes
2/11     Tuesday      -3F         Swim             45 minutes
2/12     Wed             6F         bike/run         90/20
2/13     Thur            22F        Rest        
2/14     Friday           6F        Run/Swim       60/45
2/15     Sat                6F        Bike/wts         90/30

It continues to be tough weather wise for outdoor training. Still lots of bike trainer and treadmill work. Time on the treadmill, on the trainer and in the pool give me lots of time to think about how things are going with my training.

When I prepared for the 2013 Boston Marathon I fully expected it to be my last least for awhile.

I got injured in 2012 training or should I say over training for the race. I didn't just want to run Boston, I wanted to place in the top three in the Mobility Impaired Division. The training paid off when I placed second, but I paid a price.

I developed what doctors think is a cyst on my right ankle. I think it is due to the thinning of the muscle in that area due to the progression of my CMT. I knew running last year was a risk. I trained a little less harder and was ready for my farewell to Boston.  Because of the terrorist attack I did not get to finish the race.

We were stopped less than a mile from the finish. I could see the final turn. It was so close. I knew I would come back to finish and to support the people of Boston.  The crowds love the runners and it will be our turn to love them back and show our support. I have a race to finish.

So I am taking a risk by training for and running another marathon on a questionable ankle? Will it hold up? Will I cause more damage?  I have Paratriathlon Nationals in Austin just  five weeks after Boston. Am I risking being healthy for that race and the World Duathlon Champion in Spain the following week?

My current coach and my last coach have not really been happy with me doing both Boston and Nationals.It is not enough time to recover. I could be sacrificing performance at Nationals with my Boston run.  I've weighted the options and I want to run Boston one last time.

The classification system is still so uncertain for paratriathlon. Those of us with CMT have not had much success in being accepted to compete. I have had to compete in the Open Division the last two years. I did quite well, but did not have a shot at Team USA spots. So I weighed the risk and decided with Boston being certain I would do the race.  The race is not the only risk I am taking.

I am also trying a new training approach with this Boston.  I am letting my coach plan my workouts. My old coach would have done that for me. I just was not ready to give up control to someone else.  So that is a risk for me. It is tough to let someone else decide what workout I should do each day and when I get a rest day. I have been able to balance my training for years. I needed to improve my performance for Nationals, so I needed to try something new if I want to make the U.S. Team.

Although I am running Boston, I don't have any goals to finish in the top three. I really am focused on the coming triathlon season. My weakness is the bike leg and my workouts have focused more on biking and less on running. So that is a risk for me. My coach knows I am worried. She tells me my legs remember all the miles I have run in training and doing Boston. She says I will be ready.

I am willing to try a different approach, that may reduce the stress on  my ankle and improve my bike time.
Still it is a risk and I will not know if it worked until after Boston and Austin. Will it pay off in Austin? I may and even though I improve my performance there is no guarantee I will get into the competition. It all depends on the new classification standards. Am I putting all this effort into winning a competition I may even get into? Another risk I am willing to take.

So I keep working out, following my coaches plan and dealing with my dicey ankle. We will know by the end of May if the risk was worth the reward.  Fingers crossed!

Author at Duathlon National Championship 2013

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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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