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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Boston 3- Week 11- Mentally Tough

Boston Marathon Finisher Medal

" You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becomingg."  -John Rohn, Self-made millionaire, Success Coach and Philosopher

Monday               Swim            45 minutes              -4F
Tuesday               Run/wts        50/45                     11F
Wednesday          Bike/run       60/15                     17F
Thursday              Swim           45 minutes              27F
Friday                  Run             75 minutes              42F
Saturday              bike/swim    90/45 minutes         24 F
Sunday                Run/wts       115 min/30 min       36 F

It takes mental toughness to train for and complete a marathon. Boston is a tough course, so mental toughness is a necessary part of the race. Especially someone like myself with CMT. Fatigue and pain will be with me through much of the race. It takes a Strong will to finish. More so because I've run the course twice and know what to expect.

Setting and achieving a goal like running Boston did change me.  I learned about reaching for and achieving a goal that one time seemed out of reach.  I saw all the things that have fallen into place with forming Team CMT and our mission to raise awareness. I've learned to keep going whether its training, a race or life when things get tough. I just don't quit. That's all part of being mentally tough. God knows with CMT, I'm not physically strong. My faith and the goals I've set have helped me to dig deep when I need it the most.

The team is still here despite the efforts of some in the community to pull apart the team to build their own. The comments about that were perceived as negativity. Well funny how you do something negative and then play the victim when someone sheds light on your behavior.  Maybe you need to think a little deeper about your own motivations and behavior. Are you in this cause for your own ego and agenda or do you really want to help the CMT community. If you did you would not so work so hard against my efforts and those of my team.

I've learned to be tough running marathons and living in Wisconsin. The winter here continues to be long and cold. Seems like it snows just about every other day.  I was able to get outside for my long run on Sunday and a speed running workout mid-week.  What a mental break to get off the treadmill and get outside.
I do my best thinking when I am out for a run. It's great stress relief. I write my blog in my head as I run the streets in my neighborhood. It is those long slow runs by myself in all kinds of weather that have built my mental toughness. Nothing can be harder than a 5 hour run whether on the streets or on the treadmill in the gym.

I found out this week the crowds along the course in Boston will be the largest ever. Estimates are there will be 1 million spectators. That is 1 million people that will see the Team CMT uniform of me and member CJ Charboneau. It is events like this that led me to found the team. We are going to raise lots of awareness on race day. It is just one of the rewards for being mentally tough enough to toe the starting line on race day.

I am going to need that mental toughness as I race at the Paratriathlon National Sprint Championship in Austin. The CMTA advertised this week that they will pay the entry fee for up to five athletes. Perhaps they are using this as a fundraiser and that is certainly their right. I have just never paid athletes to race for the team or even paid them to fund raise.  It is very possible that Team CMT members will choose to race for the CMTA in Austin. I would not blame them. The $160 race fee is a big expense.

The CMTA will also have a cheer section for their athletes and special events. Is this meant to make me feel bad and left out? If it is, it will not work. Even if there are six CMT athletes and only me representing Team CMT I will be just fine. I also belong to Dare 2 Tri  and they will be sending a large team to Austin. So I will have lots of friends and family in Austin.

I am mentally tough. Believe me this is just the kind of thing that fuels every workout. I don't need much to motivate me. My current triathlon time will put me around 1 hr 35 ....if I have a good day. If I classify in, I am competitive with the current national champion. That is what motivates me. The rest is just noise. So go ahead and play your games. Game on. See you in Austin!

I've already made Team USA as a duathlete. I am eligible to compete at the ITU World Championship in Spain. Another goal accomplished.
My next goal is a National Championship for Paratriathlon whether that is as a classified athlete or in the Open Division. The rest of the politics are just distractions that do not affect me at all. I have total focus on the goal,. That is what it means to be mentally tough.

So I cannot wait till race day. CMT athletes....may the best athlete win in Austin. It may be me, it may be one of you. I know I will put everything I have into getting ready and running the race.  That alone is worth the journey because it will change me as a person, just like running Boston did.


My book about being a CMT affected athlete

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

CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT.

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