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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Boston 3- Week 12, Away Game

Marquette Michigan March 2014

"It is not the will to win that matters, everyone has that, it's the will to prepare that matters." - Paul "Bear" Bryant, College Football's winningest coach with 323 victories and 6 national titles

3/9    Monday           51 F     55 min run
3/10  Tuesday           43 F     45 min swim, 45 min wts.
3/12  Wednesday      27F      1 hr 35 min bike, 15 min run
3/13  Thursday         35 F      45 min swim
3/14  Friday             51 F      1 hr 25 min run
3/15  Saturday         34 F      1 hr bike, 45 min swim
3/16  Sunday          11 F       3 hour run, Marquette Michigan

I've written about some of my lofty goals. The first one I set was in 2012 when I set the goal to run the Boston Marathon. When I set that goal I had no idea how I would get in, much less run the race successfully.  I did get in and after lots of hard training I finished 2nd in the Mobility Impaired division.

Lots of athletes set lofty goals, but very few have the drive, discipline and dedication it takes to be successful. You have to work out day in and day out, even when you don't feel like it. Every week day after day I do the training my coach has put on my training plan. It is what I need to do to be successful.

This week like any other had its challenges.  I had a really bad fall during the cool down of my run on Friday night. I was tired after a week of poor sleep. The workout plan said to run for 1 hr 25  minutes so I was out the door. On the cool down my right foot caught and I started to fall forward. My momentum continued to carry me forward. I could not stop the fall. I leaned into it, broke it slightly with my  hand and then did a roll.

I was shook up, a scraped up knee, bruised ego and a sore palm. I was not seriously injured. Falls like this are becoming more common as my CMT progresses.   They don't feel good and remind me some day I may not be able to run at all. I've had lots of practice falling in my life and I've gotten good at it.

This was not the only run I needed to do on the weekend. I had a 3 hour run of about 16 miles to do. I thought about moving it to Saturday because I had a 6 hour drive on Sunday to Marquette Michigan.

I was due to be in Marquette on business early in the week.  After my fall on Friday, I decided not to chance running two days in a row. A practice I 've followed for years to avoid injury.

So pushing the run to Sunday would mean I would have to do the run after the drive.  Driving is always tiring for me and I was really tired when I arrived. The temperature was 11 F and I thought why did I not run in Milwaukee because the temperature had been 34 F the day before. I could have used the treadmill in the hotel workout room. If I did that all I would be looking at was the media screen attached to the machine and it had no sound.

So it would be an outside run. I was not hopeful since I never run outside when it is colder than about 20 F.  I was worried about being out in cold temperatures for hours. Since my body does not always regulate temperature well, temperature extremes can be a problem. Sometimes at night I just cannot get warm.

My hotel was right on Lake Superior and right along side of a bike path that runs for miles along the harbor and shore. It is even plowed. I started off just after 2 pm. There was about an inch of fresh fallen snow on the trail. I had been worried about icy spots since it has been icy in Milwaukee. Ice patches were there, but few and far between.

It is hard to believe it was 11 F. It felt absolutely perfect. There was only a slight wind. The sun was shining and it felt so warm.  Heat waves and steam was coming off of the street because the sun was so warm.

Part of the trail went through the woods and I took this picture.  I love running when there is a bit of fresh snow. I felt like I am playing. Lots for runners and walkers out, we would nod and smile at each other because we all knew how great it was to be alive and be outside. The sun was warm on my face.

I passed more people out for hikes, taking their dogs for a walk. More quick hello's and smiles.

Winter can have a beauty all it's own. Even though it has been a long and brutal winter, it can still be so wonderful to be outside and  revel in its wonder. It was just one of those days it was great to be a runner and be alive. Running silently I could fully take in it's wonder. Because I do not listen to music when I run there are no distractions. I fully live in the moment.

I ran for about 5 miles along the path before I turned around and got to see the same beauty all over again.
I had already completed an earlier loop in the other direction of about 4 miles.

I spent the rest of the time running some of the huge hills in town. The 3 hours were over before I knew it. My feet hurt and my legs ached, but my soul soared. It is days like this I remember why I am a runner. No other experience can replace it.  Someday when I can't run, I will remember this day and remember a winter day in Marquette Michigan.


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.

You may visit her author page at:

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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