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Monday, April 7, 2014

Boston 3 - Week 15 Peer Pressure

Tri Class of 2013 Friends at South Shore Half Marathon

Running is like celebrating your soul. There’s so much it can teach us in life.” – Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run International

3/31     Monday            57 F, Swim 50 minutes
4/1       Tuesday            53 F, run 50 minutes
4/2       Wednesday      38F, Bike 1 hour
4/3       Thursday         37F, Bike 1 hr 15, weights 20 minutes  
4/4       Friday             42 F, Rest
4/5       Saturday         49F, South Shore Half Marathon, 2 hr 20 minutes, 10 min warm-up
4/6       Sunday           54 F, 20 min weights, 50 min swim, 60 min bike ride

Usually when peer pressure is mentioned it is in a negative context.  Peer influence is blamed for all sorts of bad teenage behavior. Sometimes peer influence is a good thing. Without it I would not have raced the South Shore Half marathon this Saturday.

I often don't sleep well the night before the race. I was not feeling nervous at all. I've done lots of half marathons. Maybe my body worries about the pain and fatigue. In any case I remember seeing the time every two hours.  Last year I would have just skipped the race and slept in.  I had a 13 mile run on my training plan, but I could have run it later in the day.

I went because six of my friends from my triathlon training group were doing the race and I did not want to be left out of the fun. Plus we were meeting for brunch after, so no race so fun brunch with my friends.

So tired or not I lined up at the start line. My ankles hurt from my efforts to break in a new pair of running shoes. More about that in another blog. I switched to an old pair of shoes for the race, hoping there would be one last race in them.

I wanted to drop out in the first mile, but what would I say to my coach, how would I face my friends when they all finished and I did not. I had the added assignment from my coach to try and run a negative split. That means running the second half of the race faster than the first.

So I had incentive to go out easy.  I hit the 5 K mark a little slower than normal. I made the 6.5 mile mark at 1 hr 8 minutes. That means I needed to run 2 hrs and 16 minutes for the race to have a negative split.

It was a gorgeous day for a run. The temperature hit 45 F, which felt warm after the tough winter here in Milwaukee.  If I had stayed home I would have missed this beautiful view from the course.  Thank DeLynn Charon  for the photo!
Heading towward the finish at South Shore Half Marathon

I did my best and I ran about as hard as I could. My ankles still hurting the whole time.  I finished in 2 hrs 20 minutes. I hear the course was actually 13.25 but I still would not have made my goal. This was my first half marathon since Denton Texas on December 31, 2011 where I had a time of 2 hr 24 minutes. That was a flat course and my race this weekend had several hills.  I felt tired the whole race and even a little light headed a couple of times. Still good to know I can run on a day when I did not get much sleep. It was not the first time or the last time I'll have to do this.

I met up with my friends for lunch and they were all very pleased with their times.  Most of them had personal records. Two of them are getting ready for Grandma's Marathon.  It's hard for me not to get discouraged, whem my times keep getting slower and slower. I see others improve and the best I can hope for is to stay even. My times are well below what I would hope for.  I struggled a bit with 13 miles and I wonder how I will do double that in just two weeks. But I think that every time I do a half marathon.

I am glad I went, finished and had brunch with my friends. It was just the incentive I needed. So thanks Tri friends for a little peer pressure.  It was so good to see them and see how excited they are about running, training, diets and races we'll do this season.

Cheryl Monnat and Chris Wodke at 2013 Boston Marathon

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 145 members in 29 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

Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.

CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT

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