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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Boston 3, Week 17- Pre Race & Taper

Sign at Boston Marathon 2014 Expo

"The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can't dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon."  - Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon Co-founder.

4/15     Monday       53F     Swim 45 min, wts. 25 mins
4/16     Tuesday       35F     Run 45 minutes
4/17     Wed.           45F     Bike 1 hr 15 min, wts 25 min
4/18     Thurs           56F     Swim 45 minutes
4/19     Friday          41F     Run 30 minutes
4/20     Saturday      62F     Rest
4/21     Sunday        47F     Rest

Almost anyone that has trained for a marathon hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  It is the oldest and because of the strict qualifying standards it is one of the most prestigious races.

Week 17 is the last week of training before the race.  The duration and intensity of workouts tapers off prior to the race. But with coach Heather my taper was much shorter than in past years. I even did a swim workout before getting on the plane to Boston on Thursday evening.

My last run was an easy run around Boston. I stay in Beacon Hill so I got in a short run along the Charles River and the Boston Commons.  Later in the day I had coffee with Boston Team CMT member Loise Gehrhardt. It was great to see her. We talked about bike rides, triathlons and the Senior Games. The time always goes by much too fast.

Even though I was in Boston, It was good Friday and I wanted to find a church to go to Good Friday and Easter Sunday Services. While out on my run I passed a lovely old church and saw they had services.  The Church of the Advent was my church home for the weekend.  Attending services made me feel like I was part of the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

I really enjoy the few days off before a race. There is a big race expo of vendors in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center. The last two years it was too crowded to really look around. So this year I planned on getting there right when it opened. I planned on walking and got to the Boston Commons just as the B.A.A. 5 K was starting. The race cap was lifted this year and 10,000 runners and walkers participated to show support.

I stopped to cheer for the runners, because I know how much it helps. Many of the runners had their names on their race bibs so I was able to call out their names.  I was getting choked up just watching them run, so I thought how tough the marathon was going to be.

I also checked out the finish line which I did not get to cross last year. Last year I had a bad feeling about this race. This year I was excited and could not wait to start on race day. Everything looked ready because later that day, the High School 1 mile invitational would be run on the last mile of the course.

I stopped by The Old South Church because I heard the ladies of the church had spearheaded a project to knit scarves for the runners in the Boston Marathon colors of navy and gold.

Every scarf was a bit different and you picked the one you wanted. Each scarf had a card an a message from the creator.  When you selected one, then the Church lady would wrap it around you and tell you they were wrapping you in courage and love.  Such a sweet project and I felt myself getting a bit teary again. This is just so typical of how the people of Boston treat you. They just embrace the runners and the race.

I did get the race expo in time to talk with the folks from Tom Tom GPS watches. I got to try on an improved model of their current watch.  Bought some GU and a chia sport drink for race day.

Before too long I had to go meet my friends Cheryl Monnat and Robert Kearney.  Cheryl was going to act as my guide and she had to be with me to pick our race numbers and register.

We finished off the afternoon with lunch at a pub for a big burger and antique shopping in Beacon Hill.

That evening I got to meet Kansas City Team CMT member CJ Charboneau.  She was doing her first Boston Marathon. We had dinner and it was great to meet her and talk about running and the marathon.
It was a pretty full day, made possible by the taper. So much extra time and energy when I don't have to spend hours working out. Now I know how normal people live. It is pretty fun.  Just one more day, Sunday until race day. I would spend going to church, in the morning and then a movie in the afternoon to stay off my feet. The last time I saw a movie was last year in Boston.  Taper is when I have the time.

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 149 members in 27 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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