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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Race Strategies

Cheryl Monnat and Chris Wodke at 2013 Boston Marathon

"Above all be the heroine of your own life, not the victim."- Nora Ephron

I did not feel good about my upcommng Boston race until I wrote out my race plan. I always have one in my head, but I've never written it down.  A race plan is really the goals you set for the race.

Writing goals down make you much more likely to achieve them. It puts the goal in your sub- conscious where your brain will drive you to success.  So it was plan my race and on Monday I will race my plan.  So here it is:

Nutrition Strategy
Week Before, fat loading from Sunday through Thrusday, carbo loading Friday though Sunday.

Day Before: lots of water and 10 ounces of tart cherrie juice and dried cherries to fight inflamation on race day.

Race Day Breakfast: oatmeal with chia seeds and dried fruit.
Race: Bike bottle with accelerade that I sip as needed, new bottle at mile 16. One Gu every 6 miles, Power Bar at lunch time. Water as needed if it is warm. I will let my body tell me what it needs. Take an occastional orange from the crowd.

Post Race, Tart cherry juice, and water. A big glass of wine and anything I feel like eating for dinner. I've earned it. I try and eat a bit of the food they give out at the race, but I am usually not hungry right after the race. I take it with me and nibble back at the hotel.

Pacing Strategy
Goal of 11:00 mile with little to no walking. Goal is 5 hr finish time.  Go out easy, lean into the down hill and let the hills do the work, just like in training.  Enjoy the down and let the energy take me right into the next hills.
Maintain pace just like training.
Though 20 miles, keep up the pace, one foot in front of the other.
20 miles +, run up heartbreak hill this year and finish stong down Boylston street.

Mental Strategy
Week Before Race- Write positive affirmations and review daily.

Day of Race- Mental check of how I am feeling. Remind myself this is marathon # 9 and #3 Boston. I can handle anything on race day.

Pre Race- Athletes Village- Relax, stay centered. Stay off my feet.  Mentally go over my pacing, nutrition and mental strategy. Visualize the race and how strong I will run.

Enjoy seeing all the kids along the course.
Feel the energy of the start.
Give high five's all along the course.

Race Late
Draw energy from the crowds, especially  at Wellesley and Boston College.
Remind myself I am running for those with CMT that cannot run.
Remind myself I have dedicated this race to the victims and the Boston fans.
Think about staying strong fot that run down Bolyston street.
Remember I am strong.
Focus on the pain, think about spots that do not hurt.
Embrace the pain and keep going.
Remember how strong I am.
Imagine the finisher medal around my neck.
Try not to cry too much.

Plan the race and race the plan. All this is going to bring me to a successful finish of Boston Marathon number three. I can't wait.


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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