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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review, One a Runner

I've loaded up with running related books for my summer reading. I think reading about running is a great way for me to be excited about running. Being excited about running helps me get all my workouts done as a triathlete. It is fun to share another runners experiences or thoughts about running. First book up for review is running classic, "Once a Runner"  by John L. Parker Jr.
John L. Parker Jr is a former elite runner, capturing the Southeastern Conference mile championship three times and was the United States Track and Field Federation National Steeplechase Champion.
So when he weaves a story about elite miler Quenton Cassidy it feels authentic.  Once a Runner follows the story of Cassidy as running slowly takes over his life in the quest to become the very best. 
The story begins in the mid 60’s as he trains with his college track team.  Parker gives us a glimpse of the friendship and pranks involved in a college track team and the unique personalities that make up each track discipline.
He meets and is mentored by Olympic Champion Bruce Denton. He and his best friend are the only two runners that can handle the rigorous workouts that Denton does. Denton takes an interest in Cassidy’s training.
When Cassidy is suspended from the track team for his involvement with a petition protesting the athletic department dress and conduct code, his training begins to take over his life.
Under the direction of his mentor, he drops out of school, gives up his girlfriend and moves to the country where he can concentrate on his training.
Because the author trained with elite champions and Olympic runners he provides a unique insight into the training it takes to succeed in the elite world. He also takes us inside the mind of an elite runner. 
It is a fascinating to read about his single-minded pursuit of his and his thoughts as he prepares for the biggest race of his life, one that he hopes to take him to the elite level. It is a glimpse on the physical and mental effort it takes to achieve excellence.

This book was originally self-published and sold at road races out of the author’s car. It has become a classic among runners and  reading this book is a rite of passage for many track teams.  Hope you add it to your sunmmer reading list.

Author racing for the U.S. at PATCO Dallas 2014

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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 151 members in 30 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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