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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Boston Marathon Thank you



"I'm a believer that running brings out the best in people. Running inspires. Running unites. Running uplifts. By pushing us to our limits and across them, running takes us to places we never thought possible- or even real. A good run can turn a dark day bright and a bright day shine brighter. Performed on the scale of a marathon, running can transform communitites and change lives". - Mike Cassidy American Elite Long Distance Runner.


The Boston Athletic Association sent out a thank-you note this week to all the runners for particpating. We took back the course and gave the city of Boston and all the communities all the route a reason to celebrate.

Here are just a few of the stats from this year's run and a few thank yous of my own.

Runners: 32, 456 started
Finishers: 31, 931 including Team CMT members Chris Wodke and CJ Charboneau
54 Push wheelchair athletes, 53 finished.
51 Visually impaired, 48 finished ( Thank you B.A.A for giving us the chance to particpate and taking such good care of us!)
48 Mobiity Impaired athletes, 44 finished. I finished 5th among the women

In my age group Joan Samuelson posted the fasted time ever by a women in this age group at 2:52:11. She is a two time Boston Marathon Champ and marathon gold medalist from the LA games.


Men's Winner
Meb Kelfezighi, 2:08 and the first American since 1983. He donated his prize money to the Boston One Fund and wore the names of the victims on his race bib.  He was at the finish line last year when the bombs went off and vowed to come back and win the race for America.


Women's Winner
Rita Jeptoo at 2:18, won the the London Marathon just 3 weeks ago and this is her third Boston win.

Volunteers: 10,000
This is the heart of any race, they man the water stops, stand at the start, had out gel, man the athletes village, hand out finisher medals, work luggage check and packet pick up. Thanks for being there and standing all day in the heat. We could not run without you.

Medical Staff
Two percent of the runners did not finishh and the medical staff are there to see to their needs. They help finishers as well. About half way through the race I was starting to chaff on my underarms. I was praying for some vasaline and within minutes there were the medical staff on the course handing out vasaline. Thanks for making my race much more comfortable.

Ladies of Old South Church
Thank you to the ladies that knited scarfs to give to the runners. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for wrapping us in courage and love. One of my fondest memories of this race is getting this scarf. Your care  and love were greatly appreciated.
Security
The Boston Marathon course was the safest place on earth Marathon Monday thanks to the 3500 law enforcement personnel on duty.  They were evident throughout Boston during race weekend.


 

I had to stop and ask directions several times over the weekend and the police officers were pleasant and happy to help. I am sure it was a stressful weekend for them and they maintained their good humor.
Thanks also to the National Guard present throughout the race course. The crowds were large and they kept them back to keep the runners safe and give us room. Thank you for being there for hours to keep us safe.

Spectators
Thank you to everyone that stood on the course for hours. Thank you for cheering for me like I'm an elite runner. Thanks to the ladies of Wellesley for your signs and scream tunnel. You give me a boost of energy at the halfway point. Thanks to the students of Boston College for the loud cheers and high five's. You come near the end of the race and you push me to the finish. Thank you spectators for the oranges, prezels, fig newtons and high fives. Thank you for giving me a reason to run. Thanks for all the fun signs. You helped us take back this race. You made it a celebration.  As we got closer to Boston there were more of you and you were louder than anyone can possibley imagine. Thank you for being there for us!

Team CMT
Thanks CJ for running I am so proud of you! It was so great to meet you. There were 1 million fans along the course. We raised lots of awareness on race day.
Thanks for my friend Cheryl Monnat for being my guide. You were the perfect guide and I was glad to have you by my side. I'm glad you got to finish this year as well.

My Coach
When someone asked me a week before the race is I was ready I said no.  My coach Heather Haviland had me doing a lot less running and much more cross training.  She said I had been running way to much, beating up my legs.
As a runner I was worried it was not enough.  I always worry I've not done enough running. She said my legs would remember.
She was right, my legs had a mind of their own and I ran my best marathon in 3 years. I felt better doing it and feel better after than after any marathon.  My coach also had me plan out my pacing, nutrition and hydration strategy. Writing them down helped me to realize I was ready. She had me write out positive affirmations about the race. I used some of these as my mantra when things got tough. Thank to coach Heather I was both mentally and physicall prepared. I was excited to race.  From now on I will have to trust my training. My coach has made me a believer. She set a goal and got me ready to be successful. I owe you a big thank you!

It takes lots of planning to put on a race with 36,000 registered runners. The B.A.A. puts on a well organized, well run race.  It is a great experience from start to finish. Thank you for another great race!

*******************
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Boston 3- Week 18, Race Day


Start of Boston Marathon  in Hopkinton 
"Confidence and mental toughness is built on a platform of physical fitness." - Cheri Cope, MS Mental Conditioning Coach

4/21     Monday   70 F   Boston Marathon, 26. 2 miles  4 hr 51 seconds
4/22     Tuesday   71F    Rest
4/23     Wed.       45F    Rest
4/24     Thur        52 F   45 min swim
4/25      Fri          67F    60 min bike
4/26      Sat         45 F   2 mile walk at Crazy legs Madison
4/27      Sun        47F    1 hour 20 min bike

I didn't have to wake up on race morning because I got NO sleep. Every hour I saw the top of the hour on my hotel room alarm clock.  I took an over the counter sleep aid when I went to be at 9 pm.  Then I took Tylenol PM at 11 pm and then a second dose at midnight. No luck and no sleep. On top of that the sleep medicine left me dehydrated with a dry mouth.

Remember how you felt after doing an all nighter in college? Now imagine having to stay awake and run 26.2 miles. Throw in a bit of nausea for good measure.

I ran the Madison marathon on no sleep to qualify for my first Boston and I ran a half marathon just a few weeks ago on no sleep. It is so frustrating to train for months and have that happen.

So I got ready, ate my breakfast of oatmeal and headed to the lobby.   I stopped to get a go cup of very hot water and placed a tea bag in it. I let it brew for the 15 min walk to the Boston Commons to meet my guide. It would be nice and strong by the time I arrived.

I met my guide and we tried to connect with our teammate CJ, but could not find her in the crowd. Buses were parked all along Tremont street 2 across. As a runner you get a color code on your race number. There were four waves and I was in wave number 3 the blue wave.  Runners are seeded according to qualifying time  There were 4 waves with about 10,000 in each wave.  My wave was told to board the buses between 8 am and 8:30.  This is to minimize the time you spend in the athlete's village. As one wave is leaving to go to the starting line, one wave is arriving. It is a smooth and well organized effort.

We got on the bus and we were on our way.  The traffic coming into Boston was backed up for miles.  We were among scores of buses all making their way to the start. It seems like it takes a long time to drive to the start and you begin to realize just how far you will run.

The athlete's village is a place to rest, relax and hydrate until your wave is called to the start. The staging area is a state park in the town of Hopkinton.When we arrived there did not appear to be on place to sit. Porta potty lines looked over an hour long.

There was an announcer telling us there was room on the other side of the park. We also found a potty line with few people so we got right in.

As we looked for a place to sit, we scored a spot some runners were just vacating. We got tarps, sun screen, bagels and bananas.  Before we knew it we were being called to the starting line. It is about a mile walk to the start. Part of the walk is through town and the locals were lining the route.

As we lined up in the start, there were some spectators right next to me with a big sign offering beer, cigarettes and donuts. They were serious because they had several cans of beer and packs of cigarettes. I did not see anyone take them up on it. I thought yeah, just what I need is a beer or a cigarette. It made me laugh which eased my stress a bit.

There was not much time to think about the race, but in the few minutes before the race I assessed how I was feeling. Tired, dehydrated and nausea. Check, check and check. I wondered where I would find the energy to finish the race. Nothing new for me, I often stand at the start of a race and wonder where I will find the energy. Even when I get a good night's sleep I am always tired and for this race I would be going on no sleep.

The gun went off and we were off. The very early part of the course is a steep drop. The course was lined with spectators. There were lots of signs and reading them is a good distraction.  One early on said , hurry the Kenyans are drinking your beer, Many said touch here for power. I touched every one of those.

I gave lots of high five's especially to the little kids.   My guide gave me my first mile split and it was sub 10:00.  My pace goal was 11:00. It felt easy. My legs had a will of their own. Although my body was tired, my leg kept churning. My coach said my legs would remember and they did,

Every mile had a water stop and we would slow down through each stop and I would take a bit of water. A bit into the race as the temperature climbed, I would drink one cup and pour two over me.

The miles ticked off quickly. When I was at mile six a ripple went through the crowd because someone had posted a sign that Meb had won in 2 hr 8 minutes.  I had been rooting for him and that gave me a boost. We made the 10 K mark in 61 minutes

We just kept moving,  I took oranges from the crowd, sipped the sports drink I had brought along.
As we approached 13 I  prepared my guide for what she would see at Wellesey College.  This portion of the course is known as the scream tunnel.  The girls hold signs asking guys to kiss them for a variety of reasons.  They scream like crazy for any runner. I play with them and pretend I can't hear them and they scream loader.  This is the one spot on the course where I get choked up. All the rest of the day I focused inward just to keep it together physically. I had no energy to spare.

We arrived at the half way point at 2 hr 18 which was 2 minutes faster than a half marathon I had done 2 weeks ago. Although I feel like crap I was having a great race. I was way ahead of schedule.

Now is when the race hits the hardest portion, the Newton hills. The next 8 miles are rolling hills finishing with heartbreak hill between mile 20 and 21.  I focus, remember why I am running and repeat my race mantra.
The miles tick off and I arrive at mile 20 in 3 hrs 30 minutes. I run up heartbreak hill.. This is a milestone because I know once I hit mile 20 I will finish. It is just a 10 K I tell myself. I can walk that if I have to. I have never run up heartbreak hill before in any of my other Boston marathons.

I stop giving out high fives to concentrate. I focus inward. I have barely talked to my guide most of the run. She keeps giving me my splits every mile. She points out hazards in the road so I can run safely. She hands me sports drink and gels when I ask.

We did have a bit of fun. I saw this on the course and stopped to have a picture. These are the Boston Strong Duck folks and I just happened to have mine with me. She has done every race this year. They were jumping up and down and hugging me. A quick picture and I was back out on the course.


Now at mile 22 I start to walk two minutes after each water stop. The lack of sleep is taking its toll. We see Boston college and get a boost from the crowds. My toes are really starting to hurt. I stop twice to adjust my shoes. My arches hurt. Still we keep running.  I point out the grave yard mile to my guide. It is a cemetery around mile 23 and no one ever stands there.

We see huge crowds, the national guard has been pushing them back for miles to keep us safe. I hear multiple helicopters overhead all day. There are police everywhere. I think I am in the safest place on earth. Finally we see this sign
Almost done

We were just a half mile beyond this last year when we were stopped from finishing. This time I knew we would make it to the finish line.  In no time at all we were there.

Boston Marathon Finish line.
I crossed in 4 hours and 51 minutes, exactly the goal time my coach had set. I had not run this fast since my Madison qualifying race. If I could have been a bit mentally tougher or gotten a good night sleep I might have had a great race. Still just finishing on a warm day with no sleep is an accomplishment worth savoring.
One of my affirmations I practiced as part of my race prep was "My finisher medal feels so good around my neck."  I just can't describe the feeling when that medal is put on my neck.  It is worth all the work.

That finisher medal did feel good around my neck.
The race is over, but still lots of walking, they run you through a whole gauntlet, blanket, water, finisher medal, food. Then a long walk on sore feet back to the Boston Commons to collect luggage. We met friend Robert, who spent the day drinking coffee and watching a movie. He got this picture of me and my guide Cheryl.
My guide Cheryl and I post race.

My post race nutrition plan said eat anything I want and have a big glass of wine. So after a walk back to my hotel and a shower it was time to celebrate. We skipped the party at the Hard Rock thinking it would be too crowded. We had Italian in the North End and yes I had that big glass of wine and a nice desert.

**********************
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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



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
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Heart of a Champion

Scarf ladies at Old South Church Boston

"Everyone has some strength, something inside of them that makes them a champion. It's not about you; your fight is always about something greater. No matter what you go through in life, you can do whatever you put your mind to: and if hardship comes, God will always provide a way." -Loretta Duncan-Fowler from the book, Unbreakable Spirit by Lisa Nichols

The year after the 911 terrorist attack I was traveling on a small group tour in New Zealand. Our guide a self described hippie, started talking about the attack.  He stated that he did not care about what happened in New York, no one he knew got hurt and it did not affect him personally. So who cares was his stated opinion.

It made me angry. I wondered how someone could be so superficial and simple minded. What hurt any one of us hurts us all. I was deeply affected by the families that lost loved ones and those whose lives were changed forever by the attack.

I felt the same way about Boston. I was on the course when the attack happened and was never in any danger, but I was deeply affected, I was sad for those that lost loved ones or whose lives were changed forever by the event. I vowed to return and run the race again for them.

The city of Boston are champions. They could have reacted in anger. Instead they opened up their homes the day of the bombing to runners blocked from returning to their hotels. They made the choice to come together and open up their hearts. They have raised millions for victims. The family of Martin Richard have started a foundation in his name.

Ten thousand runners competed in the 5K and 10K race yesterday in support.

There will be victims of last years bombing running the race, some on have lost limbs and have had to re-learn to walk and run.  They are champions and am proud to run with them.

There will be firefighters running mourning the loss of two of their own from a recent fire. They will push past their pain and grief, they are champions.

Many will run in honor of those they have lost to illness. Other will run for charities, raising millions of dollars, champions all.

One Boston area women sent out 3000 ellow rubber ducks with Boston Strong painted on them to people across the country. We took them all over the country, took pictures and used the awareness to raise money for the Boston Strong Fund.

The ladies of Old South Church in Boston had their own response. They started a nationwide project with knitters to make scarves for the runners in the Boston colors of navy and yellow. They gathered 20,000 scarves to give to runners. Each one had a message of love and the name of the knitter.  I got one of these scarves. Each one was unique and when I selected mine, the giver said "I must wrap it around you.",  Then she said "May this scarf wrap you in love and courage." Now those are champions. Using their talent for knitting to project love and courage.  I can just picture my knitter quietly making my scarf with love in her heart. I wish I could thank her and meet her personally.

Every spectator will be a champion. By their presence they make me as a runner feel like a champion.  I will draw strength and love from their mere presence. They show together we can come together after an event and show the best we are capable of.

Every runner will be a champion. Every runner from elite to the back of the pack runners like myself will have to dig deep to finish.  We will run because we will not let fear keep us from the sport we love. We realize we are all vulnerable. Any one of us could have been hurt last year. We will not feel fear and if we do we will not let it keep us from living our lives.

As I stood at the finish line of the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee last fall, I realized how vulnerable we all are to attack or unexpected events. I did not feel any fear, nor am I afraid for the race on Monday. I just have determination to live my life and continue the work I am doing to raise awareness of CMT.

My Team CMT teammates and I  run for people with CMT that can't run. I want to show them what is possible, that you don't have to feel like a victim because of your condition.   We will have two CMT affected athletes running to show that while we have CMT, it does not have us. It was once thought that someone with CMT couldn't run. We're here to show them what is possible, that despite their condition, they can face life with grace and dignity.

Someone on LinkedIn said a few days ago, he was tired of the whole "Boston Strong" thing and none of us were special. I could not disagree more.

I think everyone does have special strengths and talents. Each one of us is on this earth for a purpose. Sometimes we have to dig deep to do the work we were born to do. Sometimes we have to push through are fears and our personal limitations. But we all have the chance to be champions, even if it is just knitting a scarf for a runner or handing out a cup of cup of water along a race course.

I will see lots of champions on Monday.  I am humbled and awed to be part of such a great experience and although it will be too warm to wear the scarf I was given, I know I will be running wrapped in love and courage. I can't wait.

See you at the finish!

*************************************

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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 AustraliaCanadaVietnamTurkeyFinland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Superfood Saturday- Super Mom Oatmeal

Super Mom Oatmeal

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup non fat dry milk
1/3 cup oat bran
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flaxseed
2 tablespoons chia seeds.
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup dried fruit (cherries, apricots, blueberries, cranberries, your choice)

Spread oats and nuts in a shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes until oats are lightly browned. Cool in pan. Once cool, add fruit and the rest of the ingredients. Store mix in a jar or canister with a tight fitting lid.

For one serving combine ¾ cup water and 1/3 cup of the oatmeal mixture.  Microwave on 50% power for 8 minutes or until the cereal reaches the desired consistency.  Cereal will thicken a bit as it cools.  Let stand 4 minutes before eating.  Stir in honey or additional brown sugar to sweeten.

This will be my Boston Marathon race day breakfast. A little superfood to have a super race!  The picture does not look great because I made this in my hotel room microwave this morning. It tasted great!

Superfoods: Oatmeal, Chia seeds, dried cherries

****************************

Author at Cap Tex Tri 2013

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Boston Marathon by the Numbers

Boston 2012 Finisher Medal


Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ:

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
Some interesting facts about the Boston Marathon in this morning's Boston Globe
Number of runners: 35,384
Number of Women: 15,964
Number of Men: 19,420
Most common names,  Michael for men, Jennifer for women

Race Distance: 26.2 miles

Course
Starts in Hopkinton
Goes through small New England towns including: Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline

Finish: Bolyston Street, Copley Plaza, Boston

Course Elevation: Start 475 feet, finish 16 feet, mostly downhill first 10 miles, then rolling hills with Heartbreak hill at about mile 23.  This year we take back the finish line! We are all Boston Strong!

Spectators: 1 million
That is a lot of awareness for Team CMT.  I never ran big races until I started Team CMT. Now the bigger the crowd the better, because many more people will learn about CMT.

It is not just numbers when it comes to the Boston Marathon. Boston fans are the best!  They cheer for me like I am an elite athlete, even though I am in one of the last waves. They make me feel like a rock star!  I'm back this year to support them!

Hometowns
Runners come from all around the World: 17.7% of the runners are from outside the U.S. with 80 countries represented.

U.S.- every state will be represented with the highest number from Massachusetts with 7,888 and in 2nd place California at 2,612.

Age
Average age: 45, with 1,322 runners
Youngest:18
Oldest: 83

Start Times
Wheelchair:9:17
Elite Women:9:32
Elite Men: 10:00

My Wave (Wave 3): 11:00

The lead men will be finishing almost before I get my chance to start in Hopkinton.  It will be about 5 hours before I cross the finish line on Bolyston street.

This race cannot really be measured just by the numbers. Along the way I will give countless high fives, run through the scream tunnel at Wellesley, be cheered on by the students of Boston College, get a few hugs and shed a few tears along the way.  This is very likely going to be my last marathon....well at least for awhile. So it will be a bittersweet day for me.  A day that is going to have a place in my heart for lots or reasons that can't be measured by numbers.

**********************************



Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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 AustraliaCanadaVietnamTurkeyFinland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boston Marathon Prep- Positive Affirmations




"Competitive sports are played mainly on a five and a half inch court, the space between your ears." - Bobby Jones, Championship golfer

Part of my getting ready for Boston was writing down positive affirmations.  It all part of the mental preparation for the event. Your mind does not know the difference between something you tell yourself or an event you visualize. It is as if it really happened.

Repeating these affirmations sets you up for success.  After writing them, then I review them every day, especially right as I am going to sleep. It is a little programing to assure success.

When I ran my first Boston Marathon, I set the goal to finish in the top three in my division. I visualized the third place finish and standing on the podium as they put the medal around my neck.  I finished 2nd and although I did not stand on the podium.....I went back to the hotel to take a shower instead of going to the aware ceremony.  That did not make the accomplishment any less sweet.

My goal is just to finish this year and here are my affirmations:

Positive Affirmations-Boston Marathon

1.)   My legs will remember.
2.)   I trust my training.
3.)   My legs are strong.
4.)   I am rested and ready.
5.)   I am excited to run to the finish.
6.)   I am smiling because I am having the time of my life.
7.)   I will remember this day forever.
8.)   I am loving the crowds.
10.) The crowds will push me to the finish.
11.) I own the pain.
12.) Tired is normal, I have the energy to finish.
13.) I’m mentally strong.
14.) Nothing can stop me.
15.) I run carefully, picking up my feet.
16.) I trust my training.
17.) I love running up hills.
18.) I love running down hills.
19.) Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.
20.) I run for those who can’t.
21.) I run for Boston
22.) I run for those affected last year.
23.) I am an athlete.
24.) The finisher medal feels so good around my neck.
25.) I am so proud of my finish.
26.) I run strong down Boylston Street.
27.) I give high fives and way all along the course.
28.) I love the crowds.
29.) I get energy from the steam tunnel at Wellesley.

30.) I get energy from the students at Boston College.

**************************

Author at 2013 Boston Marathon

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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

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.

Race
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
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: 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