Week Ended May 14th: Big Obstacles

To those that have known me for most of this journey, you know I am an open book with my emotions. I am sure the jury is mixed on whether it is a good thing or not.  I believe being open has helped me to raise money and touch lives but I know some probably believe I should be a little more private.  To me there is never really a decision as to what I say or don’t say.  I have to remain true to me and that has always been to open my heart.  Right now as I close out this week, my heart is full of frustration and concern.  Two weeks ago I wrote about the joy of training with no pain.  On the very next day after that post, pain in my surgically repaired foot developed.  It does not appear to be tied to the tendon thus it is not tied to the surgery but it is in the same foot that has experienced pain more times than not over the last few years.  I started this week with a trip to my PT, Chad Beauchamp at Repair Sports Institute on Monday.  On Tuesday I had an early morning MRI and then a trip to Dr. Dan Geller.  The MRI confirmed the tendon is okay but there is some swelling in the tibia…….per doc the exact diagnosis is a subchondral bone marrow edema in the distal medial tibia. It is not a fracture but it does put a damper on running.  The strangest part of the injury is that I can jump around and could probably run without pain.  If a tissue grazes the ankle, however, extreme pain!!

This takes us to the weekend.  On Satruday I had a 6 hour ride scheduled.  I took off and was happy my pedal stroke did not create any pain.  Instead the pain came from vibration……rough road or bumps as examples.  This created a lot of pain which MAKES NO SENSE!!!!!!!!!  I just pushed forward and was happy to be getting in the ride.  I was at about mile 56 when I hit the Back Bay in Newport Beach.  I actually hate riding this area because there are runners that take up the bike path and generally folks that don’t respect the ‘Bikes Only’ signs that line the road.  I always enter very late on the path where I would guess there is at most a ½ mile before I exit to the road.  All was good.  I was calculating my path back to my car to refill my hydration when a guy in front of me decided he would turn around in the middle of the path without looking to see if anyone was behind him.  He had no helmet on and he was wearing ear buds.  Needless to say I could not stop in time.  While better than my 2013 crash into a car, this was not what I hoped for my day.  I hit the ground.  My left hip, tail bone and heel were sore right after the ride.  Today I would add shoulder pain and knee pain.  I will heal.  I need to know if my brand new bike is salvageable.  I cannot afford any down time.  Without running, I have to be strong on the bike and swim.  I will walk the marathon if I have to but I better be prepared to kill it on the bike.  Anyway, my brain has been reliving the last crash and the last time I had to throw my Specialized Shiv into the trash can.  That coupled with the pain from the injury on my right foot have me in a weakened frame of mind.

On a good note, I did manage to suck it up from the pain and complete my 6 hour ride yesterday.  My wife came and picked me up after the crash.  After I got home I hobbled to the bike trainer and rode for 2.5 more hours.  Today I was supposed to get in a 3 hour ride but I am too sore and afraid pushing through might lead to a different injury so I am taking it easy.  I will get checked out tomorrow and make sure all is well.  I will also get the bike checked out and pray for good news.  All in all, I got in 9 hours of riding this week and 6,000 yards of swimming.  This is far from where I want to be but I will get there.

All of this is what it is.  I, of all people, know that life will present challenges.  I know any journey is full of challenges and obstacles but I do sometimes wish God would stop finding me worthy of hard times. For now, I can only move forward and give 110% of the me that is healthy.  I must give even more as it pertains to fundraising which continued to be light this week which truthfully was expected although I still check the mail with anticipation hoping a donation has arrived.  Right now is about planning the next events that will generate funds……5K, t-shirts, Man v Bar, Community Team, garage sale, Drag Queen bingo, the next round of letters and a geriatric escort service……..whatever it takes J .

That is it for now.  Not to play on the bad events of the week but I really could use some support right now.  If you hate cancer…….join the Road to Kona by clicking the donation link above.

Week Ended May 7th: Setbacks and T-shirts

It was a tough week.  Almost as soon as I posted last week’s update talking about the joy of no pain…..pain showed up in my surgically repaired right foot.  This coupled with a scheduled colonoscopy had a significant impact on my training volume.  The worst part about pain for me in general is the uncertainty that accompanies it.  There is always pain in training.  It is expected.  Coming off an accident, though, and coming off surgery really makes you question whether this pain is ‘the’ the pain that will unravel your race.  Because of that, I must be very cautious.   I am forced to stop and reach out for medical advice before proceeding.  This particular pain is also frustrating because it truly makes no sense.  You might think I first felt it while running or riding but that is not the case.  I felt it putting on sweat pants.  The material of the pants brushed against my foot and that insignificant routine action created an 8 on a pain scale of 1-10.  Here is the frustrating part……..when I apply pressure in the same area, I cannot replicate it.  I honestly believe I could go run and not feel pain.  The usual activities that result from tendon issues are not creating pain…….toe raises for example.  My hope is this is some kind of nerve issue that will fade.  I went for a swim on Saturday though and even the water movement around the foot created pain.  I have an MRI scheduled for Tuesday and a visit with Dr. Dan Geller immediately to follow.  That is the routine I must follow.  I have Kona 70.3 in a month and, even though missing workouts is hugely stressful, it is what I must do.

As for what I actually accomplished this week………3 trainer rides for a total of about 5 hours and 2 hours of swimming.  Tuesday I had to skip a 12 mile run because of the foot and because of the dietary requirements of a Wednesday colonoscopy.  As skinny as I am, I eat about 7-8,000 calories per day.  The diet requirements of my procedure resulted in about 400-500 calories consumed on Tuesday and I didn’t feel it smart to attempt a long run on so few calories.  I had a long ride slated for today but the pain combined with some rain combined with the OC Marathon which closed down most roads I planned to ride had me pull the plug.  It is probably a smart move.

Regarding fundraising, it was a light week as expected.  I raised approximately $1,100.  If you count matches in process I am about $700 shy of $25,000.  Not too bad but certainly a lot of work to do.  On a positive note, we locked down our t-shirt and were able to get them ordered.  I really like them. The shirts are great quality and I love the design.  Our logo is the front of the shirt and my favorite Nelson Mandela quote is on the back.  We will have a men’s and women’s version as you can see below.  We are finalizing pricing and, more importantly, we are currently setting up registration for our 5K.  The tentative date for the live event is Saturday, September 9th but we will kick off the virtual event asap.

That is it for now.  Please join this journey by clicking the donate button at the top of the page. 

April 30th Weekly Update

Well this felt like a recovery week on all levels.  It certainly was for training which my body needed.  On the fundraising front, a late week push helped generate some funds but I had expected the week to be more about planning anyway and we made good progress there.


We generated approximately $1,800 this week.  Not much has been coming in the mail any more from my letters.  I will send a second round over the summer that will hopefully generate more funds.  We did good out of the gate but there was less participation than I had hoped.  I am super grateful for everyone though.  Many folks have given to me over the years and this venture might be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Later in the week I sent emails to all of my prior teams and that generated most of the funds that were raised.  We had non-monetary wins/progress though.

Community Team

The biggest announcement ties to Community Teams.  This will allow anyone to create their own page for this journey and raise their own funds that roll up to the total for the Road to Kona.  As I keep saying, I want this journey to be for everyone touched by cancer and this will allow you to join the battle and fight back.  You do not have to do a race. You can send letters and emails (I can help), you can have a garage sale, you can sell lemonade………whatever you want to do to raise funds is fine by us.  There also is no minimum.  You can raise $10 or $10,000.  If you do want to incorporate a race it can be any distance you wish……….1 mile, 5K, 10K……..anything goes.  If you choose to go the race route and want me to build a schedule for you, I would be happy to.  I should pause here to mention a good friend of mine Javier Rivera is helping to lead the Community Team effort.  He has already created an individual page and has spoken to folks that might be interested in joining.  Javier and I met at Team in Training.  He was a participant for my team and went on to great things.  He has coached many seasons, he is currently on the Board of Directors for LLS, he is a fellow Ironman and he does all of this for his Mom who is a survivor.  Our goal is to get a research grant in her name!!!  Our goal is also for the Community Team to raise $30,000.

I will write a separate post on the Community Team and put it on our home page but I also want to point out that anyone who raises $300 will get a virtual or live entry to our Road to Kona 5K.  It comes with a t-shirt, medal and if you join us live, all you can drink Bloody Mary’s  or Mai Tai’s.  If you feel you are ready to do this, you can create your page now with zero obligation.  Just click the link below.  Once you get to the site, click on JOIN AS INDIVIDUAL on the left side of the page and follow the instructions.



We finalized our logo and I really like it.  I am a sucker for turtles.  A huge thank you goes out to Teresa Weiss-Paczkowski of Elena Trevino Design for all her efforts to produce this logo.  They have been there to support my efforts since I was in the 2014 Man of the Year campaign.  They designed the original logo and they volunteered their services to produce the Gala program which helped to generate more fundraising dollars.  Please check them out at:

Website: www.elenatevinodesign.com (website is being remodeled)
FB: Elena Trevino Design
Twitter: teresa paczkowski @tpacart
Instagram: teresa_elenatrevinodesign

Anyway, the logo is above.  This allows us to produce t-shirts.  We will have this design on the front and the quote that has driven much of my experience at Team in Training on the back:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” Nelson Mandela

It really is a great shirt and we hope you will like it.  The logo and the t-shirt allow us to finalize the medal so that we can launch our virtual 5K and lock down our date for the live 5K in Venice, CA currently slated for Saturday, September 9th.

I believe that is it for fundraising.  There was certainly a lot of work and planning but not all of it is newsworthy.

Paloma Sol

This is my daughter’s site www.palomasol.com .  She makes unbelievable jewelry.  She is also a cancer survivor.  She has, without any intimidation by me, agreed to donate 25% of your purchases back to this mission.  Check out her amazing work and use the code ROAD2KONA for free shipping and to make sure she knows to set aside the 25%.  I will write a separate post about this as well.


As I mentioned above, this was a recovery week.  I always ramp up 2 weeks and then recover the third week.  That means this week ramps up but my workouts will be challenged Tuesday and Wednesday because I am old.  By old I mean I am having a Colonoscopy on Wednesday.  Truth be told I am a little freaked out.  I have spent so much time fighting cancer that I always feel it is out to get me………like it is some living breathing entity that seeks revenge.

Anyway, I only trained 106 miles last week.  The toughest swim was a 3,000 yard swim.  It was my longest of this training season and felt good.  It was certainly a boost to the confidence.  On the weekend, I had a brick workout that had me ride 3 hours and run 1.5 hours.  I rode 50 miles and ran 9.62 miles.  The best part of the week is that I remained pain free.  It is unbelievable to train without any pain…….it has been so long

That is it for now.  I hope you will join via a donation or via the Community Team.

Christopher D. Wilno