Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week Ended 03/26/17: Fundraising and Training

Being the main part of this journey is raising money to fight cancer, I thought I would include an update on the mission each week in addition to my training. I will say it a few hundred more times before race day, but crossing the finish line in Kona will not mean very much to me if we do not raise the money.  It will be 140.6 miles of disappointment and I really want to avoid that.  This is where I really need your support.  We are still getting organized and mapping out the plan but our fundraising website is live and ready to take donations.  If my story has inspired you and you want to join the battle, please consider a donation at .  Beyond that I am drafting all the ways you will be able to help make this a successful journey.  For now, sharing the heck out of my story would be a huge help.  The more people that know what I am trying to do, the more likely we are to raise the funds.  While some days $130,000 sounds daunting, other days I think about just needing to reach 130,000 people and have them give $1.  From a fundraising perspective, here are some of the events from this past week:

  • We continue to update  For now we updated the video to my Facebook Live video where I shared the news of being nominated for Kona.  We have a lot of ideas to incorporate.  I am going to move the blogging to that site.  I want to add a page for all of your stories. The Road to Kona is about all of us and I want to be able to publish your stories and why it is you want to end cancer.  I want to know how cancer touched your life.
  • We received $1,100 in donations but one of those donations has a nice match so we really raised $3,100.  I have not really pushed the fundraising too hard as we get everything in order but, as I said above, donations are why we are here so please consider donating.
  • I made contact with and am very grateful to the folks at Team Hotshot.  You can visit their page at I mentioned one of my big athletic challenges for Kona will be the heat and the impact it has on my body.  I lose a lot of salt in heat and struggle with cramps.  Hot Shot was created to help with this and they sent me some product to try and are considering sharing my story at their blog.  That would help me get the word out and would be greatly appreciated.  One of my big hopes is that someone will step up with a corporate sponsorship but that is a work in progress.  I will write a separate post once I have more time under my belt with the product but today was the first time I utilized it and it went very well!!!
  • I made contact with a shirt and medal company thanks to Sam Felsenfeld of Operation Jack.  Sam is to autism what I am to cancer.  He is an amazing dude and has raised a lot of money.  
  • We are working on a new logo.  We are updating the We Will Find a Cure logo with some Kona flair.  The new logo is expected by April 15th.
  • I finalized my fundraising letters and will start to get these out over the next week.  Check your mail :)
I think that is about it for now on the fundraising front.  As for training, I had a good week.  To me a good week primarily means minimal pain tied to the ankle that had the posterior tibial tendon repair. Yesterday I would have told you I have zero pain.  Today, I am going with minor pain.  I got in 3 runs this week.  One was very short as it was 15 minutes off a trainer ride.  I also managed a 6 mile and 11.5 mile run.  The important thing with the run is that I backed down my run-walk interval to a 1-1 (run 1 minute, walk 1 minute).  That is the most aggressive I have been in a while.  I am using the interval as a means to stay healthy.  It forces me to walk and it forces a slower pace.  I did average under 10 minutes per mile for the first pace while running is closer to 8 minutes but that is why I throw in the walk.  I honestly could live with 10 minute miles in Kona.  I just need to keep staying healthy as I ramp the mileage.  For the bike, I had 2 longer trainer rides and then today I had my longest ride in a while at over 75 miles.  My pace is nothing to brag about but I did climb 2,900 feet which certainly has an impact.  My swim as usual suffered a bit.  I did not get in 3 swims and I feel very behind but I did feel good in the pool.  Having been sick for about 4 weeks, there was no way to get in the water.  I was always coughing up a long which is not a good combination for a guy that doesn't swim great in good health!!  I was going to get in a 3rd swim today but the 75 mile ride took a toll on my neck.  I probably should have eased into the aero position for that long but I don't really have that luxury.  By the end of the ride, there was so much tension in my shoulders and the back of my neck that I decided to postpone the swim until tomorrow.  In total, I traveled 143 miles this week.  There is still a lot of work to do as I need to increase this to 200+.  The schedule for the coming week is to mirror last is week 2 of a build.  

Have a great week.  

Christopher D Wilno

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Training: Week Ended 03/19/17

In the spirit of writing more often, I want to write a post at the end of each week to discuss my training and how things are going.  This is certainly not the ideal week to start this process because after my 3-1 Brick last Sunday (3 hour ride - 1 hour run), the cold I have been fighting for weeks resurfaced.  By the time I went to bed, I knew I was in trouble and when I woke up on Monday I was in bad shape. I spent all of Monday in bed except for a trip to the doctor where I was diagnosed with a severe sinus infection.  I was given stronger meds this time and the instructions to come back on Thursday for steroids if things did not remarkably improve. Thankfully things improved enough to avoid those steroids.

All of this completely derailed my training.  This is bad news except for the fact I actually listened to my coach who told me to back off. This was to be week 1 of an important build so I was quite frankly devastated to miss it.  I was going to take one day off and get back on the horse (exactly what I did weeks ago when this all started) but then my coach, Coach Gareth Thomas of TRIO, said I could push the entire schedule this week to next week (i.e. push my schedule back a week).  This meant I would not miss anything and could view my sick week as an extension of the recovery week that just ended.  This is exactly what my brain needed to hear because it allowed me to heal in peace.

Beyond the sickness, I felt pain in my ankle for the first time in 6-7 weeks while on my ride last Sunday. This was devastating because I was starting to get my swagger back.  In case you missed it, I had surgery on my posterior tibial tendon almost exactly a year ago.  Surgery was performed by Dr. Dan Geller who has done amazing work for so many athletes.  This was........I hope.......the last surgery tied to a biking accident in 2013 when I was training for my 5th Ironman distance triathlon.  This surgery has been the most difficult to recover from tied to how critical this tendon is in the process of running and tied to complications resulting when blood clots developed post surgery. It is a scary thing to hear you have blood clots in your lungs!!!  It took much much longer for the swelling in my lower leg to dissipate because of the clots.  This held up the rehab process and led to the most self doubt I ever experienced as an athlete. I still carry that self doubt today.  I start every ride and every run with a prayer that I get through the workout pain free......with a prayer that God hold me together through Ironman Kona.  My first steps of every run are filled with trepidation.  The first time I get out of my seat......usually to get going at a red light.........have that same trepidation because that is the movement triggering the pain.  Like I said above, I went a while with no pain until last Sunday.  I would like to think it is all in my head but my right foot is ever so slightly swollen and the ankle is a little puffy. Compression socks and prayer.....that is all I have for now but perhaps the sinus infection helped give the ankle a rest too.

I did manage to sneak in a 3 mile run yesterday just to see how it would go.  As for the foot, I felt some discomfort but a lot of that discomfort was in parts of the foot not surgically repaired.  I felt a few minor jolts at the surgical spot but nothing unbearable.  I now launch back into full scale training.  Monday's are always a rest day for me so Tuesday will see me back in action.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Kona Bound

Back in January I wrote a post about the journey that led to interviewing with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for a spot at the 2017 Ironman World Championships.  If you missed that post you can scroll down or click ROAD TO KONA.  It has been quite a lot of work to get myself in a position to be considered and it was quite a lot of stress along the way wondering whether I would be selected or not.  Well, I am happy to report that I was 1 of 5 people chosen nationwide.  I was surprised 2 weeks ago while at my 9 year old daughter's softball game which was quite a funny story.  Below is the video my wife took of the surprise........I will find the longer version that has 10 minutes of my yelling at my son that was trying to get me to leave the field where I was managing a hitting station.  He kept telling me I needed to go with him and I kept telling him I had responsibilities.  He kept saying nothing was wrong but that I needed to join him and I kept telling him that if nothing was wrong, I was staying on the field.
Anyway, it was quite a nice surprise and it caught me off guard because I was just expecting an email as to the results.  I will keep this post short but I want my main message out of the gate to be that this experience is about the money we need to raise.  I am so blessed and humbled to have the chance to go to Kona but I want to go as a representative for all of those that hate cancer.  This journey is not about me because crossing the finish line in Kona........God willing.......will be absolutely meaningless if we do not raise the funds.  I will be getting underway with fundraising in the coming weeks but if you feel so inclined, my fundraising page is set up and ready to go. The link is:

There will be many ways to help and one thing is very clear........there is no path to raising $130,000 without you talking about this journey with your friends and sharing this journey with your friends. There will be many ways to stay connected.  Some of the ways are as follows:

We Will Find a Cure (WWFAC) Facebook page:
My personal Facebook page: just search Christopher Wilno
WWFAC website (we are updating it so give us time to make it pretty):

Thanks to everyone for all your support over the years and thank you in advance for your support of this mission.  My efforts are nothing without you.

Christopher D. Wilno