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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Buy Summerfest Tickets and raise money for CMT

Summerfest has a chairty program. Buy advanced tickets and a portion of each sale goes to a local charity. CMT is on the list so please choose us and you will supprt research and programs for those of us with CMT.
Just go to the web site at www.summerfest.com/fundraising

Offer is valid until June 10th

Monday, May 30, 2011

They don't get any tougher


"That was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I've ever done"  Lance Armstrong, after finishing the New York Marathon.

Lance Armstrong won  7 straight Tour de France races that included numerous stage races in the mountains, yet the marathon was the toughest race he ever faced.

After running the Madison Marathon yesterday I couldn't agree more.  I had to fighter harder for this finisher medal than I did for any of the other four marathons I've completed.

I've been fighting some kind of virsus all month with sore throat, headache and ear pain. I woke up with nausea and couldn't eat more than half a protein bar for breakfast.

I did not sleep much the night before which is pretty common if the conversations at the starting line were the average experience.

I knew standing at the starting line it was going to be a long day and there was a good possablity I wouldn't finish.  I also knew this was my one shot this year and maybe ever to qualify to run the Boston Marathon.

Sometimes you feel kind of tired at the start of a race, but your training takes over and you get into a rythmn. That didn't happen.  This race was tough from the start and every mile was a struggle.

The course was one hill after another.  I finished the first 6 miles in about an hour.  I felt like I was finished at 13 miles and promised myself I would walk if I made it to 20 miles.  I hit the 20 mile mark at 3:30 so if I could have held on I would have finished in 4:30.  As I hit the 20 mile mark it started to rain. I ran the last 6 miles in the rain.

I just wasn't physically or mentally tough enough to keep going. I walked the next mile and then did a combination of running and walking to complete the race in 4:51:28.  I was lucky to finish on a day when physically it just wasn't happening.  I was totally wrecked at the end. The whole race was run on guts,determination and a lot of prayer.

Still the finish put me at 15 out of 24 women in my age group. Wonder where I would have placed with that 4:30 finish.  I finished well under the 6 hours needed to qualify as a mobility impaired runner for Boston. I know I will do better next time.

Whether I am accepted to run the Boston Marathon in 2012 is now in the hands of the Boston Athletic Association. Like any other runner I will apply when registration opens and hope for the best.

I can't help but reflect the marathon I did previous to this just 10 years ago I walked the last six miles and still finished at 4:20. That is how much I have lost in strength and speed. Every year I lose more as the CMT progresses. This really might be my last shot to run Boston.

After a brief rest I will be back to training in July for my next marathon; Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. on October 29th.  No pressure to qualify with this one.  Running purely for the visability for CMT.  The course is lined with 100,000 spectators and two Team CMT members will be running.  Can't wait.


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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How many steps in a marathon?

"Why couldn' Pheiddipedes had died at 20 miles?"  Frank Shorter

Even Olympic athletes struggle with the marathon distance. I read in fitness magazine a few months ago only 1% of Americans have completed a marathon.  This will be number five for me and I ran them all having CMT.

Pheeiddepedes ran from the planis of Marathon to deliver the message of victory by the Greeks over the Persians.  He ran the 26 miles and dropped dead.  Not a good start for the history of the race.

The marathon distance was increased by .2 miles during the London Olympics so the Royal children could see the finish of the race from their palace balcony.

The 26.2 mile distance is 1,660,032 inches. With each stride I move 30 inches, so it will take me 55,334 steps to go the distance.    If  Pheiddipedes had stopped at 20 miles he would have saved me lots of steps.

  I will take it one step at a time tomorrow. There will me many times I will want to stop and those last 6 miles are always the hardest. The body is fighting fatique and that voice inside the head asking you "what on earth are you doing to me?" I have to concentrate on every step so my foot does not catch and cause me to trip.

I've had lots of encouragement as I prepared for this race.  Thanks to everyone that has joined Team CMT.  You all inspire me, especially our four team triathletes with CMT.  Thanks to everyone with CMT, Team CMT runs for all of you who live every day with pain and the challenges CMT brings. Thanks to Kevin, Wes and Cheryl, Team CMT members who will run the Half Marathon tomorrow.

Thanks to my friend Cheryl who is always waiting at the finish line after running her own race.  Thanks to friend Jon Helminiak who reads all my stuff and provides ongoing feedback and encouragement. Thanks to my mom who I have dedicated this race to. Thanks to my brother Norbert, friends Ann and Kevin and niece Courtney who will be out on the course tomorrow to cheer me on.

Tomorrow I will line up at the starting line ready to take those 5745 steps. Can't wait till I get to the last one as I cross the finish line.


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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This one is for you mom!

Every time I run a marathon and I have done four, I dedicate the run to someone. It helps me to get thorough the race when things get tough.

  My first race I ran for my nephew Brandon. He'd sent me a paper Flat Stanley doll as part of a middle school project.  I pinned Flat Stanley to my running number. Flat Stanley made the entire distance in just under 4 hours. When Flat Stanley returned to his owner he took my finisher medal from Lake Front Marathon with him.  Over the next three races I 've dedicated my races to various nieces and nephews.

The Madison Marathon will be no different. This race will be special since I have 4 Team CMT members running and it is my first marathon since my diagnosis. It is the race I will use to qualify for Boston.

 I am dedicating this race to my mom who passed away on March 26th of this year. For the last year my mom was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes. It was a real challenge to sneak in marathon training around visits.     She had dementia her last year, so she knew nothing about CMT and my work to raise awareness. I hope she would be pleased and proud and I intend to run a good race on Sunday in her honor.

There isn't a day when I don' think about her.  She was an old fashioned cookie baking, PTA attending, dinner on the table every night mom. When I was in high school she got up every morning and made me breakfast before my 6 am bus. When I wanted to go to a private high school, my stay at home mom got a job to pay the tutition.  When I was in the grade school musical, my mom who hated sewing made me a beautiful costume.

She never learned to ride a bike, but she encouraged me to be active.  Her parents did not allow her to attend college, but made sure I got the chance for an education.  She loved to cook and we spent hours cooking, baking and sharing recipes. For her food equaled love. You could not be in her house more than a few minutes without being offered something to eat.  We both shared a love of gardening and she would proudly showed me her garden whenever I visited.  She had a deep belief in God that gave her strength.  She instilled that faith and strength in me as well. My mom was fiesty right to the end and faced death bravely. I will take that same courage with me as I run. Hope you will be proud on Sunday mom! Madison is for you!


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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Race Against Time

"Let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

Last month I fell when doing a cool down run after a 10K race. I've never fallen before, during or after a race.  I had just seen an ex two years after a particularly nasty breakup.  So maybe I was a bit distracted.  You see I have to concentrate on every step when I run.  If I don't a fall or stumble is likely.

In the last couple of years an occasional stumble when my right foot caught was not unusual. Sometimes I would even fall. Falls are nothing new either. I spent most of my life with skinned knees. I always joke that even though I fall  a lot God gave me rubber bones.

In the last year my left foot has started to catch as well as the right. The catch is part of the foot drop I have due to my CMT.   The stumbles are even worse when I am tired.  This week I stumbled half a dozen times in the hours following my run. I had left on my running shoes and the thick soles may be more than my tired legs could handle.

The race marked out for me is the 2012 Boston Marathon. To get there I must finish the Madison Marathon in 6 hours.  Getting to the starting line is an enormous accomplishment in itself.  To get there I had to train for 16 weeks.  For me it meant 4 runs of 20 miles or more.  A May marathon means starting training in late January.  Most of my miles were spent on the treadmill. I got tired of slippery sidewalks and climbing up and down snow banks. I had to work out after a day of work, even when bone tired.. I juggled workouts with visits to the hospital to visit my mom.  I only missed two days the entire time, one for sickness and one the day my mom died. It takes real perserverance to just get through the training.

An injury can happen at any time. Getting to the starting line healthy is a feat, especially for someone with CMT. I  have little flexibility in my legs and diminishing padding on my feet.  Although I have wonderful ability to point my toes, my feet don't bend so well needed in the direction to run. Falls are possible at any time and sometimes when least expected.  A fall can spell the end of training.   Early in my training,  I had returned from the grocery store. It was snowy so I piled my groceries in the hall leading to my kitchen.   Going into the kitchen my toe got caught on one of the bag handles. My toe held in place while the rest of my lunged forward.  I can still remember the pain. But I was able to keep training and I am ready for Madison. Any rock, crack in the sidewalk or uneven surface can mean an ankle roll or fall. I know a slip or trip at any time could have resulted in missed training, an injury and possibly a missed race.

 I read in Fitness Magazine last year that only 1% of Americans have ever finished a marathon. Madison will be my 5th and if I do Boston it may be my last.  My CMT is progressing to the point where I may have no choice. I hope I can hold off time long enough.   Running Boston is my hope for the visability it can bring for CMT. If perseverance has anything to do with it I will be there. Perserverance and God's providence.


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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mother Daughter Team Walk for Team CMT



















Team CMT has it's first mother and daughter team.  Glydnis and Ruth Mack recently participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. They walk together for fitness and plan on walking in two events a month.  Glydnis has taken the time to learn about CMT and has spoken to several people at events that have asked about her singlet.  She even tried to get a UWM reporter to do a story, but he just wanted to talk to Ruth.

Ruth is retired from Briggs and Stratton. She now works at the Senior Center located at the Elks Club in Brown Deer. Ruth is mom to a son and daughter and has two grandchildren. She is an avid jewelry maker and member of New Testament Church of Milwaukee. If you met Ruth you would love her. Just an awesome lady.

Glydnis works for We Energies as a Customer Service Manager. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. She holds a Master's degree in safety and began her career as a safety consultant. She is owner of Butterfly Soap works, producing handmade soap, lotions and gift baskets. Glydnis is also an avid jewelry maker. She is also an active member of New Testament Church of Milwaukee.

Team CMT is lucky and blessed to have these two awesome women on our team. Welcome aboard.  Thanks for helping us to raise awareness of CMT.



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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Sounds of Silence

Silence can be a welcome break from the rush and noise of the day.  I love coming home to a quiet house.
I have always enjoyed long periods of solitude to reflect and refresh.  Most of us are uncomfortable with silence.  We fill every void in conversation.  Watch most runners and you will see the iPod or radio that provides the sound track for their workout. Most Americans have the constant background noise of  TV or music.

Silence is sometimes a form or rejection. The partner or friend giving you the "silent treatment" when they angry is familar to all of us.  I have gotten used to the silence and the implied rejection when I took up raising money and awareness for CMT.

I great support from friends and extended family when I sent out my first fundraising letter last September.  I was so touched by a friend whose is a single mom who apologized because she could only give $5. I was touched by her generous heart and desire to help.  I had several friends that were really curious about CMT and how it affected me personally. I was touched by several friends and extended family whose generosity surprised me.

What really puzzled me was the silence from my immediate family and some really long time friends.
I can understand "no" in a tough ecnonomy. I understand the need to pay bills and make tutition payments.
I can understand being busy and forgetting to give.
 I was hurt by the silence from my brothers and sisters. Not one of them even asked about the CMT. One has it and her children have it. One brother even rudely put the letter aside as I handed it to him.  He plead poverty even though he had been on two trips to Asia in the past year.

I think I would have gottem more response if I had been asking for money for some random fundraiser. Are they embarassed, think I am doing ok? One friend I sent a fundraising request to, did not send me a Chistmas card for the first time in over 20 years. I wonder if  what I did the wrong thing and offended him.
 Silence tells me nothing. It has made me question my reletionship with each one of them. Did they not even care enough to ask a question or make a casual remark. Do they care about how I am doing or what it means to me to have CMT?

It is also hard when I send in a request for sponsorship or submit an article for publication and I hear nothing. No I understand, no has certainity.  With silence I wonder if they got the request.

Here is what this silence has taught me.  I can't take the lack of response personally. I believe my mission is to raise awareness of CMT.  If I make a request from someone I have made them aware of CMT. The rest is up to God.  If he means for them to be part of my work he will have them respond.   Jesus told his diciples that if they went to a town and were not welcome to leave and shake the dust from their sandals.  In other words, don't take it personally, move on. If someone wants to give or be part of Team CMT that is up to God and it's not about me. God may have something else in mind for them and me.


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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Team CMT member Robert Kearney took 2nd place in his age group at the Norris Insurance 4 mile race on May 14th in Kokomo, Indiana.
This is only Roberts third race this season. He did the Trail Breaker 5K in Waukesha and the Deer Run 5 K in Brown Deer. Robert is new to racing and is off to a good start.

 Robert recently worked for Johnson Controls in Glendale, Wisconsin. He recently joined Infineon in Kokomo.  Infineon provides semi conductors and system solutions focusing on energy, efficiency, mobility and security.  They have 25,000 employees worldwide with headquarters in Germany.  Robert is a Systems Application Engineer. He graduated from the University of Rochester and is a native of up state New York.
He will be returning to  his home town of Fair Port New York this 4th of July and will represent Team CMT at the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5 Mile at Perington Park.

Robert will also be returning quite frequently to Milwaukee this summer. He will be running the Lakefront Marathon in October with four other team members. He plans on running the Saturday mornnig build up runners sponsored by the local running club the Badgerland Striders.  Robert also plans on running in a number of events in the Milwaukee area this summer. Congratulations Robert on a great start to your racing career. Some runners never win an age group award. Welcome to the team and we are proud to have you.



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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A small piece of the wall

Edmund Burke said; " No one could make a greater mistake than he did nothing because he could only do a little."

Burke might have been talking about a Jew from ancient times named Nehemiah.

Before Christ was born the Jews were conquered and their city wall of Jerusalam was left in ruins.The Jews left in Isreal were left vulnerable to their enemies. If the Jews were ever to return they would need a city with a wall.

 An ordinary man Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the King of Persia where the Jews had been taken.  This ordinary man had a vision to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and protect his people.  He had a vision and the courage to approach the King to make it happen.   He asked for safe passage, permission to rebuild the walls and materials to do it.

When he arrived in Jerusalem he assigned each family a small portion of the wall to rebuild. After laying in ruins for 95 years the walls were re-built in 52 days.  The build wasn't easy, they faced ridicule and oppostion from their enemies. But they got it done and fullfilled this leaders vision.  The Jews were able to return from exile and defend Jerusalem.

There is no telling what we can do if we have a vision and each do our small part to make it happen.

Raising CMT awareness is my vision and my small part of the wall. Having athletes wear our Team CMT jersey may seem like a small effort.  Even our little effort may have influence  beyond our knowledge.
Like those families in Jerusalem Team CMT will work on our small part of the wall.  Our hope is a world without CMT. First awareness then fund raising then treatment and a cure.  I can do only a little, but proud to be even a small part.



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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Team CMT Member Anthony Orlando Jr.

Don't let the wrinkled shirt and the dread locks fool you. This athlete is a serious contender.
Franklin native Anthony Orlando Jr.  is ready to make a splash this year on the triathlon circuit. Orlando currently competes for Team CMT and is living in the Mineapolis area.  He is a recent graduate of UW River Falls where he majored in math and physics.
While at River Falls he was a member of the swim team and the cross country team. He competed at nationals in both sports. Both sports set him up perfectly for tri competition. His competition scedule has been limited due to his college commitments until now.
Orlando recently competed in the Whitewater Early Bird Triathlon. He was one of the first out of the water. He did well on the bike leg. He had a problem in the transition from the bike to run. He had just switched to the new minimal running shoes and he had trouble getting them on.  He dropped from the lead into 4th place overall. Still good enough for a win in his age group.
Next up is the Buffalo Triathlon in Minnesota in two weeks. He is registered in the elite division at the Olympic distance.
Last year Orlando took third over all in the Tri for Children in Ottawa and third overall in the Minneapolis triathlon. Orlando is just starting to ramp up his competition schedule. He is young for a triathlete.  Expect a long and bright future. Orlando has also contemplated a move to Boulder or San Diego. Both are meccas for serious athletes. Orlando is also looking for sponsors. If he keeps going like he has he won't be looking for sponsors for long.




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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The coward in all of us

Alberto  Salazar, winner of three consecutive New York Marathons and the 1982 Boston Marathon  once said  "I have the same doubts as everyone." "Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards."

I would never had thought a world class runner would feel the same fear, I feel as a middle of the pack particpant.

In a little over two weeks I will line up at the starting line for the Madison Marathon.  I will wonder if I did the right training, Did I run long enough?  Did I push enough in my tempo runs?  Did I take enough rest days? Did I do the right cross training?  Did I eat the right stuff.  Did I race enough?  Did I push myself too much? Will I make it? Can I handle the pain and fatigue I know will be my friend for a large part of the race?

A thousand questions will cross my mind.  I never dreamed every runner toeing the line has the same doubts and fears. My fear won't be of the unknown because I have run and finished four marathons. I know the physical endurance and mental toughness that's needed to finish.  I will wonder if I am up to it one more time.  I've baled at the half way point twice at Madison. Will I quit? Will I take the easy way out? 

I have a built in excuse to quit with my CMT.  I will wonder how my feet will hold up.  My first marathon my feet blistered so bad they bled through my shoes.  The pain from my quads was intense.  The CMT means I don't have enough flexability in my calves to walk decently much less run.  I changed my running gait this year because I as running on my toes. I  switched to landing on my heels and rolling up in the hope to have a more efficient and pain free run.  Now I have sore and tired hamstrings. How will they hold up on race day?  Will the change work.  I won't know until I run the race.

The race is 26 miles. Twenty six miles is a long way to drive much less run.  Will I have the energy to run the entire race?  It has been 10 years since I ran my last marathon and I am not sure what to expect once I get past the half way point. Will I make it?  At this point I don't know.
Another member of Team CMT  is running the half marathon on the same day.  She likes to know every twist, turn and elevation on the couse. She let me know the first half  is hilly and there is a large hill in the  last mile of the marathon. Me, I like to be surprised. It keeps the experience interesting. Now I will worry about that last mile for the next two weeks and for the entire race.
I also have the added pressure and expectations of being part of Team CMT. Everyone who knows me will want to know about the race.  But this expreience is  no longer about me. My fears and challenges do not matter. My goal is no longer a personal best time or a medal. those are out of reach anyway. The goal  now is to raise awareness of CMT. I have a bigger purpose and goal to drive me to the finish line. I have to prove to the Boston Athletic Association I can run a marathon in 6 hours to qualify for the mobility impaired division. Strangely that does not lessen the pressure or fear. To be accepted to Boston will mean a huge stage for raising awareness of CMT. I run for all those with CMT that can't. I run so when they tell someone they have CMT they don't get a blank look.  Imagine having a disease that slowly make you lose the use or your hands or legs and know one has ever heard of it. I run for all of us with CMT. I run because it's a miracle I can run at all.

I have one chance to prove myself after 18 weeks of training to qualify. I'm going to give it my best shot despite every fear and limitiation.  Along with the  fear and limitiations I also have an insane stuborness and determination. I will do whatever it takes to get there. See you at the finish line!



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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Door County Half Marathon-Best finisher medal ever

The Door County Half Marathon has the most beautiful finisher medal I have ever received. You can get a good look in the picture. I think we both look pretty happy to be done. 13 miles felt good, but I am not sure how I will ever do 13 more miles at the Madison Marathon on May 28th.
  It is hands down the toughest half I have ever done. It was 13.1 miles of hills, including the nice one at mile 11.  With three weeks to go until the Madison Marathon this was part of the 12 mile training run on my schedule. 

Team CMT member Cheryl Monnat tested the course and finished first out of 59 women with a time of aroune 1:50. My time was a more modest 2:15 well below my goal time of 2:30 and good for  finish of 21 out of 59 in the same age group.

I was not sure I would run at all. The night before I had a sinus headache, a sore throat and had body aches all over. On the drive up, the closer I got the worse I got.  But I had a good night sleep and woke up feeling good.  It was in the mid 30's and we camped. Cheryl said she was cold all night and didn't sleep well.
You couldn't tell by how well she ran. She is going to run her first marathon at Lakefront this year. I expect she will be well under 4 hours. That is what I am hoping because I need someone to drive and navigate in Boston when I do their marathon next April

Next up for Team CMT is an appearance by me in the Oconomowoc Duathlon on May 21st. Doing it just for fun. It will be my first Duo.

The following week I will be running the Madison Marathon and Cheryl will be running the half. Don't know how I will do 13 more.  I like stopping at 13 and have bailed twice at the half way point in Madison. It is so tempting to stop when everyone getting off the course gets the same medal. Cheryl will be waiting at the half mark. Her instructions are to keep me from stopping no matter what she has to do. I have to run this marathon to prove the Boston Athletic Association I can complete a marathon in under 6 hours. I am applying to the mobilty impaired edition due to my CMT.  Boston now has a new applciaton process. They will be taking the best athletes at all levels. So I need to have the best possible time even in the mobility impaired division. Hoping for a 4:40 -4:45 based on current times.  That is if I finish....marathons are tough and you never know what will happen. 26.2 miles is a long long ways.



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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Elliot's Feet

Elliot is a young boy with CMT who has posted a U-Tube video called Elliot's feet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQ0UmmDPIo

As I watch his video I recognize  my own feet. I see his feet mirrored many times in my family. Two of my nieces share this disease. One is 20 and wears braces.  As I watch the video I wonder why I am so blessed. Why can I run while many others with this disease wear braces? Why can I run marathons when so many others struggle to do everyday tasks like open jars, stand, and button buttons. I never asked why me, why do I have CMT. I asked what God wanted me to do with it. I feel so lucky to be able to raise money and awareness for CMT.

Why has no one ever heard of this disease when it affects 150,000 Americans? Why have many medical professionals never heard of this disease? Everyone has heard of MS, Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis. Just as many people are affected by CMT.

CMT slowly steals the ablility of those who have it to walk and do other every days tasks most everyone else takes for granted. CMT will slowly take away my ability to run. I am reminded of that everytime my foot catches when I run and everytime I fall. I don't know how fast my disease will profess or what I will lose. My family seems to have a very mild form. Not everyone is as lucky.

That is why like Elliot I have dedicated my running to raising awareness of CMT.  I founded Team CMT to make others aware of this disease and those of us living with CMT. We are so close to a cure. The gene that causes CMT has been identified. Several hundred componds have been identified that may help. It is estimated we may be 3-5 years from a cure. There is also hope that someday we may even be able to reverse the effects of the disease. I hope so for Elliot, my family and everyone living with CMT.


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

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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.