Follow by Email

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Team CMT Softball Team

The campaign to raise awareness has found a brand new venue in Milwaukee  Team CMT now has a softball team helping us to raise awareness of Charcot Marie Tooth Disorder.  Team CMT member Cheryl Monnat is the sponsor and organizer of the team’s effort.  The team had been sponsored in past years by Johnson Controls. The company decided this year not to sponsor the team. Cheryl came up with the idea of sponsoring the team and paid for the team fees and their Team CMT shirts.  This team is wearing the same STAR logo as the athletes on Team CMT. This is a reminder of our Strategy to Accelerate Research Program and the part we all play in raising funds and awareness for the CMTA.   

She asked me if it would be ok for the team to do this. I was so excited the night she told me I couldn’t sleep.  It is really incredibly how much Team CMT has grown since our debut at the end of April. Thanks to Cheryl and all the players willing to help us raise awareness.

The players are:
Back row left to right - Janie, Jackie, Liz, Shelly, Jodi, Kate, Jennifer
front row kneeling - Cheryl, Lisa, Gloria
Team manager - Gloria
Team members absent - Angie, Bess, Judy, Jen, Kim

Milwaukee Recreation Dept Womens Social League - Monday at Sijan #4








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, July 24, 2011

Preventing Running Injuries

Team CMT member Gary Krukar announced this week he has a stress fracture. Team CMT member Jude Burton also has an ankle injury.  I got a stress fracture training for my first marathon and have battled a host of running injuries early in my racing career.  So I thought I would share some tips to staying healthy.

Cross Training
Many runners cannot stand the pounding of running every day.  I have successfully completed 5 marathons by running 3-4 times per week.  I do my speedwork, tempo and long runs and do cross training on the other days. It is rare that I run two days in a row.  Use easy days on your training schedule to do some other type of work out. This gives your legs a chance to rest. It also gives muscles that may not be used in running a chance to get stronger, making you a more balanced athlete.

Cross training also gives an athlete a much needed mental break. You can go out harder on your running days because you will be physically and mentally rested.  I like to use activities that mimic running like pool running, elliptical trainer and biking.  The cross training days should be easy days so don't push. Work out at an easy comfortable pace. No spinning class on these days.

Mileage
Your mileage should never increase by more than 10 percent in any week. If you take a sudden jump in mileage you are asking for an injury. If you have been laid off due to an injury also come back slowly or you risk another injury.


Rest
Half and Marathon training programs are designed to build for two weeks and then back off on the third week for a rest week.  Mimic this hard versus easy schedule even if not training for a marathon. Two weeks hard followed by an easy week. Also a good idea to have on month each year when you also reduce your workouts. I do this every December. I typically cut back to 30 minutes of exercise per day with an hour long run.  December is perfect for me because I have less time for training with the holidays and the weather is not great for running outside.

Most beginner marathon and half marathon programs also have a day of complete rest each week.  Take the rest day. You will have better performance and less risk for injury. If you are an advanced runner take your rest day when your body tells you.  I get a rest day about once every two to three weeks. I know my body well enough to know.

Racing
Racing can be fun and the whole reason why we train.  Race no more than twice a month.  Substitute your tempo run or speed workout for the race.  Racing and hard workouts put a strain on your body. Push yourself too far and you will get injured.

Stretching
Many injuries occur when an athlete does not warm up and cool down properly or from not stretching.
Start your workout with 10 minutes of easy activity. Cool down with 10 minutes of easy activity. Stretch only after your workout. Stretching cold muscles can cause damage.  Yoga done on a regular basis is also good for increasing your flexability.

Shoes
Make sure your shoes are helping not hurting you. Get a good fit at a running store. They are good for about 300 miles.  When you run a lot you may be able to tell when you need new shoes. I can feel it.  If you can't then keep track of your mileage and buy your shoes when you have hit enough mileage. I use my old running shoes for biking or chores around the house.

Gait
It is a good idea to have a physical therapist take a look at your running gait.  The way you run may cause injuries. Your foot may not be in a neutral position and need to be corrected with orthodics.  This can also prevent injuries.

Health Habits
How well you take care of yourself in general can contribute to or prevent injuries. Get 8 hours of sleep each night. Go easy on the alcohol and eat a healthy well balanced diet. Include plenty of fruit, vegatables and whole grains.  Drink plenty of water especially before your work out.

Massage
A good massage therapist is an important aid in keeping you healthy if you are doing long workouts. They can keep muscles stretched. A good massage also gets rid of latic acid accumulated. Plus it feels good and is a nice reward for all the hard workouts!

If some part of your body is hurting, assess what you are doing.  You may need to back off a bit. You may need to get it checked out.  Don't keep pushing and make it worse. A few days of rest may be all you need to keep an injury minor.  Follow this advise and you have a better chance of getting to the starting line healthy and having a good race.




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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Weather Workouts

Its 8:30 p.m. tongitht and it is still 93 F outside. The combination of high heat and high dewpoints (75+) have been oppressive. It isn't just uncomfortable to run in this heat, it can be dangerous.  When it is hot there are some adjustments you can make;

Cross Train
It isn't a good idea for most runners to run everyday. So when it is really hot choose a cross training activity perfect for hot days.  Swimming of course is great and biking creates a bit of its own breeze. Cross training works different muscles than running, making you a more balanced athlete and less prone to injury.

Inside
On days you need to run take your workout inside and use a treadmill.  If you company has a gym or you belong to a health club take advantage of the cool inside environment. Instead of a your track workout do speed work on the treadmill. If it takes you 2:00 to run one lap, do 2:00 minute intervals with 2:00 minutes of rest.  If you are scheduled for a tempo run of say 5 miles do 10 minutes of warm up followed by the time it takes you to cover 3-4 miles, followed by 10 minutes of cool down.  The treadmill can also be a great place to add some hill if you are doing you long easy run.

Pettit National Ice Center
Milwaukee residents can take advantage of the 450 meter track at the Pettit National Ice Center. It costs $2 to use the track and it is open almost every day. The surface is rubber over concrete so it can be a bit hard on the legs if you use the track too often. The track is a great alternative in winter when ice and cold keeps us inside.

Timing
If you have to work out outdoors try to time your workouts for first thing in the morning.  That is the coolest part of the day. If you can't do the mornings then workout as the sun is going down. It still may not be cool, but will be cooler then late afternoon and early evening.  If you do run outdoors, try to find a route that is shaded. Running in the shade will keep you cooler. 

Routes
Some spots are just cooler to run. Here in Milwaukee, it can be 10-15 degrees cooler near Lake Michgan. There is often a nice breeze on cool days, plus the lake is great to look at.  Trail running in the woods is also another cool alternative.

Water
Always drink lots of water during hot weather especially if running outdoors. I see so many runners out in this heat with no water.   A bike water bottle is easy to carry and you can drink while tyou run. If you know you will be running outdoors stay well hydrated throughout the day.

You can run outdoors in hot weather if your body is used to hit.  Don't push too hard until you are aclimated and watch yourself in these very humid conditions. If you start to feel sick to your stomach, light headed or stop sweating, stop working out. Get to a cool place.  You can keep up your workout program even in high heat, you just need to be smart about it.


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, July 18, 2011

Meet your Team CMT Manager


"You must always carry an unsolvable problem in your heart."- Persian Poet Rumi

CMT is the unsolvable problem I carry in my heart.  I didn't even know how to pronouce this disease when I first heard of it. The first time I heard of it was when my sister had emailed me her daughters were diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth. When I went to the CMTA web site and read the symptoms I knew I had it too. It is a genetic disease I share with my dad, aunt, sister and two nieces.

I was diagnosed with CMT  type 1a in August of 2010. I was relieved to put a name to symptoms I've had my whole life.  I knew 12 years ago after a bike accident that I had some neurological condition.  After being tested for ALS, MS and a host of other scary conditions I decided not to pursue it. I found out from my dad several years later that he and his sister had a genetic nerve disorder. When my nieces were diagnosed all the pieces came together.

I had all the typical CMT symptoms; falls, tripping,  rolling ankles, awful hand writing, difficulty running, tiredness, pain.  My knees were constantly scrapped as a kid from all the falls.  Every time I go for a hike I fall at least once. Although clumsy I always lead an active life.  Days were full of sports with my brothers playing football, baseball and riding our bikes. Still I never felt like an athlete since I was always the slowest kid in the class and it was difficult to do many of the things I was asked to do in gym class.

When I was in college I took up running to become a better skier, an activity I still enjoy as a member of the National Ski Patrol at Crystal Ridge in Franklin Wisconsin.  I started entering races,but never won. Fast forward several years and I met John Herod local long distance runner and coach. He taught me how to do speed work and I started to get faster and would sometimes win my age group in local runs. I even was the first woman finisher once in a 2 mile race. For the first time in my life I felt like an athlete.

I know I'm very fortunate to be running. Running especially long distance running and CMT do not go together. Several physical therapists have told me I don't have enough flexability in my legs to walk properly much less run. Many therapist still think someone with CMT can't run. Many with CMT have been told over the years not to exercise or not to work out too hard. Team CMT is here to change that.

 I  quit competition 4 years ago, frustrated by dramtically slowing times, burning feet and blisters. I stopped competing because I was no longer competitive. Even though I battled a number of running injuries over the years all CMT related, I never stopped running because despite its challenges I love it. I always ran so I could easily return to competition and long distance running.

With my diagnois came a great opportunity. I knew I had to use my running to raise awareness and hopefully funds for CMT because virtually no one has ever heard of CMT. My own primary doctor had never heard of it when I asked for a referral.  It is so frustrating to get a puzzled look when you tell someone you have CMT.  I want to put names and faces to CMT.   I want everyone to be aware of this disease and the challenges we face so we can step out of the shadows.

So Team CMT was born to help me raise awareness. Since our start in April of 2010 we have grown to 34 athletes in 10 states and England.  We also have 6 athletes on the team in their own very personal battle with this condition. It has been so gratifying to share their stories and find they are so similar to mine. They motivate me every day.

Sometimes I think about what I have lost or what type of athlete I might have been if I didn't have CMT.
I wonder why a 53 year old slow white woman is carrying the banner for CMT.  I have to trust it is the right thing to do. 

I think this quote I found in a book by Lauie Beth Jones sums things up;
"This is the deepest prayer, when you wait for answers.....when you simply wait....
and as you wait the answer comes to you if you will.
Some how you are part of the answer."

I am pleased to represent the Charcot Marie Tooth Association. I am so  proud of Team CMT and especially my six CMT sister athletes who battle this disease every day.  Each of us is part of the answer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet Kevin Klein of Team CMT

                                   "Races are the celebration of your training"- Dan Browne

Team CMT member Kevin Klein ran the Madison Half Mararthon on May 31st in under 2 hours. A time he is rightfully proud of since it was a very hilly and tough course.  He shared the course with Team CMT members Kathy Stultz and Cheryl Monnat in the half and Chris Wodke in the full marathon.

Keving is wearing the STAR singlet all Team CMT members wear.  The Team CMT singlet takes its inspiration from the STAR (Strategy to Accelerate Research) project of the Charcot Marie Tooth Association. The dream of Team CMT members is a world without CMT.  The team runs for those that can't. Many people with CMT have difficulty walking and doing simple tasks like opening jars.

 We represent the CMTA in raising awareness of this disorder that affects 150,000 Americans.
CMT is unique in that it's cause has been pinpointed. CMT is caused by 33 different gene defects.  These gene mutations can also be reproduced as tissue cultures opening up the possability of a treatment or cure.  The STAR research project was started to raise money for CMT related research.  Team CMT members are hoping to raise awareness and funds for this important research.

CMT 1a the most common type is cause by a duplication of a gene which causes an over production of a protein (PMP 22).  PMP 22 and myelin are made by cells known as Schwann cells.  Myelin is the insulation that surrounds the nerve fibers fibers or axons. The over production of PMP22 cause the myelin sheath around the never fiber to deteriorate.  Because of this the nerve impules do not transmit efficiently and the muscle tissue weakens and there is loss of sensation.

Money already raised as part of the STAR project is funding three major projects to study the gene and its response to possible drug treatments.  It is hoped these projects will lead to the development of a treatment for CMT within the next 3-5 years.

Team CMT is proud to be part of the effort to bring awareness of CMT and help raise funds for CMT research.  We began recruiting members in April and are now 34 members strong in 10 states and England. It is exciting to think how much more we will grow.  I never dreamed when laying out the design for the singlet this winter we would have 34 members.

Kevin is one of many runners we have on the team in the Milwaukee Area. Kevin lives in Franklin with his wife and children. In the winter he is a member of the National Ski Patrol at Crystal Ridge. He studied at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kevin also loves to travel and recently took a trip to Peru that included the Inca Trail and Macu Pichu. We're proud to have someone like Kevin on Team 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.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summerfest Rock & Sole Half Marathon

Whose idea was it to do a half marathon on July 10th?  It seemed like a good idea back in March and I thought it would be a good way to celebrate birthday number 53. Besides it had to be a cool finisher medal since it was sponsored by Summerfest.  I knew going in it was gonna be hot.

It was in the mid 80's at the start and the heat index was over 90F later in the race. The course officials actually told all non ellite runners to walk when I got to the 11 mile mark. Seemed like a good idea. My brain is always up for walking when I should be running. But since the runners all around me ignored the running ban, I did too. I just wanted to finish and I was on pace to hit my goal time. Can't let teammate Cheryl Monnat finish too far ahead.

It was a great course. The first half was up and over the Hoan Bridge and onto the Lake Parkway. I drive it every day so it was a thrill to run this course. The view from the top is awesome and there was a great breeze. The smell over Jones Island was, well not so nice.

One glitch was there were only two water stops up on the Hoan Bridge. One was out of cups and I am only a middle of the pack runner. The 10K runners had not even come through. Volunteers poured water into our hands so we could drink. Other stops on the course were out of cups, water or gatorade.  I knew being a new event this migh happen, so I carried my own water in my camelbak. It looks geeky, but the fluid in vital when its so hot.

My friend Cheryl ran with me over the first half as the course. She took off as we headed north up Lincoln Memorial Drive. We turned at Kenwood and hit the bike path for a return to the Summerfest grounds.  Cheryl Monnat finished in 2:15 and Chris Wodke completed the course just 5 minutes behind at 2:20. Both good times on a hot course.  Gary Krukar has had his training limited by shin splints was just a bit behind me. Cheryl's time was good for 16th in her age divison and I was 30th out of the 70 runners that finished.

There were about 7000 runners in the two races. A 10K was also run  as part of this event on the first part of the half marathon course. It was tempting to bail off the course as the 10 K runners excited.  They were done and we in the half marathon were only at the half way point.

It must have been a first time half marathon for many of the runners. On my part of the course a majority of the particpants were walking.  Several water stops ran out of cups and some were out of gatorade.
Best to take the conservative approach on a hot and humid day. I saw one runner at about the 12 mile mark taken off the course by ambulance.   Anyone finishing the race on a day like today has done well even if walking part of the course. The race was closed at 10:30 due to the high heat and numbers of runners having problems. I finished at 10:20.

And that finisher medal......sadly not too impressive. Looks pretty ordinary. Perhaps I am a bit jaded by the awesome medals I got at Madison and Door County. Glad to have it though. It was a great way to finish off my birthday weekend.  Thanks for the Team CMT members that ran the event. You guys are the best!


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, July 5, 2011

Advanced Half Marathon Training Plan


If you have a good base of mileage or are an experienced racer, you may want to try the advanced training program.


Mon
Tues
Wed
Thur
Fri
Sat
Sun
Week 1
4 miles easy
Rest
6 miles steady
5 miles fartlek
Rest Day
5 miles easy
10 miles long run
Week 2
4 miles easy
Tempo: 3 * 7 mins (4 mins)
5 miles easy
Intervals: 4 * 1 mile (400m recovery)
Rest Day
5 miles easy
10 miles long run
Week 3
4 miles easy
Hills: 6 * 2 mins
5 miles steady
Intervals: 6 * 1k (400m)
Rest Day
5 miles steady
12 miles long run
Week 4
5 miles easy
Tempo: 2 * 10 mins (5 mins)
6 miles steady
6 miles easy
Rest Day
20 mins jog
10k race or 7 miles time trial
Week 5
5 miles steady
Tempo: 2 * 15 mins (5 mins)
7 miles steady
Hills: 6 * 2 mins
Rest Day
5 miles easy
13 miles long run
Week 6
5 miles easy
Tempo: 2 * 20 mins (5 mins)
7 miles steady
Intervals: 5 * 1 mile (400m)
Rest Day
5 miles easy
14 miles long run
Week 7
5 miles easy
Tempo: 20 mins (5 mins), 15 mins (4 mins), 10 mins
7 miles steady
Hills: 8 * 2 mins
Rest Day
5 miles easy
15 miles steady
Week 8
5 miles easy
Rest
7 miles steady
Intervals: 5 * 1k (400m)
Rest Day
20 mins jog
10k race or 7 miles time trial
Week 9
7 to 8 miles steady
Tempo: 3 * 10 mins (4 mins)
 8 miles steady
 Hills: 8 * 2 mins
Rest Day
5 miles easy
16 miles long run
Week 10
 5 miles easy
 Tempo: 20 mins (5 mins), 15 mins(4 mins), 10 mins
 8 miles steady
 Hills: 6 * 2 mins
Rest Day
6 miles steady
 12 miles long run
Week 11
5 miles easy
 7 miles: 1 mile easy, 5 miles race pace, 1 mile easy
 5 miles easy
 Tempo: 10 mins (4 mins), 10 mins (4 mins) 5 mins
 Rest Day
6 miles steady
  10 miles long run
Week 12
4 miles easy
5 miles: 1 mile easy, 3 miles race pace, 1 mile easy 
 Rest
 6 miles steady
Rest Day
20 mins jog
Half Marathon Race



































































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.













Easy Runs
The pace is comfortable. You should be able to carry on a conversation with another runner. If you can’t run every day, substitute cross training for the easy days of running.

Rest
Runners want to get better and some are reluctant to take off days.  Your body needs to rest to recover and get stronger. It is an essential part of this workout program.

Speed Training
These are important and don’t miss them. These workouts make you a better, faster runner. This will improve your overall speed and ability to maintain that speed over longer distances.

Long Runs
Run the first portion at easy pace and the last portion at your goal pace.  This will help you to hold your goal pace when you are tired.