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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meet Team CMT Member Dr. Robert Chetlin

You might not ever see Dr. Chetlin wearing a Team CMT singlet in a race, but he is one of the most important members of our team.

Dr. Chetlin is an Exercise Physiologist on the Occupational Therapy faculty of the West Virginia School of Medicine. (WVU) He teaches Clinical Anatomy, Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology to the first-year OT students. Dr. Chetlin earned both his Masters and PhD degrees in Exercise Physiology from the WVU School of Medicine. He is a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds professional accreditation as a Health and Fitness Instructor (HFI) through ACSM, and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through NSCA. Dr. Chetlin is also a reviewer for scientific journals including Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and Strength and Conditioning Journal. His funded research interests involve examining the effects of nutritional supplementation and exercise training in patients with a variety of neuromuscular diseases. He has published his work in several peer-reviewed research journals. In 2004, Dr. Chetlin was recognized for his contribution to improving the lives of patients with peripheral neuropathy, when he received The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Foundation Award for Distinguished Service.
Dr Robert Chetlin, PhD, CSCS, HFI, has co-authored two articles that were published in the Stength and Conditioning Journal. The two articles focused on the current issues with elite athletes, and Anabolic - androgenic steroids. A third article co-authored with Smith, Gutman, Yeater, and Alway addressed the effects of exercise and creatine on myosin heavy chain isoform compostiion in the vastus lateralis muscle of patients with CMT. Dr. Chetlin also severs as an advisor to the National CMT Resource Center. Dr. Chetlin was recognized for his contribution to improving the lives of patients with peripheral neuropathy, when he received The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Foundation Award for Distinguished Service. Dr. Chetlin is also the exercise advisor to Team CMT members Joyce Kelly, Richard Cook and Chris Wodke.
Dr. Chetlin has advised me on my training plan for Boston
Dr. Chetlin next research project will study the adaptive effects of exercise on transgenic rats . Transgenic rats are those that have been genetically modified to have CMT1A, the most common form of CMT. The rats will be regularly exercised on a specialized training device called a dynamometer. In conjunction with Dr. Brent Baker of the Centers for Disease Control – National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC-NIOSH), Dr. Chetlin will analyze performance and clinical imagery (i.e. ultrasound) to see if these animals respond positively to the exercise stimulus. In addition, Dr. Chetlin and Dr. Baker will examine the proteins, genes, and other biomarkers of muscle and myelin (the fatty nerve covering affected in CMT) to determine, at the cellular level, the extent to which exercise produces positive changes. This information may eventually prove useful in determining how much exercise might benefit those persons with CMT who are still capable of exercising, as well as how hard patients should exercise, and eventually whether other interventions such as certain drugs may make exercise even more effective.

This project is a partnership among several institutions. This is a multi-disciplinary, multi-centered study which includes basic and clinical researchers from the West Virginia University School of Medicine, The West Virginia University Animal Models and Imaging Facility, the CDC-NIOSH, and the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany. This kind of broad, multi-disciplinary team is essential to obtaining an appropriate level of funding so this research can continue and build on positive results that are discovered. HNF is thrilled to be a part of this collaboration for it holds the potential to create real change for those living with CMT. The next step in this project is even more exciting. After the animal study is complete, the research will begin studying the effect of exercise on athletes with CMT. Team CMT athletes will particpate in this study.
To learn more about exercise and CMT

Chris Wodke

Founder & Manager Team CMT
http://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.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two Teams for CMT?



" It's not the beginning or the end of a race that counts, it's what happens in between."- unknown


Team CMT is now working with the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. It is an exciting time for us because their support is going to take us to a larger stage of raising awareness and research funds.

I am loyal to the CMTA and will continue to work with them. I plan on speaking to the Chicago support group in January about Team CMT and on remaining active in my CMTA support group.
I have nothing but good things to say about the organization and the people I have met through the CMTA. I am grateful for the CMTA members on our team. I have gotten to know many of you and meet a few of you in person. I cherish eveyone on this team, because I live the same struggles all of us with CMT face everyday.

Not everyone sees things from that perspective.  There has been some talk of starting a new team through the CMTA. Anyone on the current team is welcome to move to the CMTA team. There will be no financial support or social media support such as facebook for me. 

That is not meant as a punishment. Running one team has become a partime job and there is no way I can personally support another team. I have limited time and resources and will focus them on Team CMT.

All of my efforts will now be turned to preparing for Boston and helping the HNF affliated team to thrive and grow.  I have a race to train for, sponsors to line up, funds to raise.

What I want us all to focus on is making everyone aware of CMT and in finding treatments and a cure. I feel HNF is the best fit for that.  A parellel effort does not hurt the current Team CMT. I say the more seeds we sow, the greater the reward we will have.  I don't want any battle lines drawn or drama due to move to HNF. We need all of us working toward our mission. Fighting only drains our efforts and dilutes our effectiveness. I don't have the time, energy or inclination to engage in any drama over this change.

I would like everyone of you on the current Team CMT to join us on the HNF supported team. The change will be seamless to you except for the uniform change. I will contact every team member in the next few weeks to ask you to stay with Team CMT. If you choose to leave I will respect your decison.  I will wish you the best of luck with no hard feelings and hope to compete with you at some future event.

Thank you for your time and support this last year. It means more to me than you will ever know. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I'm here for you.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
http://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.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Boston Training Day 1

" The finish line isn't given, its earned." unknown

Well Monday was day one of my 18 week training program for Boston.  The week did not start well. Sunday night I only got about 2 hours of sleep. I tossed and turned most of the night and was still awake at 3:15 a.m.  I was exhausted but my body just would not sleep even after two doses of tylenol p.m.
I was worn out from all the tossing and turning because my legs were jumpy and I couldn't get comfortable.

It happens to me fairly often, especially on Sunday nights.  I 've sturggled to get to sleep my entire life. It is one of the things that comes with the whole CMT package. There is no one set of symptoms that every person show with CMT.  Issues with sleep are one that can show up...lucky me.

Well the alarm went off at 5:15 and I went through the mental struggle I go through every time I have a sleepless night. My body is telling me it needs sleep and to call in sick. My brain tells me I havn't called in sick in 9 years and you aren't starting now. I was meeting a friend for dinner, so if no work no dinner.  The brain won. Not a good start to the week.

Imagine having to work all day, go to dinner with a friend and come home and do a workout on 2 hours of sleep.  That was nothing compared to the 5 marathons I have run on no sleep.   But starting the week exhausted is not helpful when trying to keep up with a marathon training program.

I was able to get in a 45 min workout on the nordic track and crashed at 8:30 for a fairly good night of sleep.

I wish I could tell you I woke up well rested this morning.  Most mornings when I wake up I feel like I never slept.  Feeling tired is an almost constant companion. Sometimes the fatigue is profound and I still have to go out and run or swim or do whatever is on the training plans. Other days I feel really good and full of energy. I never know what each day will bring. I do know each day no matter how I feel I will tackle whatever challenges the day brings. If that means getting up and going to work on 2 hours sleep or doing a workout I will get it done.  More than most athletes I really earn that finish line.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
http://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.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Boston Marathon Training Plan

Chris Wodke
http://www.run4cmt.com/


" Live  a life worthy of your calling." Ephesians 4:1

Tomorrow I start my training  for the Boston Marathon on April 18th. I will be running in the Mobility Impaired Divison, representing Team CMT. I will be raising money and awareness about Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder.  I could just take it easy now that I've achieved my goal of getting into Boston. Afterall I have 6 hours to finish and my times have been under 5 hours for both marathons this year.

But I don't want to just run at Boston, I want to run well.  I'm not running for myself anymore.  I represent everyone on Team CMT, the HNF and everyone struggling with CMT everyday. I am so lucky to be running at all much less running in an event like the Boston Marathon. My goal is to run as well as I possibly can. I want to train hard, to respect the tremendous honor I've been given. Running and raising awareness has become a calling for me. In April I will have the chance to raise awareness of CMT on  a huge stage. It is estimated  as many as 500,000 spectors line the Boston course. As I run the Boston cours a lot of people will learn about CMT for the first time. One of my friends with CMT told me this week, " We're all counting on you."  It is a hope I  keenly feel and will work hard to fullfill.

So how will I get ready for my race? Boston is a hilly course with the notorious Hearthbreak Hill btween mile 20 and 21. The first 10 miles are down hill. I 've modified my training plan to account for the hills. I am a little aprehensive going into this training since I'm fighting injuries on both my feet. This will be my third marathon in a year. That's a lot to ask of anyone, much less a runner with CMT.  I also have never trained for this early of a marathon. That means I will have many work outs in the cold and dark. I have the choice of snowy cold streets or the treadmill. I will have to balance training hard, but doing so in a way that will allow me to get to the starting line as healthy as possible. Trainig for this race is going to be a mental and physical challenge. One I gladly take on to fullfull my mission of raising funds and awareness for CMT.

I will let you know as the training progress how I am holding up physically and mentally. Here is the training plan;

Boston Marathon Training Plan

Week 1
Monday           3 miles easy
Tuesday           Speed workout
Wed                 3 miles easy
Thursday          5 Mile Tempo
Friday              3 miles easy
Saturday           marathon pace 5 miles
Sunday             long easy 10 miles

Week 2
Monday           3 miles easy
Tuesday           Speed workout
Wed                 3 miles easy
Thursday          5 Mile Tempo
Friday              3 miles easy
Saturday           marathon pace 5 miles
Sunday             long easy 11 miles

Week 3
Monday           3 miles easy
Tuesday           Speed workout
Wed                 3 miles easy
Thursday          4 Mile Tempo
Friday              3 miles easy
Saturday           Easy 6 miles
Sunday             long easy 8 miles

Week 4
Monday           3 miles easy
Tuesday           Speed
Wed                 3 miles easy
Thursday          6 Mile Tempo
Friday              3 miles easy
Saturday           marathon pace 7 miles
Sunday             long easy 13 miles

Week 5
Monday           3 miles easy
Tuesday           Speed workout
Wed                 3 miles easy
Thursday          7 Mile Tempo
Friday              3 miles easy
Saturday           Marathon pace 7 miles
Sunday             long easy 14 miles
Week 6
Monday           3 miles easy
Tuesday           3 x hill, 1 down
Wed                 3 miles easy
Thursday          5 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           Marathon Pace 6 miles
Sunday            1 hour 20 minute run

Week 7
Monday           4 mile easy
Tuesday           4 x 800, 400
Wed                 4 mile easy
Thursday          8 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           Marathon Pace 7 miles
Sunday             long easy 16 miles

Week 8
Monday           4 mile easy
Tuesday           4 x hill, 1 down
Wed                 4 mile easy
Thursday          6 mile easy
Friday              Rest
Saturday           7 mile easy
Sunday              long easy 12miles

Week 9
Monday           4 mile easy
Tuesday           5 x 800, 400
Wed                 4 mile easy
Thursday          8 mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           marathon pace 7 miles
Sunday             long easy 12 miles

Week 10
Monday           4 mile easy
Tuesday           5 x hill, 2 down
Wed                 4 mile easy
Thursday          6 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           5 K race
Sunday             long easy 19 miles

Week 11
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           6 x 800, 400 jog
Wed                 5 mile easy
Thursday          9 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           8 mile pace
Sunday             long easy 20 miles

Week 12
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           6 x hill, 2 down
Wed                 5 mile easy
Thursday          6 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           10 K race
Sunday              20-25 K

Week 13
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           7 x 800, 400
Wed                 5 mile easy
Thursday          6 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           5 mile easy
Sunday            long easy 20 mile

Week 14
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           7 x hill, 3 down
Wednesday      5 mile easy
Thursday          10 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           Marathon pace 4 miles
Sunday             long easy 12 miles

Week 15
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           8 x 800, 400
Wednesday      5 mile easy
Thursday          8 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           Marathon pace 5 miles
Sunday              long easy 20 miles

Week 16
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           8 x hill, 3 down
Wednesday      5 mile easy
Thursday          6 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           marathon pace 4 miles
Sunday             long easy 12 miles

Week 17
Monday           5 mile easy
Tuesday           4 x 800, 400
Wednesday      3 mile easy
Thursday          4 Mile Tempo
Friday              Rest
Saturday           Rest
Sunday             2 mile easy

Week 18
Monday           BOSTON MARATHON!!!!!!


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

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.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

Friday, December 16, 2011

Team CMT Partners with Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation


While I was in Philadelphia visiting family last week I also squeezed in some Team CMT business. First up was a meeting with Team CMT member Jude Burton. I got to also meet Jude’s adorable daughter 14 month old Harmony.  Jude recently ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 20th as a fund raiser for CMT. So I got to hear about her race and share experiences of being an athlete with CMT. It was really awesome to meet her in person after seeing so many face book posts and exchanging emails.  The best part about starting this team has been meeting athletes from the team.  I never expected the team to grow so large or meet so many other athletes fighting CMT.

I also met with Allison Moore, President and founder of the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation.  After discussions with Allison I have decided to affiliate Team CMT with the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF.)  This was not an easy decision since like many of you on the team with CMT, I am a member of the CMTA. I decided to partner with HNF for the following reasons;

  • The foremost reason is the passion and vision Allison Moore brings to the table. Allison has CMT and at one point in her life was training to run the New York Marathon. She understands the challenges being an athlete with CMT. Even more important she is an enthusiastic supporter of our efforts.  In talking to her I realize our visions are closely aligned.  I think Team CMT and the HNF are a perfect fit.
  • The HNF is offering financial support for team uniforms and web site. I have been funding the team out of my personal resources. HNF help will free up my funds for my training and contributions to CMT research.  I also need additional help in managing this team. We have grown to 62 members and I expect we will grow even larger.  We have grown so large, managing this team has become a part time job.  I feel if I need to turn over management to them at some future date, the team would be in good hands.
  • The HNF is providing much greater exposure and visibility for our team. They have created a tab for Team CMT on the HNF web site. They are also using social media to promote the team.  They will be posting my blog entries and tweeting updates using their social media.   There may be a media day soon in New York for video for the HNF web site.
  • HNF has media greater media connections and visibility. My mission in starting the team was to promote awareness of CMT.  HNF will partner with us to get the story out about the amazing athletes on our team.  This will be especially important as I run the Boston Marathon this year and other team members run Boston or other high profile events in years to come.
  • I support the HNF model of fundraising through athletic events and their support for physical activity by those with CMT.  Their experience in doing fundraising will be helpful.  There has already been talk about HNF helping to put together an event in Richmond next year. Hoping to get many Team CMT members to that event. It would be so great to meet more of you.
  •  My fundraising efforts in Boston will go to fund the research on the effect of exercise on CMT. This study is headed by Dr. Robert Chetlin at the University of West Virginia Medical School. This study is being done in partnership with HNF.

 For most of you on the team the only difference you will see is a new uniform. I hope to have a new design to show you soon.  I expect several team members will debut the new uniform at the race series in Allen Texas on December 31st.  I will be running the half marathon and Team CMT member Morgan Johnson will be running in the 5K.

I am still a member of the CMTA and still raising funds for them. I am grateful for their support and the use of the STAR logo on our current uniform.

 As we move forward I will be contacting each team member to see if you are interested in moving forward with the HNF affiliated team.  We should have the new uniform design soon as well.


Chris Wodke
http://www.run4cmt.com/

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marathon Recovery Part 2

Well you finished your marathon and followed all the steps I talked about in part 1 on race day.

What next?
The things you do in the weeks following a marathon can help you recover or set you up for an injury.   Here are a few ideas to ease back into working out.

Reverse TrainingBasically run the last three weeks of your training plan in reverse. It’s called a reverse taper. You will gradually get ramped back up. The two days after your marathon should be rest days, just like the two days before your marathon.

Here is an example of how that might look for an Intermediate runner;
Week 1;
Two days of rest, 30 minutes of running alternating with 30 minutes of cross training and a long run of about an hour on the weekend.

Week 2
You can increase the easy runs or cross training days to 45 minutes.  If you feel up to it you can do some very easy speed work.

Week 3
Increase training time to 60 minutes; add both speed work and tempo runs that were equal to what you did three weeks before your marathon.

Cross Training
Don’t jump right back into running every day, even if you had no problems running every day when training for your marathon. This is the time to practice active rest by using activities like swimming, cycling and yoga for the first couple of weeks following your marathon.  Avoid over-doing high impact activities like running.

Food
If you are craving something, eat it, but generally keep your diet healthy and high in complex carbohydrates, just like you did when training.

Racing
You may feel super confident coming off your marathon. Hold off on racing for at least a month unless you are an experienced long distance runner. Jumping back into racing too soon sets you up for an over use injury. 

Sleep
You may be more tired for the first couple of weeks after the marathon.  Get extra rest. I find I need after work naps, especially the first week post marathon. Listen to your body and sleep if you feel tired. My body uses sleep to repair, so I get extra rest post marathon.

Listen to your body. If you are sore post race, hold off on speed work and ease carefully back into your training.   Give your body the rest and time it needs to recover from your marathon.

Chris Wodke
http://www.run4cmt.com/