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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boston Week 6- Expo 10K Race

Expo Run- Kathy Stultz, Robert Kearney, Cheryl Monnat, Chris Wodke

" Only those who risk going too far, can possibly find out how far they can go." T.S. Elliot

Week 6 was one of my easy weeks of training. Every three weeks the mileage is cut back to give your body a chance to rest and recharge. I needed it.  Instead of a long run this week, the training plan called for a 10 K race and I joined Team CMT members at the RACC Winter Series 10K expo run.

It was a snowy and windy day.  The race organizers did a good job of clearing off the bike path.  The starting temp was around 27F but the brisk wind made it feel much colder. We started off into that wind. I asked Cheryl after the race if she ever has thoughts about turning back in a race or bailing at the half way point. I know I did for a brief time.  She said she did that day which made me feel a bit better.

Last year this course was two loops. The 5 K runners did one loop and the 10 K runners two. It is tough to see them all finishing and know you have to run the same course all over again. Plus this run has a wooden bridge about a mile into the course you go over twice (4 times if they run two loops). With all the runners going across, that bridge really bounces and it feels pretty weird if you aren't in sync, which I wasn't.  All in all it was a good way to end my rest week. 

I got to talk with Kathy Stultz before the race. She and her son Lincoln are racing for her daughter Regan.  Lincoln was away at drills. Lincoln we missed you.  We are all running we those like Reagan affected with CMT. It reminds me why I started this team and why I am running the Boston Marathon this April.

Well Team CMT did pretty well. Cheryl took first place in her age group. Team CMT member Kim Petak running for Performance Outfitters won her age group. I took 8th place. Not sure how Kathy did, but she finished ahead of me, so she may have medaled as well.  Team CMT member Kevin Klein was also busy this weekend competing in a local triathlon.

After the run we got to go through the expo and check out clothes, potential races and lots of fancy bikes. I saw a wonderful Trek Madone 5.9 racing bike I would love to have.  Gotta start saving for that.

Even though it was an easy week, I was exhausted by Sunday night and was in bed by 6:30. Sometimes the CMT really wipes me out.

Back to the hard training this week. I have a 8 mile tempo run, a 18 mile long run, speed work and a hour and a half pool run this week. That is in addition to cross training, weight lifting and a ski patrol duty shift on Saturday night.  I took my one rest day this week on Monday because honestly I was too exhausted to work out.  No excuses the rest of the week.

Thanks to all the Team CMT members competing this weekend. I appreciate every member out there working to raise awareness of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder.

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

iPod Banned in Boston


Live a life worthy of your calling- Ephesians 4:1

The Boston Athletic Association strongly suggests runners not listen to music while running the Boston Marathon. There isn't an outright ban except for those competing for prize money.  My ban is self imposed. I will not be wearing my ipod in Boston, in fact I have stopped using it for workouts and other races as well.  For a lot of reasons it just seems like the right thing for me to do;
It's Boston
The most important reason is to honor the race. The Boston Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious marathon. It is a tremendous honor to even be running. I am one of six runners accepted into the Mobility Impaired division. We're in the very first wave to take off, even before the elite athletes. I just don't feel like I can line up in that group wearing headphones.

Pioneer
The first woman to run in Boston was Katherine Switzer in 1967. Officials tried to pull her off the course. She finished the race and many woman have followed in her brave footsteps.  Now 53% of marathon fields are women. When Katherine ran, it was thought long distance running was harmful to woman and they should not run anything longer than a 10K.  We athletes with CMT hear something very similar. We are told not to do anything too vigorous and many of us have been told running is harmful.  I may be the first athlete with CMT to run Boston, but I won't be the last. Team CMT has three other members with Boston qualifying times. I am going to show just how strong those of us with CMT can be and hopefully lead the way for many more Team CMT members to run Boston. I don't want to do anything that would make B.A.A. official think twice about having CMT affected athletes run.

Mental Toughness
I want to run the best possible race I can in Boston. I ran my first two marathons without music and I have not completely run one since I started using music.  I think I need to be just a bit tougher mentally to complete the Boston course without walking.  It takes lots of toughness to finish a marathon, especially on a hilly course like Boston. I am going to need every bit of mental strength. I've already stopped wearing my iPod to train and race. I did the Allen Half Marathon on New Year's Eve in Texas sans music. I am actually really enjoying it.

Scoring
Walking means a longer finishing time. Because the  Mobility Impaired division is so small, I have a chance to medal. I don't want to blow that chance by walking. Because this may be the only time I run Boston, I want to have the fastest time I possibly can.

Focus
I want to concentrate on how my body is feeling. I want to experience the sites and sounds without a sound track. Sometimes a song or the volume on my iPod  causes me to loose focus.  Going without my iPod means one less thing to worry about on race day.  My first long distance race after my CMT diagnosis was the Fox Cities Half Marathon. My music wasn't working and I was pretty stressed.  I ended up being fine without it.  I also have to have a place to put my iPod for the 5 hours it takes to run a marathon.  I've gotten tried always trying to find a place to put it when I am running and I ain't going to hold onto it for 5 hours.

The focus helps me to have better workouts as well. The lack of music helps me stay in tune for how my body is feeling. Very important for effective workouts and preventing injury. Plus I get great ideas on my runs that I just don't get when I listen to music.

Safety
Some of my workouts have been outside after dark. Dark with headphones is really a bad combination for safety. I was always leary about running after dark, but have had to several times this winter.  Being able to hear traffic and other things around me is very important for safety.

Team CMT
I'm not running for myself anymore. I represent a team and we're sponsored by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. By the time Boston rolls around we may have additional sponsors.  I want to represent my team and sponsors well. To me that means looking like a serious athlete. You won't see an elite athlete wearing an iPod. Plus quite a few people are coming out to cheer me as I run the course (Mary, Louise, Allison, Robert, Cheryl)  I won't hear them with music playing.

Vanity
Headphones sticking in my ears, just look bad. I feel like I don't look like an athlete.  I worked so hard for this I want to look good for all the photographers along the course because I plan on buying lots of pictures. It's totally vain, but I admit it.  Working on a great wardrobe for Boston as well. If you can't be good, you have to at least look good.  That Team CMT singlet will look great at Boston.

I don't is not to dis anyone wearing headphones. There have actually been some studies showing listening to music can increase performance. If it's the thing that gets you out the door to exercise, that's good as well.  I used music for years and sometimes it helped get me out the door.

For me they have become a distraction.  I want to run a race worthy of my calling to raise awareness and funds for CMT research. It is the right decision for me.

Chris Wodke
Manager & Founder 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, January 25, 2012

The Glamorous Life of an Athlete


Week 5 of the 18 week training program for the Boston Marathon is in the books. I am a little behind on my blog because I have been really tired.  My body handles any stress by sleeping. Stress from work, a cold or tough workouts all are dealt with by sleeping. Both the workouts and work have been tough this last week. Plus the CMT brings fatigue. About 75% of those with CMT report problems with being tired.  Sometimes I am so tired I want to go home and go to sleep, but have to work out.  Sometimes it's tough to talk myself into working out.  Of all the things I face from the CMT, being tired all the time is the worst. Being tired takes a mental toll as well. The good thing is I usually feel a bit better  both mentally and physically after working out.

Sunday I had a 16 mile treadmill workout. It took 2 hr 54 minutes. I threw in 1hr and 20 minutes of hills as I begin to train for the Boston course.  The night before I had a ski patrol shift at Crystal Ridge. Some nights at the hill its cold or the runs are icy so lodge sitting and socializing rather than skiing might take place. The snow was good Saturday night so I got in lots of runs. The result was Sunday night I was exhausted and in bed at 6 pm. I fell asleep reading at about 6:30. I pretty much slept through until 4 am the next day.  I was tired all this week. Tonight all I wanted to do was go home and go to bed but I had a speed workout to do. So it was out the door for a 50 minute speed workout.   I'll be in bed by 8 pm.  That's living in fast lane alright.

The weather was up and down all week as well. Monday was 41F and by Wednesday it was 6F. So it was back to the treadmill again for both my tempo and long runs. The treadmill is hard on my feet. As the CMT progresses I am losing the padding in the bottom of my feet. I'm told that is a normal part of the progression.  As a result sometimes I can really feel the pounding.  I have been fighting a turf toe issue on my right toe since last summer. It is still tender and I used moleskin on my long run.

My other big effort this week has been fundraising. Saturday I spent all day emailing potential corporate sponsors. I think I sent close to 60 requests for funding. I am getting about a 10% response to fill out applications. Will see where it goes.

The training is going well other than the tiredness. This week is an easy week. The training plan builds for two weeks then cuts back on mileage for a week before ramping up again. It is a much needed physical and mental break.  I round out this week with a 10K race with Team CMT team members Cheryl Monnat, Robert Kearney and Kathy Stultz. We will be racing in Franklin as part of the RACC winter series and going to the Great Lakes Multi Sport Expo after the race.  Hoping to look at a tri suit and may be some bikes at the expo. It is also a great place to scout out runs and tri's for the up comming season. 

Chris Wodke
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, January 22, 2012

Challenges Are Opportunities



"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."- Sir Winston Churchill

Last night Ryan Braun accepted the his MVP award from the Baseball Writers of America and he had some really interesting things to say.  He is facing a 50 game suspension for alleged steriod use.

"Sometimes in life we all deal with challenges we never expected to endure," Braun said. "We have an opportunity to look at those challenges and either view them as obstacles or as opportunities, and I've chosen to view every challenge I've ever faced as an opportunity. And this will be no different.
"I've always believed that a person's character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity. I've always loved and had so much respect for the game of baseball. Everything I've done in my career has been done with that respect and appreciation in mind, and that's why I'm so grateful and humbled to accept this award tonight."

Whether Braun is cleared of charges or is sidelined from the game he loves, I can't help but agree with the way he is facing his challenge.

I think back to my own challenge when I was diagnosed with CMT in 2010.   I recognized the tremendous gift I had because I was able to still run. I feel blessed because my CMT is mild and my sysmptoms have allowed me to stay active. I saw my abilty to run long distance as a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of CMT. I chose to celebrate the fact I can still run and will seize the opportunity to make the most of it. I know every work out and every race brings us one step closer to raising awareness and a cure.  I realize life will bring challenges both good and bad.  I can't choose what happens to me, but I can choose how I react.  My life will be defined by the choices I make and how I choose to walk or in my case run, the path set before me.


John Ortberg said in his book The Me I want to Be;  " Rising to a challenge reveals abilities hidden within you and beyond you, that would have otherwise remained dormant." " When adversity comes you find out what you are really made of."

I see it every day with the awesome athletes on Team CMT. I never expected when I founded this team that I would find 14 other athletes that share this disease. I 've been told by many medical professionals that people with CMT can't run or shouldn't run.  I never expected to run the Boston Marathon, yet in April I will be at the starting line. Team CMT has three other runners with Boston qualifying times and I hope to see them on the starting line next year. 

We have athletes preparing for the Ironman in Florida and National Triathlon Championships. The members of this team are determined not to let their CMT define them and to enjoy the sports they love.  As they battle the effects on CMT on their athletic abilty they point to a hope beyond themselves, because they run, play football,ride, spin and tri for everyone affected by CMT. We know we are so blessed when so many with this disease wear braces to walk and struggle with every day tasks like writing, fastening buttons and other tasks of daily living.

So thanks to the athletes on the Team with CMT; Mary L, Mary S, Kristen, Joyce, Jude, Megan,Richard, Jane, Erika, Barb, Jane, Jess and Michael, and thanks to their family members and friends who support us by being on the team.  All of the members realize CMT may one day take from us the ability to enjoy the sports we love.  Until then we will work to raise awareness of CMT and face our challenges with the same grace and optimism that has marked our efforts since our inception.

So Thanks to the members of Team CMT, you are an inspiration to me and to the entire CMT community!

Chris Wodke
Manager & Founder 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


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Team CMT 2011 Races

 

It has been a busy year for Team CMT  year for Team CMT members. HNF President Allison Moore was meeting with a potential sponsor today and she asked me what races team members had appeared in. So I thought it would be fun to list some of the races I know team members were in.  We have 62 members in 16 states. Some are just raising awareness, but many have been in events all over the country. Email me and with the races you were in. I will make a first pass at it.

Chris Wodke
Expo 10 K- Franklin Wisconsin
Run into the New Year 10K- West Allis Wisconsin
Luck of the Irish 10K- Hartland Wisconsin
Deer Run 10K-Brown Deer Wisconsin
Trail Breaker Half Marathon-Waukesha Wisconsin
Door County Half Marathon- Pennisula State Park Wisconsin
Madison Marathon-Madison Wisconsin
UNCF 5K- Milwaukee Wisconsin
Summerfest Half Marathon-Milwaukee Wisconsin
Pioneer Sprint Triathlon-Denton Texas
South Shore Duathlon-Cudahy Wisconsin
Reykajavik Half Marathon-Iceland
Marine Corp Marathon- Washington D.C.
Elf Run-Oconomowoc Wisconsin
New Year's Double Half Marathon-Allen Texas

Cheryl Monnat
Expo 10 K- Franklin Wisconsin
Run into the New Year 10K- West Allis Wisconsin
Luck of the Irish 10K- Hartland Wisconsin
Deer Run 10K-Brown Deer Wisconsin
Trail Breaker Half Marathon-Waukesha Wisconsin
Door County Half Marathon- Pennisula State Park Wisconsin
Madison  Half Marathon-Madison Wisconsin
Summerfest Half Marathon-Milwaukee Wisconsin
Eisenbhan Half Marathon-West Bend Wisconsin
Devisl Lake Half Marathon- Baraboo Wisconsin
Reykajavik Half Marathon-Iceland
Lakefront Marathon-Milwaukee Wisconsin
Marine Corp 10 K- Washington D.C
Elf Run-Oconomowoc Wisconsin

Robert Kearney
Deer Run 10K-Brown Deer Wisconsin
Trail Breaker 5 K-Waukesha Wisconsin
Eisenbahn Half Marathon-West Bend Wisconsin
Devils Lake Half Marathon-Baraboo Wisconsin
Lakefront Marathon- Milwaukee Wisconsin
Tough Mudder-Indiana
Norris Insurance 4 Mile- Kokomo Indiana

Jude Burton
Broad Street Run
Phildelphia Half Marathon

Charlie Norris
Philadelphia Half Marathon

Jay Faires
Marine 10 Miler- Virginia

Richard Cook
Richmond Marathon
Marine Corp Half Marathon
Lake to Grapes Century Ride
Turkey Trot 5K Fredericksburg VA

Ruth Cook
Richmond Half Marathon
Marine Corp Half Marathon
Turkey Trot 5K Fredericksburg VA

Will Cook
Marine Corp Half Marathon
Lake to Grapes 40 Mile Ride
Turkey Trot 5K Fredericksburg VA

Katie Ayala
Richmond Half Marathon
Marine Corp Half Marathon

Joyce Kelly
Austin 100 Mile Bike Ride
Austin Half Marathon

Morgan Johnson
U.S. National Triathlon Team-Bejing China
White Rock Lake Half Marathon

Kevin Klein
Madison Half Marathon
Fox Cities Half Marathon

Kathly Stultz
Madison Half Marathon
Lake Country Half Marathon-Watertown Wisconsin
Chicago Half Marathon
Elf Run 10 K  Oconomowoc Wisconsin

Lincoln Stultz
Elf Run 10K Oconomowoc Wisconsin

Gary Krukar
Fort Atkinson Half Marathon
Summerfest Half Marathon-Milwaukee Wisconsin

Glyndis Mack & Ruth Mack
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk-Milwaukee Wisconsin
UNCF 5 K- Milwaukee Wisconsin

Patt Jett
Richmond Half Marathon
Turkey Trot -Fredericksburg

Dawn Frizell
Fox Cities Half Marathon Appleton Wi
5 MileTurkey Trot- Appleton Wi
Noodleini 15 K DePere Wi

Alyssa Flagge
Lake Country 5K Oconomowoc Wi

David McCarthy
Thomas Chamberas Cross Country 6K  Wayland MA

Anthony Orlando Jr
Whitewater Early Bird Tri- Whitewater WI
Buffalo Triathlon- St. Paul Minnesota

Megan Sebeck
Super Spartan - 8 Mile New Windsor NY

Paul Kachelmeier
Blumound Trail Run- Madison Wi

Barb Vonata
10 K -Fort Lee Va
Rugged Maniac -Petersburg Va
Goochland Sprint Tri-Goochland Va
Richmond Sprint Tri-Midothian Va
Civil War Half Century Bike Ride Va
Ebsenburg Turkey Trot- Ebensburg Pa

Mary Snauffer
New York Marathon-New York, NY
New York Half Marathon-NY
Queens Half Marathon- NY
New York City 10K
NYC 5K
More Fitness Half Marathon- New York, NY
NYC 15 K
NYC 4 miler
NYC 5 miler


Chris Wodke
Manager & Founder 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

Monday, January 16, 2012


I'd like to introduce the new uniform logo for Team CMT.  The athletes of our team will be wearing this logo as we complete in triahlons, walks, bike rides, runs and spin events. Members will wear this logo as we raise awareness of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder or CMT.

Team CMT is a group of 62 athletes from 16 states united to find treatments and a cure for the condition that affects 155,000 Americans.  It is the most common inherited neurological disorder.

Team CMT is now sponsored by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. The HNF was founded by Allison Moore when she got a sudden onset of CMT symptoms from cancer treatment.  She like the other members of Team CMT are dedicated to raising awareness of CMT and helping those affected to live healthy and active lives.  HNF is very active in raising research through athletic events so we make a perfect team!

Lots of thought and discussion went into the design. The three triangles represent the three universities partnering with HNF to do research; UC Davis, UCLA and the University of West Virginia School of Medicine. The concentric circles in the middle on the green triangle represent a schwann cell. The Schwann cell is a cell of the peripheral nervous system that wraps around a nerve fiber and forms the myelin sheath.  In CMT 1a which is the most common type, the ability of Schwann cells to maintain the myelin sheath which is needed for speedy nerve conduction is impeded by overproduction of a protein.
You can also see the figures representing the sports where Team CMT members are active.  Typically  the swim would be represented first since swim, bike, and run is the competiton order for triathletes, but the majority of our team are runners and walkers so we left the runner at the peak.   The two web sites are also on the logo to promote our team and to educate about CMT.

This logo had its first appearance at the half marathon on December 31st in Allen, Texas.
I will be running wearing this singlet in the Boston Marathon this April. I will be raising money to fund the study of Team CMT athletes by Dr. Robert Chetlin at the University of West Virgina School of Medicine. He will be studying the CMT affected athletes on the team to measure teh effect of exercise on the cells and nerve sheath.  Those of us on the team with CMT already know the benefits exercise has had on our lives. We have seen progression slowed and in some cases reversed with running and other vigourous exercise. Dr. Chetlins work will aim at recommending appropriate exercise for CMT patients.

It is an exciting time for our team. The new uniforms should be ready by the end of January. We are looking forward to adding many new members. I expect we will reach my goal of 100 members well before our 1 year anniversary at the end of April.

Chris Wodke
Manager & Founder 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, January 15, 2012

If you don't like the weather.....




" If people knew how hard I worked, they wouldn't be so amazed."- Michelanglo
Week 4 Training Boston Marathon

We always say in Wisconsin if you don't like the weather wait awhile.  Week 4 training brought a couple of challenges not least of which was the weather.  It was 57F when I left work on Wednesday afternoon. The day before it was in the low 50's and I managed to get in a bike ride for my training. I got my speed workout and tempo run in on Monday and Wednesday when the weather was still nice. Thursday we were hit with 6 inches of snow and much colder weather.  I did the nordic track on Thursday and a pool run on Sunday.  Saturday came around and the morning temperature was 16F. That was just too much of a change to do an outdoor run. Plus there was too much snow and ice. I just couldn't risk a slip or fall.

So it was off to the gym for a 15 miler on the treadmill. Based on my latest half marathon time I knew I was in for a 2 hour and 45 min run.  It takes some determination to grind out such a long treadmill workout. Having the TV helps, although there is not much worth watching on Saturday morning. I was able to get some hill work in so it was a good workout.

I did lots of treadmill workouts when I was training for the Madison Marathon last year.  We got 22 inches of snow on groundhog day. The snow banks at the corners were so high I was worried about a fall if I ran outside.  All that climbing also gets in the way when doing speed work and tempo runs.   Plus with my mom in the hospital the treadmill was sometimes the only way to get a work out done.  My work gym was just a few blocks from the hospital so I could see her, go get a workout and go back if needed. I was able to get in every work out, only missing the day she passed.  I am nothing, if not determined. Too bad I don't have the talent to go with the drive. That would really be a combination.

The other challenge was one I face quite often. My whole life I have struggled to get a good night sleep.  I have trouble falling asleep almost every Sunday night. Sometimes I'm awake all night and still have to get to work at 6 am.  Every Monday I have an arguement with myself about whether I am going to go in or call in sick. So far the going in is winning since I haven't taken a sick day in 9 years.
Of my 6 marathons I have slept the night before only once.  That was my last because I took a prescription sleeping pill.  Imagine running a marathon or half marathon on virtually no sleep.

Well I had trouble falling asleep on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday. Thrusday night I was so exhausted I went to bed at 6 pm.   The problem is I was still awake two hours later after taking melatonin and tylenol PM.  My legs were all jumpy like someone was shocking them so I know this sleep issue is related to the CMT. Since I was still early I actually took a prescription sleeping pill.  I only use them when I am really desperate. You can build up a tolerance for them, so I dont want to fall back on this too often.  I feel asleep but woke up still feeling tired.  Hopefully this week goes better.

This week looks much the same training wise.  The mileage just bumps up a little on the long run. It will be a 16 miler this weekend. Really hoping to get outside to do that.

Woke up this morning with a sinus headache and a sore throat. Hopefully I can shake that.

Chris Wodke
Manager & Founder 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

Saturday, January 14, 2012


If you ever thought of running this is a good one. The course is fast and flat an the majority is along Lake Michigan. A good race if you are trying to qualify for Boston. Last year the race was run by Team CMT members Robert Kearney, Kim Petak and Cheryl Monnat.  Gary Krukar was training and was sidelined by injury so maybe he will give it another chance.  I was at the worked the finish line handing out medals and I can tell you it was way more fun than running one.
Last year this race filled up in 3 weeks so if you thought about doing a marathon in the fall in Milwaukee, get on it.
The time is (almost) NOW! We will open registration for the October 7, 2012 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon at 12:01 AM CST on Sunday January 15. The entry fee will remain at $75 - the same as  2011.  We have increased our entry limit slightly to 3100 and hope that many of you will be back with us at our Grafton start. This will be our 32md year of helping runners to make their marathon dreams come true. We’ll be back in touch soon with more details of the 2012 race. In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for late breaking news.
Please remember that the registration link for the 2012 race will not be active until 12:01 AM Sunday. Also remember that we do not allow the transfer of entries, provide refunds or allow you to defer your entry to another year.  Once you're in, YOU're IN.
Set your alarms. Tick, tock…
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, January 13, 2012



Team CMT and the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation join strides in the race for a cure!

Two organizations of like mind and motivation unite to create an even greater impact.  Team CMT, a force of 62 and counting, are athletes dedicated to raising awareness of Charcot-Marie-Tooth, the most common hereditary neuropathy that results in loss of peripheral nerve functioning and muscle atrophy.  And yes, many of team members themselves have CMT!   The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising CMT awareness and funding research into treatments and a cure.  HNF was founded by Allison Moore, who was training for a marathon herself when an increase in her CMT symptoms sidelined her just before the New York marathon in 2001.  Since then she has dedicated her life to supporting those with the disease and finding a cure.

Together, Team CMT and HNF will indeed make a difference.

While Team CMT members can be found crossing finish lines throughout the world on any given weekend day, two major events are coming this spring.  Team CMT founder Chris Wodke runs the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 16th, and HNF/Team CMT members will ride as a select Charity Partner in Bike New York's Five Boro Bike Tour on May 6th.

To learn more about these amazing group of people overcoming intense physical challenge to help others, contact Chris Wodke (www.run4cmt@yahoo.com) or Allison Moore, allison@hnf-cure.org or call 1-800 (I'll fill in # don't have it on hand) 


Allison Moore 
CEO and Founder
Consumer Advisor Associate
The CMT National Resource Center
Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF)

1751
(212) 722-8396 office

(917) 648-6971 mobile
(917) 591-2758 fax


Chris Wodke
Manager Team CMT
Run4cmt@yahoo.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, January 11, 2012

 Charcot-Marie Tooth is an inherited disease affecting one in every 2500 Americans.  That makes it a rare disorder and one few people have heard about.  Well the members of Team CMT are out to change that by raising awareness of CMT.

It is alway great when we have a success.  Today I was informed my story submission was accepted and my story will be shared some time during the month of Febrary on the Global Genes Facebook site.
This is part of their effort leading up to World Rare Disease Day on February 29th.

You too can be part of this effort.

Patient Stories of
Hope and Inspiration -
Get Involved! Share Your Story!

RAREProject/Global Genes Project will be co-promoting
a ‘patient story of inspiration and hope’ every day in the month of
February 2012, in support of World Rare Disease Day.
Submissions are being accepted December 1, 2011 – January 15, 2012.
Stories should be limited to 3 paragraphs and please provide a photograph for us to include. As a thank you for your participation, we will send you our new CARE ABOUT RARE jeans ribbon car sticker!
It is such an important time for us to come together as a community.
To enter via Facebook, please "like" our page first and
then the submission form will appear below.

Alternatively, you may send your submission to info@rareproject.org.

Free car sticker available to those who submit their address with entry.
Submit your story at the Global Genes Project Facebook site.

Chris Wodke
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, January 10, 2012

Meet Team CMT Member Patricia Jett


Let’s welcome another runner from Virginia to Team CMT!

Patricia Jett was born and raised in Fredericksburg Virginia and still makes her home there.  She has a son Troy 16 and three cats. She works for the Department of the Army as a Contractor Officer Representative.  She joins a growing contingent of Team CMT members in Virginia including; Katie Ayala, Ruth Cook, Richard Cook, Will Cook, Barb Vonata, and Jay Faires. You guys have the biggest concentration of Team CMT members in any state! You join 61 athletes in 16 states.

Patricia ran her first 1/2 Marathon in Richmond, VA on 12 November 2011, Finished with a time of 2:52.  This is the same race Team CMT members Ruth Cook ran. Richard Cook and Katie Ayala ran the full marathon on the same day and Richard had a Boston qualifying time.
She has big plans to represent Team CMT in the Richmond area. She is looking at running the National 1/2 Marathon coming up in March in Washington DC and possibly the Marine Corp 1/2 Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA.

She became interested in Team CMT after training with Richard Cook.  He has CMT and just finished the Richmond Marathon.  He is my inspiration and reason I ran the 1/2 Marathon in Richmond.  To see what he goes through to complete runs makes me ask, why do I complain about anything?  His family is so committed to his adventures that if makes one feel good about themselves and helps to make their own goals/bucket list.  I can now check off my 1/2 Marathon leaving the Marathon box un-checked.

Welcome to Team CMT! We are proud to have you with us! Thanks for being part of our adventure and for helping us to raise awareness. Those of us on the team with CMT thank you. We all realize how blessed we are to be running.

Chris Wodke
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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Meet the Members of Team CMT



Team CMT started with 3 members at our first race in Brown Deer Wisconsin.  Cheryl Monnat, Robert Kearney and Chris Wodke first wore the Team CMT singlet at the Deer Run 10 K on April 27, 2010. Since then we have grown to 62 runners, walkers, triathletes and cyclist in 16 states.  Once we have the new Team CMT singlets with the new HNF logo our recruiting is rally going to take off. I look for us to grow even more in the next 6 months.

The other amazing thing about our team is we have 13 members with CMT.  Many of them were told not to run or exercise too hard. They are really defying the odds to be competing.  We also have two elite triathletes on the team. Morgan Johnson is a member of the U.S. Team and competed in Bejing this last September. The other is Anthony Orlando, he is an up and coming elite triathlete racing in Minnesota.

 I have shared the story of many of our athletes on the blog. Look forward to even more in the coming year as we add members to the team.  You are all awesome and you inspire me everyday. Members race to raise awareness and to raise money for research. Some have relatives affected by CMT, some joined just because we asked. Your support means more than we can possibly express. Thank you all. You are doing great things!  We are going to make a difference and it starts right here with Team CMT!

I thought the members of the team might enjoy seeing who is all on the team and where we live. The members are listed in the order they joined the team. 

Chris Wodke (Manager)      Milwaukee,Wisconsin
Cheryl Monnat      Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Robert Kearney      Indianapolis, Indiana
Scott Stoner      Shorewood Wisconsin
Anthony Orlando Jr.      River Falls, Wisconsin
Glydnis Mack      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Ruth Mack      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Kim Petak      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 Joyce Kelly      Dallas, Texas
Jude Burton      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Terri Hofstede      Waukesha, Wisconsin
Paul Kachelmeier      Monona, Wisconsin
Gary Krukar      EagleWisconsin
Jane Krukar      Eagle, Wisconsin
Jessica Knowles      Golden, Colorado
 Kevin Klein      Franklin, Wisconsin
David McCarthy      Wayland, Massachusetts
 Dawn Fritzell      Appleton, Wisconsin
 Ericka Wiltenmuth-Steffen      Flagstaff, Arizona
Tim Steffen      Flagstaff, Arizona
Morgan Johnson      Dallas, Texas
Dr. Robert Chetlin      Morgantown, West Virginia
Donna DeWick      London, England
 Lincoln Stultz      Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Jayson Faires      Fairfax, Virginia
 Kathy Stultz      Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
 Pam Stultz      Maple Grove, Minnesota
Allissa Faires      Fairfax, Virginia
 Briana Faires      Fairfax, Virginia
Shirley Weatherford      Burnside, Kentucky
Rick Weatherford      Burnside, Kentucky
 Cody Weatherford      Burnside, Kentucky
Karen Devlin      Lake Mills, Wisconsin
 Bill Devlin      Lake Mills, Wisconsin
Megan Sebeck      New Windsor, New York
 Alyssa Flagge      Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Tashua Kutzhals      Fairfax, Virginia
 Briana Faires      Fairfax, Virginia
Gloria Frigerio      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 Kevin Roskopf      Brookfield, Wisconsin
 Brett Sadler      Eagle, Wisconsin
Jim Sullivan      Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
 Tony Tanksley      Sacramento California
Charles Norris      Philadelphia, PA
 Michael Gene Falcone      Philadelphia, PA
Katie Ayala          Fredricksburg Va
 Richard Cook      Fredricksburg Va
 Ruth Cook     Fredricksburg Va
Will Cook     Fredricksburg Va
Tosha West     Midland TX
Charlie West    Midland TX
Cody West    Midland TX
Emmalee West   Midland TX
Dale Christine Lopez     Oak Lawn, Illinois
Shelia Ryan      Sandusky Ohio
Mary Louie      Westbrooke, Maine
Shannon Colson Sandusky Ohio
Ryan Sevier      Sandusky, Ohio
Patricia Jett      Fredericksburg, VA
Vince Fischer      Sandusky, Ohio
 Heather Fischer      Sandusky, Ohio
William Platt      Charleston, West Virginia
 Barbara Vonata      Richmond, Virginia

If you want to join us, check out our web site at http://www.run4cmt.com/
There is not cost to join. We just ask you wear our singlet in events, join us on Facebook and take a photo when you compete so we can let other team members know 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.

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meet My New Training Partner


 " The secret to success is persistence. If one way doesn't work then try another."-unknown

I arrived in Dallas during the middle of week one of training for Boston.  I was spending the holidays with my brother Tony, sister-in-law Cindy and my nephews Brandon and Dan.

The winter weather in Dallas is almost always better than we have in Wisconsin. This trip was no exception. Weather was in the mid 50's to upper 60's.  So I couldn't blame the weather if I didn't stick to the training plan.

The problem is I had long run of 10 miles scheduled for Christmas Day and a half marathon on the morning of New Years Eve.  I also had two 5 mile tempo runs to do and some speed work, plus I had to figure out what to do for exercise on the days I didn't run.

Fitting in a run around all the holiday prep and family time can be really tough.  Christmas day after we opened presents everyone in the house was napping and I was really tempted to skip the run. Tempo runs are an even bigger challenge, I often put off doing them.  Plus I sometimes feel guilty slipping out for a run when I could be visiting with my family.  Sometimes I hear " You're exercising again?" Although on this visit they did know I had a marathon to get ready for in April. My motivation needed a little nudge and I got just the energy boost I needed from my nephew Dan's dog.
Dan is a business student at Texas Tech majoring in business and he and Mojo were home for the holidays.  Mojo is a chocolate lab/ Australian Shepard mix and at a little over a year old he still has his puppy zest for life.  His company was just the boost I needed, especially since I am training without using any music since I plan on running the Boston Marathon without my iPod.

Mojo was my running and walking companion for all but one day of my visit.   Seeing how much he enjoyed going for a walk or run really got me out the door, even on Christmas day when everyone was napping.  The only day we missed was the day I ran the half marathon in Allen Texas. No dogs were allowed or I might have considered taking him.   He literally pulled me along when walking and I had a hard time keeping up when running. He has an endless source of energy.

It was fun to have Mojo join me for my runs and walks.  He really loves to be outdoors and his excitement was infectous.   It helped me to remember the joy of running and just being outside.
Running with a overgrown puppy is a bit of a challenge. He had his own agenda when we were together and often stopped dead in his tracks to check out something of interest. Sudden changes in direction happened often as well.  We also seemed to find where every dog in the neighborhood lived, since they greeted us with growls and barks. One dog through himself against the fence as we passed.  That scared Mojo into the street, taking me with him. As I looked back I could see what looked like a Doberman jumping higher than fence height to get a look at us.
He was great fun to workout with and really motivated me.  Thanks Dan for letting me train with Mojo. I'll miss him. I was able to get in every scheduled running workout. I missed a weight liftig session or two. Mojo seemed to take my attempts at weight lifting as an opportunity to play.

 I am back in the frozen north now.  I ended  week 2 with a cold (19F) and windy speed run.    All in all a good week of training. The 1/2 went well and I am pretty healthy. Right on track for Boston so far.

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.

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