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Saturday, June 30, 2012

From Couch Potato to 5 K*


"Work to become, not to acquire."- Confucius


  A co-worker recently watched his son run the  Rock & Sole Quarter Marathon. Another co-worker is trying to work to running a 5K. Another ran his first 5 K in May. Team CMT members Allison Moore is trainig to run a sprint triathlon which includes a 5K.

All these new runners made me think about what it takes to gear up from running a 5 K when you aren't running at all.  Running is a great way to stay in shape and running a 5 K is a great goal. The distance is far enough to be a challenge, but still short enough to be fun.
This plan can help you be ready to run a 5K

 To start this program you should be able to walk 30 minutes without stopping.

Before you start;

  • Talk with your doctor to make sure you are healthy to run.
  • Consistency is the key, make sure you are exercising most days.
  • Don’t get discouraged, if you miss a day or two, get back at it.
  • The plan is only a guideline, adjust to add or take away workouts depending on how you feel. It is important to listen to your body. You are an athlete now!
  • Re-evaluate once you reach your goal of doing a 5K. Do you want to get faster? Adding speed work and tempo runs will lower your race times.  Want to go longer, sign up for a longer race and get a plan for that distance. There are lots out there on the web.
  • Team up with a friend or join a local running club. It is so much more fun to have company when running.


Six Week Running Plan*


Week 1- Walk 5 minutes briskly then alternate  running with brisk walking ( try for 1-2 minutes of running at a time). When you reach 20 minutes walk 10 minutes.


Week 2- Walk 5 minutes briskly; alternate walking, brisk walking and running for 15 minutes ( try for 2-3 minute running segments) finish by walking 5 minutes.


Week 3- Walk for 5 minutes, alternate walking, brisk walking, and slow running for 20 minutes ( try for 3 to 4 minutes of running) walk 5 minutes.


Week 4- Walk 5 minutes briskly, walk/run 25 minutes ( try for 5-6 minute running segments) walk 5 minutes.


Week 5- Walk 5 minutes briskly, walk/run 25 minutes ( try for 7 to 8 minute running segments), walk 5 minutes.


Week 6- Walk 5 minutes briskly, walk/run 30 minutes ( try for 10 minute running segments), end with 5 minutes of walking.


*Adapted from “The Runners’ Diet” by Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, CNS


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

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.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Exercise in Hot Weather

Team CMT member Di Billick

Today it is going to be hot (100F) and humid in Milwaukee.  You can exercise safely in hot weather if you take a few common sense precautions.

Fluids
Take water with you and if you are going to run or bike longer than an hour than take a sports drink to replace electrolytes.    I like accelerade.  Find an option like Gatorade,  Exceed or Powerade that works for you.  For long runs I use a Camelbak that holds 32 oz of fluids. In warm weather I take a bike bottle filled with water for every ride and run.  Getting dehydrated will lead to more fatigue and more muscle soreness. You can even get muscle cramps from getting dehydrated.

Timing
Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day. Right at dawn and dusk are the coolest parts of the day, at least here in Milwaukee. The temperature can be significantly cooler at this time of the day. Take advantage and do your workouts at this time.  I also head to Lake Michigan when it really hot because it is usually 10 degrees cooler near the lake and there is often a nice cool breeze on the bike path.

Indoors
If it is only going to be hot for a day or two switch around your workouts. I will move my swim workout to a really hot day and save the run for a cooler day.   There are options for indoor workouts as well.  Use a really hot day for your off day, you should be taking one every week.

The Petitt here in West Allis has 450 meter running track. Many runners use it in winter but don't think of it as a summer option.  A treadmill can also be a good option if heat and humidity are at dangerous levels. Check out your options at health clubs or your work exercise facilities.

Intensity
Cut back on the intensity on really hot days.  A lighter workout or two is not going to hurt your performance.  Overheating can set you up for fatigue or injury if you work out too hard in hot weather.  Do a long easy run or easy speed work on really hot days.

Route
When I ran the Boston marathon this year it was on blacktop roads with little shade.  The air temp may have been near 90 F, but it was much hotter at road level.  Choose routes with trees and shade. Your workout will feel much cooler.   Run with the wind at your back to start your workout and into the wind to get some cooling later in the workout when you will be hotter.  I also will run through neighborhood lawn sprinkers on a really hot day.  The same folks water their lawns every day and I make them part of my route. It is a nice cool down.

Medical Conditions
I have CMT and my body does not regulate temperature well. I don't sweat much. So I really have to watch to make sure I don't over heat. When I race I take two cups of water from the aid table. One goes on me and one in me.  Know any medical conditions you have that make you sensitive to heat and take precautions.

Also know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Stop exercising if you ever feel dizzy or nauseaous.  Get into a cool area and get fluids.  Be smart and you can exercise safely even in extreme summer heat.


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, June 25, 2012

Busy Weekend for Team CMT

Kevin Klein at Pleasant Praire Triathon

It was a busy weekend for Team CMT members.  Kevin Klein raced in Pleasant Praire Sprint Triathlon. It was his first tri and his family was on hand to cheer him on. His wife got several good snaps of Kevin in his Team CMT gear.  Kevin finished 20th out of 50 in a very competitive age group.  He was 95th overall out of 220 in the Sprint Divison.  A really good effort for a first tri.

It was not such a good day for me. After two sleepless nights and a 1/4 marathon on Saturday I had nothing left in the tank. I gave it a go, but pulled out in the swim. I was fighing nausea all morning and was not able to eat breakfast.  I always wonder when I line up for a race if I will have the energy to finish. Well Sunday I didn't. I just couldn't do it and I don't feel good about it. The CMT just kicked my butt this weekend.  The bad part was I couldn't leave the parking lot since the race was going on. I got to watch everyone else having fun. I felt like a failure. I will just have to find another race soon.

Joy Von Werder

Joy Von Werder swam as part of a relay team in the swim around Key West. The swim is 12.6 miles. Due to tropical storm Debbie seas were 6 feet high on her leg of the relay.  Several swimmers bailed. The race started early because of 25 mph winds. There was lightning and blinding rain. Two kayakers and swimmers were rescued during the event.  Joy and her team safely completed the race. Well done. 

Cheryl Monnat & Robert Kearney


Three Team CMT members ran events at the Rock & Sole Half and Quarter Marahon here in Milwaukee. Robert Kearney and Cheryl Monnat ran the half and I ran the Quarter. Cheryl and Robert ran the event after a week of cycling in Northern Wisconsin.  I was also supposed to do the half, but an ankle injury has kept me from running long distance since Boston, so I took the easy way out and ran the quarter. It was a beautiful course over the Hoan Bridge and along Lake Michigan. Over 7400 runners participated in the sold out event.


Last but not least Team CMT member Anthony Zahn of Riverside California won the Para-cycling National Time Trial in Atlanta. He earned the right to be on the U.S team headed to London for the Para- Olympic games. Good Luck to Anthony as he tried to add another medal the bronze he has from the Bejing Olympics.

I'm pround of all of you and thanks for the pictures. We are raising a lot of awarness and I appreciate all your efforts.



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, June 20, 2012

Team CMT Member has Boston Dreams

Alyson O'Connor of Astoria Oregon

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something."-unknown

New CMT member Alyson is doing her part to raise awareness of CMT.  O'Connor 31 of Astoria Oregon was diagnosed with CMT at age 10. It is a condition she shares with her brother and dad.

She is mom to two kids Brook 7 and Jake 5 that so far thankfully have shown no CMT symptoms.   Alyson divides her time between being a full time mom and a fitness instructor.

One of the fun things about starting this team is hearing the stories of each athlete. We all have such similar experiences.  Just like most of us Alyson  has seen subtle changes over the years, but has managed to stay active.  She has poor balance, trips lots, rolls her ankles, has cold hands and feet and some numbness.  Her feet burn when she runs or walks more than a few miles. Still she feels lucky because her symptoms are so mild.

Two years ago she and her husband Jim decided to run a half marathon for her birthday. She had good and bad days during her training. Getting though the training was tough. Her legs hurt during and after training and her feet always felt hot/stingy.  During her half marathon at mile 8 her feet really started to bother her. She had to stop and rock on her heels it hurt so much. She was disappointed it took her 3 hours to do 13 miles.  She has kept at it, finishing many 5 k and 10 K races. She has even done a sprint triathlon. This runner also has dreams of running the Boston Marathon and has asked me about the qualification process. I am sure we will see her in Boston soon.

Alyson wanted to join Team CMT because no one seems to know about CMT. Well Alyson you will fit right in with our mission of raising awareness.  Her athletic friends look at her and wonder why she isn't faster. She wants to help them understand the affect of CMT on her life and others living with this condition. Alyson is also looking forward to having a fundraising page and using some of her events to raise money for Team CMT.
Her next two races  will be the Lowell Oregon 5K at the end of July and the Great Columbia Crossing a 10 K in her hometown of Astoria.   The Lowell race is put on by the fire department is near and dear to her heart because she is a volunteer fire fighter.  The funds raised will benefit the National Fallen Fire Fighter Association. Thank you Alyson for your service to your community.

After these races she will start training for her first marathon. You go Alyson. All of us on Team CMT are proud of your marathon dreams and determination. Welcome to the team!


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, June 19, 2012

Genetically Gifted

My dad is the handsome guy at the head of the table.

" You can't always choose the path you walk in life, you can choose how you walk it."  - John O'Leary

On a early July afternoon in the late fifties I entered the world with a number of genetic gifts courtesy of mom and dad. Fathers day on Sunday made me think of the legacy of some of those gifts.

I can blame my being vertically challenged on both of them. My family is riddled with tiny woman on both sides of the family.  When I met two of my mom's aunts, I remember I at 5'2 could see the tops of both of their heads when we were standig standing. There is a family story about one of my great grandmothers getting up on a stool to argue with her husband because she was so short.

From my Dad I got my analytical ability, asthma and his CMT. It 's only fair since he got those same gifts from his Dad, who got them from one of his parents.  I had a 50/50 chance of getting CMT.  I share CMT with his sister, my sister and two nieces. Because my family has a mild case, I suspect at least two of my brothers have undiagnosed CMT.

We've all had classic CMT symptoms all our lives. Rolling ankles, sprains, clumsiness, aches, fatigue, being cold and poor handwriting were parts of our everyday life. For me as an athlete I had tight calves and was always prone to injury. I was a puzzle to physical therapists. I did not have enough flexibility to walk correctly much less run.

My dad built a first floor bedroom when he retired at 60 because he had no feeling in his feet and could no longer climb stairs. His doctor told him he had a genetic nerve disorder, but don't worry about what it is called.

Well when my nieces were diagnosed with genetic testing 3 years ago we finally knew the name. We had Charcot-Marie-Tooth. I got my own diagnosis in August of 2010. It didn't seem right to me that no one has ever heard of CMT even though 156,000 Americans it.  That is as many people as MS.
That didn't seem right to me.  I also knew that my families form of CMT was pretty mild. I was still able to run, so I decided I had to do something.

You see one of the gifts I got from my mom was crazy determination and stubbornness. I prefer to call it being firm minded. I am especially determined when I feel I am righting a wrong. No one should have to have a disease that causes you to slowly lose use of your hands and legs and have someone stare at you when you tell them the name. It's like being victiminzed twice, first by the condition and then from lack of recognition and understanding.

So I have been very open about having CMT. The funny thing is my family barely talks about CMT and I can't seem to shut up about it. My obsessive nature about any cause I get involved in is another one of those genetic gifts. That experience is not that unusual. Most families don't talk about the CMT in their midst and in some cases are not all that supportive.   When I did my first fundraiser, my dad did not want to even contribute. He told me any treatment or cure would be too late for him.

Team CMT was created to raise awareness and connect athletes with CMT and their families.  I hope we will change public awareness about CMT and create a sense of community of CMT affected athletes. Instead of being sad or angry or quiet about my condition I have chosen to take the most public route possible.

So far Team CMT has 94 athletes and supporters. I know we are changing attitudes about CMT and exercise. We have many active athletes with CMT and we are inspiring others in the community to be active as well. I hope that is the legacy Team CMT leaves.



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.