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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Running Safely


 

 

 

Cheryl Monnat at Badgerland Striders Half Marathon
 

 " I find the harder I work, the more luck I have."

Jenny Crain, a local Milwaukee runner suffered serious head and neck injuries after being hit by a car while training on the east side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 21, 2007.

Crain was four-time Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon. She represented the U.S. in the marathon at the 2005 World Track & Field Championships, and was the top U.S. finisher at the 2004 ING New York City Marathon. Crain finished 11th at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in  2:37:36.

Crain is still working to recover from that accident.

There have also been two attacks on women joggers in the Milwaukee area in the last month. Both were running on bike paths on the south side of Milwaukee, very near my home. One in St. Francis and one in Cudahy. 

So there are multiple dangers out there for runners.

Here are some tips to stay safe during your run:

Buddy Up
There is safety in numbers. So run with a partner or a group if at all possible. The Badgerland striders and Tri Wisconsin here in Milwaukee have several chances to run with them. There is a track workout at Hart Park with Tri Wisconsin on Wednesday nights. In winter they move to the Petit Center. The Badgerland Striders have a fun run on Wednesday nights and a marathon build up run on Saturdays. Our group in Virginia also has a Saturday morning running group.  It is not only fun and safe to run in a better group, but can make you a better runner. So if you can’t make group workout, find a friend.

Traffic
Always run against traffic. You will have a clear view of the traffic. Be especially careful of cars making turns. If you run with traffic, cars making right turns will be behind you. Run against traffic for a better view. Cars will not see you, make contact and run defensively.


Traffic Lights
Never cross in intersection when the “don’t walk” light is flashing or on.  Don’t take a chance the intersection is clear. Make eye contact with drivers to be sure they see you. Motion them through the intersection so you can be sure it is clear.

Make a presence
Wear bright colors to help drivers spot you.  If you have to run at night wear reflective colors and be extra mindful of traffic. Carry pepper spray to deter dogs and other unfriendly types.

Routes
Women need to be extra careful. Stay to well traveled and well lit areas. Avoid running alone at night and early in the morning.  Stay on main streets if running at night or early in the morning. Stay away from remote areas of trails or bike paths if running alone.  Vary your running route and run in low crime areas.  If you have a dog that likes to run, take them along.  Also let someone know where you are going.

Hearing
It can be great to run with music. Keep the volume low enough so you can hear traffic or someone coming up behind you. Always be aware of your surroundings. Look for “safe” areas like gas stations you can run to if needed.


ID
Bring some form of ID with you in case you need medical attention.  A good choice is the Road ID band. (http://www.roadid.com/Common/default.aspx?referrer=4252&gclid=CL3v-oar-qgCFU5qKgodkU6jUg)  Many race packets have a discount for this product.


Cash
What if you pull a hamstring on a long run. You may want to have some cash to get home or bring a cell phone to call for a ride.


 
Stay safe out there and keep working hard!

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

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

 
CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

 Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

 Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

 Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

CMT and the Butterfly Effect

Team CMT member Caitlin Krueger
  
" I do not sing because I am happy, I am happy because I sing."- unknown


Have you ever heard the term "Butterfly effect?"
The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location.

Andy Andrews in his book, "The Butterfly Effect" talks about how some simple acts have profoundly changed history. He contends the simplist acts you do can have great effect and meaning.

Well Team CMT member 100 caused her own butterfly effect.  I asked my niece Caitlin to be our 100th member because Team CMT would not be here without her. About 3 years ago Caitlin went to her foot doctor because she was falling and breaking bones in her feet.

Her doctor called in every favor he had to get her tested at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.  Caitlin was genetically tested and confirmed as having CMT type 1a. If you saw her feet you would know right away.  When her mom emailed me about her CMT I was curious and did a google search on CMT. When I read the list of symptoms I knew I had CMT as well and got my own diagnosis in August of 2010.

I had never heard of CMT and it just did not seem right to me to have a disease that no one had ever heard of. I also knew I was really lucky to be still running, so I decided to use this gift to raise awareness of CMT. So a little over a two years after my own diagnosis we have over 100 members in 23 states, Canada and Iran.

When I think back on Caitlin as a baby and a little girl, I remember someone that was always smiling, laughing and talking. I can see why that foot doctor went the extra mile for her.   To her CMT is no big disease and she refuses to let it change her.  She turns 18 tomorrow and is off to study marine biology at college. She is obsessed with sharks. On a recent trip to Belize we took to celebrate her high school graduation she got to snorkel with sharks three times and try out scuba diving.
Caitlin may have CMT, but it does not have her. Even though she can't run or bike, she still has that same sunny and happy disposition. She refuses to think having CMT is a big deal.

So while running events, wearing team CMT gear and blogging may seem like small things, I am sure they are having a big effect. Who would have thought  when  Caitlin went to a ordinary doctor appointment it would lead to all of this.We are creating our own butterfly effect. I know our simple acts to raise awareness are going to make a huge difference. I can't wait to see what effects Team CMT has and it all started with Caitlin.

So next time you see a butterfly, think about Caitlin, all of us with CMT and how simple acts can have profound effects.

So Happy Birthday Caitlin, welcome to Team CMT. You've already made a difference with your life.  Good luck in college!


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

Monday, August 13, 2012

How you can help

Alyson OConner of Astoria Oregon
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." - Mother Teresa

I took a little break during the Olympics. I figured everyone else would be watching as well and know one would read anything I published during the games.  I was so proud of our athletes. I wish I had half the talent any of them showed this past two weeks.   I got a little taste of elite competition when I did the Para-triathlon National Sprint Championship in Austin. I can't imagine how exciting it must be to compete at an Olympic games. I know if I ever won a medal at the Olympics I would cry like a baby. I cry now when I watch the medal ceremony and they play the national anthem.

We do have a para-Olympian on our team. Anthony Zahn, a cyclist will be headed to London at the end of the month. He was a bronze medalist in Beijing.  Best of luck Anthony! So proud of you!

I am proud of all of our Team CMT members.  So many of you have asked lately what you can do to help, so I thought I would put together some of my thoughts about some simple things you can do as a Team CMT member.

Events
You can see Alyson O Conner pictured just after she finished her 5 K race.  Participate in events. Runs, walks, bike rides and walks are all great ways to raise awareness when you wear your Team CMT gear.  Be ready to answer questions about our team and our mission. Point them to the web sites at www.run4cmt.com and www.hnf-cure.org.  Send me the pictures of the event so I can do a story.  If you aren't an athlete wear your tee shirt when you go to large public events. What a great way to bring awareness.

Pictures/Videos
I need pictures of you in your Team CMT tee shirts and singlets.  We need these for our web sites, blog, brochures, and presentation materials.  We are trying to get sponsors and right now it looks like we have about 6 people on the team. I know you are all out there.  You are the face of  Team CMT. One of the things I do to raise awareness is to speak to groups.  In order to do a good presentation I need lots more pictures.  You all look wonderful in your Team CMT shirts. I am not photogenic at all, so please help me get lost in the crowd when you all send in your pictures. We can never have too many pictures.

Team CMT has a You Tube site. So if you have video from any event or want to send video telling your story, send them to me and I will post on You Tube.  We have a couple of nice videos on there and we can use more. These are the types of things media check out when they consider doing a story. We need lots of content.   There is a really nice video of Team CMT member Charlie Norris talking about why he runs for his nephew. We could use lots more of those.

Stories
Along with the pictures, I like to do a story about every member, when you are fundraising or doing events.  We need to put a face to CMT. I want to bring this disease out of the shadows so everyone knows about CMT.  We want to solicit funds for research. People don't give to a cause they know nothing about.  They give because we put a face and a story to this disease. My biggest donor when I ran Boston was someone who saw my story on the HNF site.  Many of you have inspiring stories and I want to tell your story.  Besides I am sure everyone is getting tired about hearing about what  I am doing.

Facebook
Join us on the Team CMT group on Facebook. Post there when you have a question about training. Post there when you are running an event. I want to create a community. I know most of you because I recruited you or got to know you via email.  Several members in Virginia have connected and are running a Saturday morning running group.

When I put up a blog or a member is running an event, share it on Facebook.  This helps spread the message about what we are doing.   When you run an event remember to mention you are part of Team CMT.  Doing this pushes up the hits on google and when someone does a search on running and CMT we are more likely to come up.

Social Media
If you have a Twitter account, post when you are doing a Team CMT event.  You can also send out a tweet when I put up a new blog entry.

Recruit
If you enjoy being on Team CMT, recruit others. It is so much fun to have others on Team CMT running events. When you recruit friends and family you will have other team members at your walk, run, triathlon or bike ride. I have a nice recruitment poster you can put up at work or at your gym. Just email me and I will be happy to send one.

Blog
I welcome guest bloggers. So if you have expertise to share on training, diet or fundraising I would happy to consider your entry for posting.  Share our blog on Facebook when a new one is published.

Promotional Materials
Want to show your Team CMT pride.  I routinely hand out Team CMT pens.  I have a Team CMT yard sign in my yard. Cafe Press and Vista Print have a variety of water bottles, car magnets, banners, coffee cups etc that can be imprinted with the Team CMT logo. Just email me and  I will send you the logo. I have Team CMT logo clothing that I wear to expos and after runs. That often starts the conversation about Team CMT.

Fundraising
We always need help raising funds. You can put up a fundraising page on the HNF site. I will write more in my next blog about ways to help raise funds.

Hidden Talents
Can you design brochures, write articles, design web sites?  Do you have a talent you want to contribute to help Team CMT grow. Let me know, because there is room for everyone to contribute.

Thank you so much to every one of you on Team CMT. The work each of you do is important. You do make a difference. We are going to make CMT a household word.  Thank you so much for the work you do and for your passion for this cause.  So proud of all of you!!!

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


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


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.


Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.


Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.


Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.


Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.