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Monday, January 7, 2013

A Change of Scenery

Milwaukee River Walk
"Perseverance is just as important as talent."- Joan Rivers

One of the keys to accomplishing your goals is consistency. The key to preparing for a marathon is to be consistent in doing workouts. The long easy run is one of the keys to preparing for a marathon because it teaches your body to run long distance.

I had a 13 mile run on my schedule this week. Because I'm not fast it takes me almost 2 1/2 hours to cover that distance.  Like any athlete sometimes I have trouble motivating myself to workout. It can be a little intimidating to think about having to run 13 miles.    I woke up Saturday and it was 20F.   So the debate began.  It was cold, I was tired, and I was fighting doing the workout.

Could I take the day off? No I had the day before off. Could I switch my long run to Sunday when it was supposed to be warmer? No again. I had a tempo run scheduled for Monday and I don't like to run 2 days in a row.

I mentally ran through my running route starting from home. Honestly after 20 years of living in my neighborhood I am bored with my usual routes.

Because it was cold I thought about doing a treadmill workout. The office where I used to workout is now closed, so that meant going to another location at our downtown office to workout. It is a hassle to park downtown and get through security in the building.

So I thought I would go to downtown Milwaukee and do at least an hour outside and if it was too cold to hit the treadmill in our downtown office.

I parked near my companies downtown headquarters. I planned to do an hour, head back to the car and grab lunch in the form of an energy bar and then decide if it was treadmill time.

I went a few blocks and saw the entrance to the River walk the city has built along the Milwaukee River. It goes for 3 miles on each side of the River.  It was just what I needed.  The picture I used is from the summer. Lots of people sit on the outdoor patios at the bars and restaurants.  In winter the area is deserted. The river was beautiful with lots of ice floes. There were lots of shops and restaurants to look at.  As I ran the temperature had climbed to 33 F and there was no wind. Downtown Milwaukee is a bit of a ghost town on the weekends. There was virtually no traffic as I crossed the streets. I went up and down both sides of the river.

Part of the run took me into the old Trostel Tannery site. The tanner was once one of three in the city at a time when Milwaukee was the largest tanner of hides in the country.  Anyone that grew up in Milwaukee remembers the distinctive smell they emitted until they closed in the early 90's. The area now has trendy bars and condos.  I also got into the Brewers Hill area. The  neighborhood is built on hills and overlooks the river and downtown.  It was a neighborhood I've never seen.

The new scenery made the time go really fast. It was an hour and 15 minutes before I was back at my car. I finished the workout with some speed work and a trip through the Third Ward area. This is another old warehouse district converted to condos and shops.

Before I knew it the 13 miles was done. I had so much fun. I was on a runners high the entire day. It is amazing what a change of scenery an do.  This weekend I am going to run downtown again and seek out some new areas. I hope this weeks run is just as much fun and goes just as fast.

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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.

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