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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Boston Week 7- Polar Chick




" It is not the strongest of the species that survives or the most intelligent, It is the one most adaptable to change."- Charles Darwin

In past blogs I've talked about being consistent in workouts to be successful as an athlete. Well this week I had to be consistent and adaptable.

My coach Joy Von Werder sent me the tee shirt in the picture. She had them made up for the athletes she trains in Florida. Florida cold is not way near as bad as Wisconsin cold. She tells me its freezing when it's 40F. Here is Wisconsin we're breaking out the shorts and sun screen. 40F is a January thaw.

On Monday night when it was time to do my 8 mile tempo run it was 6F and icy. So it was time to hit the treadmill.  All my problems were not over because my workout clothes had been sitting in a cold car all day.
So I had to figure out what would be the least uncomfortable to put on first. I started with the socks, then the shorts... all like ice. I was hoping the jog bra would have warmed up a little. No such luck and the orthodics in my shoes were like blocks of ice.  The cold clothes warmed up quickly and I got my workout done on the treadmill.

A few days later it was still 6F when I hit the pool for a swim workout.  Think about trying to get into a pool when you are cold because it is 6F outside.  I get in the hot tub first to talk myself into getting into the cold water. Sometimes the hot tub is the only place I feel warm all day. When I get into the pool the water feels like ice and it takes me at least 4 laps before I start to warm up. Still that little change to get in the hot tub before and after get me through the laps.

I had to do my long run of 16 miles on Friday because I wanted to run a 10K race on Sunday. I did not want to do hard workouts on back to back days. It was still 6F so that meant another treadmill workout. I am slow so that meant 3 hours and 5 minutes on the tread mill. There was no TV in the workout room.  So yes it is just a boring as you might imagine.  I did some speed work and looked out the windows and soon I was done. The treadmill only goes for an hour so I had a little break between each set. Doing 3 sets sounds lots better than 3 hours.  Think about this as 3 short runs with some speed work was just the mental adaptation I needed to get through the workout.

I felt sick on Sunday and very tired from the long run, so that meant some more adaption. I skipped the race and just ran very easy near home. So this week was all about adapting both to the cold and the tough workouts this week.

I am getting into the really tough part of my training now. The long runs will soon be 20 miles. My body will adapt if I give it lots of rest and change my workouts as needed.

I'll get to Boston, with consistent workouts and just a little bit of adaptation.

**************************************************************

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 116 members in 25 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, January 20, 2013

Easy Week- Boston Marathon Week 6



Boston Marathon 2012

" The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."- Author Unknown

My marathon training program is 18 weeks long.  Not too much sweat this week since it is what I call "easy week".

Too prepare for any event I work hard and follow a training plan.  The more prepared I am the better things go on race day.  Rest is just as important for race day preparation as workouts.. Marathon plans are structured to have two weeks which build in mileage and intensity, then in the third week, there is an easy week.  Easy week gives the body a chance to recover and consolidate the gains made in the previous two weeks.

It is still early in my training but here is an example of how the weeks are different.

Week 5
Monday -7mile tempo run
Tuesday- weights, 30min pool run, 30 min swim
Wednesday- 90 min compu trainer class
Thursday-weights, 30 min pool run, 30 min swim
Friday - off
Saturday- 14mile run with speed work (5 x 1 K, 400 recovery)
Sunday- easy 6 mile run or 60 min bike

Week 6- Easy Week
Monday- 5 mile tempo
Tuesday- 30 min pool run, wts
Wednesday- rest due to Graston treatment
Thursday- 30 min pool run, wts
Friday- 10 mile easy run
Saturday- 60 min bike
Sunday- wts/ 30 min run

The reduction in mileage is small, but I can really feel the difference.  I also appreciate the extra time I gain during my easy week.  Easy week is a welcome mental break as well.  It is nice to get some time off from long miles and intense workouts.

I will be back at it this week.  My long run is scheduled for 16 miles this week. I am hoping for good weather so I can run outside. Also looking forward to trying a new running route since that has helped to energize my long runs.  We are going to have a high of 6F here in Milwaukee tomorrow.  So I will be confined to the treadmill in the gym.  With the temperatures so cold it is hard to believe in a little over 11 weeks I will be on the starting line in Hopkinton.  Hopefully this time we'll have spring weather.

************************

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 116 members in 25 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.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Workout when sick?

Team CMT at Bike New York   2012

" That which does not kill us makes us stronger."- Fredrich Nietzsche

When you want to achieve fitness goals sometimes you have to work out when you just don't feel like it.  Your goal may be big, like running a marathon or modest like just getting more fit.   Achieving your fitness goals means being consistent and working out most every day.

But what if you get sick?  Should you skip a day?  This is flu season and it has been a severe one so the question is timely.  Here is a simple rule to help you to decide.

Neck & Above
If you don't feel well and the symptoms are neck and above you can work out.  This means with your average head cold you can work out. Think about adjusting your workout schedule. Have you been working out too hard, causing your body to wear down?  Think about taking a rest day or doing a low intensity easy work out.  Be sure you are getting enough rest and eating well.  See your doctor if symptoms last more than a few days or you have any concerns about your symptoms.

Below Neck
Chest congestion, body aches, fever, flu, etc should mean no working out. It can be dangerous to workout if you have the flu since your body may already be dehydrated.  Working out may make flu more severe and delay recovery.  No workout is worth putting your health in danger.

If you are sick take off the time needed to get healthy.  A few missed workouts is not going to make a huge difference in your overall fitness.  Just don't use every ache and pain as an excuse to skip workouts. When you are really sick give yourself permission to take the time off you need to get better.

**********
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  115 members in 25 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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Camp CMT





CAMP CMT a fun experience!
Dear Friends,
We are so happy to announce a splendid opportunity available to you. Twin Lakes, a remarkable facility, specializes in summer camping for children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges. We have made arrangements to invite families impacted by CMT for a weekend in 2013. If the weekend is successful ,then the possibility exists for a longer stay for campers for 2014 and beyond. If Atlanta is not within driving distance then Hartsfield Airport is an option.
We wish to know if there is sufficient interest on the part of our families with the thought of their child or children participating in the future. Costs and financial support are factors that we can study later. In the meantime please open the Twin Lake site and view it http://www.camptwinlakes.org/aboutus/index.html Then answer our questionnaire, copy, paste and forward to 1irisadler@gmail.com. Please make sure to put CMT Camp in subject line.


Number of children with CMT in family
Ages
Gender
Other siblings
Ages
Gender
We are interested in participating and request more information. _______________________________
We are not interested in participating. Thank you anyway. ___________________________________

For further questions do not hesitate to contact 1irisadler@gmail.com or the HNF office at 212-722-8396 or info@hnf-cure.org


There is enormous value in meeting other families living with CMT. Together we can make a difference! Be a part of this wonderful opportunity to learn from the experts as well as from each other.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year New Job




Cheryl Monnat & Chris Wodke  St Patrick's run 2012


" I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go."- Laurel Bleadon Maffei

This year has started with an opportunity for a new job assignment. This is my first job change in almost 10 years.  Soon I will be starting a position as Manager for Business and Process Improvement. I will be working with our power plants to develop procedures and improve their operations.

After 15 years in my division, I will have to learn a new business, faces and names. I was comfortable, knew the routine and had a great boss.  Any new job carries risks.  But if I let a little risk scare me, who knows what opportunities and experiences I might miss. Unless I test myself, I will never know what I am capable of doing.

As an athlete I 've learned the value of pushing myself and taking risks. Sometimes I've tried things not knowing if I would be successful.

When I was working with my first coach, he had me run an hour without music. That was something I didn't think I could do.  When I did it and liked it, I though if I can run an hour without music, I can run a marathon.

A few years later when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, I felt like there was no limit to what I could do. I thought if I can run a marathon I can do anything.

Sometimes others put limits on what they think we can do. Sometimes the biggest limits we have are the ones we put on ourselves. There are many in the medical and CMT community that think we can't or shouldn't exercise.  I won't let anyone place that limit on me.

Being successful at work or an an athlete is the result of a few simple things; attitude, activity and focus.

Attitude has to do with what you believe about yourself and what you tell yourself is possible.   When I believed I could run the Boston Marathon I focused on that as my goal until I found a way to get in.

While looking at the Boston Marathon site one day I stumbled onto the Mobility Impaired Division. I applied and got in.  The focus and activities then shifted to preparing and successfully completing the event. 

When I started the process on qualifying for Boston, I was not even sure myself if I could complete a marathon with the challenges I have due to my CMT.  I am glad I did not let fears and doubts hold me back. What an experience I would have missed if I had.

 We have many athletes on Team CMT that have completed marathons and Ironman triathlon events.  Like me they have discovered when you have a passion for what you do whether it is your job or a mission, it amazing what you can do. 

So yes, I am a little nervous about the new job, but I won't let that hold me back.

*******************************
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 114 members in 25 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.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Race Day-Week 5 Boston Marathon Training

Milwaukee Art Museum

"The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for."- Louis L' Amour

I'm still running unplugged, meaning I don't run with a radio or iPod. Because I am not the fastest runner I have lots of time to think when I am doing my long run. This week my long run was 14 miles and it takes me 2 hours and 30 minutes to do that. I guess it's 14  miles because I don't wear a GPS either. I base my distance estimate on the last half marathon I ran in Allen Texas last year.

I did my long run today because I was too tired yesterday and it was rainy.  I switched to today because there was no rain in the forecast. I had to start early because although it was 51F in the morning, the temperatures were supposed to drop to near freezing by mid morning.

There was time when I would have just skipped the workout.  Many years ago I was a member of the Milwaukee Rowing Club. I was rowing that summer with a rower from the University of Wisconsin. We were preparing for a national competition in St. Paul. It was windy one afternoon and Ann and I decided it was too windy to go out on the river.  As we were leaving we bumped into Candy one of the clubs many experienced rowers.  When we told her we weren't rowing she said something I have always remembered; "What if it is windy on race day?"  She was right. You have to workout under all conditions. You never know what the weather will be like on race day. The Boston Marathon last year was proof of that. Good thing with the temperatures soaring to 90 degrees I had plenty of experience running in hot temperatures.

So whenever I can I run outside in all kinds of conditions.  I really lucked out today. It was 51 F when I got to my running spot at 8 am.  Weather in Wisconsin can be almost anything, but 51 F days in January are a bit rare.  I picked out another new course and was ready to have some fun.

Milwaukee is on Lake Michigan.  Lake Michigan is one of five of the Great Lakes and the only one entirely inside the United States. The lakes contain 20% of the world's freshwater supply.  I am lucky enough to live in Milwaukee with extensive running paths along the lake.

Today I parked at Discovery World where the schooner the Dennis Sullivan is moored in the Summer. Milwaukee was once one of the busiest ports in the U.S. The schooner was built to educate about Milwaukee's maritime history.

It was sunny but oh so windy today as I ran north. I have great views of the water. It might be hard to believe but the water of Lake Michigan looks different almost every day.  Some days it smokes, others it is gray and stormy. Today it was sapphire blue. Winds were about 40 mph.
Milwaukee Lakefront Running Path
 I forgot my camera but  pulled the photos in the blog today off of the Internet. This is heading south on the path toward downtown Milwaukee. I ran all over the lakefront to a bit past Alterra Coffee. Alterra is housed in a converted water pumping station. It has outdoor seating and is very popular in the summer.

I did some speed work and a few loops around the art museum  pictured in the first photo. The museum is design by world famous architect Santiago Calatrava. The museum is meant to resemble a ship under sail, another nod to our maritime past.  I was done before I knew it.

Another fun run and it has really worked to change up my running routes. I enjoyed the scenery and the wonderful sunny day. Running is supposed to be fun and running in a different place has made my workouts fun again. On a long easy run, I can enjoy the scenery,do a little reflection and enjoy the experience.  All important for getting out the door the next time. Plus when I run into windy, heat, snow or almost anything else on race day I will be ready because I've done it in workouts. All important for feeling confident no matter what happens on race day.

Tonight we are supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow. Running in the snow is fun as well but tomorrow is a pool run/swimming day. Getting out the door and doing your workouts under a variety of conditions is important for being prepared for race day. Today I got some experience running in some very windy conditions. If it's windy in Boston I'll be ready.

*******

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  114 members in 25 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, 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.

************
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.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Unlikely Heros

Team CMT members Alyson and Brooke Oconner


" A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than one's self."- Joesph Campbell

Week 4 Boston Training

At the end of this week I'll have completed an entire month of Boston training.  I can't believe I am actually running after being sidelined for 2 1/2 months with ankle injuries.  I'll do 13 miles tomorrow and my coach says she can't believe I can run 13 miles. I realize how blessed I am to be running at all.  What keeps me going is our cause to raise awareness and  funds for research. I am inspired by what I call our unlikely hero's.

When I started this team I was told by a national CMT organization  they did not know of any CMT affected athletes except for me and a triathlete in England. We now have 24 CMT affected athletes on Team CMT.   I call them our 24 miracles.  Medical professionals have told me people with CMT can't run. Well some of us do. We run, walk, bike and particpate in triathlons.  We are changing the face of CMT. You all inspire me. I am so humbled to be a part of our effort. I am so in awe of family and friends that support us and participate with us.  Words are not adequate to express how grateful I am for our mission and those who are with us in this fight. We are making a difference!

This week I had my annual check up with my neurologist.  She knows I run marathons and do triathlons. Not only does she encourage me, she now tells all of her CMT affected patients to exercise.  I am still strong, because I have been active my entire life. I am thrilled  we are inspiring others to be active. Think about what a difference that is making in the lives of those affected by CMT. Think just by the fact we are exercising a doctor is going to tell another CMT patient to stay active. Staying active will help slow their progression.  We make a difference in the life of every CMT patient taking the advise to stay active.

I belong to several Facebook CMT related groups. I have seen a real change in the conversation in the last two years. Members are talking about the things they do to stay active and enjoy life. We have come so far from the days when doctors told CMT patients to go home and rest.

The other change I see is those affected by CMT are wearing their braces uncovered. Some have talked about how they carry brochures to share when asked about their braces. Maybe they aren't athletes, but they are hero's to me. It takes so much courage to take the risk to be open about our condition.  It is so important to get this condition out of the shadows. We have nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. When they choose to be open about their condition they are hero's. I think the visibility of Team CMT has given them the courage to be open about their condition.

Our other hero's are the family who support us, like 7 year old Brook O'Connor who runs for her mom or Lincoln Stultz running for his sister Regan, Megan Seebeck running for his dad, Darell Wright running for his wife and other family members, Kim and Courtney who run for their sister Allison and countless others. Your support is so important to us. It is so wonderful to see the love you have for your CMT affected family members.

Then there are the friends on the team just because we asked.  I think about my friends Ruth, Glyndis, Kevin, Robert, Kim, Cheryl, Tony, William and countless others asked to join by team members. Your willingness to give yourself to our cause is humbling.  Thank you for caring about us. Your efforts to raise awareness are making a difference. Our efforts are beginning to attract the notice of sponsors. We hope to have some announcements soon.

My Computrainer class instructor shared with me she saw our Team CMT members at the RACC Race into the New Years run at State Fair park. So don't ever think your efforts go unnoticed. I had shared with her about my CMT because I was struggling to keep up with all the normal athletes in the class. Members have joined because they saw our athletes at an event or found us in a web search.

So to Team CMT members, you may think you are just running or biking, but you are all hero's to me. It has nothing to do with where your finish or how fast you run. If you have CMT it is a miracle you are an athlete. If you are a member of our team you are dedicating yourself to a cause bigger than yourself and that makes you a hero to me.

**************
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.