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Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 11 Boston Training- No Runner's High



Author at 2012 Boston Marathon


" I run because it is so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't.  But then you find your inner strength and realize you are capable of so much more than you thought,"- Arthur Blank

Before I became a runner I scoffed at people who talked about the "runners high."  I thought how come if running is so much fun you never see a runner smiling.

Well there is such a thing as runner's high.  After a tempo run or speed workout I feel great for hours. I get euphoric on some of my long runs especially in the fall with the colors or on new fallen snow in early winter.

Well, no runners high the last two weeks. I am in the toughest part of my training program now. There are just 7 weeks to go.  This weekend I did a 9 mile tempo run followed the next day by a long run of 20 miles.

I've overcome lots of challenges this year. No challenge is tougher than trying to do long mileage and having CMT.  My legs hurt after running about 2 1/2 hours and it takes me over almost 5 hours to complete a marathon. My long this weekend was 4 1/2 hours.

If the workout was not bad enough, the after effects are even worse.  The effects of the workout keep me from sleeping at night. I know what muscle soreness is.  Ben gay and ibuprofen take care of muscle pain. This is different.  It can feel like my whole body is on fire. Sometimes my lower legs jump like they are being shocked.  Last night my nerves just felt like they were burnt out.  I didn't sleep all night.  I didn't fall asleep until 2 am the night before.  This is pretty typical when I get into runs of more than 3 hours.

So I am a little down today physically. After a weekend like this, I still have to get up and go to work.  I am dead tired and that makes me be a bit down mentally.

Still relief is here.....this week is an easy week. On the agenda tonight was a 6 mile tempo run. That seemed easy and fun even as tired as I was.  I got a tiny bit of a runner high.  I surprised myself by doing this run on no sleep.

So why do I do it?  Why do I work so hard?  I do it because there are people with CMT who would give their right arm to run even one mile.  I am in pain for a few days, there are people with CMT living every day with life altering pain.  I work this hard because very soon, there may come a time when I can't.  I cherish every mile I am able to run. I run for those with CMT that can't. So pain or not, sleepless night and all I am going to keep running.

I work this hard because when I run that course in Boston and see the crowds it will all be worth it. When I cross that finish line all the pain and sleepless nights will be forgotten.

 Just like I know all the money I raise and the awareness the members of Team CMT raise will help to find a cure and I know it will all be worth it. To me it's worth a few sleepless nights and a little pain.

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

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 119 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, February 18, 2013

Week 10- The Long Goodbye

Crystal Ridge Ski Patrol-I'm in the middle of the first row.

"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist, but the ability to start over."- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Training for marathon doesn't happen in a vacuum. The training program is 18 weeks.  Lots can happen in those 18 weeks that can help or hinder training. Unless you are a professional athlete, and I am not, there are lots in life that can help or get in the way.   

At the very least I have to work my training program around the other events in my life. These last few weeks have included two milestones that included two long good-byes.  

It has been a long month of goodbyes for my three client work groups and three going away parties.
I spent the last month training my replacement and tying up work projects.  Part of that process was saying goodbye to a work area where I’d spent the last 10 years.  I was a supervisor of training for Electric Distribution operations at a utility in Milwaukee Wisconsin for 9 years, until my change back to the training department last year.  I had worked in training for 5 years before becoming a supervisor.

So for the last month I've been saying good-by to all my work groups and friends.  I hired many of the people that work in our electric dispatch group and was part of groups that wrote over 125 procedures. I worked all kinds of days, nights, holidays and weekends putting customers back into service after storms.  I really felt like I was part of a family. I am proud of the work we did together.

Still it was time to move on to a new challenge. Over the next few months I will be learning the power generation side of our business and helping to write procedures as the Manager of Business Process Improvement. For the first time in 15 years I have an office and feel like I have arrived as a professional.

The 2nd good bye came earlier in the month. I‘ve been a member of the National Ski Patrol at Crystal Ridge for 23 years. They became the Rock Ski area earlier this year.  I expected it to be a learning experience for the new hill management. We had new Patrol leadership as well.  The new patrol leadership has made decisions I felt put both patients and patroller's at risk.  I expressed my concerns and did not see any effort to resolve the issues.

When I found myself the only Ski Patrol member on a Saturday night shift with no safe way to transport a patient I knew it was time for a change. I am in the process of looking for a new patrol home.  A tough decision to leave behind so many great people.  I let both hill and patrol management know the reasons for my leaving. Hopefully my departure will be a catalyst to improve safety especially of the patrol operations. You never know, I just might be back.  So it has been a season of change and adaptability.  Two key skills for an athlete.

Change can be good, exciting and difficult all at the same time.  It brings new challenges and you have to let go as well. Change comes as part of the marathon training program as the mileage build and workouts get more challenging. I am just getting to the point in my training program where the workouts are almost more than I can handle.  The tough workouts help prepare a runner for marathon day.  The increase in workload changes the body so an athlete is ready. Change in our lives prepares us for what is ahead. Change is not always easy, but it is necessary.  I believe the things that happen to us in life prepare us for the next bend in the road, just like workouts prepare an athlete for a race or game day.

My workouts this week included an 8 mile tempo run, a long run of 19 miles, a race and a bike time trial.
Everything went well until Saturday night when I woke up at 12:30 a.m. wide awake.  I immediately knew there was no way I was going to do a race and my long run on the same day. I had planned on making the 6 mile race part of my 19 mile run.

I cancelled any thought of doing the race so I could sleep in a couple of more hours.  When I got up at 8 am the temperature was 9F.  It was supposed to get up to 28 F. My run was going to take 4 hours, if I waited until it warmed up would I get my run in before dark?  So it was off to the treadmill.  I made a bargain with myself I would do half inside and half outside.  I got started and while I was in the gym I went ahead and did the entire workout on the treadmill. That is 4 hours on a treadmill with no TV, just the radio. Yes it is as boring as it sounds. By my reckoning this should be about 19 miles.  At least I am hoping it is.

That workout completed my training for the week. One more week closer to Boston. One week closer to spring and hopefully warmer temperatures. I'm not sure I can handle many more weeks of 4 hour treadmill workouts.   The key to change whether in a workout plan or in life is to stay flexible , work your plan and to be confident you will be ready and prepared for the next bend in the road. 

*****************
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 119 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, February 16, 2013

Order Team CMT Gear



Racing season is fast approaching. If you are a triathlete or have a bike ride coming up you may want some additional Team CMT gear.  In the picture above Cheryl is wearing the short sleeve bike jersey ( with long sleeve shirt under) and Robert is wearing the short sleeve cycle Jersey.

Team CMT member Chris Wodke and Kevin Klein wore their Team CMT tri top and shorts at the Tri Rock race in Lake Geneva Wisconsin.

I will be placing an order and here is a list of items. Prices are dependent on the number of items orderd. If we get 5 or 10 of any one item ( bike jersey, tri top, tri shorts, etc) the price drops by about half.

Here is a list of some of the items available and prices

 Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey          $96
Sleeveless Cycling Jersey               $94
Tri shorts                                       $96
Tri Top                                          $92
Tri Suit -one piece                         $176
Bike Gloves ( 10 piece min)           $20
Run tights                                      $116
Performance top short sleeve         $70
Performance Run Singlet                $64
Tech Polo Shirt Short Sleeve         $70
Cycling Short                                $112

They have lots of other items so if there is an item you want like a jacket or baseball cap let me know and I will get a price.  Email me at run4cmt@yahoo.com  to place your order. Orders need to be in by Feb 28th. Payment will be due when items arrive since I will not know pricing until I know how many pieces we have.

Champion makes really nice items and our Team CMT design show up great.

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


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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Boston Marathon Week 9- Winter Wonderland








" Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can,"- unknown

The long easy run is the bread and butter of a marathon training program. It teaches your body to run for long mileage and in my case long times.  It really helps if I can get outside to do my long run.  Treadmill work is tedious.

This week my long run was only 12 miles which takes me about 2 hours and 10 minutes.  We had a fresh layer of snow on Friday morning and I was all set to do my long run after work Friday night. It was 32 F and there was just a slight breeze. A perfect afternoon for a run.  When I first started running in the winter I was surprise how comfortable I stayed.

 I like to do my long run on Friday so it's done and I don't have to worry about it.  The picture at the top of the page is the park right across the street from my house. It was so beautiful.  The trees and everything really was coated with a fresh snow. We got 8 inches.  No problem for us.  This was the same storm system that dumped over 30 inches on Boston and 40 inches in other parts of the east coast.

  This is the kids playground. I am sure the sledding hill was busy, but the playground was deserted. I run in the park often and like see all the families enjoying the playground. Milwaukee was designed so every neighborhood had its own park. It is one of the great parts about living here. My park is called Humboldt park and was being built in 1925 when my house was built.  Here is the WW I war memorial.  There is also a fishing pond, a concert venue and park pavilion available for rent.  The concert venue is built on a hill that is perfect for sledding in the winter.
This is the war memorial. When my two nephews were little and I would take them to the park they would pretend it was Mc Donald's. They were the customers and I was the fast food worker. They were pretty demanding customers too.

So I had some beautiful scenery to look at. The pictures do not do it justice. There is nothing more fun for me then running on new snow.  Most of the sidewalks had not been shoveled yet. Running on 8 inches of snow is like running on a sandy beach. Lots of fun. It does not feel like work at all.

The city of Milwaukee workers are really efficient about removing snow.  A storm of 8 inches is easy for them. Between plowing and salting the streets are down to wet pavement in 24 hours.  That does create a challenge of its own.  The city plows leave big piles of snow at each corner and it can be a challenge sometimes to climb over them.
Here is just a little pile. Sometimes water pools in these spots and you can get your feet pretty wet.

There was a bit of ice at the start of the storm, so sometimes I ran in the street on the quiet side streets. You can see how clean the street is. We had 8 inches of snow on the ground only hours before this picture was taken. The icy sidewalks can be a bit of a hazard so if I run on the snowy sidewalk I really have to watch my footing to keep from falling.

I used my run to mail my fundraising letters so I had a purpose.  The post office is about a 2 mile round trip, so those 12 miles went by fast.  A few trips and I was done.

When it is snowy and cold during training season it can be easy to find excuses not to complete runs.  I am glad I didn't let that be an excuse. It was so much fun. Runs like this help me to remember why I am a long distance runner.  Days like this give me the why to get out the door the next time I have to do a run.

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

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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Boston Week 8- A little Perspective

Ground Hog Day Snow Storm 2010
" The strongest steel is produced from the hottest fire"- Andy Andrews

There's a saying in Wisconsin if you don't like the weather, just wait a bit.  We can see just about any type of weather at any time. Last week was no exception.  Here is what we had for weather last week.

Monday- 43 F and sunny
Tuesday- 58 F and rainy- lots of rain with flooded streets
Wednesday- 12 F and all that rain turned to ice
Thursday- 6 F and  -20 F wind chill
Friday-   - 2 F and -25- -30 F wind chill
Saturday-  13 F and windy
Sunday-  a balmy 18 F and sunny


When it's icy and super cold I hit the treadmill.  The cold was not too bad, but it was really icy and I couldn't risk a fall.  My balance is dicey enough without running on ice.

I got all my workouts in but it was also an up and down this week physically.  I am entering into my highest mileage weeks. My long run was 17 miles this weekend ( 3 hr and 20 minutes).  It always takes my body some time to adjust to this work load.  I added my normal CMT tired to workout tired.

Although I get one day away from working out, I still get extremely tired. One night it was 7 pm lights out and 8 pm another night. I am used to constant exhaustion, but this kicks it up a notch

The tough workouts make me a strong athlete once my body adjusts. Kind of like all the cold weather makes Wisconsin people tough.

Being down physically also drains me mentally. I know it isn't normal to go to bed exhausted at 7 pm.    A little perspective helps. I have been through this before and know my body will adapt. It will all be worth it when I cross that finish line in Boston.

I also know I'm lucky to be running and preparing for an event like Boston. As I look at the picture at the top of the blog I think about the 22 inch snow storm we had Feb 2nd just 3 years ago. The weather can also  be allot  worse then we saw this week..

March is just 3 weeks away. Soon it will be warm enough to run outside all week long.  Both Boston and spring will be here before I know it. Remembering that gives me a little bit of perspective when I face these tough weeks.  This too shall pass.

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

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.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Team CMT News

Cheryl Monnat GLMS 10 K

Team Milwaukee
Even though it's winter we still have Team CMT members running events. Cheryl Monnat took 2nd place in her age group at the Great Lakes Multi Sport 10 K in Franklin on Sunday. She has a time of just over 50 minutes. Cheryl has been working hard this season running lots of speed workouts. Keep up the good work Cheryl

Team Dallas
Morgan Johnson and Joyce Kelly are just back from triathlon camp in Kona Hawaii. While there they got the idea other Team CMT members may want a camp of their own next year. Joyce has approached Play Tri of Dallas to put on a camp next year just for CMT affected athlete's, their friends and families.  The camp is in the early planning stages and I will let you know more as details become available.

Joyce was just featured in an issue of Fitness Dallas magazine. One of our most recent team members Shelly Kautz found us when she saw the story.

If that was not enough Joyce made a presentation to business about sponsoring an event in the Dallas area.  Tentative date will be next April. Stay tuned for more details.

Bike New York
Calling all Bikers!! The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) is thrilled to have been chosen for the third year as a Charity Partner for the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. Please consider riding for a cure with us on Sunday May 5, 2013. HNF Riders will get VIP treatment which includes breakfast and lunch as well as priority start and special bike parking at the start. We would love for you to ride and support the cause. Click below for additional information
 
Create your personal fundraising page to help us find a cure and new treatments for CMT! http://hnf.donorpages.com/BikeNewYork2013/
Questions: Email courtney@hnf-cure.org
  
HNF is making great progress through our Therapeutic Research in Accelerated Discovery (TRIAD) program, funding cure-driven research. Find out all the latest developments: http://hnf-cure.org/stayinformed/ 



We continue to grow. We've now reached 117 members.  Remember if you have not gotten your Team CMT shirt ,  we need to do a story first.  We all want to get to know 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 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.