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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Week 16 Boston Trainig

" A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything."- Irish Proverb

The Boston Marathon really starts to seem real when the runner's packet arrived in the mail.  Mine got her this week. Just two weeks from Monday I will be lining up on the starting line for the second time.

This year there is a runner's passport. It has a map of the city, sites, tickets for pre and post race parties and most important my card to pick up my race number.


The packet included the clothing catalog.  One of the perks of running Boston is being able to wear the Boston Marathon Jacket for the next few years. It is a great way to let everyone know about your accomplishment.  The jacket is blue and yellow this year. A big improvement over the orange and black from last year.  I plan on buying lots of Boston Marathon clothing.


The last piece of information was the runners booklet. It has everything a runner needs to know about race weekend.  This is my second time at Boston, so it's all routine now.  Still a nice souvenir to have.

It was a good week. I am on a taper now.  My workouts have been cut by over half. I really like the extra time and energy I have. I filled the time with appointments to my chiropractor and massage therapist.

This is the healthiest I have been going into a marathon. I just have the injury to my right ankle. Hoping the taper will help that heal a bit.

I had some extra time and energy to socialize this week as well. I started the week with the Tri Wisconsin kick off party. Tri Wisconsin is the local triathlon club in Milwaukee. It was fun to meet other athletes and talk about upcoming races.

Wednesday night I closed out my 5 month indoor bike class with a wine and cheese party. It was fun to socialize with the classmates I have been riding with for months. I even got to talk to some of the cute guys I have had my eyes on.

My long run this week is 8 miles which seems really easy compared to the 20 mile runs I have been doing.

This entire training program I have also been swimming and biking to get ready for the Paratriathlon National Sprint Championship on May 27th.   It will be no time before both races are in the books. Looking forward to both.


*****************
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 120 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, March 24, 2013

Boston Week 15- Stranger in a Strange Land


" Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don't wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don't wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom."- Eal Shoaf


I started a new job about a month ago.  I 'd been in the same department for 10 years.  I moved to a different division of my company  It is like working for a brand new company.  Sometimes I feel like I'm in a foreign country. I don't know anyone, don't know my way around and I feel like I don't know the culture. I was in a meeting last week and everyone arrived 15 minutes late.  There were all old friends and laughed and talked, leaving me completely out of the conversation.  That has happened more than once in the last month.

At least when I travel to a foreign country I can get a few books to learn the culture and a learn a few phrases of the local language. In this case I have nothing to guide me. I do feel like a stranger in a strange land with no guide.  Hopefully it will become familiar in time

My journey as an athlete sometimes has had the same feeling.  I never expected to be running an event like Boston, once, much less twice. It seems a little strange to be traveling to Austin for the 2nd year to compete in National Championship for the Paratriathlon.  I was the open division champ last year. Champion and my name have never been said in the same sentence.  It feels a bit strange.  Sometimes it feels like Boston and Austin are happening to someone else. Sometimes is all seems a bit surreal. When I tell people I am running Boston, I feel like I'm talking about someone else.

I never expected when I started Team CMT it would grow so big or have so many CMT affected athletes. All of this has been unexpected, but not unwelcome.

So my journey as an athlete will continue. Training for Boston has gone smoothly. I had my last long run of 13 miles. Now I start the taper.  The taper feels strange as well. After weeks of long mileage and intense workouts, the mileage is cut back to nothing before the race. It feels strange to have so much extra time as the workouts decrease.  Before I know it, I will be standing on that start line in Boston. Now that is a feeling I am familiar with.


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

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 120 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, March 23, 2013

Smoothie Saturday


Mango Banana Smoothie


" I find the harder I work the more luck I have."- Thomas Jefferson

Training for an athletic event is hard work. It doesn't matter if I am training for a marathon, a shorter race or a triathlon.  The training is hard work.

I like to have a treat that doesn't destroy all my hard training.  This smoothie also works well as a recovery drink the day after a long run.  I first started making smoothies to get rid of ripe bananas and discovered they could be a really quick and healthy breakfast and be a healthy part of my training diet.

Here is the recipe:

1 Cup Skim Milk
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 very ripe banana
1 cup frozen diced Mango ( can use fresh too)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1T ground flax seed

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.

The milk, yogurt and protein powder all help to restore muscles. The flax seed is an antioxidant to help build the immune system and restore damage done by workouts.  You can change this recipe up lots of ways. I often use different juices for the base and change up the fruits. I also use Chia seeds in place of the flax seed.
In the summer when zuchinni seem to be everywhere I add that as well.

Experiment and come up with your own combinations.

**************************
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 120 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, March 19, 2013

Team CMT News


Cheryl Monnat and Robert Kearney 

"Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy."- unknown

Team Milwaukee
We have our first match.  Team members Cheryl Monnat and Robert Kearney announced their engagement a few weeks ago. They are planning a 2014 wedding since  2012 will be a busy year of competition.  Robert will be doing Ironman Arizonia in November. They will both be doing the Racine Half Ironman in July.
They also plan on Lakefront Marathon in October and the Summerfest and Brewers Half Marathons. I guess the couple that runs together stays together.  Cheryl and Robert were the first two Team CMT members. I remember the first time Robert joined us for a run.  Congradulations Robert and Cheryl.
Cheryl Monnat 2nd place RACC 10 K series
Cheryl Monnat ran the Racers Against Childhood Cancer 10K winter series.  I joined her for the last run on Saturday.  It was my first running event since last June. Not only did Cheryl win 2nd place in her age group for every race, she won 2nd place for her age group for the series.  It was great to see a Team CMT member collecting a series award along with lots of big name runners in Milwaukee.

Shelly Kautz of Dallas
Team Dallas
Team members in Dallas have been busy as well. Member Shelly Kautz ran a 5K St. Pat's weekend as well.
Shelly you look fast and fabulous. Thanks for representing Team CMT!

Member Morgan Johnson has been sponsoring a Team CMT kids group. They will have an event the 2nd weekend in May.

Team member Joyce Kelly has been busy organizing a 5K/10K race for next April. It looks like it is shaping up to be a great event and a major fundraiser for CMT research.

HNF
HNF recently published the first issue of their electronic newsletter. Look for it once a month in your email. It will feature articles on research funded by HNF, recipes, a Team CMT article and lots of other fun articles.

Very soon we will be putting up a slide show of Team CMT pictures on the HNF site. So keep sending those Team CMT photos. They are an important part of raising awareness of CMT.

Please keep posting race updates and pictures to the Team CMT facebook site or send them to me. It is great to see you all out there raising awareness.

I am looking forward to a great season of racing, fundraising and raising awareness of CMT in 2013. Thank you to everyone on the team for all your efforts!  You are making a difference!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Boston Week 14-Dress Rehersal


"There is not time to think about how much I hurt; there is only time to run."- Ben Logsden

This is the toughest week of my Boston Marathon training program.  For the 2nd week in a row I had a long run of over 20 miles.

This week the Boston Athletic Association suggested this last long run be a dress rehearsal for the race. Nothing should be new if possible on race day.  Every long run is really practice for race day.  You practice using the fluids and food you will use on race day. An athlete will try to mimic course conditions in their long run.

While you can't predict the weather,it's also a good idea to wear the same clothes during the long run you plan to wear on race day. Best to fine out if there are any problems in practice.

So Saturday I lined up for the Luck of the Irish 10K in Hartland Wisconsin.  The race did start close to my Boston race start time.  The 10K was just part of my long run for the day.

The race also gave me a chance to do a practice run for race day with guide Robert Kearney.  We had a nice run and chat together. I knew the slow pace would keep me out of the medals and it did.   I finished one place out of the medals.

Teammate Cheryl Monnat finished 2nd in her age group and 2nd over all for her age group for the series.

I took a short break after the race and then was out the door again to finish my 20 miles.  When I run longer than 21/2 hours my legs hurt. Saturday both ankles were also hurting. So I wonder if it is so painful to run 20 miles, how will I ever run 26 miles on race day.  Some how I always do. I call it race day magic. I 'm going to need that magic at least one more time.

So now the toughest part of my training is behind me. I begin decreasing my mileage every week until race day. I am looking forward to having some extra time as my workouts get shorter.

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

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 120 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, March 14, 2013

Running Diva

This Diva running Denton Half Marathon December 2011


"Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy."--Unknown

It's no secret in about a month I will be running the Boston Marathon. This will be marathon number eight for me.  Unlike most of my marathons, I will have company.

Mobility Impaired runners are allowed two guides.  My friends Cheryl Monnat and Robert Kearney will split the course and each run a half with me.

Last year I joked Cheryl and Robert were my entourage.  They traveled to Boston to share the marathon experience with me.  So I thought this year I would put them to work.

Their job will be to carry my water, gels and anything else I need. They will hand me fuel or water when I need it. Other jobs include photographing the experience and talking to me to keep me from getting bored.

I told my sister this and she said I sounded like a diva. So I had to look up the meaning of diva.
 I found two;

  1.  this one from Webster's dictionary:   A unusually glamorous and successful female performer or personality. A true diva will do anything to get anything she wants.
  2. this one from the Urban dictionary;    A bitchy woman that must have her way exactly or no way at all. Selfish, spoiled and overly dramatic.
My sister was joking and I hope I don't fit either of those definitions. Certainly not glamorous, see the picture above.  I will have to check with my guides.  I am single minded and determined. I did not let anything stop me until I realized my dream of running the Boston Marathon. So now I am doing it for the second time and hoping to raise another $10,000 for CMT research.

I appreciate Robert and Cheryl's help.  I am falling more frequently now when I run, so they will be there in case I get hurt. They will provide much appreciated moral support. Plus they were the first two members of Team CMT. I am so excited to have them share in the Boston experience.

The half marathon will help them prepare for a half triathlon for the both of them in July and a full Iron Man for Robert in November.

So am I a running diva?  Well maybe just a little bit.  But don't tell anyone.


********************************
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com
www.hnf-cure.org

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, March 10, 2013

Boston Week 13-Expecting the Unexpected









"Nothing feels quite as exhilarating as meeting a challenge."- Dr. Yosiya Niyo

This week and next are the two toughest weeks in my marathon training program.  This week I had to do a long run of 20 miles and a tempo run of 13 miles.

We had another snow storm this week and the side walks are icy.

It is a challenge to get in training around snow storms, work schedules and the challenges of my CMT.

I try to do my long runs on Friday or Saturday because I often don't sleep well after a long run.  It is terrible laying awake on Sunday night knowing I have to get up for work on Monday.

So Saturday I had the challenge of getting in a 20 mile run.  That means running for 3 hours and 50 minutes.  The weather report said 40F and maybe some rain. As I went out the door I could see the tell tale drops of rain on the drive way.  I am done with long runs on the treadmill, outside it was going to be.

I thought what if it's raining on race day. You better get some practice running in rain. So it was off to the post office to mail a few bills and then to my brother's house to drop off  a letter.

After about 1 1/2 hours I came home to change my wet clothes. While home, I got the dreaded knock on the door from my tenant.  "Could you look at something" Sandy asked. me. "Sure" I said because it's in the landlord job description.  Well she says,  I think there is a bat in the house and she pointed to our un-invited guest shown in the picture.  It was hard to even tell what it was at first.  Bats are not good to have in the house since most carry rabies.

After a little thought I came up with a plan and enlisted Sandy. First she took the picture, then I put down a quilt and gave her a rug. I knocked down our visitor, right onto the quilt and Sandy threw the rug on top.
I scooped up our visitor and took him outside.  Done, no man needed.  I may sound brave, but if this had been a snake, I would have packed, moved and sold the house.

So back out the door for the rest of my run. I needed something to distract me so I decided to run past the first place I lived in my neighborhood. Milwaukee is divided by neighborhoods. I live in Bayview. Bayview was once a mill town until annexed by the City of Milwaukee in 1894. It once had the largest steel rolling mill in the world.
Illinois Ave House
This was the duplex I lived in for two years. As you can see this house is on a hill and I got in some nice hill work.  Most of the streets in Bayview are named after states. This house is on Illinois Ave.

Hill Practice
It looks flat in the picture, but is really pretty steep. The downhill practice is important since the first 10 miles of Boston is down hill.

Since I was only 2 blocks from Lake Michigan I decided to head to take a picture of a place where I used to work.  To get there I cut through the grounds of St. Francis Seminary.

St Francis Seminary
St Francis Seminary Grounds


St. Francis Seminary was built in 1855. The driveway is really beautiful in the fall. The school educates priests and lay workers for the Catholic Church. Church offices are right next door. Cardinal Timothy Dolan would have had an office there when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee.  Cardinal Dolan now the Cardinal of New York has been mentioned as a candidate for Pope. The view from the top of this building is stunning.  I was up there on a tour one fall.

On to Stark Investments. I worked in this building when it was the headquarters of Harneshfeger Industries. I worked for two years as a Product Safety engineer. A really fun and interesting job that gave me good experience in the legal world. I got my first professional experience doing training here.

 This building is built on the shores of Lake Michigan. My cubicle was on the top floor on the Lake Michigan side. I got to see the lake everyday and the lake looked different and beautiful every day.   The inside was a palace with oriental rugs, antiques and hardwood floors in every conference room. This palace cost millions which may be one of the reasons the company when bankrupt. I was one of many losing their jobs.

Milwaukee Sky line
Bike Path South Shore Park


Lake Michigan from South Shore Park
One of the great things about living in Milwaukee is being on Lake Michigan. I love running the bike path along the lake.  Here are just a couple of the views I saw.  My final stop before I turned left away from the Lake was the South Shore pavilion. I did not carry water with me Saturday, so the Pavilion was great for a water stop and bathroom break.
South Shore Park Pavilion
South Shore Park Pavilion was built in 1933 with depression era relief labor paid for by Federal programs.
Well a few more laps around my neighborhood and I was done.

So despite rain, icy side walks and a bat I was able to finish my run.  Running 20 miles is a mental and physical challenge. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment to have another one  in the books. Just one more next week and I will start my taper for Boston.  If I adjust to the unexpected during my training runs, I will be ready for anything on race day.

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

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 120 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, March 3, 2013

Week 12 Boston Training-Finishing Strong


The athletes and volunteers of Dare2Tri 2013 Workshop

"Victories in life come through our ability to work around and over the obstacles that cross our path. We grow stronger as we climb our own mountain."-Marvin Ashton

This week was an easy week. Easy being a relative term since now even the easy weeks are hard.
It's so important to finish every work out and every week well. A good ending to the week sets me up for the next week of training.  Finishing is strong whether in training or in a race.  A good finish gives you mental strength for the next obstacle, race or workout.

I had an awesome finish to my week of training. On Friday night I did 13 miles on the treadmill (2 hr 20 minutes).  It felt good and the treadmill setting has gone up quite a bit.

Even better on Saturday I attended the Dare2Tri workshop in Highland Park Illinois.  I almost didn't go. I questioned whether I should even go. I thought people would look at me and wonder why I was even there. Having CMT I know I look fairly normal.  I cleared my attendance with the organizer.

The day did not start off well. The directions I got off map quest were all wrong. I called Kari the event organizer and she got someone to talk me in.   Right away I met my volunteer for the day.

My volunteer assistant Marissa

Marissa is a nurse at Northwestern hospital. She works with patients with neuro-muscular conditions and actually knew all about CMT. She was really interested in how it affected me as an athlete.  She is a triathlete and has qualified for the USAT age group Nationals here in Milwaukee.  It will be her first real trip to Milwaukee and I know she is going to love the course. I look forward to cheering her on. Marissa was there to help me with anything I needed for the day. She got my bike all set up in the bike stand for the computrainer class. She was also my photographer all day. Thanks Marissa. It was great meeting you.

The day started with yoga (love it), next up was a swim clinic. It was the best single hour of coaching ever. I came away with lots of new drills. It was pointed out I was not bending my elbow. When I said " I know and how do I fix it?"  The coach had a drill.  Thanks coach for lots of things to practice in the pool.

The pool so warm it was like bath water. A nice change from my club pool where it takes four laps to even start to warm up. Lots of laps and the hour clinic was done before I knew it.

Pool Clinc, I am in lane 3 in the white swim cap


Then it was on to running drills.
Practice my spinter's lean


 We learned all kinds of drills for warming up and improving our stride.
Not quite one with the bike, but having fun

Finally we finished with a computrainer class.  I missed class on Wednesday, so this was a great catch-up. My legs were dead from my treadmill run, so I just dialed things back a bit.   I don't look one with the bike, but it was a good workout. I even got to ride next to Melissa Stockwell current Tri 2 National Triathlon Champion.

The very best part of the day was that Melissa Stockwell was in my group of athletes.

Melissa was the USAT para triathlete of the year in 2010, and 2011.  She is  a multiple Tri 2 National Champion. She is also a level 1 USAT Triathlon Coach and co founder of Dare2Tri based in Chicago.
Melissa could not have been nicer and we talked a bit about Nationals and my experience there. I am looking forward to meeting all the athletes again at Nationals in Austin.  It was really a thrill to meet her and be in the same group.

It was good to be with a group of athletes with challenges. Everyone was great to me and I can't wait to see them again in Austin in May. I am glad I took the chance to go. It was a fantastic experience, I learn lots and I finished the week strong.  Sometimes I am not sure where I belong as an athlete. I can't keep up with normal athletes and get tired of being the slow clumsy one. I also did not know if I would fit in with a group of challenged athletes.   Everyone was so friendly and accepting. Thanks Dare2Tri for making me part of your family.  Thanks for letting me finish out my week by meeting lots of amazing athletes. They inspire 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 120 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.