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Sunday, July 28, 2013

CMT Moments

Doug Bolton and Chris Wodke at the Omaha Triathlon
"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." -Matthew 26:41

No race report today, no victory, no joy of crossing the finish line, No race report because I was a no show for today's race and I don't feel good about it.

I had expected to write  today about the Wacounda Sprint Triathlon. I was supposed to race this morning with my friends at Dare2Tri. They had arranged for all 7 paratriathlon categories at this event, but I had a CMT moment.  There was a pretty good chance I would have another first place finish.  My body certainly was weak this morning.

I knew this race would be risky. It would be my third race in three weekends. Last weekend I competed in and won the Midwest Regional Paratriathlon Championship in Omaha.  The race  experience included a nine hour drive each way. In addition I was on my feet for hours at the Kids Triathlon the day before.  So I knew I was pushing things with a third race.

I did not sleep well on Thursday or Friday night. I took a sleeping pill on Saturday to hopefully get some decent sleep. I went to bed at 6 pm because I was so tired, but could not fall asleep even with a pill.  At 9 pm I was checking my email because I was still awake. I have struggled with sleep my whole life. How is it possible to be so tired and not be able to fall asleep? I cannot tell you how stressful it is to watch the hours tick by and not get the sleep I want and need.  With each passing hour I knew my chance of getting enough rest to do the race was slipping away.

I finally fell asleep and was asleep at 3:15 when my alarm went off. There was no way I could get up and drive an hour, wait 1 1/2  hours in 50F temps to run an 1 40 minute race. There was no energy. It was a CMT moment.

Fatigue is one of the biggest issues I fight. I wake up tired every day.  When I line up for a swim at a triathlon, I look at the buoys and they look so far away. I wonder where I will find the energy to finish the swim. I think the same thing when I stand at the starting line of a marathon or half marathon.  I wonder how I will make it to the finish when I am so tired. I usually do, but some days like this morning I don't even have the energy to get to the starting line.  Some days I struggle to get through the day or to make it through the drive home from work. Many days I work out right after work because I am afraid if I wait too long I won't have the energy to work out at all. Some days I have to nap for an hour because I cannot function without the nap. Usually I tell myself the tiredness is not real, it's CMT tired. Usually that works for workouts and normal day to day stuff. At 3:15 this morning, my body was not taking any excuses.

I had another CMT moment after the race in Omaha last week. I was taking my gear bag to my car. I was parked on a grass field and had almost made it to my car, when suddenly my right ankle turned and I was on my knees. Skinned up the left one pretty bad. It hurt when I fell and I paused a bit before I got up. Another athlete also going to his car called out to me to see if I was OK. I felt like saying, "Yes, I am just having a CMT moment."

As an athlete I train so hard and am so in tune with my body. It is so frustrating because I can't predict it and I never know when I am going to have a CMT moment.

When I went to the medical classification for the United States Cycling Championship, the assessor used that rubber hammer to test my arm reflexes. I have none, although the testers are only looking for brisk reflexes which are a sign of MS. I wish the assessor could have traded places with me that evening. My arms ached from the reflex check so bad I could not sleep. Another CMT moment.  I get that same pain most days I do yard work or type most of the day.

I never know when I am going to have a CMT moment although tripping and falls are becoming more common. I often trip at work when I go to get copies from the printer. If I knew when the extreme tiredness was coming maybe I would not plan a race or make plans with friends.

I had to apologize to the director of Dare 2 Tri because I did not show up this morning. I feel like I am irresponsible and not to be counted on when I do something like this. I hate that feeling almost as much as being so tired. I want to show up when I say I will be somewhere or keep my commitment to friends. Many times my fatigue and slowness keep my from group bike rides and runs. So having CMT can also be a bit isolating. Sometimes I feel like only those with CMT can understand what it is like to live with this condition.

I know I am lucky and I don't write this for anyone to feel sorry for me. I sometimes think because I am pretty active and successful that people think I don't have any struggles. Someone recently told me they thought I was really negative about my experience about Nationals. To me it was not just about getting in, it was about CMT being recognized as a condition that presents real challenges to a CMT affected athlete. I would like someone who thinks I don't have struggles to trade places with me for one day or even one race.

Everyone that has CMT and I mean everyone has challenges, even if they look perfectly fine. For many they live with constant pain and diminished use of their legs and harms. Many also suffer from the extreme fatigue  I feel. I know I am blessed to complete at the level I compete. I share my struggles to let others with this condition to know it is OK to struggle as well. It makes me human and I am being honest.

Before I was diagnosed with CMT, I had retired from athletic competition because I was so puzzled by my slowness, burning feet, fatigue and other CMT symptoms. When I was diagnosed I knew because of the ability I did have, I had an obligation to try and make a difference. I hope that I and the other members of Team CMT are making a difference and bringing awareness, even if we sometimes have a CMT moment.

****************************
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 127 members in 27 states. We also have members in Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. 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, July 26, 2013

Omaha Triathlon- Room for Improvement

Omaha Triathlon USAT Paratriathon Midwest Championship

"It's not your finishing time that's important, it is the time you have finishing."-Art Castellaro. Director New Jersey Marathon

I competed in the Omaha Triathlon on July 21st. I drove nine hours to Omaha because the race was the Midwest Regional Paratriathlon Championship. It was supposed to be a qualifier for the 2014 National Championship. The USAT did not get all the regional competitions in place so placement at a regional will not be required this year.  This race was well worth the nine hour drive. Not only did I post a good finish time at 1 hr 41 minutes and 8 seconds, I had so much fun.

Swim
I got to the race venue at 5 am and the race director announced the water temperature was high enough it was not wet suit legal. When we cleared to do our warm up swim, I felt the water was cold enough to  be wet suit legal for me. I appealed to the USAT Head Official and was allowed to wear a wet suit.

I also had two volunteers serving as my handlers. There were there for whatever I needed. I asked for assistance getting out of the water and with my wet suit.

The paratriathlon wave only had 3 athletes and we took off first. The collegiate women were only 3 minutes behind. The race director said he would tell them to watch out for me, but I literally had one of the collegiate woman swim right over me. I can see how it can happen and I was glad I had on my wet suit for a little extra buoyancy.  I got a little confused  coming in to the swim exit because the ramp I needed to go up was the same as the one used by swimmer to enter the water. I was the first swimmer in because the college woman were swimming the longer Olympic distance.  I actually stopped and asked one of the kayak guards twice if I was right about the swim exit. That cost me some time.

My handler helped me get out of the water and then jogged beside me to transition where she helped me with my wet suit. Dana also handed me my bike items. Her help was great and much appreciated. As a paratriathlete I am allowed a handler at all races, just don't have someone to fill that role for me yet.

Bike
Again the male paratriathlete and I were the first athletes out on the course. I had a police motorcycle escort the whole way. Pretty cool, he was with me most of the time and when he wasn't  if I asked a volunteer which way to go on the course they all knew.  The course was really hilly, but I was prepared with all the hill riding I have been doing this season.

Run
Once I get to the run, I feel good, because I know nothing is going to go wrong. I again had a police escort, talk about feeling like a rock star.  The rest of the athletes had a trail run and the para triathletes had a very hilly road course. I remember coming up on a massive hill and a right turn into a sub division.  I pointed to the turn and the police officers volunteering pointed up the hill and smiled.  As I went up the hill I saw para athlete Zack Young coming down.  I yelled out " See you at the finish"  and he let out a yell of pure joy and he blazed down the hill. I hear he clocked in at 46 mph. Here we are after the race.
Chris Wodke and Zachary Young of Jackson Missouri

At the top of the hill there were cones and thought there might be a turn around, but my escort turned into the park. I jogged in place not wanting to make a wrong turn. I lost a bit of time as I waited for my escort. I followed him into the park and at the turn around of the out and back course I joked and asked if he could give me a ride. He joked I could if I had a helmet.  His good humor was so typical of the volunteers for the day. All  were so friendly and helpful.  The race was over before I knew it. I really like the sprint distance, it is just enough to be a challenge and just short enough to be fun.

Receiving my Championship award from Race Director Alan Kohl

I was the only female in the paratriathlon group, but my time would have earned me first place in my age group.  So I guess it was well earned.  I got my award from Alan Kohl. I had talked with Alan a number of times before the race. He wanted to know what he needed to do to make this a successful race for us. He is also trying to grow the sport of triathlon in Nebraska. Although it is not huge yet, with more races like this I think it will grow.

Doug Bolton and Chris Wodke

One of the other fun things about this race was meeting fellow athletes. When I was in transition a woman came up to me and said my husband has CMT and I was so glad to see another athlete with CMT. Her husband Doug Bolton was racing and was classified and raced at Nationals. He and I talked about our feelings about the current classification process. In fact Zach also had heard about what happened to me and some other CMT athletes at Nationals. He said he felt bad about the current classification system. I do too because my time on a hilly course is better than what the current National Champion posted at Nationals in Austin.  I am ready if and when the system changes.

I also met three athletes from Wisconsin at this race. There were athletes from 26 states since many do this race and then participate in the week long ride across Iowa. So while I had some room for improvement in my performance, the race directors and volunteers in Omaha put on a near perfect race. Thanks for a great and fun experience.

********
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 127 members in 27 states. We also have members in Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. 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, July 23, 2013

Team CMT News


We had Team CMT members doing events in four states this weekend.  First up are sisters Megan Seebeck and Erin Truitt.  They ran the Chicago half marathon this weekend.
Erin Truitt and Megan Seebeck



Megan has been a team member for some time. Erin just joined. Erin is from Bell Vista Arkansas where she lives with her husband  and daughters Lyric (4) and Wren (1).  Erin started running back in college over 10 years ago, but it was just for fitness. She did a number of fitness programs over the years, but as her sister Megan started doing marathons she decided to start running again. 
Megan convinced her to do a half marathon with her this past weekend. She says it was exhilarating! Her goal is to now do any 5k, 10k, half marathons, and since she is a decent swimmer, probably do triathlons at some point as well. Right now she said she is  just doing these races for fun, but maybe as the kiddos get older and she have more time to train, she'll actually try to race competitively. Her father was diagnosed with CMT as a teenager and her sister just this year. Her Dad's mother has it as well but with the family history Erin knows she may also have CMT.

I am proud of both of you, you look great in your Team CMT singlets. You don't even look tired. I look forward to hearing allot more from Erin in the future. You are off to a great start.


Dallas Team CMT member Shelly Kautz ( 2nd from the right) did her first triathlon this weekend.  Shelly did the Cooper Sprint Tri in Dallas, Texas.  I got to meet Shelly and her husband Doug when I was visiting my family in Texas in May. Doug manages the Move On running store in Flower Mound just a few minutes from my brothers house.  Doug is a long distance runner and coaches running form. Shelly is a runner and in line skater. She has done several marathons on in-line skates.  Shelly runs for her dad whose has CMT. She had a great time at the triathlon and I think we will see her do more.  One of the best parts about being on Team CMT are all the great athletes I get to meet around the country. It was great to meet Shelly! Congratulations on completing your first triathlon.

Team CMT members Robert Kearney and Cheryl Monnat are I think pretty familiar to those of us on the team. I think they do more events than anyone else on the team, always wearing their Team CMT uniforms.  This weekend they took on the challenge of the Racine Half Iron man in Racine Wisconsin.  That is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run.  The swim alone is  a challenge because it is in Lake Michigan. The lake can be rough and cold. So the swim alone is an accomplishment.  It took them both around 6 1/2 hours. Cheryl finished 15th in her age group which is great for a first 1/2 Iron man.  Robert will be doing Iron man Tucson in November so this is a great training race.  You guys look great, I can't believe you just finished the race. Thanks for all you do for Team CMT.
Doug Bolton and Chris Wodke
This weekend I participated Midwest  Paratriathlon Regional Championship in Omaha Nebraska. I got to meet fellow CMT affected athlete Doug Bolton and his wife.  Doug will be joining our team. He also competed in Austin at Nationals, so I am looking forward to seeing him again at the National Championships. I took 1st place at the event and will write more about the experience later in the week. It was a really fun weekend. Thanks to everyone in Omaha for putting on such a fantastic event.

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

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 127 members in 27 states. We also have members in Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. 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.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pewaukee Lake Triathlon- Never an Easy Day



"Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better, Don't wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom."- Pope John Paul I

I participated in the Pewaukee Lake Sprint Triathlon on Sunday with my Newbie Triathlon training group. I will post the picture if coach Scott Stauske gets them up on the web.  The toughest part of any of these races for me is the early wake up call. My wave went off at 6:17 so I was up at 3:45 a.m. The early start is needed before it gets too hot.

Training in a group was really fun. It was so much fun to watch first time triathletes cross the finish line. We trained together for the last 10 weeks and I think I've made some great friends.  Here is a picture of the group before the race.


I was more prepared for this triathlon course then any I 've ever done.  Local coaching firm P3 set up a 1/4 mile swim course on the lake every Monday night.  Race officials also required all first timers to pass a swim test and go through a clinic. This is the first time this has been done on a USAT sanctioned race.

I wish I had that kind of training before my first race, it would have made for a much better experience.  I went through one of the beginner clinics and coach Anita made it fun and I picked up some good tips.

I'd been swimming the course every Monday night since early June and then biking the course after. So I was really ready for this race.

I asked for a Paratriathon wave. Every USAT sanctioned race must now offer this option if asked. Most race directors are not aware of this, so as a para-athlete I have to ask for what I want and need.  I asked to be scored separately to build by race resume and to build awareness for the sport.

I asked the race director for an in water start, which is where things got interesting. Usually I just ask race directors to start my age group last, but running down the beach is starting to get a bit dicey with my foot drop.  The race director gave me an in water start with the elite woman. It was not a big wave, but the wave right behind us were the 20-29 year old men. There was about a 2 minute gap and I knew that would be trouble.

I stood in the back of the wave and gave the ladies a few seconds before I followed to stay out of there way. I went way wide and I mean way wide of the buoy.  In a few minutes I could see the men's wave coming at me like a freight train. Many of them missed me, but the rest surrounded me. I was grabbed on the feet and hit in the side.  An elbow here and there helped keep most of them far enough away. Soon things thinned out.

The rest of the swim was uneventful.  It was a really long run all the way around transition to get to the elite rack where I was racked.  Earlier in the day one of the elite women insisted my bike was facing the wrong way, even though the bike on the other side of hers was racked like mine. No matter, I changed my bike and rearranged all my stuff, making sure to take up as little space as possible for my gear. A few minutes later she grabbed my bike ( a huge no no) and shoved it down the rack. I pointed out to her, one more person needed to fit in the race and we needed to leave room. All said very nicely. She had no right to tough my bike, she was acting like a princess.   Right before I left for a group photo with my Newbie group, I checked both bike tires. Both hard as a rock. I had my pump in my car just in case. I am really paranoid about a flat since a flat could end my race.

So the swim done, I grabbed my bike and headed out to the course. If you ride enough miles you know exactly how your bike should sound. I knew immediately my front tire was flat. I got off and checked it and it was completely flat.  There was no way I was quitting this race with all my friends racing.  My mind raced about what to do. I had a hunch there was nothing wrong with the tire. I got out my CO2 cartridge, attached it to the tire stem and it inflated. It was great the rest of the race. In fact it is still rock hard. So did someone mess with my tire in transition. It is possible, I hate to think someone would do that. Some of these athletes are so competitive they might do something like this. A 2 minute delay is quite a lot in a short race. The funny thing is I was not competing against anyone but myself.

The bike course was hilly, but really fun for me. I kept an average speed f 15..8 even with the 2 minute delay to pump up my tire.

The race course was really hilly as well, but before it was over I was done. Because I was in the first wave I got to watch most of my Tri Newbie group finish. I finished in first place, but I was the only one in the para category. I was 6 out of 10 in my age group. I had a finishing time of 1 hr 41 minutes.  Puts me right in there with National Championship time.

At the end of the race coach Scott was waiting with champagne and team member Del Lynn had Bloody Mary's as well. It was fun to celebrate and relive the race with my fellow Tri Newbie members.  I wish every race ended that way. Here we are celebrating after the race.


Sprint triathlons are so much fun, a couple of my new tri friends are talking about doing an Olympic distance and maybe a half Iron Man next year. I keep telling people I'm a sprint specialist.  The distance is just long enough to be a challenge and just short enough to be fun.

The race had some challenges, but I didn't let a flat tire beat me.  Glad I was able to hang in there and finish. Next up are Regional Championships in Omaha.  I know every race I do makes me a better and more prepared athlete. Every challenge I overcome just boost my confidence.  I am ready for anything except a real flat tire. Someday I'll meet that challenge as well.

***************
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 127 members in 27 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, July 13, 2013

Hot Weather Workouts


" Every successful person in life began by pursuing a passion, usually against all odds."- Robert Kiosaki

Summer is great, but hot temperatures can make getting in workouts and doing races a challenge.
High heat and humidity can be a health risk if not managed. I’ve done races where the temperature was 103F twice in Texas.
If you race and workout enough in the heat your body can acclimate to it.  I’ve done plenty of work outs in the heat. I think it is one reason I did so well at the Boston Marathon in 2012 when temperatures were around 90F. I had done so many workouts in heat and humidity my body was ready for race day conditions. It is important to know the signs you are under heat stress and how to manage to prevent it from happening and what to do it does happen.
First some of the warning signs of heat related stress.

Mild Heat Stress Symptoms include:
  • Excessive sweating
  • Painful muscle cramps
  • Painful red bumps on the skin
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
Treat Mild Heat Stress
  • Rest in a cool shaded area
  • Drink Water
  • Fan the skin
Moderate Heat Exhaustion Symptoms include:
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid and weak pulse
  • Pale or flushed skin
Treat Moderate Heat Exhaustion
  • Same as mild heat stress
  • Also place a cool compress on the head and neck, under arms.
Heat Stroke (this is a medical emergency) Symptoms Include:
  • Lack of sweating
  • Deep and rapid breathing
  • Rapid and weak pulse
  • Dry flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of Consciousness
Treat Heat Stroke
  • Call for immediate medical attention
  • Do what you can to lower body temperature, move to a cool shaded area
  • Drink water
  • Fan the skin
  • Apply compresses around the body
  • Do not leave the person alone.
There are tips to avoid getting any of these heat related injuries

Workout Timing The time just after sunrise and just before sunset are the coolest times of the day. Cool can be a relative term, because when I visit my Texas relatives sometimes it is 90 F at midnight in the summer. Avoid the middle part of the day when temperatures are the hottest.

Workout planning As a triathlete I train in swimming, biking and running. Here in Wisconsin sometimes we only get one really hot day before it cools off. I can switch a running day to a swim workout until the weather cooperates. If I really have to run and I think it is too hot outside, I can do a treadmill or use the indoor track we have at the Petit Center. The Center is an Olympic Training facility for speed skaters and there is a 450 meter indoor track around the ice skating oval.

Workout Routes Pick a spot with some shade if running or biking. Running on blacktop roads in full sun can be really brutal. Try a trail or a road with some shade. We have lots of great bike paths and State Park Trails for running here in Wisconsin. Most have shade. A shaded route will be much cooler. On really hot days I head to the bike paths along Lake Michigan. Sometimes the route along the lake is so cool it feels like I am in front of an open refrigerator door. The Lake is so big it really has a large cooling effect.
Diet Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. When working out drink 5 to 7 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. I carry water with me when I bike and run and drink throughout the workout. Do not wait to get thirsty to start drinking.
Avoid caffeine because it dehydrates you. Check any medication you are taking to see if they increase your risk of heat stress.
Eat lightly, especially before a workout. Heavy, hot meals divert blood to your stomach to digest, making it harder for your body to stay cool.
Eat foods that are water intense like melon and berries during the day to keep you hydrated.
You do not need to consume extra salt since we all get enough salt in our diets.
I do use a sports drink for workouts longer than one hour. This can be helpful when it is hot because sports drinks designed for endurance athletes have electrolytes to replace what you lose through sweating. This can help prevent muscle cramping.

Clothing
Dress appropriate for the workout or event. Check the heat and humidity before you leave. Take into consideration the temperature when you finish. Sometimes you have to dress in layers if there will be a big temperature swing.  Wear loose fitting light colored clothing if it is going to be hot.  Weather clothing designed to wick moisture.  There are lots of good high tech clothes you can wear in hot weather.   
Don't be afraid to go back home to adjust what you are wearing if it proves to be too hot.

Wear a hat when it is sunny or even a visor if it is really hot.  I remember running the Summerfest Half Marathon here in Milwaukee a few years ago.  It has held in June and predicted temperatures were going to be in the low 90's and humid. I remember seeing women in cotton capri's and lots of people in long sleeve cotton shirts.   That clothing is way too hot for a run at that time of year. Experiment in workouts for anything you plan to wear in a race.  If it is a long race like a half or full marathon, dressing in layers can help. Sometimes it is really cold at the start, but heats up as you get into the race.  Experienced raceres know to have a few throw away layers.  You will see lots of discarded layers of clothing in the first few miles of long races on a chilly morning.

General Tips Know your tolerance for heat. If you don’t take the heat well then do not push it by working out and racing when temperatures are extreme. Cut back on the intensity to cut the strain on your body. Stay and shape, well-conditioned muscles generate less heat and make you more heat tolerance.
With a little planning and a few precautions you can race and workout safely in hotter 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 123 members in 27 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, July 11, 2013

Why You Need a Race Day Mantra



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

I have a triathlon on Sunday in Pewaukee Wisconsin.  The race is the end of a 10 week training program for new Triathletes.  Even though I am not a brand new triathlete, I felt I had a lot to learn and the coach Scott Stauske was nice enough to let me take the class.  Despite having done a few triathlons I felt like a newbie.

I had to drop out last year of the beginner class last year, so it has been great to train with a group and I am looking forward to the race on Sunday. One of the things our coach Scott told us was that we all needed a race day Mantra and we should post it on our Tri Newbie Facebook site.

The Mantra is really a good idea and it can improve performance.  All last year I struggled with the swim leg of the triathlon.  I bailed out of a swim in a triathlon in June.  About a month later I went to a corporate coaching seminar in Chicago. It was to help managers coach employee's in the workplace, but I found an unexpected gem to help me in the swim.

The founder of the company, Alan  Fine started his career as a tennis coach. He told the story about tennis student he had. The young girl was struggling with the basics of hitting the ball. He told her to say two words ( her mantra).   To help her hit consistently he told her to say in her mind, bounce when the ball hit the court and racket when she hit the ball.

With these two words she went from having trouble hitting at all to near perfect performance.
I think this works because sometimes we are the biggest obstacle to our own success. We run tapes in our heads full of fear and doubts. They distract us from being successful and keeps our races from being fun.

I also knew the mind can only handle one thought at a time, so a good phrase or mantra would focus my mind.

I came up with a two word mantra for my swim. Face....meaning my face needed to be in the water and breath when I turned to breath. This helped focus me and keep my body position level so I did not feel like I was drowning. So all through the swim course, I use my two word mantra. When I start having any other thought I focus on face and breath. It has worked, I have not struggled in the swim since.  I am not a fast swimmer, but I went from doing the side and back stroke, to getting in the crowd if needed.

So I do use a few other mantras during my triathlon, during transition I think, quick and I say it over and over. Just to stay focused and remind myself to stay focused but not get flustered.

On the bike, I think push down and pull up, because that is how my pedal stroke should be.
 During the run, I just think, one step at at time or one foot in front of the other. I have to concentrate on my feet because my feet catch often.

So there is not time to worry about the hills or how much I hurt, my mantras remind me of the right technique I should use and keep me focused. It really was a break through for me.

They seem like kind of silly phrases, but they have meaning for me. The thing about using a mantra is you have to make it your own. It can be something fun to help you smile and break the stress or it can be about something you need to work on like it was for me.

So give it some thought, the right mantra can make your race more fun and improve your performance. For me it is all about having fun.

Ok Newbie group I hope this counts as posting my mantras.


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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 123 members in 27 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.