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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Great Beginnings



"Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don't give 100%....you make it that much easier for me to beat you."- unknown

Sometimes I struggle with motivation, especially when I don't have a race in my immediate future. My triathlon season is pretty much done. I have a duathlon in Oro Valley, Arizona at the end of October.

So this week I struggled a little bit to get in my swim workout.  With one season done, I'm trying to catch up with some of my household chores. All week I have been coming home doing outside home maintenance before I do my workout.

So it was a bit later in the evening before I got to the pool on Wednesday night. I was really tired and thought about just doing some drills and going home. I thought what difference would it make since my next triathlon is not until May. Then I thought about the quote above.  If I want to stay competitive I have to be consistent with my workouts, even on days when I am tired.  I always say to myself, I bet Beth Price ( current National Champion) is swimming laps, or what do you think Beth Price is doing today. I remind myself that my competition is not taking the night off.

The race in Oro Valley is a paraduathlon and it is a National Championship. So I need every workout I can get in to be ready.

Today I had a triple workout scheduled,weights, some speed work on the bike and a tempo run. The bike and run would be a simulation of race conditions. I knew with temperatures climbing into the high 70's it would be a great day for it.  But to fuel triple workout, it takes some serious breakfast.

I started mine with Oat Pancakes with strawberries.  I do most of my cooking on the weekends. Those days are always a good time to try out a new recipe. This was a new one for me and it turned out great.  A great way to start the day and be ready for my triple workout.  I've included the recipe so you can try it yourself and maybe fuel your own workout.

Oat Pancakes
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk (skim)
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Make a well in the center. Combine eggs, milk, oil and lemon juice.  Pour into well and stir until just moistened.  Pour batter 1/4 cupfuls onto greased hot griddle. turn when bubbles form on the top of the pancakes.  Cook until second side is golden brown.
6 servings, 241 calories

These would also be great with sauteed apples 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 137 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.
 ***************


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tri Rock Race Report

"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 wisdon." - Earl Shoaf

I scheduled the Tri Rock Sprint Triathlon on September 14 because they agreed to have a paratriathlon division.  I was starting to get burned out because it had been a long season of racing.

It didn't help that I didn't get any sleep the night before the race. This race was not important so I didn't take a sleeping pill.  I was awake all night. I thought about not going but I had skipped a race the week before.
Plus several of my friends and one of my Team CMT teammates was doing the race so I had a reason to show up.

Since I was awake at 3 am I decided to get up and drive the hour to the race site before I changed my mind.
It was 39F when I arrived at transition. I got there early enough to snag a spot in the Lions Club lot right next to transition. It was ten dollars well spent.  Last year I spent more than an hour trying to find my car I parked on one of the side streets near the race.

Transition was not even open when I got there. I stayed in my car and just tried to stay warm. I quickly set up my area and returned to my car. I was just trying to rest and stay warm.
Just like last year the race was delayed by fog. It was so think you could not see the swim course.

The race was pushed back by  30 minutes. I got to the start line about 15 minutes ahead of time and had a nice visit with my friends.

The swim course is one of the nicest. You can actually see the bottom the water is so clear.  The bike course was really fun because it is in the country and rolling hills.
The run course is insanely hilly. My run time was long due to the hills.
Still all in all a good day. I finished 8 th out of 19th. and 1st in the paratriathlon group.
It was fun to see all my triathlon friends.

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

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, September 17, 2013

Elite Team CMT Member - Offers Cycling Coaching

Anthony Zahn at London 2012 Paralympics
Today we have a guest blog from long time Team CMT member Anthony Zahn.  When I was looking for a new racing bike last year, Anthony gave me some great advise which I took and purchased my Fuji Altamira. I have had my best triathlon season this year thanks to his timely advise.

I have CMT. If you are reading this I’m sure you know something about it. 


I am an athlete. By trade, a professional. I am also a cycling coach.


I have been to the Paraoympic games twice, first in Beijing 2008 where I got a bronze medal in the men’s LC4 time trial and again in London 2012. I have been to 3 UCI Para Cycling World Championships on the road and two on the track and have earned another 3 bronze medals in the road time trial at Worlds, along with 2 National Championships and a few other medals to boot.


As an athlete, business owner, citizen of the world I know how hard it is to focus, race, train, travel, maintain relationships, recover from injuries, and maintain sanity. I have been to the Paralympic games twice, four UCI Paracycling World Championships, several UCI World Cup events, National Championships, State champs, and local races and medaled at every level. I’ve been through every scenario (ok, every one that I can think of) and can help you through whatever life may throw at you


I have been racing bikes since 1990 and owned a bike shop in southern California from 1997 – 2011. I was a custom frame builder from 1994-2002. I have been on the US Paralympic Cycling team since 2005 and racing internationally with them in at least 10 countries since 2007.


As a USA Cycling Level 3 certified coach I am insured and able to work with athletes of all abilities wherever they live. 


I became a coach because cycling is what I know, what I do, and what I love. I have spent my life studying and learning all I can about it. Now it’s time to start sharing that knowledge and help other people have more fun doing what I do. Not everyone pins a number on, but everybody races. Maybe you ride by yourself and try to beat your time on your daily loop, maybe you want to be able to do the longer ride or just be fresher and have more fun at the regional Bike MS Ride, or maybe you want to try to go to the Olympics or Paraolympics. Whatever your goal I can help you achieve it.



With today’s technology like Strava and power meters I can coach an athlete in any region or country. With the maps, ride profiles and other info I will know exactly what you have done on the bike like we were riding next to each other. You can get me any time with email or Face Book. It’s nice if we can get together for a ride or two somewhere sometime, but not necessary. If you have CMT I know pretty well what you can and can’t do, which few if any other coaches will.


I can help you choose long and short term goals, assess your fitness, and put together a training plan to get you where you want to go.


If you have questions about buying new equipment I can help you in you buying decisions.


If you have questions or are interested in working with me the best way to get a hold of me is through Face Book at: https://www.facebook.com/AToZCyclingOr email me at azcyclery@aol.com


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

Anthony Zahn is a member of Team CMT


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.

Anthony Zahn is a member of Team CMT

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How a Tri Newbie Group Saved my Season


Tri Wisconsin Tri Newbie Group at Pewaukee Triathlon

"I've failed over and over in my life, that is why I succeed.'"- Michael Jordan

I almost quit doing triathlons early this season after my first race. I was denied access in the National Championship wave of the Paratriathlon National Championship. I had genetic proof  of my CMT and tests that showed I had impairment to meet the standard. The assessor says I was clearly impaired, but that I would not be allowed into the wave.

The USAT blamed the ITU standards, the ITU points the finger back at the USAT.  The standards really assess for MS. Athletes with MS have great challenges and I think they should be competing. CMT is much like MS and those of us with CMT deserve to compete. It was so frustrating to go to Austin and be rejected again. I was angry. Comments made to me after the assessment by the USAT Paratriathon Manager also did not help. In the weeks following the race, I got no good answer why CMT affected athletes were not classifying in and what the USAT was going to do about it.

I also did not have a good race in Austin. It is a long story, but I was over 7 minutes late starting my race. I still would have placed in the top three and would have been eligible for the ITU World Paratriathlon Championship in London this month.  But I was competing in the Open Wave. I took 2nd in the wave, but it was a bitter sweet result. I had worked so hard all off season to be ready for the National Championship. I wondered why I was putting myself through this.  I had come so close to competing for a National Championship, I did not know if I wanted to continue. Twice I was treated like a scammer by the assessor and I later found out the assessor was not even ITU certified. So it is possible if I presented myself at an ITU event I would be accepted.

I was angry and frustrated and had decided to quit. I told my team I was done competing in triathlons because I was so frustrated and angry....but the sport was not done with me yet. Before I left I had signed up for a Tri Newbie group with the local triathlon club here in Milwaukee.

The class is for new or beginner triathletes. The class was going to end with us doing the Pewaukee Sprint Triathlon.   Even though I had done triathlons I was self taught and felt I had a lot to learn. I kept making mistakes in races.  I cleared my entry with our coach Scott Stauske.

Another reason I wanted to take the course is I had dropped out of the class the year before. I was physically exhausted after the National Championship the year before. The temperature during the race was 103 F. It took two hours to find my family after the race. I did not bounce back well after the race and was unable to train with the class.

So I was back to finish what I started and see if I could find some joy in competing again.

At our first meeting our coach Scott talked about his experience as a triathlete with the swim. This three time Ironman related how he had baled out of a swim in a race and that he still struggled with this part of the race.
I had baled out of swim the year before and it still bothered me.  I learned from Scott that bad races happen to everyone, even Ironman finishers. You learn from it and you go on.  It felt good to hear someone so accomplished say they sometimes struggled in races. It made it OK for me to fail sometimes as well.

The best part of the class was meeting my fellow athletes and training with them.  I mostly train on my own, so being in a group was a real treat.  Training became fun again. We had a number of swim workouts together and I picked up great swim pointers from Scott and some of the guest coaches he arranged.

Before I knew it, it was time for race day.  Scott was there to get a group photo before the race and was there to cheer us on.  Two of my group cheered as I crossed the finish line. We watched as the rest of our team came in. Then Scott broke out the champagne and toasted our accomplishment. Every race should be like that.

Post Race
I had so much fun because of the members of this group. They made doing a race fun again. I found the joy of racing and not worrying about time and placement. It was just fun to be out there and be part of  this group.  I have since completed 6 races this season and enjoying everyone of them.

One of the group started a facebook page and we still stay in touch.  Our coach even planned a graduation party complete with cake.

Graduation Day

I know many of us will continue to stay in touch.  Several of us are doing a triathlon this weekend.  When I did age group nationals, team mates, Tiffany, Mary and Ann were all working as volunteers on the bridge.
So thanks guys, you helped me find the joy in competing again.  I even had my first mistake free race at age group nationals.   Thanks for the fun your all brought to this group and your determination to reach your goals.  Thanks to Scott our coach who is doing Ironman number four today in Madison. I don't know how he found time to do his training and coach us!  Thanks again to Scott and my team members.

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

Monday, September 2, 2013

CMT Awareness Month


Erin Truitt and Megan Seebeck at Chicago Half Marathon


" Great people do things before they're ready.  They do things before they know they can do it. And by doing it, they're proven right."  Amy Poehler

September is CMT awareness month. For the members of Team CMT every month is awareness month.  We've grown to 131 members in 27 states, and in Australia, Canada, Finland, Vietnam, Iran and Turkey.
Just about every weekend we have a team member participating in an event.   Members have done an outstanding job at events like the Chicago Half Marathon, Boston Marathon, Marine Corp Marathon, Virginia Beach Half Marathon, Paratriathlon National Sprint Championship, Racine Half Ironman and countless other events.

The work this does is so important to raise awareness of this disease.  We have over two dozen athletes on the team with CMT. They are showing the community we can still lead full and active lives.  I see so many people now with CMT asking about exercising and I think that is do to your influence and example.

What else can we do?  Well here are a couple of thoughts;

Facebook
Keep posting your pictures when you do a ride, swim event, walk, race or triathlon.  Then share those photos on your own facebook page. Let's show everyone what we are doing. It is great for raising awareness. Continue to post on the Team CMT facebook site.  It is great to see the posts, whether about a training question or to support a fellow team member.

Stories
We have lots of new members. Please send me your pictures and let me do a story about you.  It helps the other team members get to know you. We each have an interesting story. Some of us are CMT affected athletes, others are supported by friends and family members.  Besides I don't want this blog or this team to be all about me. 

Fundraising
Consider picking and event and put up a fund raising page. I will be running the Boston Marathon for the third time this year and I will be using the race to raise money for CMT research. It is really easy. Just contact the HNF and they will get you started. I also follow up with a fund raising letter to friends and family. I can help you with that.  I hope sometime this year you will consider picking an event and raising funds.

Thank you so much to all our team members. I love seeing your photo's and hearing about your events. I am so proud of all of you especially our CMT affected athletes. You stay active despite the challgens and I am so proud to be part of this team. 

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