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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boston 3- Week 5 - An Expensive Week

My car, back in the garage as good as new.

"Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now."-Steve Wright

1/20     Monday     Bike       60 minutes          14F
1/21     Tuesday     Run/wts  60/30 min           18F
1/22     Wed.         Bike       120 min              -3 F
1/23     Thurs         Run/wts  45/30 min           -2 F
1/24     Friday        Swim      60 min                 7F
1/25     Sat             Bike/run  60/150 min        12F

The Arctic cold temperatures returned. It is so tempting to skip workouts when temperatures are below zero.. I am cold sitting at my desk bundled up in a sweater. So it is tough to talk myself into changing into shorts to run on the treadmill or even worse a swimsuit to go swimming.  The pool is so cold when the temperatures are sub-zero outside.

All I wanted to do all week was go home and wrap myself in a big blanket. I did all my workouts because I know it is the only way to be prepared on race day. A little pain now and big rewards later. I always tell myself the national champ is working out today. I bet she's swimming laps. So I get it done.

There were lots of distractions this week and lots of expenses.  First my car was in the shop. I had a VW beattle as my rental car. I sat so low I could barely see over the steering wheel.  I've driven my car for 10 years, so operation is well ingrained in my muscle memory.  Every time I had to card into work I kept reaching for the button on the center console. Well in the rental it was in the door. Lots of adjustment including driving an automatic transmission for the first time in 10 years. It took a week to get the car fixed so I had a weeks worth of rental and my insurance deductible to pay. Total cost 550 dollars.

It was too bad that was not my only expense. I woke up Thursday morning with furnace problems once again. The house was 58 F. With temps plummeting I had trouble getting someone to look at it.
I think the furnace guy was trying to scam me. I used a local company I had used for plumbing and I knew it would be expensive. The quoted repair price was 800. Then he came back and said one of the brackets was bad and would have to tear the whole boiler apart. After some back and forth he said what was the top dollar amount I would pay. So I held to the 800 already quoted. After some calls to the company he finished the work. Overpriced repair but so far it is holding up.

I had to go back to work to make up the hours away from work so I got in my workout pretty late that night.

The high spot of the week was Wednesday in Computrainer class.  The week before I could not even get through the workout. I struggled the entire time. This week was a completely different story. It was my first ride after having a bike fit and some part changes.  On a hilly course I was able to hold 160 watts through each of the intervals. Even more major I was not the slowest kid in the class. I finished 3 out of 5 riders on my side of the room. I am not sure what those two guys were doing, but I will take it. I think it is the first time in two years this has happened.

So even though I had some expensive diversions, I still stayed focused on my workouts. It can be a challenge mentally to keep working out when it is so cold. Still each day brings me one day closer to spring. I can't wait.

*************************
Chris Wodke Oro Valley AZ 2013


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.


Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Soup Sunday- Chicken Tortellini Soup


" I live on good soup, not on fine words."  Moliere

Chicken Tortellini Soup


 Today's soup is a really easy one to put together. I think it took me less than 30 minutes to make. I used a crab tortellini, but you can use any type.  This has been a good winter for soup. More days of sub zero temperatures.

4 Servings
346 calories

 5 cups chicken broth
1 package tortellini
1 lb Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
4 ounces of sliced portabella mushrooms
2 carrots peeled and sliced
6 ounce bag of baby spinach

Place broth in large pot and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for 7 – 9 minutes until the tortellini are tender.


Stir in the vegetables except for the spinach. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add spinach a hand full at a time. Serve immediately.

********************
Chris Wodke Duathon National Championship 2013


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.




Saturday, January 25, 2014

Super Food Saturday- Oatmeal Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie

" True health care reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington."- Anonymous

My quest to eat healthier continues. My plan is to include more super foods into my diet. These foods are more nutrient dense.

Today's recipe comes from the "Runners World"  cook book.  I made this smoothie before my 1 hour bike/ 2 1/2 hour run this morning. Lots of good fuel in this to get any runner or triathlete through a workout.

Also a healthy way for anyone to start off their day.

Oatmeal Blueberry Smoothie
Makes 1

1 Cup Fat Free Milk
½ Cup unsweetened frozen blueberries
½ Cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
¼ Cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

 360 Calories, 42 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 24 g protein, 0.5 g saturated fat


Super foods in this recipe

Ground Flax seed
Flax seed has ALA ( alpha-linolenic acid), protein, and SDG ligans. Fiber promotes healthy functioning of the digestive tract and has a positive effect on cholesterol. ALA is an omega-3 essential fatty acid which helps to support normal cardiovascular function and helps to maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Greek Yogurt
Any fat free and sugar free yogurt is a good addition to your diet. Greek yogurt kicks it up a notch. It has twice the protein and half the sugar of regular yogurt. It also has half the carbs.


Blueberries
Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.  Antioxidants help to combat free radicals that can damage cellular structures and DNA. Blueberries are also high in vitamin C.

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


Chris Wodke at National Duathlon Championship 2013

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.


Friday, January 24, 2014

On Being a Fraud



Paratriathlon National Championship Austin 2013

"Don't let the noise of other's opinion's drown out your inner voice."- Steve Jobs

I knew it would happen sooner or later.  I knew it was just a matter of time before someone questioned whether or not I have CMT.

Sometimes it's subtle, I catch doubt on the edge of a remark. Someone will say I can't believe you can run or your legs look so strong.

Right after Christmas I was following and contributing to a Facebook discussion.  A mom had posted she was trying to decide if she and her son who both had CMT should try ice skating.

Opinions came in from all sides. People shared their opinions and experiences. Someone posted that since the skate was laced tightly to your leg having CMT did not matter.  I shared how muscle weakness, weak ankles and balance issues caused from CMT lead to challenges for most of us affected by CMT when we try ice skating.

I posted that my niece who has CMT was a really good skater as a child but wears braces now. I also shared that as a kid my ankles were so weak I could not stand on skates, but that running had made my ankles stronger and I can now skate. Yoga has also helped with balance.

That is when the accusation came from Josh

"I'm going to go on the record that every time someone says "I have CMT, but my ankles got stronger by running" that person is probably misdiagnosed or has a very minor neuropathy. Running is something very rave for someone with CMT and getting stronger is a myth. We have a degenerative disease people."

He said it indirectly, but he was calling me a fraud or un-informed.

Last year when my neurologist asked to have me genetically tested I readily agreed because I knew this day would come.  She thinks there is something special in my genetic make-up because I am so strong despite having an obvious case of CMT. I know my life long activity has kept me strong. So I don't think there is anything special about me genetically. Just a strong will and a long history of involvement in sports like running.
So yes genetic tests confirm I have CMT. Two very painful nerve conduction tests confirm I have CMT. In fact I have almost no nerve conduction in my arms. That means significant nerve damage.

Josh is seriously un-informed. The work of Dr. Chetlin has shown those affected by CMT can get stronger from exercise.

I also shared some of the things I experience with CMT and that on Team CMT we have 37 CMT affected athletes, many that run and run long distance. Two of us will run the Boston Marathon this year. Four others have completed the Iron Man Triathlon. Many of our members run long distance races.

I shared that my own dad is in a wheelchair due to his CMT and that I run to stay strong and avoid the same fate. I have chosen not to wait for my CMT to get worse.


Not one to stop while ahead Josh followed up his comment with another post.

"Oh....so I'm sitting around just hoping, eh?  So you know me?  I''ll take it to the next level and say you may be genetically diagnosed, but you have very little understanding/empathy for those who are actually debilitated by the disease. It may not be nice, but screw you and your elitist view. You enjoy your running around while you can and I sincerely hope you don't encounter someone like me who will quickly take away that entitle smirk off of your face."

The comments surprised me. They hurt and made me angry. I have seen this attitude a few times in the CMT community. Some think there is some kind of disability scale. Because you are more affected you can be as rude and angry as you like. Someact like this gives them the right to lash out in anger.  Apparently Josh's anger extends to threatening me.

I expect ignorance and rudeness from those that do not have CMT, I never expected to find it within the CMT community.  The really disturbing thing was that someone else had liked his comment.

I remember a women  made some beautiful awareness bracelets she had up for sale on eBay. She had posted a link in one of the CMT Facebook groups. Someone attacked her because it was not going to help them directly. So here was someone using her talent to try and make a difference and she too was verbally attacked.

When the Bernadette movie came out I remember a facebook discussion saying negative things about her efforts.

We all need support. Everyone that has CMT is affected in ways that profoundly affect their life. We are not graded on a curve. You do not get to be verbally abusive and rude because your CMT is worse than mine.

As we continue to raise awareness more people with mild cases of CMT will be diagnosed and being active will be more common. Will they be allowed to be part of the CMT community? Or will they not be disabled enought for some?  CMT is such an individual disease with a wide range of symptoms. I hope there is room for everyone in this community whether mildly or severly affected.

I made a choice early on to stay positive. I believe my ability to run and be active is a gift. My Team CMT members and I run for those that can't to raise awareness of CMT and money for research.

So Josh maybe you  and others like you need to take a long look in the mirror. Maybe a more positive outlook on life and treating others as you would want to be treated would make your life happier. Maybe you need to stop and remember for a minute that CMT steals a bit of my life every day just like you. Your anger and negativity can suck the life right out of someone trying to make a differnce. If you cannot do anything to help, then at least endure your CMT with grace and dignity, rather than tearing down the efforts of those working for a cure.

Even though Josh's words hurt and made me angry I will continue to be a positive role model and provide encouragement for everyone affected by CMT. I will chalk up his comments for what they are. Ignorant remarks from someone who is angry and un-informed.

******************************
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.






Monday, January 20, 2014

Boston - Week 4 Away Game

Marquette Michigan

" Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles, however if you believe in your dreams and never give up, things will turn out for the best."-  Meb Keflezighi, U.S. Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist

Week4
1/12     Sunday          bike 80 minutes, wts 30 minutes     31 F
1/13     Monday         run 30 minutes                               31F
1/14     Tuesday         Swim 35 minutes, core 30 minutes 21F
1/15     Wednesday   bike 90 min, run 25 min                   9F
1/16     Thursday        Rest                                             34F
1/17     Friday            run 30 minutes, wts 30 min           16F
1/18     Saturday        bike 90 minutes, swim 60 min     12F

I started the week away from home in Marquette, Michigan.  I work for the local utility here, managing the procedures for the plants. I was at our plant training procedure writers.

I picked the hotel because thy had a workout room and the biggest hotel pool in the city. It was big enough to do laps. It can be challenging to workout when away from home and I tried to pick a place to stay that would help me stay on track. Because it was winter I wanted the option to use a treadmill and a pool.

The training went really well. It was a good group. The problem was I was on my feet for 8 hours two days in a row and did not sleep well either night.  My legs ached from the long days.

Workouts did not go as planned. There were only two dumbbells in the workout room and I could not get the treadmill to work. The pool was warm and big enough to swim laps. I had to delay my swim. There was a water main break which put out the water in my part of the hotel. I wanted to be able to take a shower after the swim so I had to wait until later in the evening to get in my swim.

I stayed overnight after the second day of training because Green Bay which is at the half way point home was due for 10 inches of snow. I did not want to drive through that so planned on a Wednesday morning drive back.

The problem was it was snowing like crazy as I loaded my car. It was 6:30 am when got my car loaded. I had parked under the roof of the hotel entry way. As I put my car in gear to start, I head my car hit the support.  It was painted brown and was looking it past it.

I examined the damage and here is how it looked.

A little fender bender



I prayed there was no internal damage. So along with the snow storm I had the tension of wondering if my car would strand me somewhere along the road during the seven hour drive. Not a good way to start the drive.

I took off for Hwy 41 since the route is not along Lake Superior. That might mean less lake effect snow.
The problem was it was dark and the snow was blowing straight at me. I could not see lane markers and few car tracks to lead the way.

At one point the highway went from divided to two lane. I was looking for some tracks to drive in and realized I was on the wrong side of the road when I saw the oncoming headlights. I got back into my lane just in time.

To top it all off, my wiper fluid ports had frozen over. Good thing there was not much traffic so my windshield stayed pretty clear.
It was a white knuckle drive for 2 almost  hours. Things got a bit better when I got to Iron Mountain about 2 1/2 hours into the trip.

The sun was up, but traffic was greater. There was more traffic and passing cars would spray my windshield with a mixture of mud, salt and snow. The wipers would smear it into an even coat that was hard to see through. I stopped at gas stations twice before I got to Green Bay to clean the windows.

When I got to Green Bay it was about 10:30 and there were 7 cars still in the ditches from the storm the night before. Just south of Green Bay a car passes and splashed my window so bad I literally could not see. I slowed almost to a crawl until the wiper cleared the windows enough to see.

When I got to Sheboygan about  1 1/2 hours north of Milwaukee, my wiper fluid ports finally cleared.
So after 7 hours, my damaged car made it home. I was so exhausted I went straight to bed. After two days of being on my feet, little sleep and a stressful drive I was exhausted.

I did go to Computrainer class later in the evening, but I was too tired to have a good workout.
Thankfully I had a day of rest on Thursday and a good nights sleep. I bounced back and had good workouts on Friday and Saturday. Even got my bike fitted on Friday night. I think the adjustments will really help my biking.

So I learned I will not be driving to Michigan this winter or if I do I will wait until it is light out to start my trip. Training for a marathon takes place with lots of other things going on in my life. You have to have a short memory for the bad stuff. You have to take it on day at a time. I try and forget about the bad workouts and move on.
The car went into the shop today, so all should be back to normal soon. I will just keep on going and finish another successful week of training.

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




Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Soup Sunday- Healthy Clam Chowder


"To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup."- Laurie Colwin

Today's soup comes from the Runner's World new cookbook. I got the Kindle version which is nice since I can take with me to the grocery store when I shop for ingredients.

This is a healthier version of this soup and to be honest it is not as good as the full fat version. But the trade off is that it is allot healthier. I paired this soup with crackers and a very nice spinach salad with oranges and pomegranates.

This soup is made in the crock pot, so it cooked while I worked on promoting my book on-line and doing household chores.

Slow-Cooked Clam Chowder

1  tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion sliced and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cams ( 8 ounces) clams
1 bottle clam juice
3 potatoes any kind cut into bite size pieces
1 can (12 ounces) fat free evaporated milk

Heat the oil in a skilled over medium heat, add the onions and celery and cook until they begin to soften.  Add the garlic and put into a slow cooker.  Add all other ingredients except the milk.. Cover with lid and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours.  Add the milk in the last hour of cooking.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings

************************
Chris Wodke at 2012 National Duathlon Championship Arizona

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Superfood Saturday


Fruit Crisp Oatmeal

My weakness has always been food and men- in that order.  - Dolly Parton

Usually it is best to make changes slowly. They are more likely to be permanent changes. When I decided I needed to improve my eating I took the slow change approach. I am a pretty healthy eater. I don't each much fast or friend foods, only have a about one soda a week. But I am not really a fan of green vegetables. So I am making three changes:

  • adding more raw vegetables ( including green ones) to my meals.
  • eating more soup ( reduce weight and get more vegetables.
  • add super foods to my diet to improve recovery and athletic performance.
I start work by choice at 6 am most days.  That way I am out by 2 pm leaving my lots of time to workout  or go for a run while it is still light. Since I start work so early I always eat breakfast at my desk.

I love this recipe because I can take it to work. I can put several together and just pop them into my food bag. The cover keeps everything neat. Plus it meets my goal of working Chia seeds which are a super foods into my diet.

You can vary the fruits used.  I did raspberry for this recipe, but I also did a batch with strawberries, I used strawberry jam instead of the honey. This would also be good with apples and walnuts on tap with maple syrup stirred into the yogurt. Experiment with your own combinations.


Fruit Crisp Oatmeal

Make this and refrigerate it overnight and you have ready-to-go oatmeal in the morning.
You can use any combinations of fruit and nuts. I used strawberries and almonds. Experiment to make your own combination.

¼ cup oatmeal
6 ounces Greek Style Yogurt ( no sugar)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey

Toppings
¼ cup sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

In ½ pint canning jar pour in oatmeal yogurt and honey. Put chia seeds on top. Carefully stir to mix thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.  When ready to serve sprinkle with toppings.

Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a super food. They are good in this dish because they are a good thickening agent. Try in your next smoother for its thickening power.


Chia seeds are produced by a flowering plant in the mint family.  They are native to Mexico, and Guatemala. An ounce of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. They are rich in anti-oxidants, calcium, phosphorus and manganese. They are gluten free.  They also help you feel full so there is less chance of snacking between meals.

**********************
Chris Wodke National Duathlon Championship


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.
Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Boston 3 Week 3- Arctic Vortex

Chris Wodke at Boston Marathon


"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop, but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age, it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."  Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon Champion.

Week 3
Sunday-  bike 120 minutes, run 60 minutes       6F
Monday-  weights 30 minutes                        -12F
Tuesday-   Run 50 minutes                           -12F
Wednesday- Bike class 2 hours                      14 F
Thursday-  Run 35 minutes                             24F
Friday-  Bike 1 hour 30 minutes                      33F
Saturday-Swim 90 minutes, Run 90 mins         37F
Sunday- Bike 1 hour 20 minutes                      31F

It was a tough week for lots of reasons.  It was a week of extreme temperatures. During the first part of the week we were affected by an arctic vortex. Extreme cold air came into the Midwest from the arctic.  That means indoor workouts. So it was the bike trainer, pool, treadmill and track this week.

By the end of the week we had rain that froze and turned everything to ice. I got out for one outdoor run on Thursday when the temperature was a warm 24 F.  The alley by my house was icy and I fell just walking to my back door.

The week started with a fall. I was taking my bike off the stand on Sunday. It was resisting and when I freed it, it lurched forward. I leaned to catch it and lost my balance. I fell, the bike fell and I took out the computrainer stand. Quite the dramatic exit. Falls happen when I am tired.

I had four falls last week. Three of them were just walking in icy parking lots. With CMT my balance is just not as good as a normal person. I am always worried about getting hurt when I fall. Other than some bruises the only damage is to my ego.

Saturday was the second part of a two part swim clinic. Both clinics including video taping and form analysis with a coach. I was disappointed I looked as bad as I did swimming at the first clinic. I spent two months doing drills and was looking forward to seeing some improvement. I looked at the tape and did not see any improvement.  After two months of drills, my technique looks about the same. I find that very discouraging.
It makes me wonder if I will ever improve. I was counting on improved technique for some improved times in swim portion of the triathlon. Makes me wonder why I work so hard when nothing seems to change.

I was also really sore after my 90 minute track workout. My ankles were also so sore I could barely walk on Sunday. Also very discouraging.  It is so early in the training and wonder if my body will hold up to get me to the starting line.  I know my CMT has progressed to the point where this will most likely be my last marathon. It makes me think about what is ahead and what else I will lose to CMT.
When my body struggles it is time to get mentally tough and that is hard when it is so cold. Let's hope for a better week next week.

***********
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012  National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete. 

http://www.henschelhausbooks.com/catalog/memoir-biography/215-running-for-my-life-winning-for-cmt-9781595982827.html


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.


Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Soup Sunday- Prize Winning Chili


I did not actually make this recipe this week. I am away in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan doing some training for my company. That meant an all day drive today and I will not be back until later in the week. So no need for soup this week.  This is a great recipe to make when it's cold outside. This picture shows a pot of chili I made for a contest at work. It was a United Way fundraiser and I took 2nd place. I heard I would have taken first if we had not run out.  All the other contestants brought Nesco roasters full of chili and I just had a crock pot. We raised about $400 for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee.  This is the third time I've won a prize with this chili. I took a 2nd at the Wisconsin State Fair and 1st place in another work contest. So try it and enjoy!

Chili Con Carne
1 lb ground beef or turkey                                  ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
½ cup chopped onion                                       1-2 cloves garlic minced
¾ cup water                                                     28 oz can tomatoes cut-up
½ cup chopped green pepper                           10 oz tomato sauce
3 teaspoons chili powder                                  6 oz tomato paste
½ teaspoon salt and pepper                              4 oz chopped green chilies
                                                                        15 oz can chili beans
                                               

In medium skillet, brown meat with onion and drain.  Add remaining ingredients except chili beans.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Stir in chili beans and simmer till thoroughly heated. Top with sour cream and cheese


************************
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris Wodke is a member of Team USA. She will compete this year at the Age Group Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain. She is a two time Boston Marathon participant and the 2010 Paratriathlon Open Division Paratriathlon Champion.

She is the author of "Running for My Life-Winning for CMT"

She is the founder and manager 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 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.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Finding My Mojo


Mojo ready or a run


"Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it, what you put into it'"- Oprah Winfrey

I normally don't have a running partner. When I visit my family in Dallas, that all changes because I get to run with my favorite running buddy Mojo. Mojo, my nephew Dan's dog is an Australian Shepard, Chocolate lab mix. He is three years old and has not lost his puppy excitement for life. Australian Shepards were bred to herd sheep and Labs to work the fishing boats in Canada. Both breeds love to work and to be outside.

All I have to do is say the words, "walk" or "outside" and he is at the door, tail wagging and ready to go. If I put on my running shoes he gets excited.  One day I was all ready to run and stopped to send out a few emails on my laptop. Mojo stood at the back door wagging his tail. I knew what he wanted. My nephew told me to stop teasing the dog and making him wait to go out.

I wish I could bottle his energy and excitement. I would love to capture it for some of those days when I am just dragging at the end of the day.  Running is as natural to him as breathing. He is born to run. He is fast and his stride is smooth. I struggle to keep up and he trots along. It is a joy to run beside him and take part in his enjoyment of the experience.

As we run or walk I keep up a constant stream of chatter. I tell him he is a running dog, that he is a good boy and stuff like that.  Just adds a bit to the fun and the bonding. I thought maybe it was kind of weird since no one else walking their dogs were talking to them. Then one day I saw an older man with a black Lab talking up a storm as he walked. So maybe it is just a Lab thing.

He has tan markings around his mouth and  it makes him look like he is smiling when he runs. Or maybe he is laughing at how I run or the silly chatter I insist on inflicting on him. Or just maybe he is as caught up in the fun of running and the excitement of being outdoors on a gorgeous day.

Mojo does not seem to get tired, or if he does he doesn't let on. I had a two hour run one of the days and took him home after 90 minutes. I did not want him to get hurt, so I finished on my own.  When I got back he still had energy to play fetch with the ball and swim in the pool for a half an hour.

All that exercise makes for a mellow and well behaved dog at the end of the day. A couple of times he climbed the stairs to go to sleep well before anyone else went to bed. But that kind of tired is a good tired. I know exactly how he feels. Still next day he was ready to go, tail wagging for another outdoor adventure.

Back in Milwaukee I had my own Mojo moment this afternoon. It has been double digits below zero all week. Today it got up to  24 F and light snow was falling. After two days of intense run and bike workouts I had an easy 35  minute run on my schedule.

It felt so good to just go out and run. No intervals, no tempo run, no counting cadence, no splits, no laps, no setting on the treadmill. Just me in the outdoors running in the softly falling snow. It was beautiful and it felt like playing. Days like this are the reason I run. It just feels so good.  I know my running buddy Mojo would understand.

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





Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012  National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete. 

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 142 members in 28 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.




Monday, January 6, 2014

Boston 3- Week 2 Back to Realty



" The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."- Steve Covey


I spent the holidays with my family in Dallas.  Besides getting to spend time with my brother, sister-in-law and two nephews, I got a break from Wisconsin winter weather.   It was a pretty easy week workout wise because I did not have access to a pool. I ran every other day and walked on the other days, all with my nephews dog Mojo.

I flew back from Dallas last Wednesday night. It was 68 F in the afternoon and I took this picture of  my brother's house.


When I got home I took a picture of my house the next day.



Here is what my workouts for the week looked like and the temperatures.

Sunday- 12/29     Run 2 hours    64F
Monday- 12/30    Walk             46 F
Tuesday -12/31    Run 50 min wts 20 min  51 F
Wednesday- 1/1   Run 75 minutes, bike 45, 68 F
Thursday- 1/2       Rest    14 F
Friday- 1/3           Bike class 90 min, Run 20 minutes    12 F
Saturday-             Swim 60 minutes, weights 20 minutes   30 F

It was such a mental break to be able to get outside and workout. I followed the temperature in Milwaukee and one day it was - 5 F. My nephew asked me why anyone lives in Milwaukee in the winter and I did not have a good answer for him. What was not to like about running in Dallas?  No ice, no snow, sun and perfect temperatures for running.

So it was tough to come back to a foot of snow on my sidewalk and cold, cold temperatures.
I have 16 weeks to go until Boston and that will be my "main thing".  Because of the weather it will be many workouts on the treadmill and swim sessions in a cold pool.

I am also back to work, after having most of December off. I will not get a day off until I fly to Boston in April.  So it is time to focus, the hardest workouts are yet to come as I prepare for Boston.  Back to realty.

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

Chris Wodke 2013 Duathlon National Championship

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012  National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete. 

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 141 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.




Sunday, January 5, 2014

Soup Sunday- Playoff Edition


Chicken Tortilla Soup



" Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup."- Ludwig Van Beethoven

The last couple of weeks I was in Dallas and I still had soup Sunday. My brother made what he called the World's Best Pea soup and the World's Best Chili. They were pretty tasty, but not it is my turn to get back to cooking.

Today is Packer game day and it's a play-off game. I am glad I am not at Lambeau to watch the game since it is10 F and expected to get below zero as the game goes on.

So a cold winter day is perfect for soup. I cook on the weekends to give me meals for the week. This soup will be my lunch for most of the week. The day time high tomorrow is supposed to be - 12 F.  So that hot meal at lunch is really going to taste good.

I like to make something special for Packer game day. Guacamole seemed like a good pairing with the soup. It sure tasted good together.  Great post workout recovery meal. Today was a 2 hour bike ride and an hour run.  The soup is full of healthy vegetables and healthy protein to promote muscle recovery.  Enjoy and maybe you can make this for your soup Sunday.  I did top with fresh cilantro and the juice from a lime wedge. A good meal like this is a great reward for today's hard workout.  Go Packers.

Tortilla Chicken Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large yellow onion
2 large jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup frozen corn
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can ( 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 Carton (32 ounce) Swanson Mexican Tortilla Flavor infused broth
2 cups shredded cooked chicken.

Heat oil in a 6 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion and peppers; cook for 2 minutes or until tender crisp.

Stir in all remaining ingredients.  Boil, then reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes until potatoes are cooked.  Serve topped with tortilla chips or strips.


Serving suggestion:  add some chopped fresh cilantro to the soup bowl. Can also serve with lime wedges.

************************
Chris Wodke  Duathon National Championship October 2013


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012  National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. She will compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete. 

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 141 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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.