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Friday, February 28, 2014

Boston 3- Week 9- Total Focus


My work inspiration board


"Workouts are like brushing my teeth: I don't think about it, I just do it. The decision has already been made." - Patti Sue Plumer, two time U.S. Olympian & long-distance runner

Sunday         2/16       18F        3 hour Run
Monday       2/17       24F        60 minute Swim
Tuesday       2/18       16 F       60 minute Run, 45 minutes weights
Wednesday  2/19       28F        90 Minute bike
Thursday      2/20       33F        Run 40 minutes, 20 minutes weights
Friday          2/21       21 F       45 minute swim
Saturday      2/22       18 F       75 minutes bike, 20 minutes weights

The weather has continuted to be a challenge. I did get out one day to run when the afternoon temperature was in the low 40's.  Boston still seems to far away. Since this is going to be my last Boston I have not had the focus on the event I have had the last two years. I am doing a new program which is more triathlon focused, I am doing less running so my legs are much fresher. It does not fell like I am training for a marathon. In some ways I'm not because my focus has changed.

Rio 2016 is written on the piece of paper tacked to my board in my office. I had a similar piece of paper a few years ago. It said "Boston 2012".I put it up on my board in my cubicle as soon as I set the goal of running the Boston Marathon. I put up that piece of paper before I even had a clue how I as a CMT affected runner would make that dream come true.

I focused all my thoughts and energy on first getting into Boston in 2012 and then placing 2nd in the Mobility Impaired Division. Along the way lots of good awareness was raised for CMT.

So now "Rio 2016" hangs on my board. Rio means the paralympics for triathlon.  It is as likely a goal as running Boston. Yet amazing things happen when you completely focus on a goal.

It goes beyond a hobby or an interest. Every decision I make is toward reaching my goal. Working out is not an option. If a work out is on the plan it gets done. No waiting for motivation or feeling like doing it. If I want to reach my goal I must be dedicated and consistent.

That means the things that get in the way of the goal fall by the wayside.  I've only been to a movie once in the last year. I don't have time to put a movie in at home either. I am not complaining it is a choice I make. I work out, write, manage Team CMT and work to raise awareness of CMT.

Twice this winter friends have asked me to snow shoe or ski. Two activities that have also been given up. I can't take the chance of being injured. My kayak sits in the garage unused. My focus is on being ready for Rio.  Someday I look forward to picking them up again when Rio is history.

No detail has been left to chance. Every part of my life is open to improvement. From diet to sleep, it all goes toward Rio in 2016. I needed to shave 4 minutes off my race time to be competitive. My last triathlon time with an easy effort was 3 minutes and 30 seconds better.

Under my Rio sign is the article from the USAT web site when I won the National Championship in the PC Open division in Austin two years ago. So my goal is not a pipe dream.  Every race I enter brings me closer to my goal.  Austin and winning the National Championship in a classified division is the next step.

I've planned, I've executed and made choices, good choices.  The choices and the life style feel good. Focused feels right.

Will I get to Rio? It is a long shot for sure. But then so was Boston. Who would have thought the slow clumsy kid if was would grow up to run Boston.  It is amazing the things that fell into place for Boston.When you focus and dedicate yourself amazing things can happen.  Only time will tell.

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




Author at 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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/





Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where Do I Belong?



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

Starts of races are always stressful for me, especially triathlons.  I stand at the edge of the water or tread water if I am lucky enough to have an in water start. Usually I am wondering how I will get through the swim.  The buoys always look so far away and I am always so tired. I wonder where I will get the energy to finish the race.

That was how it was this June at the start of the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon in Kenosha Wisconsin.  I was sitting in the water with all the other paratriathletes waiting for the gun to start the race. I had a lot to think about. I was just a few weeks out from Paratriathlon Nationals where I was denied classification. That meant no chance at the US team.

I had tried to do this race the year before, but I bailed out in the swim. I tried several times to make myself swim the course, but I was just not mentally strong enough. I gave up that day and gave in to my fears.

So I was looking at the course as I was waiting for the start and thinking all the things I usually think about. My thoughts and pre-race mental prep were interrupted when the woman next to me turned to me and said "This area is just for paratriatletes."....meaning you do not belong and you are not one of us.

I know I look normal, but I was not the only athlete in the race without a visible disability. I had met this athlete at a clinic in Chicago the March before the race.  I told her " Yes I know" meaning I know the area was for para-triathletes. Not to be put off she pressed me.  "Are you a handler?" No I told her as the gun went off. " I was in Austin last month." Meaning I was at the para-triathlon National Championship.

Not a good start to the race. Especially since I was fighting demons from failing to complete the race the year before and not classifying at the National Championship. I had to compete in the Physically Challenged Open Division. A division I won the first year and placed 2nd in this year.

But that is not good enough for me. I want respect for myself as a CMT affected athlete and for anyone else with CMT wanting to compete at the highest level. We deserve a fair and accurate assessment. I was treated like a scammer during  both assessments. I was not taken seriously. It left me frustrated and angry. Not just for myself but for every athlete affected with CMT. Several of us had the same experience in Austin.

The Paratriathlon Manager thought I should be satisfied with being in the Open Division and being able to compete. That is not enough for me. Triathlon is a way of life for me. I have a goal to compete in Rio in 2016. I have the focus, talent and dedication to make the U.S. Team. I want to compete among the very best.  The discipline and success I have had in sports carries into all parts of my personal and professional life. When I race I raise awareness for those affected by CMT. So it is not just about winning, it is about recognition for everyone that struggles with this condition day after day.

I want this for myself and for the wider CMT community. I want CMT to be recognized as a legitimate impairment. I know as an athlete how it has affected me. I know how important it is for the CMT community to have positive role models. Exercise can be life changing for someone with CMT. I know it has improved my symptoms.

The experts in the community have long advised against exercise. I have seen that start to change with my success and those of my Team CMT teammates.

I want the community to have pride in who they are. At one time those with cognitive impairments were shunned by society and existed in the shadows. When Ethel Kennedy started the Olympics she could not have know the profound effect it was have not only on this disabled community but also on how they were perceived by the public. It changed not only how the athletes felt about themselves but they became more respected and accepted members of society.

So while chasing after medals and competing may seem self centered and selfish. It is not just about fun or winning a medal. I have a purpose. I want to bring CMT out of the shadows and to make the invisible visible. I want those with CMT to be proud of who they are and not hide their condition. Sports has the power to make those kinds of changes.

Will I make my goal? Well the ITU has released the new categories and I have a shot. It will all depend on how we are assessed and what evidence they will accept. My expert Dr. Chetlin submitted a paper on CMT and assessment.  Will the ITU consider my impairment enough? The last assessor told me I was clearly impaired, just that the standard would not accept me. Those with MS were getting in and they have a right to be there, but will those of us with CMT with similar level of impairment now get in?

 I have shown I am a good enough athlete to compete with the very best.  I will find out this May where I belong. Will I be a classified athlete or will I once again be consigned to the Open Division?  Time will tell. I am still hopeful. It is all in God's hands.If I do not get in, then it just means he has something else in mind for me.  When I cross that finish line whether in Autin or Rio, it is a victory for all of us affected by CMT.

***************************
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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/




Monday, February 24, 2014

Soup Sunday- Mexican Shrimp Bisque


This week's recipe is a day late. I did not have time to post yesterday because I was competing this Sunday in the Winter Wonderland Triathlon in Verona, Wisconsin. The event ran late and I got home later than I planned.  The nice thing is I had this soup waiting. So instead of stopping for fast food I had something healthy at home.

Mexican Shrimp Bisque




1 small onion chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups water
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup fat free half and half
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup Greek yogurt
Fresh cilantro, cubed avocado

In a small saucepan, sauté the garlic and onion in the olive oil until tender. Blend in the flour. Stir in water, half and half, tomato paste, bullion cubes and spices.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add shrimp to soup.  Gradually stir in ½ cup of soup into the yogurt. Return all to pan, stirring constantly. Heat, but do not boil. Ladle into serving bowl and garnish with cilantro and avocado.


Serves 4

*******************
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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Super Food Saturday Raspberry Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Pudding

This week’s recipe features two super foods; Greek yogurt and quinoa.



Let’s focus on quinoa today.
Quinoa is one of the few sources of complete plant protein. In includes all nine amino acids.  Here are some of the other benefits:
·       Fiber- twice as much as other grains, which helps to fight high blood pressure and diabetes.
Quinoa in high in iron, magnesium, B2 and Manganese.
·       Iron- keeps red blood cells healthy, regulates body temperature, enzyme activity and energy metabolism.  Many women are low in iron. 
·       Magnesium helps in transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation and energy production.
·       B2- improves energy metabolism need in brain and muscle cells.
·       Manganese- an anti-oxidant that helps to prevent damage to mitochondria during energy production
Quinoa is also high in Lysine which is needed for growth and tissue repair.

I first tasted quinoa when I traveled to Peru. I was doing a 2 week small group trip. Part of the trip included a family home stay on Lake Titicaca.  Here is the view from my room. One of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. It is the lake at the highest altitude in the world.



The family lived on a small plot of land a very long climb from the dock.  They grew their own food.  We had several meals at this home.  My home stay mom of six cooked over a wood stove in a kitchen with a dirt floor.  My first meal started with a wonderful vegetable soup with Quinoa. I remember for dinner we had omlets with french fries cooked into the omlet. Sounds wierd but it was wonderful.
 Here I am with my home stay mom Amelianna and her two year old son  in rront of their home. No electricty, no running water and no TV in this house.  Lots of love in this house and staying in their home was a wonderful experience.



I remember each of the kids coming in to meet me and eat dinner as they finished their homework. Each one of them came and said good bye to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek on my last morning to kiss me good bye.

I also did a hike on the Inca trail to Machu Picu.  Our guides served us quinoa most days in soups to start our meals. There is actually a marathon on this stone covered trail used by the Incas. These guides were amazing, carrying all our luggage, tents, food and cooking equipment. These same guides can run this trail as part of that marathon in about 6 hours and it took us 4 days. The trail includes a climb to over 10,000 feet over dead woman pass. Here I am with my group including our porters and cooks at the end of the trip.

All the healthy food we were served helped make the climb early. Peru cuisine is full of fresh vegetables. They grow over 300 types of potatoes. They also served guinea pig as a delicacy.  For me eating new foods is the best part of travel. I am glad I was introduced to quinoa. I hope you enjoy this recipe. You will be seeing several more in the coming weeks featuring this great grain.

1 cup quinoa
1 (14 ounce) can of light coconut milk
½ cup water
1/3 cup raw sugar*
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 pint fresh raspberries

Directions
In a medium saucepan over medium- high heat, combine the quinoa, coconut milk, water and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes, then stir in vanilla, and yogurt.  Take a large bowl and put half the berries in the bottom, pour pudding on top and add the rest of the berries.  Refrigerate.

* You can use honey or white sugar if you do not have raw sugar or like a whiter pudding.

You can also add a pinch of salt, I left it out. I like a very strong vanilla taste, so reduce this if you would like a less strong flavor.


I hope someday you will visit a Peru, it is a beautiful country with great food and warm welcoming people.  Visiting Macu Picu was a spiritual experience.  Here is a shot from the hike iin.

 You can also take the train if you are not up to hiking the Inca trail.  If you do I hope you have some of the same great food I experienced. Until you get to visit you will have a little taste of Peru everytime you eat quinoa.

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

The author at Macu Picu

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 143 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.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Boston 3- Week 8 Taking Risks

Boston Marathon 2013


"Sometimes success is just outside of your comfort zone."- Jack Canfield

2/9       Sunday         7F         pool run          60 minutes
2/10     Monday      -7F         run/swim        35/45  minutes
2/11     Tuesday      -3F         Swim             45 minutes
2/12     Wed             6F         bike/run         90/20
2/13     Thur            22F        Rest        
2/14     Friday           6F        Run/Swim       60/45
2/15     Sat                6F        Bike/wts         90/30

It continues to be tough weather wise for outdoor training. Still lots of bike trainer and treadmill work. Time on the treadmill, on the trainer and in the pool give me lots of time to think about how things are going with my training.

When I prepared for the 2013 Boston Marathon I fully expected it to be my last marathon....at least for awhile.

I got injured in 2012 training or should I say over training for the race. I didn't just want to run Boston, I wanted to place in the top three in the Mobility Impaired Division. The training paid off when I placed second, but I paid a price.

I developed what doctors think is a cyst on my right ankle. I think it is due to the thinning of the muscle in that area due to the progression of my CMT. I knew running last year was a risk. I trained a little less harder and was ready for my farewell to Boston.  Because of the terrorist attack I did not get to finish the race.

We were stopped less than a mile from the finish. I could see the final turn. It was so close. I knew I would come back to finish and to support the people of Boston.  The crowds love the runners and it will be our turn to love them back and show our support. I have a race to finish.

So I am taking a risk by training for and running another marathon on a questionable ankle? Will it hold up? Will I cause more damage?  I have Paratriathlon Nationals in Austin just  five weeks after Boston. Am I risking being healthy for that race and the World Duathlon Champion in Spain the following week?

My current coach and my last coach have not really been happy with me doing both Boston and Nationals.It is not enough time to recover. I could be sacrificing performance at Nationals with my Boston run.  I've weighted the options and I want to run Boston one last time.

The classification system is still so uncertain for paratriathlon. Those of us with CMT have not had much success in being accepted to compete. I have had to compete in the Open Division the last two years. I did quite well, but did not have a shot at Team USA spots. So I weighed the risk and decided with Boston being certain I would do the race.  The race is not the only risk I am taking.

I am also trying a new training approach with this Boston.  I am letting my coach plan my workouts. My old coach would have done that for me. I just was not ready to give up control to someone else.  So that is a risk for me. It is tough to let someone else decide what workout I should do each day and when I get a rest day. I have been able to balance my training for years. I needed to improve my performance for Nationals, so I needed to try something new if I want to make the U.S. Team.

Although I am running Boston, I don't have any goals to finish in the top three. I really am focused on the coming triathlon season. My weakness is the bike leg and my workouts have focused more on biking and less on running. So that is a risk for me. My coach knows I am worried. She tells me my legs remember all the miles I have run in training and doing Boston. She says I will be ready.

I am willing to try a different approach, that may reduce the stress on  my ankle and improve my bike time.
Still it is a risk and I will not know if it worked until after Boston and Austin. Will it pay off in Austin? I may and even though I improve my performance there is no guarantee I will get into the competition. It all depends on the new classification standards. Am I putting all this effort into winning a competition I may even get into? Another risk I am willing to take.

So I keep working out, following my coaches plan and dealing with my dicey ankle. We will know by the end of May if the risk was worth the reward.  Fingers crossed!

***********************
Author at Duathlon 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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Soup Sunday- Thai Chicken Soup


Thai Chicken Soup

This recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Fitness Magazine. I used cooked chicken from a rotisserie chicken I bought from the grocery store deli. It speeds up the preparation and is a good way to use left over chicken. You can use uncooked chicken breast, and then just cook until the meat is done before adding the liquids.  This recipe would also be really good with shrimp or pork. Feel free to experiment with ingredients and make the recipe your own.

I love Thai food. It is full of complex flavors and fresh ingredients. Lots of veggies and spices. Meat is just an ingredient making Thai food a healthy option. I love cooking Thai food because it reminds me of the 3 weeks I spent traveling there. I spent a week on my own and 2 weeks with a small group through Intrepid Travel. The company is located in Australia, so I was the only American in our group of 10. The rest were from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and England. We had such a great time together. I think about them often. Our guide Paula is one of my Facebook friends. She now lives in Tasmania with her husband and two small children.

We spent our time exploring the rain forest and remote beaches in the south.  The food was wonderful and the Thai people are incredible. So friendly and welcoming. I would love to go back some day. For now I will have to settle for a taste of Thailand by cooking Thai food.

Thai Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger root
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 can crushed tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (optional)
6 ounces rice noodles
2 cups shredded Napa or Chinese cabbage
1 cup fresh bean sprouts

Heat oil in soup pot; add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add chicken and stir to coat with the garlic and ginger mixture. Mix peanut butter into tomatoes. Add along with chicken broth to the pot.  Add fish sauce and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the rice noodles. Cook 5 minutes.  Add cabbage and cook another five minutes.  Add bean sprouts and turn off heat.


Can be garnished with chopped peanuts, chopped green onion and cilantro.

***********************
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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Super Food Saturday- Pumpkin Hummus

Chili Pumpkin Hummus


"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."- Unknown

1 (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed well and drained
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp chopped Cilantro (Gourmet Garden Cilantro)
¼ cup olive oil
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ Tbsp red chili flakes (or uses Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tsp soy sauce

In a food processor combine the garbanzo beans, garlic and olive oil. Pulse several times to break up the beans and then blend until smooth and evenly pureed.

Add pumpkin, spices, chili pepper, soy sauce and lemon.  Blend until all is smooth. Add more olive oil if you want the hummus thinner.

Serve at room temperature with crackers, baguette slices or with a vegetable platter.

This was my Super bowl snack this year.  Usually I do chips and salsa, but I am trying to eat healthier.
There are many healthy ingredients in this recipe making it a better choice than chips and salsa. Pumpkin has a number of health benefits:


  • Fiber- it is rich in fiber slowing digestion.  It has 7 grams of fiber per cup.
  • Calories- Pumpkin is low in calories with only 50 calories ber serving.
  • Beta Carotene- this substance is converted to vitamin A by the body, which is essential for eye health.  A serving of pumpkin has 200 % of your daily requirement of vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps fight infection and can help prevent cancer.
  • Anti-oxidants- Pumpkin contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin that are thought to prevent cataracts and slow macular degeneration.
  • Vitamin C- has 20 % of recommend daily requirement which boosts immunity, helps prevent infections and can help prevent cancer.
Enjoy this healthy snack!


********************************
Duathlon 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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Boston 3- Week 7 Valley Places


My Pain Cave


"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." - Theodore Rubin

Feb 2   Sunday            1 F          Run 1 hr 46 min
Feb 3   Monday          -2F          Swim 45 min, wts 30 min
Feb 4   Tuesday          10F         Run 60 minutes, bike 45 minutes
Feb 5   Wednesday     23F         Bike class 80 minutes
Feb 6   Thursday           0F         Swim 45 min, wts 30 min
Feb 7   Friday              -5F         Bike 2 hours
Feb 8   Saturday            4F         Run 2 hour 42 minutes

It has not been above freezing this winter here in Milwaukee for 25 days.  I think we have had 70 days of sub zero temperatures. Usually I get outside to ride my bike at least once a month. There is usually at least one day when the roads are dry and the temperatures are in the 40's. Not this winter. My bike has been on the trainer in my "pain cave"  since I got back from Dallas in early January. The last time I got outside to ride was New Year's Day in Dallas.

The weather has also hampered my outdoor running. I am really tired of the treadmill and the indoor track.  Not only has it been cold, but it's been windy and the sidewalks are covered in snow and ice. When it warms up a bit this winter it snows.

So mentally it's been a challenge. I heard on the radio this morning as I was driving to a meeting that SAD ( Seasonally Affected Disorder) is being reported in record numbers.  The harsh winter all across the country has caused reports of the this condition to reach record numbers. It is a mild form of depression that happens from the short daylight hours. We all seem to be suffering together this year. Several of my triathlon friends say they have not worked out much. They just don't feel like it.

This winter is definitely a valley place. I've been through a few of those in my life. I've had extended job layoffs twice. It is a tough time when you don't know when you are going to work again.  As hard as both those times were, they both had silver linings.

During the first layoff, my mom had a stroke and I was able to spend lots of time with her in the hospital as she recovered. One of my friends really stepped forward during this time as well and lifted my spirits and I still fondly remember the time we spent together.

The second time I was unemployed for 16 months. During that time I worked part time in my Aunt and Uncle's business. I did some minor office work a couple of times a month. Since the business was home based and I lived an hour away,  I would stay with them of 2 or 3 days at a time.  The best part was the time I got to spend with my Aunt. We would do crafts together, watch musicals, Packer games and drink tea and talk. I still treasure those times because I lost my Aunt this year to Cancer. I am so glad I had that time with her and it would never have been possible if I had not been out of work.

During that same time I saw an advertisement in a safety training publication looking for authors. I thought, I can do that, even though I had not done much writing in my life. I worked with them for most of my unemployment as a developer of training materials. That experience helped me land the job with my current company.

The writing experience lead to my own publishing company for training materials, blogging and finally the book I just published.

Those times were difficult. I would be the first to admit I would like to live trouble free for the rest of my life. But in those valley places I found the seeds for the accomplishments I am now realizing. I've learned to look for the growth and opportunity they present.

My diagnosis of CMT in 2010 could have been a valley place and sometimes it has had it trails. But I know from my past valleys to focus on what I can do no matter what my circumstances. Deciding to raise awareness lead to my  running the Boston Marathon, forming Team CMT,  and competing at the National and International level as a triathlete. I've also met tremendous people from all over the country as part of this journey.

I would trade it all tomorrow for treatments or a cure.  Until that happens I will continue to make the most of my situation. In the problems I have faced have been the seeds for tremendous growth that would not have been possible any other way. So while I am not glad the bad things happened, I am glad I was able to learn and grow from the experience.

******************
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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/





Sunday, February 9, 2014

Soup Sunday- Pizza Soup



Pizza Soup

"If you can't get out of it, get into it." -Outward Bound Motto

When I am doing my long runs when training for a marathon, I get really hungry after I’m finished running.

I have been known to eat an entire pizza. I am not proud of that and can’t even say an entire frozen foos pizza tasted all that good. It's hot, but the crust is like cardboard. Eating all those calories in one sitting kind of defeat the purpose of running.

So I modified this recipe as a substitute. It may not be health food, but it is lots healthier then eating an entire pizza. I paired this soup with garlic bread, a salad and an orange for desert to prevent muscle cramps.  The tomatoes add a nice shot of vitamin C to build the immune system.

I love this soup because you can adjust it based on what you have on hand and what you normally like on your pizza. If you like black olives feel free to add those or leave out the green peppers or mushrooms.  I used tomato sauce made from roma tomatoes from my garden and I also grew and froze the green peppers I used.  So I have just a little bit of summer in this soup. Something to look forward to !


Pizza Chili

1 lb. Italian Sausage cooked
½ large onion chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups pizza sauce
1 can (14 ½) Italian stewed tomatoes
2 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ (3 ounce) package turkey pepperoni
½ cup green pepper
1 tablespoon pizza or Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil in stockpot. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are cooked.  Add everything except the cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add cheese.  Garnish with additional grated mozzarella cheese. Makes 8 servings

**********************
National Duathlon Championship 2014

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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Superfood Saturday- Overnight Cinnamon Raisian Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal- Cinnamon Raisin



  • 1 Cup Steel cut or regular oats (NOT Quick Oats!)
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Raisins

Directions

1.    Step One

Spray crock pot with cooking spray before adding ingredients.
Combine all in slow cooker. I used a small dip crock pot and set to low. A big crock pot, it will get too dry. This oatmeal is firm, use more water if you like it thinner or add milk when you eat.

2.    Step Two

Cook on low for 7hrs. Set to warm until you are ready to eat.
The cinnamon will rise to the top, Just give it a stir.

3.    Step Three


Serve with milk and cinnamon sugar. I added fat free half and half. I ate for the next three days. It re-heats great in the microwave.

Today's Super food recipe features steel -cut oatmeal. This recipe is so easy to make. I put it together in a few minutes and had breakfast ready when I got up.  There are endless flavor variations on this basic recipe and you may see those pop up in the next few week. I love to experiment with flavors when cooking and got lots of ideas from the Internet and a recent article in Fitness Magazine.


Steel Cut Oatmeal Health Benefits.
Recently my coach recommended I substitute steel cut oatmeal for the instant oatmeal I was eating for breakfast, so I took a look at some of the health benefits of steel cut oats. Instant oatmeal can have lots of added sugar and salt. Rolled oats are healthy especially if you eat them without sugar like I do, but steel cut oats are more nutrient dense. Adding them to my diet is just one of those small changes I have been making.

Feel Fuller
Steel-cut oats are , rich in B-vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber while low in sodium and unsaturated fat.  One cup of steel-cut oats contains 8g of fiber. Steel-cut oats are whole grain groats, the inner portion of the oat kernel, which have been cut into two or three pieces rather than flattened. It takes longer to digest, making you feel ful longer. 
Rolled oats lose some of their nutritional value due to all of this additional processing.

Reduce Diabetes Risk
Oats are a  whole grain, which reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and help prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. They are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion. Steel-cut oats have a lower glycemic index than instant oatmeal (42 versus 65), causing a smaller insulin spike when consumed. 

Studies have indicated consuming  five servings of steel-cut oats (serving = one cup cooked) a week, there was a corresponding 39 percent reduction in the risk of onset of type 2 diabetes.

Reduce Heart Disease
Steel-cut oats is that they help eliminate fat and cholesterol from the body. Studies show individuals with high cholesterol (above 220) consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.

*****************************
Author National Duathlon Championship 2014

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 143 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, February 7, 2014

Taking Good Care of My Baby




"Do or Do Not, There is no 'Try'"- Yoda in the movie The Empire Strikes Back

In December I had a very vivid dream that I had a new born baby. Well I am well past the age that is even possible. Since I had just published my book a few days earlier, I am pretty sure that dream was about taking care of my book.

It took exactly nine months from the time I started writing, just after I got home from the Boston Marathon until the book was published.

Writing was the easy part and only took about two month. Editing was harder since I had to go over the book to make the corrections my editor wanted.

There was a bit of family drama about getting a release so we could submit to a book contest.  All that is easy with what comes now.

Now I have to promote and sell the book. Asking people to buy my book is not in my skill set so I know that is going to be a challenge. I think about how to promote it all the time.  Unfortunately most of the promotions cost money and putting this book together cost thousands of dollars already. I will be lucky if I break even because I am donating most of the profits to CMT research and programs.

I heard the other day the average author only sells about 250 books. I also heard a radio report Wisconsin Governor Walker only sold 7000 books and he is known across the country.

It is tough to break through a crowded book market. Still I am going to try.  I have partnered with the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation to promote the book  A story will appear in their next newsletter. The newsletter has a circulation of over 20,000 so if even if only a small portion buy the book we will raise a nice amount of money.

Some other plans in the works as well which I will write about as they unfold. I kept this book almost completely secret when I was writing it. Only one person knew about it. I kept is secret because one of the other CMT groups seems to copy everything I do. I wanted it published and in circulation before that could happen.  Always seems to be drama in the non profit CMT world.

So along with juggling training and writing I can add promotion to my "To Do" list. Sometimes I wonder where I will find the time for the energy. I have to tell myself promoting this book is like training for and running a marathon. It does not have to happen right away. I have to take my time and let it unfold.

Sometimes I hold back on telling people about my book, especially co-workers. I wonder what they will think. Not that I am trying to hide my CMT. It is just that I wrote some really personal things both about being a CMT affected athlete and some of the things that have happened in my life.

I think that is normal for an author. When I went to an author meet and greet at my publishers a few months ago, several authors said the same thing.  Many expressed how their books shared very personal stories or were about tough topics like battling depression. Expressing these things makes us human and I think makes for an more interesting stories. I hope those who read the book find it an interesting and inspiring story.

So I have lots to think about and lots to do, but I have gotten this far with my book and I intend to take good care of my baby. I want it to sell as widely as possible to raise awareness of CMT and to raise funds for CMT research and programs.


************************
Author at National Duathon Championship Arizonia 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 143 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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/