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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Salad Sunday- Zucchini Pear Salad

Summer is winding down, but fresh garden produce is still plentiful.  I used a special tool to create the spirals used in this recipe.


I got this one on Amazon.  You can use spiral sliced zucchini instead of pasta. A great way to use all that zuchini that in everyone's gardens.  Fresh zuchini makes a pretty and tasty salad. The pears, pomegranates and zucchini all compliment each other very well. I kept the dressing very simple as well.  The pumpkin seeds add a nice salty crunch. Add them right before serving.


Zucchini Pear Salad
2 small green zucchini
1 small yellow zucchini
1 medium pomegranate, seeds removed and set aside.
1 green Pear ( hard and green)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (Roasted and salted)

Dressing
Juice of one lime
1 sprig rosemary
Zest of one lime
4 tablespoons olive oil


Use a spiral slicer to create long noodles from all three zucchini. Put into large salad bowl.  Chop pear into bite size pieces.  Add the pear and pomegranate seeds to the zucchini mixture.  Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and stir until blended.  Pour dressing over vegetable mixture. Top with the pumpkin seeds.
Makes 4 servings

**********************
Author competing for Team USA PATCO Dallas

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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Super Food Saturday- Chocolate Energy Bars

I like bars for breakfast. I start work between 6 am- 6:30 am. I leave the house at about 5 am so I am not really hungry and really don't want to get up any earlier to make breakfast. Since I eat at my desk while I work I really like bars for breakfast. Most of the commercial ones are full of additives and sugar. I've been making my changes to include more energy dense foods each week, so here is this weeks contribution to healthy eating.  
These would be great right before working out. Sometimes when I get home from work I'm hungry for a snack especially something sweet.  These are really good with a nice chocolate flavor and the only sugar in them comes from the dates. So if you love chocolate, try this healthy chocolate bar.




3 cups pitted dates, finely chopped
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup cacao powder
6 tablespoons cacao nibs
6 tablespoons hemp hearts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons maca powder
½ cup dried tart cherries
½ cup very hot water
½ cup sunflower seeds


Chop the almonds and cashews into course pieces.
Put all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. I use a Kitchen-Aid
Add the water and mix until well blended. Add the hot water and mix to make a soft mixture.

Press into a 9 x 9 inch pan coated with coconut oil. Place into a 250 F oven for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the bars in the oven until cool. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour and then cut into bars.  You can also put into the freezer before cutting if you want a really clean edge when the bar is cut.  Wrap in plastic and store in the freezer.
Makes 16 bars.

Featured Super Foods
Cocoa Nibs- rich in anti-oxidants, even higher than blueberries.  Also has magnesium, iron and calcium,

Chia Seeds- A good source of essential fatty acid omega-3.  Also rich in anti-oxidants and fiber. Has the minerals calcium and iron.

Hemp Hearts- The oil in hemp contains essential fatty acids.  It is a plant based complete protein.  Contains the minerals iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium.

Dates- more potassium per ounce then bananas. They are naturally sweet.  They have fiber, iron, vitamin A and B, and magnesium


Cherries, and nuts are also superfoods.

**********************
Chris Wodke representing Team USA at PATCO Dallas 2014

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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pizza With a Purpose- CMT Awareness Month



September is CMT awareness month, so you may see lots of posts and shares from affected friends and family members.

First up is our project with California Pizza Kitchen - Pizza with a Purpose

FUNdraier in support of:


Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation
Monday September 29th, 2014
All Day

Valid at a number of California Pizza Kitchens. See the full list at

http://www.hnf-cure.org/california-pizza-kitchen-campaign/

The fund raiser in the Milwaukee Area will be at:
Bayshore Town Center
5665 N Centerpark Way
Glendale, WI 53209

You will need to present a flyer and you can get one from me for the Milwaukee location or for other locations at the link.  These are being held across the country. Come out and meet me in Milwaukee meet others with CMT in your city.

Bring in the flyer, present it to your server and California Pizza Kitche will donate 20% of your check to the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation to support CMT research and programs.
Purchases include dine in, take out, catering and all beverages.

Please do not distribute the flyer in or around the restaurant. Tax and gratuity are excluded.
Please join us and lets raise some money and awareness for CMT!

**************************
Team CMT members at Bike New York


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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.

CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Salad Sunday- Corn and Quinoa Salad

Corn and Quinoa Salad


4 tablespoons olive
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups cooked Quinoa*
1 pt grape tomatoes, halved
1 small yellow zucchini squash
1 ear if fresh sweet corn, removed from the cob
1 cup basil leaves, chopped

Whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard, set aside to use as a dressing.  Place cooked Quinoa in a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, squash and sweet corn. Add the basil leaves and then pour the dressing onto the salad mixture. Mix thoroughly.


* To make the Quinoa, measure 1 ½ quinoa with 3 cups of water into a rice cooker or saucepan. Cook about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

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


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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing

Friday, August 22, 2014

When Things Fall Apart

Chris Wodke at Paratriathlon National Championship Austin 2013

Enjoyment appears on the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Sometimes the smallest things can set me off.  I don’t always even know myself when it’s going to happen. It happened just a few weeks ago.  A simple e-mail from my coach started a chain of discussions that got really emotional for me.

An email invitation to join my coaches training group for a run workout and swim on the USAT Age Group triathlon course the week before the race. Even a race I well prepared for can be stressful. I was physically ready for the race, but I thought a group workout was not what I needed for my mental health.  I know the athletes well. Anyone paying several hundred dollars a month for coaching is a serious athlete. I’ve done a few group workouts with them and I am way out of my league.

I politely declined the run workout but asked if I could join the swim. So then my coach wanted to know why. Out came a flood of issues all of which have to do with being a CMT affected athlete.
I shared how the group workouts I’ve been to have not been much fun. I can think of three that illustrate my experience.

The first was a bike handling clinic.  It was a requirement if I wanted to go on any group rides with my coaches training groups.  Before introductions even started one of the coaches pointed out to everyone that my helmet was on wrong, my strap was twisted.  The helmet was then handed to someone else to fix and it was announced the helmet was past its expiration date.  Who knew helmets have an expiration date?  So class had not even begun and I’ve been embarrassed twice.


 We all did introductions and many of the participants introduced themselves by how many Ironman races they’ve done.  Not to be out-done I introduced myself as a “sprint triathlon specialist” and mentioned I had made Team USA for duathlon.  Yep, can’t get my helmet on right, but I’m a member of the U.S. team. There were no helmet inspections at Duathlon Nationals.


So class was moving along fine,  I was able to do all the drills until we were asked to split into two groups and each group was to ride in a circle. I was moving to join one of the groups when one of the instructors decided the group I as riding toward was too small. He stepped in front of me to stop me from joining the group.  It happened so fast I did not have time to un-clip and fell.  That was humiliating enough, but the instructor made me stay on the group and gathered everyone around me to use me to make some point. I don’t even remember what the teaching moment was. I just remember being made an example of.  So there I was on the ground in front of all those Ironman athletes, being used to make some teaching point.


A few weeks later I attended a transition clinic at a local park.  In triathlons you have two times when you change over sports. You go from the swim to the bike in the transition area and then from the bike to the run.  At the clinic we would be practicing our bike to run transition. We got some pointer from my coach and then we practiced.  We would run a prescribed distance assigned by the coach, come into transition and change over to our bike and then bike a prescribed course. Because I am exclusively a sprint triathlete I was assigned a distance about half that of the other athletes to run.  Even with that shorter distance, they were all passing me on the bike and run. Not fun.


About a month after that my coach invited me to a brick workout at a local high school track. It started at 6:30 a.m. I hate morning workouts.   A brick workout is where you bike, then run to simulate the changeover during a triathlon.   Again I was doing shorter times on the bike and the track. So I would be off the bike first onto the track. Every single athlete lapped me. It is really tough when I am trying to hit a certain mile per minute pace set by the coach and I am being lapped. Not fun at all.  I wonder what these athletes think about me as they lap me.  Do they feel like I am in the way?  Do they think I don’t belong?
I go to open water swim practice every Monday night on Pewaukee Lake.  Every week some swimmer runs into me and in some cases right over me.  Again not fun.


I’m not totally in left field to think that. One of our Team CMT athletes was told to get out of the way when she was doing a group workout. She was told “Get out of the way and let the real athletes through.”
I had a fellow para-triathlete turn to me in a race and tell me the area was just for “para-triathletes.” When I said I knew, she asked if I was a handler.  I guess I did not look like I belonged.

During a group workout I’m concerned I will be tempted to push too hard, especially since I have an injured ankle.  I weigh every chance for a group workout. Will I get enough benefit or do I need the workout to be success? Is the group workout going to be worth the personal cost to my self esteem?
As an athlete you need to be confident going into a race, being lapped by other runners, or run over during a swim workout does not help my confidence.

I really prefer to work out alone and there is some evidence to support my preference.
I’m currently reading the book “Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain


The author explores how high achievers get their results.  She cites a study by Anders Ericsson from the Music Academy in West Berlin of expert violinists.   The professors were asked to sort their students into three categories; best musicians headed for a performance career as soloists, good  violinists and a third group preparing to be teachers.   The students were interviewed and asked to keep detailed diaries of their time.


All three groups practiced the same amount of time. The difference was the two best groups of musicians spent most of their practice time working alone. The elite musicians considered group practice time as leisure and considered their real work got done when they practiced solo.  They considered their solo practice time as the most important thing they did musically.  They practiced solo an average of 24.3 hours a week compared to 1.3 hours a week for those training to be teachers. They all practiced the same amount of time. The difference was the amount of solo practice time by the elite performers.
Ericsson found a similar result from solo practice for other kinds of expert performers.  He found grandmaster chess players spent five times  as many hours working on their game alone than intermediate chess players.


Ericcson’s theory is the key to excellence to engage in what he calls “Deliberate Practice”. This means to identify the things you need to do that are just out of your reach, work on improving your performance, monitor your progress and then revise as needed. 


Working in a group can interfere with this process, especially if you are an introvert like me.  The social interaction of a group practice or workout can interfere with the concentration needed to attain “Deliberate Practice”.  So my gut feeling that practicing alone is good for me has some basis in theory. I’ve never minded solo exercise.  As a long distance runner I am used to long solo runs. I love the time to think, the peace and the quiet.  I never feel pressured to run faster than I should to keep up with a group.  Solo runs where I set the pace have helped me to stay healthy. I feel pushing the pace could risk an injury for me on a body prone to injury due to my CMT.


Interactions with others can be draining for me.  I’m energized by time spent alone.  I need time to, think, reflect and re-energize. I don’t really look forward to parties or big crowds. Usually you will find me on the fringes observing the action.


When I’m being lapped on the track it does interfere with my concentration. I start to compare myself to other athletes. I think about the athlete I should be. I think about the athlete I once was.  I think about not really being accepted by other paratriathletes because I look normal. I think about being turned down yet again by the ITU for classification as a paratriathlete. I wonder where I belong. As I am lapped on the track or passed in bike and run workouts I know I don’t belong with normal athlete.


I just don’t have the ability to keep up with really good athletes in my coaches training group.  Everyday athletes of my ability do not have the competitive drive to push themselves in workouts.  I’m still allowed to compete in the physically challenged division of para events. I still have aspirations for National and World Championships. Someday I’m going to classify into elite paratriathlon To achieve the results I want I have to push myself. I have to be ready when my chance comes. I need the “Deliberate Practice” I can only get with solo workouts.


My coach often tells me to remember why I am doing what I am doing. I do those things to raise awareness of CMT and to win races. But it really is more fundamental than that.  I run, bike, swim, ski, hike, kayak and all the physical things  I do because I love it.  I experience what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls a “flow” experience.  He defines flow as the optimal state where you feel totally engaged in an activity. When you are in the flow so to speak, you are not bored, or anxious and you don’t question if you are good enough.  Time can pass by without you noticing. That describes solo workouts for me exactly. I do it because I love it, not for any reward it brings. Quitting is never an option.


When I work out alone I can fully enjoy the moment of being able to run.  I can feel myself accelerate as I do speed workouts and find joy in the power of my body. I can swim and feel the water with each stroke. I can ride my bike and feel the wind in my face and the sun on my skin and not have to worry about keeping up with anyone else. I can concentrate on being the better athlete I am capable of despite the limitations of my CMT.  When I workout alone, I don’t get lapped and I don’t compare myself to others.  I can fully experience the moment. I can concentrate on the workout.  Working out in groups gets in the way of my joy in doing what I love.


So I will occasionally join a group workout. I enjoy the company of other athletes. I’ve met lots of great triathletes and runners. I’ll do them when it makes sense for my growth as an athlete. The rest of the time you’ll find me happily swimming, biking and running solo and I like it that way.

******************
Author competing for Team USA May 2014

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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon. In 2012 she finished 2nd in the Mobility Impaired Division.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Boston Marathon Decision- In or Out?

Boston Marathon Finisher Certificate
Everyone has a story, it’s what you make out of it. You can feel sorry for yourself or you can pick-up and use it as motivation.” – Esubalow Truneh

I got my Boston Marathon finisher certificate from the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A). last week.  It brought back lots of good memories.   It was an emotional day for me to come back and support the people of Boston after the 2013 bombing. It was a chance for some closure for both me and my guide Cheryl Kearney after being stopped just short of the finish line.

On race day we were all Boston Strong. The athletes took back the marathon for the cities along the route and the people of Boston.  Even though we could not undo the damage from the attack, we could run to show our support. We showed the world that even in the worst of circumstances you can react with grace, dignity and love.

 It is hard to imagine ever running a race with bigger crowds or ones that cheered more loudly than the fans did that day.  It truly is a special event and one I have been so proud to have run three times. I’ve stored memories to last a lifetime in my heart.

I had the best of my three Boston Marathon runs last year. My finishing time of 4 hr. 51 minutes does not really tell the whole story.  I finished 5th in the Mobility Impaired Division in a year when the number of participants was greatly expanded. My coach Heather Haviland had me so well prepared. Marathons are never easy and Boston is a tough course. Still my legs felt better in training, during the race and after than I have in years.  We completely changed how I was training and it paid off.  I laughed when I saw the race goal she set for me, but I hit it exactly.

So now I have a decision to make.  Do I return to run once again? My heart tells me yes, but my head tells me it may be time to make another decision.  There are many things to consider.
I love everything about the Boston Marathon.  The fans make you feel like an elite athlete. They cheer for you like you are the first person they’ve seen, even if they’ve been standing and cheering for hours. Whole families line up to cheer and hand out food and water to runners.

When people in Boston see you wearing your Boston jacket, they thank you for coming to the city and tell you they are glad you came.  Church ladies knit scarves in your honor and on race weekend give them to runners, wishing you courage and wrapping you in love.

The Boston and Paris marathons are the only marathon I know of with a Mobility Impaired Division.  If you provide medical proof of your condition and meet the strict time standard you are accepted. No humiliating assessment and being told I am too strong or not impaired enough.  

We are scored in our own division, allowed guides and have a separate packet pick-up.  We are treated like elite athletes.  It has been a chance to compete in one of the World’s premiere athletic events.  Even as mobility impaired athlete it is not easy to get into Boston. The six hour qualification time is tough for most athletes with CMT to achieve. I am 1 hour and 10 minutes under the qualifying time standard.  That means if I return I have a good chance of once again placing in the top three in the division. 

 It feels great to put on my Boston Marathon jacket. Running Boston means respect from other athletes.  It is a true achievement.

Running the event has been great for raising awareness of CMT.  Running this race has brought lots of media attention to our cause. That interest has come even in years when I was determined to run the race away from media attention. Participating in the Boston Marathon is something many runners dream of but never achieve, so the story of a physically challenged runner doing the event has been news worthy.
Running Boston has been great for fundraising as well.  My first year I raised $10,000 for CMT research.  My worry is my friends and family a getting a bit weary of me asking for money.

As hard as the training is, I really love the preparation.  I am at heart a long distance runner. I love the peace and quiet of my long runs.  I do them without music. It is a perfect time to reflect. I often think about my work and writing.   Some of my fondest memories are long runs on crisp fall days, my feet crunching fallen leaves or on freshly fallen snow. There is almost nothing more fun than doing a run as the snow is fallen or on freshly fallen snow. I try to get out before the walks are shoveled.  I can still remember my last long run before Boston was in Marquette Michigan.  There was six inches of fresh powder snow on the bike path.  I had a wonderful 16 mile along Lake Superior under sunny blue skies. Just the kind of day that makes me glad I’m a runner.

Training for a marathon takes time. It takes time away from projects like promoting my book, writing my blog and managing Team CMT.  I think sometimes that my time may be better spent doing something else.  Training takes time away from friends and family. Training for Boston would me once again giving up lots of other important opportunities to train.
Training for another Boston marathon means a constant fight against the injuries that will come during the training. Every time I’ve run Boston I’ve acquired chronic injuries to both my ankles. I have an injury to my right ankle that has not healed since my last Boston. Can I even get through the training to prepare for the race.

 Training for another Boston marathon means countless visits to the chiropractor, physical and massage therapists.   Do I want to put myself through that? Is my time and money better spent doing other things or preparing for other races?

I feel like I am standing at a fork in the road.  By April when the marathon takes place I will have qualified for the Paratriathlon National Championships and World Championship competitions in Duathlon and Aquathon.  I have to wonder if competing again in Boston will harm my performance in these events. My CMT is progressing and doing another marathon may not be a good idea. I may need to stop long distance running to be able to continue to compete in triathlon. I may need to stop doing marathons to be able to stay active at all. Both my coaches have told me to give up running marathons.  The marathon distance is hard even for perfectly healthy athletes, much less one with CMT.  Running a race on a hilly course like Boston really takes its toll.

If I don’t run Boston, I might never be able to return. I can use my qualifying time from last year’s race to run this one. If I don’t run that means running another marathon to qualify and then running Boston in the same year.  That is probably more than my body can handle. 

Less than 1 percent of Americans have ever run a marathon.  When you run the Boston marathon you are part of a very exclusive fraternity.  I am not sure I am quite ready to check out yet. It may take as much courage to decide not to run as it has to prepare and run my three Boston marathon races.
Registration opens on September 8th and I a lot to think about before then.  I know I want to stay as active as possible. I want to keep raising awareness of CMT and funds for CMT related programs and research.  Will there be another Boston Marathon in my future? Even I don’t know the answer yet.

One thing I do know for sure. I have a story to tell. My goal in running the Boston Marathon was to tell the story of those affected with CMT. I ran for those that can't run.    Whether I run Boston again or compete at a World Championship as a triathlete, I will do it to tell our story, because telling our story is the first step to treatments and a cure.


********************
Author competing for Team USA at PATCO 2014

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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Salad Sunday- Summer Crab Salad

Summer Crab Salad
I got a chance to visit the West Allis farmers market this week. It was started in 1919 making it one of the oldest in Wisconsin.   I like going to the farmer’s market and buying the freshest and best looking produce, then figure out what to make from my finds.  I found these really wonderful round squash. 

I used them for today’s salad and am going to use them for a Thai Curry next week. They are really tender and are wonderful in this salad.  I have good memories of the farmers market. My mom loved the farmers market. Because she didn't drive I would pick her up on Saturdays and we would go to the market together. My mom used to make the salad often in the summer for family gatherings.  I think of her whenever I go to the farmers market or make a recipe she used to make.


 Summer Crab Salad

1 box bow tie pasta
1 8 oz package imitation crabmeat
½ cup sour cream
½ cup miracle whip
¼ cup half and half or milk
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup green peas
½ cup grated aged cheddar cheese
1 small yellow squash, chopped into bite side pieces.
2 tablespoons fresh dill weed finely chopped.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold eater.  Finely chop crab meat and put in bowl.  Mix sour cream, miracle whip, and half and half.  Add  cheese, onions and dill weed.  Add to crab mixture and then add to the pasta.  Add squash and tomatoes,


Serves 6
*****************


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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Super Food Saturday- Blueberry Chia Seed Jam

Blueberry Chia Seed Jam


1 pint frozen blueberries
½ cup water
3 tablespoons honey ( can use agave or maple syrup as well)
2 ½ tablespoons chia seed
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla

Use frozen berries for this recipe because they make more juice than fresh ones when cooked.

Put berries, water and honey into saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Mash the berries with a fork as the mixture cooks.  Taste mixture and add more sweetener if needed.
Add chia seeds and cook for 2 more minutes. Keep stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, once cooled add extracts and pour into a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Even if you’ve given up bread, you can use this jam. Mix into yogurt or put into a smoothie.  Would also be great on whole grain pancakes or waffles.

Experiment with different fruits, this recipe would work well with strawberries or peaches. Also try combining different types of berries to create a nice combination of flavors.

Today's SuperFood:

Chia Seeds:
  • Work great as a thickening agent in this recipe because they hold more than 12 times their weight in water.
  • They are the richest source of plant based omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Are easily digested.
  • Have a slight nutty flavor and add a nice crunch to foods.
  • Contain 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.
  • One tablespoon gives you 10% of your daily calcium requirement.
*********************
Author at PATCO Dallas 2014

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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Race Report- USAT Age Group Triathlon National Championship

Cheryl Kearney and Chris Wodke at USAT Triathlon Championship


“I’ve failed over and over in my life, that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

It was a pretty busy weekend for me in Milwaukee. I joined Team CMT members Cheryl Kearney and Kevin Klein at the USAT Age Group National Championship here in Milwaukee. It was a full weekend of events for me.

First there was the practice swim. My coach works for Peak Performance Professionals-P3 and they had a tent at the event expo. The expo was right at Lake Michigan which was a perfect spot for it.

The members of P3 have worked really hard both this year and last to bring this event to Milwaukee. A number of my fellow P3 athletes raced and we all gathered before the practice swim for a group picture.

I even wore my P3 kit for the occasion. No matter since I would wear Team CMT kit for the actual race.  I took the afternoon off from work to do the practice swim. There were so many athletes on the dock it was hard to get through, but not that many were in the water. I jumped in and was worried the water was too cold, but after a few strokes it felt just perfect.  I swam the sprint course, after I got out, I ran into my teammate and we got a picture. I had so many friends racing this weekend it was hard not to run into someone I knew.

Cheryl raced on Saturday in the Olympic distance race and I was volunteering at the finish line and got to see her and a lot of other friends finish. I worked as an athlete escort. It was my job to take the winning woman to the drug tent for testing. When I was done with that I came back and worked handing out water and Gatorade at the finish.   It was lots of fun.  

My first aid training came in handy. I've worked the finish of several marathons and it is not unusual to see a few athlete stagger at the finish.  On Saturday it seemed like athlete after athlete was having a bit of trouble. Many struggled to stay on their feet or keep walking. I know I alerted the medical staff to several athletes that needed help.  We all got lovely green shirts for volunteering, much better than the blinding orange ones we got last year.

My race was Sunday and was a bit of a disappointment.  My swim was about the same as last year and my run was a minute faster. The bad news was I had some bike issues. An under inflated back tire and a rubbing brake meant a really slow bike time.  I was 16 minutes slower than last year.  I did not have a good time at all, but Cheryl was there to cheer me on and I finished.  


 It was a beginner mistake to have a low tire. I'll just chalk it up to experience and do better next time. We never did find teammate Kevin, there were 1500 athletes competing so it is easy to miss someone.
I'd worked really hard to be ready for the race, but I've got Chicago coming up in a few weeks. A bad race can be a learning experience as long as you don't repeat the same mistakes. So on to Chicago where I will represent Team CMT as a paratirathlete at the biggest triathlon in the country.
*****************

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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Salad Sunday- Margherita Salad

This salad takes its inspiration from the Margherita pizza. I had Margherita pizza on a trip to Rome a few years ago. It is a really simple pizza, just a crust, tomato sauce and fresh sliced mozzarella cheese.  I got my first tomatoes out of my garden, and I have pots of fresh basil just begging to be used.

 I’ve put my herbs in pots this year so I can take them indoors to my sunroom when the weather turns cold. Then I’ll have fresh herbs for cooking all winter.

Margherita Salad


10 medium Roma tomatoes, sliced
½ cup onion, chopped
1 package, 8 ounces, fresh mozzarella cheese pearls

Dressing
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sun dried tomatoes
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 bag kale or kale salad mixture


Place tomatoes, cheese and onions in a salad bowl.
Place the basil, garlic, and tomatoes in a blender.  Add almonds and cheese.  Drizzle in olive oil and add vinegar.  Pulse in blender on high speed for one minute.  Pour over tomatoes mixture.


Serves 4

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


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

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three 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 and was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

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

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 152 members in 30 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/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
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