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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pleasant Prairie Triathlon

"Ability is what you are capable of doing
Motivation determines what you do

Attitude determines how well you do it."- Lou Holtz

Today was race day. I participated in the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon.  I was excited because I was entered in the Paratriathlon division.  I was doing it just for the experience.  Dare 2 Tri a Chicago based triathlon club was bringing a large group of athletes. Many had placed at Nationals and we were all competing in an Open Division.  I did not expect to place among a large and talented group.

Last year I bailed in the swim and did not finish the race. I 'd done a 10K the day before and mentally I was still exhausted from Nationals. The buoy looked so far away and I was not able to finish.  So I had to come back and conquer this course.

My wave was at 6:30 am which meant getting up at 4 am in order to set up my race area by the time transition closed. Anyone who knows me, know I am not a morning person. So a 4 am start was hard.

I did my warm up and was waiting for the race to start. All the athletes were all in the water. One of those waiting said to me " This is only for paratriathletes.", meaning I did not belong at the start.  I was wearing the red swim cap everyone else had. I informed the woman that I was a paratriathlete. Not content she asked if I was a handler. Again I said I was a paratriathlete. I know I look normal, but I was standing right next to a young woman that also has a neuro-muscular condition. I know because she was wearing AFO's at the clinic   I attended. I would like that woman to experience the pain I had the night before the race. My arms and hands ached because I over did. That happens sometimes now, even on days I don't do much.. The whole thing was not good right at the swim start.

But I felt confident this swim.  The buoy's did not look so far away this year. I was off with the group and after 22 minutes I was done with the 1/2 mile swim. I was not the first out of the water, but close behind two other athletes.  It was on to the bike course which my favorite spot. Thanks to all the off season cycling, I am getting better at this leg.

It was strange to be in the first wave of the race, so I was in the lead group on the bike course. I am used to being a follower. The course was not well marked and the volunteers did not always know the route.  Took one wrong turn.  When I came in off the bike I heard my race number called out over the radio. I wondered if I did something wrong.
The biggest excitement was a Sand hill crane crossed just a few feet in front of me with her baby. She was starting toward me until I yelled. I came close to hitting them.  The course was not as flat as advertised, there was some good sized hills.  My off season class really helped with those as well.

When I got to the first water stop on the run course the race volunteers said I was third over all and the first female so that is why my number was called out. I was the first female back in the park.
 I thought just wait I will get passed soon and I was by one of the wheelchair athletes. I felt happy for her because she took the same wrong turn on the bike course and she looked strong.

It was all over before I knew it and it was fun. I took 2nd female in the para tri and 1st in my division because they split the division into wheelchair and ambulatory. I did not care, it was just so much fun.
I finished in 1 hr 43 minutes. A very nice time for me.

It took 3 hours for the awards and I had a nice long visit with Team CMT member Kevin Klein and some other tri friends.  It was 87 F and humid but a great day.

I wore my Dare 2 Tri visor since I am part of their club, they asked me to be on their elite team, but I was already committed to Team CMT.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 122 members in 26 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

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

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

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

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

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

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