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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reset Button-Pewaukee Triathlon

My triathlon friends today at Pewaukee Triathlon

"You're never too old to be bold."- Les Brown, Motivational Speaker

My triathlon season did not get off to a good start. First I had food poisoning for my triathlon in Dallas for PATCO. Then I did not pass through classification for the ITU Chicago elite race. I also learned that the new classification system now includes athletes I can never hope to beat.  That meant any thought of qualifying for paralmpics in Rio in 2016 is done.

So it has not been a good start to the 2014 season.  But I had a chance to do a re-set just like last year at the Pewaukee triathlon this morning. I originally did not have this race on my schedule.  It was a recent addition when I found out these ladies from my triathlon training group would be there. The new training group led by last year's coach Scott Stauske would also be there.  This was graduation day (first tri) for them just like it was for many of us last year.

This race was also the State Championship for the Wisconsin Senior Olympics. Team CMT member Louise Gerhardt had already qualified for tennis. So I thought I would give it a shot to see if I can join her next July in Minneapolis.

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to go to a race now and see these ladies. They just have fun with no worries about their finish time.  In addition to Tri Wisconsin, I also belonged to a local para-triathlon group out of Chicago. I never really felt welcome by them and most of their members barely talked to me at races. It is so fun to go to races and know I will have friends there.

That is unusual because I find most triathletes to be extremely friendly and I will talk to just about anyone.

So it was great to see Mary, Phedra, Ann and Del Lynn today.  We got a chance to chat and share our race nerves before the race and celebrate another successful triathlon. We also got to congratulate the new class.
Tri Wisconsin Tri Newbie Class of 2014
 It seems like just yesterday we were posing for this picture. I've gotten to meet many of them at swim practices on Monday nights and at some group trainings. Congratulations to them and I hope they had a great experience and made some friends, just like I did.

I had a good race today and it was just what I needed. The swim was really choppy due to wind. This race attracts lots of beginners because it is only a 400 meter swim. Thanks to a swim practice that was even rougher I was OK. Lots of swimmers were breast stroking, side stroking and hanging on to the kayaks. It is tough to swim through that if you are not used to it. My swim time was slower than I wanted, but I felt strong.

The bike course was really hilly and very windy. I'd had a new bike computer installed the day before. It worked for about 2 minutes and I had no data the rest of the ride. I ended up at right around 15 mph. Not great but OK for the conditions.

The run had a couple of really big hills, but it was over quick.

Wisconsin Senior Games Medal and Finisher Medal

I finished 6th in my age group just out of the event medals, but I placed first in the Senior Olympics since that was scored separately.  I think I was the only one in my age group. But I will take it and I will be headed to Minneapolis next July for the National Senior games.  It is as close as I am ever going to get to the Olympics.

More important I had a really good time doing the race and especially seeing so many of my old friends and new friends. Last year this Tri Newbie group saved my season. Today the class of 2013 as we now call ourselves helped me hit my re-set button. I can tell it is going to be a great season!

Author competing for Team USA Dallas 2014

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

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:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 151 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; or

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

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