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Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 Season Week 1- Let the Games Begin

"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."- Edubalow Truneh

My first race of the season is this Sunday in Verona, Wisconsin. I'm doing the Winter Wonderland indoor triathlon. It's a 750 meter pool swim, Computrainer ride and outdoor 5k.

I really love to race and having an event to look forward is really important at this time of year.  

I've struggled in my training this winter. First I had a couple of months where I my training was reduced to rest from racing season. I got used to having some free time.

I'm back to training but I've struggled mentally and physically. First it was hot flashes. I've not had a full night of sleep since the end of May. Then for the last month it was a bad case of hives. Some nights the itching and the medication kept me awake all night.  Fortunately that is all calming down and I getting better sleep.

Last year at this time I was prepping for the season with hope the new classification system would allow me to compete at the elite level as a para triathlete.

The new system is worse, not only could I not classify in, but the category we used to have for those with neuromuscular conditions was combined with athletes with single leg amputations.

I know of no one with a neuromuscular condition that can be competitive in the new system.

USAT just came out with a new elite paratriathlon licence. To qualify, you have to be within 15% of the top finisher at a ITU or National Championship event.  

Although my current triathlon times were about the same as the national champion in my old category. I am now more than 20 minutes behind the leader in the new category. My old times would have put me on the podium at nationals and if I had won there, my times could have put me in the top three at World Competition. 

I made my plane reservation yesterday for Paratriathlon National Championship in Austin. I know I won't classify in and will race in the PC Open division for the fourth time. I go because those of us with CMT need to show up at these events to educate the USAT and ITU about the challenges we face and how to assess this condition. I go to make the case for all the other athletes with CMT.

Last year at this time I was preparing to challenge at the national championship and be on a path to Rio in 2016. With all of that gone it has been a bit tough to be excited about training. So I have a reason to be a bit motivation challenged. I've been doing all the workouts, but I haven't had much joy in it. It's been tough to do it every day.

A race may be just the thing to energize my training.I have a lot to look forward to in the sport. I have a World Championship to get ready for in September in Chicago. I know I'll be ready.  The excitement of being in a race and the steps I need to take to improve may be just the thing I need to give me the mental spark I need.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

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 160 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, 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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