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Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 1- World Championship Training-Transitions

First event for Team CMT April 2011, Brown Deer, Wisconsin

Week 1 Training
Monday         Swim 70 minutes
Tuesday         Yoga 60 minutes, run 30 minutes
Wednesday     Bike class 90 minutes
Thursday         Swim 55 minutes, run 50 minutes
Friday              Rest day
Saturday          Bike 45 minutes
Sunday            Jayhawk tri (500 meter swim, 13.8 mile bike, 5 K trail run)  1st place female 55-59

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
For the last 4 years, I transitioned into triathlon season after running a spring marathon. I ran the Boston Marathon the last 3 years. With a million spectators on the course it was a great way to raise awareness of CMT. Last year fellow team member CJ Charboneau also partricpated in the Boston marathon.  We've had three other team members that have had qualifying times to run Boston. That is a great accomplishment considering patients with CMT were once told not to exercise.
I have lots of great memories of Boston, but unlike many long distance runners I knew I would not be able to go back year after year. Both of my coaches have asked me to stop running long distance. My plan even before running my first Boston was to transition into triathlons. That transition is now complete. I participate in many more triathlons then running events now.   At least for the near future my running will be short distance.  But I am a long distance runner at heart, so I guess we will see what the future holds.  It is difficult to plan too far out in the future when you have CMT, because there are no guarentees about how it will progress.
The Boston Marathon was on Monday so I now consider myself once again in serious training.
I had some news that makes my transition into triathlon a really good idea. I've had problems with my right ankle since training for Boston last year. The ankle swelled up after a track workout and I have been sporting two golf ball size pockets of fluid on the top of the ankle since last June.
A visit to an ortho doctor this week had good news and bad news. The fluid can be drained but it would cause more damage than good and would probably come back.  The fluid is due to arthritis damage in the ankle, so even surgery may not fix the problem.
The good news is I was not told to stop running and that I can probably keep running for some time to come. But no track workouts since they stress my ankle.  To minimize the damage on the ankle keeping to triathlons is probably a good idea for now.
It was a week of doctor visits. First to my neurologist and then to an audiologist. I've had ringing in my ears and I've now found out I have some significant hearing loss. I might benefit from hearing aids, but I cannot bring myself to wear them just yet. I'm told by the next time I have my hearing test in two years, I won't have a choice.
This week will mark the 4 year anniversary of Team CMT.   On April 30, 2011 Cheryl and Robert Kearney and myself did the 10K Deer Run in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. From those simple beginning we've grown to 163 members in 32 states and 6 countries.  We even inspired the  CMTA and the MDA to start teams.  On most weekends we have a Team CMT member somewhere doing an event wearing our Team CMT kit.  We do events from local races to National and World Champsionships. I will be competing in the ITU World Championship in Chicago in September for Aquathlon and Triathlon.

I   qualified as an age group athlete. I didn't volunteer or ask to be put on a start list. I earned it at a National Championship race. I will be representing Team USA in my aquathlon race and Team CMT in my triathlon race.

So I have lots of work ahead of me. I know one thing, I may not be the most talented athlete, but no one can out work me.  My biggest challenge will be staying healthy.
I finished off my first week of training with the Jayhawk Triathlon in Whitewater Wisconsin. It seemed like a good race to tune up for Paratriathon National Championships in Austin  at the end of May.
The race started with a pool swim,  My last tri, I got lapped in the pool by the eventual women's winner. This time I lapped the swimmer sharing my lane.  Since I was the only women in my age group, I decided to spend the time to change into dry clothes before heading out into the 40 degree weather.  My swim was 10:48 and I added almost as much time to change clothes.
Off on the bike course. It was hilly and windy. I was bundled up in sweats and a long sleeve shirt and windbreaker over my tri suit.  My feet were both a little numb when I got off the bike. I was able to average 15.3 mph. Not great, but OK for a windy and hilly course.
The run was all on trails. That is a huge challenge for someone with CMT. There were roots and rocks, soft spots and some big hills. You just cannot go as fast on a trail as a road course. My time was much slower than usual, but I finished safely.
I finished first in my age group, but I was the only one so it was not too much of a victory. Still my time was comparable with the age group above and below me. It was just the tune up I needed as I get ready for Austin and tranisiton into my most important races this season.


Wodke Competing for Team USA PATCO 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.  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 163 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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