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Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 2- World Championship Prep, All About the Bike

Getting ready to race at Bong 20K TT with a few friends.

"You always win when you make the full effort to do the best of which you are capable." - John Wooden

Monday-          Swim, 50 minutes
Tuesday-          Yoga 60 minutes
Wednesday-      Run 60 minutes
Thursday-         Bike class, hills 60 minutes
Friday-              Rest
Saturday-          Bike clinic, 3 hours, run 30 minutes
Sunday-            Bong 20 K Time Trail, 41:57, 4th place 55-59, Women

This week was all about the bike. Last year I struggled on the bike.  The bike leg is the longest part of a sprint triathlon. So struggling on the bike meant my triathlon times were slow all season. I was averaging 15 mph in races.  It felt like I was fighting my bike.

I'd taken the bike to PATCO Dallas for a para-triathlon race in early May. I thought maybe with taking the bike apart and re-assembling a couple of times, something went wrong with the way the bike fit.

So I had the bike re-fitted last September. The week after I hit 17.1 mp in a 20 K road race and qualified for the National Senior games in cycling.  It was a good start.

In last week's race I again averaged 15.3, but it was really windy and hilly. I was really anxious to see how the 20K time trail I had scheduled would go.

Twelve miles is a long way to race and keep up your pace. In marathons you have to keep up a steady pace and make sure you have enough to finish the race. I've really been working with my coach to push my pace especially in the bike part of a triathlon.

It was a perfect day for the race.  The temperature was in the high 60's with just a little bit of wind. It was cloudy, but the rain was supposed to hold off until evening. My coach raced as well as two other friends from my training group, Peak Performance Professionals. My friend Kim from P3 was also there to cheer us on and got pictures of each of us coming across the finish line.

The course was easy. One loop with three turns. It was a slightly hilly course.
I warmed up and was easily doing 18 mph and felt pretty good about it until one of the racers blew past me at about 25 mph. They all seemed to have aero helmets and aero bars. I ride a rode bike with a regular bike helmet.

Racers lined up by number and started one every 30 seconds. The racer behind me had spandex covers on his bike shoes. I asked why everyone was wearing them and he said like the aero bars and helmets, it provides an advantage.

Off I went,  the first stretch was windy, and there was a nice cross wind on one leg. I pushed it through most of the race. I took a little break twice, a move I later would find cost me third place. I missed by about 30 seconds. When I signed up there were only three in my age group. Two more signed on later. I would finish in 41 minutes 57 seconds with an average pace of 17.8 mph.

It's really nice to have a good race early in the season. It really helps to build confidence and set my up for success for the rest of the season.  Plus it was so much fun. Some day when I can't run anymore, I plan on bike racing.

I've got room for improvement, since I don't race on my drops yet, which would cut my wind resistance. I've got to leave some room for improvement.

Only bad thing that happened is my hands were numb through most of the race. That was a real distraction.

On Saturday, I attending an advanced bike handling class with my training group. I got to learn how to do a bunny hop on a bike. Riders us the bunny hop to go over obstacles in the rode. I don't have it mastered yet, but it gives me something to work on.  We spent lots of time learning how to ride a straight line, do cornering and ride in a group. All great skills for group riding.

Earlier in the week I went to and volunteered for the kick off meeting for the Bella Donna's a local women's cycling group. My coach has wanted me to do some group riding to push my pace and improve my skills.  Most groups seen too fast for me and she suggested this group. The group seems great and I'll do my first ride with them tomorrow night.
Team CMT members at Bike NY

It was all about the bike for Team CMT members at Bike New York. Members, Kris Tun, Matt Downing, Timmy Dixon, Robert Moore and HNF CEO Allison Moore all particpated in the 42 mile bike ride through the neighborhoods of New York. This is the third year the HNF has been chosen as a charity for the event.   Team members raised at least $1000 each and had preferred parking, breakfast and a Team CMT singlet. Well done team, proud of all of you for raising awareness and funds for CMT research and programs.

This weekend was all about the bike for Team CMT member Michael Watkins as he prepared for the Leadville 100 mile bike race in Colorado this August. He completed a 100 mile training ride in just over 7 hours.  Hope the training keeps going well for Michael. This high profile event will be a great place to raise awareness of CMT.

So this week was all about the bike. I'm going to keep working hard to improve my bike skills and pace. It's nice to have many of our Team CMT members on that journey with e.  That's how we'll all keep getting the best out of  ourselves.

The author at PATCO 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.  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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