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Monday, May 18, 2015

World Championship Training Week 4- Bouncing Back

Transition Clinic with P3 Training Group, Menomonee Falls Wisconsin

You have to have your heart broken, before you can become a champion.”  Doug Collins, Pro basketball player and coach.

5/11     Monday          Swim 40 minutes, weights 30 minutes
5/12     Tuesday          Transition Clinic, 2 hours
5/13     Wednesday     Off day
5/14     Thursday         Run 20 minutes, bike  1 hour 20 minutes
5/15     Friday              Run 60  minutes, intervals
5/16     Saturday          Swim 60 minutes, weights 30 minutes
5/17     Sunday            Chocolate City Bike Ride, 2 hours
I have my first outdoor triathlon of the season on Memorial Day. I've already done two indoor triathlons finishing first in both of them.
This one is a bigger test because I will be racing in the PC Open division of the National Paratriathlon Championship in Austin, Texas. I've had my heart broken more than once in Austin. I'd hope to be classified for one of the paratriathlon categories. I need to be medically classified into one of categories to be eligible for the U.S. Team and ITU World Championships.
I was told the first year I was not impaired enough. That was tough to hear, but I was promised the assessment process would change in 2014 in preparation for the paralympic games in 2016.  
They did change and the neuromuscular category was combined with single leg amputees.  That made it impossible for anyone with CMT to compete and be successful.   Last year in Chicago I failed assessment with ITU, meaning I could not even be assessed in Austin. So I will watch others line up to compete for spots on the US team and a trip to the World Championships in Chicago. That race will be the qualifier for Rio.
So while I'm not able to qualify for a World Championship as a paratriathlete, I will be going as an age group athlete.  I keep working out with the hope that one day soon I will go to a classification assessment and be accepted to compete.
I keep showing up to make a case for great acceptance for those of us with CMT. Those like myself that can make the time standard to complete, cannot pass the medical classification. So far those that have made it through classification are not fast enough to qualify for the National Championship. In my category I need a sprint triathlon time of 1 hour 46. That qualification time used to be 2 hours and 30 minutes. The new time leaves out many athletes with CMT.
So in the mean time I have an age group World Championship race to get ready for.  That means lots of workout and lots of practice.
This week that practice was a triathlon clinic run by my coach Heather Haviland. Heather is a former pro triathlete. She gave us some great tips on setting up a transition area.  Then it was our chance to do three circuits of a run, a transition, a bike and back into transition.
My skills are a little rusty. My fingers always struggle to get my bike helmet on. With the practice I got, hopefully race day will go smoothly. 
I've finished in the top three at Nationals the last three years and I'll do my best this year as well.
It wasn't all work this week. I got to do the Chocolate City ride in Burlington, Wisconsin.  Burlington is home to a Nestle factory, hence the Chocolate City nickname. I got to raise a little awareness of CMT.

I stopped to take a picture and a family stopped at the same place. They asked about my Team CMT uniform. It is great how many times I'm asked about Team CMT when I do events. I always use it as a chance to raise awareness of CMT.
The ride rest stops were stocked with chocolate. It was a hilly course with great Wisconsin scenery.
Burlington is farm country and I passed several really beautiful barns. I swear if I ever win the lottery, I'm going to start a non profit to preserve old farm barns. Most of them are from the late 19th century or early 20th century.  I grew up around farms and loved seeing this bit of rural Wisconsin.
This week will be packing and trip preps and of course a few workouts to be ready for Austin.

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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