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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

World Championship Prep Week 12, National Senior Games

"To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway." -John Maxwell

7/5     Sunday          National Senior Games Sprint Triathlon, 1 hr 23 minutes
7/6     Monday         Off
7/7     Tuesday         Yoga 60 minutes, bike 60 minutes
7/8     Wed               My Birthday  Swim 60 min, run 30
7/9     Thur               Swim 45 min, bike 90 min
7/10   Friday             Run 50 minutes
7/11   Sat                  Bike 45 min, 65 min

This week I got a bit of practice racing at the National Senior Games in Minneapolis.  A National games sounds impressive, but this was a pretty low key affair.

Right from the start things were a little disorganized at packet pick up. There were only 3 people a head of me in line, yet it took abut 45 minutes. The credentials we were picking up were not in alphabetical order, hence the delay. So it was a good time to chat up the other athletes in line. I met shuffle board and softball athletes from Ohio, Alabama and Rhode Island.

The expo did not have many vendors. The packet we picked up had very little in it.
There was no tee shirt and no race numbers for the triathlon. I hear in Cleveland the site of the last games there were some nice athlete gifts.

Since there was no information on line or in the packet about the triathlon, I emailed the race director. I heard nothing. So I went out to the venue the day before the race to check out the course. There were half a dozen triathletes there all wondering about race day logistics like how would we get our numbers, when would transition open and close, that kind of stuff.

I revolved to just get to the race site early. My wave was set to go off at 7:36.

The night before the race I had dinner with Team CMT member Louise Gehardt and her friend Joyce.
There would be competing in doubles tennis. Since I did not do the Boston Marathon this year I did not get to visit with Louise. It was great to see her.

So on race day I was awake at 4 am which was good, because the 5 am wake up call I requested was never made.  I had breakfast and I was at the race venue by 5:30 am. I got a great parking spot. The volunteers were just setting up transition and said we could rack anywhere.  The sun was just coming up over the venue at Lake Phalen.

This was not the first time I've done a race on this lake. I used to be a competitive rower and was in a regatta here years ago.

It would be another 45 minutes until registration was set up.  All pretty loosely run.

The benefit of such a low key race is I was able to do a bike, run and swim warm up.  The water on the swim warm up was almost too warm for a wetsuit.

The race was about 15 minutes late starting and after a very brief race meeting waves went off by waves with the youngest (50-54) going first.

I've not done much open water swimming this season and it showed in the swim. I had trouble catching my breath and I had a headache.  Then the negative self talk started and I was wondering why I was doing this and promise to quit. Then I started using my swim mantra and calmed down.  I often have this fear when I race or even practice on open water and I have learned to manage it and push through it.

I came out of the water in 9 min 38 seconds. It was then off to the bike. The road was full of pot holes and cracks so it was hard to really open up. It was also a little bit of a hilly course.

The run was one loop around Lake Phalen and then it was done.  I set a PR of 1 hr 25 minutes. The funny thing is I had no energy, especially on the run.

The next day I did get sick and went home early from work. So maybe I was starting to get sick  already on Sunday. Still I will take it, on a day when I did not feel great I have a great time and lots of fun.

There were a number of Tri Wisconsin club members at the race.
I met lots of great athletes from all around the country.  The week was not a great one work out wise since I was sick the first few days. Having a birthday does not get me a day off with my coach and I did two workouts.

The race was a great experience to build on as I do my first Olympic distance race in New York this Sunday.


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 165 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, England 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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