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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Week 17, USAT Age Group Sprint Triathlon National Championship

Joy is an attitude:
it is the presence of love-
for self and others. It comes from a feeling 
of inner peace, the ability to give and receive,
and appreciation of the self and others.
It is a state of gratitude and compassion,
a feeling of connection to your higher self.”

8/9    Sunday,  USAT Sprint Triathlon National Championship, 1:44:45
8/10  Monday, Swim 45 minutes
8/11, Tuesday, Yoga 60 minutes, swim 55 minutes
8/12, Wednesday, Run 45 min, weights 30 minutes
8/13, Thursday, Bike 90 minutes, run 20 minutes
8/14, Friday, off
8/15, Saturday, Swim 60 minutes, weights 30 minutes

Sunday was the highlight of my week.  I raced in the Age Group USA Triathlon Sprint Triathlon National Championship.  It is really exciting to have athletes from all around the country come to my home town. There were 7000 athletes competing over the two days of races.  The course is beautiful with a swim in Lake Michigan, a bike ride over the Hoan Bridge and a run on a fast flat course along Lake Michigan.  So here is a quick race re-cap.

I needed to do a quick warm-up before the swim. The announced temperature was 63 F. I was shocked when I jumped it. I thought it would be too cold for me to do the 20 minute swim.  It was too late to turn back. So I lined up with all the age 55 and over ladies. I am guessing there were about 100 athletes.  Because athletes are competing for a chance to go to the World Championship, things get pretty aggressive on the swim. I do this race because it is great practice for the Aquathlon World Championship race in Chicago in September. This race was a great dress rehearsal. Because I am not the strongest swimmer, I lined last in line on the dock with a wider line on the buoys. I was trying to avoid the crowd. I always assess how I feel at the swim start and I felt great. Usually I don't sleep at all the night before a race and the night before this race I actually slept a little. I was not nervous about the race at all, since this was the third time.
With an air horn we were off.  I felt strong the whole swim and passed many in my wave. The men's wave did not catch me until about the last 200 yards.  The swim exit is up a slippery metal ramp. There were volunteers there to help us but I still slipped. My swim time was off a bit which surprised me.

My bike last year was terrible, almost an hour which is really slow for me. After the race I noticed my front brake was rubbing and my tires were a bit under inflated. I also think my bike fit was bad. So I had that re-done late last year and my race times have improved. So I was looking for some redemption in this race.  I bike as hard as I could and I felt strong and fast. My bike time was around 43 minutes,  Not as good as too years ago, but way better than the 58 minutes I did last year.

The swim is always a little nerve racking.  I always worry about a flat tire on the bike course. When I get to the run, I know I am going to finish the race.  This year I have been struggling a bit on the run due to tendinitis in my right ankle. I had to drastically cut back on my running. Still I pushed it on the run and finished in about 31 minutes. Not a great day, but better than some races lately.

This race is also fun because to draws so many local athlete. I belong to a local training group called Peak Performance Professionals. We had a tent in the village where many of the athletes would hang out.  There are a lot of really talented athletes in this group.  A couple of the guys were comparing their placement in their age group. They each were about 75th.  I got to say I was 47th. Of course I didn't tell them that was out of about 60 athletes.

I just have a really good time at this race, it helps me to remember how blessed I am to be a triathlete and have the coaching and support.  It is a feeling I am hoping to repeat in September as I compete in the Aquathlon World Championship and the ITU Physically Challenged Triathlon later in the week.  Until then I'll keep practicing and preparing.

Swim 21:58
Bike:  44:05
Run: 31:06

Total: 1:44:45

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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