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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Race Report Cherry Valley TT

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs."-Henry Ford

As an athlete, when I plan my season I always pick out my "A" races.  Those are the races that are the most important in my season. Those are the ones that are the point of all the planning and workouts.

My two "A" races this year in the Toughman Aquabike on June 19th and the Aqua Bike National Championship on November 13th  Both are a  1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike. Those kind of distances can seem overwhelming. Racing a few shorter distances helps make a long race seems more doable.

Racing can be a good way to help get into shape for an "A" race.

My first outside race this year was 20K time trial bike race in Cherry Valley, Illinois on April 16th.
I like to try out new locations, that keeps things interesting for me.  I did not do much biking this winter other than once a week indoor bike class. I am also self coaching for the first time in 4 years.

So this race was going to be a good measure of my early season fitness. I was not expecting my time to be very fast because I did a 46 mile bike ride the day before the race.  I was going to treat the race like a workout and see what happened.

Cherry Valley is just over the Wisconsin border near Rockford. I way under-estimated how long it would take to get there. I left early so I got to the race in plenty of time to pin on my race number and warm up.
Time trials are easy because you line up according to your start time.  A racer starts every 30 seconds. You basically are racing against the clock. The racers are all really spread out. No riding in a pack at all.

The course was hilly with some really long gradual hills.  The road was really rough. The vibration caused my hands to go numb so I had to stop about half way through the race to take off my biking gloves. It helped a little.

The good thing about an early season race is it a chance to tune up pacing and race skills. I learn to push myself and work on my focus. After one of the hill climbs I forgot to put myself back in a high gear. I could not figure out why I was going so slow until I looked down and realized I was not on my big chain ring.

So I ended up with a time of 46:39. Really slow and good for 4th place. It was a lot of fun and I met some nice people. It was exactly what I hoped for, a good workout and a chance to practice my race skills.  I know I have some work to do and that will make me work harder in my bike workouts.


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 and 2016

 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 188 members in 35 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland 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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