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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Adventures in Cycling



"If you don't know where you are going any road will take you there." -Ernest Hemingway

A 50 mile ride was on my training plan last weekend. It would be my last chance to get in an outdoor ride before my half aqua bike on June 18th.  I wanted to have something that would be similar to my race.  I was worried about the pace being right on a club ride so I thought an event ride would be a good choice.

The Kenosha bike club was sponsoring the Lake Country Ramble. There would be a choice of 25, 50, 75, 100 or 120 mile loops. There would be rest stops with homemade cookies and more importantly mechanical support if I got a flat or had other trouble with my bike.

My life often seems to have some kind of drama and this ride would have a little bit of that.

When I checked the map at packet pick-up there were a number of colored loops for the different miles. Normally on one of these rides, you pick the mileage route you want to do, figure out what color it is and follow the signs or makings on the rode.  This ride was a little different. You had to follow one color on the way out and for some routes, two or three different colors on the way back. There was a map and you had to figure out which color to follow by the map.  All the routes started with the white route. I was supposed to pick up the red line route along the way but I never did find it.
I made it to the first rest stop and sampled the homemade cookies. I took one along for the road.  I kept looking for the red marks and never found them. It was really windy and the route was really windy.  Soon I found myself back at the starting point the Kenosha County fair grounds in Wilmot Wisconsin. The nice thing about this ride was it was in farm country. It was beautiful and went through small lake towns like Randall and Twin Lakes.

The route was only 31 miles, leaving 19 miles left to complete my training. I decided to try and find the 20 mile route.  Looking at the map I had to go to at least the first rest stop at 15 miles and that seemed like it would be too far.

I decided to just go along the white route for 7 or 8 miles and then turn around and follow the white route back to the fair grounds. I knew it would be tricky to try and follow the route backwards by looking for markings on the other side of the road.

It went well until I stopped seeing markings.  I knew I must have missed a turn and stopped to ask directions from a working doing some yard work.  I knew we were close and she said she drove her kids to school everyday in Wilmot, but she was having trouble figuring out how to get me back.

I showed her a map and then she told me to take a right and a left and follow the road back to town. Too bad those directions were not correct. I ended up at the Dairy Queen in Randall. I stopped and asked directions again. I was told to go down hwy B and then I saw orange route markings so I followed them. When I got to Twin Lakes I knew I was headed in the wrong direction because I had come through there on the white route.

So  I stopped a lady at a stop sign and again asked for directions. She told me to go back to the Dairy Queen and I would see Hwy W and to turn left. That road would take me to the Fairgrounds. I got to the Dairy Queen and there was no Hwy W. I stopped at the Dairy Queen and asked directions from someone at the Dairy Queen. He said "Weren't you just here?" I laughed and said yes and was Hwy W near?  He said it was just a bit farther down the road and yes it would take me back to the fairgrounds.

So I found Hwy W and this time I found my way back to the Kenosha County Fairgrounds.  I put on 54 miles. Just a bit longer than the training plan and only 2 miles shorter than my race on Saturday. It took me about 4 hours and it seemed pretty easy.  I was not even tired or sore the next day.
So even with the drama of getting lost and with the kindness of strangers I had a good training day.
I had a beautiful ride through some beautiful farm country. I can't wait for my race on Saturday.

*************

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 194 members in 36 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; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


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
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

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