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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mid Week Aquathlon-Shaking out the Rust

"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises'"- Demosthenes, Greek Philosopher

I don't usually do mid-week races. I am usually tired after working and mid week races sometimes get in the way of training. I signed up for a series of three Aquathlon Wednesday night races.

The races are swim (400 or 800 m) and a 5 K run.  I signed up for the 800 meter option because I can always use the open water practise.  I had just done a sprint triathlon on Sunday so I knew I would be a little tired. But considering the problems I had in the race swim, I knew I needed some race experience before my A race on June 18th.

I did one of these races last year and it was pretty low key. No awards and no race numbers. Just a timing chip.  Series age group awards are given if you complete at least two races.

I got to the race venue more than an hour early because I came right from work. I could set up anywhere I wanted in transition.  I picked a nice landmark by a post about halfway between the swim and run exit.

I chatted with several other women as I set up. I found out one is doing the same race as me next week. Not only is she doing the entire Iron man half distance, she is going to Madison the next day to be the relay swimmer for a 1/2 iron man there.

I knew this race would be small. Most of the local athletes were at a local running club race.   About 75 of us lined up for the mass start. Some would do one lap for 400 meters, the rest of use would go twice around.  The race director announced at the start that if you changed your mind and just did one lap to just let them know when you exited the water and they would adjust your placement.  Just what I needed was an excuse for an early exit.

The horn blew. I lined up sort of near the back because I am a slow swimmer.  I was out of breath on the way to the first buoy of the triangle course. As I looked up while swimming I thought about just doing one lap. But I wanted the distance training to help me be ready for my long distance.  As I continued to swim I continued to think about just doing one lap. They made it so easy to bale.

But then I got into a rhythm and I started to feel strong. I made the turn for the second lap instead of exiting.

The 5 K was uneventful. I was having a hard time catching my breath and then I told myself to slow down because they was a training run. I know my usually 5 K time would not put me in contention for a top spot. So I slowed just a bit, but still enough for a good workout.

I was one of the last to finish, but there is no shame in that. Athletes that turn out for a race like this are hard core and fast. I hung in there for the swim and got a huge boost in my confidence. I felt I could have easily continued to swim. I know I will be fine on race day. My run needs a bit of work, but it is early in the season and I have time.  This race just makes me want to do more races and I have signed up for several more.   I finished 3rd in my age group. Not a bad effort. If I had done the 400 meter loop, I would have been 2nd in my age group. There may have only been three women in my age group.

No matter, the real test is my half iron aqua bike (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike). After this last race, I feel confident and excited. This is a test race. If it goes well I will sign up for the Aqua bike National Championship in Miami in November.  These first two races had their challenges, but it has made me ready to meet the challenges of the next race!

See you at the finish.


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 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; 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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