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Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Busy Week

Medals Wisconsin State Championship Senior Olympics

" I have no intention to 'hang in there or survive'. I intend to keep living a purposeful productive life and do what I love".  - Steve Gleason former NFL player diagnosed with ALS

I am keenly aware of in a sense living on borrowed time. When I was diagnosed with CMT I knew I was so very lucky to be able to run, and bike. Many with CMT would never dream of being able to enter a race of any kind.

I know I am really blessed to not only be racing but to still be somewhat competitive. CMT is a progressive disease.  As an athlete I can see what the disease has taken.  Every race is timed.  I remember the time when I was almost assured a medal at a race.  I know some day the time might come when I can't run or won't be able to compete in races.

That day is not quite here and I treasure every race I am able to do.  My athletic career is not over yet and this year I have been racing lots and loving it.  This last week was a busy one for races.

First up on August 30th and 31st was the Senior Olympics Wisconsin State Championship. The first day for be a 10 K time trial and a 20 K road race. The next day would be a 5 K time trial and a 40 K road race.

When I had coaches they would never let me do both days of races. Since I am now self coached I decided to indulge and do both days of racing.

The race course is in a local county park and the course is closed to traffic.  There were only about 60 racers, most of them men.  Over both days there were just two in my age group.

The time trials are really a great way to get into racing. We lined up by gender and age. Women and oldest first. Once racer started every 30 seconds.  I lapped the other women in my age group during both TT's. I finished the 5 K in 10:07 and the 10 K in 19:58.

The road races were an interesting experience. Last year I was closely matched with one of the other women. We were able to draft for the entire road race.  I was kind of in the middle this year. I lapped a few of the slower women and got lapped by the lead group of men.  I did hte 20 K in 41:08 and the 40 K in 1 hr 27.    On the second day it was windy and I was a bit tired and was still able to average 16.6 mph over the long course.

This was good practice for my A race Aquabike Nationals. I will probably end up riding by myself in that race. A long ride on my own is good mental training.  It was just a couple of days of fun racing and seeing friends, even if my coaches would not have approved.  Ever race is just a celebration that I am still active.

The 5th race of the week was the Sugar River Triathlon in Bellville, Wisconsin.  I got free entry into this race due to the course error that got me disqualified earlier in the year.

I needed a 2nd triathlon finish to qualify for the National Senior games next year.
This race is part of the Wisconsin Triathlon Series. All of the races have been in small towns in Wisconsin in the town park.

As I started the swim I could feel my body was a little tired.  I sometimes have a little anxiety at the start of the swim. I stopped about 100 yards in to rest with my face out of the water. That is sometimes when my fear takes over and I think about dropping out.  I thought about everyone that knew I was doing the race and I did not want to tell them I had dropped out. I was able to settle down and get through the swim.

The bike course was really hilly. At the bike races I started working on a more aero position on the bike. Before I had really sat pretty much straight up. Now I am in a tuck position and I had an improved time on the bike of 58:34 minutes for 16 miles.

I just did an easy run  and came in at 29:37, good enough for 3rd place in my age group. I beat the 2nd place women in the bike and the run.  I need a bit more improvement in the swim. My overall time of 1:44:20 also qualified me for para-triathlon nationals next year and I got me triathlon finish to qualify for the National Senior Games in Birmingham next June.  I was also happy because my time was much faster than the 1 hr 52 I had on a easier course earlier in the year.

It was a tiring week, but fun and very productive. I had four 1st place finishes and one 3rd. No time to rest because I will be off to Cozumel in a few days for two races including the World Championship for Aquathlon.


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 represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and will represent the US at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon.

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 198 members in 37 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland,Iran and Sweden. 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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