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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Racing Season-Nothing but Fun




World Championship Race Finisher Meal and Numbers

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...do the thing you think you cannot do." Elanor Roosevelt

I grew up in a family of seven kids. We always had food on the table and a roof over our heads, but there was not much money left over for extras.  All the time growing up we had used bikes that we shared.

I got my first bike that was all mine when I graduated from college. My oldest brother bought me a  used Fuji. It was my transportation for two years when I didn't own a car.  I rode that bike for years even after it was in an accident.

About 5 years ago I bought my first brand new bike. It was a Felt entry level road bike. It was a beautiful lavender color.  I now own 5 bikes and I still have this bike.  It has become my beater training bike. When I bought this bike I remember the salesman was a triathlete. He told me how much fun it was and how I should try it.  I told him there was no way I could do the swim. I was really afraid of swimming in a crowd.  I finally decided that running was getting difficult so I decided to do a triathlon.

My first few triathlon swims lived up to all my swim fears.   The first few races were really brutal.

Every once in awhile in rough water I can still feel a bit...well OK sometimes allot of anxiety.  Still there I was this November on the shores of a lake in Miami ready to do a 1.2 mile swim without a bit of fear.

My swim has really come a long way.  One of the highlights this year was the two swims I did in Cozumel.  Both swims were without a wetsuit, which was a big step for me. One that had me a bit nervous going into the race.  I placed 2nd in the PC Open division in the Age Group Open race and did well in the World Championship race. Both were really fun and the swim was much easier than I expected. I felt confident and strong in the water.

2016 Series Awards

To get ready for Cozumel I did a Aquathlon Series here in Wisconsin. It was a series of three races with points for each race. I am proud to say I took 1st place for the series for my age group.

This year I cut back on my travel to races and did only one National Championship. I did three races of the Wisconsin Triathlon series and I finished 3rd overall for my age group.

I re-discovered running races again when I did the Firecracker four mile race on the 4th of July.  I did two races in the local Beer Garden 5K and finished 4th in my age group in one race and 3rd in another. Both really unexpected results since I did not really train for these races and both came in weeks with other races.
Senior Olympics Wisconsin State Championships

I also won the State Championship for my age group for the Senior Olympics 10 K road race. It was a great race on a beautiful course around Lake Michigan. I had not done a road race since my last Boston Marathon. It felt great to be out there again since running is where I got my start as an athlete.  I also was the Wisconsin State Champion in all four of the cycling events for the senior olympics.
Aquabike National Championship Jersey

Finally  I finished my season with the Aquabike National Championship in Miami.  I did not have a great race, but won the PC Open division.  I once again qualified for the Team USA and the World Championship in Penticton, Canada.  I've won the PC Open division several times in National Championships but this is my first championship jersey. I cannot even explain what it means for me as someone with CMT to win this.  Growing up a clumsy kid in gym I never would have expected this to happen. I am so glad I conquered my fear in the swim. That step helped me to this accomplishment.

This season was all the sweeter because I put no pressure on myself. After 4 years of trying to break into the ranks of paratriathlon I decided to step back.  I decided to stay close to home and just have fun. I can honestly say this was my best season of racing. I was relaxed, had fun and some really good results.

I cannot wait until next year and I am already picking out races. It will again be lots of local races, some running and a few test events. I like to stretch myself and try new sports. Look for me to enter at least one National Championship.

It has been a great year for Team CMT as well. The team has grown to almost 200 members. I got to meet several of our members at the HNF patient summit in October in New York. I was part of a panel discussion on exercise and nutrition with members Jenny Decker, Kris Tun, and Estelle Lugo.

The very best thing about this season was I was selected to take part in the Pharnex drug trial for CMT. I am so hopeful this will be a treatment for those of us with type 1A CMT. I have been on the drug since October and already have much more energy. I hope that helps with training as I get ready for next year.  I think 2017 is going to be the best year yet.

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

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 and at the Aqua bike National Championship in 2016. 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:
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 207 members in 38 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; 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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