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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

HH Ski Race, White Lies and Race Lies


"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career, I've lost 300 games. Twenty six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again and again in life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan

I made a goal this year to improve my cross country skiing because skiing was one of the three events in the Winter Triathlon National Championship in St. Paul.

I took a roller ski lesson and practiced in Dallas over Christmas. Then when we had snow I took a lesson at Lapham Peak State Park here in Wisconsin. They have snow making and have a man made loop that is about a half mile with a couple of hills.  I got there half a dozen times to practice and even was able to do the big hill on the loop without falling.

Unfortunately the ski leg at the Winter Triathlon got cancelled due to lack of snow.   I placed 2nd in my age group in the modified race so I've qualified for the World Championship sometime in 2018,

I really wanted to get some race experience so I signed up for a local nordic ski race the first weekend in February.  The race would have two distances, 5K and 10K. There would be two types of skiing, skating and classic which I would do.  We have not had snow since the middle of December so I was surprised there was enough snow for a race.

I got to the race site at HH ski hill right on time. Registration was not set up....a little white lie.  I came back a bit later and picked up my bib. The race volunteer went over the 5K course with me....another little white lie. It looked longer than 5K and when I shared that with the volunteer the guy next to me in line laughed and agreed with me.

I asked about conditions. A track is always set for classic skiers. I was assured the course was in perfect condition and that there was a track pretty much the whole course......big white lie.

It was a small race and there were cash prizes on the line, $100 for 1st place, $50 for second and $25 for 3rd place.  There were only about 75 people in both races, maybe 15 in the 5 K race. As I waited I started talking to a women that looked to be a bit older than me. We were both saying we were slow and she suggested we just have fun and ski the race together.....big race lie. I told her I was not great on hills and she said there were no hills on the course......great big race lie.
As soon as the gun went off she was gone. I think she figured since there were only four women in the race, she would beat me and get her 3rd place prize money. What she did not realize was the prize money was only for the skating skiers. She was skiing classic like me. One of the guys said he wanted to ski with me and he took off too......race lie.

The gun went off and I soon found out there was no track and it was really icy and fast. I never fall on level ground or going up hill. It was so slippery, I fell twice on level ground.

The course was in the woods, the weather was in the mid-30's and it was really beautiful.  There lots of up-hill stretches.  I enjoyed the scenery and tried not to think about being in last place.  I caught up with the man just ahead of me, the one that took off at the start line. He told me he was not liking skiing by himself and could we ski together. Just as I was answering he took off again.  I passed him when he stopped to take off his jacket.

The race continued the uphill climbs, I knew what went up would have to come down. I came to a really big hill. It was so icy I fell a couple of times. I tried the softer snow on the side and that worked a little better.

There was a moderate hill that ended right at the finish line and I did a nice face plant about 50 yards from the finish.

I finished and it was a learning experience, not only not to believe all the race tales (wink), but to keep challenging myself.  I know I have some work to do to be ready for my next nordic race and hopefully become good enough to ski at the Winter Triathlon World Championship.  This race was not a great success, if falling down is failing. If failing is learning, then I am well on my way to becoming a success.

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

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 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 as a senior Olympian.

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 208 members in 38 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway 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/

Follow CMT Author Chris Steinke
https://cmtandmesite.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/what-is-charcot-marie-tooth-disease/


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