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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Triple Play

Pardeeville Triathlon on July 8th

"Don't be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I did not have a working computer for almost a month, so I have gotten really behind in my race reports. I do not know if anyone reads this blog, since there was no outcry when it went dark. I enjoy writing it and am glad to be back writing.  It has also been tough to write since I have been training and racing so much.

I did three races last week.  No coach would ever support doing that. It goes without saying that I am self coached right now.

I normally would not schedule three events in one week. By doing so much racing in such a short amount of time I knew I was risking injury.

The races are all part of a series and series points were on the line. I am in a top three spot for all three, so I decide to go for it.

Race 1-Fire Cracker 4 mile, July 4th Hales Corners
This race is part of the club championship for the Badgerland Striders. I am in first place for my age group. I needed to do this run to hold my spot.  I knew all I had to do was an easy jog and I would lead those that had signed up for the series.

I love this race because it starts in a park and goes through the surrounding neighborhood. Lots of the residents turn on their hoses to cool off the runners and many others sit in lawn chairs to cheer us on. The race had 1100 runners show up on a perfect summer morning. I worked packet pick-up and then did an easy 4 miles. It was good enough to hold my lead in the series.

Race 2-Beer Garden 5K,  July 6, South Milwaukee
This is the 3rd race in a four race series. So far I had placed 4th twice in my age group.    I missed out on 3rd place by 13 seconds. This is an evening race which I love. This series has been following the mobile beer garden as it moves from park to park. The temperature at race time was 95 F.  The race director was announcing for runners to adjust their pace due to the heat. I had wanted to run the race as a tempo run, to try and break into the top three in my age group. Due to the heat and being tired I decided to just do one minute repeats. That is one minute of hard running with a minute of rest. I carried water with me in a bike bottle.  I needed it to cool off and to stay hydrated. There was just one water stop the entire course.
The run was in the park on a closed course and ended in the beer garden. Every finisher got a pint glass of beer or root beer.  I did not stay for the awards, but found out later I had placed 3rd in my age group. I am holding at 3rd place for the series.

Race 3-Pardeville Triathlon, July 8th   400 meter swim, 15 mile bike,  5K
I had not planned on doing a triathlon on this weekend. I had to switch to this race because of a race in the running club series.    Pardeeville is north of Madison so I made it part of a family visit.

It was 60 F in the morning which felt really cool after the warm temps earlier in the week.  I woke up at 3 am wide awake. I got up and got to the race 30 minutes before transition even opened up.

While I was setting up I got questions on how to rack a bike by a woman in my age group. It was only her 2nd triathlon.  I would be doing my 5th of the season.

I did a warm up swim and did not want to come out of the water because it was warmer than the air.  I had left a gel on a table by the shore and when I went to get it pre-race it was gone. Every race needs a glitch and I took that as my one mistake for the race.

There were lots of beginners in the race and it would show in the swim. I seeded myself in the middle of the pack.  The two women just ahead of me should have seeded themselves back farther. One was breast stroking and one was doing the side stroke.  They both kept trying to climb over me. I finally grabbed one by the shoulder and pulled myself past. The whole swim was like that.  I went way too wide of the buoys costing me time. My final swim time was 11:03.

I ran past my rack in transition, losing more time.  I would be riding my tri bike for the first time in a race. Other than my bike computer turning off several times, it went well. I averaged almost 18 mph.

The run was flat and uneventful with a time of  31:42. It is a bit slow for me, but it was my third race of the week. I would finish 4th out of 9 in my age group. I felt it was like getting a gentleman's C in school, respectable, but not too distinguished.  Still I had a great week and it was lots of fun.

I was not even that tired after three races. I  am taking an easy week this week and seem none the worse for wear.   I will now get the week off. My next race will be a bike time trial on July 21st.

I know I am lucky to be able to race at all, much less three times in a week. Believe me that I savor every moment.


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 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. In 2017 she placed 2nd in her age group at the Winter Triathlon National Championship, earning a spot on Team USA for the World Champsionship.

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 213 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; 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

Follow CMT Author Chris Steinke

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