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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lake Front Discovery Run-Getting Ready to Race

"I Am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of the decisions I make". - Stephan Covey

As an athlete I have to be ready to race under all conditions.  When preparing for a really important race I have to train in all conditions because anything can happen with the weather.

I raced in 90 degree heat for the Boston Marathon, swam in big waves for an aqua bike this summer and have raced many times in sub-zero temperatures. The wind chill was -20 F at the National Championship for Winter Triathlon last January in St. Paul.

On the last Saturday in October I was signed up to race 5 miles in the Lake Front Discovery run.   This race was a late edition to my schedule because it was added to the championship series for my running club.

I had the lead in the club championship in my age group and wanted to be sure I held it.  I am not the fastest runner in the club, just the fastest one that has signed and shown up for the races.

I had a big day planned for race day. My training plan said to run 14 miles. I had also decided to do my long bike ride of 60 miles on the same day. I wanted one training week to have  a really high training load to see how my body responded. I wanted to be sure I was ready for the long distance triathlon National Championship in Miami on November 11th. That race would be a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. If I could get through the workout I knew I would be ready. A training day like this would make me confident going into the Miami race.

So I was up at 6 am on a Saturday. I did an hour of cycling on the trainer. Then it was off to the race venue. It was 33 F and lightly raining. The winds were gusting 15- 20 mph. Not a great day to be outside. 

The Discovery Run had two race distances, a 15 K and the 5 mile which I would be doing. I thought they both started at 9 am.  The 15 K went off at 9 am and then there was an hour wait the 5 mile would start.

I warmed up by running for 65 minutes.  I would line up and do the race, then do a cool down to finish up my 5 miles.

The biggest challenge of the day would be to get my clothing right. I always tend to wear too much and then get hot. Doing such a long pre-race warm up, would help me get that right. Mentally it is a challenge for me to get out and run in this kind of weather. It was a big mental boost for me to be doing such a long run on a day that was this nasty.

I did run for 65 minutes, adjusted my clothing and lined up for my race. The plan was to just do it at an easy pace, like any long distance training run.

The course was along Milwaukee's lakefront, with the start and finish in Lake park. It followed a similar course to two other runs I did in the park this summer.

The course has a big down hill at the beginning and a big up hill near the end. Despite the early morning bike and pre-race run, I felt strong. I cruised along, choosing to pass a couple of women I thought might be in my age group.

There was one water stop and I did not pause, I grabbed a cup of water, squeezed the top of the paper cup and drank as I ran. I lost out on a 3rd place finish in a race this summer by 3 seconds because I dawdled at a water stop.

Before I knew it I was in the last quarter mile. I had passed a women that looked my age in the last mile. Now I heard steps behind me. I sped up to put her behind me.

I went out and did my cool down run for a total time running of 2 hr 35 minutes. When I checked my time posted at the race site, I found out I had finished 1st in my age group. I had beat the 2nd place women by 11 seconds. It was nice to be on the right side of things for a change. I had not expected to do so well since the race was fairly large. I think many of the faster runners were in the longer race.
I got the wonder pumpkin shown in the picture for my award. I was really happy that after an hour of cycling and over an hour of running, I was strong enough to beat the other seven women in my age group.

The after party was fun with music and beer. I met many of my running friends and did a bit of socializing until I could pick up my award.  I heard the party went well into the late afternoon, but I had to get back to training.

I went home and biked for another 3 hours on the cycle trainer to round out my training day. I was a little tired and sore.  I bounced back the next day with no injury. I am ready for the National Championship race and the challenge of doing my first 1/2 iron distance triathlon.  It was a really fun and challenging day. I am glad I was equal to the challenge of the weather, the race and the training.


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 219 members in 39 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway, Sweden and Ireland. 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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