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Monday, July 30, 2018

Beer Garden 5 K- Lake Park Edition

"Sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left." - Itzak Perlman

Thursday July 26th was the latest installment of a series of races in Milwaukee following the traveling beer garden.  Beer gardens were common in Milwaukee before Prohibition. They have now been brought back to the county parks. Some like the park across from my home are permanent. Others get a group of trailers and food trucks that make a six week visit to a location.  The race series have been following this beer caravan.

This one was in Lake Park along the shores of lake Michigan.  The park was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, the same architect that designed Central Park in New York City.

The park has a lawn bowling course, a high end restaurant, hiking trails, a water fall and lots of bike trails.  The weather was perfect for a race, 73 F with a light wind and no humidity.

I like to warm-up for my summer races with a short bike ride.  I am swimming and riding to cross train as I train for my New York marathon run in November.

I forgot my water bottle for my bike. I am not immune to making dumb mistakes like this. I would just have to rely on water fountains or as we call them bubblers along the bike path to get a drink.

The route for this race is similar to one run in June called the "Super Run" by the Badgerland Striders.   That race had almost 1000 runners. This race would be about 400 and it would be my first 5K in the 60 to 64 age group. I knew my chance to medal was excellent.

My plan for the race was to use it as one of my three training runs for the week. The plan called for 3 x 800 meter sprints with 400 meters of rest. I translated that into 6 minutes of effort with 4 minutes of rest.

Doing this  also gives me something to focus on during the race. I like to see how much I can push myself instead of doing just an easy cruise.  It is much more social to do a race, then to try and grind out a workout by myself. Plus there is a nice pint glass at the end with a cold Sprecher root beer.

I lined up in about the front 1/4 of the pack at the start. I have gotten tired of weaving through strollers, dog walkers and slower runners.  I had warm-up with a mile of running, so I was ready for my first interval as soon as the gun went off.  The first part and ending of the race are on grass. That is tricky for me due to the uneven ground. The sudden collapse of an ankle is real risk.

There is also a huge downhill in the first mile. I love hills and I hit the first mile at a 9:00 pace.  There is a nice flat section and a water stop. Then a giant up hill at St. Mary's hospital. I kept up my intervals and cruised.

I had some ankle pain. I think it is due to tight muscles now that I am doing longer runs for my marathon training. I made a mental note to start addressing that. I am already fighting a knee issue from doing races with long hills. My knee held up well.

I finished the third interval and was into my cool-down of 10 minutes when I got onto the grass to finish the race. The course Marshall said there were three men trying to catch me and I should hurry up. I yelled  "They are not in my age group".  One passed me and although I had not intended to speed up, I kicked it up a notch. Something just bothered me about some guy thinking he did not want me to beat them.  I held off the other two men.

I finished with a time of 30:53. which was good enough for 1st place in my age group. I would also have won the 55- 59, and placed third in the 50 to 54.  So it was a good day even though I went into the race a bit under hydrated.  I think as my training mileage increases I can bring that down a bit, especially if I drop a bit of weight.

The bonus was I ran into Wisconsin Senior Olympics (WSO) President John White and his wife Mary after the run. They were doing a yoga and nutrition event in the same park.  John was able to give me a copy of the Wisconsin Bike Federation magazine.  There was a spread on the WSO and some pictures of the athletes including me.  John has invited me to join the board and I will be inducted at the next meeting in August.  The fun, the challenge and friends keep me coming back to races.


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 2015i, Cozumel in 2016 and Denmark in 2018. In 2018 finishing 5th in the 60 to 64 age group.

 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 Championship.

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 and the book “Soup Sundays, A Journey Toward Healthy Eating”.

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 214 members in 39 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, France, Ireland, 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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