RACE REPORT: Jeff in Albert Lea

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Decided to head up to Albert Lea, Minny to give it a go. This race was not on my calendar but after my previous result(chain break) at Race for Sight I needed to get back on the horse and race. The race distance was a weird one, .25 mile swim, 19.8 mile bike, and a 4.2 mile run. Longer than an sprint, but shorter than an Oly.

Originally I was going to head up Sunday morning and run the 2.5 hour trip solo mission. However; Saturday afternoon I asked my wife (Carmen) if she wanted to pack the kids and the car and head out...she said "YUP"-so that is what we did.

As I looked at the weather it was looking like it was gonna be a cool one early in the week, but as the week went by the forecast was saying warmer weather! Sawheet, warm weather! The only problem with that is nobody mentioned this to mother nature, and she left us with early morning temps in the mid-40's.

With a good long warmup of running, stretching, cycling, more stretching, KYBO visit, I finally hiked on the wetsuit and headed towards the water. I stood around long-enough that the pre-race meeting was being called and I had yet to hop in the water. Pre-race meeting was a bit longer than I had anticipated. ..sure wish I hadn't
zipped up the wetsuit quite so early-nuff said.

During the pre-race meeting the race director casually mentions "yeah we could have head and cross-winds upwards of 30 mph, but don't worry the course is layed out that it really shouldn't help anyone." I wasn't real sure what that meant but shortly I would find out.

Pre-race meeting over, brief "warm-up" swim, when I say brief and I say "warm-up" I say "brief" it is literally, when I saw "warm-up"-not so much. Exit Minnesota open water with an 'ice-cream' headache.

I was in wave 2, they sent off wave 1 and 3 minutes later I was off. The water was so cold I really had trouble settling into a breathing pattern, and never felt comfortable in the water. I later learned that I had the 12th fastest swim split on the day, but never felt good in the water. Got out and ran to T1, this was one of the
toughest transitions I have ever had, as I was so cold I could barely get my feet under me.

Grabbed my bike and ran. Once on the bike my only focus was to warm-up and get my HR pumping towards Z3. Small hill out of T1 helped with getting the HR up. It didn't take long to realize that the wind was going to be a major factor today. Winds were coming at us nearly head-on then a turn helped me slow down further as the wind was now a brutal head/cross-wind that was really knocking everyone around. Not sure why but this course suited me well as I started grabbing folks getting pushed around by the wind. Nutrtion, water, and cadence litreally all I thought about on this ride. Of the 19 miles we had the wind at our back for ~4-5 miles. When the wind was behind us I was clipping along at 35+mph!

Back into t-2, with a quick transition(47 secs) and I was running. My legs struggled on the run but I was able to keep a 8:00/mile pace. I never really had the snap on the run I hoping for, but was o.k. with the result, especially as I started cramping in the last .25 miles of the run.

After crossing the finish line a guy comes up to me and asks me my division. I tell him, and he says "yeah that is what I thought, I am pretty sure you just got first, I tried pulling you in the last two miles but could never reel you in, and think that I just got second." I looked around to make sure he was talking to me, and sure enough he was. I went and looked at the results board, and in fact I had one the division.

More hardware for the Rassy's Tri Squad.


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