PHOTOS courtesy: www.backprint.com/evanpilchik
plan the race and race the plan was the motto and I stuck with it. This was the first race of the year and an A race just because I wanted to use it as a benchmark from last year. for the rest of the races throughout the year I will just train right through them leading up to another big taper for Ironman Canada.
I had a solid taper and felt really good the week before the beaver. We came over on the Friday before the race and stayed in a hotel. ran the night before for a quick 20 minutes with some bursts to wake up the legs. I was going to pre ride the course but instead Utrek ( Pharmacy Rob) and I drove it and was the same as last year. It was sunny and about 75 degrees out.
I got up early race morning because ( well, I get up early every morning) and had a bagel with peanut butter and some coffee and some juice about two hours before the race. Utrek and I took the bike over at 7 am as I wanted the end slot in my heat bike rack for the bike. I know that if my bike is on the end I will not have to hassle with other bikes and stuff and my transitions will go smoother. it was raining cats and dogs....I love it. Cold wet weather does not hamper me at all. It hampers others which just makes me faster and I stay warm during the race when working so no extra jacket for me. ( reminds me of cyclocross season when you are cold but then race in short sleeves because you are pegged and warm while racing).
I chilled before the race and listened to some mettalica on the ipod to wake me up. watched some other heats do the swim. The oregon state rec center is state of the art. almost want to go back to school just to use the facility. There were about 370 participants and a lot of spectators so pretty good sized crowd.
My heat started at 9 am and I got suited up. I wore my zoot suit 1 piece as opposed to my Hutchs bike shop suit ( my sponsor) because the zoot is tighter for a pool swim and the Hutchs works better when under a wetsuit for the swim.
warmed up with a 1o minute run and 5 minute swim.
Boom we are off. I was in 2nd position in the lane and easily caught the 1st person and passed after a few laps (we were spaced out 5 seconds to start and timed accordingly for total time)
The swim went well but we all got bunch up, I was drafting a girl and another one was drafting me and we were slapping feet. i was very comfottable in the water this year as opposed to last and it was over fast. We would have gone faster if not for the bunching.
Out of the water and into T1. great transition. very fast and I was off. i was well ahead of the entire heat here ( a mix of different ages and genders as we had been sorted by swim times)
off on the bike and going hard. roads were wet and raining slightly but I was used to PB ( my bike nickname) and so no worries. I was averaging about 24 MPH but the rear disc cover was rubbing on the frame on the drive side in one spot so the whole race I was listening to a click, click, click, click...oh well did not seem to be slowing me down but I will fix for next race.
I got to the first of two rises where we climb gradual hills to an out and back turn. I was averaging about 17 MPH on these and need to work on that as I do fine on the flats but the hills kill me.
2nd hill out of the way and cranked back at pretty high speed. I was back into town and making a few turns and now headed back on to campus. all the street crossings were manned by cops or volunteers with large stop signs. I had been cranking through these well manned intersections at top speed.
for some reason my urban biker spidey senses kicked in and I saw a blue car coming up to the cross street where a volunteer had a stop sign up and I sensed ( I am not sure why???) that this guy was not going to stop. I was going about 22 MPH here in the aero position. the last 10 feet I went to the brakes and yep, the blue car blew the stop sign and I grabbed brakes hard on the wet pavement. sliding into the car at slow motion. The bike went up on the front tire I rode a front wheelie into the side of the car and was preparing to go over the top of the handlebars and hit the side of the car hard. ( I knew this was going to hurt as i had hit a car on the side at this speed on a night skydive once...but thats another story) at this point I was hoping he would get by just enough that I would roll over the trunk of the car as opposed to the side impact. I am half airborne now with one foot unclipped from the pedal.............................The car gets by by about 1 inch as I finish my wheelie mere hairs behind him as he passes in front of me and I go whizzzing by the back of the car missing him still in a side ways wheelie stunt on a TT bike.......Boom the rear wheel come s back down and I hit the seat hard spinning it sideways......I yell a few very loud adult words.....and somehow go from preparing to crash really hard into a car to race mode and i start peddling fast on the course. I never looked back...Is that focus or what??? I hear words of encouragement from Utrek.."GO DREW GO!!!!!!!!" he had been standing at this random corner and saw the whole thing....what are the odds???. I am now trying to pedal and realize my seat is sideways and i have to pedal the next 100 feet up this hill standing because I cannot sit down, I slow down for a second, grab the seat by my thighs and wrenched it back like we did when kids on a BMX bike with pure force.
I AM BACK BABY!!!!!! adrenalin is cranking in my system.
two more turns and straight away to to T2
I run into T2 and change into my shoes. I have been racing sockless of course and everything is soaked. When i put my feet into the shoes the wet feet bunch up the insoles in my shoes. Crap, oh well just run.
I take off after a fast T2 and the legs are a bit tired I take the first lap to get them back and then get faster each lap. Utrek runs along side me for a portion. he asks" how are you feeling, you look good"...my response of course is "Holy crap how bout that almost bike crash with the superman save??????!!!!! .
I am feeling good on the run and he yells at me to chase down some people and I do, finishing hard and am glad to say even with the drama and the shoes I got third place and a new personal best for the course and feel GREAT!!!!!
Bike 34:36 ( 20.8 mph av) and saved own ass
Run 24:44 ( 7:58 av) thought this was faster but oh well