THE day is here: NJ CX State Champs…

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Well, so far so good with Miss Winberry of Team Campmor. Two years ago she came to me with the simple ambition of becoming a pro athlete, and this year we’ve done that, racing both pro MTB and now cyclo-cross… We started full cross prep back in the summer, and now here we are, one day away from States and several days away from Nationals. She’s confident: bought the ticket, registered in the Pro race, and can’t wait for the day to come!

It’s been a steady road for her since the summer… With cross, at the end of her HEAVY season, with regard to designing her program it’s better to err on the side of caution… She’s been one busy girl, winning the H2H MTB series last year, and then we rushed her through a program to get her to peak for States — which she won! That was just a crazy time, from mid-OCT to early-DEC where we needed to make EVERY day count for something, and it was interesting seeing her come around week by week, JUST in time for States (she had finished dead last in her first cross race!)… In fact, the week after States, she did a race and DNF’d, so we planned her training just right…

Then winter of 2008/2009, she went off and did a training block in Ecuador (she speaks fluent Spanish). She stayed with friends, and all she did was train, and then we started racing before she left… Then I had to ensure she had enough in the tank for the summer, which I think she did!!! She won the Jungle Habitat race, took 2nd at the MTB State Championships, won the Windham US Cup Super-D (taking 4th in the cross-country event), 2nd at Stewart’s Darkhorse Gallop, 2nd at Lewis Morris, 3rd at the Greenbrier Challenge, 4th at Waywayanda, 2nd at Tymor Park. She was very strong and consistent this year… but with her engine, on a NEW cross bike this year, I wanted her to really slay in cross, be a dominant force…

We started slow and steady, and by mid-OCT she was in early Builid work, placed 6th and 7th in her first events of the year down in Maryland and Delaware, then took 2nd and 4th the next week. With her aerobic conditioning, when we started to turn up the training and add racing, she responded VERY well… Her first win came at Westwood Velo 🙂 , and then after that she had a 10-day block of “peak” training… She again responded very well to the training stress and we raced through the training, taking 7th at a Maryland race, then winning Hidden Valley. The next week: 2nd at West Windsor, then winning the next day. The next week: 2nd at Southampton, then winning the next day…

She was on a roll, but I was worried she was peaking too soon… I actually had to prematurely pull her back… She was like a boxer who was getting too fast and too sharp too soon — by the time the fight comes around, the fighter is flat and sluggish… I debated long and hard over her schedules, but I think we ended up with the smart play…

Last week, just before States, she had her best-ever performances, crushing the field by over 4 minutes at Sussex, then taking a second victory the second day… She is peaking just as she should, and I’m VERY excited to see how she performs this weekend! She’s won a plethora of events thus far, but I truly want to see her at her year’s best at States, against the State’s top pro women… And then we’re off for Nationals in Bend, Oregon, where she’ll be racing with Mary McConnelough and Alison Dunlap!

I’m on pins and needles. I get random e-mails every now and then. “Are you Laura Winberry’s coach? That girl was so fast on Saturday! She murdered them girls in the face!” I can’t make this stuff up… Getting these e-mails, it brings a smile to my face… 🙂

Let’s hope she can get it done tomorrow… The hard work is done. All she has to do is show up and go, enjoy the fruits of her labor…

Thanks for reading.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Friday, December 4th, 2009 | | |