Victory, Finally

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Well, I took overall victory at the 36k Kingwood TT. It’s been awhile, but it feels good to get a win under my belt for 2008. For the past couple of years, I’ve come close several times in the time trials, a loss by 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 8 seconds — 4 second places (!!!), numerous 3rds… Breakdown… or breakthrough? Hey, keep digging and good things will come.

Only I didn’t feel so good when digging on Sunday! This week, the training has really intensified. I’ve been waiting all year for this time, really preparing my body with heavy aerobic work, a healthy amount of PowerCranking and endurance time… It’s been hard to hold back as the weather breaks, as other riders are really flying, but if you’re following a plan, always try to stick to it. If you change gears too often, you go nowhere.

I feel very, very good. The body is responding well to the training stress, as I was hoping. I want to have a big June: State TT, State RR. I hate flat TTs. And not only is the State TT flat, it’s LONG!!! 🙂 So, as I get stronger in these coming weeks, I am looking to minimize my weaknesses and maximize my strengths…

I have the State TT all circled in red, important for both the TT Cup and Garden State Cup competitions. If I can do a good TT, then survive the Tour of High Bridge, I will be in the orange leader’s jersey for the Garden State Cup. This would be huge for the team I ride for, Northeastern Hardware, as we will have the jersey going into the State RR… So I am amped, very amped…

This week was hard. Heavy PowerCranking, heavy threshold hill work plus heavy ultra tempo work, then a very long day on the TT Bike, then the 36k TT on Sunday. On Sunday, it was colder (and rainier) than I hoped. I was actually miserable at the start line. Didn’t even bother warming up. Nope. Just sat there in the pissing rain, watching well-prepared folks warm up under tarps and such. I waited at the line, just noodling around, and then off I went.

Goal was to go off at SubThreshold and really hammer it coming home. Well, I went out and really dialed in the effort, purposely holding back. I time trial at around 104 rpms, my perfect cadence. Going out I was at 110 rpms pretty much the whole way, churning a higher cadence in order to stay away from mashing and getting that dark lactic build-up… I passed about 5 guys but still tried to stay steady.

At the turnaround, I didn’t feel great, the week’s TSS taking its toll… I really tried to accelerate on the way back, but the legs weren’t firing with massive pop. Coming back was slightly uphill, false flats, rollers, and I really concentrated on gassing up them (and more importantly OVER them) but I could see that the power wasn’t poppin’. The cadence coming back was lower, 100, as I was beginning to fatigue and muscling a bigger gear into the harder terrain…

But I won. I took the P123 by a good margin. I am happy because a few years ago I was terrible at flat TTs and now I’m getting better… A chemist who took 2nd in the Cat-4s came up to me after the race and did the calculations in his head (“You know 36k is exactly 90% of 40k so you did a 53 something 40k…” Hey, I’ll take that in April!!!). However, an important point to note, the best time trialist in the state, Will O’Donnell, wasn’t there, and I know I’m not on his level yet. O’Donnell is stupid fast, I mean Winning Nationals Fast, and I am eager to see if I can behead him later in the year.

A super nice guy, I’ve spoken with Will numerous times about TTs — very knowledgeable and doesn’t try to hide any of his secrets. He rides 8 hours a week. People complain he’s still a Cat-3. Shoot, if you want to do well in the P12 road races you need to put in some serious mileage. I really don’t know why people care so much if you upgrade or don’t upgrade. This is a sport we all do for fun. People should look to find a way to challenge Will, not cry about it… Just let people be…

High Point Uphill TT this week. I recovered well today and have heavy, heavy days ahead. I am not about doing these micro-peaks and micro-tapers for every event on the calendar — we man up and just train through the B and C races… My current weight is about 8 pounds heavier than I was last year, so I can guarantee I won’t have a super fast ride up that hill (last year Northeastern took the top-4 overall fastest times, all of us within 30 seconds of the course record). I just hope to minimize the wreckage and get some more points in the TT Cup. You can’t always aim for the clouds — in this super hard sport, being a realist will do you many, many favors…

I know I’m not going to win Saturday — all I can do is go up there and do my best and hope to ride to my potential.

Thanks for reading.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 | | |