Well, that was violent

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Sandy Hook… I mentioned on here and to many people in person, I don’t have the high-end form, but I was frickin’ AMPED to race, and a pumped up rider can be a scary one, perhaps even more dangerous than a stronger rider with less motivation… Coaching riders involves getting them physically fit, ready to take on the challenges they’ve targeted, but it also requires strengthening another muscle, by far the strongest muscle in the body: the mind. I wanted to lead by example today, and I e-mailed my athletes a long e-mail on THURS, and wrote that I really wanted a top-3. Top-3? (*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*), I’ve never placed top-5 in the P123 before! And here I am, weaker, but that’s what I wrote.

I am not as strong as in year’s past. I’m not. Mark Fontanilla saw me before the race and said my left leg is still atrophied — the knee injury is very apparent. But I have been prepping well and steadily, doing PLENTY of aerobic work and threshold intervals, and I was chomping at the bit to race. I was almost foaming at the mouth, lol… Sandy Hook has never been a good race for me, really favors a bigger, more powerful rider, a guy who is terrifically aero or who can power a bigger gear into the wind, and I’m not really any of those… And the TT is short, which essentially requires a SupraThreshold/nearVo2 Max effort for 15 minutes, efforts I have not done, nor am I ready to do…

The night before, the morning of the race, going through all the routines made me so happy. Getting everything ready the night before, packing, cleaning the bike, choosing the wheels, visualizing every inch of the course, visualizing a hard, perfect effort, always digging and searching for more… I usually don’t sleep too well before TTs, but last night I slept like a rock. I got to the Hook 90m prior to my start, drove the course, had an ideal prep and WU…

I had meek efforts on the bike this week, but when I rolled to that line I was just ready to rock and roll. I was just happy to be a bike racer again. I was almost smiling when I took off…

THE TIME TRIAL: Vicious tailwind going out, very similar to 2006. I was FLYING on the way out. I was gaining on Freifelder and really tried not to over-exert and blow up. One of my strengths is my discipline: I hold the aero tuck very well, don’t move my butt around, don’t move my head. I am always on top of the cadence, ride very steadily. This was what I was most happy with today: two years away from competing and I found the rhythm. I felt very, very good…

At the turnaround, I had gained time on Freifelder, and coming back I didn’t want to blow up. However, I did dig DEEP coming back, fighting to keep the bike straight, and although I rode to my limit on the way back, Freifelder took back the time I gained and THEN SOME to beat me by 11 seconds to win the overall. SWEET RIDE, Dave!

I genuinely like Dave, ZERO ego, just a low-key, funny dude — if he were local, we’d be buds for sure. Congratulations, Freifelder, on a wicked ride… I saw him in that straightaway, far off, and I’m thinking, Is that 30 seconds? I jackhammered at the pedals, Death Mode to the line, and he outgritted me. Jason Walters beat me by 3 seconds to take 2nd, and this kid from Colavita beat me by 1/100 of second — we both finished with 15:18, so I was happy to borderline tie for 3rd, my best-ever performance in this early TT… I wanted to race so badly, and I was able to execute out on the road. NOT a coincidence that the first time ever I wanted to rip Sandy Hook, I did so, and with lesser legs… The mind, people, the mind…

On the return leg, into that thick headwind, it was apparent that I didn’t have the juice to seal the deal, but I rode like hell. Felt GREAT afterwards, a sign my aerobic conditioning is providing a solid platform from which to launch — my body is really getting acclimated to the longer rides — at Kingwood 36k next week, I should be able to dial in the effort steadier… Freifelder said he thinks we’ll be close at Readington on the 17th, but I dunno about that!

This brings up an excellent point: RIDERS CHOOSE THEIR BATTLES. The BEST riders stick to them. I see riders do terribly in a race, then suddenly revamp their goals and training, changing horses mid-stream. Stick to your guns, people. Riders panic and start revising everything when they’re usually on track, thinking with their hearts and not their brains.

So, yes, I have to admit it burns a touch to lose the overall by 11 seconds — 11seconds, count them with me, people, lol — but it is what it is. I’m not going crazy — I’m very happy for Dave — the dude must feel terrific getting the victory 🙂 So at Readington, where we’ll be locking horns again, I’m not going to do a micro taper and peak just to win an early TT – NOT worth it. The body doesn’t respond well in the long-term… I have big goals, like crushing the State TT and winning the Pro/1/2 TTs at the Giro and Killington, and I need to keep that in mind, keep my training based around that. Results that come along the way, they’re just icing on the cake. Today was awesome, but if I win today and take 12th at States with a flat ride, I’d consider the year a failure… I made my goals, I set up my plan, and now I stick to it — keep EMOTION out of it…

I find doing time trials just an electric experience. Seeing friends, getting jazzed up for the effort, actually pounding out the events at a high rate of speed, just the euphoric feeling of a job well done… And to boot, Sandy Hook was a perfectly organized event. Even the number pick-up was better! Tom and Jim really ran a top-notch event. They had a clear Digital Timer at the start line, so you knew EXACTLY what the race time what. The course was clearly marked and marshalled incredibly well, guys flagging and slowing traffic… The turnaround was marked at 1k and 500m, as was the finish… Just a professionally run event, and kudos to them. Sandy Hook, in the past, has been a (*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)sh ow, a cluster(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censo red*), and today it was arguably the best-organized TT I’ve ever competed in.

In Elite Endurance news, March has been a HUGE month. Newsletter coming soon… But Peter Warner WON the Jefferson Cup, Virgnia/Maryland’s version of Battenkill-Roubaix, just a SMASHING result… And plenty of other podium finishes from other riders — will get the newsletter out pronto!!! Sitting here right now and reflecting, I love coaching and I love racing — being THIS involved in the sport, I wouldn’t want my life any other way 🙂

kens-signature

Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 | | |