This all dated back 2.5 years ago. I attended one of Lee’s Monday night training sessions. At the point, I had been riding track for 3 months, after a two-decade hiatus from collegiate road racing. Making a comeback is rarely easy. I had given myself 5 years to be competitive at a national championship, which I narrowly missed in college as a road rider thanks to my non-climber build.
Lee paid no attention to my Abdoujaparov-like physique and promptly prescribed the class two reps of Russian Ladders, followed by one rep of Laps to Destruction. We survived the efforts, some better than others…… Still cross-eyed, I stayed after the session to sign up for Lee’s coaching program.
The initial program was gradual but progressed rapidly. Results came just as rapidly. Within one season, I gathered enough upgrade points to shoot from Cat 5 to Cat 2, mostly through stealing points in Win-and-Out and scratch races as well as surviving the points races and Lee’s instant post-race analysis. The post-mortem accelerated the learning curve remarkably.
After a successful season, Lee suggested giving sprinting an honest try during our annual goal-setting session. I walked away with a personalized, sprint-focused training program, based on my personal strengths and workload. Yes, we amateur athletes have to make ends meet!
Gym work was at first tough. I enjoyed the great outdoor, not the sweaty benches. We quickly learned tricks to entertain ourselves. Sock game was among our favorite past time activities.
Let’s fast forward to 2015. It has been a monumental season. Not only did I attend my second national championship, I was lucky enough to snatch my first ever Stars & Stripes title doing team sprints with my training/carpooling/sealion-ing/hoteling mates, Ethan and Mark (collectively known as It’s Raining, Men!) and an individual Silver medal in the sprint setting a new PR in qualifying, I also finished 4th in the Kilo with a PR of almost 3 seconds over my 2014 Nationals time.
None of this would have happened without Lee. His deep knowledge, unwavering dedication to track cycling, and superhuman patience has elevated, especially in track sprinting, to a level unseen in the United States. The results speak for themselves.
In conclusion, the day Lee prescribed my first Russian Ladders and Laps to Destruction was pivotal. Little did I know that I would join a close-knit group of like-minded cyclists pursuing the same dreams. And we banter like sisters!