Monday, December 31, 2007

Back to training

Lessons learned from US Champs. If you get sick 3 weeks b4 races get a good training week in the week before then taper. I basically did race prep for 2 weeks. Carla Langenthal and I chatted about sub par performances and her story was similiar to mine. Sick 3 weeks out from trials and race prep for 2 weeks. No real training since figured it was too late.
Don't change equipment within a few months of competitions (although I've had boots that worked right away?, blades maybe not after this weekend). Don't skimp on endurance workouts during the season. Skating is a combo of strength, technique, endurance, speed and power. I had great endurance coming off the bike but didn't do anything since september. I'll just have to ride the trainer although i'd rather put a gun to my head.
Got in some good endurance training today with Peter Schotting's coaching. He is a legend in the sport and you can tell he's a professional coach. Skated with Izzy's dad (Al Izykowski), Erin Andrews and Mark Chrysler. Peter Schotting is a wealth of knowledge that I am excited to start working with here for real in SLC. Saw the Short Trackers on the hockey rink today. Apolo was there as was Ryan Leveille and other short trackers. Met Glenn Koshi from Bont. Really cool guy from Cali.

Bummer that after yesterday's races I was feeling great and today woke up ready to race again. Feel like I could race the next couple days as well. Rumor is that Catherine Rainey and Chad Hedrick trained thru the US LT Champs. I asked my pairmate Dan Beck yesterday after the 1000m how the race was. He said he was so tired and had a crappy opener. That's probably because he wasn't as well rested as me coming in. Looks like he skated a PB on Sat on the 1000m. I knew with my opener of 18.03 that 1:13 was going to be hard to get but I kept fighting.
Happy New Year. Quiet night for me at home with the wife.

US Long Track Championships Day 4

Switched to my trustworthy Maple Aluminum blades for today. I was talking to Roscoe (Bob Fenn) about switching blades so close to a big competition. He said you guys don't need trainers you need psychologists.
The 1000m is a good distance for me. I remember when I first started. Joe Franz who was an awesome skater and inliner said that I will be a good 1000m skater. Weird how he knew. And Paul Marchese said I would be a good crit rider then too. I had no idea what a crit was (criterium bike race). Funny thinking about that.

I used the 500m as a warmup and wanted to skate relaxed and technical. I did that and it felt good. Bummed I didn't go faster but boy was I consistently slow (for me) on the 500m 38.36, 38.38 and 38.40 i believe. The last one was relaxed and much less effort and felt better on my old blades.

I like what Andrew said about his results Sat.....

"Even so, I popped off a great (for me) 500m today, 37.12, in some pretty slow ice conditions. That time was much faster than I thought I would skate this year.
It’s only good enough for 16th place of the 34 sprinters. But in the race vs. myself, I am quite satisfied. Long track is weird like that. "

Ditto for me today in the 1000m (1:14.2?) , it was only good for 20th place but in the race of me vs me it was ok. I have gone 1:13 three times and 1:14s now twice. I was really thinking that I would skate a PB (less than 1:13.51) but it wasn't to be. I was thinking 1:12 or 1:11. I am a "weekend" warrior as some skaters have said to me. Funny story before racing Saturday, I texted Andrew at 10pm about the changed start time and said I was doing laundry, folding clothes, and cleaning cat litter
:( . He texted me back saying he was doing the That's the life of a married "grown up" speedskater.
That made me smile seeing that. If you don't know what a typical day of a Long Track skater is here you go. The latest start time we had was 10am....move everything up for earlier starts (9am on regular Weekend Time Trials).

7am or much earlier : wake up (remember I'm the last minute type. I think the extra sleep is worth more than a couple of more minutes warming up)
- Eat small breakfast, Get everything together for the day. Food, drinks, etc and take all my sharpening stuff, bender, gauge, etc.
7:40am leave for rink
8:05am arrive at rink
8:05-8:35 get moving (jog, spin) stretch, yoga, etc.
8:40-9:20 (sometimes 8:50) warmup on the ice with slow laps, drills, do some accels (250m from 500m start line), roll starts (from a slow roll do a start for 40-100m), standing start and anything else I feel I need. I need to warm up slowly on the ice and it helps to get on earlier so I can jump on a few accels with skaters. I was lucky Sat to jump on Kip Carpenter for a couple. Sunday Andrew led me on one once I was fully warm. The first day I got too excited and jumped on an accel to early. I need to warmup slowly.
9:20-9:50 relax in the lockerroom with legs up. Hopefully not sharpen but many days I was grinding away.
9:50 National Anthem (stand at attention and be grateful that I live in the greatest country on the planet, even though I'll be the first to criticize the current administration). It drives me crazy at Nationals when I see skaters "warming up" during the National anthem. I just want to slap them on the side of the head.
10:00 women's 500m. do some running starts off the starters pistol. turn cable with the Trainer and watch races. Cheer for skaters i know.
10:15 get suit on and come up from the tunnel and do some jumps, dryskate jumps, sprints.
15 minutes before race get on the ice and do an accel and roll start at the very least
5 min pre race sit on the bench and relax and get ready.

sometimes do warmdown laps sometimes not. Get off the ice and spin then chill out till the 1000m in 2 hours. Eat and drink something. Repeat stuff above about 45 minutes from my 1000m.

After 1000m skater cool down laps then get off the ice and do a 20 minute running interval workout to flush lactate and stretch. Talk to some people and relax then leave the rink at 2-2:30. Total time at the rink for two race 6-7 hours. It's tough when you are doing laundry at 10pm at night. I have to be thankful to my wife who makes alot of this happen. I don't know how I will do it when we have kids. I'll have to get them into speedskating.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

US LT Trials Day 3

Downer for me today. 2.5 seconds slower on the 1000m than two months ago. Why? Too much rest after being sick, new blades, weight gain, not enough endurance training, just had a bad start (slip off the line), .6 slower start, too much Short Track, not enough Long Track, too tight.........why why why.
I've heard someone say that after a bad race you have 30 minutes to analyze it then that's it. Well today I've been thinking about it all day. Enough.
I just hooked up my old blades which are 18 inches and more balanced than the new Maple Lasers I have. I'll get em tommorow for sure.
Highlight of the day today. KIP CARPENTER! He was pushing to stay ahead of Tucker on the inner then fell HARD. Tucker got by without incident. Kip cut his ankle. I'm not sure who stitched him up but he had 6 staples and a few stitches in his ankle. He reskated like 5 minutes later. He might have been out of a job with DSB but Kip is a warrior. He went on to rip a bloody 35.1 then win the 1000m. Wow that's the story of legends that he can tell his grandkids.

p.s. - I just read andrew's account and he mentions Kipper. Sohmy also said Elli killed it which she did. I didn't have much time since there are only 24 hours in a day. Kip's story seems to be the top one of the day. If this was the Olympics you would have seen a 10 minute human drama story about it for sure. I congratulated Elli on kicking my butt yesterday and really for skating PBs. I know her skating well. She was very happy. Good for her. She has worked so hard for so long and her personals were from way back in 2003. That shows the hard work is paying off. Sometimes too much hard work makes you go slower as well. I asked her what did it. Of course, she has no idea. This sport is so hard and weird. Kip said one time that you do all these things to skate well but when you finally pop a good one it's hard to know exactly why. I agree.
As I said before there are a hundred stories and we tend to focus on the winnenrs most times. The other story is the number of Short Trackers kicking it on the Long Track. Look at the results they really made it harder to get top 10 (Cat 1) at trials.

Friday, December 28, 2007

US Long Track Champs

I'm alive, moving, have shelter and breathing so things are well. Skating has been a struggle the past two days. Results are up on under results. I skipped the 10k today.

Funny story today. I skated my 5k yesterday in a world of hurt for the last 5 laps. I had my hands on my knees and was pushing whole straights like this and turn for like half the race. It was tough and embarrissing. I blew up hard but gutted it out. I got a few comments from people today how they liked my pain face yesterday. What kept me going was knowing i had a shot at a PB. I missed my PB by 2 tenths!!! The time I did 7:17 b4 was in 2003. I opened in 34s then the last 6 laps went 33s and it was easy!!! Not this race!

Anyways, Tim Hoffman who respect so much as a skater was telling me how that's happened to everyone. He said he died at Oly trials 02 from 30s to 37 and was blown with hands on legs. He said Derek Parra had a world cup 5k where he was ahead a half lap then blew up and lost by a half lap. Made me feel better to hear that. It happens to the best of them I guess. I still don't know how I skated 7 32 second laps in a 3k back in early season without a problem???? Wish I could do that now.

Hopefully, the weekend will go better for me. I'm paired with JP Kepka tommorow on the 500. That just got me pumped for tommorow. I hope JP can get some good power on the Long Track. I see he raced low 38s way back in November. He has alot of pop so I expect him to go alot faster than that. My PB is 37.4 and I would like to see a 37 something tommorow. I just have to focus on the process and the results will follow. My turn entries I really need to fix up for tommorow.

Here's the sched tommorow.....
Saturday, 29 December 2007

Warm-up 8:15am - 9:05am

Resurface 9:05am - 9:30am

National Anthem 9:35am - 9:38am

Races Start 9:45am


500m Ladies 11 pairs

Timing Change

500m Men 4 pairs

Resurface 20 minutes

500m Men 14 pairs

Full Resurface 25 minutes

1000m Ladies 12 pairs

Timing Change

1000m Men 4 pairs

Resurface 20 minutes

1000m Men 15 pairs

MEN 500 m
WR 34.03 WOTHERSPOON Jeremy (CAN) 9 NOV 2007 Salt Lake City (USA)
TR 34.03 WOTHERSPOON Jeremy (CAN) 9 NOV 2007 Salt Lake City (USA)
Pair Lane No. Name Nation
1 I 124 HALL Maurice USA
2 I 148 SLIVOCKA Joseph USA
4 I 130 KUCK Jonathan USA
5 I 118 EATON Caleb USA
O 146 RUSK Walter USA
6 I 129 KEPKA J.p. USA
7 I 127 HOTCHKISS Matthew USA
8 I 116 DUCKER Laurence USA
O 137 MARK Alex USA
9 I 152 SWIDER-PELTZ Jeffrey USA
O 104 BARRETT Colton USA
10 I 134 LOVE Andrew USA
11 I 138 MARSICANO Trevor USA
O 147 SHANAHAN Matthew USA
12 I 105 BECK Daniel USA
O 133 LOBELLO Anthony USA
13 I 123 GREER Kreg USA
O 151 STEWART Donald USA
16 I 107 BLUMEL Mike USA
O 121 GOFF Tyler USA
17 I 102 AUSSPRUNG Brent USA
O 141 NEEDHAM Christopher USA

: SSM010101_C51A 1.0 translation for PRNDATETIME FRI 16:51
MEN 1000 m
WR 1:07.00 KOSKELA Pekka (FIN) 10 NOV 2007 Salt Lake City (USA)
TR 1:07.00 KOSKELA Pekka (FIN) 10 NOV 2007 Salt Lake City (USA)
Pair Lane No. Name Nation
1 I 133 LOBELLO Anthony USA
2 I 132 LEVEILLE Charles USA
O 124 HALL Maurice USA
3 I 129 KEPKA J.p. USA
O 137 MARK Alex USA
O 146 RUSK Walter USA
5 I 118 EATON Caleb USA
6 I 104 BARRETT Colton USA
7 I 127 HOTCHKISS Matthew USA
O 134 LOVE Andrew USA
8 I 152 SWIDER-PELTZ Jeffrey USA
9 I 131 LAWRENCE Robert USA
10 I 106 BEDFORD Ryan USA
O 130 KUCK Jonathan USA
11 I 105 BECK Daniel USA
12 I 116 DUCKER Laurence USA
13 I 122 GORMAN Jonathon USA
O 147 SHANAHAN Matthew USA
O 151 STEWART Donald USA
15 I 138 MARSICANO Trevor USA
16 I 145 PLUMMER Matt USA
O 121 GOFF Tyler USA
17 I 102 AUSSPRUNG Brent USA
O 141 NEEDHAM Christopher USA
18 I 120 FREDRICKS Tucker USA
No Starting Number I Inner Lane O Outer Lane
WR World Record TR Track Record
Page 1 / 1

sorry i just have the men....

Monday, December 24, 2007

500 M final US Short Track Champs

500 Meter A Final - thanks to Rich G for the vid

Just found this vid....changes my view of the pass b4 the apex. That's why there are 5 refs out there. I'm thinking this was a good call now? Guess I'm a flip

Please leave your comments. I still think that it was a great pass to the apex. After that it's a gray area but some people think it's black and white. The gray area of short track i think is what drives many people crazy and even causes them to go Long Track.

Here's Jon & I with the rest of the corner water crew. It looks like we are just sitting on the job but we are resting while the race is still slow. It's funny one of my co workers wanted to know if I was having fun. One of the refs overheard and said people think we are just having fun out here. It's actually work.
I went out for blocks 3 times in the relay. I felt like I was getting ready for a push as I really had to pick it up to get out of the way. I did some accels to get out of Jordan and Apolo's way as they were getting ready to come onto the track. That was a rush for sure. The refs complemented Jon and I on a job well done. Actually, I complement everyone from the skaters to the volunteers for a job well done.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 2 - "That's Short Track"

Things were hectic today. 500 meters all day. The ice was a little variable today. We were laying a bucket of water each race. The men's semi final was run and we had too much water there because the ice wasn't freezing as well. Also, we started panicking because we noticed the water was running towards the boards. Yes the ice was sloped on our end towards the boards a tad during one point. No one realizes how many things are happening at once during a meet. It looks like everything is staying the same but nothing stays the same in life. The ice temp can change a little, the building temp can change, how people are feeling change, even the timing equipment can change, the starter's gun didn't go off for Anthony Lobello and he got a false start......nothing is static for sure.

The second mens semi we cleaned up the ice and that was I think were JP Kepka set an american record. It's hard being a volunteer crew. I don't do this professionally for sure. We were in a rhythm after the water race. We used less water and just didn't dump a bucket. Men's races needed more for sure. You should see the ruts after they race!!! One race I had to fix 4 holes in the ice on our end alone. Full contract racing out there. We were only using the middle 3 tracks after the heats and going from the last one back to the first left a lot of water on the inside. We have like a minute to sqweege, move blocks, lay water, sqweege again and look for divots and clean up slush.
We saw it once they starte racing and it was too late. Jordan and some others were soaked. Sorry! We watched it later and were dialed in after that. Not much time between races to do everything we need to do. Enough of my day.

Racing was exciting. First time I think that Apolo was DQ'd in an American race. Jordan Malone was DQ'd too in the final and I didn't see it. JR Celski was DQ'd in a heat and that was his day. I don't have any comments other than "that's short track." I've been doing this for a while and I still don't understand the calls. Yes I know there's impeding, cross tracking, etc. We need instant replay. Watch some of these World cups and tell me the top skaters don't move around a bit in their races. Everyone is deep tracking, Chinese tracking, etc etc. The funny thing today in the 500m final was I don't think there was any contact?? I'd like to see the video. You have 5 refs out there so they should get it right but I think there should be a camera above the rink. It would analyze your track and if you veered more than 5 % your Deked. But on the other hand, the races and calls are supposed to even out over time. Does anyone know where the results are from this meet? How could I forget? See them here....... I won't even say know what I'm thinking right?

Friday, December 21, 2007

US Short Track Champs

Tonite I block chased on the ST. It was quick racing and fun to watch in between picking up a few blocks and laying down the water on the track. Gotta be careful out there as things happen quick. Highlights from today. Jeff Simon winning the 9 lap TT...1st time in 11 years Apolo has lost domestically?...apolo winning the 1500final with authority. It's funny in the A final, I was laying down one bucket of water each race per the refs. I thought we needed a bit more. Apolo asked me to put more water down b4 the final.....why not? There were some ruts still. He usually races from the back but tonite he hovered in 2/3 spot might have been shaken after losing or because there were 7 in the final. Lots of DQ's and contact like I said. I guess the C final only 2 raced because the points aren't worth it?????? Apollo was hovering around 2/3 spot most of the race. 1.5 to go he surges ahead then wins what looked like by a tad. My angle was facing the finish line. After the race my friend had video of the race. I watched it and there was a good gap. He threw in this surge with a half lap to go and got a 10 foot gap so quickly. Amazing. He's has that extra pop that others don't. The kids are pushing him and the depth is really deep. He hasn't raced in a bit and appeared rusty in the TT. Looked on tonite. What a relay team they will have when the dusts settles in 2010. There are so many good skaters thanks to Apolo. ST has taken off since 2002 in the US.

Anthony Lobello who I have trained with alot had some tough luck. I know someone hit him but not sure what happened. He won the B final handily. Skating ST with him day in a day out I see what an amazing talent he has. It blows my mind that people can pass him. You should see him dance around the track training. He should rock tommorow. He got 3rd in the TT and he does 1:24s just chillin. He did a couple already in practice this year. Keep fighting other New Edgers Anthony B, Nick Frank and Robert Lawrence.

I'd never seen this Celski kid skate. Really smooth. I didn't see the womens TT but how about Reutter shattering the world record and winning the 1500.

B group 1500m final 2:11?? I'm not sure who won that but it was fast. Was that right???? 2:11. Lots of contact in the A men's heats. I can't see anything on the ice level. I don't know how a human can really call this sport with all the angles and how fast it is. Why don't we just go to camera's above the track and in the corners and center ice????
Apparently the webcast was ok. Did anyone see me out there? See you in the morning. It was under 2 hours which was great.

My buddy John Diemont saw me and told me to wiggle my ears. I did. Did anyone see that???

Thursday, December 20, 2007

SLC TTs Today & 48 Bike Races

Summary from today.....
I think Chad Hedrick went 36 something but Andrew Love had him at the 100 with a 10.3.......the 1500 Chad Hedrick and Trevor Marsicano raced and went 1:49/1:50. Not sure if they were "going for it" or training. Looked like training. People said the ice was slow.

Paul Dyrud looked like he had a good 3k as did Pat Meek. Not sure who else did what. I raced Pat Meek in the 500. I stumbled off to a 10.7 or so and held him off barely. I wish we both went faster. Pat's a great distance skater. It wasn't bad for me but a second off my PB. Things are going according to plan though even though there is no plan.

Skated with Robert Lofgran at the oval. He's a bike stud and super strong. Not a bad speedskater as well.
It reminded me of bike riding seeing him. I realize that I put a lot of hard work in for this skating season. 48 bike races....That's right I just looked at my training log and I did that many from March 24th to Sept 18th. Good thing I took 9 days off between skating and cycling. That's why my buddy Pete Dykstra called me the "crit machine". I like that and I like crits. Thankfully I didn't go down....knock on wood. The Tuesday night Worlds at RMR (Rocky Mountain Raceway) was a staple.

Great training for a cheap price and all guts and glory for bragging rights only. I think I won a couple of $10 gift certificates to Canyon bikes for a couple of preems. Big $$$. Did a few mountainous (for me) Road Races and the Big CottonWood Hillclimb. I have to say the Big cottonwood hillclimb was one of the best races/fundraisers I did all year. It was a good vibe, good food and good people. I know I'm ready to rock next week at the US Championships and am looking for reasons why in some ways.
Practice races today at the oval it was the Zen and the Art of Speedskating blog vs Flyin Brian blog on the 1000m. Head to head. I've raced Andrew a number of times in pack style but not sure we have ever done a metric race? He would have smoked me on the 500. It was nice to just be racing the clock with him to push me off the start. As Andrew says it was the "World Championships of RIGHT NOW" :) We have become good friends this past year training alot together so it was different today. I actually hoped we both went 1:13 or better today but it was a couple of clicks slower. It was a super close race and I passed him the last turn when he had the piano on his back. I'd easily give Andrew the W today for a huge personal next week when it counts.

Not only did I eke out a victory in the 1000m vs Andrew but more importantly this blog apparently has a higher lever of sophistication. My blog reading level

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Andrew's blog's....

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I haven't seen the lap times but I think it wasn't that bad of a die for the sprinter stud Andrew Love. We were even or actually i might have been ahead at 200m. I was like yea baby that must have been a good start but Andrew slipped a few times he said on the opening turn. I had good focus today because I couldn't have told you what he did that first turn and i was on the inner. I thought he would possibly go "over the top" of me and I wanted to really get it going. I guess our openers were only 18.0? Too bad. He had a good first turn that I'm sure the Trainer sessions that we have been doing helped.
The 1st lap he was ahead 10 meters maybe but aparently talking to him he got a super draft on the backstretch. I was really surprised because I have pretty good turns. I have to work on my turn entries for next week. They weren't good. If you miss the entry then you have to wait till the apex to get back on track. I had Scott Koons check my blades. My left didn't feel too good out there. Only my 2nd time on the new Maple Laser Steels (17.5)...excuses excuses. He said that it's hard to skate with the left bent the wrong way in the middle. I'm looking forward to getting that fixed up. Thanks Scott!
Andrew was pretty far ahead at the backstretch and I didn't think I would catch him. Funny thing for me was I had a meeting at work from 11 - 12. I raced the 500 luckily at 10:50 or so. Got on the meeting via conf call spun then got my skates on and sat on the bench just a few pairs b4 my race. I answered some questions on the call with my skates on. Put the phone down and about 1:15 later I was back on the call. Now that's working remotely. I worked last night till late to get my project done for work but on this call they wanted more and more and more which is like any business users. It seems like my life is unmanageable but that's the great part about it. It all works out somehow. I am very grateful.

I was thinking at the start line that there was no other place I wanted to be than right there in that moment. That's a powerful thought. I didn't think about the call for work or about anything. I had the blank mind state I would call it. It was good. I starting thinking/judging my race at 200m when I checked to see where Andrew was. Well I couldn't miss him he was right next to me. Got focused again and was thinking again at 1 lap to go (shit he's way ahead? How'd that happen?).....then thinking again on the backstretch.....Andrew doesn't look like he usually does? He wasn't dying I think till the last turn.... last turn I just stayed down and grittetd it out. I'd be curious to see our lap times.

I saw my good friend Marty Medina from Rochester speedskating club. He's a fellow tech geek with his own company and a many time Old Man Nationals champ.....

Tommorow is the US ST Nationals at the Oval in SLC. My bike buddy and Deseret News writer friend has a great entry here....Crit racing at the oval. It's going to be a throw down (Friday 6pm (1500), Sat 11am (500), Sun 10am (1000m - 3k - relay). Should be awesome. I'll be block chasing. Last time I did that I was with Steve Hallisey 11 years ago. How you doing Steve? Miss you guys at Baystate.

Yes it is a crit on skates and that's why I like short track. Marty was asking me if I was going to do Master Nationals in his age group. I don't know why he would be concerned. He schooled my last time in Madison two years ago. He's got a bag of tricks in his repoirtaire on the ST. I'm a straight line skater with a few tricks. I hope to get to Old Man Nationals in the LT and ST this year and race my age group. Man I'm 42. I don't feel it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tapering & High Altitude training & Best Burger in SLC

I've been sick most of the week after coming back from Pittsburgh for work. I ate very well on the company dime Sunday thru Friday. My new boss was here from Scottsdale. He's a cool guy who went to high school with Tom Brady.
I hadn't put anything on paper for the taper but I am someone who needs a mental and physical taper of 21 days so things are going according to plan. Even though there is no plan. US Long Track championships on the 27th is my next competition. They asked me to block chase for the US ST Champs next week and I think i will. It's going to be a throw down for sure. I did it last time in 1996 Boston when Appolo won at 14 years old. It's very intense and you need to keep focused otherwise you can really get hurt.

I found some good articles on tapering which I already know but needed to hear again. One thing I'm going to take from Sue Ellis's one is to lift closer to competition than I normally do. Nothing long mostly max stuff to keep strength. I don't like to do huge weight since you move slow. I don't know what my max squat is but I've been doing 475 with 3 sets of 10!!! I love lifting. I believe Box squats are the way to go. i do the max strength and the speed day. Andrew Love is a big box squatter as well. (

2 x 2 @605 (i don't use abs wo you get is pulling 450+ off the rack) this isn't me...just gives you an idea of a solid box squat

The running article explains the taper well by a speedskater....When asked about the secret to her successes, triple Olympic speed skating champion Yvonne Van Gennep remarked, "There is no secret. It just comes down to training hard and then putting on the handbrake."

I put the handbrake on super hard because of work and sickness but I'm sure it's for the best. God puts things in my life which I don't understand till later. One great thing is I had a PB at work this week. Making huge progress on my projects. Life is a balancing act and I find that i have 3-4 balls I'm juggling (skating, work, wife and family). One mentor told me the key is when one ball is in the air is to not look at or think about the other balls. Great advice but i don't always do it well.

I did do some high altitude training yesterday while most of my competitors were racing at the Oval.

I went up to 10K feet at Alta and pointed the boards downhill. What an awesome day that was. Just be careful driving down as it was a standstill (see ksl video). Some lady plunged off a cliff in Little Cottonwood and luckily got caught up in trees. We had a long ride down then topped off the perfect day with a Garlic Burger and some drinks at the Cotton Bottom.

If you are in SLC. The Cotton Bottom should be your first stop. Don't be scared by the fact its a dive bar that bikers sometimes frequent. I'd actually never eaten inside there. Here's some details on it i found.....

The Cotton Bottom Inn, actually a tavern, is located at 6200 South at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon inside a low building with a wood-shingled roof. Outside, a faded wooden sign features a bunny rabbit hoisting a beer.

Inside is a dimly lit beer hall with an L-shaped bar. The room, just large enough to hold a pool table, is packed daily with a crowd of ski bums, tourists and grizzled locals.

Then there is the garlic burger. Served on one-third of a toasted French loaf baked daily on special order for the inn, the Cotton Bottom’s garlic burger comes with tomato, lettuce, lots of onions and a bag of chips. Cheese or no cheese, your call. You don’t so much eat a Cotton Bottom garlic burger as have one melt in your mouth. The garlic flavor is subtle; the home-made patty comes off like layers of a meatloaf. Best, the Cotton Bottom doesn’t overcook its hamburgers.

The famous burger came to the Cotton Bottom courtesy of Helen Chlepas, a former inn employee who took over ownership of the bar 40 years ago by paying the lease as foreclosure was looming. “She went from being employed to the boss on the same day,” said current owner Tony Chlepas, who has managed the inn since his mother’s death in 2003. Tony began working at the Cotton Bottom in 1976, dropping out of Westminster College to help after an arson fire damaged the building.

The Cotton Bottom had a “big burger” before Helen Chlepas, said Tony. She “added her little Greek touch” and the garlic.

“It’s the simplicity of it that makes it good,” he said. “It’s all just really good, fresh ingredients. Not any one single part of it dominates. You just taste a little bit of everything.”

The burger makes the business, he said. “Everybody likes to come in and have a burger once and a while. You get a craving. You’ve got to have it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pittsburgh Speedskating

I'm in Cranberry, PA for work. I am an amateur skater. Had a great time doing a workout with the club here. By coincidence I googled the rink they were skating at and it was right next to my hotel. How weird. I stopped by and watched practice led by Korean Coach K. He ran a very good practice then I joined them for dryland after. I learned some new things. The Korean style warmup/stretch routine and some other technical things. This club is lucky to have a professional coach here. Check em out here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Light the Fire Within

The relay team heading the parade following Amy Peterson. Rusty Smith, Ron Biono, Dan Weinstein and Apolo Ohno

Me and Derek Parra at the Opening Ceremonies.

Danny and me at the Opening.

After talking with Andrew about his Mexico experience I found this on youtube (see bottom of page). This was such a spiritual experience. Mitt Romney said the presence of God was there....i agree. I learned some things watching this video. I didn't know that Glenn Close said, "None of life's storms can darken the human spirit, once lit by the fire within."
This was one of the best moment of my skating career. There was Bruce Rowley leading us, Lexi Riley, Paul Olson, Kyle Brown, Mike Harms, me in the back of the pack getting a draft and someone else who is slipping my mind??? That was a long long time ago but watching this tonite gives me goose pimples reliving that night. I haven't watched this or listened to the music in a long long time.

We were part of an Emmy award winning show! The opening ceremonies won the following:

Nomination and Winner:
Outstanding Art Direction For A Variety Or Music Program
Outstanding Choreography
Outstanding Costumes For A Variety Or Music Program
Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) For VMC
Outstanding Music Direction

I remember that day was very very cold. Getting there in the morning there was a snow storm. I remember warming up and talking to "Jumpin Joe". He is a local SLC skater and former bronze medalist who does the flip at the end. He was very concerned because there was alot of wind that day. One of the balloons that an airialist would hang from popped the night b4. No time for a custom replacement. He was concerned about doing jumps and quads with a big wind.

I saw Derek Parra, Danny Weinstein, Jason Headstrand and Bart Schounten after we performed. Also, got a shot of the relay team. What a night. I got pictures with Jim Shea, Matt Lauer and Al Roker from the Today show. What great people they were.
The show was amazing considering we had dress rehearsals Mon and Wed and hadn't had a clean run. We lost Lexi on Wed night to a collision with a figure skater and the rehearsals the week before were a nightmare. Camera men getting run over on the ice. The camera guys who would get the on ice shots showed up at the last minute. Talk about a crowded ice and small. We did do one right hand turn as well as I remember. We had some crash into an ice chard guy and take him out from behind.

So the Friday night real show at the Opening Ceremonies seemed like a crap shoot. 60,000 fans and a few billion on live TV. I know the choregrapher Sara Karahara and the producers were stressed the last week. Amazingly, everything went off without a hitch. There was a spirit there for sure and with all the Utah Indian tribe together it was awesome. I shook G.W. Bush's hand just before we went out as he came off after the World Trade Center flag.
I put my politics aside that night but here's an interesting story. I was at the CT speedskating camp in Lake Placid after Christmas in 2001. Jack Shea (32 500m Gold Medalist) spoke as the torch went thru LP. It was cold on the oval and there were at least a thousand people there. He spoke mostly how the Olympics represent peace to him and how we were going to goto war with Iraq and how wrong it was. Unfortunately, he was killed by a drunk driver a couple of weeks later.
Derek held that flag then I got up in the morning (noon) and cheered him on to an amazing 5k Silver. KC Boutiette though led it off with a gutsy 5k with a bad back. People forget about that. I believe that gave everyone confidence.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mexi-Kraan in Mexico

Check this out!!! this is so cool. Watch the video. I talked to Kim Kraan today. Sebastian Cano, Chris Creveling, Jessica Smith, Jonathan Garcia, Arnin Ruelas and Andrew Love were in Mexico as embassadors of our sport.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Team Skating 101 & World Records

Koreans show how you team skate. Notice how they look to make sure who is passing and 3rd place protects the top 2. Nice.

So ST WR on the 1000m is hard to get because you never see anyone really go for it off the line. But here it looks like the Koreans were going for it. Part 2 of Team skating. Watch the Canuck Hamelin show how to deep track. That looks like a borderline DQ in my opinion. FYI, at the oval this morning rumor was that Apolo skated a 1:23 1000m TT on Friday morning. He will go 1:21 in the 9 lap TT at US Championships on Dec 21st is my prediction.

Final lesson on team the pass at 3:06 by Song. Game over there. I'm not criticizing them for this. They have guys that are making finals and if I was coaching that's how you want to skate it.

here's a fair team fight.

Yea baby!!!!!!!

Also heard today that Adam Callister from the New Edge kicked it on Thursday morning. Skating 7 laps tempos in the low 10s including a 10.0! Way to go Adam!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cool videos (crashes) and Electric Eye

Can someone tell me how to get the videos in my blog not just a link? Here's some crash videos after I have seen and heard (SSSHHH....BUHHHHHHHHHHHHH) about a dozen crashes on ST the past two days........not as much SSSSHH on short track vs long track......

Anyways here's the scariest LT fall I've seen and it's Tyler Goff. Mike Blumel it looks like posted this one and a couple others. (it looks like the inner pair entered the turn too tight and not deep enough) (wonder what happened....looked bad) (ouch)

Has anyone heard about the timing debate at the last world cup in Calgary. Well the Zebras gave the W to Shani in this race. Shani won this race by .02. What do you think? They are saying that Kuipers skate was OFF the ice???? It makes you question whether the computers are always right? I guess it's better than the last sport I did which was hockey. Sort of like the HAL 2000. The Electric Eye is always right....we put alot of faith in computers and this is scary. Makes you question timing for sure. The finish line judge said at the SLC WC that the refs take the time off the whatever part of the skate is on the ice. Shani would have tied Jeremy there if he kept his foot down he said.

The Electric high school musical taste.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back to the Grind

Thanksgiving holiday was great. It started for me Wed morning when I hit the alarm button and went back to bed skipping ST practice. Visited the wife's family in Green River, Wy. Had great food, watched alot of football , slept alot and got back on my bike for a couple of short cold cold rides back in SLC and slept some more. I forgot how much I like riding my bike.

One thing about training hard which new people including myself back then don't realize is you need to rest for positive adaptations to occur. Stress (training) is the stimulus for growth but rest is when the growth occurs. I remember back in 2001 November seeing Catriona Lemay during the Can Ams. She was telling me how she had 4 or 5 days off and this was a couple of months before the Olympics.

One other thing that needs to be repeated. "The least amount of the most specific training which brings about continous improvement". That's a good motto for training. If you are going slower take a break or change something up.

My favorite show on TV is tonite. You really need to see Frank Caliendo. You can find some of his stuff from the 1st show last week on youtube. He's so talented. Here's a summary of the show. I don't get excited about much on TV but this is so funny. He had a great sketch about Jenna Bush's wedding night and her father's advice.

As far as training goes, we are so lucky here to have some of the best skaters training here in ST and LT. Last night i had ZERO motivation to go to the rink. But once I got there I felt better. It was great to see familiar faces checking in (Leann sp?) and the building has a positive energy.

As I walked in the track/ice, I saw Apollo doing killer jumps with Izzy, Simon Cho (i remember that kid in Pittsburgh ST Nats when he was 4 feet tall doing perfect pivots), Alison Baver with Jimmy Jang taking them thru the rounds. Mike Drews was doing his sprint work outs. Anthony Lobello was on the bike doing something. Anthony said that he is in the US Championships and should do well. He did a 1:26 9 lap TT with what looked like 14 second laps. He is so talented. The drive, passion and work ethic of those around me got me motivated. I played hockey my whole life till I was 29 and I need to see others training. I'm not one for solo training but have gotten better on the bike with it.

Skated some laps on the LT last night then this morning got up early (it's still dark out before we get on the ice). It's really cool to see the sun rise thru the windows and glisten on the ST ice. We had a huge group as ST National guys/gals who aren't in Holland are here. Apollo showed up which was cool. I think I last skated with him in 96 in Boston at a club session there when Pat Wentland coached him. I just remember noticing how much pop he had in his legs back then.

We had a 9 lap TT on the docket but I passed on that one. Jonathon did a 1:35 a PB by 3 seconds. I raced 3 times last week (ST Ogden, LT club pack, and 9 lap TT). I felt like I just did a 9 lapper since that was the last time I skated ST.

Anthony Barthell fell early and seperated his shoulder. Heal quick buddy. He is one tough dude. Jessica Smith fell head first but was ok and Tina Koenig took a fast fall during 13 lappers. I think there might have been another couple of falls too. I didn't see Tina's as I was in the back of a huge group including Derek Parra's skaters. Chris Creavling and Sebastian Cano are leaving for Mexico with Mexi-Kraan for some rink opening. Sounds like fun.

Derek was back from spending time with his daugher and Florida and he said he wasn't feeling good. I wish I didn't feel that good as he is a weekend warrior skating before work. He's one our stronger guys. He doesn't have the gold card because he is weak. All I know is I hung in for a bit then jumped in the last few laps and Apollo was finishing them at 9.2. They were taking the first one out at my top speed which is 9.5. Those guys were working hard. You couldn't notice it during the skating (they look so relaxed). Relaxing is the key to speed.

One other guy who is in town is Chris Weaver who is the new development guy for US Speedskating. He was doing the same thing as me.....skating before work. I asked him how he was (great dude) and he said how could I not skate with ice here in the morning.

Mike Kooreman kept it all together this morning with Jimmy Jang coaching the others. Oh and Mike's wife Kelsey was on the bike when I got there with local bike stud Mike Sohm. She was still riding when I left like 2.5 hours later. That's cool and sums up my morning. Thank God for all the blessings in my life.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

US Jr ST & Silver Derby

Good luck today and tommorow to Oval SSC members Jerskater and Jvalid (Jerica Tandiman & Jonathan Valdivia) as they are competing in the US Jr ST Championships in Bay City. If anyone sees results let me know.

We had the Silver Derby in Ogden today. It was an intimate gathering. Teri posted photos here:

It was super fun and the ice at the Ogden Ice Sheet is the best. It was fast, hard and grippy. I skated a PB in the 3k which was cool and had a fast 500m. We had two kids from the Ogden club and the usual suspects (Mike Drews, Tim Peck, Teri, myself and Adam). It was 5 races in 2 hours which was cool (1000, 500, 1500, 3k demo relay and 3k). Thanks to all the volunteers, coach Leif and Jay Glad for putting on this event for the 16th time. I love ST.

One kid from Odgen fell in the first race. he didn' have gloves or knee pads and came off the ice crying. Tim gave him some knee pads and I had extra gloves. He raced the rest of the day and had a smile on his face. That made it all worthwhile for me. You could see how excited they were when we did the relay. The last race was the 3k. The starter told the two kids it was 27 lap race. They asked if it was in relay format???? The starter told the kids that it was all 27 for one person. The kid had a puzzled look.....i'd have to agree to that. 27 laps? Yes 27 laps is a long way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ice to Inline camp? (Steel on Pavement)

Here's the real WHIP (Wheels to Ice?) program. It's been a pleasure to get to know some of these talented skaters. They have a great coach in Derek and he's made some huge gains with his skaters. I know there has been some negative feedback on this program but at least someone is getting extra funding. It's really brought alot of new faces to the ice here in SLC. (Whip Program)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gold Medal Contender for US Women's Long Track

I don't know if you have heard of Cris McCann but I hear she is making huge progress towards a Gold Medal in Speedskating for 2010!!!! Check her out!

and the US Preview at PCTV

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Keep Improving

I just found this site from the yahoo skate group ( Jeremy says some cool stuff on being a speedskater. I would ditto alot of what he says and it surprised me to hear this. I was expecting the usual blow by blow boring interview. Listen to it here (link below):

Haven't listened to any others. I have to go to bed as 6am comes early.

As for this past weekend I could write a book about the skating at the World Cup. There are 100 people with a 100 stories and the best ones aren't always about the winners. But we as humans focus on the winners. Sometimes you learn more about yourself and a person when they lose. In any one speedskating race there are alot of losers if you define winning as 1st place.

Friday, November 9, 2007

World Cup Day 1

My memories for today.

500m - Wotherspoon 9.59 opener wow i know that's fast for him. I focused on him the lap and watched his skating. Effortless speed. Enters 2nd turn so easy.....thinking he's not going for the record in my head. Looks too easy. His last outer looks good.....looks to be getting powerful pushes passing me. But he's not going fast (easy speed)......maybe 34.2/34.1.......what that was a 34.03....24.44

First WR that did not have a benefit of an American draft on the backstretch. Actually what makes this one unreal was there was no draft at all. Great to see him back on top of his game. I was expecting a WR after 34.3 in a Calgary weekend TT.

Two Koreans Lee's both looked fast. Those fast moving short guys look alot faster than the long lean legs of Jeremy's effortless pushes.

I didn't get to the races till 7th pair. Kip had a good one but I missed it. Should be an interesting season on the 500m. Where does Wotherspoon go from here. 33? It's his first real race in a while. Good for him with his last two Olympic experiences. It appears that he just skated which I've talked about before. What attracted me to this sport before I could do it was how effortless the best make it look. That was one of those races that look easy.

1500m highlights - Bokko new Nor national record. Personals for the Norwegians all (Sverre, Christian and Michel). the young kid Stian fell hard. he's not skated ever at Calgary or SLC till last week.

Fabris - opens his own pace against pairmate and goes 26.2/26.4/26.6 To anyone who has ever done a 1500 (any human) this seems superhuman.

Wennemars/Davis battle.....great race. I look at the WR/TR.....WR doesn't change but TR does.....hmmm what happened. OMG he equaled the WR. strange.

Morrison surges coming out of the 3rd last turn on the inner and really puts the hammer down coming in.

Women's 1000m - I love the way the Chinese girl Wang skates. So nice technically. She swept the 500/1000. Good day for her.

Press Conference on the SLC World Cup

Update: The isu website is up!

Jared Eborn writes about the oval and the lack of organization of the "press conference". They let the press know an hour before that there is a "press conference". Also, he has an entry today about an autograph session of the ST Team Sat night. There was no mention of the B group skating at 9am on most days and it looks like the website is down as well. No pairs or start times to be found anywhere and you wonder why we have only "our own fans" as my wife says.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Martin Hangii

Some info about a World Cup skater I met at the oval last week. He hopped in during some of our laps. We raced on Saturday. He's a great guy and postive person here from Swissland. He is 38 years old and an ex hockey player and didn't start skating till he was 30. Wow can we have anymore in common.

We talked about our 500 on Saturday and we both were "tight" as he said. The time didn't matter he said as how we skated.....very tight and forcing it. How do you relax in a 500. The first thing is to loosen that jaw and RELAAX. I thought for sure we did a high 37 since I didn't miss any steps but when you don't have power in each push you go slower.

I'll be cheering for my new friend on the 1500 and 5k for the Swiss team this weekend. He said he's still trying to get the ice feel since he hasn't been on the ice that long. We take for granted here what others have to wait for. Quebec's Gaeton Boucher oval just opened this past weekend and Lake Placid's Bunny Sheffield oval will not open for another few weeks.

From Googling him, we talked briefly in the weight room before I skated Monday night. He is an inliner and I would assume strong since his forte is the longer races. He was obviously a high level inliner since he skated for Rollerblade way back in 2000. Here's a pretty impressive result.....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shani Davis will not skate SLC World Cup

(Jared Eborn from DesNews has a good take on this)

from Shani's website......any comments on this?

Shani will not skate Salt Lake City World Cup

10/30/07:USS Executive Director, Bob Crowley: "It has been decided that the two individuals that you requested to receive coaching credentials will receive an access credential to the Utah Olympic Oval for the World Cup event in Salt Lake City. They will not, however, receive on-ice or locker room privileges."

10/31/07: Since Shani does not train in a U.S. program and USS requires Shani to pay his own travel expenses to world cup events, I informed USS of Shani's withdrawal from the Salt Lake City World Cup.

11/2 Update:USS' reasoning for not allowing Shani's coach access to the ice and locker room area at world cup.Guy Thibault: "Maria [Lamb] made the national allround team. She accepted her position on the team but asked that Tom [Cushman] be on the ice for world cups & world championships. That request was denied back in August.The tickets will limit you to the bleachers area. The accreditation [that USS has offered Shani's coach] gives you [the coach] access to the side of the rink and the tunnel.I [Guy Thibault] didn't state that there was no policy [regarding private coaches]. I [Guy] said that there was nothing written that says we HAVE TO grant the [on ice] accreditation.I [Guy] didn't propose a new policy (at least not yet). Our philosophy is to limit as much as we can the access to the ice and support our actual coaches better."You or Shani will need to officially decline his position at the World cup in SLC for us to invite the alternate. Until we get a official NO in writting [DONE 11/1], we can not contact the alternate.Posted by daviscil.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Salt Lake City Weekend World TTs

The World is in town and skaters from NED, SWE, GER, RUS, KZK, NOR, FRA, BEL DEN, SWI,FIN and USA raced today (12 countries). Results here.....

Highlights today in racing was seeing Bokko fail in his WR attempt on the 3k but skate a 3:40. Man that was great and this kid is flying right now. Expect big things out of him this year. Pechstein skated a 4:00 like clockwork as well. Kipper (Kip Carpenter) won the 500 with some fast looking turns and the other Norweigians Sverre Haugli and Oystein Grodum had what i would assume were good 3k's.

My pair mate who I didn't see after 200m was Pascal Briand who skated a French record on the 3k with a 3:49 only to see it beat by his countrymate two quads later with 3:46. My legs were feeling tired today.

Did I mention that i got passed by all 3 guys in my quad skating a 4:17. Last time that happened to me was back in 1996 in Roseville during a 5k when I opened with the fastest 1st lap (with KC Boutie, Matt Kooreman and Dave Paul). Limped in with a 9:15 i think back then.

I wonder why my legs didn't feel good?

Let's see skated all the races last 3 day weekend (500x2, 1000, 1500, 5k, and 10k) took one day off. Then trained all week with the Norway guys, plus weights, and dryland.

Then couldn't take Thursday off cause I felt so good on the ice. Skated with fast old man Boris Leiken and his inline cronies. Blew my load bigtime Friday ripping out fast laps. Oh yea did I mention I'm on antibiotics as well for a cellulitis infection in my thumb. Excuses, excuses. Champions don't make excuses but that's the truth.

Warming up today Mark Chrysler asked me how were my legs. I responded tired as we did easy laps. I hate to verbalize that and was hoping for the magic cure for tired legs warming up. It never happened. A month ago 7 laps of 32s was easy today 33s/34s were hard. My muscles actually hurt bigtime during my 3k. Proud I could keep a flat race with how I felt today. The timing was screwed up during my 1st two laps. Thought I was doing 32s but really was 33s then 34s and high 33s last two. At least it wasn't a bomb like my 5k last week. I did a 32, 33, 34, 35 then punted. Peter Schotting said you should do more crappy 5k's before your 1000m. I don't think he's seen that before with the level of skaters he's coached.

Afterwards, the cooldown laps felt good though. I got a lot of training in the bank this week though for later. I know the deal after doing this for a while. This was supposed to be a rest week for me but I'm keeping it going because I'll probably be shut out of working out with NOR next week on the World Cup ice.

I'd rather not talk about my races as I wasn't too happy with them but it's part of the process for me. Weights, trainer turn cable and some dryland after. No secrets to going fast other than hard work followed by rest.

Highlight memories from today: Seeing Enrico Fabris skating around the oval. I've always like his technique. Man that guy skates LOW. Doing cool down laps during the last pair (5k) he was actually drafting off ME for laps at a time...hmmm. Then I think he got bored and took off. He looks so good. I saw a Green guy from TVM come flying by while I was on the bench. I thought it was a sprinter because he looked so explosive and FAST. No it's Sven Kramer the distance Later the Koreans were training and those guys all look soooo low and explosive.

Friday, November 2, 2007

800m PB/Skater Bowling/Apollo on the LT

Day 6 of my Norwegian Fantasy Camp.

We are racing tomorrow so today is a prerace workout.

There are not many secrets to race prep. You do some warm up laps, some accels, some rolling starts, maybe a standing start.

I knew we would do some tempo laps today as well, and we did an 800m. Andrew has a picture of the last turn. That's me in the back with a pretty good left push.

Skating Short Track with the New Edge and Mike Kooreman has helped me so much, I am skating faster than I ever gone before.

This 800m was new personal (in the draft) 25.3/25.5 even though we had to put in some sick moves to wind our way through the crowds at that speed.

Ok so I have a fast 800 in my legs now we are going to do a 400m flyer. I know that Michel or Chris are going to lead (Christoffer Rukke & Mikael Flygind Larser).

I figure this is going to be sub 25 since the ice is better today and grippier. They are dialing it in for next weekends World Cup. The World Cup circus is in town now.

We now have double or triple the number of skaters on the ice now since the resurface. On the warm up laps after the break, we get passed twice the outside by Dutch team then Utah FAST team doing something (i heard 28).

Coming into one corner we are like 6 across with skaters in the inner warm up lane, skaters in our lane, the Dutch in Green suits on the outside and some group passing us in the inner comp lane.

Wow this is fun.


I hear someone go down behind us.

Someone must have got freaked out with that many people. One of the Norway guys says this is fun with so many people.

So we are off in the 600m (one lap tempo). I hit the first turn with big speed and don't set it up too well. The ice is really rutted and I didn't enter deep.

Always error by entering deep (go for the outside lane) vs entering too early. I take a step and


I'm down sliding on the ice at high speed.

I look up and I'm heading towards two of the best skaters in the world (Sven Kramer and Carl Verhaijen and some other Dutch guy in Green).

We make eye contact and I can see the white's of their eyes as I'm marking up the track trying to slow down.

They hustle up and do a quick roll start.


i hit the pads. Luckily I check everything and I'm ok. My elbow hurts but thank God no one was hurt.

I knew those guys were on a good one and they say it was 24.8....maybe next time.

Mark and I had a good laugh about that one really had to see the look of fear on those guys faces as I was sliding towards them at mid 30mph pace.

I remember seeing Shimizu fall at a practice before SLC World Cup a few years back head first fast and a Dutch Girl jumped over him as he slid by her and hit the pads.

The new rules at the rink are good (stay to the inside going slow) but not everyone follows them.

One other thing that was cool at the playground (as my wife calls it). Apollo made his appearance on Long Track with Clap Skates. Check him out. He's having fun that's what it's all about!!

I'm pretty sure that's Jordan Malone in the picture as well. Some of the other STers were out there.

I was hanging with E (Ian Baranski) and he told me to be careful out there as I'm an old man! Ian said that he was more freaked out than warming up for a ST World Cup with all the skaters out there.

Apollo was like no way dude ST warmup at World Cups are crazy. Apollo said he was freaked out going fast on the claps but felt good going slow. He looked comfortable

I saw him race Long Track way back in 1997 in Lake Placid and I mentioned that to him. I did forget that we weren't on claps back then. He and Danny Weinstein raced the coolest pack style Long Track I've witnessed.

I remember the 1000m which one of them won by a whisker. Nothing like some good Pack Long Track outside at Lake Placid on a clear sunny day. That's what heaven would be for me I think.

Apollo agreed that Pack LT is fun.

One last thing that Peter said to me leaving the rink is he expects to see a Personal in my 500m. I hope so too but I need to just focus on the process and the results will focus on my technique, sitting low and generating pressure.

I was joking that I could have taken out the Dutch team for him. He said they won't need that. They will do it on the ice. A true champion and pro coach.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Norwegian Fantasy Camp

My buddy Mark Chrysler hooked me up with the Norwegian National team here on the ice and I got to train with them Sunday, yesterday and today. Tuesday did lots of easy laps with them. Skated behind Claudia Pechstein. Had no idea that she have been at the top for so long. She won a gold medal in 1992! Wow that's 15 years on top and she has won I think 9 medals total. A total pro on and off the ice.

She was in the draft with the All rounders pulling us on long laps. Bokko, Grodum, Henri and Sverre Haugli. These guys are like skating robots. They go 34/35s for 16 minutes on end. You just dial in a speed and they hold it. Pechstein was sitting in like me and it was like being in a bike race just sitting in the draft. I haven't done a lot of mileage on the Long Track so it was just what the doctor ordered for me. These guys are so funny when the time is up they mock sprint with bad technique for the imaginary finish line at the end of sets. It's probably good to keep things light with all the training they do. They are all very humble and welcomed me into their group. I told Peter that it was like fantasy camp for old guys....the skaters didn't understand. Then he explained how old out of shape executives/white collar guys pay like $5k to train with ex pro baseball players. They got a good laugh out of that one. Another funny story is one of the skaters had a haircut and they were laughing about it because he paid 60 euros for it in Hamar. They asked me how much for a haircut here....i said $ But that $75 US haircut looked good on you..... Peter told me 9am tommorow leaving.

Today- Walked in the rink asked Peter whats the workout....oh 12 lap tempo at 28s....what? I was like Ooh My God I better warmup. Reality set in that I'm in a pro training group at that point. What do I think they are doing easy laps everyday? After warmup laps and an accel we were off. Spinters Rukke and Michel did 3 laps then did a 25.5...i was thinking off going with them but they were off like a bullit train.....the 4 all rounders were banging out 28s. Grodum pulled the first 2 then bokko led and i was gone after 4-5. They did a WR 12 lapper in 5:39!!! Look out for Bokko this year he is a beast. I think he finished on 27/26? That was it. Peter said Bokko's doing a 3k this weekend in WR 3:36. Should be interesting. What a day and this was after at least 100 laps yesterday and weights last night.

Cool link to see Pechstein's Olympic races and Eric Heiden's 1000m from Lake Placid.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Things I've Learned

I was checking out the blog roll and this touched me at lunch today.......

Things I’ve Learned...

- No matter which path you choose to take in life, even if it is the wrong one, you will always end up right where you're supposed to be.
- If someone doesn't change the first time they say they're going to, chances are they aren't planning to at all.
- You can only get by on charm for so long. After a while, you better know something.
- Don't waste your time with fake friends. After a while, you will realize who the fake ones are. Once you do, move on.
- Never expect anything out of anyone. If you do, you will be let down the majority of the time. It's better to be pleasantly surprised.
- No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.
- It's much easier to react than it is to think.
- Always leave loved ones with loving words, even when you're angry with them. It may be the last time you see them.
- You can always keep going long after you think you can't.
- Either you control your attitude or it controls you.
- Sometimes a good cry is all you need.
- Learning to forgive takes practice.
- There are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it.
- Sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.
- Sometimes when you're angry you have the right to be angry but that doesn't give you the right to be cruel.
- No matter how much you care, some people just don't care back.
- Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've had.
- No matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
- It isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
- No matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.
- Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are but we are responsible for who we become.
- It takes years to build up trust and only seconds to destroy it.
- It's not WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have in your life that counts.
- Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
- No matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar you will feel lonely and lost at the times you need them the most.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Give Up and Go Faster (A New Personal Best)

Sat night watching the Red Sox win again I spent 3 hours tinkering with my skates for the magic formula. I hate messing with my skates but something had to be done. I had been not skating up to my potential the last two days and something was wrong. I was not rocking the turns I was trying not to hit the blue pads in the turns. I noticed that my blades were not quite centered with the new custom boots I had. I moved both blades a few millimeters to the left (significant). I still don't know the best way to set up your blades on new custom boots because it's so hard to see the center. I had a few coaches look at them and they said it looked right. What I did Sat night (because I was desperate) was to use a T allen wrench and center that over the middle of my achilles tendon which I marked on the boot and make sure the blade was lined up with that (also used a level to make sure T wrench and boots were perpendicular). I also found out on Friday after my 500 that my diamond stones were toast. I had sharpened alot Th night and really had no edge Friday morning in warmup. Thankfully Mark Chrysler noticed that my stones were gone and I used my black stone!! for 10 strokes before my 1500 and then polished with my blue, red and green diamond stones. Talked to some other skaters at the oval (include Izzy) and they said Diamond stones only last for like 3-4 months. I'm back with the traditional stone stones. Some times the old way is the best way and alot cheaper. This is such a process that you would think after doing this for some time I would have figured out my stones were crap. Don't ignore the obvious. It's the same in what I do for a living (programming).

Anyways, as in life, I finally let go and raced my own race on Sunday. I had been trying to go fast and trying to beat people the previous days and today I just skated and let it happen. Man it's funny what happens when you just go with the flow of life. Good things happen. I equate it to if you are in a river and trying to swim upstream and you keep banging your head on the rocks. If you have spirituality which I heard yesterday is believing in something other than yourself. I see the mountains and the beautiful valleys and know that I didn't create those. Someone or something great than me did. If you just accept lemons and make lemonade with them life will be alot easier. I've learned as I get older to try to "go with the flow". It's the same for skating around in circles fast. We had a delay of 4 minutes they told us after John fell. Then I did a lap it's like hurry up your up and it's 2 minutes later. You can't always have everything the way you want. God gave us control over one thing in this life and it's our thoughts. So it's important to keep you though process pure and on what you want in your life. Also if I just get my ego out of the way I will go fast. "Don't think just pitch" like in Bull Durham and wear a garter I can tell you it's such a good feeling to just shut that brain off for 1:13 in my 1000. The only thoughts I had was at the end I was leaking oil really bad trying to get to the finish line. The key to 1000m races are those final two turns. If you can really build speed the 2nd to last turn then survive the last turn you can get a good time. I was just thinking stay down....stay down and finish your turns. The very last one I almost fell in a lactate haze. It's funny because Teri had a picture of me and I asked her if it was during the race because I was standing straight up. That pic was of my last turn and I recovered quick and just kept pushing to the line. There no better words than to hear from John McClennan "and that's a new Personal Best for Brian Boudreau". I hadn't heard those words in a long time. Thank you God for the blessings I have in my life.

PS- one other thing that made this a special race was my wife was there to see me. She hasn't come to many bike races or skate races. The last bike race she saw I won $80 then the one before that I won $200 for 1st and she won a bike in the raffle.

Teri's photos are here and Andrew posted a great video that gave me goose bumps watching it.
I guess the moral of this post is that good things come to those who wait. I really wanted to throw my skates away after racing Saturday.
Also, change is hard but a neccessary part of life. Change is good but I always don't like it. The boots have been an adjustment for sure and everyday my body feels different. It's funny how even in a long track meet things are constantly changing. It's small changes but change nonetheless.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

US Single Distance Champs

Here's my observations after two days. These kids are flying on the 500m. Brent Ausspring got the short end of the false start rule today as he false started only once and was DQ'd. That rule sucks and I believe is not fair. We should go back to the old way 2nd false start and you are out. I had this happen to me at the Master Worlds last year as I falsed once and was out of the overall. No fun at all. Brent would have punched a ticket to the world cup most likely with a fast race today. Chris Needham was his pairmate and it was going to be a good race. Chris had a faster 500 than yesterday after all the commotion. I'm sure it wasn't easy with the DQ and not having a pair mate but who knows. I know he had a slip on Friday and I hope the RED SOX cookies I gave him helped. This sport is so weird sometimes. You win some and you lose some and it evens out in the end. It looks like Chris missed out on the 1000m World Cup on Sunday by .01 seconds but I'm not sure if he will get to do some 1000s anyways???

The 5k was hard for a lot of skaters today. The Swiss guy made it look easy but there were a lot of guys carrying refrigerators on their backs for laps at a time myself included. I just wasn't feeling it today. I looked up with 9 to go and was hurting then I mentally was out of it. Going a little bit over you threshold can really hurt on a 5k. I went for 32s and embarrassingly did 38/39s at the end. I was ready to pull it in a couple of times but thanks to everyone who cheered me on. It wasn't easy today. My new boots have put my blades in a different position and I have been struggling with that physically and mentally.
Chad won the 5k with a 6:32. I'm sure he's not happy with that but I'm sure he will be skating a lot faster at the World Cups. He's just getting back into training again I think and he's got the heart of a lion so I wouldn't count him out. There are a lot of new faces for the US team and good luck to everyone.
It's funny but not really funny..... that when you are not near your personals or how you feel you should be skating you can get really frustrated. There were a lot of disappointed skaters I'm sure and some happy ones (who skated PBs). It's hard to sacrifice so much (in training and time commitment) then not skate your best when it counts. I find for myself that if I just let it happen it happens but when I force it it doesn't.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Park City Short Track Races 10/13/07

I posted the vids on Youtube. Bear with me as I feel like a begginning skater with dull blades and no technique in my blogging ability. I don't know how to edit videos and I don't have the best blogging skills. I wanted to post these for all to see but they haven't been editted. Enjoy!

I will be adding more videos tommorow as it's getting late here. My technique and equipment will improve as I keep posting. I can only hope to achieve the blogging ability of the Zen Speedskating blog.
Interesting day today at the oval watching Long Track races. I was watching behind the scenes up in the timing booth. It takes an army of volunteers to make it happen every week. They truely are professionals in everything they do and THANK YOU! I talked with John McClennan and he is a Massachusetts boy. He is the announcer that you hear every week at the oval and of fame. He is on top of his game week in and week out at the oval. He went to RPI in NY and was a huge hockey fan. He was at the game I started at RPI way back in 1989. He likes the Grape Vine and Coaches corner. Here's some clips for you John. (Women at Hockey Games) (Neely was the best and Don your the best. Keep fighting in the game!!!) (Amen!!)

I was doing the Irish jig tonite watching the Sox crush Cleveland......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Club ST practice & Guy Thibault

A little late in posting but last Tuesday night I had the pleasure of skating with the club ST. It was nice to not be hanging on for my life with the New Edge ST in the morning. We did some flyers early. Had the pleasure of skating with Guy Thibault (US Speedskating Director). It's great to see an ex-Olympian skating out there. I think he's just skating twice a week but he can bring it. He did a super smooth 10.4 flyer first one then I led a 9.8 i think. Might have dropped him but not sure. He must have got reved up after that one. We did some laps then he put the hammer down in a flyer and did a 9.9 and dropped my ass as I wasn't expecting it. It's like a race horse coming out of the barn after a long layoff. He didn't miss a beat. Pretty impressive on some blades that weren't glued on all the way. I asked him when he skated ST last what were they doing for fast laps. He said 8.7/8.8 but on the old 100 meter track. He said the last time he skated ST was in 1984 when he broke his leg. Then he switched to Long Track and made a couple of Olympic teams I think. It's great to see him skating with his kids after work and still laying it down. My back has been bothering me so I didn't do starts but Andrew Love was on the ST blasting off the start and Guy would pass him everytime at the 1/2 lap close but effortlessly and so smooth. You could tell this guy had done ST a few times before. So cool to watch great passing on the Short Track....Not that Andrew is slow either. I love skating ST.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Teri's photos from the last 2 weekends

Chad on the 3k

1000m 1:14 (awesome time for me in Sept)

500m (not bad for the 1st one)

I went over the top of Catherine Rainey (US 3k women's record holder) on the 3k. The 3k has never been my best event but it's nice to be in shape from the bike. That was probably my best 3k ever (flattest split times) and weekend TT PB (personal best).

New Boots!

I am now officially out in blog land. I've been reading lots of blogs on cycling and skating and now I have one. I'm not sure how much I will be updating it but it will be used for my athletic achievments and failures, how I'm doing and what's up with my life. I think it will be used mostly for friends and family to see what i'm up to. I also want to make it more of a picture blog.

Bear with me as I learn how to use this but this post seems ok.

I wanted to get this going because I got my new Long Track speedskating boots from Bruce Kohen at . I am so pumped. They are so cool looking and they feel great. He makes the coolest boots IMHO. I went thru 3 other custom boot makers in skating before I got some that I would skate on. Van Horne made me a great set in 2001 and they have held up great. I have been on SS short tracks for a month or so and now I got the Long Tracks. He nailed the fit so perfect. I've heard this from others in SLC as well and I really wanted to shout from the rooftops about this so I figured I'd blog it. Here are the pics......see above/

I skated on them for 30 minutes Friday night break in period. Then I went out and raced on them Sat morning at the Weekend TTs in SLC. I did a pretty good opener 10.7 on them and almost fell in first turn just because I have moved up my clap hinge. Then later I did a 3k and rocked on them with about a total of an hour skating on the boots. My feet have no hot spots and the fit is PERFECT.
Here's the results from Sat (500m & 3k) I did.
Mike Stein skated a PB and got in the 36s in the 500. Paul Narwold broke 40 with a PB (personal best).....that is a milestone for sure. Hope I helped him giving him a fast opener and I know he had a birds eyes view of my "great save" in the corner. I heard that from a few people. You don't realize how fast you are going till you almost take a header. There were a bunch of PBs this weeekend as well. Congrats to all. Keith rocked it in the 500 and 3k with two PBs. Hotchkiss 3k PB as well. Lisa 2:30 is fast for those "huge" legs of yours. Caleb I just saw your 1500 time. That's a good one for sure. Keep at it.