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.