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!