Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why Quads are a Bad idea sometimes

Check out the cluster#$@@# at 5:20 of this one. It's pretty funny.

Awesome Short Track Falls from Calgary. I'm not sure if the full pads with no boards in Calgary contribute to this "roller derby on ice".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hope for Master Athletes Everywhere

WOW is all I can say. I love this guy and he still rocks at AGE 60!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Quotes from the Zen Master & Chumps Challenge

I have been training with Peter Schotting since Jan 1st and here are some funny things he has said.

Schotting on laps times. "Those are women's times."

0n tapering. "What do you want to do come to the rink in a rolling hospital bed."

On putting my hands on my knees when hurting while racing a 1500m today or 5k in the past or 3k in the past....."You see the protocol says ISU...that means International Skating Union not Rollerskating Union....that's not Ice speedskating" but my legs hurt and I'll fall..."we'll do more dryland next summer".

On warming down....."Go do 16 minutes of laps"

When I'm tired, "Why would you be tired we haven't anything."

Seriously though it's been tough but fun at the same time. I remember one day when I did a 1500m then a 5k. I skated a warmdown (10k) then got off the ice. He said now go run 8 laps on the oval. I did two laps then I went and hid in the bathroom for a bit. I started thinking I must be sick.... I'm actually paying this guy to torture me.

Why he's a great coach. Erin Anders was skating with us till he hurt his knee. He did a 3k and bombed after a lap (it's a 7 lap race). He did 3 or 4 laps at 33 the day before but in the race he went 34 1st lap then 37s...38...39?...then 37 at the end. Peter was like what happened you dropped anchor after one lap?? Erin does a little warmdown and sits down to take off his skates. Peter says to Erin where you going? "Keep your skates on. You are going to go out and skate 5 laps at 34/35 second pace. Not for me but for you. You need to know that you can do that even if it's right after a 3k race." Next time you go to race you will have the confidence to KNOW that you can do that. Erin goes out and does like 5 34s. That's a great coach in my book. It was a Herb Brooks moment for sure.

Today was dissapointing for me at the Champions Challenge. I had high expectations for my 1500m. I was 3 seconds off my Personal Best (PB) on a day when 36 personals were skated. I was paired with Josh Wood and thought for sure we would both do personals. He did a huge 4 second one and got 2nd place at 1:50 (1st USA skater). Great job buddy. I was with him at 300m then scratched around the inner turn & then didn't set up my outer turn real well. I gave him a good draft though on the backstretch then he was a 2nd ahead at 700m. I stopped skated as Peter said at 900m. Thanks to Andrew cheering me I kept skating. I heard you buddy. I had some issues and didn't really skate that well. I just didn't have great feel. What funny though is I did my first 1:57 EVER. I've skated 1:59s, 58s, 3 56s, 2 55s, and one 1:54 but never a 1:57. I guess that was the time for today. I know when I don't have high expectations I skate better. Earlier post "don't think just skate" or Give up and skate a PB. Hopefully that will happen tommorow. My 5k should be a PB by at least 10 seconds based on practice but no predictions here. I'm just going to skate and use the lap times as information.
Based on my practice times lately, if it doesn't come out in racing tommorow it will come out sooner or later.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

SLC TTs & Weekly Worlds (RMR)

Time trials went ok today. One crappy 500m and then a SLC Weekend TT PB in the 3k. I gave away 3 seconds on the last two laps in that one according to my coach. I have been training with Peter Schotting for about 10 weeks and it hasn't been easy. I'm just a once a day trainer compared to pros who are at the rink from 7-5pm.

My start today didn't have it (11.0) but I had an ok 3k. It was the best 3k I've ever skated in SLC by 3 seconds. Missed my personal by that much in my best Maxwell Smart imitation. It was after a hard week of training and some scary fast times in training. It will come out in the races soon or later Peter assures me. I have never been much of a practice skater but now I am with him. I wasn't even mad after a SLOW (for me) 500m. The slowest of the season. My body is trying to adapt to a new training load. I think next weekend at the Champions Challenge I'll get it going.

We really haven't done speed (400m tempos). I have done 1600m tempos. I actually did my 800m personal best in a 1600m tempo. It was cool to hit a 28 second lap trying for 31. I wish I had that skating feel I had in practice that day today during the race. I wasn't skating like I skated in practice. Once I slowed with two to go I was stuck in the middle not getting weight transfer. Don't think just skate. Don't try to go fast just SKATE. Don't think JUST SKATE!

I just couldn't get it going today off the start. From my first start in the morning till my race. It's funny though sometimes that's ok because as an older skater it takes time to warmup. Youth is wasted on the young when I see dudes just start hammering at 7:30 in the morning. I like to say I need alot of foreplay.

It would have been nice to have a pairmate but I think Ron Macky was at last call at Lumpy's.

The 3k I went out the hardest I ever have and survived. Peter pointed out that the ISU is on the pairings sheet which means International SKATING Union. Not the inlining union as I had my hands on my knees for the last two laps. I complained that I have never done as much as we did for pre race. He was like you don't think Heiden, Flaim, etc did those kinds of race preps. You think the Australians or Flaim always had "good legs" at a World Championship, World Cup, etc. I'm trying to mentally get in my head that I can skate with a "load" in my legs.

Another funny thing that I said to Peter is that I need more rest before I race. He was like, "what do you need to do be rolled into the rink in a Hospital bed with an IV before your race." He's tough and you can see why he's built World Champions. Based on my training we thought I could do 4 minute flat 3k today.

It's funny though we all want to know where we compare to everyone else. The race really is with yourself and no one else. Someone said to me that since you beat Marty Haire at Nationals that you would have been World Champion. You know what from my hockey days we used to say that the transitive property doesn't work in sports. If A beats B and B beats C.....A doesn't neccesarily beat C. I know that even with times of Long Track and consistent ice conditions it's hard to compare. But we as humans seem to have this crazy need to know where we or they stand?? That's why we compete and have competitions. If it's your day it's your day.

I have noticed that for me now that I have done speedskating for awile comparing means nothing. At the higher levels on any given day anyone can beat anyone to some extent. Unless you are at the meet with everyone else on that day you don't know. It's nice when you are like Sven Kramer or Shani crushing it day in and day out. You notice though that they took some weekends off and it seemed to have helped them this weekend. But that's why we watch and skate.


The BMC boys tried to come to the local crit and rule the roost but local boys pulled it off. Ryan Littlefield's Contender boys showed the pros what Utah racing is all about. The Contender boys played their cards right. Word on the street is that Brent Cannon has good form right now as does Ryan. It looks like the Porcs got alot of placings in the top 10 and they are off to the team lead again. Will Ryan ride more this year? Hope so. I didn't realize till last year that he won the Crit Series a bunch of years in a row. David vs Goliath in a way but it's just Weekly Worlds or is it the World Championships. It's good that people take it seriously because it's a good throwdown for sure! We need more fans out at these races as it's pretty good stuff.

Ok so I do my warmdown at the rink and it's 11:15 when I leave for the RMR Raceway for the 1st bike race of the season. I saw Cameron Candelaria on his bike riding over on 56th West. There was so much traffic he past me 3 times. I get to the race with about 25 minutes till race time. I get changed get my number and maybe spin for 5 minutes.
I notice that two riders from the BMC Race team are there. Jeff Louder and Darren Lill (from South Africa) I found out later. I'm thinking this is great I haven't riden my bike much and these guys are coming of the the Tour of California. The usual suspects were out there as well and we were off in a shortened race. Only 35 minutes or so it turned out. There was snow on the track and they couldn't race the A and Bs together.
I made a promise to myself to not go in any breaks since I don't want to kill myself for skating next week. That was hard to keep when I saw guys taking off in front of me. That's right I forgot in a lactate haze that I went with Darren Lill from BMC early in the race hoping that I would get in a break. Some guys chased us down and everyone came back together. I looked at my HR of 195 and said I think I'll hide in the pack for a bit more. Then sure enough the real break happens. Those BMC guys probably rode 6 hours today and RMR was one piece of the puzzle. It's hard for us working stiffs to just have some delusional fun with them there. We can think we are riding in the Tour of California or something like that. I forgot how much I like riding my bike.

"The break" went about 10 minutes in after a couple of failed attempts. I didn't think that would last at first. There were 10 guys and most of the teams were up there and once they got a half lap on the 3/8 mile track it was over. Jeff Louder from BMC was there and the other BMC guy (at the time I didn't know who he was) was in the pack with us. Thru sheer luck I found myself on his wheel. I figured he would try to get upto help his teammate soon. Sure enough he goes. I hesistate for one moment and then kill myself for a little bit and get on his wheel. The minute I connect he sits up. Not like I could pull thru after that effort. He then goes back to the pack and I follow him for a long time. It was nice in the group and I was working on my spinning. The break was now 8 as two guys were shelled. The break of 8 was a half lap up for the longest time. We were going not super fast then fast a few times. At maybe 30 minutes I see Louder in our group and the break still behind us. Apparently, Ryan Littlefield and Brent Cannon from Contender Bikes made it up with him (Louder).

We ride around some more and guys are hammering with 3 to that was quick when your used to an hour criterium but just what the doctor ordered for me at this point. I was pack fill at the end but it was a blast. Contender got the W with Brent, Louder 2nd, and Ryan L rounded out the podium.


There were some guys that went hard and got shelled in the race. I always wonder about that. A guys got to know his limitations. But hey I almost got shelled after two efforts at following breaks or bridges.

One other thing. Saw Kelsley Kooreman (Mike's wife) at the RMR oval. She has been riding lots and lots. She was going in a break with the B group men's and she got 10th. April Medley, Anthony Lobello and Mary Grace were there watching. Then I was off to spend time with the inlaws and family. What a great day today was. Thank you God for all the blessings I have in my life. Spent the rest of the weekend with Family:)

One other thing is that I just missed Team Rico's crash where you can read about it here. I posted a comment on his blog about it here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hockey vids

Tonite i went after practice to help out a squirt team. I used to play hockey and it was a huge part of my life. Here's some awesome videos i found tonite....

This video actually makes me cry here watching it. I remember watching this game and just being in the 1980 rink (Herb Brooks Arena) is inspiring.

Forward to 2:18 to see why I skate.....many rinks were built in Boston because of this man. Thank you Bobby!

One More! Wow. My dad was a Boston Cop. He would work alot of Bruins games during the 70s. I went to some games and lots of Red Sox games back then. Red Sox games were empty back then :). He would be in the locker room with the Bruins and tell me how nice a guy Bobby was. He was a very humble guy with a God given talent. He would tell me that his legs were huge and the stories of these goals were even bigger to me. i like how he fakes out the wing AND cameraman at 2:59.

Apparently there's a new book out on #4. See why he was the best IMHO.

Props up though to the great one (Gretz) and Lemeiux.

Had to add one for #99. He was inspiring to watch growing up.

If anyone I played hockey with reads this shoot me an email. Paul Laubenstien, Marty Loughnane, Mike Novak, David Rennie, Brian Noonan, John Lovell, Brian Assad, Chris Spillane, and anyone else I can't think of right now from Archbishop Williams, UMass/Boston, or the Labatt's Blue Hockey Team and the Hofbrau House in Quincy!