08 January 2017

Final Day at the US Speedskating National Championships

Day 3 & Final Day

1000m and the Mass Start.

Jeffrey had a great 1000m by skating his fastest lap time in a race to date with a personal best time of 1:10.2, but wasn't able to achieve his goal of wanting to break the 1:10 mark and finish with a 1:09. But that is what his next race on fast ice is for :) What Jeffrey is great at is that every year, he gets a little bit better. He spends hours studying and analyzing his technique to perfect it and hopefully by next year, he will race some pretty spectacular races leading into the Olympic Trials!

Brian had a good 1000m, placing 6th overall with a time of 1:09.30 and making his comeback to skating more solidified. It's quite impressive he has only been skating for 5 months after leaving the sport for over 2 years.

The Mass Start is a strategy/training/luck race. It is a pack-style race where it is not based on time, but who crosses the line first while they race for sprint laps within the 16 lap race. The littlest thing can swing it one way or another. Jeffrey is a smart strategist, having taken 8th in the World two years ago and he really needed to win this one to make it to the Single Distance World Championships (it is equivalent to the Olympics, non Olympic year). He didn't make it, finishing in the final 5-pack all within a second, but he is going to have to grab from it the things that will make him better for the next one. He loves this race and this is one of the goals for making the Olympics next year.

Brian placed 3rd overall, just missing out on making the World Single Distance Championships :(

So in conclusion from this weekend, Jeffrey qualified to compete at World Cup 5 in Berlin in the 1500m/5k at the end of January, along with hitting some personal bests and his fastest lap time in a race!

07 January 2017

More Updates: Video & MomCoach :)

A video of Jeffrey's 1500m race today for you all to watch since these races aren't webcasted...and a classic pic of the mom coach, in rare form. Or the form that most people don't see, but I wish you all could see more. She can be so goofy, laugh til she squeals, serves others selflessly with no ulterior motive, and always up for fun and family time when life isn't so uptight with the skating life :)

Day 2 - US National Championships

Day 2.

Today was the 1500m race. Jeffrey placed 4th overall in the US, qualifying him in the 1500m as well for the World Cup in Berlin, with a time of 1:47.4, just a second off his personal record. His goal was to set a personal at a 1:46.3, which he didn't achieve, but he did achieve is goal of making the world cup team in this distance alongside the 5k! 

Brian Hansen, our training partner and friend, also qualified for the Berlin World Cup by placing third overall today in the 1500m just ahead of Jeffrey. He's had a great comeback to this sport after taking a couple years off to pursue finishing a college education and picking up some fun hobbies on the side like surfing.

As for myself, I told you yesterday I would be racing the 1500m today and the 1000m tomorrow. But unfortunately, I have been dealing with an overtraining syndrome for over a month, which hasn't subsided, causing me to pull out of this weekends racing much to my regret. So the goal for myself right now is to overcome this with some rest, then slowly build up training again and persist thru March for the end of the season race in Calgary, Canada, the Finale.

Oh the obstacles the Lord throws at us...I will keep my head up and persevere, but I am also recognizing that the Lord is preparing me for when my speedskating career is finished and I am excited for the opportunities that will bring :)

06 January 2017

First Day of US National All-around Trials

Today was the first day of the US National Trials here in Salt Lake City and Jeffrey placed 3rd in the US in the 5000m with a personal best time of 6:34.77! A great race especially when that's not his specialty race. Coach mom and myself are happy for him :) He raced the 5k in order to secure a spot for the next World Cup in Berlin at the end of January, but his best and favorite race is the 1500m which he races tomorrow. On Sunday, he races the 1000m and the Mass Start. Keep up on the results at this link (they're live during races too!): http://speedskatingresults.com/live/

I didn't race today, but tomorrow, I will also be racing the 1500m and Sunday, the 1000m/maybe the Mass Start!

22 December 2016

World Cup 3 & 4

Hi all! Good to be back here 😎.

The end of November and beginning of December found me competing at World Cup competitions in Astana, Kazakhstan and Heerenveen, Holland. Many and I began this season with some mediocre racing in October so I'm truly thankful for any chances to still compete internationally for the US–the elite competition experience is invaluable to any athlete. The single event I raced was the Team Pursuit in Astana where we took 10th place out of 12 countries, We had been hoping to qualify a time to secure a spot for us in the World Championships in February but unfortunately we didn't, and I didn't perform as well as I should have. With that behind me now, I'm looking forward to seeing improvements in the second half of the season. Remember, failures are really the stepping stones for success as long as you don't see them as your hurdles!

Here's some photos from the trip with USA's World Cup speedskating team below.

Astana, Kazakhstan

Arriving in Kazakhstan after a long day and a half trip:

The outside of our hotel in Astana:

Astana from my hotel window–a really interesting and sprawling city (but kind of empty!):

A famous landmark in Astana, the Bayterek:

Some of the team heading to the rink with Brian Hansen giving the peace sign:

Teammates Brian Hansen and Darren Huang before practice:

About to hop on the ice for the first session:

A few of us visited QSI International School of Astana to spend some recess time with the kids there and spend some Q&A time sharing about the crazy sport that we're competing in over there. Thank you for the traditional Kazakh slippers!

"Yo, we need some kind of cool photo."

At the start of the men's Team Pursuit:

I led the second lap in our TP:

Crazy, distorted photos of the beautiful Astana rink:

Brian getting cupped in between competition days:

Visiting Astana's iconic tent mall, the Khan Shatyr. It was so high inside:

Heerenveen, Holland

First day frost on the leaves outside our hotel:

The new Thialf, Heerenveen's famous ice rink:

Warming up for practice:

Looking at the rink through the windows from the athlete training room:

One of the best memories from the trip; racing a "Holland Cup" competition with all Dutch skaters in Deventer, since I wasn't racing in Heerenveen's World Cup competition. I got to compete Dutch style in the fog inside a half covered oval. The craziest part was entering the foggy turn at 3o+ mph and hoping you're skating the correct track!