31 December 2012

Racing Results and Happy New Year! 2013!!!

First of all, congratulations to all of those who made the World teams this past week/weekend at this U.S. National Championship competition! There were amazing and outstanding performances by so many...  :) 

Clay Cholewinski, Shani Davis, Paul Dyrud, Tucker Fredricks, Jonathan Garcia, Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck, Emery Lehman, Joey Mantia, Patrick Meek, Mitch Whitmore, Petra Acker, Brittany Bowe, Lauren Cholewinski, Maria Lamb, Heather Richardson, Anna Ringsred, Jilleanne Rookard, Sugar Todd

 Jeffrey racing Matt Rittenhouse with Mom/Coach in the background                                                                                     Photo Credit: Jerry Search

Photo Credit: Jerry Search
Secondly, thanks to everyone who has been supporting me through my ups but mostly downs this season, your encouragement is fuel that keeps me pushing forward, know that! Racing this past week for me didn't go as I had hoped, but taking a step back and looking at what I have accomplished so far, I am truly blessed. After these 5 days of racing, I did manage to qualify for the Regional Qualifer (a competition you race in order to make the World Championship team, it is determined after a combination of these 4 races: 500m, 1500m, 3k, 5k), so I will be racing these races once again in Salt Lake City in just over a week. This time, hopefully, I will not be sick and be feeling a bit more adjusted to the altitude here to whip out some better racing. God has been teaching me lessons the last couple years with all these trials I keep facing, which are hard to battle through, but I am not giving up yet and pushing on towards my goal of Sochi 2014. 
Photo Credit: US Speedskating
For Jeffrey, this US Championship was a stepping stone and progress was made. He finished top 10 in 3 of his races and just missed out on making the Regional Qualifier, placing 7th in the Allaround competition. He is the runner-up. Brian Hansen, on the other hand, just dominated. Placing 1st in the 1500m for the first time nationally, 2nd in the 1000m and on one of his 500m, placed 2nd as well. We are all proud of him...

For me, looking back on 2012 is bittersweet...skating has been a struggle, but what truly matters most to me is what makes it a great year: my relationship with Jesus Christ, my family, the lessons I learn from training and then being able to share those lessons and experiences with those around me, that is what counts in life and I am happy to end this year on a good note of reflection. It is a challenge of mine to you that you do the same: that amongst trials, reflect on the goodness of the lessons learned and reminisce on those moments. 

Cannot believe another whole year has come and gone...time sure flies...so lets make 2013 a year that we live like its the last days of our lives! And December 2013 = Olympic Trials for 2014, it's going to be a good, long, hard, but successful year. I know it :)

May God bless you all in this New Year to come!

With Love,
Nancy Jr.

1 Corinthians 9:25

26 December 2012

U.S. Speedskating Nationals!

Salt Lake City Olympic Oval (inside above, outside below)  
Our U.S. Speedskating National Championships begin tomorrow, here in Salt Lake City, UT at the beautiful Olympic oval. Cannot believe these races are here...time sure flies, but Jeffrey and I are feeling good and pumped to see how this week unfolds. With the craziness of ups and downs that I have struggled with this season so far, I cannot help but to be thankful. Thankful to just be here, healthy and able to compete in a sport I love. Thankful to have a huge support system who have always gotten me back on track and back to training/racing form. My support system (you know who you are!)....they are the people that should be recognized and honored, though they would want nothing of the sort. Just like Bri Tutt has said herself, 'positivity is key' and the life/struggles we sometimes have to endure are blessings in disguise, they make us reflect on how we view our life and help us to be thankful for what matters most to us; what we desire for our lives. Now many of you don't know Canadian speedskater Bri Tutt, but read up on her and her recent accident here. Amongst her horrific crash that left her with crazy injuries, but with a faith that will help her get back into racing form to compete for Sochi 2014, Bri is one tough chick that is seeing the best in times of trial. Love that...girl, I am praying for you, you're awesome :)

Ok, back to the racing tomorrow and info...there will be one race per day, starting with the 3k/5k tomorrow morning at 9am. Full schedule can be found here (second page):


As far as keeping up on results? Check USSpeedskating's website daily or Speedskatingresults.com. Otherwise, check in to our twitter accounts (@NSwiderPeltzJr and/or @JSwiderPeltz) or if you are friends with Ryan Shimabukuro on Facebook (haha), he is always on top of listing the top finishers/times of each race.

Good Skill to all those competing this week/weekened!

Hebrews 12:1
Philippians 4:13 

God Bless,
Nancy Jr.

As always, many thanks to our personal sponsors who've helped out Jeffrey and I throughout our training! ExtremeEndurance (lactate buffer/training supplements) CoreFitness (weight training), TCBoost (speed training), Bannockburn Chiropractic, Major Sports Science and Chiro.

13 December 2012

A Visual Diary of Training in LA, Summer of 2011

So Nancy mentioned a bit ago about some art we do in our free time and to continue that dialogue we're going to make a page of some projects and also post here and there about them as well...maybe we should rename this blog 'The Art of Speedskating.'

To kick this off, here's something I call my visual diary of training in Los Angeles during the summer of 2011. Almost everyday, I added something to the 'mural' so to make a visual account of my two months there. In it, places, skating lingo, goals, etc., have meaning that maybe wouldn't make sense to everyone else (as diaries sometimes do). For example, '25.8 LAP' was my goal for the fastest lap time I wanted to skate last year-which I ended up skating a 26.0 last year, just missing that goal. And being in LA, I also tried to incorporate a little street art into my own style.

06 December 2012

A Couple Sweet Races in Calgary

A bit late, but Nov 14-17 I traveled to Calgary, Canada for a competition on their fast ice. The first day was a little disappointing but by the 4th day I had knocked down two personal best times by quite a bit. Overall, super happy with those two races but I've still got a lot of improving ahead of me in order to reach some of my goals this year.

1500 Meters: dropped from 1:51.74 to a 1:49.41 <wow that race was so hard
5,000 Meters: dropped from 6:49.18 to a 6:43.14 

Even better than those races, though, was meeting a handful of college-grad believers that hung out with me on a day off in between races and took me to Centre Street Church Sunday after races. So great to just randomly meet and to spend time with people from Calgary who had nothing to do with skating. Can't wait to meet up with them in the future. (S/O to Brooke, Helen, Eric!)

In the meantime, we'll both be training our brains out in Milwaukee this december until we'll compete starting December 27th in Salt Lake City.

Brian, me and Nancy Sr. after racing at the Fall World Cup Trials, Nov 4th. Great shot and thanks Michael Callahan.

05 December 2012

Hodgepodge of Thoughts...enjoy :)

December! Wowzers, does time certainly fly...it's already week 1 of Advent and our US Speedskating National Trials are coming up in 3 weeks!

Jeffrey's abstract study of Cubism
People always wonder what we do in our free time...to be honest, when speedskating is full-time, we live, eat, and breathe speedskating. I cannot speak completely for Jeffrey, but though I have put a great effort into having a social life, it sometimes becomes overwhelming to try to meet up with everyone and  stay in touch when I am home in Wheaton. Not being there for my friends when they need me or sharing great moments with them often pains me. It's what God has convicted me of lately: that I cannot please every one of my friends (I am a people pleaser if you didn't know by now) and that my focus shouldn't be on that either...that is what I've been teaching myself to slowly let go. Our Lord calls us to put our focus first and foremost on Him, and though I am daily striving for that, I fall into the habit of relying on tangible things of this earth to please. At the same time, this all might sound selfish with refocusing time on myself. And one can take it to the extreme in that sense, so a balance is the key; balance seems to be the key to everything in life. Finding that perfect balance? Hmm, that might take our whole life, but that is what is exciting about life: you never know which road you'll be taken down. Therefore, these last couple weeks I have been staying at our sponsor house all week here in Milwaukee instead of driving back home with my mom/coach and utilizing my off-day with errands and dates. Giving myself room to think, ponder, read the Bible, brainstorm, recover physically and mentally, email, sauna, bike around town to flush my legs and breath fresh air, journal, etc., has been much needed. I've been loving it and letting worries go...and at the same time, I have found that my mental state in skating/training has improved, boosting confidence and bringing back the joy in this sport that has been wearing me down recently. 1 Peter 5:7
My Cakes :)

Christmas Card 2010
Going off on a tangent...art/drawing/craftiness (if that's a word) are examples of things Jeffrey and I tend to do in our 'free' time that doesn't take away from our training. We both have been blessed with a gift in art and imagination, though Jeffrey more-so (note: Jeffrey does major in Art at Wheaton College). My areas of focus tends to come out of necessity: our annual Christmas card/drawing, cakes, homemade crafts/projects, decorating, photography while Jeffrey is the hardcore artist (and saying 'artist' in a French accent, ha). He has some mad skills and I have attached pieces of his work and some of my random creations!

Christmas Card 2011
On another tangent?! Jeffrey and I are still looking for a major Team Swider-Peltz sponsorship that could be through this next Olympics and/or beyond...if anyone has ideas or is interested in supporting us, let us know! Or, if you are wanting to help us in a small way, you can donate to our journey by clicking on our 'Support' page above. Thanks!

God Bless,
Nancy Jr.

A painting Jeffrey did of grandpa Swider

1 Corinthians 9:25