26 February 2013

Wrapping up our 2012-2013 Season!

  Calgary Olympic Oval             

In just over a week....and my speedskating season will be over.

It's exciting but daunting at the same time because when training starts up again for next season in a couple weeks, it'll be for the Olympic year. For Sochi 2014. 

As I updated you all a couple weeks ago, my mom and I took a different approach to my training since our Nationals in December, and it continues to be a success. During these last weeks, I have gained back confidence in my skating and my body is holding up really well, which I owe completely to my therapy support team (Paula, Dr. Major, Dr. Yoss, Dr. Carl, Dena, my parents) and Extreme Endurance, a product that continues to give me great results each training session! 
My mom and I, along with my hand-made sweater

Races begin next Wednesday at the oval in Calgary, Canada, the site of the 1988 Olympic Games, which was my mom's last Olympics and the one where I was 1-year old, being strollered around the Olympic grounds while people attached Olympic pins on my hand-made sweater. I so wish I could have remembered all those memories at that age!

My mom and I at Calgary Olympics, 1988
This speedskating oval is one of the two fastest rinks in the world, so this season-ending competition attracts speedskaters all over the world, giving the racing a fun, international-competitive vibe. I will be racing the 3000m on Thursday (7th of March), followed by 4 more days of racing. Jeffrey will be also racing next week at the Finale, but also competing this weekend in the American Cup Final this weekend in Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, Brian has been in Germany training for the upcoming World Cup in Erfurt, Germany, followed by the World Cup Finals in Heerenveen, Netherlands and the World Single Distance Championships in Sochi, Russia. Our coach (mom) will be the backbone of this whole process...after just arriving back from Germany this past Sunday, she leaves this Thursday for Salt Lake City, then travels to Calgary, comes home for a couple days before flying back east to coach Brian back in Sochi, Russia. Then as soon as she arrives back home, end of March, she will finally be getting her knee replacement surgery. Something she is freaking out about, but it is desperately needed, as many of you know and have seen. So if you get a moment, please keep her in your prayers as that whole process will be coming before she knows it!
Calgary Olympics, 1988

To keep up with Jeffrey and my results in the next weeks, for Salt Lake City/American Cup race results on Jeffrey this coming weekend, visit: http://usspeedskating.org/athletes/results and clicking on "AmCup Long Track Speedskating Final/North American Champs/Champions Challenge".

For the Calgary Finale competition, visit: http://oval.ucalgary.ca/10_competitions and scroll down til you see "Olympic Oval Finale/Canada Cup Final".

Or for both Salt Lake City/Calgary Final competitions, you can also find results at: http://speedskatingresults.com

For Brian Hansen's World Cup/World racing, visit: http://www.isuresults.eu

God Bless,
Nancy Jr.

1 Corinthians 9:25

21 February 2013

Old Skool

Back in mid January I raced outdoors near St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota. Outdoor competitions can be pretty fun but not if the weather turns freezing cold or gets too windy, which of course it did. Over two days of racing, we had wind of over 30 mph (which actually blew over a skater during his race, sorry Andy) and temperatures at 0 degrees. Even though it really sucks to be out there racing with what seems like no clothes on, I like the challenge and it turned out that it was probably my best competition all year!

Thanks so much for coming out to watch Jake and Robin


Back in the day, all ovals were outdoors and many were on natural lake ice (this oval ^ has ice artificially cooled by compressors underneath so people can still skate even if it's 45ish degrees or less outside). But speedskaters had to deal with the elements of snow, wind and sun that often times differed from race to race so results were unfairly affected by their race condition. For example, if the sun happened to come out for your race, it would make the ice gloss over and become way faster and glide significantly better. So in 1988, the Olympics in Calgary, Canada, introduced a new enclosed oval to the world and so began a more modern era of the sport. Since then, more and more ovals have been covered and most major competitions are indoors but it's good to keep alive the tradition of this sport in even if it means freezing your face off.

Our good ol' hometown oval in Milwaukee before it was covered in 1994.

The Milwaukee oval today

14 February 2013

Much Needed Short Update!

Definitely needing to update y'all...sorry it's been a while! In brief, Jeffrey, my mom and Brian are in Inzell, Germany at the moment, training for a couple weeks after Brian's 1500m world cup race last Sunday. He dominated by taking another 3rd place podium finish! After these next weeks, Brian will race another world cup in Erfurt, Germany while Jeffrey and mom/coach will be heading to Salt Lake City for the American Cup Final and then onto Calgary, Canada where I will be meeting them there for my last competition this season, the Finale.

Since returning home from the U.S. Championships and Regionals out in Salt Lake City over Christmas break, I have been revamping and sketching out new goals for the next couple months and then into Olympic year. Yes, the 2014 Olympics are less than a year away now! For me, my focus right now is on the competition in Calgary, March 7th-10th. A solid race where I will be shooting for a PB (personal best) is the goal, which will bring back confidence in my racing leading into the Olympic season. Until then, I have been cranking out great workouts and perfecting technique even more. While my training partners have left me for beautiful Inzell, Germany, I have been blessed with other training partners while Brian and Jeffrey are gone. Jilleanne Rookard, Chase, Darren, along with Dano, Jacky, Tweddale...we've had some great workouts already this week and pumped to continue this change-up of training partners for a bit! You guys are great!

So as this Calgary Finale competition nears, I will be keeping you all posted on my progress and then the results from those races. Jeffrey, too, will be updating on his end the races he has in Salt Lake City as well as Calgary.

In the meantime, today is Valentine's Day. And though we love to share and show our love to those closest to us, let us be reminded on how God's sacrifice of His son was the ultimate love story. Giving us a chance to have a relationship with Him and life of eternity = hope. 1 John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us."

God bless you all,
Nancy Jr.

1 Corinthians 9:25