Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I was runnin (in my best Forrest Gump voice)

It has been a few days so here is my update.

My swimming this week has been great. Like I said to Rene, these have been "grudge swims". Work is a killer right now, this economy is really affecting our clients therefore affecting us. I can't remember a time with the exception of maybe 9/11 that our clients have been so profoundly affected. However, as I always say everything is relative and we have had it sooooo great for sooooo long I had hoped we had weathered the economic downturn but it is really affecting some clients now. Again, speaking to things being relative, we are in a great position as a company to really do some things long term that we haven't been able to do because we have been soo busy. We control our destiny and as head cheerleader it falls on me to keep eveyrone upbeat and pulling in the same direction.

This isn't a business blog but a triathlon blog so the purpose of my first paragraph was only to say that training has been really good for me mentally. It has given me time to think ans really ponder next steps and strategic direction. I have some things that I am going to focus on so that Acropolis will come out on the otherside better. Buffet says (Warren not Jimmy) be aggressive when others are scared and scared when others are aggressive and john Q public is definately scared right now.

So, since my injury I was able to get my run workout in last night wiht little pain (2 on a scale of 10). The TENS unit has been fantastic and today is the first day that I don't plan on using it most of the day. I truly believe that is the difference between not being able to run 2 minutes on Sunday to running (albeit short) 20 minutes last night. Yesterday was the first day that I felt comfortable knowing that I didn't mess my knee up for an extended period. I still plan on taking it easy but yesterday was a positive day.

At home we had a very positive parenting experience. The short of it is that KGB got graded on a project in a way that she thought was unfair. We talked to her about it over the weekend and suggested that she politely but directly discuss it with the teacher and she did with a very positive outcome for her and more importantly I life lesson that I hope sticks with her for a long time to come. I know I am biased but as I say to my children weekly when I put the to bed, "You will do great things one day" and I firmly believe that. These are tough ages because they are still kids but now is the time they are developing their strengths that will carry them through life so the touch job is to be there for them when they need us but at the same time stay out of their way so they can develop their "filter".

There is a lot going on right now in all facets of life but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have my monthly company meeting tonight, followed by my Search Team meeting. Up at 4:45, work by 6:00. I plan on cycling at the gym between 3:00 and my meeting at 5:00. I can sleep when I'm dead, keeping the schedule together is getting increasingly more difficult. I love Rene and she allowing me to train. I hope the example I am setting for KGB and NBB will offset the time away. That is the struggle and what weighs on me.

I am babbling now.... time to get back to work. It is a big day.

all for now

Tracy Butler

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tens Unit is the best!

My knee is getting better but as of yesterday was still in pain especially when I straighten it. The fact that I moved my bedroom furuniture into the new room and had girl scout bowling with KGB yesterday didn't help.

Workout update: Jennifer ( removed all of my runs this last week from my schedule. Saturday was a light day with a zone 2 swim. The swim went easy and it felt good. I have been doing speed work for the last two months with very little endurance type swimming. It felt good to swim fro 30 minutes straight if for nothing else to reassure me I can still swim good distances. The best parts is that the speed work has paid off. My average time/100 was 1:51 average. That is down from 2:05/100. I am still not fast but shaving almost 14 seconds off per 100 average is pretty good I think. On Sunday I had a 1:15 bike and a 15 minute run. The bike felt good and although I was on the trainer I was able to watch the olympics (yeah for sunday coverage) Just to see where my knee was, I tried a slow jog on the treadmill. after about 2 minutes I realized this was a bad idea and stopped. Very discouraged, I really question whether or not I will meet my 1 week 100% better per the doctor.

Sunday afternoon I went to Girl Scout Father/Daughter bowling with KGB. I know whe had been looking forward to this. She broke my heart this last week when she said to mom "I don't think daddy really wants to go bowling with me. He doesn't seem that excited" Almost killed me. This has been a very busy and stressful time and I need to do a better job of shielding my family from it. This is something that I constantly struggle with and just need to work harder at it. I am about as mentally busy as I have ever been and it is important that I keep work/training stresses seperate. The fact is, I was looking forward to spending time with KGB and we have always said we would do more things just she and I. She is growing up soo fast and making that time a priority, especially right now while she is developing her "filter" of the world is as important now as ever.

As much as I was enjoying spending time with my daughter, my knee was not enjoying the experience. Bowl = pain. A friend of mine Dan Vetter (the same guy I was shooting baskets with) is also a chiropracter (Vetter Chiropractic). He is a pretty knowledgeable guy on most subjects and is always a wealth of information. He suggested that I use one of his portable "stem" machines like chiropractors use in their office. Can I say that this is one of the greatest inventions ever. After using it last night for a few hours off and on, I woke up this morning with NO KNEE PAIN - zip, nada, nothing..... The unit is so small it fits in my pocket and as I sit here writing this I am using it right now underneath my clothes. He tells me they are pretty reasonable to purchase. It runs on a 9 volt battery and let me tell you, it has more power than I will ever need. I accidetnally turned it up and it almost dropped me to the ground. It works and I may be running this week if my improvement continues. I don't know how it works but I can't argue with the results.

Today I have a full day but fortunately only a swim is scheduled.

More to come!!! I am keeping my fingers crossed that this works!!!

Tracy Butler

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Running For you!

In a very Soup Nazi way.....No running for you! I joke because my knee is starting to feel a bit better. I was able to ride my bike for the second night in a row. Last night I got a late start due to my day so I only rode for 40 minutes but I was able to get a good swim in at noon.. I am not a huge fan of 50 yard repeats but understand their purpose of making me more efficient.

Rode the bike for an "extra" 30 minutes last night as a bonus non scheduled ride. It was nice because Rene was running and I like to spend time with her of course....

All for now. I have a 60 minute tempo ride tonight and a Brick this weekend, I hope my knee is up to it.

all for now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Soooo my daughter has baskeball practice on Tuesday night and while they are meeting I decide to shoot some baskets. No biggie right. I start taking some jump shots and after about my 10th one I feel my a SHARP pain on the inside of my left knee. My left knee has always given me problems since a soccer injury 15 years ago and I suspect that one day I will have to get it scoped.

I was able to get into my GP yesterday and she pushed, tugged, pulled and tells me that it has "no instability in the joint" That is great news. However, I can't run for a week. I can swim and bike but no running. She thinks it is a strain but doesn't believe there is any damage. However, she says that if it is not 100% in a week she will get an MRI.

I was able to ride the bike for 70 minutes last night and swim today with little pain. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Derailed training is the last thing that I need.

I have a run tonight I will not be doing so I will ride the bike.

Happy Training


Monday, February 15, 2010

Swimovate - Pool Mate Watch

Being the hopeless romantic trathletes that my wife Rene and I are. I bought her a Pool Mate swimmers watch. She has always complained that she is so busy keeping track of laps, strokes per lap etc... that it is difficult to focus on mechanics. SOOOOO I did some research and found this watch that uses motion sensors much like a wii remote to count laps, measure efficiency, strokes per length etc...

At first glance this thing is pretty cool. It keeps track of rest periods between sets, calories, distance, strokes, strokes per lap and basically anything else you may wnat to know about your swimming. The only thing it doesn't do is work for Open Water Swimming, Heart Rate, and dowload to your pc. You still need to manually get the info recorded on the watch into the PC but what a great too. BTW... I am such a romantic I bought one for myself for valentines day from Rene. Hers is pink, mine is black....

I took it out on its maiden voyage today. It recorded everything perfectly but because I didn't review how to review all of the data I accidentally deleted the records for my 1.2 mile swim today... OOOPS.. However, I was able to look at the overall data and it looked dead on..... It looks like a normal watch (I'm wearing it now) but great for swimmers!!!!!

Here is the link, check it out..

BTW... my swim went great, the prvious speed work focus I think will really pay off. It looks like my training is switching to more endurance swims. I ran into my swim coach Hap Gentry at the pool. It was great to see him. He gave me shit about not going to Masters Class.... I will have to start going to Masters Class......

All of now....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Disney Cruise

First post in awhile. My family, the Swanson's and the Barton's have been on the Disney Magic for a week cruise. I am not sure where to begin so I will begin with my training.

- I was able to run twice on the cruise
- I was able to cycle 3 tims on spinning bikes on the cruise
- I was able to do a short (1000) yard OWS at Castaway Cay. I would have swam more but the waves were brutal when swimming against the wind. It was a good experience though because I definatley had to change on the fly. However, as you will see below, this was no normal day at Castaway Cay.

Not as much as I would have liked but not bad. I am sure my caloric burn was no where near my intake. that will create a challenge for this week.

Now for the highlights:
1) The Barton's got an upgrade to a nearly 1,000 SQF suite that literally took up the back quarter of the ship. It was great having a place to hang out, watch the SuperBowl etc... they had a private concierge that got them whatever whenever. It was RIDICULOUS. We did ask the booking agent what they rent that room for nomrally and it goes for 12,400 / week normally. It was NICE

2) For the first time in the history of DCL we got stranded in Castaway Cay. The current and the wind was incredible. The captain couldn't back out of CC and we got stuck. We were delayed leaving by 24 hours AND they gave us 20% off our next cruise. They had a full day of events scheduled for us and it was basically a bonus day. However, I am soooo glad we weren't at sea when the storm hit. They were literally not letting people out on deck and the winds were gusting up to 60MPH.

Now back to training. Although I wasn't a complete idiot when it came to eating I eat desert once a month maybe, not every night like I did on the cruise. I am really curious as to how quickly I shed the excess.

I guess we will see. Never the less. My goal in the upcoming 30 days is shed some weight to increase my power and pace. My recommendation, don't begin by over eating on a cruise! It was a great trip and I guess once week of decadence per year isn't too bad.

more later

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A day of rest..........

Wednesday -

Up at 4:45 to be at work by 6:00. I didn't get to see the family this morning but getting ready to go on our family cruise with our good friends the Swanson's and Barton's. The Swanson where planned since day one and the Barton's decided to go later to our pleasant surprise. We are really looking forward to it and hoping for warm weather and calm seas.

Had a nice and easy 40 minute aerobic ride on the trainer. Nothing too severe, more to stretch out after my hard run yesterday.

I signed us up for a family membership to the St. Louis Tri Club including the kids! They both have 1 tri under their belt so why not. I also signed Acropolis up for a sponsorship so our logo will be on all of the gear!

I have a 30 minute swim at noon (nice and easy) and another run test tongight (4 mile top of HRZ 2). I had a nice conversation with coach yesterday to go over some test results and discuss schedule. I was able to pull 45 seconds off of my 2 mile test which is fantastic since I last performed this test on 12/1. It shows I have a chance of hitting my IM goal of sub 12 hours with an incredible race. My goal is to finish but I want to finish strong if I do finish. The fact it is not out of the realm of possibility is a good sign.

Also we discussed the possibility of doing the Go St. Louis marathon since the 1/2 marathon is closed. She rightfully talked me through it and pointed out studies that show the muscle recovery time following a full marathon is weeks of not running and by running after a marathon without full recovery can impact performance. In light of that fact and knowing I would not give sufficient time to recover I passed. My goal is IMAZ and everything else is a means to that end. I can do marthons later.

All for now, time to swim

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beginning of the season testing

This is an off week however off doesn't mean easy. My coach has me doing three weeks of build and then one lighter week. Periodically, those lighter weeks are used for testing and that testing is designed to see where I am at in my training and basically the effects of the build weeks. Although my overall training hours are lighter (5-6) for th week the tests are pretty intense.

The swim test: this one is actually easy in comparison to the bike and the runs. It consists of warm-up, doing a fast 50 then a fast 100 all out to see how much creep I have between the two. Obviously the more consistent my 100 is to my 50 shows that I can swim at a high effort with little degregation in stoke / efficiency. I was able to do my 50 in 40 seconds (down 5 from last time) and my 100 at 1:29 (also down 5 seconds) however it also shows that I have a long way to go becaus the creep is still there.

Run Test: 2 miles as fast as I can go = SUCKS
I don't run all out other than the occasional workout that includes pickups. Then to do it for 2 miles is pretty brutal. The weather was cold and that ended up being a good thing. My legs are not used to 8 laps on a track after a warmup. The results were all right, I was hoping to get in the sub 7 min/mile range but couldn't do it. My average min/mile was 7:20ish with a negative split on my second mile. Not bad but again, I have a long way to go. I have come a long way but with it begin early in the season, I feel good about where I am at relative to last year at this time.

My focus after vacation is dropping my weight from 175 (as of this morning) to under 170. The goal is to maintain my power while having less to push on the bike or keep moving forward on the run. I haven't been minding my diet as well as I should and eating some junk. Just for you home gamers, I am not dieting, I am just eating less junk and more food that will give me efficient energy, basically the 4 food groups.

Today I have meetings and an easy bike ride tonight after my evening meeting. More tests tomorrow.

All for now.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ironman Arizona on CompuTrainer

Yesterday (Sunday) was my long day and the last day of a build week. Jennifer has had me focusing on Tempo Training in all three sports over the past three weeks and I think it has helped. Aerobic workouts only between heavy tempo sessions. I have a "testing" week next week so that will really determine how good it has been. We will see.

Today I had an 1:30 bike scheduled and a 40 minute swim. I didn't have time to get my swim in because my bike felt sooooo good. I jumped on the trainer, turned on 2009Ironmand World Championship, setup the computrainer for IMAZ for a nice long tempo ride. I was feeling really good so instead of stopping at 90 minutes I completed the first loop of IMAZ. If you haven't used the Computrainer before the real course videos are fantastic. If you have to spend time on the "drainer" if you have the option the real videos are the way to go. Obviously it will never replace the road but it does give you a feel for the course and elevation changes so at least the sites and should go a long way to limit any course surprises. If they could only figure out a way to simulate wind, rain, and stupid riders trying to take a leak while riding....... I am sure they are working on that.

Sat in the Hot Tub for 10 minutes and stretched really good and called it a workout out week. Even with not getting my final swim in, I still met my training load at about 8.5 hours this week. My cumulative stress is already in the 40's which is great for it being January. I wasn't at this training level of fitness until July of last year. I need to stay healthy and make sure every workout means something. I also need to start brining my weight down gradually to increase my power/kg. All of that will come in time.... Right now, focus on one week at a time.

All for now...