Friday, May 28, 2010

More Time in a day? Wouldn't it be nice

My family plays a game every once in awhile that I am sure many of you have played when driving or looking for something to disucss and that is ... If you had a super power what would it be? The game is pretty straight forward but in our house you have to explain why that superpower is better than all of the other ones... Today, If I could have a super power it would be the abiity to freeze time / make the days longer / survive on less sleep. Nothing cool like flying or invisibility, just more time....

Swam at lunch yesterday, had a meeting after work that lasted until after 9:00 last night, home @ 9:30, change clothes and jumped on the bike for an hour ride. Since I can't go directly to sleep after working out, I cleaned the skimmers in the pool, took a quick swim to cool off, tended to the hot tub since I just drained it, stretched a bit and then to bed. I paid the price this morning because waking at 5:00 was just too early. Again, I knew this was going to be a tough journey but I count my blessings everyday that my long days are MY CHOICE and not a choice made for me due to circumstances like sickness, finances, mandatory travel, or many of the other things that have to be dealt with in life. Whenever I don't feel like pushing or getting out of bed or tackling a problem I think about the good fortune that has blessed my family and then do my best to make the right choice and do it anyway.

I only have a run test tonight which is nice and that I will do after work. Rene is going to work with Coach Jennifer tomorrow at New Town with an Open Water Swim and ride. I am going to stay at home with the kids and enjoy my morning with them. It will be nice since I have been home very little lately and am out of town again for most of next week.

All for now, have a great long weekend


Thursday, May 27, 2010


Not to complain and please don't take my short note as a complaint but I am having a hard time getting back into this week following my race. I have hit my workouts but pretty unmotivated right now. Last night I got my easy 45 minute ride in last night on the trainer. I finished my short swim TT today (40 second 50 yards, 1:24 100 yards).

I did almost see someone drown (not really but for a lap pool it was close). Two (what appeared to be 18 year olds) jumped into a swim lane togehter today. She could swim, he could not. It became apparent he could not because when he got to th deep end he freaked, grabbed on to the lane line, feet swinging into the lane next to him scrambling down the rope to the shallow end. I can say in all of my time swimming at the Center of Clayton, the only time I have seen a lifeguard get out of the chair was during a guard change. Today, the life guard scrambled down, didn't get in the water but was defaintely there. They were asked to go to the other pool.

I have a run tonight after my church meeting and should get it in.

All for now


Monday, May 24, 2010

Memphis in May Results (.92 mi swim, 24mi bike, 6.2 mi run)

The family and I went to the Memphis in May Triathlon held in Millington, Tn this weekend. We drove down on Friday and after eating at Lambert's (Home of the Throw'd rolls) that my kids absolutely loved we went to Millington. We arrived about 9:00 Friday night, unpacked our stuff and went to bed.

We woke up on Saturday with plans to go to Graceland before registering for the race, packet pickup etc.... however, Graceland was on the other side of Memphis. My coach Jennifer, Heather from the tri team and one of their friends was driving in that morning. We were all planning to meet around noon for a practice swim, and to bike the run course. Since they have done this event (and Jennifer has won it) I figured it would be good experience for me to tag along. So, time just didn't allow Graceland.

We met at the groudns, there was a sprint distance Tri that morning and it was BARELY wet suit legal. For those of you that don't follow triathlons, wet suits are legal to use if the water temp is less than 78 degrees. That morning, the water temp was 77 degrees so it was close. Wetsuits make you a little more buoyant, a little faster because they are slick and generally, a litter more comfortable. With temps getting into the 90's on Saturday I really didn't expect Sunday to be wetsuit legal. We did our OWS practice (as did Rene which was great) and then rode the bike course. During the ride my gears were slipping horribly in the climbs. Fortunately, this is wy you ALWAYS do a practice ride. When we were done, I took my bike to the onsite mechanic and they made some significant adjustments and all was well again. It would have been a horrible ride if I would have attempted the race with my gears in that condition.

Went back to the hotel, and NBB and KGB got to swim (it is all they care about anyway) went to dinner, back to the hotel, kids swam again, got the bike and everything ready for the next morning and lights out by 10:00.

We woke up and it was hot and muggy (75 with no wind). Again, I was sure there was not way we were going to be able to use a wet suit. Got to the site early (I thought) and so many cars were backed up getting in I ended up riding my bike to transition with my stuff while Rene parked. Got everything setup, got my picture with taken with Elvis and got ready to go.

To my amazement, it was wetsuit legal by .3 degrees. This was a time trial start meaning you lined up in number order (I was 857) and beginning with number 1 and proceeding every 3 seconds someone the next person went. It continued like that until all 1300 plus people were swimming. I set my Tempo Trainer to beep at me every 1.10 seconds and put it in my swim cap. The purpose of this device is to help you find a rhythmn in the open water. You can's see anything, you have no pool lines or visual cues to work off of in (like in a pool) you are excited because it is a race and it is sooooo easy to go out and swim too hard too soon and go to oxygen deprevation early in an Open Water Swim, panic nomrally comes next because you can't catch your breath, and you switch to survival mode. Not a good place do be in the middle of a lake at the beginning of a 2.5 hour race. The tempo trainer helps fix this by allowing you to focus on the beep. You take a stroke everytime it beeps , you don't over swim, you can concerntrate on form and all is good. My swim went off without a hitch and was the best swim I have ever had. Other than getting punched in the head once and kicked in the ribs once it was good. I shaved 5 minutes off my last Oly distance swim and felt strong the entire time. My swim time was 27:33 seconds and was comfortable.

T1: My transition was horrible. I was in the middle of a fairly large Transition area, had a bit of a problem wiht my wetsuit that cost me a few seconds. My goal was to transition in less than 1:30 and it took me 2:07. Bad

BIKE: The bike was solid. I set my bike computer to alert me if my power droped below 200 watts. I averaged closer to 207 watts so my power was great. My goal speed (that is relative depending on course, wind etc...) was 20.5 MPH average and I was at 21.3 MPH average. My bike was great.

T2: More of the same: My goal was 1:30 and I was out at 1:51. I had problems getting my watch on and needed some water on the way out. It was getting so hot and all I drank was gatorade on the bike. I needed something clear and water was it. I could have done a lot better in T2.

RUN: All of the time I gained in the swim and bike was given back on the run. The run was hilly and hot. There were a lot of people walking and just not doing well. I got to see Jennifer and Andrew (passed going opposite directions) on the run. The both looked focused and strong but you could tell them were feeling the heat. My goal on the run was 8:00 min/mile and I did 8:58 (My watch showed 8:30 wich is more accurate normally than course markings). My run was the most disappointing part of the day just because I couldn't push the speed. My legs felt great I just didn't have the aerobic capacity to push harder. My HR was throught the roof and although my legs were solid I just didn't have the engine on such a hot day. The finish was across the level for the lake that we swam in. People lined the levee, music was blasting and all I wanted to do is finish. There was no sprinting at the end of this one... Just maintain speed and cross the line. I ran down the finishing chute, saw Rene and the kids. Almost passed out from the heat. Drank some water and recovered.

RESULTS: My goal for the race was 2:33 with an over reaching goal of 2:30. If my run would have been solid I would have been close to the 2:30. My official time was 2:33:17. I am very pleased with the results. The heat and the course was challenging and my time reflects it. I finished 64/168 in my age group and my run was actually 55/168 meaining I improved spots on my run?!?!?!?! I guess that shows it was tough on everyone. I finished 275/~750 men: 106/168 Swim, 64/168 Bike, 55/168 Run. Overall it was a great race for me. My swimming is improving, my cycling is improving and my run - well - hard to tell but I think staying the same. My testing is showing improvement so I think it was the day.

Post Race:
I went to the med tent for a cold towel and to cool off and there I saw what summed up the heat. There was a woman that was screaming like she was being stabbed to death (I would guess) from cramps. She was cramping soo bad they had IVs in her arm(s) and she was actually screaming at the top of her lungs from the pain. I have heard that bad cramps can actually tear your muscles and this is what had to be happening to her. She had every medic in the tent working on her and it was horrible to watch. I dont know what her race number is or how she is doing but my thoughts are with her. I have never and hope I never see anything like this again. fortunately my kids didn't see / hear it, they would have freaked. Jennifer won her age group (no surprise there). We met up with the St. Louis Tri Club members under their tent, had a beer, swapped stories and at some great BBQ. The kids played games and we listened to the band. Went back to the hotel, showered and hit the road. One more stop at Lamberts for dinner and all was good. It was a long day but a great one. We got home last night about 8:30, un packed, cleaned up and went to bed. Other than a sore lat muscle and general fatigue I feel awesome. I am taking the day off today to recover and it all starts over again tomorrow.

Great race, I highly recommend it. I will post some pictures later. It was a great season kickoff and a good early season test.

Sorry this is so long....

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Missed Training Makes Me Crazy

This is more of a venting post. I was out of town yesterday, on the bike until 10:45PM the night before. Needless to say, when I got home from my 1 day out and back to Chicago I was pretty tired. The schedule showed a 1 hour run but to be honest, I just didn't have it in my. 210 slides on a financial presentation was just too much for me to handle.

So, I came home and went to bed. I have the choice tonight after the fund raiser my wife and I are attending.... makup my 1 hour run that I bagged last night or my 1.5 hour bike ride. I don't know which one will get the nod but we will see.

Looking at Memphis in May this weekend. It is probably not going to be wetsuit legal and I just found out yesterday that a team member got an infection because he shaved the morning of last year.... The weather is going to be in the 90's. Although I don't sound really excited, I am to get the first Tri done this year. It will be a challenge but more importantly, the best judge as to where I am at in my fitness this early in the season. This is a big tri with 1700 people.... It should be the closest thing to a 1/2 Ironman without it being a 1/2 Ironman.

You probably will not read from me until Monday with the results... Keep you fingers crossed for a good showing.

all for now

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rain Rain GO AWAY!!!

All is well at the Butler house. Rene had her first open water swim today at the May Madness Sprint Triathlon in Effingham, IL. She did awesome and did it with her friend Tiffany (also first OWS) It rained the entire time making for a muddy, sloppy mess. The good news is the bike was basically an out and back so not a lot of turns so no crashes which is great for everyone. Tiffany and Rene both got third in their respective age groups. The water temp was 67 degrees and the air temp was less than that. NBB, KGB, and myself were there for support (and the pizza afterwards of course)

With Rene's out of town tri today I had to get my long ride in yesterday. If you live local you know yesterday morning was rainy and 60ish degrees early. I had a choice, ride 3.5 hours indoors on the trainer or go out in the rain and gut it out. I have been on the trainer so much this winter I took my chances outside. It was cold, it was miserable but it was great! I rode from Bethalto to the Edwardsville trails out past Granite City and back. The weather was so bad I literally saw 1 runner, 1 mountain biker, and one other cycleist. The ride took closer to 4:00 hours but it was good. Came home, showered and hit the road for Effingham.

We got home this afternoon from Rene's Tri and we were all up pretty early this morning. I had to get my 1.5 hour run in today and 30 minute swim. Basically hit the door, unloaded the car and hit the road before the rains came.

My coach has me tracking my acute training stress (basically how hard I am working today and very recently), Training balance, (how stressed I am due to the cumulative of stress due to the training) and lastly, my cumulative training (how fit I am) This number is the most important because I have to have a high level of reserve fitness for the IRONMAN and it takes a long time to build that fitness. The good news is that it is quickly approaching my fitness level that I was at for my 1/2 IM at the end of last year's training cycle. In addition, it is still very early in the season. The bad news is that I have to keep an eye out for burnout and if it grows too fast or if I push too hard it increases my change for injury and/or fatigue. The second leg of the bad news is that I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO before I am ready for such a taxing event.

Day off from training tomorrow and I am looking forward to that. This week will be prepping for my first Tri of the season this next weekend.... Memphis in May. It is a 1500M Open Water Swim, 40K on the bike and 10K run. This will be my first real test this year, I am hoping for a good perfromance. I am traveling one day this week and my schedule is a little busy but should be ready. I am pretty spent and sore from this weekend. Sore is good, injured is bad. I am definatley just sore.

All for now....


Sunday, May 9, 2010

6,574 Calories burned, Swimming, Biking, and Running - What a great weekend!

Hello All,

It has been a week since I have posted because I have been out of town for meetings earlier this week returning home to go straight to "The Great Game of Business" Conference in St. Louis.

Now to the fun. Rene picked me up at the Hyatt Friday afternoon, we drove straight to Innsbrook (a small resort lake near Wright City, Mo) where Coach Jennifer rents a Chalet for the summer which gives her access to great cycling, running and multiple beautiful lakes.

We arrived literally in time to jump out of the car, change clothes, air the tires and get on the road for an 18 mile bike ride. The ride went well but was in between speed groups so I had a fairly mediocre ride. That is okay because of the days to come but I didn't realize it at the time. Once the ride was done, we grabbed our swim gear and went to the lake for OWS swim practice (did I tell you it was 60 degrees and windy as heck?) There were two boats in the lake and we basically swam 2000 plus yards. It was great practice, we worked on drafting, beach entry, deep water start and of course, dealing with the wind and the chop of the water. We had to swim beach to beach because the wind and waves were so much across the lake the boat support couldn't control the boats... WHAT GREAT PRACTICE! Danny and I drafted and swam next to each other. Once the swim was over, we went back to the house, changes and then went for a 5.5 mile hilly run which was great. Once done, we had a great meal, did some stretching exercises, reviewed some technical data and went to bed.

The next morning we were up early and off for a 28 mile ride. It was cold. Today I jumped in with the fast group and man were they fast. We started out easy but at one point, Andrew (one of the nicest guys I have ever met) warned me that as soon as we turned the corner to be ready, we would hit speeds in the 30s. Sure enough, as soon as we turned the corner they hammered it, reviewing my data later we reached 35mph at one point and although the wind was behind us it was pretty flat. I thought they were going to go climb some monster hills, I had no interest, so I dropped back and finished in a more civilized fashion. Once back, we went for a another run and another swim. Both were brutal, it was still cold, still windy, and add some gastro problems, it was still a great day.

Rene did awesome other than falling over on her bike. I have to take it to maplewood tomorrow to get fixed in time for her tri this next weekend. We showered and headed home exhausted. Reviewing my data for the weekend, I burned 4,594 calories. I know I ate more than that.

My last comment is on how great it has been to work with Tri Smart. Jennifer and her husband Doug have been doing this now for over 5 years and the experience is invaluable. As our coach, she doesn't have to do this but for many of the beginners and veterans alike it give the rare opportunity to truly emerge yourself (if even for a little while) in triathlon. The days are full of education and friendship and regardless of where you are at or what distance you race it gives you the opportunity to learn which is what we are shooting for. You can be full of yourself or willing to learn, everyone gets something to take away.

Thanks Jennifer and Doug... I know it has to be a pain in the A$# to put on but is greatly appreciated.

I didn't get my 3 hour ride in today because there was just no way. It was mothers day so we spent the day as a family wrapping it up with the kids swimming, me cooking out and us eating in the backyard. What a nice was to end the day. My training stress score is as high as it has ever been so off today, off tomorrow and back at it on Tuesday. Besides, it looks like I will be getting my wife's bike fixed on my lunch hour tomorrow ;-)

All for now