Friday, July 30, 2010

2 mile Run Test - This is a tough one

As I had mentioned in previous posts this week is test week. Last night was a 2 mile, all out time trial. Warmup (not a problem in this heat) then run on a track a 2 mile test as fast as you can. I have never to my knowledge ever ran this averaging less than a little over 7 minute miles. I have never been fast so last night was the night I was going to break 14 minutes. My previous time was 14:08 seconds. Last night was the night.

My first mile started out fast (for me). I have a very commonly used watch that most triathletes/runners use that use GPS to track distance, route, speed, cadence, heart rate etc... basically every datapoint that an athlete needs it tracks. One of the most beneficial things about these watches are that it tracks all of this real time so at any time I can look down and see how fast I am going. Everything is logged and recorded which I send to my coach. She then can take that information and figure out my workouts and just as important, at what intensity to best prepare me for whatever event. Shorter events - more speed prep. Longer events are more endurance. Anyway, Lap 1 started out pretty fast and I was consistently running sub 7 minutes. I finished my first lap 6:57 - so far so good.

The 2nd mile was tougher but I was determined to break 7 minutes. I pushed but I was really stuggling to keep my speed. There wasn't enough air, my legs were burning, and my heart felt like it was going to explode. Going into the last 1/8th of a mile I looked at my watch and thought I had an outside chance of making 7:00 minutes so I sprinted as fast as I could (which could not have been that fast) only to finish with a total time at 14:03. Missed it by 3 seconds but I had nothing else left in the tank. Oh well, I will get it next time. 5 second improvement when you are going as fast as your body will take is a big dal for me. Just to prove that I had nothing left my heart rate maxed at the highest it has been since I started recording it at 178 BPM. My theoretical max is 182 Beat Per Minute. I am not sure what happens when I approach the max but based on last night it has to hurt.....

Tonight is a 45 minute swim that should equate to about 1.5 miles. no test, just a swim so I am actually looking forward to an easy workout. Tomorrow is a bike test and that will stink... so one day at a time and before you know it, a couple hundred workouts from now and I will be in 16 feet of water with 2,000 people getting ready for the the challenge of a lifetime. Until then, get the workout done and stay healthy and the day will hopefully take care of itself.

Until next time,
Have a good weekend....


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tempe town lake Dam burst - literally

Hello All,

It is back to training this week and is still a light week. The only explanation that I have is that all of my training thus far this year was to build a solid base and then to peak for Racine. Now that Racine is over, I rest, recover, and start building all over again for the IM in November.

So this week is mostly tests. I had an easy bike ride for an hour on Tuesday with a swim test on Wednesday. This test was warmup, swim 750 yards (30 lengths in a regular pool) as fast as I can. The good news is my time was nearly exacltly what it was the last time I did this test. The bad news is that I didn't get any faster. Oh well, my IM isn't about speed, it is about being able to keep going for up to 17 hours. So tonight I have another bike ride and 30 minutes of strength training after vacation bible school.

Now, a possible problem with IMAZ. The man made lake venue for the swim is Tempe Town Lake. Imaging a dry river (it is the desert) with a section of it dammed using an inflatable rubber bladder system. Well, one of the bladder literally blew up last Thursday draining the 1 billion gallons of water in the lake. No one was hurt, the empty river was able to accomodate all of the water. However, there is no water and and Ironman is not a wade, bike, run. All indications are that they will have it repaired by November 1st and refilled by then giving 21 days before the event. Many people have asked if I am worried but it is silly to worry about what I can not control. My training continues just as if the lake is still intact. They seem to be well aware of the contract with Ironman and working hard to get it done in time for the event. Now, I just work hard, watch, and let the chips fall where they may.

More to come.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yes Coach... I hear you

Following big efforts it is important to take days off so that the damage done to the muscles can be repaired and supposidely your muscles gain strength. With that said, I read my workouts on Monday from my coach and here they are: "I know it is going to make you crazy, but you need to take this week off. Really"

I like the fact that she adde "Really" to the end. Sunday was so tough, she will get no complaints from me. It is Wednesday night and I am pretty sore. My quads are really sore and the week off it good. I am out of town this week so it works out really well. Next week I start to build for Ironman Arizona (IMAZ) so this week will be he last week truly off until after thanksgiving.

No more posts this week. Next week will begin anew.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

1/2 Ironman Racine was a success

You will notice some of my time is missing. One of the mats must not have picked up my sensor so therefore, no time.

The day started at 4:00am after a not very restful night. I never sleep very well before big races and I was actually awake at 3am. We got to transition at 5:10 and I got setup and ready to race. The actual swim start was a point to point swim so we had to walk a mile down the beach. I was in the 4th wave and following the national anthem the cannon went off and so were we. It was a beach start and the beach here goes on what seems like forever. Swimming is always faster than running through the water so you want to get swimming as soon as possible however, we had to run for 50 to 100 yards before we could start. The swim was a little rough, the wind had kicked up the wave a bit and it was choppy. At about the 1/2mile mark I remember riding the waves and figuring out to breath when you are at the crest of a wave and not a trough. Breathing in a trough = sucking water. Two things of note on the swim: 1) I swam up on someone doing the breast stroke and as I turned his way to breath he kicked me square in the stomach/ribs knocking the wind out of me. 2) First, swimming etiquette is that rarely do swimmers actually "swim over" each other. No one really wants to get tangled up with a fellow swimmer, it just happens and when it does (in my limited experience) you both try your best to spread out if possible. With that said, there was a faster swimmer in a wave swim up on me and he literally climbed over the top of me, multiple strokes up my back and side, he didn't care nor did he break pace so... it really made me mad so my next stroke on his side was with a very closed fist punching him somewhere as hard as I could. I am not an angry swimmer but that really made me mad. My swim was fast and right as I had planned. The run up the beach to transition was probably 150 to 200 yards.

The bike was as planned however the roads were horrible. They were filled with pot holes and poorly patched pot holes. At one point a rider asked if we were riding on cobblestones. There were water bottles everywhere that were knocked out of riders cages when they hit bad spots ont he roads. I'm not complaining, ashpalt roads in Wisonconsin and all of the salt etc.. has to be tough for crews to stay on top of.

The run was hot and humid. The high today was 95-96 degrees with over 75% humidity. My run was slow and I understimated the heat and its effects. I was glad to finish the 1/2 marathon. I was very glad to see the finish.

When the race was over, I immediately walked down to Lake Michigan and cooled off. Got something to eat and called it a day.

The race was a success. I hit all of my numbers except the run but I chalk some of that up to conditions.

Great day, resting now and driving home tomorrow.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's go time

Getting ready for a long race is always a little nerve racking. Today started a little later than I had wanted just because the kids slept late, ate breakfast and had to drop the bike off in Transition. With 2,000 Athlete having to rack their bikes it is always a little crazy. Athlete meeting was today at noon where they go over all of the "special" things with the course. This one is no exception, we talked about the plan for thunderstorms, they told us the roads had many sections with asphalt patches running lengthwise down the lane and to "choose a side" trying to cross some of them will cause you to crash. Mostly the athletes meeting is quite a downer because they don't talk about all of the great stuff on the course, only what to do if things go south. I then racked the bike, took the kids to the beach where they played and Rene and I took turns swimming. Lake Michigan and North Beach is beautiful! The water is so clear it is nice to have an Open Water Swim where you can see for a change. The water will be a brisk 62 degrees tomorrow, in the wetsuit it will be perfect.

Once the swims were done, we drove the bike course. The roads are pretty bad but should only be a problem if we do get the rain they are talking about. If that happens, all speed goals are off and it turns to have fun and survive. There aren't any real big long climbs but many slow and gradual long ones. On the way back, any hills that you climb you get to come down on the way back, it will be a welcomed change. After driving the course, I did took a 30 minute run just to stay loose and get my legs ready for tomorrw, streteched really good and went to dinner.

Tonight consists of a lasagna meal and the Olive Garden, back to the room by 7:00, get my race bag and race gear ready for tomorrow and lights out by 9:30. We will be up at 4:00 and to Feedom Park at 5:00. There are 19 waves that will go off about 3 minutes apart. My age group 40-44 has 4 waves. So after all of that, my race will start approx 7:14 am and I should be done between 12:45 and 1:00PM.

signing off for tonight. When the National Anthem is played tomorrow before the cannon goes off this will turn from training to the Playoffs for me or as the saying in our family goes... All Business.... until I am done. I don't know what the day will hand me but I will deal.

More to come later.


The Butlers and IronMan world champion

Getting ready for IM Racine and my wife spotted Craig Alexander. The defending IronMan world champion. Pretty cool. I hope fast rubs off on me.


- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:Kewaunee St,Racine,United States

Friday, July 16, 2010

What is better than 1/2 IM.....

Doing one in the rain. The forecast is calling for a 50% chance of rain on Sunday. I haven't seen if it is just rain or thunderstorms but we will see. My race goal may change from 5:20 to finish. We will see... Awesome...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Race Plan

Every Race has a race plan that gets reviewed by my coach to make sure I have thought through the mechanics of race day. If you have no interest on the technical stuff read no further. This is an email that I sent to my coach for review:

First, I don't see how I could do any better than SOMA, it was the perfect race for me, perfect peak, the roads were fast, the swim was solid. With the exception of the heat on the run I guess my run could have been slightly faster. Now with that said, here is my plan:

Swim: at SOMA my pace was 2:03/100 yds. My swimming has improved but waves are a possibility. I would like to think my swimming has improved quite a bit. If I could have a good swim and swim under 1:55 / 100 that would put me in under 40minutes and would be a good (not spectacular) but good time: In Memphis my pace was 1:40/100 which I thought was fast. With all of that said: I think 40 minutes is a good goal time

T1: from reading the blogs T1 is a good distance away from the swim exit. I am going to make my T1 goal 2:30

Bike: My bike at SOMA was 2:44 and the roads were fast. My wattages was 180 watts dead on. In memphis and Quartermax my wattage was right at (or slightly above 200 watts and my legs were good) I think I can push 190 Watts for the 1/2IM and have a solid run. Speed is going to be relative to conditions so the only thing I have to go on is SOMA and Memphis in May(MIM). SOMA I was 20.5 MPH. MIM I was 22.5 so I am going to shoot for 21MPH

Run: I did 8:58 in Memphis it was HOT (as you know and it was not a good run for me) I did 1:58 minutes for my half marathon at SOMA (also hot) so I think I will try an 8:30 pace and when you figure in water stops that will put me 8:45 avg as goal.

Swim: 40 36:31
T1: 2:30
Bike: 190 Watts: 21MPH Bike Time: 2:40 POWER 186 Time 2:50
T2: ??? say 2 minutes
Run: 8:45/mile 1:54 Pace 8:26 Time 1:50

I will be happy with anything better than SOMA, the more better the more happy. The fact that I think I have improved should result in the following:

Total Goal: 5:20 (9 minutes better than SOMA)RACE PREDICTOR MED has me at 5:20 (LOW 5:37 and HIGH 5:01) Seems to make sense, my goal is in line and right in the middle

I will be ecstatic if I do better than 5:20.

Nutrition: Normal race day breakfast and carbs throughout the week. I have tested and will use EFS shots as my main source of nutrition during the race. 400 cals per bottle 1500MG elecorlytes 1000mg amino. I am planing on two bottles on the bike plus water / gatorade
On the run I will have 2 Gus as a backup but plan on taking a 3rd EFS shot for the run. If it is hot, I will have my salt tabs with me in my bento box and will take 6-8 of them if the day is warm.

That is my plan and may change based on race conditions. They are calling for a chance of rain and the lake is borderline wetsuit legal. Both will slow me down.

all for now.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thank you lost and found!

Swim at lunch and forgot my goggles at home. Fortunately someone forgot their goggles at the pool!! Other than them being prescription (and the headache associated with it) they worked fine. When they claim them at lost and found they will have to refit them to their head. Chlorine kills germs right?!?!

- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:Gay Ave,Clayton,United States

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting psyched for Racine

T-minus 6 days until my 1/2 Ironman in Racine. Pics to follow.

- - read about my inspiration Deborah ... Https://

Race Week

Good Morning

The Butlers had a good weekend. I was able to finally get my letter out dedicating my Ironman to Deborah Olney as a fund raiser for them ( That is something I (with the help of a few others) have been working on for what seems like months but it went out. The fam caught a movie Friday night, Nathan slept in a tent that we setup in our bedroom (Kathryn had little interest, too uncomfortable) and Rene raced in the New Town Triathlon. Just a note on Rene, we have been dealing with race week for her (more on that in a minute) all week. It was 1000 Meter open water swim (her longest to date), 20 mile bike and 4 mile run. The water temperature was 86ish degrees so no wetsuits at all. Any temp above 84 and USA Triathlon rules state that it is unsafe due to over heating so they are not allowed. Long story short, she rocked it! Her goal time was 2 hours: 15 minutes and she finished 2:06. Her swim was exactly as she predicted (nerves and all)transitions were very fast, her bike was 1.5MPH faster on average than her prediction and spread over 20 miles that is a time bump of almost 6 minutes and her run was ahead too! She was very very very pleased and she did a great job. There was A LOT of team members at this race and our coach won overall female by more than 2 minutes. Great Results...

Now let me describe race week (any of you that do them, you know the hard to describe feeling). Anytime there is a tri that is a stretch of ability (for me it is Olympics and longer) it starts when you see it on the calendar about 2 weeks out but really hits home for me when I see my race week training schedule (normally on Sunday night before the race). All of the training is geared around tapering which equates to shorter but intense efforts. Where I may typically have a 1.5 hour endurance run, I will have a 45 minute fast tempo run instead. Where my training week might be 13 hours, this week it is 5.5 hours. Everything is different.

This week is rough, you wonder if you have done enough, you wonder about the unknowns of the day, the 1500 people you are racing with, the waves in Lake Michigan on the swim, will the power you push on the bike "blow out" your legs on the run, what are you going to eat on the bike that won't kill your stomach, will the run be hot, how much salt and carbs should I take in etc.... There are just so many unknowns that are impossible to plan for but you have to (if that makes sense) it is just a tough mental week and regardless of work and family demands that take priority, spare time is filled getting ready for the race. Anyway, it is what it is, the goal this week is to think through the race plan, just like in life, think through what could happen, plan for the most likely and if the least likely crop up deal with them and get ready. As my daughter and I talk about a lot when she gets nervy, nerves are your minds way of preparing your body for a challenge. This weekend will be a challenge and all of my training since January 1 has prepped me for this benchmark and reality check on my road to Arizona. Now it is time to go get it done. The neves that build from here to the cannon going off Sunday morning will be met with the satisfaction of finishing Sunday afternoon and the release associated with it.

So now, it is time to push as many negative thoughts that try to creep in to my head all week with reassurances of being ready and getting ready. With each race it gets easier but these long ones are too spread out with too many unknowns to see the going away anytime soon.

I just keep telling myself how insignificant this is in the grand scheme. It is just a triathlon, it is not life and death, it won't impact my ability to make a living or pay the mortgage, however, anything that I have spent this much time preparing for I want to do well at and that is where the pressure comes from.

My next post will be race expecations probably on Wednesday.

Until the, have a great week


Friday, July 9, 2010

T minus 2 days for Rene and 9 for me!

Good Morning!

It is a little weird around the Butler house because my wife and I are both "tapering" for different races at the same time. The equates to us actually seeing each other, sitting down for meals together and actually have a few minutes in the evening to watch our July vice... The tour de france (I know we are so lame)

So my wife has her A race this weekend at New Town in St. Charles. It is the second year that have done the event and it is really a great venue. The swim is 1,000 meters open water swim with a time trial start (her longest to date) then it transitions to a 20 mile bike out and around the Missouri River bottoms followed by a 2 loop, 4 mile run around the New Town development. The weather is supposed to be fantastic and I am really looking forward to watching her race! She has learned to swim this past year and has worked really hard and it will be great to see all of the hard work coming together on Sunday.

Next Sunday I have a 1/2 Iron distance race in Racine Wisconsin. This has always been called "The Spirit of Racine" and has always been the 1/2 Iron distance. This past year the race was purchased and has become an offical Ironman event meaning it will be well run and have great support and a great expo. The weather is looking good for the event and aside from the sickness I feel in the pit of my stomach everytime I think of swimming in Lake Michigan, it will be a great test as I prepare for the full Ironman in November.

My hope is that Rene and I are both prepared for what awaits us in the next 9 days. The only thing we can rely on is our training and the hard work we have both put in preparing for these challenges. It is what it is and will be what it will be. Nothing really left to do but last minute detail prep work to factor out as many variables as possible then go do our races.

The good news is that we havne't crammed for these tests that are coming, the bad news is like all challenges, you always wonder if you did enough to prepare. We will all know soon enough.

Until next time, have a great weekend!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Strep Throat

Last Tuesday night I went to bed not feeling really good. I had a horrible night sleep, chills, couldn't get warm even after turning up the air and throwing on sweats. Woke the next morning feeling even worse. I couldn't remember the last time I felt that bad. Rene got me in to the doctor and she immediately sent me down for a strep test. In the 10 minutes between the test and the results I laid down in the hall in the clinic. Sure enough, the test came back as strep. I have never had strep and when they asked if I was allergic to penicillin and I have no idea, I don't remember ever taking it.

Anway, Alexander Fleming is a genius, 24 hours after starting to take the meds I started feeling better, and by Friday I was a new man.

Now, here is the downside and the impact to training. I have my 1/2 Ironman in Racine Wisconsin on the 18th. This week was supposed to be a key build week so that I peak during the week of the 18th. I had a few bricks fininshing with race pace. Of course, before I could tell my coach of my illness she sends me an email stressing how important it was that I got all of my training in exactly as it appeared on the same days...... OOOOOOPS.... I then told her I couldn't do any of it this week and her response was.."we'll deal with it". Couple that with the fear of pushing too hard to come back and having a relapse.

So, we spoke on Friday morning and I agreed to take Friday off, Saturday a swim and an hour run and if all goes well a two hour brick on Sunday consisting of a tough ride with finishing with a 10K Time Trial (as fast as I could go) finish transition into a short run. If all of this goes well and I am not too spent, next week (starting tomorrow) will be normal and per plan.

My Saturday and Sunday workouts went great and I actually felt pretty strong so business as usual. I can't change the workouts I missed so I can't worry about that for the 18th. It is what it is, I can only worry about what I can control so business as usual.