Bourbon Chase!

Haven’t updated in a while, I was so exhausted after Bourbon Chase that I just managed to loose everything, my training went in the shitter for a few weeks and was a bit burned out.  But that’s another blog for another day.  First let’s talk Bourbon Chase.  I’m going to stick to the criteria I carved out with the Apple Cider Century.  Scenic Value, stops with be changed to “added goodies (goodie bags, snacks at exchanges, etc), Markings & Route I think is a good technical standpoint to have, Wildcard Factor which I like to have misc good things (like the afterparty), and then an overall, which is a factor if I’ll do it again.

The Scenic Value

Absolutely gorgeous rolling hills of Bourbon country.  My favorite run, the first leg I did (number 10), was perfectly timed so I saw the sun set and the harvest moon rise.  I’ll never forget that run as long as I live.  They did stick to a lot of highways though which was dull, but they varied it up as well so I’ll give this an A-

Added Goodies

Every distillery had some sort of tasting which was everything from one mixed drink to an unlimited tasting.  Awesome.  The food options were a bit sparse, there were a couple of food trucks but not as much as I would have liked to see.  Since there was so much free booze, I have to give this an A-

Markings and Route

The volunteers were, as always, hit or miss.  Some of them would come help direct traffic, others just sat and watched as you waited for cars to go past so you could cross the street.  A bit too much of this followed the highways, I would have liked to do more sidestreets and backcountry paths.  B

Wildcard

The thing that makes this one is the bourbon, and you go through half a dozen distilleries, along with completing the bourbon trail.  Also a number of the towns kept everything open late, so A on that.

Overall (Not an Average) A

The reason you go is for the bourbon, nothing else.  The community that they have tried to establish is also awesome.  Don’t have a team?  Dont worry, they have a great forum on their website.  So whore on a team and rock out

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My team, I only knew one person on it before hand but everyone in my van got very close by the end!

 

 

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Week’s Plan

I should probably start posting these:

This week is going to be a bit jumbled, Chicago Marathon + I took Monday off and friends want to do a 3 floyds ride on Saturday so everything is thrown off… here’s my tentative plan.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Run 6 

Wednesday: Brick: 1 Mile swim + 1 hr spin machine

Thursday: 1/2 mile swim + 6 Mile Run 

Friday: 1 hr spin + Mile Swim

Saturday: Long Bike ride, slow+ Long Run (10m @ 7:30)

Sunday: OFF (Chicago Marathon)

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Apple Cider Century

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I have a lot to post about but first I’ll post about the https://applecidercentury.com/

The town was surprisingly fun with a few breweries and even a distillery!  The town also allowed one of the local parks to have camping for free so there was no need to get a hotel room so long as you’re OK with camping (hint, I am).  So me and two friends packed our tents and sleeping bags and painted the town red!  Here’s my review:

The Scenic Value:

There were several distances- 25, 50, 66, 75 and 100.  This will cover the 100.

It spanned from rolling farm hills to tight densely wooded flats and even some lakefront with the amazing houses.  The difference in scenery was a welcome change for me.  Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of rain this year so the trees weren’t quite ready to start to brown like usual but it was still very scenic.  The rolling hills, which we were warned would tear us up, ended around the first 50.  

Scenic Rating: A

Stops.

The stops were almost every 20 miles along with a very welcome one at mile 90.  Unfortunately, the food was exactly the same at each: some cider, trail mix, apples, grapes, cookies, potato soup, and packaged PB & Js.  I was hoping for a bit more variety and a bit higher quality.  For example, the cookies were a local mass produced bakery that was at the quality of a local jewel, just not the variety I’m typically spoiled with.  

Stop Ratings: C+

Markings & Route:

Markings were excellent.  From the start there were different colors along with mile markers to insure everyone was on the right one, no small feat for a tour with 5 distances.  The roads were, generally speaking, good shape.  Minimal potholes but a few rough roads that made your teeth shatter, expected of being in back country roads though.  And these were fairly minimal, I didn’t see too many people on the side with flats from bad roads.  There were a several highway crossings.  Fortunately, they had staff at most of them and they were marked in advance warning riders that they needed to dismount.

Markings & Route Rating: B+ 

Wildcard Factor

The little town was great.  The camping was close to the start of the course, there were lots of other things to do in the area if we were able to get there earlier.  There were wineries that required a drive and pumpkin picking as well.  If you happen to go, arrive early on Saturday and plan your day out.

Overall Rating (Not an Average): A-

This is one I’ve added to my annual plan.  There’s a few upcoming blog topics I have coming up: Security at Races, Hitting a Wall after a few races (Last week all energy was drained from me, a tri + 2x centuries I think did me in), and there’s a lot to talk about how to winter train.  

 

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Comic Attempt

Comic Attempt

Woke up early to go run but the weather sapped my strength so tired Brian, like an asshole, decided to refuse to run. I’ll throw it in before my swim workout tonight so no biggie but still, wish I would have gotten that in. Well, here’s the idea for the comic I thought up

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The Scale- It’s still important and haunts me

So I meant to make a post about the Apple Cider Century (https://applecidercentury.com/) I did yesterday, but I’ll need to post about that later in the week since today marked my first weigh-in since well over 6 months ago.  Now, be it, I’ve added quite a bit a muscle from swimming and biking.  I also ate a lot of salty foods over the weekend, so my water weight was probably high.  But still, since this was the end of my 3 insane weekends (Triathlon+North Shore Century+Apple Cider Century) I figured It was time for me to weigh myself and see how I’m doing.  The results shocked me.

164

I assumed I was about 155-160.  I haven’t weighed much above that in about 2 years.  Now I have no idea what my weight was, say, last February when it clearly looks like my face was chubbier.  Nor do I have any idea about my actual muscle mass.  But what remains a definite problem is that overall number is nearly 20 lbs from when I ran my PR half marathon.  You can talk about a “healthy weight” all you want but at the end of the day, if you want to compete you need to be fairly light weight and fairly lean.  Yes I know, there are many studies which show having a little more weight can be better but those are professional endurance athletes.  Those are people who were at 2-3% body fat and took it up to around 4-6%, still way below what I am (probably around 10-15).

I looked up a few calculators.  A height ratio alone says I should be roughly 125-130 lbs for ideal run weight.  That on me would be deathly skinny, so with my chest measure, it says about 148.(http://www.runningtools.com/idealweight.htm)Image  I buy that, which means that a good training weight for me is roughly 150-152 and I could easily pop off that last few in a couple of weeks.

Well, so here goes- my ways to remove the extra weight.

1) Make sure your exercise remains consistent.

I try not to diet so much that I’m left light headed when exercising

2)Start documenting food

Be like how you document your miles.  Then you can really dial in on how many calories your taking in and where to cut them

3)Don’t snack

You’ll pack on more calories than you think.  Look up Intermediate Fasting.

4)Go slow

Fast weight on is fast weight off, slow weight off is slow weight on

5)Don’t eat after 7.

This one is tough, but I’ve always found if I go to sleep with a light hunger I’m probably running a calorie deficit.

6)Cut meals in half when going out

A bit obvious.  Portions by sit down restaurants are not at all based on recommended portions, remember that and eat for yourself.

7)Ultimately you’re looking to shrink your stomach

I don’t have much evidence on this one, but I’ve been told the stomach acts like a muscle when stretched.  When it is stretched, it stays stretched out making you feel hungry.  When it is not stretched, it shrinks so you feel less hungry if you can get the stomach to shrink.  The key is a solid week on less food.  This has seemed to work for me so I do what are called “Hell Weeks” where I cut out snacks, I’m eating enough so I’m not hungry all the time but it’s a considerable cutback, and I pretty much endure the hunger for a week.  After that week, I naturally am eating less and I try and keep it small.

Here’s some better resources:

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Crises Averted!

I’m holding my confirmation for Apple Cider Century rideImage

It’s my reminder of why you should rego immediately when you know you’re doing the event.  It sold out at some point so I needed to go onto facebook and such to hook up with a random stranger who had to back out.  I suppose it’s win-win but it brings up a few things that I’ve been thinking of for a while.

I heard a rumor going around that BOA Chicago Marathon this year is requiring the actual person running to pick up the packet and bib, thus attempting to deter people from transferring regos.  There really needs to be more outrage over this type of stuff. Runners should demand the ability to physically or electronically switch registrations before the race.  This is very easy to do, especially before anything is printed up.  I know, there will be concerns of people buying up registrations to resell them.  It’s pretty easy to prevent this, just by allowing max amount of purchases from certain cards.  Also the process alone of signing up for one of these isn’t as easy as, say, buying a huge group of concert tickets.  

Especially with all the injuries which happen in the amateur elite realm, it’s absolutely crazy that a large race like Chicago Marathon doesn’t provide easy ways to transfer bibs.  When a bike event with 3500 max people attending can at least provide a facebook page to transfer registrations, why can’t a massive event with 40,000 registered participants?  

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100 Miles

So many century rides, not enough time.  Things I really like about century rides

-No Gimmicks.  It’s a course that you ride your bike on, supported, that’s that.

-Usually cheap.  They don’t have to lure you in with junk and they’re appealing to a touch sharper crowd so per mile it’s very affordable.  

-Start/finish when you want.  Look, there are some races I’m trying to win, there are some I don’t care about.  The century, to me, is all about enjoying it so why not take my time and enjoy the scenery.

I did North Shore Century.  http://www.evanstonbikeclub.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=690768&module_id=133508

My 30 second review:

Pros-

-Cheap

-Well Marked

-Excellent home baked food at all places except the start/finish.  No joke, there was a sign saying that the health department of Evanston does not allow homebaked foods.  Doesn’t surprise me though, they made headlines a few years ago for being among the first to institute a plastic bag ban, which I’m not entirely for or against, but it shows the big “problems” that they deal with over there.  

-Supporting Evanston Bike Club

Cons

-Dull Course.  There’s some nice North Shore neighborhoods you go through but lots of ghetto places further north and corn fields.  There are a few gems though as you’re on Kenosha’s lakefront.

-You have to go through Highland Park.  Why do I hate Highland Park?  Well, it’s bullshit like this:

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We didn’t see any cops but we’ve heard multiple things about this department before, apparently they regularly pull over entire teams and hand out 120 dollar tickets..

Other than that it was a perfect day, 65 and sunny.  Had a broken spoke at about mile 90 that I still need to get fixed but that’s hardly anything to bitch about when I could continue riding on it.

 

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