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Post-vacation report: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Monday, March 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

March
23
2015

Greetings! I’m back from my 2-week holiday break and, as I always do after a vacation, this morning I’m going to break down the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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The Good.
I had an absolutely fantastic holiday! I really enjoyed my time off, especially with my mom here (along with many other family and friends, some with fur). After nine weeks of very strict dieting, being able to relax my diet and enjoy some of the foods and drinks I’ve been missing was pretty damn awesome.

I trained very hard during my holiday. With some extra time at my disposal, I was able to ride my bike even more than usual. Over the past two weeks I logged nearly 600 miles and close to 30 hours on my bike. Most of those were not easy miles, either. I noticed improved energy, stamina and power from the increase in calories right away. The difference was pretty stark, and I put that energy to good use. So far this month I’ve set 83 personal records for time on various Strava segments (including 15 new KOMs), and I even set a new 3.5 hour power output personal record on a tough 76 mile solo training ride I did this past Saturday morning. I’ve not felt this good on the bike all year long.

The Bad.
No surprises here: my diet. I said I wasn’t going to go crazy during this vacation, but that’s precisely what I did. I ate more junk food, splurge meals and “cheat” foods than I ever expected I would. I also consumed alcohol nearly every day.

My diet wasn’t all bad: for the most part I consumed my usual healthy diet in the morning, and then sort of let loose in the afternoon and evenings.

The alcohol consumption wasn’t to excess (although I did tie one on once or twice), and was mostly just enjoying a few different craft beers with dinner.

This series of photographs does a good job of telling the food and drink tale (click to enlarge):

This was my first post-cut cheat meal: Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout Nitro and Mello Mushroom pizza (caramelized onion and tomato). I also had a Young's double chocolate stout. Both beers were awesome, and so was the pizza.

This was my first post-cut cheat meal: Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout Nitro and Mello Mushroom pizza (caramelized onion and tomato). I also had a Young’s double chocolate stout. Both beers were awesome, and so was the pizza.

While my mom was here we made a huge feast of Greek food. Here I'm grilling the souvlaki.

While my mom was here we made a huge feast of Greek food. Here I’m grilling the souvlaki.

Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. Incredible.

Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. Incredible.

New Belgium Portage. This is a spring seasonal porter, and it's AWESOME. If you like dark coffee/chocolate/smokey brews, don't miss this one. Definitely one of my favorites from NB, if not my new favorite from them.

New Belgium Portage. This is a spring seasonal porter, and it’s AWESOME. If you like dark coffee/chocolate/smokey brews, don’t miss this one. Definitely one of my favorites from NB, if not my new favorite from them.

New Belgium Slow Ride. I really didn't care for this one. Too light, too fizzy and too much citrus. Tasted like grapefruit beer.

New Belgium Slow Ride. I really didn’t care for this one. Too light, too fizzy and too much citrus. Tasted like grapefruit beer.

We had my friend Mike's dog, Harley, over for a week. She and Sonny got along great. Here I am on the couch with Harley and enjoying another Portage.

We had my friend Mike’s dog, Harley, over for a week. She and Sonny got along great. Here I am on the couch with Harley and enjoying another Portage.

And, finally, this was my last splurge meal of my vacation, which I consumed last night:  Grilled sirloin burger with caramelized onions, warm blue corn tortilla chips, melted pepper jack cheese and a garlic-rubbed grilled King's Hawaiian roll. French fries and an ice-cold New Belgium 1554 Black Lager on the side. Lisa found out that a local liquor store had 1554 Black Lager in bottles, and went out of her way after work to stop and get me some! I'd not had 1554 since the 2013 Black Bear Rampage MTB race up in Tennessee, so needless to say I was super stoked.

And, finally, this was my last splurge meal of my vacation, which I consumed last night: Grilled sirloin burger with caramelized onions, warm blue corn tortilla chips, melted pepper jack cheese and a garlic-rubbed grilled King’s Hawaiian roll. French fries and an ice-cold New Belgium 1554 Black Lager on the side. Lisa found out that a local liquor store had 1554 Black Lager in bottles, and went out of her way after work to stop and get me some! I’d not had 1554 since the 2013 Black Bear Rampage MTB race up in Tennessee, so needless to say I was super stoked.

 

If you’re dieting right now you definitely hate me for the above photos. Sorry about that.

Unfortunately there was a little more “bad” to report, and it had nothing to do with food. My rear Zipp hub failed spectacularly while out on a ride:

Cracked flanged on my defective Zipp 188 hub (V7).

Cracked flanged on my defective Zipp 188 hub (V7).

 

That is is my Zipp 188 hub (V7), which is on my rear Firecrest 404 carbon wheel. Luckily it did not cause me to crash when it failed, but it definitely could have. This hub was not included in the recent Zipp recall, but it suffers from the same issues as the recalled hubs. The lacing design puts too much tension on the drive side, and the flange is too weak to handle it. Zipp pretty much acknowledged this with the recall, and the V9 redesign of the 188. It is my opinion that Zipp should have recalled the V7 hubs along with the earlier hubs. Anyway, huge bummer, and definitely something to be aware of if you have a pre-V9 188 hub. If this had happened while I was moving at a decent speed, I could have been in a very bad wreck.

The Ugly.
Heh, I’ll give you one guess. 🙂

Yeah, scale weight. I’m up a few pounds. Six pounds, to be precise. But you know what? I don’t care. I feel great, I’m happy with how I look and I’m especially pleased with my performance on the bike. Now some of that weight is certainly water weight, so it’s quite possible I’ll be around 160 pounds by this Sunday (I’ll be eating very clean/no alcohol all week long). 160 pounds was my planned maintenance target weight, so I’ll be right there. But I may just revise that maintenance goal a little bit. I felt great riding around at 163-165 pounds over the past two weeks, and low weight without good power is pointless. We’ll see.

It’s great to be back! I will have a significant update to my home gym page this week, perhaps as early as tomorrow. No, the X9 has not arrived yet (and I don’t know when it will), but I am in the process of redesigning the Bike Torture Chamber section of my home gym. I might get that wrapped up tonight. Stay tuned!

John Stone Fitness Comments

7 Responses to “Post-vacation report: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
  1. Welcome back! For the first time in a decade, I didn’t miss you while you were gone. That’s because my wife and I welcomed our 4th baby on March 12th and, like you, today is also my return back to work. 😀

    And my brother returned from his 5th tour in Afghanistan last night. He’s my new son’s godfather, so I’ve had a great couple weeks too. Hoorah!

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