It's three days to race time. The training, such as it was, is done and now the waiting begins. This will be interesting - for one thing, my weight's dropped from 160 to 145 pounds in the past two weeks, as I've been ill (not an excuse if things don't go well, just an observation).
There are 269 people registered for the Chippewa 50K. Predicting who should win is tricky, as most of the runners are Wisconsinites I don't know. Of the names I recognize, I'd say Leslie Semler's the most likely first female and for the men (in order): Aaron Drevlow, Chris Rubesch, John Storkamp, Jim Ramacier and Brent Smith.
There's snow on the course right now (the banner photo above was taken on the course before the most recent snowfall), but the temperature's quickly rising, so there may be a lot of mud on race day. I do well in mud for some reason, but not in cold, so anything could happen.
I have my plan for how to do the race, which I'm not going to divulge until my race report. I never seem to stick to my plans, anyway. If things go well, expect me to be the second guy over 50, about 4:45. If the weather stinks and I fall apart, the worst case scenario is 5:30.
That would still be a personal best on that course!
Steve's Evil Kitchen: Geode Candy
I've been toying with ideas that incorporate some Asian confectionery ingredients and techniques and I think I've come up with a winner. I haven't made it yet - it takes time. I plan to make three types of rock candy, a red (cherry), an orange (apricot or orange) and yellow (banana or lemon). They have to be stopped before the crystals become too large for the next step. Sucrose melts at a much higher temperature than maltose, so I plan to tie the three strands of rock candy together and then dip them in molten maltose. If I'm right, that should create a smooth glassy surface with the colored crystals showing through and air space between the strands. Maltose is terribly sticky after melted and cooled, so I may add a third coating - fructose melts at a much lower temperature than maltose, so I could do another dip in that; the result is still tacky, but with a firmer surface. I could add flavoring to each of the melted sugars as well.