Sunday, 24 January 2010

Miles 12.5; Units 26 (!)

Miles were down this week for two reasons - firstly, resting prior to the Romsey 5 race at the weekend, and secondly a mysterious and as yet unexplained ankle pain that arrived, unplanned and unwanted, on Thursday, precluding a few steady miles. However...race result - delighted! Just under a minute off my PB, coming in at 30:48. Seems I was unduly pessimistic last week. That would predict a 2:54 marathon (don't get carried away yet, though). Great news too for Janet, who also blasted her PB by 20-25 seconds, after a less-than-perfect lead-in to the race. The weather was optimal - a bit cold, no wind, just right. It's a strange thing in racing - you can be at 2 miles thinking that you are ahead of your planned pace, not feeling too tired, and then by 2.5 miles you suddenly realise you are going to have to write a cheque from the Bank of Endurance. It is so quick, the move from on top of your game to hanging on. Is that a metaphor for life - or just running? Finally, I have to admit to a crazy finish line sprint, grunting like a Braveheart warrior, as I chased the line, with someone bearing down on me. Aha, I held them at bay, though!

Winewise, the week is improving, with a number of excellent bottles, and a very well-kept pint of Abbot Ale on Thursday . This evening's choice, to go with a casserole, is Lirac Chapelle de Maillac 2006, Roger Sabon, Lirac being one of the named Southern Rhone villages. Warming, not too heavy, lovely sweet palate, hint of liquorice, beautifully balanced. Tannins very soft - I think this will be a wine to drink this year. One of those wines where, yes, it might improve, however it is pretty darned lovely now, so why wait? Instant gratification.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Miles 34.7; Units 28

A week is a long time in running, if I may use the political catchphrase. This week started with a slippery drive to circuits, then on Tuesday having to turn back on the motorway from a drive to Sheffield, and a treadmill intervals session on Wednesday to keep safe in the icy conditions. Saturday was a gloomy and wet run, though by Sunday it was shorts and t-shirt for the long run, in the balmy conditions of 8 degrees! The Long Run, by the way, was partly down the Test Way, where you run along the old railway branch line, now a track for runners and walkers. Some lucky people bought the old station at Horsebridge and have turned it into their home, and a wedding venue. A real touch of 'Oh Mr. Porter!'.

A week of trying hard and not quite succeeding, alas, with all of the runs just failing to hit the mark. Not sure why. The Romsey 5 is next weekend, and I have just not got the quality sessions in I'd like to have done. It will be an endurance battle..

Wine of this week (still sticking to moderate wines) is Syrah La Rosine 2005, Ogier. A lovely 'junior Cote-Rotie' from an excellent vintage, all redcurrants, sweet fruit, and an excellent weight - really not too heavy on the palate, but with plenty of bite. I'm delighted to see I have a couple more bottles of this, and also that I have ordered the 2007 en primeur.

Life can be good.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

MIles: 24.5, Units 24.5

A difficult running week, what with the snow and the ice. Tuesday was a beautiful evening for a run - on with the trail shoes, out in the crunchy snow. I felt magnificent and slightly mad, as I imagine did those drivers who saw me. The ice sent me to the gym for a couple of sessions on the 'dreadmill' which I never like. I braved the conditions at the weekend and managed to piece together a 16-miler across a variety of surfaces, and didn't actually fall over...

Winewise, trying to come down off the high of Christmas (quantity and quality), however, a good selection of midrange, mostly reds, from a Wine Society mixed case. Wine of the week is Wirra Wirra Church Block Cab/Shiraz/Merlot 2007 - rich blackcurrant notes, nicely integrated, with tannins present, thankfully soft enough to drink. A big wine, not a blockbuster. 14.5% too, probably 15% if we did but know it.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Miles: 40. Units: 45 (most on New Year's Eve!)

A pleasing number of miles to start the year, with four short but fast runs and a 12.5 miler at the weekend (didn’t want to be too knackered for the work of ‘de-christmassing’ of the house!)

Wine of the week has to be Graham’s 1983 - a superb port. Quite sweet in style, almost toffee-apple, with a lingering finish. Consumed over several nights from Wednesday to Friday. Ah, life can be good!

Back to work tomorrow, so taking it easy tonight with a simple glass of Gigondas