Friday, 26 February 2010

Miles 35.1; Units 29

A late post, so my apologies.

A game of two halves, this week. It is perhaps the lot of the runner to experience highs and lows, most of which are caused by over enthusiasm and failing to listen to your body (or the sound advice of others). The start of the week was mostly about recovering from the Bramley 20 - in theory it is 1 day a mile for full recovery. There is a lot to be said for that - and yet marathon training must go on. I headed back out on Tuesday for an easy 25 mins, and a steady 50 on Thursday. Saturday then went very well with a 12-miler at a great pace - all feeling fine - and then on Sunday the most ragged, disjointed run in a long time, a sad, halting 14 miles. So, maybe that thing about 1 day per mile was not totally wrong, eh?

I've also come across a splendid podcast called Marathon Talk, which I can highly recommend. One of the two guys who make it is Liz Yelling's husband, Martin Yelling, and the other, Tom Williams, is a relatively recent running convert who is well under 3 hrs for the marathon. They are a bit chatty-blokey, which is actually quite appealing, and they know their stuff. Well worth an hour on your ipod for those long runs.

Wine of the week this week is a little pleasure - especially as it was a gift from a colleague at work, a small bottle of Peller Estates Riesling Icewine 2007, from Niagara in Canada. It was a lovely golden colour, and had a delightful nose of peaches, apricots and that zing you get with Riesling. On the palate it is sweet, intense and honeyed, with double-rich
marmalade fruit. Again, as it is Riesling, there is a great acidity to this wine that stops it being cloying - and as always with these wines, you are amazed that, when drunk with a sweet pudding (in this case a lovely treacle pudding yum yum) it tastes almost dry. Now that's balance! And just a quick thought for how this is made - crushing frozen grapes picked in the dead of night in January (provided you can keep the birds off the grapes!) when the fruit is shrivelled and the juice so concentrated. As you can imagine, the risk of production means that the quantities are tiny and the price high - but to be honest, at around £30 for a half, it really isn't that pricey.

It reminded me of a visit to the vineyards of Bernkastler Doctor some years ago, where we hiked up to the top of the vineyard on a slope that felt like a 1 in 1. With glass in hand, we reflected on the challenges here, when that call comes on a freezing January night "The grapes are ready", and how you would pick these grapes on frozen, death-defying slopes..crikey! Well worth the price, I should say.

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