A tough and very back-end-loaded week as far as running is concerned - a real test of current levels prior to five hard long runs before tapering for Edinburgh. I have done this twice, before Marathons, and it seems to work well as a benchmarker for where I am and what's to do! In true style, of course, I go at this too fast - seems to be my way - and hope I will emerge reasonably unscathed.
I had set myself the target of running a half marathon in training on Saturday and then the Fleet Half marathon on Sunday - if you will, a session of "2 x 13.1 miles with a 12
hour rest". Goal was to hit marathon race pace, whilst reminding myself of what running on tired legs feels like, and I am delighted to say that I whipped my times by some margin! The consequence when I got home was about 3 hours of zombie-like post-bath stumbling including an hour in bed just trying to come round. A quick weigh-in also showed a loss of nearly 2 litres of water - remedial action quickly followed - and rather like a fading houseplant, a litre or so in and I am suddenly lifted up.
This week's picture is of the M3 at Fleet - most of us merely know this as a service station rather than as a not unpleasing small town, so I thought I would pay homage to the fantastic book 'Boring Postcards' which has photos of these odd structures which are in fact so much part of our modern life. Perhaps slightly more odd is that, to search for this photo on Google, I was flush with choice! Proof yet again that we can find someone who is interested in anything. I remember hearing on Radio 4 some years ago that there were 100 members of the Corduroy society in America..says it all, really.
Wine of this week - a reward for a tough weekend - is Cote Rotie "Champin Le Seigneur" Jean-Michel Gerin 2003, a wine from a notably hot year. There was much concern that this would cause baked fruit - but not here, it would seem. I doubt the wine will have staying power, though, for long cellaring, as the acidity is already showing a bit. The fruit is fully ripe, and the wine much more gentle than you might imagine - beautifully integrated tannins, very delicate, almost like a Burgundy, in a way. A delicate note of plums, with a long, lingering and silky taste, and a great finish. Hurrah!