1) I cracked 30 miles for the first time in ages
2) I ran 4 times for the first time in ages
3) miles exceeded units - hurrah! - for the first time in a long, long while.
so..all of these prove that I am clearly on the marathon training track. 20 weeks to go, and this is a good start. I have also been reminded, however, how much work marathon training is, the long runs especially. So I am far from complacent, rather, nervous..
A curious long run today as well - I went to the usual venue for the running club informal Sunday run - and was the only one there! So, I decided that I would head out on my own from St. Catherine's in Winchester, in spite of not really knowing where to go. I wended (good word!) my way towards Twyford, and then found a delightful stretch of the Itchen Navigation - a wonderfully rugged flood plain along the banks of the Itchen, an oasis of medieval byways on the outskirts of Winchester. For sure, the sound of the M3 reminds you that you are not in 'The Name of the Rose', nevertheless, a delightful path to follow. At the end I did have to run some 'junk miles' just to make up the half marathon, but that was ok, as it was around Winchester College and therefore rather smart.
The wine this week is a real oddity. Ballistarius Letrari 2000, which I should imagine is not available readily outside of Trento in Northern Italy. This wine is a mix of mostly Bordeaux grapes - Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot - plus Lagrein, a local grape. It is grown in the hills above Lake Garda, where the climate can be marginal, so you get a lean-ness that accentuates the acidity and light, delicate fruits. It is a refreshing wine to drink, intensely flavoursome, more like a plum fruit wine really, and great with food. Perhaps this is what claret was like 100 years ago, before the wines became all Parkerised and fruit-driven, like Oz or USA wines. All in all something just...well, different! I would imagine that in a tasting panel it would do poorly, but on its own, and after 24 hours of breathing (yes, really!) it comes into its own.