Mar 4, 2016

Yesterday I did a 30 km at reasonable pace. I averaged about 5:30 per km, but finished with a 4:58. These aren’t fast times at all, but pretty good for me these days, especially for a long run in the heat.

Something I like to do regularly is a long run without drinking. I’m not sure if it increases very much my ability to perform under-hydrated, but it certainly creates a mental confidence that I can run for long periods without a drink. However, it was tough doing so yesterday in the heat. I was quite thirsty by the end of the 30 km. My record during the world run was 44 km with drinking or eating, although this was in winter. I did, however, run 40 km without a drink in the NZ summer.

Here’s a photo with a difference. This was taken in a bar in the town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, during my run around the world. Carmel and I had dinner here and stayed for a while when we saw an acoustic act setting up. Carmel secretly told the performers that I played at similar venues, and the next thing I know they were calling me up to do a few songs. So I obliged. One of the official performers joined me with some harmonies for this song. I think we were doing The Boxer.


Singing in Pennsylvania


On This Day


Mar 4, 2012

Distance today = 33.22 km; Total distance = 2953.27 km; Location = Indio, California  – 33 43.845′ N, 116 14.328′ W; Start time = 0950, Finish time = 1453


Thought I’d be feeling pretty wasted today, but I was actually fine, although the heat started to weigh in towards the end. It was around 30 C, and much hotter out in the sun.

I headed through suburb after suburb of, what can only be described as, up-market desert country club living. The land is either dusty and dry, or as green and lush as anywhere in Ireland. It’s amazing what redirected water can do.

I’ve given some more thought to the Red Wine Value Quotient, after various insightful comments from readers. Most issues centred around the fact that price can vary so much, yet my 0 to 10 rating scale is constrained. A deeper issue is the fact that the tax and regulation regime in various countries makes it easier for some jurisdictions to provide “value”. As much as I’d like to compensate for this, it is just too hard, so “tax” will implicitly be factored into the ratings.

However, to adjust for my subjective 0 to 10 rating scale, I have come up with the following formula (I wanted to keep this as non-mathematical as possible, but have been forced to incorporate at least a bit) – the RWVQ is the score out of ten cubed, divided by the price in AUD dollars. For example, the Napa Valley wine I described earlier, which cost US$1.67 (AUD$1.56) and I rated a 6 out of 10 (but have readjusted to 5.5), therefore has a RWVQ of 5.5 cubed (=166.375) divided by 1.56. This gives it a score of 107, which is hard to beat.

For comparison, another wine I rate highly, the JB Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, has the following – a rating of 8.5 and a price around AUD$25. This gives it a RWVQ of just 25, which is still a good score. However, it’s hard to beat a half decent wine for value when it costs under $2. Sometimes one finds a wine that’s anomalous, I know, but if you can actually buy it, then it’s real value all the same.

And, once again, sorry to anyone who may be struggling with the arithmetic associated with the RWVQ. Does this mean it’s necessary to have some level of proficiency in the subject to fully appreciate red wine? (I can already hear the rumblings and objections starting to build).

To finish today, I thought you might find the photo below somewhat amusing (if it’s too big to see, just click on it to view it). The baseball player’s name is Pujols, which is pronounced Poo Holes (seriously). Is that why the Big A has a ring around it?




Mar 4, 2013

Distance today = 54.09 km; Total distance = 17,422.25 km; Location = St Jean du Bruel, France – 44 01.430′ N, 03 21.578′ E; Start time = 0908, Finish time = 1757


A very tough day. Huge hills, a savage headwind, and cold sleet at times. And it was a long day too. I’m glad it’s over, as I’m now warm and resting.

The high point of day (in terms of altitude, that is) was at over 800 metres. At this location, there is a view of the highest bridge in the world, crossing a gorge just south of the city of Millau. I could see the bridge in 2011 when I cycled this road with Dave, but the weather precluded any vision of it today.

I had a big descent late in the day, which again was hard on the quads. They handled it pretty well, though. It was down into a lovely valley, and through the equally lovely towns of Nant and St Jean du Bruel.

I must mention the B&B we stayed in last night. Domaine du Vern must be one of the best there is. And hosts, Laurence and Stephane, may just be the friendliest there is. The food is fantastic, and all locally grown seasonal produce. It’s also organic. If you are travelling in the St Affrique region, it definitely should be on your list, and make sure you experience the dinner too – don’t just treat it as a bed for the night, or you’ll miss out on a large part of the reason for visiting. Thanks Laurence and Stephane for a great stay.