Lies, lies and more lies

Ok, I lied in my previous post. Well, I didn’t lie, I was just a bit misguided as to how things were. I was in a post race haze of achievement.. pride… dare I say it, hubris. I assumed that even without the focus that Wimbleball created I would still be able to maintain the level of training and commitment I had when the propsect of a Half Ironman was looming. The fact that I was wrong is not in itself disappointing, it’s that I took so long to realise the damage that was being done sitting around drinking beer and eating cake. Not quite all the hard work I put in is now gone, but I’ve undone quite a lot of it. The only thing I can do about it is get back into routine and start preparing for next season.

Next Season
When I realised that my motivation was gone after Wimbleball I signed up again for the 2012 race, although seeing as I have already completed this race I felt a new challenge was needed so I entered Ironman UK 2012 4 weeks after Wimbleball. So on June 17th 2012 I will be racing 70.3 miles / 112km again and then on the 22nd July 2012 I will be racing a full 140.6 miles / 226km. Yay! Motivation indeed. There are some serious areas of work over the winter:

1) Weight – I put on about 7kgs in total since Wimbleball, which was pretty stupid, but I know what I need to do to lose that and more and it means giving up the booze. So, from January 1st – July 23rd – Excepting 1 stag do, one wedding and maybe a beer after Wimbleball I will be a teetotaler. I think foregoing 7 months of booze for this is a fair price. The added bonus being I’ll be a seriously cheap date afterwards!
2) Swimming – My swimming has seriously deteriorated from its once lofty heights – not really I was always rubbish, I’m just more so now. My 12.40 swim at Hever this weekend (more on that soon) was poor and only more time in the pool working on the correct technique is going to get me faster than that.
3) Consistency – It’s no good having one 15hr training week followed by 4 weeks of 0hrs.
4) Running – I have started developing my running with James Dunne at Kinetic Revolution – more on that another time

They are the key things I think – I hope Russ agrees, or I will have to write another post contradicting everything I wrote in the previous one.

From now on every Sunday / monday will be posting days, I have plenty of stuff to waffle on about and this kept me focussed last time, I’m hoping it will do it this time.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

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A tenuous Italian menu

The weekend just gone we had the in-laws up for Dinner. I use occasions like this to try out new things and give a good account of my skills in the kitchen although a combination of bad time management and alcohol usually conspire to make me look like a total fraud. This one went pretty well, although there were a couple of moments when I was standing in the kitchen utterly unable to remember what I was supposed to be doing, and I also lost a bag of rocket that I got out of the fridge to decorate a plate with, turned around to get the plates and when I turned back the rocket was gone! Just vanished, like into thin air or something. Also another thing I’ve noticed, that is obvious to anyone who comes to our flat is that the kitchen is too small for me. My tendency for complicated cooking and an inability to clear up after myself leads to a complete lack of work surface very quickly, I suppose it could be argued that a neater approach to cuisine might be a place to start, but I’ve tried it and I just don’t get on with it.

I originally wanted to do an autumnal british menu, but I was looking on Jamie’s website and I came across “leg of lamb stuffed with olives, bread, pinenuts and herbs” which looked brilliant so I decided to do an Italian menu, but it’s connection to Italy was tenous at best. I dug around on the internet for ideas and came up with:

Crab Salad

Jamie’s Leg of Lamb

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheescake

The original recipes are on the links above, I am going to reproduce what I did as I made some substitutions along the way. Mostly when I couldn’t get hold of an ingredient. After the recipes I’ll talk a bit about timing as I planned this quite well. Here we go:

Crab Salad

Serves 4

You will need cooking rings like these these are the only ones I’ve got and they’re 7 x 6cm – the recipe says 5x6cm, so just don’t fill em right to the top! Also, I have 2 of these and it’s fine to do them 2 at a time, but I think in a hot kitchen you would be in danger of collapse if you left them too long. I put them on the windowsill with the windows open to dress the plates and it worked ok.

For the tarragon vinaigrette
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 small pinch caster sugar
• 125ml olive oil
• 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and halved
• 1 sprig tarragon

For the salad
• 2 x Pots of White Crab Meat
• 2 x Pots dark crab meat
• 100ml mayonnaise
• 2 tsp tomato ketchup
• a few drops Worcestershire sauce
• a few drops tabasco
• 2 tsp cognac
• 1/2 lemon, juice only, plus extra for seasoning
• 1 avocado
• 1 apple
• 4 spring onions
• 1 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
• 1 handful Basil – Tenuous Italy link
• 6-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

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