E Wok

That’ll be an obscure track reference for any hard house afficionados to appreciate, and as good a place as any to start…short of simply titling a post “Back To The Old School”.

For today I ran from my new site for the first time. And it was almost literally an old school run.

Tuesday saw a bit more than a hint of pain in my leg, so I opted for a 35 minute cycle instead of a 35 minute run. And it was lovely. Around my local figure of eight loop in the sunshine with only a gentle breeze to upset my rhythm. But it wasn’t a run. And I like running almost as much as I like counting.

The last two planned runs have coincided with days on the old Rye site, so my hilly output has been there. But Thursday was going to be for speed work. But not when I’m not running consistently (fewer than 30 miles still for March). So today, finishing work in Hawkinge, I headed out from site for my first outing.

I knew a route ish, I wanted to head for the hills (the start of the North Downs, “local” slopes from my childhood) and I wanted some off road action.

And it went swimmingly. The road to the hills is swooping to say the least. Nothing flat, all steep. Then it spat me out at a stile and onto the trail along the top of the hill. So I ran along this, enjoying how fucked-up the image of attractive natural grassland hills is when juxtaposed against the Cheriton and Folkestone industrial estates and the Channel Tunnel terminals, before deciding I was going to face my demons and run downhill.

Proper downhill. So proper that my downhill speed (including a section traversing the white horse on the hill that’s visible from motorway, EuroStar and most of West Folkestone) was down to 8.30/mile, simply caused by holding myself back to remain on my feet. And at the bottom of the descent I found myself on the old school cross country route, normally done in winter but the scene of my best athletic result when I secured 14th place in the Kent Schools Under 15 Cross Country Championship one spring. That’ll be 28 years ago, then. Since I was 13 and tiny at the time I was well chuffed. It was a real trip down memory lane.

Swiftly followed by an assault on the following uphill. Which, for quarter of a mile, reduced my split speed to 10.33 per mile. It really is quite steep!

Feeling puffed out and not wanting to punish my leg I opted for the road to aim me for home and sidled onto the return stretch to face the undulations once more. Feeling my leg was tight, I think the 4 mile distance (1.5 off road) was about right. And ripe for modification as my familiarity with the routes increases.

A superb outing and something to drive me onto more enjoyable runs as the season progresses.

104 runs, 81 exercises and 42 cycles to go.

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