Thursday evening is becoming one of my favourite routines of the week. I meet up with Jim, a friend of long-standing, as he drops his daughters off for swim-club and we then drive up to Knole Park in Sevenoaks. We have sussed out a regular 4 mile trail circuit that has a mix of traffic-free estate roads and grassy paths.
This week was the 4th time, I think, that we’ve run this particular route together and we were both surprised tonight at the end to see that we had knocked a clear couple of minutes off our previous best time.
Knole is a great place to run. There are plenty of tracks & paths & some great scenery. The herds of deer that roam the park are very blasé about runners; they often continue grazing just a few feet from the path as we go gliding past…. Actually, Jim is gliding I’m mostly huffing & puffing
The other feature of Knole, which makes it ideal for training, is the absence of any ground that might be considered flat or even flat-ish. The middle section of our route includes a valley path that is a mile of continuous climbing, starting gently and finishing with a real sting. This part of the run is still giving me a kicking but that’s only spurring me on to get fitter. Each week I’m getting a little closer to smashing that climb.