I,like many other people I guess, take where you live for granted and so as such don’t always appreciate what is around you.
This year I have spent a lot of time running off-road through the Chiltern Hills, and have been able to re-appreciate the surrounding countryside for what it really offers.
The Chilterns has one of the highest number of paths and trails for it’s size and as such offers up opportunities for runs of all sorts of difficulty and intensity.
For example, it has been many years since I have been up to the monument on Coombe Hill, possibly the highest point in the Chilterns, but an area that affords some views that are really stunning. You can see for miles across the county from there, and now I have made the effort to try and include it on my runs when ever possible. As I remember the monument itself was once used in Doctor Who to bring cybermen to life!
Elsewhere, there are paths that take you through bluebell woods, along stony paths, that open up to steep climbs or simply through a grass field. The sheer variety is fantastic and so being able to spend hours out running through it has certainly reminded me that there is more to the Chilterns than just the roads that lead to the train station to take you to work.
On a slightly different note, today was my last long run before the ultra and so now it has started to seem really real, rather than just thinking about it I am now a couple of weeks away from actually having got run it. We will see how I go.