20 Hilly miles up/down and around Portsdown Hill – a real confidence booster

With 3 weeks to the South Downs Trail marathon, today was all about elevation. In the end the best part of 20 miles and 2,000 feet were the result. Portsdown Hill is not only close at hand but offers many different routes up and down, basically it’s a win – win, beneficial and beautiful.

Setting off early I passed Fareham creek via Bath Lane recreation ground and was soon running the lower slopes of the hill within 2 miles of leaving home. Paradise Lane is an old track that I imagine is seldom used, with it skirting a large field, that’s away from the main road, ideal !!  The peace of this track was then lost as I got back onto the main road, it gets steeper but it’s a fairly short route to Fort Nelson and the monument to ‘said’ hero.

Across from Nelson’s monument there’s a style and a good ‘metre wide’ track that runs across fields with various crops until you reach Portchester Lane that’s also close to Crooked Walk Lane. I ran up and down both of these testing climbs and was off towards Southwick Hill that backs onto Portsdown Hill (PH from now on !!) The fact that I had the company of numerous cyclists meant I knew I’d chosen the right location.

Once Southwick Hill was run and I’d said hello to Charlie Fuller, who was out cycling, it was down and up QA hill and across the top of PH then down towards Cosham and back up. The temperature which had been rising was luckily replaced with cloud and I could retrace my steps back towards Crooked Walk Lane. Crossing the fields and back to civilisation I was grateful that the cricket pavilion was open at Bath Lane, as I topped up my drink, “thanks to them”.

All in all I was in a ‘world of my own’ for well over 3 hours running up and down testing hills in the countryside. Hills are very similar to life in many ways, they are a challenge but can boost your confidence once tackled, bring on those SDW hills 🙂 Next week, reps up and down the best of today’s 7 hills, the 3/4’s of a mile and 270 feet elevation that is Portchester Lane

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