Where I live is any trail runners paradise. At the foot of the Mourne Mountains, with unending tracks and routes through numerous forests.
CS Lewis claimed the Mournes where his inspiration for Narnia and even multi award winning Game of Thrones use the surrounding area as their base for shooting their show. I do realise how lucky I am, I open my curtains every morning and take in the breathtaking view. However I have one place that I can never enjoy running around.
Castlewellan Forest Park has an unendless amount of routes and track to follow however it is most famous for its Lake. The Lake has been that place I was unwillingly dragged around as a kid, schools forced you to do sponsored walks around it and half the country visits it on sunny days. It’s not that it’s not pretty, I’ve had some awe inspiring moments around the lake, it’s just not as exciting as the other wee paths that lead off it up the hills that I usually detour off to avoid doing an actual lap of the lake.
Which brings me to today…
The training plan had stated another slow run, 7.2km. So where to run so I don’t over do it. Ah the lake is 3.6k…twice that is 7.2k. ….The lake, the one place that just doesn’t make running enjoyable.
So I had a brisk 700m walk to the lake (yes I literally live at the back of the park) and set my garmin. I thought so many times about veering off track into the hills but kept on course. The first lap took me 32 mins. The only thing that kept me going through the second lap which was 2 miute quicker, was the fact I was meeting people from my previous lap and was feeling epic…hearing their thoughts of how impressed that I’d already passed them once. Even got a few comments to push on! I still ran like I was constipated as I was trying to stay slow and steady but I made it nonetheless again a minute quicker than plan had outlined.
So today was the first of many mental battles I have to overcome.
I conquered the lake…not once, but twice. A small victory but a victory nonetheless