In a fit of madness, I decided to follow the Irish Times Get Running Programme, which promised if I completed all my “homework” I would be able to run for 30 minutes continuously at the end of eight weeks. And so now at the start of week 5 I have exchanged cold, windy and undulating roads of the Dublin suburbs for the flatter terrain and instant warm weather of Florida. One of the major advantages of jet lag, if you could call it an advantage is you get to see parts of the day you would otherwise seldom see. So for the last two mornings I have found myself pounding the trails around Celebration Lake.
Celebration has always been a favourite haunt of ours. It is a scenic little town just south of Orlando and built by Disney it has an almost theme park feel to it. It’s downtown area is on the shores of a picturesque lake, which boasts abundant wildlife. The advantage of my prescribed gentle running pace means that I get to take in and savour some of the sights and I also manage to avoid startling the animals and birds which call the lake shore home. This morning when I arrived to the lake the sun was just rising and there was a mist on the water. It made for a heavenly picture. I set out along, the thankfully flat shoreline trail and greeted herons, egrets and other water fowl along the way. Squirrels and raccoons joined me further along and as I made the turn to head back to my finish point, several hot air balloons floated silently overhead. You will normally see alligators cruising in the waters of the lake but it was too early and too chilly for any self respecting alligator to be on the move this morning.
Running just doesn’t hurt as much when surround by such glorious distractions at every turn.