Inner peace and utter relaxation with sport is not easy to achieve, especially if you are a competitive athlete. While in Vermont I ran short little slow runs up and down hills. I mean very slow. 10-11 minute pace and watched birds and slow turtles crossing roads. I ran so slow I was totally chill with my thoughts and aware of where I was at all times. I took in everything.
Prior to running in Vermont I ran 4 times over a 6 week period before running at the Twighlighter. I did not run that race very fast. However, after, I was not tired and was able to stay up all night and talk to friends. In the end, more fun and important than running my guts out. Presently, I am tired and have tons of extra energy to do many other activities without feeling tired.
Point being is that I used to spend lots of time doing exercise/running and really only got a little faster and in the end, spent lots of time doing it and avoiding/ignoring critical life skill endeavors, which, down the road, make you a stronger/more well rounded person.
Case in point,
I can say that between 22-29, I took a real break from organized sports. I played lots of Basketball but that's it. I spent these years working, dabbling in interestning business projects, traveling, getting involved with other hobbies, partying, dating(tons) and learning as much as I could about the broader world. I learned a lot because I took the time to spread myself in many different directions and explore everything.
I started running more in my 30s and found it an easy way to meet people, socialize, etc(especially in DC). Heck, I used races as a means to travel throughout DC, VA and MD. I ran Riley's on a whim one year after spending all night and early morning in some dive night club in Adams Morgan.
When I started getting more competitive and running harder and racing harder, it fed the ego and I got faster. However, such an endeavor takes time and energy, etc....... and ultimately, the sport took valuable time away from developing/maintaining some friendships, career stuff, other hobbies, etc.
Bottom line is I am re-discovering that running, like most activities, is a means to an end. Its a way to see a nice country road or travel about on some trails or simply run with a group of friends to talk about life. How to keep it this way and maintain a balance, is the key to success and long term happiness with the sport.
Yes, these are just words, and though I do not always abide by them, I think they speak some truth.
Anyway, this is what becomes of you after spending a week with Mom in Vermont.
Also, despite my good natured way, I still expect Jake, Jason, or someone to beat Bert at a race. My memory tells me that Bert is undefeated against the whole lot of you.