I recently read and LOVED Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Geoff Dyer's New York Times review says the book is "part training diary, part reruns of escapades undertaken at the behest of magazines."
Murakami, now 60, has been running since 1982 (he was 33) and has been in 20 marathons. He's also a serious triathlete.
Instead of inspiring me to run more races, his book has made me shy away from them. I'm focusing more on enjoying each run. Being in the run wholely and not focusing on my time so much. I've learned to slow down.
I still get competitive with myself and I can't resist pushing myself a bit more when I'm being timed. That's why nowadays I prefer running alone, untimed.
I focus more now on slowing down my breathing, relaxing into the run and not rushing. It's one of the most delicious things in the world... running without thinking about how fast you're going or how long you're supposed to run.
Lately we've been blessed with rain in our runs and I think it's wonderful to run in the rain. No overheating and the sound of rain beats any iPod playlist I've got.
I have never been more in love with running than I am now.