Several weeks ago I put up a series of 3 posts (here, here and here) listing some quotes that I found personally meaningful, from the late Dr. George Sheehan. He pretty much was the philosophical running guru of my formative running years in the 1980s. And although he never seemed to have discovered trail running, I always will be grateful to him for articulating the mental aspects of running in a way that I could relate to.
I hope that younger runners today still recognize the name and his work, and the impact that he had during the running boom of the 70s and 80s.
My favorite quote, that I would like to again highlight:
For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear leaves and listen to rain and look to the day when it all is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight. For them, sport is not a test but a therapy; not a trial but a reward; not a question but an answer.
Old George got it absolutely right--big events are nice and fun and motivating and something to look forward to, but it is your everyday running that in essence pays the bills. If you don't derive sufficient reward from your everyday running, then I think you're in trouble.
I get rejuvenated every single run by the leaves and the rain...by thinking about as much or as little as my mind desires....and the feeling that I get, on a good day, that it all is as easy as a bird in flight.