I've been telling people that I feel like Alice (Through the Looking Glass) when the Red Queen tells Alice "here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
So I decided what the heck, I might as well do something fun. John had a 5K race today, that was, for once, in the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning and quite near by in Wise, Virginia. [We met in Wise, both teaching at what was then called Clinch Valley College). So I went with him. It was interesting to watch the whole process, from registration through the race and then afterwards to the award ceremonies. The participants ranged in age from about 9 or 10 to well over 60. There were lots of middle school and high school kids in their school track uniforms, and lots of middle aged people. The middle aged men and women were seriously warming up for the thirty minutes before race time, while the kids stood around and chatted.
This race was typical, based on what John has told me about other races. The first ones to cross the finish line are usually young men in high school or college, then a mix of middle aged men (John among them) and teens mostly boys with the occasional young woman or two, then the rest of the race is a mixture of ages and genders. It was a 5K, so those of us at the starting point, only really saw them at the beginning and at the end (19+ minutes later). In between I enjoyed talking with some old friends from when I taught in Wise, whose son was one of the high school boys that finished just in front of John. I also saw a few of my former students, among both racers and observers. It was a really nice afternoon. John won his age category (Male 40-44), and brought home yet another small trophy, and the ubiquitous t-shirt.
When we got home, I still had papers to grade, but I felt a lot more refreshed.