Things I Think About On Long Runs

Shirley Strickland.jpg

Running keeps me balanced. When I do it consistently, I eat better, sleep better, have better weekends, and more productive weeks. When I don’t I eat poorly and well, you know the rest.

On Saturday I ran 10 miles. It was my longest run in a years, but it was a really good thing. You see, when I do my long runs, I have LOTS of time to think.

I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because the last thing I want to do is focus on how far I’m running, or how far I have left to go. Maybe it’ just that my long runs take place on quiet stretches of road that lend themselves towards deep thought. Maybe I’m trying to keep from being bored!

For whatever reason, my mind wanders from topic to topic.

Some subjects are complex:

 “The woods seem disorganized and chaotic in their layout, but it’s really an advanced and optimized system…”

Some are simple:

“Wow, that’s an ugly drainage ditch. It wouldn’t be that hard to make that less of an eyesore on an otherwise scenic road.”

Others are dumb:

“Oh gosh, I’m passing by the rich neighborhood. Act like you belong. Think rich thoughts. Helicopters! Yachts! Retirement! Why is that gate attendant eyeing me???”

And finally, some are primal:

“This far out, if I had to…I mean, if it was TRULY AN EMERGENCY, where would I poop?”

Ah yes, there’s just something about the long run that gets me thinking.

I’m glad running is something I do. I actually enjoy the practice of getting up cRaZy early in the morning on weekends, hitting the road and watching the sun rise. I appreciate the comradery that exists amongst all runners, that unspoken code that gets communicated in a nod or a wave as we pass silently on long runs. It’s pretty awesome, and I’m glad I stumbled in to this hobby.

What about you? If you run, what are some of the random things you think about along the way? If you don’t run, what do you do to “stay balanced”?


Image credit: “Shirley Strickland” by Melburnian – Own work (digital photograph by author). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons


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