Oh,the Places You’ll Go: A Runner’s Thought Process

Sometimes when I am running I feel a little bit like Dug, the dog from the Disney movie Up. (If you don’t get that reference – SQUIRREL – immediately go find that movie and watch it. Not only is it a great movie, my family and I may yell out SQUIRREL at the oddest times.)

What I mean by that is this – my thought process is all over the place. I’m not sure there is anything that I haven’t thought about on a run. So today, I thought I would give you a peek into my mind, scary as that may be.

  • I don’t want to get up and run. I have to get up and run. But I am tired. But you will feel better when you do.
  • Oh, the weather is so (nice, crappy, cold, hot windy) today, and I am up and running to start off the day.
  • Wow, am I starting too fast?
  • This feels so good. I love running!
  • My legs feel like lead? Why am I doing this?
  • I should keep a list of all the different kinds of roadkill that I have seen on runs. Squirrels, raccoons, possums, snakes, mice, birds, turkeys, cats, skunks.
  • Oh, I hope that isn’t a skunk over there.
  • Good, it is just a couple of birds.
  • How is my form? Make sure you are hitting mid-foot. Lean a little forward. Good.
  • I should pray, that would pass the time. (Start praying – two minutes later – SQUIRREL!)
  • Wow, I am really going at a good pace. (Check watch and see I am going slower than normal).
  • I wonder what these people are doing up so early and driving around town. They are probably wondering why I am running this early.
  • What is my schedule today? Oh, yeah. How am I going to make that work?
  • Work. What is my plan for work today?
  • I hate this hill. No, I love this hill. This hill is my friend and we will make it to the top together.
  • I love being able to run with my friends. Oh, I need to tell them __________.
  • Is that lightning?
  • I need to talk to so-and-so about such-and-such. (Then completely plan out said conversation in my head.)
  • Only ___________ to go.
  • There was that article in Runner’s World last month about breathing. I should try that. (I try that).
  • Random song pops in my head – I run to that beat.
  • Is my leg hurting or am I just imagining things.
  • Don’t look at your watch. You are just on a nice leisurely run. Don’t look at your watch. Don’t do it. Don’t!
  • I want to stop and walk. Ok. You can walk when you get to that corner. (Get to that corner). Eh, you can keep running, don’t stop.
  • What should I say about this run when I put it on DailyMile later? (Then plan out clever wording that I promptly forget.)
  • That sunrise is beautiful! Thank you, Lord!
  • Oh my gosh! I am sweating like a pig!
  • This Spi-belt is supposed to not bounce, why is it bouncing? (Move Spi-belt to a different location on my hips.)
  • This shirt and these shorts don’t work together, the shirt keeps sliding up. I have to remember not to wear this together again.
  • What the heck is that driver thinking? I’m wearing a headlight and flashing armband, surely they can see me!
  • I can’t hear my feet hitting the ground. Good job, you are running lightly.
  • Man I am breathing hard, is it the weather? Am I running too fast? Am I going to have an asthma attack? (Look at watch.) Oh, that’s my pace, no wonder I’m breathing hard.
  • I wonder if the girls turned at this corner. This is where we usually turn, but I don’t see them.
  • My leg is hurting, should I stop or push through. Push through.
  • This town really needs some running paths. And lights. Definitely more streetlights. I could help the city plan that out. (And proceed to make a plan in my mind.)
  • I wonder how many miles I have run in these shoes. I will have to remember to check that later. (Again, I promptly forget to do that.)
  • Almost there, just _______ to go. Why don’t you push it a little for this last _______.
  • Yay! I did it! I finished the run!. Wow, that felt good (or terrible). So glad that is done and I can say I got my run in today.

See what I mean? And that’s just a smattering of the types of things I am thinking on my runs. Sometimes my thoughts are productive – I problem-solve, plan, pray – and sometimes they are completely random and pointless.

But I guess the important thing is that I am running. And I’ll take that, even if my thoughts cover more ground than my run does.

Does your mind work like this or is it just me?

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  1. lartdejournalier’s avatar

    This is SOOOOO me. I have a million thoughts buzzing when I run to and I plan out the best conversations that will never be had. I love that SQUIRREL has entered the common lexicon of our generation for normal thought hopping: I don’t think I know anyone with children that doesn’t use it regularly. 🙂 And UP was a wonderful show.

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    1. clennen’s avatar

      So glad it’s not just me! 🙂

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