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?

  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.



    1. clennen’s avatar

      So glad it’s not just me! 🙂




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