Monday, August 09, 2004

What do you think about?

During my run today, I was thinking about, what I normally think about when I'm running on my own--and this is the list I came up with.

1. If I'm listening to music, I think about the song or the artist, and occasionally sing along in my head.

2. Some times I think about nothing (especially during speed work outs on the track). It's strange how some times I can go for a 20 min. run and come back and have no idea what I was thinking about.

3. I think about the future, which may be as simple as what I'm going to wear the next day or what I'm going to cook for dinner that night. ~ When I'm a student, I spend a lot of time thinking about assignments that are do, papers I need to write and books I need to read. And of course, there are times that I think about the distant future, like kind of house I want to live in, and how I want to be involved the community and will I allow my children read "Harry Potter" or not.

4. Some times when I'm running, I pray and not just, "God, please get me though this run". (although I have prayed that many times), but I try pray for my friends and family and thank God for the amazing ways He has blessed my life.

5. I try to think about my running as much as possible. I think about my pace and form, specifically....are my arms helping or hindering the run. How is my posture? How is my speed? Are my strides to long or short? etc...

So, I'm curious...when you are out for a long run or even a short one, what do you normally think about?

Weather - sunny, 75 degrees
Time - 39.43
Miles - ? (the same route as yesterday, I'm hoping it was at least four)
Results - Overall, I was pleased with the run, but I was 5 seconds slower than yesterday. I know 5 seconds is really not a big deal--but psychologically it stinks when your time increases.


Susan said...

Funny you should write about this--I started thinking (and wrote about) the same thing after reading an article yesterday! I tend to try to solve work or personal problems when I run, focusing on my breathing every few minutes. But other times, I let the music flow and just tune out.

ncmunchkin said...

It really just depends with me. If I have music I'm usually singing along in my head. A lot of times I just think about what's been going on and try and figure out what should come next. Then sometimes I just have to think about what an amazing world it is that was created...and I get to enjoy things like running around lakes that are just so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

On a long run, I try not to consciously 'think' about running until at least halfway through, trying to psyche myself out I guess, into thinking my run is only half as long, lol. For the first 1-2 miles, I always notice the scenery and the air and the weather (in a good way, trying to make the best of it). After that, anything's fair game. I think about ideas for short stories or poems. Or frustrating relationships. Or school, and how nervous I might be about parts of it. I allow myself to think about negative things because the running always seems to cancel them out, and I can think about them in a more neutral light. Sometimes, though, I'll get a song stuck in my head and run to it the entire time. I once had Paul Simon's 'The Obvious Child' stuck in my head for 10 miles!

KK said...

Wow April you have been doing an awesome job. You are like the energizer bunny. I love reading your blogs. It is so fun, though i was a little worried about the Harry Potter coment. hehe. Hoping to play tennis with you sometime. See you around. love, karin

Mark I. said...

Great question!


When I do speedwork, I think about my form and breathing and I often chant internal affirmations.

On less strenuous runs, I tend to be into the rhythmic sounds of my breath and feet hitting the ground. I also have a deep appreciation for the outdoors and often am in tune with the pure JOY I feel in being able to run.

I often access the inner child and just PLAY at running. For example, sometimes I'm the Six Million Dollar Man while others I'm Rocky! In essense, I imagine becoming my own running Superhero!

Sometimes I will work out problems I face during the day but not usually!

Jank said...

The playing thing Mark mentioned is kind of fun for me, too. It's ridiculous, I know, but even though I'm a 30-something white guy, I can't resist finding things to jump over or climb on while I'm running. My favorite is a stretch of seawall about 18" wide - it's about 8' down to the water, and about 3' down to the running trail, and I can't resist jumping up there and just concentrating on doing the balancing thing.

It's one of the things I've been missing since I switched from mountain biking to primarily road biking a couple years back, but I'm not above jumping curbs and praying I don't pinch-flat.

Anonymous said...

I try not to think at all. Running is one of the few times my mind is calm enough to try and go zen and achieve enlightenment. Failing that, I resort to thinking about what I'm going to post about on the run when I get back home, or what it will be like on marathon day. -Mike Paus

april anne said...

Thanks for all the responses. It was interesting to hear what people think about. (I was cracking up from some of them--Mark, you don't have to pretend to be a running superhero--you are one!) :)