Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things I Think About While Running

Well...




See all of those blank lines above? That’s basically what I think about. Nothing. Nothing much, anyways.

I see these blog posts about all of the wonderful, inspirational, touching, deep, introspective or just plain funny thoughts folks have while running and, I got to tell you, it doesn’t happen for me. I’m like the guy who can’t ever decipher the hidden picture in one of those 3D stereograms no matter how relaxed and “unfocused” I get. Everyone else is laughing or remarking about ‘how neat’ it is but I stand there with a confused, wrinkled brow staring at the jumble of geometric patterns like a unicorn is giving birth to a midget. The next time I see the hidden image in one of those photos (like the one shown below) will be the first time.




I’d really like to get some serious thinking done as I while away the miles and minutes (and sometimes hours) but, instead, my brain is too connected to the here and now. I’m running. What am I thinking about when I’m running? Well, I’m thinking about how I’m running…how many miles have passed….how is my pace…why am I so tired…why aren’t I tired I feel great…I shouldn’t have worn that extra layer…if I can go x amount of minutes next mile I can average x amount of time…after this, my next run is only X miles…etc.

Okay, occasionally when I run past my filly’s school, I might think I wonder how she did on that math test and is she eating tater tots right now? I hope she hasn’t told a teacher off today (always a threat). Fleeting thoughts…gone with the next chirp from Garmin. These simple distractions float in and out constantly. Hey, there’s a car…it needs a new paint job. Or, I wonder if they’ll pave this road next summer and I’ll have to reroute. Or, commonly, SQUIRREL!

There are things I’d like to think about. Family finances are a constant source of thought when I’m not running. Books, I like those. I’ve read some good, thought-provoking ones too. Work? I’ve tried. Maybe I can solve an issue with one of my work projects by thinking it through while I run. Yes, maybe, until beep! there goes Garmin and I’m off thinking about my pace, my race goals, my running form, etc. I’ve tried so hard to force myself to think about something – anything -other than actual running that my inner voice has scolded my concentration when my mind inevitably wanders. Ever yell at yourself from the inside? It’s weird. You look around and wonder if anyone else heard.

I guess I can’t multi-task. Coincidentally, this regularly appears on my performance evaluations as well so it should be no surprise. (Nor do I “get along with others” but that’s not what this post is about.)

Nope. It doesn’t happen for me. I’m glad it happens for you, if it does, as it seems like a nice way to pass the time during a run. I’m a one trick pony. I can’t see the hidden picture within a picture. I’m not going to analyze all of the symbolism in Ellison’s Invisible Man. Work problems will have to remain problems until I get back.

What do I think about while running?

Well, running. And maybe that squirrel over there. It sure is a little cold out here. I wonder if we’ll get a mild winter. Only four more miles to go.

Beep!

What’s my pace? Can I go faster next mile?

Happy trails.
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Here’s a poll that you can answer anonymously. Are you a non-thinker like me? Let’s stand together. Be strong. Don’t be afraid….



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Yesterday, five miles beating the storm! About two inches had fallen. I managed 2 x 800 around the covered track and with a nasty headwind for part. Both 800's in the 2:55 range which will be unacceptable in a month or so but, with this weather, I'll work with it. 5 miles @ 7:07 pace.

22 comments:

Jamoosh said...

I haven't had a real thought since 1978.

Razz said...

nice post on metacognition (+20 pts.)

Vava said...

I usually have some crappy song stuck in my head, and every time it starts to play I shout at myself internally for the damned thing to SHUT UP ALREADY!!! The other recurring thought is "Get your damned dog out of the way!!!", and that one sometimes makes it out of my head and into the atmosphere, but only when the owner has no control over their pooch and I am more angry at the human than the dog. Dumbass humans...

Xenia said...

I've only ever been able to see the image in a stereogram once. Now I'll be staring at this one for the rest of the day getting progressively more irate as the minutes tick by.

Thanks a lot.

The Sean said...

Let that beepin' Garmin stay at home on your next run...

Morgan said...

I have A.D.D. and my whole run is a series of random thoughts that have absolutely NOTHING to do with anything...

Viper said...

I start of being thoughtful, but after the first mile or so it's all about the run.

EZEthan said...

Honestly, one of the reasons I enjoy running is so I can stop thinking... it's kind of like watching TV but with cardio benefits.

Otherwise, I'm pretty much like you. Totally checking my Garmin every 15 seconds to see what my pace is while internally calculating what I need to do to meet a constantly shifting goal pace. Also, lots of thoughts about footstike, form, and pain which is why I wear an Ipod (seems to distract me at least temporarily until I get really tired at which point it starts to annoy me).

Same thing goes with racing. There's so many posts about running marathons to "see a city"... the only thing I remember noticing from my marathon experience is pace, pain, and the person in front of me.

vereige

B.o.B. said...

I'm boderline schizo during my run. If it weren't for running partners I probably could have solved world hunger, found Jimmy Hoffa's body through sheer hypothesizing, AND SQUIRREL!

X-Country2 said...

You're such a single minded boy. Us women can multi-task like you wouldn't believe.

TCHusker - Nate said...

I fluctuate between 'is my marathon goal reasonable given that this workout is hard/easy?' and some random song stuck in my head.

aron said...

my best runs i have no idea what i thought about - but i usually do a lot of thinking out there :)

Roisin said...

I like to conjugate French verbs, but usually I end up getting distracted by the squirrels again.

Sun Runner said...

I think about sex. Be honest, aren't we all most of the time?

And oh yeah, I posted about this like two and a half years ago. Get with the program, man.

Keep rocking the winter training! It's seriously starting to wear me down...

gene said...

nice UP! reference. my 3 year old tosses out "squirrel~!" all the time, especially when i am scolding him for one thing or another. how can i not laugh?
anyway, i try not to think when i run, too, but it always seems to creep in. all i know is that my post-run thoughts are BETTER than my pre-run thoughts.

NY Wolve said...

I think about lots of things, but I can't remember any of the when I get home!

Jill said...

I don't do much thinking but I can solve any world crisis.

BrianFlash said...

Good for you on your focus.

Multi-tasking is totally overrated. It really is just a term invented for people who can't focus on any one task and do it well. So they have to half ass many tasks at once ;)

Julie said...

My entire run is just a ton of random thoughts, many of them that make absolutely no sense!! Ha ha, I just read a few comments that were left for you....Sun Runner and his sex thoughts! Do you guys really think about sex that much?? Hey have a great day:)

Christina said...

love this post.
my thinking is all over the place but if I listen to music, the thoughts do calm... some.

prashant said...

I start of being thoughtful, but after the first mile or so it's all about the run.

Work From Home

sRod said...

Ever thought of just turning off the beep from the Garmin?