I am often asked what I think about when I run long distances. “Don’t you get bored?”, some people ask. “Never!”, is usually my answer. With three kids at my side most of the time, I rarely get the opportunity to finish a sentence or an entire thought even. I definitely don’t get the chance to “space out.” So, I look forward to having all that running time to think about whatever I want without being interrupted with someone asking for ANOTHER snack. You’d think during these long runs I’d be super focused on my running or that I’d be plotting how I’m going to take over the world. The reality is that the thoughts that run through this goofy little head of mine during a long run are pretty random and not at all cohesive or productive. Here’s a look inside my head during yesterday’s eight mile run. See if you have some of the same stream of consciousness and then comment below with what you think about when you run (or exercise).
MY RANDOM LONG RUN THOUGHTS
Here I go! I’m going to kill this!
Why am I breathing so heavily? Ok, slow down.
That was only half a mile?
Was I going to do 8 miles or 7? 7 I think. No 8. No 7. No 8!
My legs feel tight.
Hi other runner! Great job!
Mile 1. Eight minutes. Good pace.
I can’t feel my toes.
My fingers are throbbing.
Move over a-hole driver!
Not sure about these compression socks.
I’m hot. I should have worn fewer layers.
Thank you nice driver! (Wave!)
I should have had more to eat.
Two miles, half way until my turn around.
Don’t let the first two miles set the tone for your run.
I am awesome!
I LOVE Mumford & Sons!
Wow, look how pretty the snow looks. Sparkly. Glittery. I love snow.
Don’t forget to drink. Mmm, Nooma might be my new drink.
The SUN!! Yes!
I hear you God. I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to.
Take off your gloves.
Ooh, look at the river! It’s all frozen. Frozen! “Let it Go! Let it Go!”
“Let your path be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry ooooon. Carry on, carry on.”
Which way should I go?
Ok, gel time. Mmmmm, Orange Dream!
My feet hurt, damn you bunions!
Shit, the wind!
Why do I feel so slow?
I don’t know if I can do a whole marathon.
Six miles. I got this!
What should I wear to the party tonight?
Ooh, a blue bird! My favorite! Oh another one and another one!
When I’m up to 13 miles this little 8 miles will seem easy.
Seven miles. I feel good. Should I go for 9?
One electric pole. Two electric poles. Three electric poles.
There’s my driveway!
I could run forever!
Home! Boo ya!
“You can be the greatest, you can be the best…You can move a mountain, you can break rocks.”
Ha ha! Kind of funny isn’t it? I want to know what you think about when you run. Comment below and tell us.
But first, here’s a quick recap of my run:
Distance 8 Miles
Total Time: 1:09:50
Clearly I slowed down the second half. I need to work on starting out my longer runs slower. I felt pretty good during this run although I was pretty sluggish and my legs felt tight, likely a result of the challenging leg workout and circuit training I had done earlier in the week. I had a cold and cough all week and I still had a bit of congestion in my chest during this run. This combined with the cold air affected my breathing. I think my overall lack of energy was due to the lingering effects of being sick this week and perhaps from not eating enough pre-run.
I tried out compression socks for the first time (over my tights), mostly because I thought it would keep me warmer in the 28 degree temps. I’m not sure yet how I feel about them. I didn’t notice any benefits, although the fact that I wore them over my tights might have affected the way they are supposed to work. I didn’t like the way they felt tight at the top of my calf, near my knee. I found it distracting. I will keep trying them to see if I get used to them.
– Don’t make too many changes to your wardrobe or gear for one run. For example, during this run I tried out compression socks, plus new tights and I tried Nooma, a new hydration drink, and a new flavor of gel. You don’t want to mess with your routine too much all at once. It might throw you off and keep you from having a good run. Try to only introduce one different thing for each run so that you can focus on the effects of that one change to see if you want to stick with it or not.
– Give yourself enough time to recover from being sick before you head out for a long run. You don’t want to make it half way and discover you are too congested to breathe well. Rest is an important part of meeting your goals. It is difficult to remember when you are trying to stick to a training schedule. If you are off a day or two it’s no big deal. If you go back out there too soon, it may set you back even more.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU RUN?
DO YOU LIKE COMPRESSION SOCKS?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HYDRATION DRINK?