"What do you think about on those long runs?"

This was a question a colleague asked me a few months ago. I’d let her know that I’d be in late because I had to run 20 miles on a weekday morning. Like most non-runners, she found this unfathomable. After asking how long it took me, she asked what no one ever has: “What do you think about on those long runs?”

She does a lot of yoga and meditation, so was curious to know if I meditated. That was a tough one to answer. I think I replied that if by meditating she meant “being in the present and clearing one’s mind” that in fact running a race was more meditative than running a training run was.

I did a 20 miler yesterday morning. As I ran along, I kept track of some of the things I thought about. Here they are, unexpurgated, unadulterated and uncensored.

(Maybe some runners out there think deep thoughts. As you can see, I’m not one of them.)

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Warmer today. I wonder if that bottle I hid up by Hartsdale station is still frozen.

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Snippet of a song by Spoon: “Finer Feelings”

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“It is to laugh.” Who said that? Shakespeare? Or Bugs Bunny? Bugs Bunny quoting Shakespeare, maybe.

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Snippet of a Marshall Crenshaw song: “The Distance Between”

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Pothole. Go left.

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Gloves. They’re in a stump up ahead. Where’s the stump? There’s the stump.

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Snippet of a song by The Beautiful Girls: “I Thought About You”

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These signs for the crosswalk lights are all screwed up. The one that says “To cross Harney Road” is pointing toward the parkway. And vice versa. I wonder how many people push the wrong button every day, and stand here for five minutes like a douchebag.

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What is that? It’s a ball. A Sesame Street ball. Is that Grover or the Cookie Monster? Cookie Monster. No, wait. Too skinny. Grover.

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I’ll stop now. Imagine this, though. For three hours.

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