"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.

2 Responses

  1. Long expensive course and well done. And thoughts are always during long run there!. ask for you, when is your first run game?.
    I cant find it on Your website.
    Groet Rinus.

  2. loved this post. i think i go back and forth from nothing to something and everything in between.

    i’m one of the teachers at my church, so sometimes i’m writing messages. there have actually been mornings that i’m supposed to teach and i don’t have an introduction and it comes during my run . . . an hour before i’m supposed to teach.

    i’ve written songs on the run, or worked out old ones, hoping that i’ll remember these bits of inspiration when i get back home.

    but really it’s my quiet time. i now have four kids. the house is not a refuge. i talk to GOD about my life and spend a lot of time listening.

    sometimes i can go miles without thinking anything.

    lately i’ve been thinking up really cheesy motivational statements and laughing about them later with friends. my latest offering:
    it is not my speed that makes me great, for there are people who are faster. it is not my distance that makes me great, for there are people who run longer. rather it is my greatness that pushes me ever faster, ever farther, until i have become that person who is always in front of me.

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