Part of the enjoyment of running, for me at least, is the time to think. Sometimes I ponder big things, sometimes really wacky ideas. When I first started running, I thought about how much I was going to die if I took one more step running instead of walking…I don’t think that’s abnormal. But at some point, when you’re running a few times a week, you start to think about things other than the burning sensation of your lungs, the pain in your legs, or when your next walk interval will be (I started running using a Couch to 5k program).
For a while, I pondered whether, if EVERYONE running on an indoor or outdoor track ran the opposite direction for a day, would the Earth’s rotation shift. That one I thought about for months. Then I uttered it out loud to other runners, and they looked at me like I was nuts, so I no longer told people my running thoughts. But, what do you think, can we shift the rotation of the Earth?
I typically take time to pray while I’m running, so this fall and winter, I prayed a lot for the victims of senseless violence. I prayed for Bonnie Kate, a victim of the movie theater shooting, specifically for many days. I also prayed for everyone else involved in that random act. When Sandy Hook Elementary was attacked, I prayed for those families for days. On one long run day, I dedicated each lap I ran around the school track to a victim, and prayed my heart out.
I often ponder family issues while running. My oldest son, 10, was recently bullied by some school friends. This has been going on for 5 years, but it came to a head, and so I talked myself through what I thought we should do. Sometimes my thoughts are more general about family concerns, you know, what’s on our calendar for the day, and will I have enough energy after waking up to run at 4:45 am. But, I often work through at least some of our concerns as I run.
Recently, I have been running with audio books. When I started running, I asked my mom for an iPod nano because it had a fitness app installed on it already, and she asked me what I run to. My sister, who has run a lot longer and further than me, runs listening to audio books. I primarily listened to the cues on the C25K program for when to walk and when to run back then, then I moved to music, and now to books. So far, I’ve “read” two that way, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (which I’ve read several times), and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson (which I attempted to actually read at one point and just couldn’t, it’s much better on audio book). I still do interval running (or I should say, I went back to interval running), but I have a Garmin which I set to beep for my intervals, so I’m free to listen to whatever I choose.
I enjoy listening to books. They get my mind off my burning legs, lungs, the sweat dripping down my body, the achiness of my feet, and how I breathe. But, I have found that when my mind wanders to things like how to deal with my son’s bullies, or the Earth’s rotation, I lose my place. I have to be present in the book. Of course, that’s good and bad. I can always pause my iPod when I really need to think, or just listen to music, but I’m finding the ease of it to be, well, easy.
To read about other inane thoughts of runners, visit Running While Mommy. Oddly enough, her post today was exactly that, and yes, I did decide my topic long before I read hers. Hers is better, and funnier…but mine is…well, me.