Thoughts From the Long Run

One of the things that’s become painfully clear to me while training for the Boston Marathon® is how much of my enjoyment of running comes from the scenery – and the thoughts that stem from the scenery – as I run. Running in place, shoulder-to-shoulder with sweaty strangers, is uninspiring to say the least. It certainly doesn’t provide the same kind of mental release I’ve grown accustomed to getting from my runs.

 I’ve been logging my miles solely on a treadmill for a couple of months now, and I was starting to question what I ever liked about running in the first place. And then one day the sun came out, the air warmed up and suddenly, nature seemed alive again. I could smell dirt and hear birds in the trees.  I went for a run and had a zillion thoughts, and just like that, I remembered why running is my most essential Rx.

I manage to think through a lot of things while I’m running, and believe me, it is clear to those around me if I haven’t had enough time to run and think.  

But not ALL of my time running is spent unravelling thought knots. In fact, most of the time, I’m listening to music or a podcast and processing that, while simultaneously allowing that chatterbox in my head to just babble on in the background – this seems to be the only way she can unwind. I listened to that voice the other day. She is a little scattered and ridiculous:

mile 1: Slow down, slow-and-low-that-is-the-tempo, save your energy for the end 

mile 2: did I remember to send that immunization form to school last week? That nurse probably thinks we’re anti-vaxers. 

mile 3: Why did I choose a route that has so many uphills?

mile 4: really?? still Christmas in March?

mile 5: running through the middle of town is the best. So many people and clear sidewalks..

miles 6-10: it’s so nice to run outside again. I almost forgot what it feels like to have fresh air around me during a run. Does anyone pick up after their dogs on the winter? (Definitely not) What’s this pile of empty vodka nips and Bud Light cans? Seriously, high schoolers, clean up after your sad parties. 

miles 11-14: finally, a downhill!! Shoot – I forgot to buy cat food. 

miles 15-17: everything hurts. Just keep going. Keep going. Keep going.  

mile 18: I could stop now, it’s close enough. No, 18 doesn’t get you to the finish line on Boylston St. Keep going. If I still want to stop after 1000 more steps, then I will. 2,4,6,8,10,……..

mile 19: still going. Don’t ruin it by quitting now. 

mile 20: how long can a single mile be? Holy cow this is the longest mile of my life – am I even moving?

Done!! Chocolate milk. Shower. Sweats. Couch. 

One week closer to Boston!


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