Friday 1 March 2024

Things I think about while I'm running

When I set out for a run, my first thought is usually how cold it is, and how long it will take me to warm up. Sometimes I'm a bit self-conscious, and I'm testing whether my shoes are comfortable. But it doesn't take long to get into my stride, and then my mind can start to wander. 

All sorts of things go through my head while I'm out for a run, and these are just some of them!

* Rehearsing conversations and text messages. Here's something that I read recently in the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott:

"Left to its own devices, my mind spends much of its time having conversations with people who aren't there. I walk along defending myself to people, or exchanging repartee with them, or rationalizing my behavior, or seducing them with gossip, or pretending I'm on their TV talk show or whatever."

This is exactly me, and I suspect a lot of other people too! I explain things to an invisible audience, I share anecdotes, I discuss my experiences. (Then very occasionally some of this turns into a journal entry or a blog post!)

* I think about the book that I'm reading or the television show that I'm currently watching. I ponder what has happened and the impression it has made on me. Often I have an internal conversation with someone about it. 

* I decide what I will do first once I get home and am showered. Sometimes it's an urgent task that is bothering me, otherwise which routine job to tackle first.

* I feel virtuous about the fact that I'm doing exercise when it would be really easy not to be. I never compare myself to the other people that I see out running, but I do feel solidarity with them! I wonder how far other runners have run, and whether they run regularly.

* I wonder what people are listening to on their headphones.

* I hope that the many dogs I pass won't jump up at me or run under my feet.

* I plan whether I should just run up behind the person walking ahead of me, give a loud cough or try for an 'excuse me' before I squeeze past.

* I think about how easy I'm finding the run, whether I should consider doing an extra loop or if it's time to head home.

* I run over any particular problem that is going round my mind, usually something to do with one of the children, although I try not to ruminate too much.

A woman's feet running along the beach
Photo credit Dulcey Lima via Unsplash

I find that running is a really good way to clear my mind. Even if I've been thinking about something that makes me anxious, I find that going over it often helps me to come at it with a new perspective. And when I get back from a run I always feel better both physically and mentally.

1 comment:

  1. This was really interesting. It is funny what crosses our mind when we are doing something like this. x


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