A Distance Runner Finding Sanity in Motion

Being still makes me nervous. Being at ease makes me feel uncomfortable…it’s like it’s just too easy. Quantifiably, perfectly insane runner logic I’m sure. But it’s true both physically and mentally.
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My mind races way faster than my legs do these days. One of the reasons I love running, find comfort in it, is that for a moment (well, however long my run is, so longer than a moment) my brain IS at ease. The maniacal whirring is channelled down to a single task. Honed down to the run.

Running gives me an odd sense of time; hours could pass by in the blitz of an eye. Conversely, single minutes can feel like eternity (hello interval repeats!). But through all of it, my flipping brain gives me a break and shuts the heck up!

Silenced. Put at a COMFORTABLE ease. Left. Right. Left.

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Your brain can be your greatest asset as a runner or your greatest weakness. HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE are all posts related to the mental side of running and coming out the winner in the pain, brain drain game.
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1) Zoning out during a race or hard workout is an effective way to numb out the pain and keep pushing. What is one way you ‘zone out’?
Pick a spot on the person ahead of me and think of nothing else.

2) Easy runs are apt to leave your mind wandering and coming up with some crazy thoughts. Care to share some of the stranger thoughts you’ve had?

3) A minute has never felt longer than ————, a minute has never felt shorter than ————.
…during the second to last interval…during any kind of recovery between reps

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9 thoughts on “A Distance Runner Finding Sanity in Motion

  1. Mmmm how I have missed the long run! I got back on the treadie last week for 12km and it was fabulous. How are you?!

    I ‘zone out’ by counting to 10 over and over – or imagining some ridiculous scenario about my future life as a heel-wearing entrepreneur with a fancy car. On long runs, I occasionally wonder who would try to lift up a sweaty runner if she lay down on the path and just waited for death.

    A minute feels insanely long during intervals. Holy crap. It feels exceptionally short during the first run after a taper.

    • haha…i think if i tried to put my foot into a high heel it would eject it so fast and say, “you POSER!!” haha…maybe same if i stepped into one of those really classy/prestigious business offices. 😛

  2. I always think it’s funny how the same amount of time can feel totally different. With intervals – the recovery time goes so much quicker than the hard run time!!
    I need to work on zoning out – lately I’ve been struggling to run and I think I’m obsessing too much!

    • ya, it’s weird how obsessing is a fine line to tread…just enough to get u out, but not enough to make you really THINK about how long u’ll be running. just lace up and take it a mile at a time…u know that though. 😉

  3. I zone out by just letting my mind wander to the most random things and then before I know it I’m not thinking about anything anymore. As for those “most random things” I never can remember them, jut like my dreams.

    It amazes me how time often just stops when I’m out on a run. I may have to dash to the shower the second I get home to get dressed and be wherever I have to be… but while I’m out running all of my other obligations for the day just disappear.

    • okay, your description of zoning out is SO true. i usually have a hard time ‘describing’ to people what it is…”umm, well, really you’re just thinking nothing…i dunno, just nothing…” hehe

  4. A good run to me is when I am zoned out and forget I am even running. I absolutely run to organize my thoughts and at same time, let my mind rest. I bet this statement makes sense to you even though when I read it, it makes no sense at all lol. Lately all of my runs have allowed for me to zone out, even in the crazy heat and humidity, no other workout is as mentally satisfying.

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