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Thoughts on the Run

I had several thoughts cross my mind when I was running today.

1. The first two minutes of my home run route are brutal. I turn off my street and head straight up a short, steep hill. I always ask myself why I like to run so much when I can feel so winded in the first 2 minutes of a run. It usually takes me a good 5-10 minutes to feel warmed up and comfortable in general.

2. Sullie tagged along on my run. It was 70 degrees and sunny today so tons of people were out running and walking with their pets. I find it incredibly endearing that after 6 years of running with me that Sullie still has hope that there is a chance that I’m going to stop running and let her go play with the dogs we pass. Lots of leash tightening and “leave its” happened today. (Side note, check out those grinch feet! Someone needs a little trim.

3. I can definitely tell that I’ve been lifting and CrossFitting more and yogaing less because my legs were all kinds of tight on my run. Literally burning all the way from the bottom of my calf up my quads and hamstrings and into my hips. I made sure to do some extra stretching and mobility work tonight.

4. Running still isn’t feeling great in general but I managed to get three miles in today but not without walk breaks. It is what it is although  as I was huffing and puffing up a hill I did wonder how in the world I ever ran 26.2 miles. Just the other day I couldn’t even recall the last time I ran over 10 miles. Those were different times, that’s for sure!

5. Running without music is much easier on a beautiful day when you can really soak in spring happening all around you.

What do you think about when you’re running? 

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More April 1, 2013, 9:44 pm

    I try not to think of anything while I’m running. I like to just look around and enjoy my surroundings.

    Unless it’s a hard run, then I try to do a process in my head. Such as doing something step by step in my head, going over all the details one by one. It really helps me to take my mind off of the run.

  • 2
    jennyv April 1, 2013, 9:44 pm

    I usually listen to podcasts when I run — actually it’s been church sermons lately on long runs for part of the time, and then a little Pandora. I always get thinking about the person I am, and who I want to be. Deep thoughts, right?? On speed days I just think about not dying and kicking butt instead!

    It is funny how our dogs think that maybe, just maybe, we’ll let them go play 😉 Dogs – eternal optimists!

    Do you ever miss long distance running? I ask as I did my first and only marathon in the fall of 2011 — and then quit running for quite some time. I just got up to 10 miles 3 weeks ago but think that my body is freaking out as I’ve started gaining a lot of body fat with this type of training.

  • 3
    Christie April 1, 2013, 9:53 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the first part of your run. I also have mini hills to get thru in my neighborhood so for the first 5-10 minutes I always wonder why I am doing this. Once my legs get warm I feel much better and seriously enjoy soaking up the fresh air.

    Are you planning on running any longer races this year?

    Happy Monday Runday 🙂

  • 4
    Addy @ Six-Kick Switch April 1, 2013, 10:18 pm

    Love it! I’m the same way with warming up – it bugs me to have a bad pace starting out, but I just have to take the time to get into my groove! Your post reminds me that I need to focus on more yoga…

  • 5
    Caity April 2, 2013, 12:34 am

    I love listening to audiobooks when I’m just running for fun (not for training runs, though). They’re entertaining and they really clear my head and allow me to focus my attention rather than letting my mind wander to the stresses of my day.

  • 6
    Holly April 2, 2013, 7:43 am

    That’s fun to read about how it is to run with Sullie. We took Lulu to training and her #1 issue still is other dogs. So any walk/run I’m saying “leave it” over and over too! I am hoping someday it will not be a big deal and she will just understand she can’t lunge at another dog (even if she does want to play). Frustrating indeed! Our trainer said it was really important the dog understand that the walk is for exercise and the dog’s job is to exercise and not let them do whatever they want. So that’s what we try to do!

  • 7
    David April 2, 2013, 8:27 am

    I usually leave big picture thinking stuff until my run – I am juggling so many things that it’s my time to think about personal direction, happiness and relationships.

    It’s actually been a beneficial trick, as I’ve occasionally extended my run by a couple of miles solely because I wasn’t ready to go back to the regular grind – I wanted to think more about the big picture.

  • 8
    Erica April 2, 2013, 9:27 am

    so funny – I posted this: http://runfastnyc.com/2013/03/26/happy-passover/ a few days ago about what I think about while running. Honestly, I don’t think about much, but if I do, it’s usually about things I need to get done around the apartment or work things 🙁

  • 9
    Blaire @ Just Been Running April 2, 2013, 10:45 am

    I saw you on your run yesterday! Haha, sorry not to be creepy but you were running on my street (Wedgewood) and I passed you in my car! I actually had just ran 3 miles as well and I 100% understand what you are saying about the Madison Park route! I turn off my street and go all the way up Seneca to South and then turn around and come back down, but there are just so many hills! I actually didn’t have a great run yesterday either, my calves were really tight as well, but I had a long run last Friday so maybe I wasn’t completely recovered from it by yesterday!

    The first few minutes of my run are always tough too and it doesn’t help that our neighborhood is so hilly! Just remember, some runs are great and some are tougher, but at least you get to be out there doing it 🙂

  • 10
    Brooke @ sweats & sweets April 2, 2013, 11:20 am

    I’m the same way about my runs, I start up the long-semi steep hill that turns into a sharp downhill but after that I just breeze through until its time to turn around. The day I conquer going back up without stopping I will be yelling at the top of my lungs with joy.

  • 11
    Karla @ myhighonlife April 2, 2013, 11:26 am

    I usually find myself thinking about how much easier running used to be and why I don’t love it like I used to.
    I can’t wait to actually do CrossFit at a BOX this summer. It’s going to be so nice. I’m afraid to ‘drink the juice’ though because the boxes where I live are between $150-200 a month =/

  • 12
    She Rocks Fitness April 2, 2013, 11:42 am

    Sullie’s feathers are perfect…don’t trim them! HA! 😉 My mind runs wild on my runs. It is my creative time. My favorite though is when I think about NOTHING and it is usually my best run. It is kind of the same in yoga. When you shut off all the clutter you really are able to embrace the moment. Jealous of your 70 degrees…

  • 13
    Morgan April 2, 2013, 12:34 pm

    SAME HERE!!! I have noticed that the more I dive into lifting and CrossFit style WOD’s the harder it has been for me to motivate myself (and also just do it) RUN!!! I used to be a HUGE RUNNER!!! Upwards of 30-45 miles a week. Treadmill, outside, you name it I ran! And now recovering from an eating disorder I found lifting! Running just is not the same and I can barely run 3 miles without feeling uber winded!!! Love reading your blog (plus you’re a North Carolinian so it is fun to hear how my home state is doing compared to out here in the Midwest)

  • 14
    Stephanie April 2, 2013, 2:45 pm

    I am always thinking about my next big race. It helps me stay motivated when I am tired and push hard on my speed work or hill work outs.

  • 15
    Laura April 2, 2013, 3:16 pm

    I usually think about my life, reflect and listen to music. I try and appriciate my surroundings and when the runs get hard I just think about how there are so many people who wish they could run so I should take advantage of my ability!

  • 16
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad April 2, 2013, 3:21 pm

    i try to keep my mind empty – if that makes sense. i feel like all day long my mind is racing, thinking, and going. when i run it just stops. it’s amazing. that’s probably why i run so much…i’m chasing after peace and quiet 🙂

  • 17
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate April 3, 2013, 3:00 am

    I love running without music or anything every so often because it gives me some much needed quiet time. I usually find myself thinking about all the things I have to do that week though, so I am working on de-stressing during runs instead.

  • 18
    meredith April 3, 2013, 7:03 am

    I try not to think or focus on anything while I am running and let my mind wander where it wants. Which works out great except for the runs where (like yours) my legs bother me, my shoes bother me, I am not comfortable or I am feeling unusually winded. Then all I think about is getting done. Which is not a fun run!

  • 19
    Erin April 3, 2013, 8:45 am

    I listen to a radio station. If i have a playlist of known songs, I have a habit of thinking “ok, this song is 4 minutes long… that means this many minutes until my next walk interval”. I also like listening to audiobooks.

    As for thinking… I’m usually counting kms. I’m working toward my first 10k (in about 2 weeks), so I’m super focused on how far I’m going… and also telling myself to keep going!

  • 20
    Josefine April 3, 2013, 11:05 am

    I had a period when I was training for my first marathon and had to run several long runs on the treadmill ( as the temperature was constantly -30 degrees Celsius or even colder) and then I used to listen on podcasts about the Roman Empire (I’m a total nerd). Apart from that time I listen t a lot of music when I run – new bands I want to check out, old favourites, different playlists for different sessions…. In general I think a lot when I run longer sessions, but I can never remeber what I’ve thought about when I get back in. When I run interval sessions I’m too busy to concentrate on the intervals to think!

    And I totally hear you on being tired in the beginning of the run – I was out running with my sister the other day and we agreed that we feel tired for the first 2 miles, then it feels like we could go on forever! That must be the reason to us running marathons and ultramarathons, we’re no natural sprinters haha

  • 21
    tara April 3, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Ur post both inspires and makes me sad. i’m happy to know someone as fit as you who was a serious runner is having difficulties sometimes and gets winded the first 2 mins. it makes me feel not alone cuz it happens to me. i’m by no means a “good” runner but have been running now for 2+ years and was mad last night when on the treadmill i had to take multiple breaks during my 3.5 mi run. sometimes you gotta cut yourself some slack. i keep hoping it will get better but maybe it won’t !

    i think of all kinds of crazy things when i run. my fave is to run w someone and chat but also every once in a while i like ot run alone and zone out. there is no better feeling than thinking you’ve only run say 1 mile and looking down and you are at 3 !!!

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