Inner Confessions of a Long Distance Runner

One thing that people commonly ask me is "What do you think about when you're running for that long?" I've always thought that that was a silly question, because it's the same thing as asking someone, "What do you think about when you're driving? Cooking? Cleaning? TV watching?" In those times, our minds are always wandering to some unseen place in our brain and thinking senseless random thoughts.  Do you really remember what you were thinking about? 

I've never really been aware of what I'm thinking about.  It's fairly common for me to run alone on my shorter weekday runs, but on the long runs? I'm mostly surrounded by hundreds of other Rogue Running runners and shoulder-to-shoulder with my good training partners. We talk about anything and everything. Sometimes, we run out of things to say. 

Yesterday, however, was the first time in a long time that I had 20 SOLO miles on the schedule. It also had 10 miles of "work" included in it, so I was determined to be ready and focused.  Because of that, I was keenly aware of what I was thinking about.  So, without further ado, a detailed look into the mind of what a long distance runner thinks about while training on those long runs (you may or may not find it incredibly disappointing) :

You've been warned - it gets a little loopy.

You've been warned - it gets a little loopy.

Miles 1 & 2

La da da, just a little out and back to Rogue.  Just starting off nice and easy on this run.  Better not go too fast.  Am I the only one going 20 today? Hmm. Looks like it rained a lot last night. It's hot. Why is it hot? Is it going to be hot this whole time? Ugh, I'm hot already. 

Mile 3

Woo. At least I have someone to run with.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to just run here the whole time. Do I have to start running fast? 

Miles 4-9

Ok. Focus. Run your pace. Nice and easy. You had a plan - stick to the plan.  Yeah, plan. Plan good. At least this route is flat. This seems fine. Okay, good. Couple miles in. Nice and steady. Why are we running fast again? Oh, no, that's a hill. Ugh. Hill.  Don't let the hill ruin your pace. I don't want to run fast anymore. Okay, think we're good.  Back to steady. Oh look!  A water stop. HOORAY GATORADE. Chug, chug. Okay, that was too much. Anddd now my stomach hurts.  

Time to go, couple more miles and you get to run easy. Weeeee downhill on 35th.  And stop at the light on Shoal Creek. Oh, right, this part sucks. Upppppppp the hill.  Ugh. Huff, huff, huff.  To the top. Eyes up, arms pumping, knees driving. Good form. C'mon onnnn...the ... right there. Annnddd there we go.  Recover, recover, recover.

Shoal Creek is soooo long.  Why is this road so long? Left foot, right foot, left. Yup, still going up. Are we going to go up forever? 

MIle 10 


Mile 11

Okay, one more mile out. Then, you get to go back down. And then back up. But mostly back down. HANG IN THERE.  Last bit of fast pacework. You've already done so much. Why are we running fast?  Don't fuck it up now. Relax. Put your arms down, dumbass. Relax.  Left, right, left. Oooh, Kendrick Lamar song on the iPod.  Find the groove. 

Hmm. Why are there no Porta-a-Pottys around here? Do I need one? Maybe. I'm not sure. But, seriously, why do they disappear when you need one? 

Mile 12


Mile 13-15

Last bit of the workout.  You're going downhill. (No Port-a-Pottys.) This is awesome.  Downhill is great. I love downhill. I love running. (No Port-a-Pottys.) Let's go!  Workout good.  You did it. You finished.  You're awesome. Solid work. Anddddd slow down. (Still no Port-a-Pottys.)

Mile 16

Easy miles back. Done. You just have to get back.  You know, it looks like rain.  That doesn't look so good.  Probably should keep going.  Screw looking for a Port-a-Potty. 

Oh look! Houses for sale. I wonder what this house costs.  ($775,000 for those following along. Too poor to step on the grass to look at the 'Take Me') Weeee. Back down Shoal Creek. Shoal Creek is still the longest road in the entire world. Why is it so long again? At least I can't get lost. Oh, and this hill is much nicer going down. Wee. 

Mile 17

GATORADE! Chug, chug, chug. Seriously. Why do you do that? My legs are getting tired.  Are we done yet? 

Mile 18

That is DEFINITELY rain. And lightning. Oh damn. Time to go. Let's go.

Mohle. That's a funny street name. Mohle. Moooohhhh-leeee. Mole. Mole. Mole. 

Mile 19

No. Stoplight. No. Gotta go. Get out of the way. THAT IS RAIN. I'm not getting wet today. C'mon. Walk signal. Walk signal. Walk signal. GO!

Mile 20

GOOOOOOOO.  Storm. Storm. Storm. Ackkkk.  No lightning. No lightning. No whammies. 19.7. Come on. So close. Almost done. 19.8. Why is this taking so long?  Almost there. 19.88 Arghhhhh.  19.92. Ok. So close. Couple more steps. 19.98. GO FASTER GARMIN. Ahhh. 


AhHHHH. Done. Immediate stop. Check watch. 

And fin.

And fin.