Saturday, March 29, 2008

As I prepare for an easy 16 mile jog this morning, I find myself contemplating the question I am often asked--why do I enjoy running long distances? I've never really had an answer; at least, not a complete one. I'd mumble something or other about running's meditative effect or the way I feel after a run. True, but those responses don't fully explain it. Maybe it's this morning's coffee or last night's deep, dreamless sleep, but the light bulb finally went off.

Rarely do I--we--actually live in the moment. Think about it. You wake up in the morning and you're thinking about what's going to happen when you get to work. At work, you're thinking about what's going to happen at your lunch meeting. During your lunch meeting, you're thinking about what you have to do when you get back to the office. After lunch, you're thinking about what time you'll be heading home and what you need to pick up for dinner. After dinner, you're thinking about what you need to do before getting into bed. Getting into bed, you're thinking about the next morning. Everything is about the next thing.

When I'm running longer distances, whether it's 15 miles, 26.2 miles, or 50 miles, my mind wanders, but there is no planning, no thoughts of what else has to be done. I am running. For that period of time, running is my sole focus. Everything is sharpened to a single goal. Run. Just run. It is one of those rare occasions when I am truly in the moment.

9 comments:

Frandog said...

I often wonder if I'm going to make it to the next mile. And then the next.

Kevin said...

I ran 8 miles today and kept wondering, "this is a little harder than I thought it'd be)" But your post gave me an idea for my next post. By the way, I hope you dont mind that I put you in my list of blogs that I read. Cheers.

AnthonyP said...

On some days I enjoy long runs b/c it gets me out of the house and away from the wife and kids.

palouseygoosey said...

So true. Time goes so fast and we are so busy all the time. How did the run go?

Farce Withers said...

well said.

GandaMan said...

Frandog, on the really long runs, my mind eventually gets to that point. Except instead of making it to the next mile, I'll focus on making it to the next tree or intersection.

Kevin, I hope the 8 mile run went well (even if it was harder than you thought it'd be). Thanks for the link--I will do the same.

Anthony P, sometimes it's good to get away, but you always enjoy coming back. On several occasions, I've returned from a long run and immediately headed back out with Nell and Ezra for a short family jog.

Palouseygoosey (aka Emilie), the run went well. A slight mist was falling for most of it.

Farce, gracias. Next time you want to do a really daddy pushup, you let me know, amigo.

clea said...

Very true post. It is hard to "live in the moment". I am trying very hard to get better at this!!! Looks like you have another marathon coming up. good luck.

Kevin said...

I've "tagged" you. Read the second item on my April 2 post for the instructions. Neat game.

rundangerously said...

wow, another attorney-runner! and a fellow mm to boot - very small world.

would like to say i found your blog via anthony, but came via john's (runningonempty) blog.

greetings from mm 439,

frank

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