Runners get a lot of weird questions from the non-runners in their life. But there’s one that I’ve always found especially strange (not to mention a little creepy and intrusive).
“But what do you think about?”
What on earth are you expecting me to say here? Surely not the TRUTH.
I mean, ok. Fine. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours. You go first. What do you think about right before you’re about to fall asleep (aside from every embarrassing thing you’ve done since the day you were born)? Or in the shower? Or in the car? Or any spare moment when your brain isn’t occupied by TV/Podcasts/YouTube/Donald Trump’s Twitter account?
DO YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE YET?
Well discomfort aside, I’m going to give you creeps a tiny glimpse into my mind (whether you want it or not!) We’re close enough now, right? I’ll even be mostly honest. You’ll be able to tell, because some of this is actually quite embarrassing.
My upcoming race:
I know. This is so unbelievably dull it seems fake. But it’s true. It’s the thing I think about the most while I’m out on the road alone. I visualize myself running in the race I’ve been training for (and doing exceptionally well, I might add). It’s usually the moment before I cross the finish line, where I hear ALL my loved ones yelling and I see the clock. Right now it’s always reading 3:17, because my farfetched 2017 marathon goal is 3:15 and even in my daydreams I miss it. But not by THAT much. Daydream Annie is still very happy with her time. Sometimes she even cries tears of joy and disbelief into her post-race burrito.
This is where I start getting a little creepier (just wait, it gets worse). During my tempo runs or times when I’m really struggling, I imagine I’m running with my speedier friends. Hi! YOU PROBABLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE. DOES THIS MAKE YOU FEEL WEIRD?
And maybe, sometimes, when I’m really grasping for inspiration, I imagine I’m running alongside professional runners I’ve never even met. Obviously, I can always keep up with them because in my daydream I have unbelievable talent that has yet to be discovered.
Unsurprisingly I’ve also had some imaginary runs against my rivals (only I know we’re rivals), but they tend to dampen the mood and make me grumpy/psychotically competitive.
Now this is where I’m literally, actually, seriously blushing RIGHT THIS MOMENT, because this is a very awkward thing to admit. But, SOMETIMES, when I’m on the treadmill and a certain song comes on (anything by Pitbull, really) I’ll imagine I’m dancing. Usually at a wedding—because I’m a 29 year old woman who dances like she’s 82 and that’s the only place where I’m found busting a move these days.
Now, hear me out, because I actually think this is a really helpful distraction. See, when you’re on the dance floor (and extremely invested in the song), you don’t care how badly your legs hurt, if your heart is about to burst through your chest, or how much you’re sweating. You KEEP DANCING/KEEP RUNNING.
These thoughts usually leak in on the days when I run in the afternoon or evening. That way I have a whole slew of happenings and things to overanalyze and obsess over. These thoughts include, but are not limited to: I wonder if my coworkers like me? S better empty the dishwasher by the time I get home. Is it acceptable to eat peanut butter toast for dinner again? No, I need to eat vegetables. But…No. Vegetables. What do I want to DO with my life? What are my SKILLS? Surely I have a “purpose…” If I go this way instead will I still hit six miles? Seriously, that dishwasher better be empty by the time I get back. Oh my God he’s not going to empty the dishwasher. Should I turn back now to be super passive aggressive and just do it?
So that’s me. Hopefully I haven’t scared you off just yet, I was saving that for my 100th blog post. Til next time, friends.