Thoughts Runners Have While Running

An obsession of Many Runners

An Obsession of Many Runners

I was talking to an acquaintance recently and discovered we’d both been thinking about things runners think about while running. I was sure the National Institute of Running Sciences has studied this, so I called my friend, Taul N. Leene, who heads the Office of Running Psychology at the Institute. He said most thoughts runners have can be categorized as follows:

  • Personal issues and tasks that have to get done.
  • Evaluating running performance and workouts.
  • Self-imagery of winning races and being cheered.
  • Sliding down a mayonnaise-covered hillside into a big puddle of chocolate pudding.
  • Job issues, office politics, and work relationships.
  • Random, tangential thoughts sparked by scenes or objects while running.
  • Partying with aliens and cracking them up with R2D2 impressions.

After Taul read the last item he snorted and did a poor job of trying to stifle his giggling. I said nothing and waited. Taul’s a really nice guy, but because he’s a top-notch research scientist, he’s somewhat nerdy. When his muffled laughing went on for long enough, I finally said, “Taul, are you sure these are really things runners think about?”

“No!” Taul shouted, bursting into laughter. “Two of them are fake!” He laughed for a long time.

I thanked Taul for his time and for sharing his research. I asked him to stop fooling me because I might have used the two fake ones in my blog.

“You’re so easy to fool. You need to work on being less gullible, Jim.” Taul was still laughing when he hung up.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts Runners Have While Running

  1. Thanks, I needed that laugh! Are you really that gullible or is it that mayonnaise slides and partying with aliens are just part of your reality? Maybe I shouldn’t ask…

  2. I always think about the beer waiting for me and how great it will feel to be done with the run. Oh!, I also like partying with several hundred Aliens on Thursday evenings!!

  3. I think about problems with my GPS watch when I run. Some people say the Nike doesn’t sync well with the satellites, but I find if I just stop and rest while it connects, everything is fine. This is good for my mind too because of the boost I get when I catch up to Tony or Mark. I’m still not sure about this GPS thing though. Today my watch said I was running anywhere from a 7:06 to 7:29 pace for a mile and a half warm up before Flying Irish. It was showing around 9:45 at Christmas, and I noticed it has been changing since then, but I don’t feel any different. This suggests that a three mile run will not get me the 30 minutes that the government says I should exercise. Before I had the GPS, I was running FI in about 42 minutes, beating the government standard by 30% or more. Will they increase my health insurance costs since I only ran 29 minutes tonight? I feel like I’m running more than ever, but my watch says I am not putting in the time I used to. Something is fishy here. I’m hoping the National Institute of Running Science can help.

    • Kevin, I sympathize. Because they’ve arranged to download data from satellites, insurance companies can cherry pick your times to eliminate discounts you’ve been getting for exercising. GPS makers get sales increases because fuzzy readings lead to purchases of a second unit to verify info the first unit is giving. The two industries are working in tandem to keep this system going. I’ve made a big sign and joined street protests recently to shine a light on this issue.

      • GPS watch would not link tonight. I better buy another one so I can verify if this one really is on the fritz or if it’s the satellites. Good news is I got my Flying Irish time back up above 30 minutes tonight.

        • Be careful about loading up with the electronic gadgets. Kevin. I’m sure you read what happened to Amy in the post “Gadgets Take Over Runner. Friends Say She’s no Longer Human”

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