The other day, I read an article in Runner’s World about the importance of staying Zen during a run. It’s common to let your mind wander during a workout, but the positive effects of runner’s high are seriously impacted if you stress yourself out too much. Spoiler alert: I’ve let negative thoughts force me to stop running on more than one occasion. Oops. But running and thinking go well together. It’s a great brain-cleanser, and I’ve also solved a ton of problems while on long runs. It’s both calming and peaceful to do a right-brained activity (daydreaming) and a left-brained activity (methodically putting one foot in front of the other) at the same time.
Runner’s World refers to runners’ penchant for thinking random thoughts “Monkey Mind,” meaning that you hop from one idea to another. I’m picturing a monkey swinging from a tree to grab bananas. In this analogy, the bananas represent thoughts.
Yum. I love bananas.
It’s a nice day out. I’m so happy to be running right now. Ouch. Stepped on a rock. Dog. Pretty. I should get a dog. But I couldn’t let it out during the day. That would be mean. Bummer, a red light. Hate it. I should stretch. Right turn or straight? Right turn or straight? Right turn. Love running on Hampton Road. This sidewalk is awesome. How long ago did they put it in? Whatever. Good idea. Dog. Biker. I’ll move to the right. But he moved to the right. Left. Right. Left. Awkward dance. I haven’t been dancing in awhile. Line dancing. Where do they do that? In Riverhead somewhere. Cody’s! Yes. Maybe I’ll go this Saturday. But I think I already have plans. To, to, to, to…what do I have to do? I don’t know. I’ll remember later. Flowers! Spring. How long have I been running? Summer 5Ks! Such a fun way to start the day. Maybe I could actually be serious about them? Win some? I don’t know. I want to stand up paddleboard. First race is in May. That gives me a few weeks to train. But I’m not going to train. The water is freezing. I should borrow a wetsuit from someone. Three miles on the water. I could do that right? Probably. If I sign up, I’ll force myself to do it. Perfect. I’m hungry.
So alive. So happy the sun is out today. Should I swing a left and go to the beach? Too windy. Maybe. Better stick to the village streets. I wish I could run with music. I hate headphones. Those ear buds are so annoying. They fall out. What if I could hire someone to run alongside me with a boom box? That would be fun. Then I’d have company too. Someone to push me. Actually—beach run it is.
I should think of an idea for my column. I just read this great article in Runner’s World about staying Zen during a run. Maybe I should focus on that. I’m so Zen.
Endnote: I’ve recently been approached by two Dan’s Papers coworkers to say that they’ve been inspired to run recently. Congratulations!