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My Mind Wanders During Long Runs.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

I don't know what it is about running that make my mind wander so. Today I was doing a 7 mile run, which became 7.5 miles by its end. It was drizzling rain and not too hot. I felt good.

Around mile 5 or so, my mind starts drifting. I'm looking for motivation to do a better run. I'm glad I am able to run at all, but need to push myself, even though I'm no spring chicken anymore.

My thoughts always go back to my youth, remembering how strong and tough I was way back then. This happens so frequently to me - I think back and use that youthful strength I once had to pull me along now as an aged runner.

I remember when I was in Navy boot camp. How they pushed us so hard. But I overcame everything they could throw at me, as did all my shipmates that finished with me. 5 ft 8 1/2 inches tall and 120 pounds. Hey, when you're a mere 5'8", yes that extra 1/2 inch is worth reporting. Anyway, I was lean and mean. I could do 100 pushups in closer to one minute than two minutes time. They pushed us hard, and it was easier for me than the heavier guys. Lower body weight is a good thing when doing calisthenics - using one's own body weight for resistance. Easier to do pushups when you're 120 pounds than if you are 160 pounds.

Also, I swam like a fish. I had the super strong lungs, probably because I grew up on the beach and swam every day in the summer, usually for hours on end. My strong lungs remain today.

These are the things I remember. I know I can't be that kid again, but I use these memories when I have to dig a bit deeper, or even just to continue when I am getting tired. I realized this today - that I have the same recurring thoughts.

Some people use music to give them strength. I do, but not often. I used it when I did my second marathon. Just after the half marathon mark, I plugged in my music, listened and felt a bit younger, a bit more energetic. . I like the stuff from when I was a kid. Who doesn't, right? We like it because it makes us feel young for a while. I don't spoil myself with music motivation, I use it when I need it.

When I hear Chuck Berry singing "Maybelline" or "Johnny B. Goode" I can be 16 years old again. I run faster, I fool the old body that I can still do 100 pushups and run like the wind. I don't of course, but I do go faster and longer.

We all have our own way of dealing with exercise and keeping ourselves motivated. These are just a couple of thoughts I had on my run today.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HISTORYRUNNER 5/12/2013 11:52PM

    Late but appreciative reader here - very thoughtful and helpful blog. I think it's great that you can connect with your past to help push you through the present moment. It's all about connectedness and wholeness, right? emoticon

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SHIRAZSOLLY 5/10/2013 11:29AM

    I use repetitive motion as a tool for good thinking. Digging trenches is a good one, too. The longer you dig, the more problems you solve. I can work out problems with the spouse, with the boss, with the kids, with the Senate and House... all these people and places can be righted in my head if I just do enough manual labor.

Sometimes I find if I run/dig long enough, the problem wasn't that I didn't have the right answer at the time, it was that I didn't see enough possible points of view, including theirs...

I agree with you that music is a last resort. That's for when you've done the thinking that needs to be done. When you put the ear buds in, you are ready for someone else's thinking. You've already solved all your problems and all the rest of the world's and now you are at peace.

Or maybe you are just in denial about all that stuff and need a beat to make your feet follow.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/10/2013 10:23AM

    I love runs when my mind wanders!
As for music, it's not unusual for me not to turn on the music until half way through a marathon, especially the RnR ones.


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DALID414 5/6/2013 6:39PM

    I report my 1/2 inch too! At 5'2.5" I need all the inches I can get!

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OWL_20 5/5/2013 8:44PM

    Hi Navy!

Although I use it in the gym, I don't run with music. But I'm not on any long runs as of yet, either. I do love the fact that music can take you back to places or people you've forgotten. Pulling from the past to the present--yeah, I like that a lot.

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/5/2013 1:43PM

    Your mind can wander all it wants...as long as it finds its way home again!

I can't run without music. Well, physically I can but I'm even slower without it and the run itself is much harder.

At least that is what my music addicted brain swears is true.

I love Chuck Berry and the "oldies". I think I will add some songs to my iPod collection tonight.

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MSSHERRY4 5/5/2013 11:30AM

    Its all good!

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SEABREEZE64 5/5/2013 10:07AM

    Very good blog.
I like the idea of uses one's past strength to be strong today.

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LANNIEMANUEL 5/5/2013 9:13AM

    great blog. My hubby uses some of the old navy/marine cadents for his runs. says it reminds him of pushing himself in bootcamp.

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CLWALDRO 5/5/2013 8:09AM

    Thanks for the motivation today to keep going no matter what the world throws at me.
I find when i jog my mind goes to music and some days it is the old gospel songs i sang in church as a kid and some days it is the music of the 80's.
Have a great day emoticon

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DARLY55 5/5/2013 7:59AM

    I enjoyed this blog, thank you. Using your younger self as motivation is fantastic!
I, too, have vivid memories/feelings of when I could do this or that to a greater degree than now, and draw on it. It is very effective.

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REMEMBER2BME 5/5/2013 6:25AM

    Great blog. It is interesting to me. I rarely if ever think about younger day. I am not doing near that you are but still find it interesting. I was 45 a few weeks ago. I am thinking I will just get stronger. i know I am stronger in spirit than I have been in a long long time, healthier.

You are an inspiration. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing.

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PMRUNNER 5/5/2013 6:20AM

    It is nice to leave the ipod behind some runs, and just let the mind roam a bit. Swimming is good for that too, especially since music is less practical. Thanks for sharing!

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WINDSURFNERD 5/4/2013 11:56PM

    Great, very evocative blog! You are so right that long running connects us to our best selves, both from our past and now. Your words really brought out that youthful joy of a strong and capable body...well-said!
Naomi

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MASRITE 5/4/2013 11:52PM

    Whenever I'm doing a longer run, I usually start daydreaming that I'm in a race and in the lead. That kind of keeps me going, to cross that "finish line" - get to my house!!

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WONDERWOMAN 5/4/2013 9:30PM

    emoticon Yup, Yes, I know, You are so right, I can relate, Oh for sure!


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RUN4FOOD 5/4/2013 9:30PM

    When I was younger I ran as little as I possible could. Started running long when I was 54. Now I like to listen to my body, talk to others or watch the world I'm going past as I run.

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CM_GARDNER78 5/4/2013 9:00PM

    Totally...I love the feelings that certain music can evoke in me and take me straight back to a certain time in my life!! :-) I do love motivating music!! :-) It can make a blah workout great! :-) Thanks for sharing!

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KELSEY54 5/4/2013 8:23PM

    I love using that time to do the deepest thinking. You can do a whole days work in your mind as the miles roll by. Keep up the great work, you are inspiring. emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 5/4/2013 7:58PM

    Awesome motivation. Hoo-rah!

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ROXYZMOM 5/4/2013 6:01PM

    I love the motivation my running music gives me - even when I am not running. I actually wake up hearing one of my running songs on my head! And it makes me run faster. I tried running a race without music once and was slower. That's the first and last time I did that!

Sometimes I work out work issues in my head or think about my husband, kids are my goals. I imagine I am in a race and people cheering on the sidelines. If I am finishing up and another good song comes on I add a little more mileage and keep going.



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NATPLUMMER 5/4/2013 5:57PM

    emoticon

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