Distance running is quite solitary and its important to keep one from getting bored
I was supposed to run 15km today but I got bored after 10km and returned home after 12.5km (1.25 hours at a speed of 10kmph). I won’t to go into excuses (okay, it was the same old route, the weather was colder and there were no interesting sights on the way) but I realised that I have to find something to entertain myself on these runs.
I imagine that conditions on the marathon day would be quite different. I am picturing cheering crowds, lots of fellow runners, water stations, random entertainment and a completely new route to explore. That itself would give one enough drive. But what about practise sessions?
In the initial days, I used to listed to music, and it made it quite easy to focus one’s mind on something. But then I am not going to sport an ipod on the race day so I decided to practise without it.
But what the heck do I do when I am running? How to keep my brain engaged?
I try doing various things. For example:
- I pay attention to the Canada geese that have currently taken over the lake shore. I check out their grazing habits, their droppings, their calls and their flight. Today there were lots of other birds too, flying in V shaped formation. It was nice.
- I do lot of math games. For example multiplying three digit numbers (348×851), converting Celsius to Fahrenheit (don’t ask me why), calculating the numerical value of a word (e.g. “run” = 18+21+14=53) and
nerdystuff like that.
- People are also my beloved objects of study. There are so many things once can observe – some of them can be quite amusing.
- I daydream about travel, imagine myself in random situations and think of what I would do, etc. I also spend time contemplating about life.
- Ofcourse, I am regularly paying attention to my running – spine posture, shoulders, angle of my hands, feet pronation, point and angle of contact with ground, stride, breathing, hydration, etc. These factors are enough to keep one busy for a while.
But it seems that all that is still not enough to sustain my attention. Math exercises can be so taxing that it sometimes makes me pause or slow down in order to finish a critical calculation… haha! I have discovered that the easiest part of my run is when I don’t have to focus on it.
So for now, I have decided that for the next run, I am going to choose a different route. Hopefully that will keep my mind busy and I wont get bored. Its just a matter of another 20 days, or 4-5 runs.