People—mostly non-running people—often ask me what I think about when I’m running. This is a tricky question to answer. A little of everything? Basically nothing? It can go either way. I can’t claim that my thought patterns are normal, so I’d like to throw out a disclaimer up front that I’m a tad bit odd and nothing I write should be taken as a generalization of what any runner thinks during a run. With that said…
Sometimes, I think deep thoughts. I mean actual deep thoughts. For example, I wrote much of my thesis on the run. If my advisor ever read this, he would probably think that explained a lot, but then he’s an Ironman finisher so maybe he’d understand. My brain seems clearer on a run and I can come up with solutions to problems that baffled me when I was focusing on them. Such as…why in the world wouldn’t the Internet work on Saturday? I was blaming Charter and/or lightning, but then I came home and realized that the handy little Wireless Adapter switch had inadvertently been slid to “off.” Tehe…oops. No need for tech support, thanks! I just need to go for a run. (Thank goodness I didn’t call tech support! “Ma’am, is your modem turned on?” Yes, the modem is turned on!!! How dumb do you think I—but…wait…aw, phooey. Click.) And of course, I get about half of my blog posts from running. Sure, inspiration from running or races is the source of every blog post…but often I’m actually composing on the run and then I just have to dump my brain into the computer when I get back.
More often than not, however, running thoughts don’t go very deep at all. Like the other day, I ran past a sign for “Pooper Scoopers.” Uh…what? Is that what I think it is, or is it just a “clever” name for a lawn maintenance/fertilizer service? Oh no…here’s another sign. The URL for the website is something like “No More Yard Mines.” Here comes another sign (Sidenote: I hate these cheapo plastic sign things. They clutter up the grass by the sidewalk where I like to run.)—in tiny print, I read “Dog Waste Removal Specialists.” Really? Seriously? It’s probably just because I’m a cat owner, but I can’t comprehend someone making a living removing…er…waste from yards. I mean, more power to you, but because I have cats I expect waste removal to be part of my pet-owning responsibilities. The litterbox is difficult to deny. Are people just surprised that their dogs need to use the bathroom? Or do they feel that “waste removal” is above and beyond their job description? “Hey, I trained you to go outside. Getting what went outside away from the outside is someone else’s responsibility. That’s it, I’m calling Pooper Scoopers!” I wonder if dogs can be litterbox trained. That’d be a big box…and a lot of litter. Unless you had a little dog, I guess. Then it could be a normal-sized box, and a normal quantity of litter. I wonder if you can really train a cat to use the toilet. Can they balance without falling in? I’m not sure if Sassy would go for that…oh look, I’m back at the house.
That’s where two miles go. The thought process of this runner is a lot like a Seinfeld episode–it’s a show about nothing. Or…it’s a show about life. Take your pick.
A postscript for my lil’ brudder…
I can’t call a post “deep thoughts” without including a couple of my brother’s favorite works. There’s an old SNL skit called “Deep Thoughts,” and it’s pretty hilarious. The narrator comes on and says “And now it’s time for ‘Deep Thoughts’ by Jack Handey.” Then, over some inspirational/motivational scene from nature, text scrolls up the screen as it’s narrated. It’s always random and really, really, really funny. Here’s a link to the “official” site. (The site told me not to copy the deep thoughts, so I’m going to be a geek and honor that request.)
And according to the computer called Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the question “life, the universe, and everything” is 42. Tehe. If you think that’s funny, you should probably read the book. If you don’t find it funny at all, you probably shouldn’t. It’s a long book, and it’s full of similar oddities. I think it’s fantastic. 🙂