Anyone who has gone on a long run understands the importance of finding a way to distract yourself while running. The quickest way that I’ve found to lose steam is to either, a) think about how much farther I have left to go, b) calculate how long it will take you to run it. This inevitably leads to the vicious watch-watching cycle. Most people can get by with this just fine, but I am an obsessive over-analyzer who can be my own worst enemy.
*checks watch* 9.5mi? ok. only 3.5 to go.
*waits what feels like 5 minutes*
*checks watch* 9.65?!?!?! Uuuugh……
When I was ‘learning’ to run, I relied pretty heavily on music to help me pass that time. Especially in the building phase. Instead of breaking up my runs into alternating 30sec runs, 30sec walks, I would break them up in to run for a chorus, run for a verse. As I kept building, I would run for a chorus AND a verse, before taking a break to walk. Songs were my favorite way of keeping time.
While I was training for my first half marathon, I ran into some trouble with playlists. If I knew the playlist too well, I would psych myself out. I would think “ok, so Santeria is playing, and that’s about half way through the playlist. Does that mean I’m half-way done with my run? or does that mean I’m off pace? I thought I’d be farther along by this point, but am I?” The remedy: randomized playlists! I can’t let the playlist psych me out if I don’t know what it’s going to do next!
Lately, I’ve found a new way to outsmart my neurotic thought patterns: audiobooks! I don’t have nearly enough time to read in my current schedule. I always have a book by my bedside, but there are evenings when I go to bed too tired to make any realistic progress. but with audiobooks, I can kill two birds with one stone! I can get my story time in, and I can distract myself on the run!
Here are the books I’ve gotten through so far this year, almost all of them completed entirely while running:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Bonk by Mary Roach
Some fiction, some non fiction. All of it has been great. All of it has helped me power through my runs.
Hats off to you, Audible.com.