I often get asked how I can run stupidly long training runs by myself and often on very small loops or sections of road. It’s easy: I listen to podcasts and I have an overactive imagination. Most of my random thoughts are triggered by something I see or hear on the road, but how I get from Point A (the trigger) to Point B (the random delusion) is the difficult part. So I have tried to remember some of them to give you a little insight into my mind.
- Trigger: Speaking of point A to point B, while running recently I was listening to a podcast explaining how in the latter stages of a race you concentrate on getting from Point A to Point B.
- Random Delusion: During that run, I started labeling all of my intersections and turns Point A, B, C, D, etc. By the time I reached Point G, I was giving them names similar to the military’s Foxtrot, Whiskey, Tango, etc. instead of letters. The problem is that I don’t know them all, so I made up my own: Gomer, Hussy, Ignoramous, Juju Beads…..I finally finished my run and rolled back into my house which by the way was Voluptuous.
- Trigger: I was running at 3 AM in the dark by my house and heard a dog bark.
- Random Delusion: I wonder where that dog is? What if it is a pack of dogs? It probably is a pack of dogs. Or coyotes. Or better yet, hyenas. I bet when I get to the end of the road (dead end), I will turn around and they will be spread out across the road. Maybe in a flying V formation like the Mighty Ducks. How did the Russians beat the Mighty Ducks? Oh yeah, they took out the lead ducky. So if I hit the alpha hyena, I can make it through and run home. Maybe I should spin my handheld bottle to the outside, so the hyena will bite it instead of my hand. I’m ready. (I turn around). Where in the hell are the hyenas? (I run back down the road disappointed that my ninja skills were not needed.)
- Trigger: During a run, I came upon a black and white cat walking away from me in the road. It was summer. It was hot. I did not have my contacts in.
- Random Delusion: Okay, I could explain this delusion here, but it would be redundant. I already wrote a blog post about it here, so take a look.
- Trigger: At some point during every run, I think of Rocky Raccoon. Usually it is a feeling of “What in the Hell Am I Doing???”, but sometimes, just sometimes, it morphs into one of my many visions of grandeur!
- Random Delusion: I have it all figured out. The strategery is in place. The trap is set. Now all I have to do is spring it. I make my lack of presence known at the pre-race meeting. My crew and I show up and put on an air of total ignorance (not a stretch). None of the favorites, Hal, Ian, Karl, will even glance my way. At the start, I hang off the front so as not to make eye contact. We take off and I use the Kearns method to avoid detection. At the Damnation station, while the favorites are filling their bottles, I ease off down the trail and take off at a sprint. It will be 6 miles before they hear someone is ahead of them and then it will be too late. I blaze through each loop screaming at Paul, “Find me some Kenyans!” Alas, no Kenyans are available so I force my pacers to sprint as fast as they can to keep up with me until they drop like Little Blackie in True Grit. 60 miles. 70 miles. 80 miles. 90 miles! The end is near. Victory is in sight. And then I realize that I’ve never run 100 miles and that I haven’t run that fast since high school. My legs cramp up and I fall in the ditch. Reality sets in…….
Much like any delusion, they are fleeting and quickly forgotten. And judging from these, maybe they all should be.
What do you think of to help you get through long solo runs?