I just finished re-reading Haruki Murakami’s “What I think about when I think about running”, so of course I thought you’d all love to know what I think about when I run. (No, I know you really don’t care… but it makes a nice change for me from writing about limited shower time and goat poop)
People are always telling me what great ideas they get when they run. How it opens up their minds to new possibilities. Either I’m really shallow or I’m not running right. Because my thoughts usually range from “I wonder if that sleeping cat is really sleeping or it’s de…” to “Oh God… how much more running before I can go home and have some cake” (So what if it’s 9 am… don’t you judge me)
When I’m running, I’m usually thinking about time and distance. Now I’m not talking about how far I’ve run and how long it’s taken me (though, those depressing thoughts occasionally flit through my head) but about the ‘Time and Distance’ we learned in … I think it was class 6 or 7. Remember? No? let me jog your memory.
“Two men (it’s always men) are walking along a circular track 25 metres long. X is walking at a speed of 1 mile an hour and Y is walking at a speed of 3 miles an hour. How much time will lapse before X and Y meet a) if they are walking in the same direction and b) if they are walking in opposite directions?”
I used to HATE these questions. HATE HATE HATE. I could never really see the point to it. How it was going to help me in the ultra glamorous cool life I was no doubt destined to lead one day. I managed to head butt my way through the subject and heaved a huge sigh of relief when it was all over. Only to have to bump in to the damn thing again many years later when I had a brief and ill advised dalliance with the CAT.
But for some strange reason, now, when I run, all I can think is “When am I going to bump in to red t-shirt again? After how many rounds will I overtake double chin? What is he thinking wearing his Jockey boxers on his morning walk (more on that topic later)?”
Perhaps if I had paid more attention in class I would have the answers to all these questions, even the last one. But I didn’t. I’m not complaining. At least I have something to think about when I’m running.