For the past month, I’ve been running with my dog almost every day. And, I have to be honest with you, it’s not pretty.
I am not a good runner. I literally have to think about what I’m doing as I’m running. My brain knows I’m nowhere near a fitness expert so is constantly trying to figure out what I’m doing every step of the way. Between that and just my general lack of normal adult functioning, a lot goes on during these adventures.
As a result, I thought it would be fun to share the many things that go on in my mind during one of my daily runs with Dio. Read along and let me know if you’ve ever experienced similar thoughts. And, if nothing else, hopefully it gives you a laugh. My brain is quite ridiculous at times.
“NOOOOOOO… PLEASE DON’T KILL ME DIO!”
Honestly, my arch-enemy while running around the neighborhood is all the damn critters that exist. I generally love them, don’t get me wrong. But during a run with Dio they are the bane of my existence.
Dio is a hunting dog. When he sees something dart across his vision, his automatic instinct is to charge full speed ahead to capture whatever it is he sees. I usually don’t notice these creatures when he does, so this sudden charge tends to catch me completely off guard and I’m honestly shocked I haven’t yet face-planted on to the sidewalk from the sudden momentum of him charging forward.
“Wait, was that a drug deal?”
There is nothing stranger than two cars randomly meeting up in the middle of the road, exchanging something through their windows, and pulling away as if nothing happened all in the span of thirty seconds. I mean, maybe that kind of thing doesn’t necessarily equate to a drug deal, but it’s an unusual enough of an activity that when I see things like that I jog in the other direction because I don’t want to be a witness that requires murdering. Thanks.
“Why are you slowing down? Please don’t slow down. Are you watching me? Recording me? Thinking about kidnap me? Please go away.”
Speaking of vehicles, I absolutely hate cars that slow down while in my general vicinity. If you drive by and hit your breaks, I can’t help but assume right away that I am the cause for your decreased speed.
The fun game then is trying to decide why the sight of me caused the vehicle to slow down. Is it because I look so absolutely ridiculous that they want to record me running and post it online? Are they snapchatting me to all of their friends and laughing about how red my face is while running? Are they considering kidnapping me?
I know the world doesn’t revolve around me but it doesn’t stop me from thinking these things with every car that goes by. I trust no one.
“Okay Asti, let’s actually try lifting our feet up more than a centimeter off the ground. We’re running, not skating.”
This is embarrassing to admit but sometimes I really find it hard to pick my feet up off the ground. My body realized a long time ago that getting from one place to another doesn’t require a large range of movement. Just scuffle your feet and you’re there. So sometimes while I’m running I literally have to tell myself to increase my range of motion by picking up my feet. How sad.
“Of course. Of course it’s raining now even though my weather app said I’d be clear for another hour. Thanks a lot, world.”
Ah, the weather. Nothing like that fun element of mother nature to bring joy to a run. I check my weather app for the hourly breakdown every day before we go for our run but I honestly have no idea why because it’s rarely correct.
If it says it’ll rain later in the day, expect it to rain right after you’re a block away on your run.
But hey, at least if it’s raining they can’t tell whether it’s rain or sweat dripping down your face. Work it.
“Okay, I know this beat is sick but you really cannot start clubbing in the middle of this sidewalk. Control those hips!”
My favorite thing to run to is upbeat dance music. Getting lost in the music helps keep my mind from over-thinking and the steady beats help me find a rhythm in my run.
But I also like to dance. And just as it did with running on the treadmill, listening to music while on the run makes me want to somehow include dancing in my steps.
Of course, the main difference between the treadmill and now is that I’m running outside where everyone can see me. So when those dancing impulses hit (and they always eventually do), I have to remind myself that I’m in public and there’s definitely no way a car isn’t going to slow down by me if they see me attempting to run AND dance at the same time.
Control yourself, Asti.
“Are you breathing? You should probably keep breathing. I’m pretty sure you’ll die if you don’t.”
Honestly, the number one thing I think about the most while running is breathing. I know it’s supposed to be an automatic thing, but there’s something about exercise that makes my body question its ability to function adequately and I have to make conscious efforts to control my breathing so I don’t spaz out and just die on the sidewalk. It’s beautiful.
“Watch that crack in the sidewalk because if you fall and break your ankle it’ll be really embarrassing to have to crawl all the way back home from here.”
This is one of those fear-filled thoughts that sometimes creep in my mind while running. It’s like waiting in line for a rollercoaster, right? You sit there and think “shit, what if it breaks down while I’m on it?” and your anxiety kicks in a bit.
There’s always a small part of me that is sure I’m going to somehow seriously injure myself during our runs and that I’ll have to crawl my way back to my house. It hasn’t happened yet, but when it does, that little part in my brain is going to be ready with an “I told you so.”
“Dio, it’s just a vacuum cleaner. Stop growling at it. It’s not going to attack us. It’s not even plugged in!”
My dog doesn’t like when there are unusual things on the side of the road during our run. He knows how to react to things like squirrels and people. But a vacuum sitting on the curb? That freaks him right out. The mohawk goes up, he growls, and he cannot let that sucker out of his sight until we are at least a block away.
“Oh shit, another person up ahead. Should I smile? Do I avoid eye contact? Should I cross the street? Should I run in the opposite direction? What do I dooooo?”
I find it awkward when coming across other people in public in general, but especially so during a run. The last thing I want is for anyone to look at me while I’m huffing and puffing, so I really don’t even attempt to make myself look like a nice sociable person as I’m jogging. Smiling, taking an ear piece out, crossing the street? What is the protocol for behavior when encountering someone else on a run?
The worst part is feeling like you can’t stop running until you’re a good distance away or else they’ll be able to hear just how much jogging kills you.
“Did I just fart? How loud was it? Just because you can’t hear it with your headphones in doesn’t mean no one else around can hear it!”
Okay, I’m not going to lie, this has happened more than once during my runs and each time I have to look around me to make sure there’s no one in the general vicinity because I can’t control my body when it decides to let some air loose like that! I’m too busy focusing on not dying, I can’t clench my cheeks together at the same time!
Plus, as my mom sometimes likes to joke, farts can help propel you forward. I’m my own little rocket ship. Watch my speed increase as I let one loose.
(Dave surely regrets marrying me.)
“You did it. It fucking sucked and you didn’t have to but you did it. YOU’RE FUCKING AMAZING.”
This is my favorite thought and one that occurs every time I finish a run. I don’t love running, but I do it. And you know? I’m damn proud of myself for doing so.
Does anyone else ever have similar thoughts while running (or just in general)? What other things are on your mind during a run? And how do you deal with crossing other people on your running path? Do you just ignore them? Let me know in the comments below!