Now that spring has sprung (well, sort of in these unusually cold East Coast climes), running season is upon us!
Mr Kitchen and I have our eye on the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May this year. It’s a great race–a mainly downhill course that ends with cold beers and hotdogs in Coney Island … all before 10am!
Until May, I’ll be upping my training runs to get back shape. I’m going to be using this blog as a way to keep me honest.
A lot of my non-runner friends have been asking me what I think about while I’m out running for an hour or longer. And the answer is, well, nothing!
The first couple of miles are always very busy–adjusting my stride, fiddling around with my music (bad, I know), checking out the people passing me. And then after about mile 4, I hit what I call the “Mind Zap”. It’s the point at which it no longer matters if you’re running 6 miles, 8 miles or even 13.1 miles; it all feels the same. It’s the closest that I think I’ll ever get to meditating–I am completely present, thoughts pass randomly in and out of my head, and I feel sort of placeless. Sometimes I feel like I actually lose time. Miles 8-11? Don’t really remember ’em. Zapped.
This always reminds me of a fascinating episode of Radiolab from 2011. It’s the story of Diane Van Deren, a ultra marathoner to whom running 50, 60 or even 100 miles is considered a breeze. What makes Diane’s running so fascinating is how she mentally conquers the mileage. Hint: It has to do with short term memory (the ultimate mind zap!) and isn’t what you think!
Image from Radiolab.com