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What I think about when I'm running

Laraine Bennett

I’ve been running on average five days a week for more than thirty years.  You might not call what I do “running” if you saw me out there today, sweating and plodding up the big hill on Sudley Manor Road. 

No, I get only a few inches of lift off the pavement, and I am slower than the Hispanic grandpa who lives next door. (This is truth: he is actually running!)  Nonetheless, I love it.  I have run two full marathons (my knee went out 15 miles into my third marathon), one Army Ten-Miler, and countless ten K races. When I run, I think.  Unlike bestselling author Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) who says his mind empties when running, ideas flood into my brain, much like a Google search.  I can sit in silent prayer for an hour in the chapel, with not a single thought or inspiration, but running always opens the flood gates. 

I run past the blossoming crepe myrtle we all planted for our neighbor when her husband died of bone cancer. He was a runner, too, up until the devastating diagnosis that came completely out of the blue.  Speaking of blue, the sky is amazingly blue, accented by a few streaks of white wispy clouds! I say a little prayer of thanks for the blue sky, and for the fact that I don’t have bone cancer and can still run.  My hips feel arthritic, though, which reminds me to pray for all the folks on our parish prayer tree.  Thinking about trees, I notice the incredible landscaping around someone’s deck;  I wave to the owner, “Nice landscaping!” He calls out to me, “It was my wife! Stop by sometime and she would be happy to give you her tips!” I think to myself, what a nice fellow! So proud of his wife…which reminds me that I should pray for my own husband, as well as my children’s future spouses!  I make a point of running through a sprinkler. 

An idea pops into my heat-addled brain: I should blog about what I think about while running…If you can call it “running.”  I jog, sweating, huffing, pondering, up the big hill.

Topics: Exercise , Health

Laraine Bennett co-authored, with her husband Art, The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse and The Temperament God Gave You, published by Sophia Institute Press. Their new book, The Emotions God Gave You, is due Spring 2011. Please visit their website at http://temperaments.sophiainstitute.com/.

View all articles by Laraine Bennett

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