Thinking About A Run

running shoes

Running is a time to think and a time to calm my mind. Sometimes great ideas and stories come to me on my 8 mile journey, but I have a hard time recalling them later. In contrast, when I can relate a thought to a spatial segment of my run, my memory improves. On my last run, I thought a lot about studying and homework. I want to share some of those with you now.

When I asked you if you were a writer, some of you wondered what that meant. Does it mean I write effectively? Does it mean that I am published? My first thought while running, was am I a runner? My initial answer was no. I’ve played sports all of my life, but never considered myself a runner. In fact, I never ran for the sake of running until my early 30’s after taking a running class with my oldest daughter, Nicole. Shortly after that, we ran our first 5K at Myrtle Beach. We both felt like we accomplished our goal and we were both very proud of ourselves and each other. My next goal was the Virginia Beach half marathon in 2005. My husband and I followed a training plan and reached our goal.

In both cases, we had a goal that we worked towards. Was the goal to try something new? Enjoy running? Finish the race? This made me think about studying and homework. What is your goal? To learn something new? To enjoy learning? To finish your assignments on time? Do you even have a goal for homework?

I have been running seven to eight miles several times a week since last year. I remember when I couldn’t even run one mile! I have the things that make me happy and motivate me. They are my running shoes and my music. My initial goal was to finish. Now I have a new goal to improve my time and run longer segments. Running is mental. There are many times when the path is flat, I am breathing steadily, and my legs do not hurt, but I want to stop and walk. I have to talk myself through that moment and focus on my goal. My goal, competing against myself and not other runners, keeps me motivated.

I try to make running a priority for me. Running helps me pay attention to other things I need to do later. I am constantly thinking and processing when I run which helps me work out other challenges I face. I feel a sense of satisfaction when I set goals and meet them. I fail sometimes and that is good. Failing makes me try harder the next time. Change helps me stay on task like taking a new path, listening to different songs, or the delight of getting a new pair of running shoes. I feel like I have accomplished something, finished something, when I return from a run.

So, I ask you, what activity gives you time to think? What recharges you? When it comes to studying, what keeps you on task, keeps you motivated, helps you get to the next segment and push through? What helps you finish? And how do you feel when you succeed?

As I lace up my shoes and select my playlist, I look forward to hearing your ideas when I return. Am I a runner? What I do know is that I am running.

46 thoughts on “Thinking About A Run

  1. Mrs. D, I love how you talked about motivation and trying to reach a certain goal. It was inspiring.

  2. @21Tobyh Thank you for you kind words. Look at the questions near the end. Can you answer one or more of those as well?

  3. Wow, just wow, that was amazing. I know my dad runs marathons, but he doesn’t run eight miles like you do. One activity that gives me time to think is reading. Another is running just like you.

  4. I really liked how you talked about what keeps you going and how you went from not being able to run a a mile to running seven to eight. What helps me stay focused when I’m doing homework or at school is music. It is relaxing and helps me work harder.

  5. I like how you describe how you started running. You’re very good at detailing something as simple as a blog post. I admire it very much.

    What recharges me is to take a break after doing two subjects worth of homework. I usually get something to eat and then countinue my homework.

  6. What gives me time to think is walking to the nearest grocery store, eating a pack of peanuts, and sitting outside a resturaunt while eating my pack of peanuts.

  7. Mrs. Donnelly, on my homework my goal is to do a good job and to learn new things. I like how you were talking about how when you’re running that it makes you stop and think too instead of just running.

  8. During last fall I used to take walks up and down hills listening to Greenday like wake me up when September ends and 21 guns.

  9. I do not really consider myself as a runner. When I was little I did the Swim For Smiles triathlon, and I ran then. Now I do not really love running.

  10. Mrs D,
    One of the things that keeps me going when I have an assignment to do is the thought of trying to get a good grade and also the thought of crossing something off of my assignment notebook, because that’s a good feeling.

  11. To answer your question, there are a few things that give me time to think. One is tennis. On my best days, I sort of go into autopilot (forehand! Run back to middle! Backhand! Let that one go!), and have time to think

  12. I really enjoyed reading that blog post. It was really inspiring, it makes me want to go on a run right now. Reading, running, and playing soccer give me time to think. I enjoy learning and being a good student and doing my homework helps me achieve my goal of learning lots. Having you as a teacher also helps me learn a lot. This is what motivates me when I am doing homework.

  13. I really like what you wrote and how you talked about achieving your goal. One thing that keeps me going is playing soccer. It helps me forget about everything else and it makes me feel good.

  14. Mrs. Donnelly, I really liked your post especially the part about you stopping and thinking when you run. Sometimes to recharge I will just ride my bike up to my tennis courts and just hit for hours. It really relaxes me.

  15. To recharge, I listen to music or paint models. Read my first blog post to find out more. Then I read. Then get back to doing whatever I was doing before I started recharging (such as homework).

  16. I like to run also. It’s exhilarating. My goal this year is to get all A’s

    PS-I found a cool picture with a basketball heart.

  17. I really liked your post. Isn’t it hard to run 8 miles?The activity that gives me time to think is homework. It is, quite literally, a summary of my knowledge. I am motivated to reach the end by the fact that I can be lazy ;).

  18. When is comes to studying, what helps me push through is I know that if I study really hard, I will get a good grade and when I succeed, all my hard work will have paid off.

  19. Mrs. D,

    I really like how you talked about goals and motivation because I like to set goals for myself in sports and in class. What helps me focus is listening to music because it calms me down. Something that drives me to finish my homework is getting a good grade and effort grade.

  20. Mrs. D,
    My academic goal for this year is to finish all of my assignments on time and have all A’s on my report card. One thing that helps me recharge is listening to music or reading a book, and sometimes kicking around a soccer ball. I really enjoyed your post on running. I think running is fun too. My mom has also run a half marathon. One day I hope to too.

  21. What motivates me is my competitive spirit. I love the victory feeling that you have done your job, completed your task. I recharge when I sing, just out loud in general. Maybe it’s a song I knew forever, one I just learned, or maybe it’s totally made up.

  22. To help motivate me, I listen to any type of music. It also motivates me to know when I have finished an assignment, that it is done and I don’t have to do it again.

  23. I personally think that drawing helps me think. Like if I’m working on a math problem thats difficut I will go sit out side and sketch a tree or a person passsing by. While I’m doing this I’ll solve the math problem in my head.

  24. Great blog post! You made me think with it. My activity that makes me think is probably biking.

  25. I have a bunch of things that I do to recharge, but when I go to play tennis, I get to recharge and regroup before getting homework done. It’s fun, not only because I get to be with my friends, but I get myself to try harder and not give up, so I can take that motivation to finish work.

  26. @21jamesk Thank you for you comment. Tell me more about my questions about what recharges you, what helps you think, or how you push through things when they are hard.

  27. Whenever I have to tell myself to get on with my work, I just say: “Ok Oliviero, you should just do your homework, and you’re done with it! Then, you can go have fun.” Every time I say that, it works, and I get my work done!

  28. I love your post. The thought you put into it is amazing. I wish I could run for long distances. Then I could think through things I usually don’t have time to think through. Did you plan out your blog post when you were running?

  29. @21abbyg Funny you should ask….I planned my blog post on several runs and when I finally wrote it, it was different from what I thought it would be. What do you do to recharge or think?

  30. Many times I listen to music or doodle to ease through something that I don’t find all that interesting.
    I love how you notice so many hearts!

  31. Mrs. D,
    I would like to get all A’s on my report card every quarter. I get motivated to do homework because I know that if I turn it in on time and put good effort into it, I have a shot at making that goal.

    I really like this post, also! I want to just go outside and run forever. You used really nice details that got me into you inspiring post. I’m excited to see more posts from you!

  32. I have multiple things to do to recharge, but the thing I do most is play basketball or soccer in my batting cage. Another thing I do to recharge is ride my bike and play video games with my friends.

  33. When I am working on homework or studying my main goal it to be able to say,”Good job, Quinn!” Another thing that motivates me is my computer sitting next to me, promising YouTube when I am done and my hot tub in the backyard. (Hot tub’s release the tension in my muscles after swim practices). My goal is to always finish my assignment on time and give it my best effort!

  34. I love your blog post Mrs. D! I can’t believe you run 7 to 8 Miles a week!

    I usually keep a running thought through my mind that I will be done soon and I can get to do what I want.

  35. I really like this blog post Mrs. D! It is very motivating and I really enjoyed reading it.

    I get motivated to do homework because I want to achieve the best grades I can get.

    I have lots of things to do to recharge, but my favorite is to play basketball or lacrosse. Sometimes I can get frustrated with studying or anything and I can just go outside and I will calm down a lot and it will help me do my best.

  36. I love that post. It’s absolutely beautiful. What helps me gather my thoughts is taking a shower, or spending time with my pets. I also like to hang out in my room, doing whatever I feel like.

  37. Some things that get me all refreshed and calm is listening to my favourite music, playing soccer, taking a shower, speaking French, (I know that some people think that is absolutely crazy, but it’s true). And lastly, reading a book, and running on the track.

  38. This is a really cool blog post Mrs.D! I can’t believe you run so much. So, what keeps me motivated during studying or homework is food, and also thinking about what I can do after I complete the hard core working tasks.

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