Running Challenges

As I was writing my training post today (jan 23), I came up with the idea of running challenges. I imagine these as things I try to do to disrupt or break or unsettle my running habits, perspectives or understandings. As I create them, I’ll add them to this list. I see them as assignments.

Running Challenge #1: The Senses

Frequently, my vision isn’t the greatest when I’m running. Things seem fuzzy. And, even though I’m trying to look out for them, I don’t always see bikers or other runners or walkers. Because I have Best’s disease, it’s likely my vision will get even worse. One thing I can do to accommodate my vision issues, is to learn to rely on (and enjoy) my other senses. A few times a month (or more?), I’d like to pay particular attention to another sense while I’m running, like listening, smelling and touching.

The Assignment: Run 3-4 miles, focusing your attention on one sense other than seeing.

  • An easy run
  • No music allowed
  • Run by the river, along the creek or at the lake
  • Right after finishing run, take notes on all the different things you sensed (sounds or smells or sensations)
  • Don’t forget to still look where you’re going!

Running Challenge 2: Photo Break

I want to document the process of training for the marathon in more than words; I want images (and video footage) too.

The Assignment: During a run, snap some photos while taking a quick break.

Running Challenge 3: Running Thoughts

I’d like to collect what I think about while I’m running. I usually forget right after I’m finished, so I need to figure out a more deliberate way to document it.

The Assignment: During an easy 4 mile run, pay attention to my thoughts. As soon after the run as possible, make a list of them. Try this challenge without music.

Another Assignment: During an easy 8-10 mile run, randomly record thoughts by speaking into an iPhone, using the voice memo app.