There are some things you just can't work out mentally until you are five miles into a run out in the country. I'm not sure who said that first, but it's true. Given my spring, I'm in need of some time to mentally process everything, and exercise therapy is one method of choice. Saturday I spent a whopping five hours running and bicycling. Wednesday I spent nearly four hours running and bicycling.
People ask what I think about when I am out there running, or bicycling, alone. The answer is: everything! I'm not sure if physical exertion activates different chemicals in the brain that result in providing different perspective on life events, but it feels that way. For example, last night on the final 15 miles of my bicycle ride I thought about Everest, bicycle racing, Strava KOMs, women, a project at work, checking my email, voicemail, and Facebook which I rarely do, working out at the winery, visiting some family members, booking a trip to Massachusetts for a wedding, how amazing the weather was light night, how I might be alergic to breathing gnats, and what serious races I want to run this fall. That's just in one hour.
One of my favorite things about running is that it gives me time to think. So often I feel we are trying to put out fires and respond to others that we don't get much chance to reflect or think about where we are headed. In that respect, I'm very fortunate that I can spend so much time out there exercising. I realize that it won't always be this way, life obligations seem to only grow as one becomes older. However, the serenity of a run down a quiet tree covered trail or a gradual bicycle climb up a deserted country road will probably always maintain the mystique of a wise old sage who says, "do, or do not, there is no try." Meaning, you are out here doing something, take that can-do attitude to the rest of your life, and yes it may be hard at times, but the idea is to finish things or quit things, not leave them in limbo.