It’s all fun and games

I won’t lie, I have the attention span of a seven year old; reduce that by half when I’m running.

When I ran on the treadmill at the gym, I watched SportsCenter, sang along with Lady Gaga, and flipped through a Glamour simultaneously. The tunes are still a must – if not doubly important – now that I run on an outdoors path without anything else to keep occupied. The way my mind operates, if I focus on my footwork or my breathing, I convince myself that I’m more tired (or ought to be more tired) than I am and give up, often before I even really hit my stride.

On occasion, powering through a rough stretch (for me, the span between 1.50-2 miles is the worst) requires a bit more distraction. In those instances, I begin playing little games with myself to stay occupied, such as…

Secret Agent: Identify another runner several yards ahead of you whose pace is close to or just slightly faster than your own natural gait; develop a plot where this runner is an escaped criminal or a spy that you must chase down and make it your goal not to let them get out of your sight. Bonus points if you beat them to your destination.

Miss Cleo: While running with the flow of traffic, try to guess what color or brand the next car to pass you from behind will be; alternatively, try to guess what color shirt the next runner to pass you by will be.

How They Met: Each time you pass a pair or trio of runners, create a short biography. Are they high school sweethearts getting in shape for their upcoming wedding? Are they coworkers on an office-wide exercise challenge? Is it a trainer prepping a client for his first 5k?

Toyota Tally: Select one particular brand of vehicle (I usually go with Toyotas as you’d never imagine how popular Corollas are in my town) and note how many you pass over the course of your run.

Excuse me now, something shiny has caught my eye and I must go investigate.

Have you invented any games to keep your mind busy while you run?


9 Comments on “It’s all fun and games”

  1. spoonfulofsugarfree says:

    This is hilarious, but a great idea!!! I love the secret agent one, by little brother would like this 🙂

  2. LOL. I like the second one–but they’re all clever. I usually dont play games. just bite and bare it til its over.

  3. The secret agent one I could totally see myself using in a future race! Genius!

    I never play any games, but I think I need to start.

  4. Those are good ones!
    I have been feeling a bit down on my running lately, so I will definitely try one of these on my run today!
    Sometimes at the gym I will count the ratio of one hair color to another. It doesn’t take long… 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    I like your ideas for running games. I’m usually just playing mental games of running the next quarter mile or burning 25 more calories on the treadmill. Your ideas sound like much more fun.

  6. I am definitely the kind of person who watches TV, listens to music, and reads all at the same time. And don’t forget some texting. I just get bored so easily I can’t stand it.

    When I used to run outside I would just have to set up certain goals to run towards (get to that tree!) but I found that running made me really angry so now I do other forms of exercise. =)

  7. haha! I don’t play games like that but sometimes I say rude things to myself to keep going.. “Let’s go biatch! HURRY UP!” It is probably not very healthy but eh, it works.

  8. Krista says:

    I often daydream while working out. Or I start planning dinner, etc. Whatever works to get me through it!! LOL

  9. Hehe – you are hilarious!! I love the running games, especially “secret agent”!!!

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