Paul Perrone says he thinks about how great it is to be doing something healthy when he runs. Photo courtesy Paul Perrone.

When I was training for a marathon a few years ago, it seemed like at some point in every run my running buddies and I wound up discussing our digestive systems.

I guess that’s natural for folks who spend hours together, eating up miles. Runners, it seems, share the most intimate details of their lives, and if you run long distances with someone, you get to know them like you know no other people.

Some runners focus on pace. Others try to distract themselves, thinking about anything but what they’re doing. Some ricochet from topic to topic. Others do their best to zone out.

In today’s Fit City column, I polled dozens of runners to find out what goes through their minds when they lace up their shoes and hit the road.

David Peters thinks about what he’s going to say in upcoming sermons when he runs. Photo courtesy David Peters

David W. Peters, assistant to the rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, told me he plans upcoming sermons. Gilbert Tuhabonye, head of Gilbert’s Gazelles, says he sings songs and enjoys the journey.

Some runners told me they focus on not tripping, crossing the finish line of the next big race, what to cook for dinner or the prices of homes that are for sale. More than one said they think about how lucky they are just to be able to run.

Gilbert Tuhabonye sings with joy as he runs. Photo courtesy Gilbert Tuhabonye.

“I like to think about how great it is to be outside and doing something healthy and positive that I know will allow me to focus on my work, my relationships and other life goals,” Paul Perrone, organizer of the Zilker Relays, said. “This usually comes to me after the first third of a workout is done. Before that I’m usually thinking, ‘Ouch. This hurts. Getting old sucks.’”

Want to read more? Check out my full article here.