Serial Killer Monkeys, Pterodactyl Poop and Sarah Palin – What I Think About While I’m Running

by Carilyn on July 20, 2012

“What do you think about when you are running so many miles a day?” is the question I get asked most often by non-runners. I know what they want to say is, “Clearly you are mentally disturbed, so tell me what scary, dark thoughts go on in that whacked-out brain of yours,” but weren’t raised in a swamp with only varmints for company, so they know how to ask more discreetly.

While many of my hours of running are spent chatting with friends (and I won’t disclose what we talk about, because you know, What Happens on the Run, Stays on the Run – and you might have disturbing dreams for months if I told you, anyway ), listening to books on tape, watching reality television (seriously, have you seen Cheer Perfection? Those moms make the Dance Moms look like stable non-alcoholics), or listening to music, it is safe to say that at least half of my running hours are spent just thinking.  And frankly, that is why I blog. If I have to suffer with my thoughts for hours on end, I figure my friends should too.

For those of you who come to this blog actually hoping to learn something (I’m sorry you have to wade through all of this detritus to get anything substantive, but I am sugar-deprived and having a hard time thinking linearly <is that an actual word?>), I do spend a portion of most runs (when I’m alone) visualizing my next race – how it will feel, the outcome I want, the conditions, relaxing, etc. I think visualization is a very important component of training, and often overlooked because so many people don’t like training their brain. Plus, it’s difficult to do if you always run with other people (unless they don’t mind if you never say a word through the whole run. And if that’s the case, they probably don’t like you and you should dump them anyway.).

But the rest of the time, I think of much weightier matters. Here is a sampling of what I was thinking about on my second run yesterday (you might want to make a copy of this list and put it on your refrigerator because I’m sure there is some training gold in a few of these):

1. Are we really sure all the dinosaurs are extinct? I mean, if Yetis exist, I bet there are some dinosaurs hiding around somewhere.

2. Do humongous birds poop regular bird poop, or Pterodactyl-size poop?

I think you are a dinosaur bird. Please don’t fly over my back porch and poop.

3. How do they pick the “spin-off” stars from reality shows? I mean, was it just four-leaf clover luck that TLC was able to find Honey Boo Boo Child and her family on Toddlers and Tiaras? I smell an Emmy!

4. How much Botox am I going to need after spending the summer running outside in the Texas desert? Will Botox cut it, or will I need a whole new face? Can you get a new face? Ooooh, a face transplant would be creepy. Would you take on the personality of the person from whom you got your face? (Let’s be honest, we all know I don’t say “from whom” when I’m thinking these thoughts, but I hate the “grammar police” e-mails I get from disgruntled English teachers, so just pretend, okay?)

5. Running is so weird. Why did I pick such a weird sport? It’s not like I run to anywhere. I just run around and around. I think I will take up something cooler. Like tenpin bowling. Since the US Anti-Doping Agency now allows alcohol during elite competition, that sounds like a way-more-fun sport. Hmmh…but the outfits are worse than running outfits. And you have to carry around that goofy looking bag. And wear goofy looking shoes.

6. Do monkeys actually like people? Or do they just pretend to like people, and then when the people aren’t looking, they mock them in their cute sign language and contemplate ways to kill them in their sleep? Can monkeys be serial killers?


7. What will I look like if I gain the 70 pounds they say I need to gain in order to safely swim the Catalina Channel? Will I look like a Weeble? Of more like an Amazon? Amazons are cool, Weebles are not. Unless you are 3 years old. And then when I lose the weight after the swim is over, will I be all jiggly-skin? Hmm…maybe they could use some of the extra skin on the new face I’m going to get.

8. I am sooooooo craving a hamburger, With onion rings. On the burger. And a side of fries. And a chocolate milkshake. I will start with the shake, and then eat the burger. And then maybe order pie. Cherry pie. With ice-cream. Ooooooh, and cherry pie  milkshake!

9. Is Sarah Palin crazy, or the wiliest woman on the planet? Do her glasses help? I wonder when I’m going to start needing reading glasses. Hopefully not until after I get my new face.

10. Where am I? This neighborhood doesn’t look familiar. Why don’t I wear a freakin’ Garmin?! But it’s a pretty neighborhood. Maybe I need a new house. Wait, first I have to find MY house. Where am I?

Told you! I’m a DEEP thinker. Feel free to contemplate any of these important life mysteries. And let me know what you come up with – especially about the serial killer monkeys. Creepy.


Happy Running!




Scott Koepp July 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

I sometimes get into a “stream of consciousness” mode, too. Not so much now that I wear an MP3, and don’t have room between ears for thoughts. And, I probably only run 1/4 as much as you! It seems this stream had a theme of face transplants and monkeys. I believe a woman with a pet chimp recently had a face transplant after it attacked her and I’m guessing that factoid made it into your running brain’s neural network and it will soon dissolve into something else. The woman and her Doctor can work on her condition, you can just run and run and run 🙂

KENT July 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

I just shook my head Carilyn. Your a mess girl!

Carilyn July 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

You’re right, Scott, there does seem to be a monkey/face transplant theme! Very good observation – creepy! And you’re right, I’m definitely stuck with my brain 🙂

Carilyn July 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

I hope you aren’t just realizing that now, Kent 🙂 Besides, I have to keep myself entertained!

Char July 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I can tell you honestly that huge birds do poop huge poops. And even medium sized birds can poop huge poops. And fairly small dogs can poop giant poops especially if they’ve done it inside on the carpet and it’s a little runny.

Matt July 22, 2012 at 7:04 am

This post made my day.

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