Sometimes people who know I run vast distances (I just love the word vast, so kindly excuse the minor hyperbole) ask me what I think about during those many hours of running, and whether I get bored.
The truthful answer is that I have NEVER been bored while running. Never.
The act of running--the physical, the mental, indeed the spiritual (you get to define that one)--combine to make any run for me a rich pageant of experience. And if you're talking about a race, the ante has just been upped, for the venue of a timed, measured course and competition all serve to heighten the experience.
Case in point is my last 100 mile effort, the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Race, in March 2010 (has it really been 3 years already?). Throughout the race I temporarily partnered up with various runners who were running at my speed, but such conversations were fairly short. That night, however, during my 62.5-75.0 mile segment and again in my 87.5-100.0 segment (the course is 8 repeat loops over a 12.5 mile course), I teamed up with two volunteer pacers and carried on a couple three-hour conversations, respectively.
We talked about the death of a spouse; running technologies; of near-death addiction issues by loved ones; about running to celebrate a healthy grandchild who might never have even walked (I carry a piece of her infant body cast in every race); of TV, movies, and books; of working for the Defense establishment; sedentary lifestyles; better life thru pharmaceuticals; of the use of pacers in races...in short, of anything and everything.
And the time flew, as did the miles, and the finish line drew nigh. And my mind was still racing.