I'm often asked about what I think about as I run. Usually the people who ask this has never run long distances themselves. I always ponder the question. What exactly do I think about when I'm runnning? I don't have a clue.
On cold days I guess I think a little about how cold it is. And about the heat on hot days. When I'm sad I think a little about sadness. When I'm happy I think a little about happyness. As I mentioned before, random memories come to me too. And occasionally, hardly ever, really, I get an Idea to use in a novel. But really as I run, I don't think much of anything worth mentioning.
I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to aquire a void. But as you might expect, an occational thought will slip into this void. People's mind can't be a complete blank. Human beings' emotions are not strong or consistent enough to suastain a vacuum. What I mean is, the kinds and thoughts and ideas that invade my emotions as I run remain subordinate to that void. Lacking content, they are just random thoughts that gather around that central void.
The thoughts that occur to me while I'm running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky as always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky. The sky both exists and doesn't exist. It has substance and at the same time doesn't. And we merely accept that vast expanse and drink it in.
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running