Today I went on my weekend long run. I usually try to run for between 60 and 90 minutes. I meet up with a group when I can, but often I end up going by myself.
I run pretty slowly so it's physically fairly easy, but I find it psychologically challenging. At the start it seems impossibly long and far.
I would almost certainly enjoy listening to a story tape while running, but I've always resisted this. It feels like cheating because facing the boredom and loneliness is part of the challenge for me.
It's also true that I do some valuable thinking when I'm running. I'll start the run feeling confused and stressed about something, but by the time I'm really tired at the end, I've generally distilled the issue down to it's fundamental core.
For example, at the start of the run I might wonder, "Are face cloths really a good idea? Or are you just wiping germs onto your face?" But by the end of the run I'll have got to the heart of the matter, "I really need to do a load of towels this afternoon."
So maybe I use the running time to work out the issues in my life. And I couldn't do that while listening to a story tape.
On the other hand, I always listen to a story tape when I'm cooking on my own. I would never make muffins in silence. Perhaps this is weakness though, and I could use that lonely sifting time to resolve my feelings towards my father.