Running provides me with a clarity of mind and thinking that I seldom have.
Whether it's a work issue or a personal problem, I find that the solution often presents itself to me on the run or shortly after I finish. And if there's something bothering me that I can't quite put my finger on, by the 3rd or 4th hour of running, it certainly works its way to the surface - and usually comes with a solution, too. As they say, you can't hide during an ultra!
My theory is that when I'm running, my unconscious mind is occupied with the coordination of movements, muscle engagement, breathing, and stability required for the activity. This leaves my conscious thinking mind free to explore different thoughts and possibilities without judgment or resistance.
This phenomenon isn't limited to me; many of my running and non-running friends have experienced it too. Engaging in physical activity that requires a certain level of coordination and skill, at a moderate effort, seems to unlock creative ideas and solutions.
And when you happen to bring a run buddy along who is at your same level and is open to the free-flowing exchange of ideas, more magic happens! And while not every idea is genius (some of them are pretty rubbish of course), the process is always rewarding.
To me, running is like playing the violin or riding a bike was to Einstein.
So give me more running and running buddies and I'll solve all the world's problems!