This topic has appeared in my mind many times as a possible blog topic, but for some reason or other – it’s never made it past that stage. So, here goes on the scattering of thoughts I’ve focused toward the idea since last year.
There was an instance, around this time last year – back when I was still working at Disney, when I had a conversation with one of my coworkers about Couch to 5k. I was doing my runs before work, and that morning was a 7:30 AM opening shift, which of course meant I was out and hitting the pavement around 5 AM. She commented that she would be SUPER tired if she ran before work – and she had run several 10Ks and half marathons – then she asked, “well, I guess things would be different if I got that runner’s high – but eh, I never have.”
That was the first time I had ever heard of such a statement, but in that pivotal moment, I realized that I was not alone in my new venture. I was part of something bigger than myself…that elated feeling after honing in a good pace for several miles was something I could share. I was a part of a whole new group of people in the world. I was a runner. A focused athlete with constantly evolving PR goals, distinguished by the characteristic synchronous chirping of my Garmin with theirs…and outed by my strange tan lines…
But really, it’s true. Runner’s high is definitely something that I continue to experience – and continue to struggle explaining. The hubs just thinks I am crazy (which is, current topic unrelated – probably true) for cutting into my sleep time to log miles. Yet, after a great run, I feel way more energized than 60 extra minutes of sleep could ever provide. Take…for example, this morning. I popped up at 5:15 AM, so I could be down at the condo gym by 5:30 AM – 6 mile easy run on my mind. I guess I was even more excited about the run than anticipated, because I was starting my clock at 5:23 AM for recordkeeping! Whooo!
With Lady Gaga’s Pandora station as my sole companion, I glided through the miles this morning. (side note: it is SO tempting for me to up the speed on treadmill easy runs, but I remind myself that easy runs are integral parts of training too – though I did bump the “10+” suggested pace for 9 and a half) I was happy to not ever have to hit “skip” in this musical set, as often is the case when I pick other Pandora stations for workouts.
At around mile 3, a woman entered the gym – she’s a regular too. I waved hi, and we both went about our own workouts – she typically switches on ESPN and powers through some elliptical, followed by stretches and crunches. Is it creepy that I know that? Oh well.
Back to the run…
Well, a few great songs popped up – remixes of Katy Perry, Britney and other pop stuff – all good peppy music. By the time I was done with my 6 miles, I was ready to float back up to the 4th floor and get ready for my day!
See – I am not sure if it’s the stillness of the early morning hours, or the meditative quality of being alone with your thoughts and no other obligations, but for me, running always just seems to “re-boot” me. The rest of the day just feels not as pressing – your body feels different – less tension…it’s just…a high.
Have you experienced runner’s high?