Runner’s High

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.

Runner’s High.


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.”

Runner’s High?

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?



  1. I feel better whenever I do any exercise, but I always feel better after a run, especially a speed session. There is something about gutting it out and going faster for longer than you thought that gets the brain working and it makes you feel like you can take on the world!

    • So agree that different levels of feeling better come from different sorts of exercise. My mind feels so free right after hot yoga.

      Thanks for the comment, Holly!

  2. Yes I have before! The process is painful but once you get better at running it feels so amazing. It’s like a drug, so addicting. I wish I had a set up like yours though. I’m trying to hit our big lake around our complex in the early mornings. You’re inspiring Krissy!

    • Hahah! I wish I had a setup like yours…big lake would be nice 😉

      I am glad we can inspire each other.

      Your new dog is the cutest ever!

  3. i think so, but like Holly said, i feel better after any exercise. i think the being up in the stillness of the morning and alone with your thoughts part appeals to me too. i’m seriously starting to debate forgoing some of my precious early morning sleep to sneak in a run while before the hubby takes off for work so he take care of our little girl. then i remember i’m crazy.

    i think popping right up out of bed in the morning is important too though. when i hit the snooze button, i feel like that sets the tone for my whole day. i spend it groggy and half awake. if i slap the alarm and pop straight up out of bed immediately, then i’m pumped and ready to go all day! conservation of momentum! woot for physics!

    • LOL it takes one to know one (crazy comment!!) 😉

      I love your scientific explanations! You’re so smart, Amy!!

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