Monday, August 9, 2010

getting high

That elusive runner’s high…do you get it?

I have a lot of friends who are just getting into this running thing along with me and recently the topic came up about the high that runner’s talk about. They weren’t getting it and wondering how they could. :)

Well, I think it’s an individual thing…so here’s my take on it.

The truth? I really didn't like running until after my first 5k.

I started running in January. My first 5k was in mid-April. If I hadn’t put it out there that I was running it, I probably would have quit a thousand times.

But then the morning of the race…immediately following the crossing of the finish line…I understood. The combination of making a goal, sticking to the training, completing it and all that fun energy from the race itself gave me a high. I was hooked.

But then I kept on running and I wasn’t getting that same high. I wasn’t sure why. By now I had committed to running a half marathon in the fall, so I was sticking to it for that. Again, if I didn’t have a goal that I put out there to lots of people, I might have quit.

My next runner's high came from running 4 miles outside. I was shocked that I had run that far! It was then that I realized that the treadmill is really boring for me. Now that I run outside almost exclusively, I only use the treadmill if I'm desperate or need to do some controlled speedwork. I get a bit of a high just being outside.

The reality is I don't get a high each time. And quite honestly there are days that I wonder why I do it at all. But now what keeps me getting up to do it is that half marathon looming. I know I won't be able to do it if I don't train for it. And it's not something I can train for half heartedly. So I get up and go.

My recent runner's highs have been things like running 7 miles for the first time or helping my hubby run 7 miles for the first time and getting that uninterrupted time with him. And my biggest high to date is running those 11 miles solo. Major high. It’s days like that that make all the other days worth it. I also get a charge after meeting up with friends and running too.

So that elusive runner's high (for me anyway) is more elusive than not. I'm always searching for a drug.

And since I now know it WILL come… the days that I don't get it are just a means to an end...a stepping stone to my next high.

Of course, like all physical exercise, I still feel great after I guess that’s a mini high, right?

I just got back from a bit of time in Santa Barbara where I was able to run on the beach…a different type of high. I’ll share more about that some time this week. Maybe it will even prompt me to pull out the scrapbooking stuff. (gasp!) or maybe not. :)


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