If you are not a runner, the thought of a so-called runner’s high probably makes you laugh. It certainly used to make me laugh. Seriously, how can pounding the pavement (or trail) while gasping for air and trying to avoid puking actually generate a high?
Having been an active runner for about 8 months now, I can tell you that it actually does exist. For me it typically happens when I push through the point where my whole body wants to stop to get one more mile. Runners let’s be honest. That one more mile sometimes becomes 2 or 3 more miles.
Then there are days like this morning. The alarm goes off and I groan. An extra hour of sleep is so enticing. My body feels lethargic and I haven’t even made it out of bed yet. I drag myself out of bed, put on my running gear, take my supplements, grab some water and head to the trail.
Midweek runs for me are typically shorter. I shoot for anywhere from 3-5 miles during the week. In reality, I hate doing anything less than 4 because getting out of bed at 5:30 makes me want to do more than a 5k. Did I just say that? A few months ago, 3 would have been a longer run. Oh well.
I got on the trail this morning and at every mile I just wanted to pack it up. That runner’s high never kicked in. I decided to go 3 and cut it off. Three miles came and I could not make myself stop. I decided to get four miles in. Still no runner’s high. Well I hit the 4 mile mark right before a half mile stretch of downhill switchbacks. I had worked to hard with a couple of climbs to not allow myself the enjoyment of finishing with a downhill stretch.
By the time all was finished, I got 4.5 miles in at an 8:31 pace. Not bad for a morning where I had to fight myself just to get going. No runner’s high today, but there is a feeling of accomplishment. That works too.
Get out there! Get your miles in one way or another.