Thursday, May 5, 2011

Runner's High

Yesterday I worked 16 hours, went home and slept for 3 hours and went back to work at 6AM today. Clearly I missed the gym yesterday and today I was so exhausted at work but my "I just want carbs" dinner binge last night (which continued into breakfast, whoops!) meant I needed to at least something at the gym today. So I dragged myself over there and did the 30 minute weights circuit because I haven't lifted in awhile. After that, my goal was to run 3 miles on the treadmill and call it a day. Well after 0.5 miles I wasn't feeling the run and I convinced myself that if I could make it 1 mile I could go home. Then at 1 mile I decided I needed to go at least 1.5 miles, 15 minutes, so I'd have a total of at least 45 minutes at the gym.

And then at 1.3 miles it hit, that glorious state of euphoria that I had only heard about but never experienced until recently, the runner's high.

According to Wikipedia the definition of a runner's high is, "A publicized effect of endorphin production is the so-called "runner's high", which is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production." Until recently I had only heard of the runner's high but never really experienced it. I think it's because I wasn't running fast enough or far enough. I wasn't getting my heart racing fast enough to get the endorphins pumping. Sure I was working up a good sweat and all and I'm sure my heart was working hard, but that runner's high was still elusive until I hit the 10 min mile mark consistently and going more than 3 miles in 1 run.

If you are out there and you haven't reached that high yet fear not, you will get there. The more you run, the stronger you'll get, and the faster you'll go! Not even a year ago I couldn't go above 5.7mph on the treadmill without getting stomach cramps and wanting to die But today I powered through 3 miles at 6.0mph and the last mile I ran 6.5mph for half a mile and finished off at 7.0mph! Less than a year ago I would have never made it that far! Sometimes I might not see the progress on the scale and I get frustrated because I'm trying to exercise more but I don't see the difference when I look in the mirror (more on this later) but I know I'm making progress when I go to the gym and I can run half a mile at 7.0mph after running 3.5 miles already!

Well that's my update for today. I'm dead tired from the lack of sleep so it's shower and bed time. Keep running!

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