A runners high is a fallacy. There is no truth to it at all. My understanding of a high is a euphoric feeling. Like when I drink a glass of wine. I feel good. I feel relaxed. I always get a euphoric feeling when I drink wine. That is one of the reasons I imbibe. Not so with running.
Yesterday, Maria (my daughter and running partner) and I went for our long run – preparing for the Webster/Kirkwood Thanksgiving Day 6 mile run. We have been doing our long runs at the Meramec Greenway Trail in Valley Park. It is a round trip 6 mile hike along the Meramac river.
I ran twice this week – 3.2 miles and walked the other days. My goal today was that I would run 4 miles without stopping. Maria thought I should go further and encouraged me to reach 4.5 miles before I started to walk. Already, before we even started running, she was trying to kill me. I said “let me go for 4 and see how I do”. In my mind I am thinking “if I do not die or collapse I will definitely go for 4.5 miles”. But I did not want to share that with Maria. Because if I did, she would make me do it. Maria is RELENTLESS!
And we were off. I kept a decent pace of 5.03 mph. most of the time we were running. I felt pretty good. I was not breathing too hard. Best of all – I WAS BREATHING. In my mind all I had to achieve was to run to 4.5 miles and then I would walk/run the last 1.5 miles.
Getting back to that runners high. I kept thinking it was going to come. I kept waiting for it. 1 mile – 2 miles – not so much as a slight happy feeling. But it was a beautiful day and the view was amazing. I was listening to my favorite music – Glee. And that helped me not to think about the abuse I was putting my body through.
At 3 miles, I had a good pace going. I knew 4 miles was only one mile away. Euphoria was starting to set in with the thought of not running and start walking. But then I made it to 4 miles and thought – “You might as well go to 4.5 miles”. If you can run for 4 miles – you can certainly run for 4.5 miles. And I new Maria would like that. She is such a good trainer. And she slows down her pace so I can run with her. She could easily leave me in the dust. But she runs right along side of me. She really watches over me.
Still no runners high. And I was getting very tired.
And then at 4.5 miles Maria says “mom you are my hero”. Crap crap crap!!! After her saying that, there was no way I was going to stop running. How can I be her hero and stop running? I did start to slow down but kept thinking just don’t stop. And where was that runner’s high? It had definitely eluded me.
And then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Not the white light you see when you die. Just that the 6 mile mark was so near. And I made it!!! I ran for 6 whole miles without stopping. I crossed the finish line.
And then the runners high finally kicked in. I was euphoric that I had completed 6 miles. I was so excited that I had accomplished something I had never done before in my entire life I was so excited to have run 6 miles and live to tell the story.
Now that is pure euphoria. I did not die. I did not have a heart attack. I finally got my runners high. And the best part of the day is that I knew my daughter was proud of me. After all, I am her hero!