A Runner’s High

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!



One thought on “A Runner’s High

  1. Lisa, Congrats on your 6 mile run. It is such food for the soul when we find that we can do things we once thought impossible. Keep rockin’ it! Love M

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