Pursuit of the Runner's High
I had an interesting conversation with a friend today about all the New Year “shoulds.” I call any time I say “should” about something “the shitty shoulds.” I am happy with my body, but I am not as active or fit as I once was, before kids, and when my full time job was working out (as a personal trainer). I don’t work out often enough and I find myself “shoulding” about it. She asked me what I enjoyed about working out. I said the runner’s high is probably my favorite feeling. Thinking about it know (after a run) I also enjoy the clarity of thought and great ideas that I have while running.
I researched (googled) the various topics related to the pursuit of runner’s high and my favorite definition was this “A runner’s high is a brief, deeply relaxing state of euphoria. Euphoria is a sense of extreme joy or delight.” That is the feeling. After an intense workout or run I LOVE the feeling of floating that I get.
We call it the runner’s high because of endocannabinoids (basically internally produced THC) that make you feel calm. It is good to note that not just endorphins are responsible for making you feel so great.
Runner’s World even has a five steps to a runner’s high that I will summarize here:
Today I did hill repeats in the rain and mud, listening to music, with my kids standing in the driveway watching, and I got my coveted runner’s high. I will also note that I got around 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night (which is rare with my kids).
More thoughts on the “shoulds” for working out... I am reading Jenna Kutcher’s book “How Are You, Really?” and one of the questions that she asks is “When is the last time that you felt 1,000 percent amazing? Vibrant? Giddy? Alive?” My first thought and response took me back to my last hard run. I was in Las Vegas in November at a work conference and got the last treadmill in a crowded hotel gym. I ran intervals for 30 minutes while people waited and scooped up any piece of equipment that became available. I got off the treadmill and floated my way up the stairs to main floor to grab breakfast to bring back to my room before getting ready for the day. I love that feeling, that feeling of floating, the clear head that is ready to tackle anything.
I have so many reasons I “should” workout. Going forward, I will be working out for the pursuit of the runner’s high and/or any time that I need to get my ideas straight for a problem at work. The stronger and more toned body will be the side effect.
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Science, Solutions, and Sprinkles (SSSprinkles.com) is the personal branding site for Sara Jane Weidner (now Bellocchi). It is the confluence of all her businesses, thoughts, knowledge, and a way to give back... through distilling information into an interesting and entertaining content pillar.