Friday, July 25, 2008


A huge thanks to my running group, Debbie, Nazir, Manny, David, Dinu, John, Dianah, Rod, and Jacques for their generous gift and gathering yesterday evening at Stellas.  The Merlot looks stunning and the gift certificate to my favourite store, although way too rich, will be used with much appreciation.  I truly don’t know what I did to deserve such kindness   If you only knew how much my knees were knocking on the days leading up to the marathon or how little I actually know about running.    I am the one indebted to you; I am the recipient of your friendship and your wisdom.  As Nazir wrote “we met as strangers and leave as friends”.  Thank you all.

 Ran a 16 miler today.  I’m off to the lake this weekend so I snuck in a long run to avoid the huge guilt trip on Sunday.  It was on the warm side, but I found lots of shade and the breeze was cooling.  I ran out of water at about mile 9 and couldn’t find a place to refill for a couple of miles and became a touch dehydrated.  No serious consequences, just a little unpleasant for a bit. A huge bowl of fresh fruit, a tall glass of high-end juice, and a granola bar fixed me up fine.  I must be getting good at estimating distance because my driveway was precisely mile 16.  Running solo again provides me lots of opportunity to get lost in thought.

 Speaking of which,  I gave some more thought to why I run… reason #2, the euphoric affect.   It doesn’t happen often, certainly not every run, not even every other run.  It happens at most once or twice a month, usually when I'm running solo.   No amount of trying will coax it along, it come naturally or not at all.  It creeps up on me and I’ve only recently learned to read the telltale symptoms that it’s about to happen.  I become aware of my form and my posture.  I think of the puppet string that Stanton talks about.. you know, run like there's an imaginary puppet string running out of the top of your head.  I push my chest out and run tall.  My legs, my arms, my hips, my entire body becomes synchronized and efficient like a machine.  There is no wasted energy; my entire body works together and it feels very good.  My awareness of the motion becomes heightened.  I focus on a spot way in the distance.  My motion feels fluid; it is fluid.  I begin to zone out, not completely -THAT would be crazy- and I let my body take over. I feel strong, even omnipotent like I could run forever in perfect harmony. Sometimes, not always, near the end, I’ll feel a rush starting at the base of my brain which then slowly travels down my spine.  The whole episode lasts about a minute, maybe a minute-and-a-half if I’m lucky.   It’s an entirely blissful feeling, one to savor.  I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to it, but I sure do look forward to it! Perhaps you’ve been there, or perhaps I’m crazy.  Either way, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

No, I do not mix hallucinogens in my Gator-Aid! :>)

Thanks for tuning in... back next week.  Cheers to the c/w crew. 



Jen said...

That could possibly be the best explanation of the runner high I've ever heard. Very eloquent. It truly can't be forced, it just happens. I can probably count on one hand the times it's happened, but boy, they sure stay with you! Nice.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jen. When I re-read the paragraph I realized I said it happens once or twice a month. Make that once or twice every few months. It is very rare, but worth the wait! Nice indeed! M