Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Let the Endorphins flow!

Are you addicted to the endorphin high?  So many runners, including me, get that wonderfully euphoric feeling after a run.  There is nothing like it!  Believe me...I've tried many different things in the past 9 months, but nothing really duplicates that feeling.  Don't get me wrong...I love the feeling I get after a good yoga session, a gym session, or bike ride.  I'm not a great swimmer, but always feel better after a good swim.  Climbing...well, what can I say?...my second passion...always feel at peace with the world after a good climbing day.  OK, climbing is up there on the list, but the endorphin high from running is irreplaceable.

Unfortunately, I haven't had that feeling for quite some time...until tonight!

I can tell I'm healing because I get that fidgety feeling when I get anywhere near a treadmill or even glance at my running shoes.  My running shoes have the same affect on my as the magnetic pull the ring on Gollum....my Precious!!!

One or two times each week, I have been "running" a mile on the tread to see if I could get a pain-free stride worked out.  I'd like to be able to run with my Reach the Beach team in September, and I figure I need to cover 3 legs of 3-5 miles each at a sub 10 min/mile pace or thereabouts.  I'm not too worried about pace, but would like to run smoothly, efficiently, and with minimal discomfort.

Anyway, I managed to work my way down to a sub 9:30 mile, and then yesterday attempted my first timed mile outdoors at a nearby high school track.  After diligently doing my prescribed warm-up exercises, I set off with a skip.  My knee hurt pretty significantly which was weird because my hip was the incumbent ache going into the trot.  At any rate, I huffed and puffed and gutted out an 8:27 mile.   If you told me 4 weeks ago that I would do an 8:27 mile, I would have jumped for joy.  I was pleased and relieved, but somehow felt like I still had a lot of work ahead of me.  My gate was not even close to normal as it was more like a controlled limp.  I was bummed with my relative level of aerobic fitness, and the knee pain worried me a bit.

Tonight, I did my physical therapy session diligently, but the magnetic pull of the treadmill just would not let me be.  I told myself it was a dumb idea...my knee was still sore from yesterday.  I negotiated with the little runner on my left shoulder and ignored the warnings from the sane couch potato on my right shoulder.  The little runner promised it would be OK, so I went for it and shoved a handful of potato chips in the other guys mouth so I couldn't hear his warnings and gloomy predictions.  My plan was to go slow and just work on technique.  I managed to do a mile in a bit over 11 minutes.  It was fine with me.  I was happy just to be moving 2 days in a row.   Another check in the box...first back-to-back days of running since October 2.  Nice!  But here's the kicker...

I did a little cool down walk, drove home, and then it hit me.  There it was....that feeling...the feeling you get after a solid 20 mile training run with your buds...Call it what you want: a runner's high, nervana, heaven, a peaceful state of bliss.  Whatever you want to call it is fine with me.  I just got a little of my mojo back.  The endorphins were flowing, and it felt "oh so good!"

Ahhhhh!!!  Wishing you all the endless runner's high!



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