I’ve been running off and on for almost 28 years. And in all of that time I have been searching for that runner’s high.
I’m overweight, and have been my whole life. I’ve got flat feet. My feet pronate when they move. There is no grace to my body when it runs. Heck there is very little grace to my body when it moves. People like me run because they have to, not because of some joy they feel when moving…
I started running in elementary school. My dad, when I was a kid, was really into jogging and dragged me along for his runs. Then my parents desperate to see me exercise motivated me in any which way they could to go running.
I’ve run in the snow. I’ve run in the sun. I’ve run uphill and I’ve run downhill. I’ve never run competitively. I’ve run a 7 minute mile, I’ve even run 3×7 minute miles, and then promptly injured myself and haven’t run a 7 mile since.
I’ve run at altitude in Vail, and then at sea-level in sunnyvale and finally understood the power of blood doping and EPO.
But no matter where I’ve run I’ve never found that runner’s high. Runner’s high was like a Republican in the south bay, or a satiated labrador, something people talked about but never actually experienced.
And still I ran. I ran and ran. I ran to lose weight, I ran to keep weight off, I ran so I could eat. I ran. And I ran. And I ran.
The last 6 months I’ve been training for a marathon and I’ve run over 400 miles. And still there was no runner high. When folks asked me about running I said: Running has no high. It’s a miserable boring form of exercise. It’s painful, and pointless just efficient for health and weight management. You stick one foot in front of the other, and your body moves to the rhythm of the plodding. There is no magic, There is no beauty. There is no mystical wonderful moment. It’s just pure pain. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
I was the atheist of running. In tune with the reality of running I had rejected the mysticism as nonsense. Drivel spewed by the high priests who used their mystical nonsense to get more people into their cult. There is no high, just pain, and in accepting that reality we are liberated!
But today, I found that runner’s high. That moment of pure bliss where you are moving and you don’t even feel like your doing anything, your body just magically glides forward and it all just fits together like a magical ride.
It took me 400+ miles of training to finally find the runner’s high. And it’s as wonderful as everyone said it would be.
Or maybe it’s the Tapering Crazies…