Skip to content

2012-366 Day 282 – Runner’s High

Perhaps it doesn’t bode too well for my distance running career that I don’t experience the runner’s high like you typically hear it represented by the running community at large. Rather than having some miraculous burst of energy at some indeterminate distance into a run, I instead find that my energy comes with rest at the very beginning of a run. In the middle I’m just . . . tired. And the more rest I have, say like a week, the better I feel at the start of my next run.

In the past I would have pushed myself too hard with that energy and overextended myself, but apparently I’ve learned a bit and was able to rein it in a little today. I realize that more rest equals more energy is a pretty easy result to achieve, but for me it’s even more than that. In the first mile or so of a run after a break I feel particularly energized and just fantastic about the act of running. This feeling goes away by mile three, but it is a particularly unique experience.

This year, however, I have twice managed to rediscover this feeling on runs of significant length. In both my 11 mile Ragnar leg and the Disneyland Half Marathon I was able to capture some of this feeling at the end of my run, which, as I’ve stated above, does not happen for me. Both runs shared a trait that is generally absent from my everyday runs, and one which I am going to have to exploit if I want to maintain any sort of enjoyment of distance running: pacing. By starting out slower and conserving energy, I was able to feel truly powerful coming into the final stretches of those runs, and finishing those distances strong was amazing. It is a mantra I have to remind myself of whenever I do long distance now, “Start slower, finish stronger.”

I have to remember that I am not an elite runner. The only person I am racing is myself and to give myself the best chance to succeed, I need to start slow. That has never been my strong suit, as I’ve said, I like to attack when I feel good at the beginning. I tend to have a bit more rest heading into my longer runs anyway since I taper my runs down ahead of time, so my nature battles with my mind. The true test will be at the Rock and Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon at the end of the month. I won’t be running with anyone, so it will be up to me. Do I follow my head or my heart?

I really hope it’s my head.

Weight: 226 Loss: 14 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 310 miles (+3 miles)
Softball Stats: Game 3 – 3/4 (.750), 1 R, 2 RBI Game 4 – 3/4 (.750), 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI Season – 12/15 (.800), 3 2B, 8 R, 5 RBI
Fitocracy Level: 26 ID: disciplev1

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , , , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.