The “Elusive” Runner’s High
…Have you met it before?
I wasn’t looking for it, and I found it a few times, around the 7-8km mark. It seems that there’s a lot of controversy over whether or not this actually exists, but I can tell you I know it does. The times it’s happened it’s been sunny but not too hot, I wasn’t worried about my pace or form, and I was listening to music (drum and bass actually now that I think about it). You would think aha, it’s gotta be adrenaline from the music but it’s not related to any “good tune” – I have had plenty of music rushes and I can tell you this is immensely different.
What did it feel like to me? It’s an unexpected calm. It feels like my insides become a fuzzy waterfall. Positivity leaks out of every pore. I can’t help but grin and my breathing tends to get deeper but more noticeable. My feet feel like they’re flying over the pavement, and I suddenly feel like I could run forever. I feel tall and light, and the butterflies in my stomach mimic the feeling of love. It lasts for a short time, maybe a minute at most, but for that minute I can’t imagine anything ever being as wonderful as the moment I am in.
I will be honest, I haven’t felt it since 2010. Maybe it was a newbie thing. Maybe I’m thinking too much on my runs now, with all my ChiRunning focuses on country roads, dodging cars and stepping on sharp gravel. Perhaps I will conduct an experiment next time I run on a bike trail with no worry about traffic. I’ll pop in some great tunes, shut off the form drills, and just run 10km for fun.