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The Runners High


Ever since having C, my running had been pretty lackluster in the mental department. I would be able to get in the run but never felt awesome and didn’t feel like it was what I wanted to be when doing it. I would try to relax and take it easy and enjoy it, but I just felt like a foreigner running along the street. I didn’t feel normal and I couldn’t focus on anything besides how awkward I felt and how much I wasn’t enjoying it. I tried to think back to when I loved running and if I was doing anything differently to make me like it then. It just wasn’t fun and I felt like how most normal people talk about running. “I HATE running. How can you like it? You like to run? Ugh, it’s horrible.” I tried to think back to that runners high feeling but it’s been over a year since I had experienced it and I almost had come to believe that it was all in my head. Maybe I didn’t even like running?! I even told B, “I think I’m just going to stop running. It’s just so much work and I don’t love it.” 

I have been back running for a little over a month and each run seemed like such a chore and I was dreading most of them. It was a lot of work to time everything perfectly, get out there, and then come home sweaty and not feeling great. I don’t know if it was because I am a little bit heavier than what I was that things just don’t seem like they used to or what, but it was just frustrating to keep doing something that I used to love and literally have no feeling of any enjoyment at all. It’s also been interesting with coaching because I would tell the kids to push through and to keep focusing on the last 200 of the 800 meter workout, or things to try to motivate them but I almost felt hypocritical because I wasn’t doing the same thing to myself when I ran. I just felt so blah about running in general. My love for it was definitely still missing.

We had a great practice the other day and I was motivated by the kids and how hard they were working. Some days practices are so easy and just click and this was one of them. The majority of them were on their clocks, pushing themselves and looked great. They were listening and working hard which is so nice to see when you’re trying your best to help them improve. I was so proud of them and how they treated their workout and got it done without much complaining.

I had a 30 minute window while B was home before dinner and I decided to begrudgingly lace up my shoes and head out for another disappointing adventure. I went my normal 5K route which is through the neighborhood, along the riverbed and then back home. As I ventured out, the weather was perfect and I started to feel good. My music was going and I was feeling motivated to just breathe and try to relax.  The first mile felt pretty good, and as I rounded the river bed to begin my second mile I started to feel like everything was clicking. I wasn’t out of breath, my legs didn’t hurt and they moved effortlessly. I just glided forward without much effort. 

I thought about the kids I coach and how we tell them there are no excuses when it comes to running. You put in the work or you don’t. I felt like I had put in some work and was reaping the benefits now. The hard work I had banked for over a month was paying off!

I hit my stride and ran right into the the third mile, which was pure magic. It held the feelings that had alluded me for some time. It was euphoric and everything I was missing when it came to running. I ran and it felt so easy. My legs just went forward, my arms fell into place and my music had the perfect beat. My breathing was consistent and I didn’t feel like I was gasping for air. I just kept going and didn’t have to think about how much work it was or what was going wrong, because everything felt so right. It was the feeling I had wanted to once again experience. Finally, I got off the river bed and knew that my run was almost over. As I rounded the corner to head home I felt my breathing becoming heavy. Not because I was tired or winded, but because I was tearing up at finally having that feeling return. I remembered why I do love to run. 

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