Runner’s High?

They call it a “runner’s high” and I am waiting to get it back. But I got close a few weeks ago. I felt a surge of energy I haven’t felt in months. My “norm” went from just getting through each workout (or close enough) to actually enjoying the workout. Ahhhhh such a good feeling. Always good to feel like yourself again, if only for a very short time. Not that one good weekend means a complete turn of events, but it at least gave me a glimmer of hope that there WILL be good days. Days full of energy and happiness. Days full of sunshine and rainbows.

Sometimes you don’t know how bad you felt until you feel better. You can be like “hey, I am ok. I am good.” As a good friend of mine would say (I call it “triple speak”) – “I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m ok.” when clearly she was covering up any piece of goodness just trying to make herself feel better. The power of positive thinking. We tell ourselves how we want to feel with the hopes it will change how we feel. A good mantra, right?

I am not sure entirely what got me feeling motivated again – but I am pretty sure just being with people had a lot to do with it. Here I thought the perfect place for me was in a small dark corner by myself when what I really needed was motivation / encouragement / laughter / support from others – other people to help me be “me” again. So I got back into cycling at 5:30am with a great group of people, pushing me to the mileage I needed. During our long ride a few weeks back, we turned the corner to head up a rather large hill and I asked “how long is it again?” — the response “5 miles”. My thought – “I can do 5 miles. That’s not much!”. My positive mantra started. Then when I looked down at my odometer I realized at 6 miles an hour…. 5 miles might take a little more time than I had originally thought. No turning back. I did it with the desire to get to the top feeling strong. I didn’t wish I was sitting on my sofa instead of riding like the last time I went slowly up a long steep incline. It simply felt good. Riding with people is motivating.

The next morning (still motivated) I met a running group for a 12 mile run. These people run 6x a week and think triathletes are generally crazy but they support me, help me, and want me to reach my goals. I probably could’ve easily went out by myself and either barely finished the 12 mile run (it’s just where I am at) or stopped at 8 and said to myself “why?” and headed home. FRIENDS HELP!!!! Even if I didn’t talk, I had communication in my ear during most of the run. Chatting about everything – generally un-fitness related (my kind of discussions) – was just what the doctor ordered.

Whether you are biking, or running (or _____), your mind can’t drift off if you have friends chatting your ear off. It’s good stuff. I’m guessing they don’t know how much of a support crew they are, but it is what is going to get me through these next few weeks. (thank you friends)

I am looking at the calendar and there are 3 weeks until Vineman 70.3. It’s a pity my “Runners High” just kicked in last week but at the same time I think it has helped me love (and appreciate) the sport all the more. It’s not easy to get out and push yourself beyond your limit. I thought that was “normal” as it was such a big part of my life. Now I know what a gift it truly is. Of course I am still dealing with that age-old question “why am I doing this?” on the days when I just want to curl up with the fam and not leave the house. Several answers, several reasons, but at this moment I am grateful exercise has helped me get out of my “funk”.

I thought of some of the differences in the past few months and some are pretty significant. Point being everyone hits their own “funk”. Sometimes you don’t know how bad it is until you get out of it. Thinking back, here are just some of the thoughts that went through my head more times than once……

1) My shoes kept coming untied (over and over and over and over again). I would stop to tie them. Anything to stop.
2) Running with my 4 year old around the block felt like a workout.
3) Conveniently forgot water on long runs. Oops, had to go home early.
4) I hit the snooze button more often than not.
5) I couldn’t fathom the thought of racing.
6) Cycling only felt good when I was going downhill.
7) I hated any music on my headphones.
8) I would turn around in the middle of the pool. A lot.
9) Swimming was only fun if the kids were with me and I wasn’t wearing a cap or goggles.
10) While running I would chat with a dog owner about their dog, when I was only interested in that because I could stop.
11) I left with a half charged Garmin. Didn’t care.

Of course I still have those thoughts ………. but at least they aren’t all consuming. And I’m fairly certain the funk will return… but this time I will be better prepared on how to deal with it.

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