It’s Baaack…

The Runner’s High, that is.

I do not know that “they” make days visually much prettier than today. The sky was brilliant blue streaked with high white clouds; Naragansset Bay was a deep, clear blue, and the ground is still drifted with snow. Absolutely insane.

It was still chilly, but hovered somewhere near or possibly above freezing. Luckily, I haven’t run into any of the dreaded black ice that plagued Ben. But I got out on my way home from work.

The Forerunner took an abnormally long time to sync up today, so I started out, planning for 5 miles before it locked on to the satellites. It finally picked up sync after about 1/3 of a mile, 3 minutes or so into the run. S o I figured I’d just go ahead and run ’till it registered five miles.

Something just clicked today. It might have been the days on the treadmill – I am beginning to think that running at a regulated pace on the mill helps with pacing in the wild, or it just might be my level of fitness coming back to where it was in September. But the road just kept slipping by.

The iPod helped, too. The run started out with Beck’s “Novicane” – a little bit of whatever the heck Beck is with an adequate amount of screaming guitars, screaming hipster, and electronic noise to get the blood pumping. Then shuffle songs kicked out The Doors’ “When the Music’s Over”, and I got Morrison screaming and Manzarek pounding out keyboard bass for a solid 10 minutes, and then Madonna asked me to “Justify My Love”. Somehow, the music just fell into place – good rhythm and over-the-top energy for most of the run. It finished with Big Head Todd and the Monsters belting out a cover of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” that was quite possibly better than the original. I hadn’t realized that my wife had added the album to the shared music library. Amazing what gigs and gigs of storage can get you.

When I got to about the 3 mile point, the fabled Runner’s High kicked in for the first time in a quarter. Suddenly, my legs felt light, my feet were caressing the ground instead of pounding, and my breathing completely evened out to where all I wanted to do was run faster. So I did.

Near the end, I began to realize that I had a distinct possibility of finishing the run in sub-45 minutes for about 5.3 miles.


So I’m up-to-date on mileage for the week, had my absolute best run of 2005, and avoided the snack machine all day.

Tomorrow is going to be a different story – a wanna-be diner has opened up near the office, and I feel a moral obligation to go make sure they carry icebox pies. If there’s none, I know where to send the chefs to Learn.

The cat’s got the crazies tonight, by the way.

— Update —

The diner didn’t have icebox pies. Drat.

Yes, I did find myself singing along. ‘Specially with the “Wanting…Waiting…Hoping…”, which is a scary enough prospect – middle-class white boy, red-faced and sweating, head bopping and singing. No, I have no issues speaking in public, why do you ask?

And the runner’s high? I think it’s only about 50/50 between people who get it and don’t. One of the best runners I’ve known claimed he’d never had it, and the guy could run almost anyone to ground.