We’ve all heard of the ‘Runner’s High’. We know of it, we seek it, and occasionally we reach it. I’ve been there a few times, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Describing it is difficult, especially to someone that doesn’t run. I defer to Pink Floyd for a lyric that captures it well:
“There’s no sensation to compare with this, suspended animation, a state of bliss”
Well said Mr. Floyd, or as we friends like to call him … Pink.
Injuries have become an unfortunate recurring theme in my marathon routine, and they have recalibrated the ‘high’ I seek when running. It’s actually now something that I think of as the ‘Runner’s Numb’. Fleeting running moments when nothing hurts, nothing aches, each step isn’t analyzed for issues. When my body declares a momentary truce and the sailing is smooth. Over the course of the last year or so this sensation has become increasingly rare. I’m rehabbing from a variety of leg issues right now, so it would seem this wouldn’t be the ideal ‘Numb Season’. Sunday didn’t agree.
My run started off with the usual tightness and soreness in my hip, knee, and feet, plus some tenderness in my left calf, which is a new present to me from my lower body. No sharp pain, so I kept going. I picked a loop just over 4 miles – technically longer than I should be running right now, but still within reason. At about the 3 mile mark it all clicked. The head bone connected to the foot bone, and nothing in between put up any resistance. There was even a good song on the iPod. Sweet, glorious numbness.
By the time I finished the assorted parts were angry again, but the memory from mile 3 burrowed into my brain and reminded me how it could feel. How it should feel. Much like the one good golf shot that gets you back on the course the next time despite the hundred bad ones you sprayed all over the course.
I’m backing off a little on the running to stay focused on my therapy and recovery, but it’s much easier to do this when you know you could run but make the choice to limit the running. I will not fall into the trap of running more than I should now and breaking down again. I’m not looking at a race until November, so I need to be patient. Yes, I’m trying to convince myself of this as I type. Sure hope it’s working.
Sending out some strong mojo to Chris over at BQ or Die for his marathon this weekend. I’m pulling hard for the BQ, since the alternative would significantly cut down on his blog postings, and would be messy for the race clean-up crew. You stay classy San Diego.