Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chasing the endorphins

Yesterday I accomplished one of my numerous running goals for the year: my first run over an hour. My traditional training has been to pick a pace and just keep grinding out longer and longer runs. This time I am trying to mix slower and longer runs with some fast interval training. I anticipate better conditioning this way, but who knows.

The important thing is the introduction of endorphins, which act like opiates. Running for 45 minutes sucks. It is long enough to get boring, but too short for the body to start releasing endorphins. For me, right around one hour I start getting the "runners high". It isn't really a buzz, just a visit to la-la land. From that point on, the fact that you are still bored just doesn't seem to matter as much. Mentally, the first hour is hardest. Of course physically, it's the other way around.

I feel like I have been lucky so far. I am running without any of my normal pains in my right knee and the accompanying tight calf. Instead I have found a tender left heal. I am convinced that part of the problem was the trail shoes I was running in, so I threw some money at the problem and got some of these stylish Saucony Omni 7's. Not a great fashion statement, but so far they seem to be helping.

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