The first 10, sometimes even 20 minutes of a run usually don’t feel good; mentally or physically. It’s too dark or too bright, you’re too tired or really too tired and your body is stiff from sitting all day or it’s so dang early you’re still half asleep.
Some days, especially in the dead of winter I would rather sleep in. But I get up and go because:
- it’s a well-established habit
- I know that I’ll feel so much better once I get past the first mile or so
That’s when the ‘runner’s high’ kicks in and any feelings of ‘meh’ or ‘whatever’ melt away. The ‘runner’s high’ is the rush of endorphins that a lot of runners get after about 10 or 20 minutes into their run. It can be a big swooshy feeling of love for what you are doing or a begrudging “this is not so bad” acknowledgment or something in between.
Once we hit this mother lode we are golden. No, this doesn’t mean our runs will be like dancing with unicorns on a glittery rainbow but it may make you want to run a little faster, a little farther or you are just feeling really good! (Until you’re not – but that’s distance running which we won’t tackle today!)
If you are new to this sport, however, you may not have been able to get to the 10 minute mark yet. And so this ‘runner’s high’ of which we speak is as foreign as Sanskrit.
Brad, my husband, has started running. He has brand new running shoes and has been going out on his own for short runs. And so far it was going ok, but he’s struggled a bit. To find his pace or any joy in the task!
But I started to notice a subtle shift. After one run he came back and said he ran the loop only stopping a few times. A week later it was that he did the loop with less stops and then it was the loop without stopping.
This past Thursday morning he went for a run and when he came back I asked him how it went. And out of his mouth came the words I have been longing to hear.
“I got to the corner and felt ok so I decided I could run farther. It was a good run.”
Big deal, you may be thinking. The guy only ran an extra 35 seconds. And yeah, in the whole scheme of distance and time you’re right. But he finally got what I’ve telling him and anyone else who will listen.
If you are patient, and don’t give up you’ll get there. For you it may mean running more than walking. You may be able to run a loop without stopping. It may be tackling a hill or adding 5 minutes to your run or walk.
The point is not what you do, it’s that you do it. Because the reward is #awesome. Just like running. And you!
Now go run!