Runner's High . . .

Keeping with my tradition of making Wednesday posts about my running (mis)adventures, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk with you a bot something very important . . . runner's high.

I am a little embarrassed to admit this but I was never really sure if I believed in it or not but everyone I know who "believes" kept saying you have to run at least X (it changed by person - just like the theories on the exact demographic where drinking Zima is okay) miles before you feel it and the longest distance I've been told (by personal acquaintances and blogs, etc. on running (Yes, I've been reading up - don't judge!)) is six miles.

Well . . . low and behold . . . I had a six mile run on Saturday and I've got to say - right around the 5-mile mark I felt something really strange creep over me. Running suddenly felt different than it ever has before. Was this it? Was I getting "high"? Was this thing real? No. Not at all. I just wanted to get that last mile done and get away from the crazy people giving high fives and actually (gasp) TOUCHING ME in encouraging ways (sidebar - I hug my friends and will happily even exchange a smooch with a woman I love but I don't, generally, like touching or being touched by strangers). I feel like I can now officially declare (like watching those ghost shows that "prove" ghosts are real) that it is all a crock of crap and people should be mortified.

But I got back in the car Saturday, dripping sweat and happy to be done, and started driving home and realized something . . . it is all a state of mind, right? Like fishers who claim a good river is a church, or boxers who feel every punch they endure makes the stronger, or quilters who thing a good fabric swatch is what the world is all about or - even more crazy - when I feel at peace just for stepping inside the sanctuary at temple. I get it, now. FINALLY (the "Joes" coordinator is going to cry happy tears when she reads this). Running might not be "for" me but it is FOR a lot of people and, to them, it is a culture, circle, mindset, religion, and gift. They are no more crazy than my father for calling his beloved PT Crusier a "PT" (and swearing that is what all owners call them). They are no more nutty than my sorta' wife and her love for Coach bags. They are probably equally sane as anyone I know who will publicly claim to be a fan of the Cubs or the Royals or the Chiefs. I can't call them crazy and keep a straight face when I don my kippah and mark the Sabbath.

They are full of crap - there is NO SUCH THING as runner's high and there is NO WAY anyone really, truly LOVES running but . . . they claim to and - for the rest of this half marathon Odyssey I am on (if not forever) - that is good enough for me. Run on, kiddos. Run on.