Some people who casually run ask me about this, the runner's high... I'm not entirely sure when you hit it, but I usually tell people that I feel like 'ugh' until about 10 minutes into the run, when I start to feel better. On good long runs, I think I hit it after the 1 hour mark. Today, I totally didn't feel like going out there. It was 1 degree, but clear. I hadn't run for three days (a concert on Thursday, dinner on Friday and a lazy Saturday conspired to get me off my feet) so I felt an obligation to run. No, not a need, an obligation.
So I set out on the out-and-back 15K run on the trial. While I was warming up in front of my condo, a cyclist asked me if the trail continues to the west and I said, 'yes, follow that runner' (pointing at a guy down the road) and you'll hit the trail that brings you to Etobicoke, which is west of Toronto. He thanked me and he was on his way.
I set out after him, thinking that I should keep the the trails and avoid streets, traffic and pedestrians. The first 3K was uneventful, I was trying to keep the heart rate under 80% but getting in a good pace. I was kinda laboured and was concentrating on running too much.
Then it happened. I hit the 4K mark, and saw that same cyclist on his way back. By then, I had been running for only 22ish minutes but my mind was shifting away from the pain of running hardish, and focused on other things. My hands started to loosen, I swung my arms with more fluid motion, my legs were heavy but now I found my stride, my eyes were fixed at the tree branches and I was enjoying seeing the leaveless fingers of those oaks go by. It made me feel fast. Other runners were passing, and I picked up my speed slightly, nodded and waving to them confidently and I realized I had done it -- not a high, but something better than 'ugh -- by the time I hit 6K. Running wasn't painful, it just was, well, running. And I enjoyed the next 9K.
Weekly mileage: 36K (22 miles)
Time run: 2:56:41
Year to date: 2,343.5K (1,456 miles)