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April 22, 2012

Feels Like Flying and…Oh…

Feels Like Flying and…Oh…

Since I took up running in June of 2011, I have been fascinated with the experience of “runner’s high.” When I was first looking at making a commitment to running, the question I posed to many runners was “how long did you have to run before you experienced this magical thing?” – I never once got an answer of less than a year. Most in fact, seemed to agree that you would have to run for a while and you would have to run often. As I have run longer and more often, I think I have had glimpses of this self-induced state-experience. But I am not sure. My real runner friends assure me that I won’t mistake it when it happens. Ok. So I asked a few of them if they would be willing to describe their experience of runner’s high such that a novice like me might be able to better be able to identify the feeling when it strikes. My friend Ted volunteered. Before he sent me this post, he said “I hope you won’t be offended by my analogy…” All I can say is that if it’s really that good it explains why I have heard people say they would give up sex before running. May I also add that this surely motivates me to keep going – how about you?

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes” – Andrew Carnegie

Last week Jacqueline and I were running at a very reasonable pace along the beach, and on the return portion of our run, I suddenly turned to her and said, “Sorry, but I have to fly.” And with that, I took off with longer strides that somehow felt lighter, a fast pace, and a huge smile on my face. The world had seemingly become more beautiful, and I was feeling wonderful!  After a short while I turned around and ran back to Jacqueline, who was also smiling. Although she encouraged me to keep going, I was still experiencing that “runners’ high,” and wanted to continue our run together.  I tried to explain what I was experiencing, and promised I would blog about it….about this so-called “runners’ high” that so many of us who run just love to experience.

(Really, he did try to explain it, but he was doing better at smiling than talking….) Continue reading…

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January 26, 2012

On Keeping the Pace, Outpacing Myself

On Keeping the Pace, Outpacing Myself

A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more 
~ Steve Prefontaine

I think I have mentioned my competitive nature in this blog before? Mostly, I am not so much competitive with others. I am, however, fiercely self-competitive and I am constantly trying to figure out improve on, better and best my own accomplishments. This has pros and cons. On the upside, it has led me to a pretty successful career…on the downside, it can leave me exhausted from spending energy on things that could really be left alone to progress along some natural course.

At the suggestion of a friend I recently read the book Strengths Finder 2.0 (might say more about that another time) and took the associated test. One of my top 5 strengths showed up as “Achiever” which is, in part, defined as one who “needs to prove yourself to yourself each day.” When I read that, I thought, “Yep- pretty much.” You see – and don’t take this personally – I don’t care all that much about how I stack up against you. But I do care a lot that the me of today is better than the me of yesterday.

Continue reading…

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