I love to get high when I run. I don't get high every time I run. I have no control over it, it's always random, although I've found scenic trails, beaches and ocean views have a strong potency for helping me reach that state of euphoria. For those who've never gotten high on a run, I can only compare it to driving. Driving is often filled with drudgery. It's what you have to do to get from point A to point B and keep your job. But sometimes going for a drive can be fantastic. If everything aligns just right, with just the right song, maybe the sun setting, something scenic, a good friend to enjoy the ride with or a nice drive alone to think and dream. Sometimes when I'm lucky I get that feeling when running.
I got high twice this past week. One night after work I was planning to hit the dreadmill at the Shipley. It was dark and raining but I just had to get outside. When I started running it was only drizzling. If felt good. Then it started pouring and it felt great. The more drenched I got the happier I felt. The only explanation for enjoying the slush, the rain, and jumping over snow banks while dodging traffic in the dark is I must have been as high as a kite. I have no idea why I felt a runner's high that night.
Then the weekend came. My plan was to go away for the weekend to Ogunquit with some friends and on my way back I would meet some other friends in Hampton, NH for a half marathon. The snow forecast cancelled Sunday's race and our last night stay in Ogunquit. The Half-at-the-Hampton's organizers offered all the race festivities, without the race, on Saturday from 12 to 4. I was away with athletic shoppers (shopping wears me out more than running) so I dropped them off in Kittery and headed to Hampton. A win-win situation for all of us.
I picked up my running friends' goody bags and headed out for a run alone along Ocean Blvd. I didn't have a specific route in mind but just wanted to run about 10 miles. The festivities were inside the Ashworth hotel so I headed out from there toward the Hampton bridge into Seabrook. I stopped at the bridge and headed back past the Ashworth until I ran out of sidewalk then ran into the Ashworth. That was approximately four miles. I grabbed a drink and decided to run the same route and make the Ashworth hotel my aid station every four miles. It worked out great and I decided to run on the sand for my last lap. I have an obsession with Dave Grohl and set my phone to the Foo Fighters station on Pandora. Just as I hit the sand, “Learn to Fly” came on, an ocean breeze hit me, strangers were cheering me on and I was high as a kite again.
Before my friends and I left Ogunquit that day, we sat in the hotel's outdoor Jacuzzi in the snow. We enjoyed a post runner's/shopper's high before heading back home.
The weekend didn't go according to plan but that's life. Sometimes unexpected detours can be blessings in disguise. It could be drudgery but you'll never get high if you don't get out there and keep trying.