Runner’s high and a rush of joy

Most of us have heard of it and many have experienced it first-hand.  That rush that one gets after finishing a race or even the routine run.  It’s the feeling that keeps some people active.  Knowing that after the work has been put in the emotions will make all the effort worth it.

Research has shown that there is an increased number of endorphins in the brain after running.  These neurotransmitters are responsible for bringing joy to our everyday lives as well as relieving pain.  They occur naturally, but we can encourage their activity by being active ourselves.

Each person feels this rush differently and some might not even realize what it is happening.  Luckily, I can say that I have felt this amazing sensation before.  When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon it was a feeling that is hard to put into words.  I knew I had managed to leave 26.2 miles behind me.  So what else couldn’t I handle?  Granted at that exact moment I wasn’t ready to take over the world (probably because my legs were questioning what I’d just done to them), but my mind was jumping with excitement.

The same emotions rushed over me at other times when I’ve crossed the finish line.  As I look at my watch and realize I’ve reached my goal or set a PR, there was this sense of accomplishment.  Each day when Laura and I crossed the finish line and knew we’d just completed a stage of the greatest adventure of our lives, it was present.  I was overwhelmed with this same reaction when I read through Laura’s post about our final finish of Cruce de los Andes.

It was as if I was there again.  The crowd cheering, our flags waving in the wind, smiles from ear to ear and a sense of triumph.  Could it be possible that the endorphins were rushing to my brain or is it just the memory is so fresh?  I’m sure it was the latter, but either way it was a great feeling.  And there are many more finish lines to cross and runner’s highs to experience.

Have you felt the runner’s high?  Tell us about your experience!

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About Maria Mendoza

"Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

Posted on April 24, 2012, in Psychology, Running and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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