Runner’s (Not)High

by Lisa Rosen on September 22, 2011

Confession:  some days I run just so I can get the post-run high.  When it happens (it doesn’t always), it’s fantastic.  Endorphinized happiness.

Some days, though, the run is just an attempt to avoid complete stabbiness.

Today was (is!) one of those days.

Actually, today started last night, when a writer-friend ripped my novel a new one (notice I didn’t say ripped me a new one, because I’m working very hard on taking my own advice, and NOT taking criticism personally).  What she really did was ask the question that I’ve been trying to answer for six months, without really understanding what the question was, so I’m actually deeply grateful, but it took me a few hours of processing (er . . . all night?) to embrace the constructive part of “constructive criticism.”

Then our local Vespa moron went on a neighborhood tour at 5 am (better than the 3 am tour a couple of weeks ago, but still).  So I might’ve woken up slightly less cheery than usual.

Then we had a more-spectacularly-dramatic-than-usual teen-age meltdown.  You know they say sh** rolls downhill?  At our house it rolls every which way:  up, down, and sideways.  All of which resulted in my having to drive Delaney and the carpool kid to school.  Which is fine–I really like this particular carpool kid (hi Shay!)–but it was unexpected.  I might be just the teensiest bit inflexible sometimes.  Lee, bless his heart, talked me off the ledge afterward, and convinced me not to change the locks before school gets out this afternoon.  But don’t think I wasn’t tempted.

When I got home from the unexpected carpool, the refrigerator was dead.  Dead.  As in, not cooling.  As in, all that tomato sauce and freezer jam and all those bell peppers that I painstakingly peeled . . . all thawing.

So I did what any sensible person would do–I went for a run.  Right. That. Minute.

Because I needed to destress.  I needed those endorphins, and  I needed to get them in before the rain started.  Because me + running + rain usually results in an emergency room visit, and frankly, we’ve had more than enough of that sort of thing lately.*

For the record, that rain that I was trying to avoid?  It held off, if by held off you mean rain wasn’t actually falling from the sky in discrete drops.  Instead it just saturated the atmosphere–warm, swampy humidity.  The kind that makes your shins sweat.

Guess who else was out for a run, along the very same route?  The garbage truck.  Full of garbage.  In that warm, swampy humidity.  Leaving a wide, wet trail of decomposed garbage juice.  Right along my path.  I was fine–albeit wrinkle-nosed–until I had to actually leap over the trail of garbage juice.

That, my friends, was the closest I’ve ever come to actually vomiting in the middle of a run.  I have, on other days, run hard enough to make myself queasy, and I’ve run far enough to be turned off by my warm bottle of sports drink.  But I’ve never actually had to swallow down the heave.

So yeah.  I wasn’t really feeling the runner’s high this morning.  Some days that’s just how it goes.

ps–That rain that I was trying to avoid?  It’s coming–tomorrow.  Right smack in the middle of the high school field trip I’m chaperoning.  The one in which we’ll be tromping in the woods and collecting specimens from the lake.  The forecasters are calling for 80 degrees and flooding.  Anyone have some waders I can borrow?

*I haven’t written about all the gory details , simply because it’s hard to drive up traffic by blogging about one’s husband’s colonoscopy and the ensuing complications.  He’s fine now, but I’d just as soon we were all healthy for a little while.

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