Monday, April 02, 2012

In the Long Run: Afterglow

Ok, people - let's talk Endorphins.

Wikipedia defines them as: "endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm,

Well, I covered at least 4 of the 6 of those today, and I'll tell you that Spicy Food wasn't one of them. (I didn't use any Gels or Gu's today, and if I did, I'm sure the flavor wasn't Chipotle.) I'm going to leave you guessing on the other one.

Today I finished the Merville 15K in 1:06:37 (official time). While not my personal best, I was so happy after the race that I was grinning like an idiot for hours after. When Triple T messaged me to ask how I did and what kinda topic I felt like writing about for today's post, I immediately told her "Afterglow" - I just wanted to tell the world how great I felt, right at that moment.

(Okay, maybe not right at that moment, as I was in the process of getting changed in my car* - but I think you get my meaning.)

For me, the immediate rush of finishing the race is a jumble of emotions - seeing how I did (better than I expected), having my Family at the finish line, and the immediate congratulations from other runners just makes you feel good.

And today, when I crossed that line, I felt GREAT.

Sure, my legs were sore, and my chest was burning just a bit, (they have a sprint competition for the last 100 meters that I thought I'd try) and I guzzled the G2 my wife handed me like a frat boy with his first keg - but mentally I felt like I could climb a mountain, swim a river, and scream to the world how incredibly awesome I am.

Now those are some fucking endorphins at work.

At the awards/results/whatever thing afterwards, the good feelings just keep coming:
  • I don't know how many of you have ever chugged a pint of Chocolate Milk after running, but that shit is amazing. I like chocolate milk, but after you've had it post-race, you never want to drink it any other way again. It's like having champagne on a Tuesday - it just doesn't feel right.
  • Checking in with other runners you know and seeing how they did is such a rush - everyone knows exactly what everyone else just went through, so comparing times and congratulating each other is like a big, sweaty lovefest.
  • Hearing your friends names called out for Age Group Top Ten finishers is great -
  •  - Almost as great as hearing your own name called because you came in Eighth in your Age Group.
Oh - did I not mention that last part?

You read it right - my close-to-40-but-not-for-another-7-weeks ass placed Eighth in my Age Group. To some, eighth may not be much, I'm feeling pretty stoked about it.

You want to talk endorphins? Let me tell you how good I felt as my kids, Wife, and friends were clapping for me as I went up and got my ribbon**.

It's now seven hours later and I'm still feeling "high".

The Afterglow isn't the reason we run - if that was the case, we'd never stop - they're the reward your body gives your brain for pushing it to the limit and doing your best.

All I can say is that it rocks.

And I can't wait to get that feeling again.

Check out Triple T's thoughts on the subject of Afterglow right here -  I'm glad she made it a point to differentiate between Afterglow and Running Afterglow - I'm still not saying whether or not I had an orgasm at the finish line..***


 *Triple T - Sorry for giving you that visual - I promise you, I normally reply to all your messages while wearing pants.

** I think running is the only sport where you would be happy accepting a ribbon as a prize. I can't see the NFL replacing the Lombardi Trophy with ribbons anytime soon.

***Totally didn't - but wouldn't that make for the world's most awesome/awkward finish line photo?


  1. Champagne on Tuesday is wrong? We're OVER, Midlife Rambler.

    Re the * ... I'm not going to even begin to tell you how much pantslessness goes on around here. I work from home, remember? Pants are always optional.

    Re the *** ... By the time I'm done running, I've got Gel/Gu everywhere. It looks exactly the same...

  2. Ya fuckin' dancer!

    Top work fella, getting your name mentioned for anything not involving federal transgressions is always a good thing....

  3. I am so glad your race went well! There is really nothing like after a good race!

    And on the chocolate milk I am right with you!

  4. Nicely done... eighth is real real.... unless there was only eight racers?