This was an interesting week. I spent most of the week resting and recovering from last week’s long run. But I also learned some new things about the more challenging aspects of distance running.
Runner’s high is a real thing. Though the science isn’t consistent on the root causes, a long run usually leaves runners feeling great and almost elated. Your Brain has released endorphins and you have accomplished something. If the race was hard on you the high gets even higher. I have experienced this before including when I stood in “Celebration Village” after the Columbus Marathon and tears were streaming down my face.
This week I experienced the flip side of runner’s high, the runner’s low.
As I wrote last week (link) I complete a half marathon distance run last weekend. This is my 4th half marathon distance run since August! Plus I hit my stretch goal for this months Cap City Half Marathon. It was tough but I felt great about having such an achievement!
Unfortunately after this run I experienced runner’s low for the first time. Not just was I very sore after the run, the most sore I have been after any of the half marathons, but it was also the fastest and hardest I have run. But, at risk of sounding melodramatic, I also experienced a little bit of depression.
I can’t really describe it, but for the first few days of this week I was just a little down. I was melancholy and I little emotionally meh. There wasn’t anything over-the-top bad, I just wasn’t me. It passed after a few days and I was completely back to normal. But, for those few days, I just wasn’t right.
I read lots of articles about this feeling and it is apparently very common. While I am no expert by any means, I think there are three main causes of runner’s low. The first two causes are more physiological and the third is psychological.
- The runner’s high is driven mostly by chemicals in your blood. The result is a precipitous crash after the “high” once the “happy” chemicals leave your system and that has a real impact.
- After the long runs it is important to take several rest and recovery days. This mean that the normal stress reliever and energizer isn’t there to keep feeding your endorphin needs.
- Often a long run marks the end of training for a goal and that goal is now behind you. This can lead to remorse or lack of meaning because your big goal is done.
In some ways all three of these impacted me this week. The goal part was because I went for a solo run and achieved my stretch goal for the half marathon. So I either need to set a bigger goal and set myself up for possible failure or the race will just nothing special. Yes, I said that about a half marathon which is a little crazy.
The good news is that I know that runner’s low exists now. Since I know it exists I know to be prepared for it and not to worry about myself if it happens.
One side note here. Runner’s low is not depression it is just a temporary side effect of the changing blood chemistry and such. Depression is very serious and needs to be handled as such.
Book Goes Bigger
This is another big week in my book journey.
After two weeks of selling my book just on my website I am expanding this week. Later this week my book becomes available for sale on Amazon and iTunes. I hope that these expanded sales channels expand the reach and visibility of my book and results in helping more people.
Separately, I am also starting to work on the paperback because I know that not everybody likes to read eBooks. I am hoping to release a second edition later this summer in both eBook and paperback. I also hope to start doing book launch events associated with the second edition.
But please don’t wait for summer if you want to buy my book. Click here to buy the eBook to get started, it is only $5.99 and completely worth it.
End of Q1
Today is the last day of March. That means that 2019 is 25% over after today bring us to the end of the first quarter, or Q1. This means it is time to evaluate progress with my 2019 goals.
Through this week I am going to be reflecting on my 2019 goals and how I am doing. Next week’s blog post will include a Q1 retrospective. Some goals will be on track and some will not be on track. Those that aren’t may mean it is time to adjust those goals.
I encourage you to go through this same exercise this week so you start off the second quarter of the year strong. If you need help just reach out!
Why I Share
In case you missed it my Reflections on Leadership post this week was a little bit different than my normal post. This week I used this post to explain why I share so much. Make sure to give it a read if you get a minute.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the big announcement this week of my book!
Last week’s stats (3/18-3/24):
Maintain avg. weight of 189-199 pounds: 200.4 lbs average
Run 10+ miles per week: 17 miles
Total walk/run miles: 40.7 miles
Weight training 2-3 times per week: 1 workout
One race per month: March race 3/17, April Races 4/7 & 4/27
Continue to track & manage calories: 3,530 calories under budget