Race day, a bitter Sunday morning in the Bois du Vincennes. Iâ€™m running the last few kilometres of a half marathon and Iâ€™m feeling good.
I used my head and backed off just enough for the first half of the race to leave something in the tank for the last quarter. My heart is pounding, as I race past everyone who went out too fast too soon. Iâ€™m feeling uncomfortableâ€¦. Really uncomfortable, my chest is on fire but my legs are on auto pilot as I turn up the heat. Passing all these runners at the end of a tough race feels good. Nobody has passed me for the last 4 kilometres as I put the hammer downâ€¦ Then at 20kms with 1km to go someone passes me, heâ€™s moving fast, too fast. â€œHeâ€™ll never make it at that speedâ€ I think â€œheâ€™s going to blow up!!â€ He turns the corner and heâ€™s out of sight, I pick up the pace, Iâ€™m hurting bad but I canâ€™t let him get awayâ€¦. 200 meters to go Iâ€™ve lost himâ€¦. Shit! Wait a minute there he isâ€¦ Heâ€™s blown up!! My spirits lift and and I forget all my pain as I drop a gear, I see the finish line and wonder if Iâ€™ll make it in time! 50m, 40m, 20m the gap closes and I pip him at the finish line!
Euphoria!Â My sons and girlfriend are at the finish line and I have a smile in my face like a Cheshire Catâ€¦. It wasnâ€™t a personal best for me but I had a blastâ€¦. Iâ€™d thought it through, worked hard and had a cracking race. A beautiful reminder of why I love to run. It doesnâ€™t always work that way but when it does itâ€™s priceless.
Runners high is definitely one of the reasons why I love to runâ€¦ In fact I get this feeling after I swim, bike or run hard or for and extended period of time. I always feel the high but mostly when Iâ€™ve taken a step outside of my comfort zone. If Iâ€™ve had a hard long training session or race then I go home eat, then sleep and even when I wake up Iâ€™m tingling all day. I know Iâ€™ve done something good, positive, worth whileâ€¦. but itâ€™s more than that. I canâ€™t explain the scientific approach because I donâ€™t really care. It works for me and the only cost is a bit of elbow greaseâ€¦ Hard work.
So if youâ€™re interested in any free drugs, take my advice, get outside roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirtyÂ