Posted by: jawsome | January 10, 2009


So, I’ve heard a lot about this mysterious thing called the runner’s high. Today, I would like to discuss another unique phenomenon I like to call “runner’s insanity”.

I woke up early this morning to head out with Shaun and some folks from NCEAS (Matt’s old stomping grounds). We were planning on running up inspiration point, which is a popular hiking destination in Santa Barbara known for its steepness and brevity. It’s only about 1.5 miles up, but it’s fairly steep. My usual crew wasn’t with me, and as soon as we started running, Shaun and co. loped off ahead like a bunch of gazelles on crack. I must admit, I am fundamentally envious of the “long and lean” body type – even though I know these people have been runners forever and I just started. They’re off ahead, joking and laughing, and it’s all I can do to keep breathing. Part of me was glad I was behind them – so they couldn’t hear my loud gasping! I took a wrong turn, and ended up running up a REALLY steep trail. I’ve been to inspiration point before, so after about .2 miles I realized I had taken a wrong turn. I flipped a U-ey, and hustled my way to the top (being passed 3/4 of the way up by the rest of the group!). Once at the top, there was no rest for the weary (or time to enjoy the view) because I didn’t want everyone to be waiting hours for me. I headed back down the trail (much easier, in spite of many treacherous ankle grabbing rocks), and met up with everyone at the bottom of the hill. Overall, it was under 3 miles but felt more like 4 or 5. Still, I was feeling pretty good (well of course! I was practically walking compared to everyone else!) They all headed home, but not I…

I started my drive to grab a delicious Chicken Ranch burrito, and on the way passed one of my fav running spots, Tucker’s Grove. Since the morning run wasn’t long (just steep!) I decided I should run Tucker’s grove to get in a last long run before my 10k trail race next Saturday. Feeling proud of myself, I pulled into the parking lot and headed up the trail. I think I underestimated my level of tiredness while driving peacefully in my car, because after about a mile I was laughing at how ridiculously tired I was. I made it all the way to the top, but it was not pretty. On the way back down, I began experiencing that runner’s insanity I was talking about earlier. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I am really fatigued I go into this fugue-like state (sorry, I AM a psychologist!) where I have odd random internal conversations with myself. It’s almost like a dream state, and I usually also have an odd song playing in the background. For example, today underneath my inner monologue, the old Beach Boys classic  “Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread” was going through my head. If you’ve never heard that little ditty, you’re not missing anything. I kept thinking how absolutely loco my inner monologue would sound to others. Running makes me insane, I tell you.

So I ended up doing 6 miles today, with a net elevation gain of 1,100 ft. Ok, it’s not the Western States Endurance run, but hey. I’ve already had my delicious burrito, and am now relaxing for the first time in 2 weeks.  🙂

Happy weekend!


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