Posted by: jawsome | March 20, 2011

Addicted to running?

As I’ve been working in behavioral health lately at CSU, I’ve run across studies looking at endocannabinoid receptors and their relationship to addiction. This won’t be a surprise to the runners out there, but turns out that there’s no need to light up a doobie to bring back that loving feeling. Research has almost definitively proven (as much as can be proven as far as the brain goes – as an aside, do we really think we are smart enough to understand our own brains? Trippy) that the human body produces its own opiate-like chemicals in response to intense physical exercise. The well-known “runner’s high” is a real thing. Science – how does it work?

Lecture aside, I think I have reached this point in my own training. On Thursday I figured I hadn’t had enough pain for the week, so I did a double header of Pineridge meeting the group on the second lap (sloooooowing down 6 miles into my run) to wind up with ~10 total for the night. Follow that up with corned beef, cabbage and oatmeal cookies and I was a happy runner.

Saturday was the inaugural March Madness Mayhem run (or something like that) and I headed out with a bunch of other like minded (read:crazy) folks for a 21-23 (depending on who you talk to) circumnavigation of the reservoir. I was debating whether to run with the group or continue my recent derpage on long runs. Luckily Mindy, Chris and Lindsay refused to let me hang back:

Me: Oh, just go on without me, I’m studying for the psychology licensure exam and I’m just slow”

Mindy: (in an eerily cheerful voice) oh, I’ll just walk with you then for a sec!  (starts running, forcing me to “vanity fartlek” along…)

Me: You guys don’t need to wait for me!

Cat: No worries! It’s a social run!

Me: I think I’m going to take it easy on this hill

Chris: This is my longest run ever by 12 miles, you can do it!

So, with a combination of public shaming and camaraderie, I went on to totally annihilate my Moab 19 mile time by 32 minutes. Okaaay, I guess pushing myself *might* have something to do with performance…

22ish miles for the day with a great after party including steak, dog related wine accidents and great friends.  Matt and I are happy to be moving to Portland in August for some new opportunities, but we will be sad to say goodbye to our trail running friends 😦 At least we don’t have to leave for a while – next up this weekend is the 24 hours of Moab!

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Responses

  1. haha i’ve totally been there! but sometimes i think it’s better to push it a bit just to have the company on those long trail runs. great job on your runs this week! on another note, what psych program are you doing? i’m hoping to apply to Psy.D programs for 2012 so i was just curious : ) i guess psych is just one more thing we have in common!

    • Hey Rachel –

      I graduated last year with my PhD in Counseling Psych from UCSB. Did my internship here at CSU and am now wrapping up my post-doc. I’m studying for the licensure exam which I’m taking in two weeks (eeeeek!!) Hopefully I’ll pass – and hopefully I can also find a job in Portland where we’re moving in August!

      Joselyne


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