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Archive for the tag “endorphins”

You learn something new every day.

“They” say you learn something new every day.

I’ve never learned who the “they” people are.

Today I learned to put the dust bin back in the vacuum cleaner before you start it.

And I learned if you don’t, you’ll probably sneeze.  Maybe a lot.

Yesterday I learned you should put the beans in the coffee pot when making coffee.  Otherwise, when the coffee is done and you’re so happy because you finally get to have a cup of fresh hot coffee which you’ve had to wait for, like, at least ten minutes for it to brew, you will look in your mug, then you will look in the pot.  You will think, What the heck? and you’ll look back at your mug.  Finally it will dawn on your decaffeinated Brain that you have:  Hot water.

It will be extremely sad and you’ll have to wait another 10 minutes for your coffee.  This is also not safe for family members or pets but that’s not news to anyone.

Yesterday one of my BRFF’s whom I shall call, Um, Ursula (which you have to pronounce like this:  ERR-sue-lah whether that’s actually right or not, because that’s how I’m pronouncing it and it’s my blog.  And I still don’t like Brussels Sprouts so don’t hold your breath for recipes, although if I get the Cajun popcorn recipe I’ll pass it along) learned that if you have spicy shrimp boil with corn on the cob followed by a movie and two tubs of Cajun popcorn and then head out early the next morning to run 9 miles you will probably have a Code Cajun or perhaps a Code Jet Exhaust.

Her running buddy learned to stay slightly ahead of Ursula.

I went riding with Ursula’s hubs and learned some new courses.  It was a beautiful morning. We biked through the country roads, trees arching over the roads, pretty country houses set back from the road, lovely cool breeze and a bit of fall starting to scent the air. We hit one spot on Memphis-Arlington Rd that was downhill for at least a mile. I dropped and let Matilda have fun coasting rapidly down. At the bottom I told Mr. Ursula, if he told me we were turning back on this course, I was bagging it and going home! WOW what a stretch, no way I’m strong enough right now to tackle that hill going up!

He told me the first time he took Ursula on the course going uphill he reached the top and could hear her as she ascended.  “You *&%% hill what the &*(+ are you thinking you &^%% ‘ing *&^% idiot”.  I learned that did not surprise me in the least.  Ursula and I can sound quite like the sailor sometimes.  We do it on purpose.  Then we think we’re just ^%$$ing hilarious.

OH – hey – here’s a good thing to learn.  If you’re completely drunk on a Saturday morning about 7:30am and you want to get home, but there’s a bunch of cops in the street directing traffic and letting ladies cross to get to a race start, and you don’t want to stop so you go ahead and hit the gas while aiming for the cop, who fortunately bounces off your bumper and just lands on his butt:  about 1,487 cops are going to find your house, put your car on a flat-bed tow truck, take you both downtown, and I bet you are not getting pancakes for breakfast.

I’m learning it’s still a good thing to move slowly and think carefully while paying close attention to what you are doing when you stop your bike while clipped in.

I learned that I will not actually die immediately if I start to topple over but I might hyperventilate.

Oh – another one you might appreciate:  If you are sweaty and trying to put on your bike shorts it will take you a couple of minutes to get those suckers pulled up, your HR will be 125 and you can burn about 25 calories!  Sweet, eh?  I don’t need to actually ride the bike, I just need to put on damp bike shorts.  You can learn a lot from a Garmin.

Last week I learned if you’re stressing yourself over something and don’t get to run, you just get more stressed.  Brain loves to find an issue and jump on that sucker like it was a blow up trampoline at a 1st grader’s birthday party:  JUMP JUMP JUMP

But best of all, on Sunday I learned that you can blow out energy on a bike ride and get as many endorphins stuck to you as you can running.

Sweet!   I’m a very lucky person.  I can’t indulge my first love right now, but biking came along at just the right time and the joy of being a Newbie is filling the gap nicely.

I’ve been running, off and on, for 30 years.  I’ve never experienced a ‘runner’s high’ or endorphin rush – unless I was mistaking it for something else, like the incredible euphoria I felt when my first ever 20 miler was done.  I don’t think that was a runner’s high because mostly I just managed to drive home and collapse.  I know for certain the ice bath following that 20 miler had nothing to do with any type of physical or emotional high, and I can also assure you that sitting in the bathtub clutching a hot mug of coffee while wearing a sweatshirt is fairly ineffectual while sitting in cold water surrounded by a couple bags of little icebergs from the 7/11.

I’ve tripped lightly and sometimes heavily through the past thirty years, running and then not running, then getting back to it.  For the past 10 years I’ve been steady except for the Plantar Fasciitis detour.  Some days I don’t want to run, but once I get out there I’m glad I did.  Other times I’m ready for a run but it’s not so great.  I knew I cherished running but I hadn’t realize how much I’d come to rely on the friendships, the social aspect of the run, the runs by myself as I ironed things out in my mind, loosened up my shoulders, let the troubles slip off – until once again the chance to do so was eluding me.  I was certain there is no other activity that could fill the gap not running leaves, and I was once again sad and rather angry to be out of it again.  Friends kept encouraging me to bike, I knew I should, I knew it would help, but I knew it wouldn’t be the same.  I don’t mean this in an elitist way but I’ve always felt kind of sorry for my running friends who had to turn to biking when injured.  Sure, it probably kept them in shape but, still – it wouldn’t, couldn’t be the same as a run.

Sunday morning I got home, tired, sweaty, stinky, ready for a shower and the egg & veggie tortilla wrap I’d spent about the last 1/2 hour of the ride thinking about.  Fresh out of the shower, clean and happy, I sat down with my tortilla wrap and the newspaper.  I noticed my legs kinda humming a bit, that feeling when you’ve worked out hard and the muscles seem to hum?  I checked in with Brain.  He was pretty mellow, sitting back, legs crossed, just checking things out.  Do you remember Wooly Willy?

You would take the little red magnet and move it underneath the cardboard, smoothing all the iron filings in the same direction, lining them up in designs and directions.  That’s what running does for me.  It’s the magnet that smooths things out, lines things up, gets Brain all organized and orderly, everything in there aiming in the same direction.  And that’s what I learned Sunday:  it’s not a loss, it’s a gain.  I haven’t lost running, I’ve added biking.

How many times in life have I thought not getting something, not doing something was a loss, and it’s turned out to be for the better?  And yet I continue to have to re-learn that.

Cooooffffffffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…… Endorphinnnnnnnnnnnnsssss

I had not realized until I returned from Arizona after my father’s funeral how much I’d been focused, in the past year, on constantly getting the most important things done as much as possible in case I had to leave in a hurry again, and leaving everything else for later.  Now that I’m also newly resolved not to work weekends I find I’m enjoying things a bit more.  I don’t feel so overwhelmed and I am energized about cleaning out drawers, closets, piles of paper I’ve stuck in a corner, the shoes I threw in the closet and whose laces have now intermarried (which makes me sound like a potential candidate for Hoarders but truly it wasn’t that bad.  No towers of newspapers have crushed any family members or pets).

It’s been interesting.  I’ve found I never ordered child #4’s college graduation pics.  Do you think it’s too late now?  I need never buy another pair of nail clippers, tweezers or scissors. And THAT’S where my daytimer is.  Maybe it will be more useful now that I know where it is.

Update on Chunker:  SHE USED THE LITTER BOX.  Then: SHE USED IT AGAIN.  And she repeated the process repeatedly!!  YAY!  So guess what.  I’m leaving town again Tuesday through Saturday and that will probably throw her back over the edge.  I’m hoping #4 isn’t too upset about the unordered grad pics since he’s house sitting and I need to convince him to spray the pheromones everywhere, which will probably cause his eyeballs to roll so far back into his head that I’ll have to smack him so he can see again; he’s not really into catering to animals.  He thinks we’re supposed to be in charge, not the dog or cat.  I keep telling him I am in charge but he doesn’t seem to believe me.

Just a second, I have to go give the dog a cookie, be right back.

OK, I’m back.  By the way, while I was in the kitchen I decided I wanted an orange.  It was reeeeeellllly good.  Yum.  Murphy likes oranges too.  He waits beside me while I eat it so he can have 1/2 of the last section, which I always save for him.  So anyway for some reason my kids all think I spoil the animals which I think is extremely cynical of them.  Hopefully #4 won’t be so cynical that he won’t spray the pheromones.  Also he’ll have to let her sleep with him.  And Murphy too.  They both need to sleep with him so they don’t get lonely.  Speaking of animals, #3 offspring has this habit, when you’re out somewhere with him and he wants to get your attention, he whistles for you just like you were a dog, that dog calling whistle, you know?  And it’s so irritating because every. single. time. I turn when he whistles.  And then – he laughs.  dammit.

Since I was in a funk yesterday I kept thinking, “I don’t want to do that”  “I don’t want to do that, either” so I made myself take the pile of little naggly stuff that needs to be done, and none of it will take more than 5-10 minutes, but you’re doing something else right now so you’ll do it next and finally the pile is like 3″ tall and now it’s looking at you going nanner nanner nanner you need to take care of me and you think, stupid pile of stuff to do, I HATE you.  Then you realize you just said I hate you to an inanimate pile of paper, which is something you should probably definitely not bring up with the doctor at your next physical, so you decide to go eat a nice sweet juicy orange to feel better.  And this is why, when you return to your desk the next morning, the creepy pile is still sitting there making weird eyes at you like that money used to do in that Geico commercial.

But this time I looked it straight in the eyeballs, pulled it over to me and started working from the top down.  YAY!  No more creepy To Do pile staring at me!!  Great feeling of accomplishment.  I was so energized that I went to Lowe’s and bought some plants.  That was fun.  This morning I putzed on the patio and got them all in pots.  Now on top of spraying pheromones everywhere #4 is going to have to water my plants.  And I wonder why none of my children have ever wanted to come back home to live.

I’ve been thinking I haven’t posted any drawings on my world-famous blog lately and I bet both of you, my faithful followers, are pretty sad.  I bet it’s pretty much ruined everything for you and I want to exhort you to please get out of bed, take a shower and put on some clean clothes and cheer up because while cleaning out things, I found a post I’d written in January and drew a picture for but never posted.  So now you can read a blog that is five months old.  But just think about those days in January when it was so cold outside.  That will make us all feel better tomorrow morning on our run when it’s 90 degrees and 50% humidity.

Ciao!  Gonna go vacuum!! FUN!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

4am and the cat is on my head.

The hubs has sometimes indicated that he does not believe I am an optimistic person.  I refute that.  Anyone that can spend the last 6 months going to bed every single night thinking surely this is the night that the cat will not be on my head at 4am tomorrow has to be an optimist.  Or too lazy to put the cat out of the bedroom, but I refute that too.

4:39am and I surrender.  Cat has the tenacity of a two-year-old after another cookie.  If I have to get up and carry her down two flights of stairs I will be wide awake and unable to go back to sleep anyway sooooo……

I get up and, in the dark, put on the first clothes I can reach which feel like pants and a shirt (later, downstairs, I notice that today I am looking 4:39am Fine in my rocking awesome plaid fleece bell bottoms, an XL flannel shirt and inside out Thorlos in Nike slides – I don’t know, I like them inside out –  later hubs mentions I might look a bit like I’m homeless – this time of day I should look like I’m Miss America with a cat on my head?) and I head for the stairs.

Immediately I trip over Cat who is bouncing up and down the steps in glee and joy Crunchies Crunchies Crunchies spinspinspin in happy circles Crunchies MOM Crunchies MOMMOMMOM.  Having done this every day since she learned to go up the stairs you’d think by now I’d remember to look for her under my feet.  But this is pre-caffeine and we’re all just happy I’m still breathing which, if it weren’t a reflex, I might also forget.

I visit the Shrine of Mr. Coffee, Oh Great Coffee Maker that I love, you Grinder of Beans, you Haven of dark steaming caffeine goodness, you.  Pour rich blackness into my favorite handmade mug, spinninghungryCrunchiesCRUNCHIES!PAIN!ANXIETY! Cat now desperate for food before she dies, underfoot and climbing my leg in desperation I’m starving NOW!MOM!  I turn toward the stairs and she is off, a blur of calico doing 90 to her food dish.  Crunchies finally in her bowl, safe from starvation for another day and I rock.

At 5am in January it’s dark and it’s cold and while I know others that run outside this time of the morning, I’m bagging it and going to the Y and run the hamster track.  You can catch endorphins inside as easily as you can outside.  They vary in size, but the effect is the same.  Inside endorphins are smaller and more densely packed in the atmosphere of a gym; they don’t have as much space so they can’t grow as large, but since they are more densely populated you end up with the same effect.  Outdoor endorphins, on the other hand, are larger but also spaced further apart – they have room to grow and to roam.  You can see that the end result is the same:  fewer large endorphins or more small endorphins.

I fire up the iPod and hit the track, sympathizing with Pink that someone’s gonna get in a fight and I’m feeling the legs loosen up, my lungs opening, stride starting to smooth out.  I shake out my hands and loosen my shoulders while I visit with Credence down on the corner and by the second mile Lady Gaga and I are discussing her bad romance while endorphins start sticking to me.  I think highly of anyone who runs or walks or walk/runs or whatever they do for fitness – but the guy running in front of me is much younger than I and for some reason today that irritates me.  I don’t want him in front of me being all young.   However: miles 3 & 4 are slated for some intervals and soon I’m flying past, striding to Blitzkrieg Bop and thinking that I may be closer to 60 than 50 but I can pass your a– I mean, I can pass you up.  Two miles of intervals and I have a bunch more endorphins stuck all over me, I think I’ve even got some in my hair.  Two mile cool down, some Motown pops up and I give ear to the Temptations talking about their girl.  By the time I’m done I’ve got endorphins clustered all over the place and they are buzzing.  Grab some coffee at the counter and head home to the day –

Coffee and Endorphins, Breakfast of Champions.

Here’s a nice picture of endorphins in case you don’t know what they look like:

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