Gimme My Drugs

So today is “National Running Day.”

I didn’t get the day off of work and I don’t see it on my calendar but I’d vote to make it a national holiday!

I did run 3.1 miles and had a PR on this particular route of 27.23 and it’s not an easy route…several inclines and the temps and humidity were high!

Today, as always…I take every opportunity that I get to read about running. Things have settled down a bit this week at work.

I ran across this article which intrigues me greatly. “Your Brain on Drugs vs. Your Brain on Running”

And it hit me that is what is happening to me! I always express on here how I get antsy or in other words, tweaking for a run especially on my rest days.

“Tweak”- Compulsive Disorder-ish.   Or to be on some type of speed and be any/all of the following: –Highly agitated, wide-eyed, and angry/overly irritable –To be as paranoid in a mouselike manner; rapid breathing, weird twitchy and/or panic-ey movements/responses –To be euphoric as a motherfucker whilst on some type of uppers

Most of the above statement was taken from the “Urban Dictionary” and it over exaggerated and a bit saucy.

It’s the endorphins and  dopamine!

What gets you higher: Drugs or Running?
What gets you higher: Drugs or Running?

Running has been proven to increase 3 major brain chemicals…

Endorphins increase happiness, let people push through pain, decrease hunger and increase the immune response. You get kicks from endorphins in childbirth as well as when you eat chocolate (for instance). Lack of endorphins may cause obsessive-impulsive behavior because your body doesn’t tell you that you have accomplished what you set out to do such as washing hands or locking doors over and over again.

Dopamine helps keep a stressed body feeling good. Dopamine lends a hand to endorphins. It twangs the brain’s reward and pleasure centers but also helps with coordination, heart rate and vascular response. A lack of dopamine is associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

Serotonin affects mood, sexual desire, appetite, sleep, memory and temperature regulation. Low serotonin levels are connected with depression.

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I have a great interest in this subject now and will be reading more on it. But it does explain why I (an over 50, once obese person) could be hooked on something that is hard to do and might possibly be wearing down some of my body parts such as knees, feet, hips etc.

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This intensified after my half marathon this past April. I suffered so much that night and couldn’t walk down a flight of stairs but I never felt better. I felt like I was “high”  🙂

It doesn’t happen on a daily basis but it happens enough that I crave that feeling. I’m like a compulsive gambler….I may not always win at that poker table, but I win enough to keep me coming back just on the chance I’ll hit it big.

~Let’s Get High~

 

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10 thoughts on “Gimme My Drugs

  1. I love the runners high! So many happy, mood elevating brain chemicals! “Serotonin and dopamine; technically the only two things you enjoy”! Happy running girlfriend!!

  2. I’m especially interested in reading more about serotonin after you brought it up. Maybe TMI, but my sex drive is pretty low and I have a history of depression… hm… I wonder if that’s something that gets fixed by running more? I will have to do some research!

    1. I’m doing more reading too. It’s really interesting and from what I’ve read running does increase serotonin levels. I did read that at a certain point of running that the levels – level off so to speak. Good luck and run on 🙂

  3. It is an interesting subject. For year’s it was just a joke (to the non-runners) about this mysterious runner’s high. Now it has scientific evidence and running (or exercise) is recommended as one of the best treatments for depression.

      1. Me too! I used to get a runner’s high almost every time I went running, but lately I haven’t felt it. I think it is because I am focusing on form and speed and less just being present in the moment. I am going to try running without my mapymyrun on so that I can run free!!

  4. Charlotte, you ROCKED that 5k!!! That’s a great time!!! You should be soooo proud of yourself!!!! XOXO!!!! You are an amazing, talented women!!! I just love your enthusiasm for fitness!!!

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