It’s more than just a “runner’s high.” Usually on an easy or recovery run, but sometimes during a workout day, you can feel it. One of my favorite runs here in Las Cruces is along Sonoma Ranch Boulevard at night, to and from a high school track. Last night I was running 200’s. I love them because they’re short and I feel basically normal after a 200 recovery. My HR gradually climbs from 138 during the first recovery to 152 during the last, and of course it jumps up during each hard 200m and climbed to 164 on the last one. My max HR now (it drops as you get older and I’m 56) is 174, so you can see that’s a pretty good effort. Speaking of effort, my Coach, Neely Spence Gracey, had given me a goal time for the intervals but she runs by effort and likes me to do the same. I did because my night vision is bad so I couldn’t see the splits on my watch, and now looking back on the numbers, I did pretty well! On the last few I focused on form, driving with my knees and arms.
The reason that road at night is one of my favorite runs is the stargazing. This time of year, Orion is clearly lying down, so when I posted my run on Strava, I titled it, “Hey Orion, wake up and come run at the track with me!” It’s so dark out there that I can even clearly see the Pleiades, which are hard to see if you live in a big city with light pollution. I feel something primal running out there under the stars, like a hunter, like my buddy Orion.