To some, running is one of the most undesirable activities; it requires both endurance and the mental strength to push oneself beyond the limit. I, on the other hand love to run, and I am reminded of that at the completion of every long distance race. I crave the muscle soreness, the sense of accomplishment, the snot rockets, the diarrhea, and the feeling known as “runner’s high.”  

I am an addict. If it feels good, I am instantly hooked; whether it's good for me or not. That is what happened the moment l began running long distances.  Call it peer pressure or the power of persuasion but, with very little effort, I can be persuaded to do just about anything.  So when one of my good friends, an avid runner, asked me to do a half marathon with her, I jumped at the opportunity. The feeling that followed was indescribable, and I immediately desired it again.  

A “runner’s high,” as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a feeling of euphoria that is experienced by some individuals engaged in strenuous running and that is held to be associated with the release of endorphins by the brain.” Why would anyone not want to experience this glorious feeling?  The endorphins released are better than any of the anti-depressants that are on the market. I have become addicted to that high, and if I do not get it for a few days I am one miserable and uber sensitive bitch; ask my friends.      

Living in the northern half of the country is not always ideal for training. The past week or so it has been miserably cold. I used to say “if it is below 20, I am not f****** running, that is just crazy-- those people have some serious issues.” When I woke up yesterday, however, it was 5⁰ with a wind chill of -15⁰.  It was desolate outside. I took one look at my trainer and said “f*** that, I am going running."   The boardwalk was covered in snow and ice, and there was steam coming off the ocean. The only humans in site were some poor guys fixing a building on the boardwalk and, of course, this asshole that was out running.

 As I approached mile 2.5, I saw a figure in the distance. I quickly increased my pace to catch up to him for two reasons:  1. I wanted to see the face of the other moron who was crazy enough to embrace the weather and conquer the cold, and 2. I wanted to see if he was cute and had a ring on. If there was no ring and he was cute, he might just be crazy enough to meet my standards. I caught up to him as we approached the inlet. He was cute-- a little older but cute. Epic fail: he had gloves on.  He beat me to the punch and said “It's cold, huh.” I replied with “A tit bit.” We ran the length of the boardwalk together shooting the shit and enduring the bitter temperatures.  I am still left wondering if my cute mystery man is single. The boardwalk should be longer and gloves should be outlawed.

There is nothing more satisfying than the exhilaration of endurance running. I crave it every day, especially when there is a cute and questionably single gentleman to endure the elements with.  After a run, the shittiest of days can be turned around and a runner’s high will do just that-- leave you feeling high.