“She was always waiting, it seemed to be her forte.” D. H. Lawrence in Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Recently, I was speaking to an acquaintance, a young professional mom, who told me that she had stumbled upon my blog, and thinks that she would really benefit from incorporating running into her life as well. She has been busy with kids and work and taking care of everyone else, and she is at that point where she needs to find herself again. “So, how many minutes or miles do you think I need to run before I get the runner’s high? Do you think it’s 4 miles or 40 minutes when it happens? I’ve tried going out for 2-3 miles, and so far I haven’t gotten it.”
Well, like I’ve said, I’m not any type of coach or expert. I can only share my experience. First, I’ll do it with a little stroll down memory lane. When I was twelve, I was obsessed with Duran Duran. I was determined to somehow meet and marry John Taylor in the future, whereas my older sister had the same determination towards Simon LeBon. Every week, my mom would give me money to buy milk at school to go with my lunch. I would never buy milk with the money and rather save it to buy Duran Duran pins that I would put on my jean jacket. And while I don’t remember exactly how much the milk money or the cost of the pins were, I do remember that it took about 1.5 weeks of milk money to buy one pin. Every other week, I’d be excited to go to the South Hills Village Mall and add another pin to that jean jacket….I wish I had kept it. My mom never asked where the pin money was coming from….she must have known, but often her parenting style was to ignore the things that weren’t really harmful rather than just acknowledge that she was ok with them.
We also initially didn’t have MTV, but we did have a family friend who did. She was on team Nick Rhodes (don’t ask me why she was on his team….she was the only person on that team…no competition.) When we went to her house, we would spend hours upon hours watching MTV, waiting and hoping that a Duran Duran video would come on. When it did, we would shriek and glue ourselves to the TV screen. There was no rewind or replay, so we’d have to wait hours again, hanging on to the giddiness from the last song, knowing it would eventually come again. I never got to see Duran Duran as a teenager, but just this past week, the 42-year-old me finally got to see them live in concert.
As far as the runner’s high, let me be honest with you and tell you that it did not come right away. Not with increased minutes and not with increased mileage in those first several months. I’m a pretty stubborn person, and when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. So I’m glad that I signed up for that first half-marathon 6 months in advance; I’m glad that I announced to the world that I was going to do it. That forced me stick to through 6 months of running when many times I wanted to quit. It was not love at first run or tenth run or probably even thirtieth run for me. It was like that person that you don’t want to date because there is no attraction and you never think there will be,…it’s not mysterious or dangerous….it’s not like jumping out of a plane to sky dive…. but your friends are telling you that you should just give this person a chance and some time. Running for me was like that relationship that you very reluctantly enter, and then a few months down the line, you see the person and suddenly your heart rate picks up just a little…you go a few days without seeing them or going for a run and you miss it….and you don’t remember when exactly the shift happened. But once the shift happens, it’s undeniably there….. And maybe it took a long time to get there….there was definitely not that initial firework….and maybe it’s different from the palpitations that you’ve experienced before, but now that it’s here, you can count on it every single time.
So when will you get the runner’s high? I don’t know. I can tell you that with persistence and patience, it will come. I can tell you that joining a running group and setting some type of goal will help. And please don’t be shy to join a group where you know no one. Just this past week on my group run with the L.A. Leggers, I met and ran with a woman who many years ago ran the NYC marathon at the age of 14….that year, she was the youngest person to run it. She also ran the Berlin marathon before the Berlin wall came down…. and here she was, running side by side with me, and as we told each other our running stories, the miles flew by.
My kids, they have no concept of what MTV is. They just YouTube any video they want to watch, and it’s instantly there. They don’t understand why it took thirty years for their mom to be able to see her favorite band in concert. In retrospect, I think that it was best that I didn’t see them at 12. If I was going to their concert then, I would have been severely heartbroken when there wouldn’t have been a backstage encounter that would result in my last name changing to Taylor. While I was at the concert last week, I looked around. Wow, if I’m going to be honest, everyone in the audience looked kind of “old.” If you are at a sold out concert with 17,000 people, and everyone around you looks “old”, chances are that you are not the one young person there. I may have been shrieking for 2 hours like the 12-year-old me would have done, but I looked like I completely belonged in this crowd of 40+year-old fans….and that was ok. Because it meant that I was part of this age group of people who know that delayed gratification is much sweeter than the instant kind.
***Please keep reading all the way through (that’s how you’ll get to the pictures anyway:)) The podcast interview of me by Amanda Loudin that reviews my running story and the slay sarcoma run went live on September 30th last week. If you haven’t read enough about my running story, you can now hear me talk about it. I have to say, that I have so far loved all of Amanda’s free Running Story podcasts. The link to mine is: Running Story 004: A Doctor with a Cause Paria Hassouri Again, I can’t thank Amanda enough for sharing my story and Amy’s story. The week before me was a fascinating interview with former professional triathlete Lee DiPietro who has written a book called Against the Wind.
A special thank you to Allie from the blog VitaTrain4Life whose family is doing the slay sarcoma run and is spreading awareness by sharing it on her blog. You can read her blog post here: What Is Your beCAUSE? Allie is a triathlete mom who just ran the Maine Half Marathon this past weekend in 1:32 and came in 1st in her age group. She has also been published on Zelle/Runner’s World multiple times, among multiple other running sites, and has a list of accomplishments that are too lengthy to enumerate here. Her latest Runner’s World publication was on doing her first triathlon 3 months after giving birth to twins which you can read about here: What I Learned About Racing After Having Twins. I really want to hate her, but she seems lovely so I can’t, and instead hope to one day sit down with her over a bottle of wine with cheeseburgers and truffle fries. I certainly couldn’t hope to run with her, although she is strong enough to give me a piggyback ride while she runs…..
Also a special thanks to Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home who is also doing the slay sarcoma run and spreading awareness on her blog. You can read her blog post here: Taking the Long Way Home: After the marathon… Wendy is a 50+ year-old repeat mother marathoner who will be running the full Chicago Marathon this weekend. She will either Boston Qualify this weekend or come within minutes of doing so. Either way, she inspires me….if I keep running for the next 10 years, I may actually be able to join her on a run one day. She also inspired me to do my very first virtual run, the Sole Sister Run.