Running Is My Drug & I Am Super High

Don’t do drugs.

You don’t need them.

Just run, and then you’ll be all high and stuff.

I flew through this weekend in a slight funk, alternating between wicked fun times (spinning! packing! Home Depot!)…

I LOVE HOME DEPOT. I went twice this weekend. In fact, I went twice in the span of five hours. LOVED IT.

…and dramatic, whiny lows (um, not running — at all). So when I went to bed last night, expecting a maximum of five hours of sleep, I anticipated waking up, trying to run, having things hurt and then writing a little post all about how “this weekend was a bummer because I didn’t get to run and now I am sad and the only thing in life that makes me happy is sweat and when I’m not sweating I may as well cease to exist.”

You could say I really know how to keep it positive all the time. This was true in fifth grade and it’s true now, clearly.

If you thought First Grade Ali was profound, you haven't met Fifth Grade Ali. She was dramatic, but luckily she signed her journal entries in CODE. So who really knows who wrote this. Also, I did not win the DARE poster contest. Brittany Stockley did. Her poster was really, really good. I was so jealous. And I am NOT a perfectionist. At all. Stupid smudged peace sign...

But then something magical happened.

I slept for five hours, yes, and I woke up feeling not terribly exhausted.

Thank you, steroids. You’re OK with me today.

I got ready and my stomach was not a total whore.

Still, steroids, nice work: You’re not making me want to go all Godzilla on Manhattan today.

And then I ran.

Oh, I ran.

And it was good.

This is a REALLY good photo of Central Park. Sorry it's dark and blurry. I wasn't stopping for photography. I was RUNNING! Like the wind! Into the wind! With the wind! Who cares about wind?!

My last run was on Thursday, and it was OK. Not great. Not too painful. Just slow, steady, uneventful. Then, since my new motto is “don’t run when it hurts too much if you want to be able to run for the rest of your life,” I took Friday, Saturday and Sunday off from running.

I hated it.

I hated not running all weekend, even though I knew, ultimately, it would be good for me.

Stupid conscience.

I hated going to bed Friday night knowing I didn’t need to carb load (don’t worry, I still did, you know, just in case) for a long run, and I hated waking up Saturday morning while everyone PR’d in races and did long runs and Tweeted about them with pride (no, really, I’m psyched for you guys). As much as I loved my Saturday morning workout, it was done in a gym, with stale air and not a Bridle Path in sight. It wasn’t running. It wasn’t as fun. It wasn’t as rewarding.

I made the most of it, because that’s my style. I went to Crunch’s Union Square location and made myself a Gym To-Do List:

Everything in life is better in list form. EVERYTHING.

I worked my way through the list, did some lifty things, stretched, all that jazz, and then took Matt’s spin class, which was actually, I think, the best spin class I have ever taken. Everyone kept clapping and cheering and holy crap it was awesome.

It wasn’t Central Park, but it truly was the next best thing.

I didn’t foam roll twice, but I knocked out everything else and left Crunch with a mini endorphin high.

This is proof that I did stuff. Just in case you didn't believe me. Sometimes I lie.

Back to my running talk: I did a lot of spinning this weekend. I did a Friday night SoulSurvivor class (that’s a full hour of spinning), Matt’s Saturday morning class and another SoulCycle class Sunday morning at the ripe hour of 7:30 AM. Each class was fantastic.

After each little sweat session, I felt happy.

Then I thought about running, and I felt sad.

So it was today’s run that brought me back to life and love and happiness and puppies.

Oh Garmin, I love you so much, even if I spend half my life waiting for you to locate your satellite. It's OK. I'm not mad.

I set out simply hoping to run and see how things felt. If my shin or knee hurt, that’s OK. I would stop. I would slow down. I would do whatever I needed. I just wanted to run to check in on things since I have an appointment this afternoon with an orthopedic surgeon man, and I want to be able to really pinpoint things for him so we’re not wasting anyone’s time (or, more importantly, my money).

I started to run Garminless (satellite, where are youuuu?) and in the first mile felt great.

Then I turned on my watch in Central Park, to measure distance, not speed, of course, and I checked in every so often.

I avoided the Bridle Path and the Reservoir — my comfort zones — and did a lower loop of the park instead.

Everything was perfect. The weather, the minimal crowds, the sunrise.

And I felt good.

And my pace wasn’t half-bad either, all things considered.

Plus an unmeasured mile at the start = 8 miles for the day.

I swear I smiled the entire time. I was so happy. At one point I saw Brian biking in the park and I think I did a jig, or perhaps a short variation from Lord of the Dance.

I am so ready to run again.

I had my burnout phase, I dealt with the Crohn’s stupidity, and now I’m ready to be back on the roads.

This weekend, I found myself missing racing, which is crazy because I haven’t truly wanted to run a race in months.

Next time I say I want to "hang up all my bibs with sturdy double-sided tape," tell me that's a terrible idea. Peeling these down this weekend was a BLAST. You should see my fingernails...and my scrappy bathroom door.

I know that I may wake up tomorrow with a whole lot of pain again. This might be a cycle. I might be injured or I might just be overcompensating various muscles. I don’t know. That’s what the doctor is for.

So in the meantime, I’m rolling with this runner’s high.

I didn’t get to run this weekend. You’ve gathered that by now, right? I spent so much time dwelling on the fact that I wasn’t out for double digits, and I let that completely control my mood. But guess what? I bet I’ll rock out a double-digit weekend pretty soon, and eventually I’ll be back up to the 50-mile weeks I was dreaming of (and, at one point, reached).

I’m proud of myself for not running, as much as I wanted to. I know my leg needed the break, and it may continue needing breaks.

I think that’s all I have to say about that.

In other news, you people really want a Sweat shirt, huh? Thank you all so much for voting in the Fitness Blog Awards — today is the last day to vote, so if you’re inclined, feel free to head over again! I won’t be mad.

Sweat is yummy. Sweat is good.

And the winner, as determined by the very fancy, is…

Winner, winner, sweaty dinner! Is that gross? I guess so.

Congratulations, Kristin! Don’t fear the ‘Roid Rage, though. It’s totally tame now. Seriously, tell me about your weekend long run. I won’t try to slice your Achilles at all.

Kristin, email me at with your address and your shirt is on the way. I hope you love it. I hope you get it filthy.

To wrap this up, here is a photo of me with a giraffe, because why not? I love giraffes.

I found this guy at Bob's Discount Furniture and I honestly am not sure my life can go on if I don't own it. QUICK SOMEONE GIVE ME $100. Brian? Are you reading this?

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD: Since I’m on a runner’s high now, I am ready to hear about your weekend of running. I will support you and be happy for you. Promise. My fingers aren’t crossed. Tell me about your weekend run! Or, if running isn’t your thing, tell me about your weekend sweating in other forms! Or tell me about your weekend of eating Matzo Ball Soup and Cadbury Mini Eggs. (I had zero helpings of one of those things and an excessive serving of the other. You figure it out.)



39 Responses

  1. So glad you had a fabulous run! Aren’t they the best? Now let me tell you about the best thig EVER. it involves a s’more made out of a Cadbury egg and a peep. Try it. I dare you!

  2. You are my east coast alter ego! Lists and good runs make me sooo happy. Handwritten lists are the best but I am learning to embrace the smart phone version. Love your blog! Keep up the good work!

  3. I ran the Scotland 10k in some pretty glorious day-glo pink, plaid knee socks this weekend. Wasn’t even close to my best 10k, but with socks like that it was still a pretty great time. You might wanna investigate some to rotate into your leg warmer collection….

  4. Aren’t good runs awesome?! I wish I could bottle that feeling for whenever I really need it.
    Last week, I was dealing with a sore muscle in my back. I couldn’t stand up straight without wincing – so I babied it all week, which totally sucked…but then I woke up Sunday AM and ran 3 miles, negative splitting and @an 8:57 avg pace – which might not sound like anything, but it’s at least 15 secs faster then my 5K race pace. Guess I’m stronger than I think.

  5. Yay for good runs!

    I am into my 3rd week of CrossFit Endurance training…Saturday I was supposed to do a time trial (as fast as you can) of 2 miles, a 4 minute rest, and 2 more miles.

    I was crunched for time between lease renewal, power yoga, and a girlfriend’s birthday party…so I ran about 20:39 minutes as fast as i could…which put me at 2.33 miles. Plus I got to run my FAVORITE outdoor run (Sammamish River Trail) and I wore my reverse groove shorts cause it was sunny and thought of you!!!

  6. I did my first early morning Resevoir run! It was bright and crowded in the Park already, and cruising into work with 6 miles under my belt felt amazing.

  7. Hooray for running! Isn’t this weather perfect for it? Those muggy, 100 degree days (REMEMBER JULY) can just stay away….

    Glad to hear your motivation for racing is returning. Burn out is no fun, believe me I’ve been there, but it does subside 🙂

    1. The day we ran in 100-degree heat was also the day you did your Lady Gaga dance for us at Engineers’ Gate. Just saying…

  8. Good luck with your appointment! I hope Mr. Orthopedic Surgeon Man is a runner… that helps.

    My running awesomeness story of the weekend doesn’t involve me so much as the girls I’ve been sort of “coaching” for the past few months. Two of them ran their first half marathon on Saturday! And they killed it!! I’m like a proud mama bird. I had so much fun running around the course to catch up with them at multiple viewing points. I probably totaled around 8 miles for the day. Spectating rules! Even when you leave the cowbell at home (but I did miss it)

  9. Yay for running again! And, like I have already complained to you today, I am now into working out, and sweating. My weekend consisted of a very awesome and extremely difficult SLT class, which I plan on repeating this Friday! If you feel so inclined you should come…

  10. Reading about your good runs makes me happy. Is that weird?

    I was on vacation all last week and only ran twice, so when I got home and had the chance to run yesterday, I grabbed it and enjoyed every last second. It was only three miles, but they were sweaty and wonderful!

  11. Great run this morning! I find running aches and pains are rather cyclical. And so is motivation. It just sucks when I am in a why-do-my-legs-hate-me cycle while also in the I-am-so-motivated-to-RUN cycle. For about a month my legs have been REALLY slow to recover. And it SUCKS!!! Silly legs.

  12. I have not been able to run in 8 days 🙁 Very sad. I have a tendon problem in my foot and have been resting. I feel you on the whole wanting to get back out there and not being able too. I’m dying to at least try a quick run! I like your motto though, about not running if you are hurt so you can run for the rest of your life. Its so inpiring! thanks for the uplift!

  13. yay for running!

    You gotta get the giraffe – think what a conversation piece that will be. You can dress him up for holidays. He can wear a scarf in the winter and goggles in the summer. The possibilities are endless.

  14. I got to run outside today for the first time in forever and it was GLORIOUS. The sun was shinning and I even stopped at Smorgasborg on my way back! So fun

  15. I went running on Friday for the first time in two weeks after messing up my foot. Apparently painting an apartment all weekend = hurt foot tendons? It didn’t hurt! yay for running! Now I have a knot the size of Iceland in my calf. Oops.

    I love Bob’s furniture — always find some weird stuff there.

  16. I went home to my parents in NJ and did me some outlet shopping. And sleeping. And yes, running. But mostly I helped my parents host a rager of a party that included cleaning the garage, emptying out cabinets, and throwing out old junk. See? Total rager.

    My parents are mini hoarders but I totally got my way with organizing sht this weekend. BAM.

  17. Yay runners high! This weekend was the first time since my marathon that I’ve been able to run without feeling like I had 10 pound bricks attached to each of my ankles. It was great!
    I’m glad you’re back at it and congrats on the new apartment! So exciting!

  18. I doubled up for practice on tired legs and did 7 speedy on Friday (I was suppose to do 10, but stupid wind). Then did 15 on Saturday and felt pretty good.6 weeks to marathons time!

  19. I totally love the runner’s high! I planned to run 10 this weekend, and ended up cranking out 11.4 beautiful miles! And even though my legs felt tired for part of it, it was seriously the best long run I’ve had in MONTHS! 🙂

  20. Last weekend’s runner’s high came in the form of hitting a new weekly mileage PR: 65! I’m sending healthy vibes your way and hope the orthopedic surgeon can help.

  21. I have been banned from running since mid-December (after tearing hip cartilage) and am not allowed to be reunited with my love until June (after 3 months of healing post-surgery). As someone who LOVES the endorphins, the feeling of racing, the sweat, and just the habit of waking up to run, it has been and will continue to be horribly frustrating….but I force myself to focus on the present and what I can do…

    I CAN do stomach crunches or lift weights while I watch tv. I’m now allowed to hop around in a pool. I can fist pump to music. I can sleep in. I can read books (or blogs) with my free time. I’d rather be doing something else, but I know if I focus on that, I’ll lose enjoyment of what I can do in the present….and who doesn’t want to fist pump and read blogs?!?!

  22. Yay runner’s high! I’m on an 8 mile runner’s high at the moment too…it’s quite fantastic. My 3 year old cousin actually has a giraffe like that one (it’s pretty big) in her room. We were all invited to have a slumber party and visit her giraffe at easter dinner yesterday.

  23. Three cheers for a happy run! I admire your cycle skills–I need to get myself to a class! This weekend I made Slutty Brownies (cookie on bottom, oreo in middle, brownies on top) for my sister’s Sweet 16 and they were sinful. So good. Then I took my dog on a real trail run and lost my footing on a rock and totally wiped out…I was feeling pretty badass out there running for an hour and a half with blood and cuts all down my legs. Despite the pain, it was still so fun. Happy Monday!

  24. After a couple funky weeks I finally had a long, runners high worthy, every step felt right, 18 mile run. It was fantastic and definitely what I needed to get back in a better runners mindset and to make me feel less guilty about all of the Easter chocolate I consumed yesterday 🙂

  25. I set a new 10K PR at the Scotland Run! 55:53! And I felt so amazing and strong and oh god, the park was so beautiful and the weather was perfect …and then I was in massive amounts of pain because I am battling nagging mini running injuries that did not like racing 6.3 miles. So I’m taking it easy this week, spinning a LOT, and trying to ride my runner’s high from Saturday all week…

  26. This weekend the Vet diagnosed my dog as officially being full of himself. We’re working on a regime change in this house. He now has to sit before he does anything, including eat. It’s actually not going too bad! So that’s a good thing 🙂

    Oh, and I ran a mile PAIN FREE yesterday!!!!

  27. Awesome run!!! I miss running a lot lately too. But since walking up stairs is hard, I’m going to have to wait. Anyway, love the giraffe. Although you should get the one I sent you instead, much softer. hehehe

  28. I was going to go for a nice long run in the woods yesterday while at my family’s place. Instead I ate creme brulee french toast and 100,000 mini cadbury eggs. Good news is I think all the eating this weekend will be great fuel for a long run tonight!

  29. Well…I ran 5km yesterday for the first time since my stupid IT band messed up my stupid knee. AND IT DIDN’T HURT. So that’s my runner’s high for this weekend.
    Oh and I signed up for a race. That runner’s high will make you do some crazy things.

  30. Your run this morning was so good! And fast! Three spin classes in one weekend is also great, don’t be so hard on yourself. As you know, since I saw you at Home Depot, I PR’d in the Scotland 10K this weekend! I surprised myself by actually feeling great for most of the race even though I was running much faster than I normally run and even though I didn’t exactly ‘train.’ And yesterday the weather was so nice that at 5pm after I was done packing, I went out for a 3 mile run along the reservoir. It didn’t go as well because I really cannot run after a day of eating, but still nice!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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