August 30th, 2004

Runner's Low

Everyone talks about the runner's high, a rush of endorphins that sweeps over you and makes you happy. These endorphins may be generated mostly to help you suffer through the sheer discomfort of long-distance running. (Some other chemicals may be involved too.)

But, a day or two after a long run, like 18 miles plus, I find I experience the runner's low. It's a general sad, depressed feeling. I suspect I just used up all my endorphins for a while, because soon afterward I am back to feeling normal.

I have learned over the years not to pay too much attention to this particular feeling, because it's not really a sign that something is wrong in my life. Unless you count "running too far" as being something wrong!

Yes, I had it yesterday and today, after a long long jaunt on Saturday. Of course, sore muscles and joints may also play a part in an ambient feeling of misery.

Rhyme of the day:

If running long distance
Is your chief obsession,
Expect to experience
Some brief depression!

Running in general helps control depression:

But post-marathon "blues" are common: