Feelin’ good at 40 (minutes)

I like to call it the “40-minute feel good.”

That’s the point – more appropriately, the feeling – in most of my runs that I Jones for when I take my first trotting steps out of my driveway.

Simply, it’s when I feel like I’m on auto-pilot and the endorphin-buzz begins to kick in.

Most runs start out slow, there’s a feeling-out process. You’re simply trying to get the blood flowing. Your mind begins to plan: maybe I’ll go out for an easy hour today.

That thought ran through my head this morning. I was still there at 20 minutes, then 30.

My watch read 1:52 when I eventually switched it off upon returning home.

What happened?

The 40-minute feel good, that’s what.

Now, not every one of my runs includes this feeling of invincibility. But when it does, it’s usually in the 40-minute range. It’s why I step out the door in the first place: to chase that buzz.

It works the same way with drinkers and drug users. Although there’s nothing like that first high. And a lot of times, that first one can never be replicated. But that doesn’t keep people from trying.

It’s possible with running, however. I know. I spent years chasing that buzz by putting a joint or a beer to my lips. Now that I’ve been sober for 20 years (and a runner for 13), I still crave that feeling.

The roads and my Asics are my vices of choice now.

On Wednesday, when 40-MFG kicked in, all original plans were tossed aside. The plan that was originally an hour went to 1:30 once I got going. But after achieving a buzz, 90 minutes just didn’t seem enough.

I was running on Lawton Road in Shirley, and a three-way intersection was coming. This “T” in the road originally was going to be a left turn onto Route 2A back to Ayer. Back home.

But a right turn meant another couple of miles. I hesitated at first, but then soon slipped behind a truck waiting at the stop sign and headed right.

It was like having “one more for the road.” I’m so glad I went right. How could I go wrong?


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January 2013
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