Explaining a 'Runner's High'

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Interviewer:  Dick, you've had runner's high before. Can you explain what
that is, what's actually happening and how you feel that?

Dick:  Yeah. The runner's high - okay, I've been running, let's see, going
on maybe my 40th year now...

Interviewer:  Okay.

Dick:  ...starting on my 40th year. I've had a runner's high maybe six

Interviewer:  Really?

Dick:  ...in 40 years. Now, at least what I think it is.

Interviewer:  Okay.

Dick:  I mean, not that I don't enjoy my runs because I do, but there's
been about a half dozen times in almost 40 years of running where I was out
running and this feeling came over me where I felt like I could run
forever. I always said, if it ever happened again - and I haven't had this
happen in almost 20 years.

I always thought, "If it ever happens again, I'm just going to keep running
and see how far I go." It's an amazing feeling. I can't even describe it
for you. You don't feel any - you don't feel sore. You don't feel like your
feet are touching the ground. You feel like you could run faster and faster
and it would get easier and easier.

What brought it on? I don't know if it was just everything with the
endorphins kicking at the right time, if it was the placement of the stars,
if I had something to eat and everything was just coming together just
right, the body chemistry, but it is an amazing feeling when it happens, at
least for me.

People say, "Oh, I get this runner's high." Well, I don't know if it's a
runner's high every time you go run. I do feel good when I'm done with a
run. Even like this morning, I went and did a really hard run on the
treadmill because I was going to do some faster stuff and I didn't want to
slip on the ice. The treadmill, you've got to mentally get yourself ready
for that one.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Dick:  During it, it was mentally a little tougher, but once it's done then
it's like, "Okay, I did that." You can feed off of that saying, "If I can
do that on a treadmill, what's it like?" I didn't get a runner's high, but
I felt really good when I was done with it.

Interviewer:  Sure.

Dick:  There are some times when I'm out running where I don't feel I could
run forever, but you just feel really good. Those are the moment if you
could bottle that up you'd be a multi-billionaire, I think.

Many runners claim to get a runner's high when they run. What is it? Former world class marathon runner Dick Beardsley talks about his experience with a runner's high and how elusive it's been for him.

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