The act of running floods the brain and body with endorphins, the rush of these feel-good hormones isn’t all that different from a drug-induced high. Those drugs being the ones you get on the streets; there are other kinds of ‘drugs’ that in the sport of running don’t call to mind images of strung-out addicts on the street shooting up.
These drugs bring to mind images of runners floating on air, setting records, bulging muscles, endurance that seems inhuman and then being able to kick like a monster. It seems inhuman because it is, there are drugs involved. I’d call them steroids but at this point the science in that area is so advanced who knows what in the heck it really is, the bottom line is they are performance enhancing drugs.
It’s been quite the year for drug busts; I know I’m a little late in Facebooking, Twittering or posting about the recent article in which running Christian Hesch admits to using drugs and explaining what it felt like. I’ll be honest, I hesitated because I wasn’t really sure if it was worth posting about; I like to keep things positive here or on the up and up but the truth is drugs are ever-present in our sport. It’s sad, it’s not only limited to the top of the top (Hesch proves that, he was in that floater, limbo area), and it’s naive to think everyone is clean. BUT it’s fact, and I also know there are many athletes who ARE totally clean. While it is disgusting to have to line up next to someone you know is dirty, in the end you CAN’T control what others are ever going to do. You can only control your own actions, your own training and what it comes down to is this: Are you going to compete clean?
You can’t let the actions of other dictate your decision there. Runners have given the excuse that, ‘if I wanted to be able to compete with the dirties, then I have to level the playing field.’ That’s a cop out and a way they are trying to rationalize their decision to play dirty. It’s showing weak morals and only perpetuating the problem of drugs in the sport of running.
While it is such a shame there will be questions of ‘who is dirty and who is clean’ when we witness remarkable performances, and those awe-inspiriting moments are sometimes tainted by the questions; the thing is, that there ARE the athletes still competing who are clean, true to their sport, to themselves, and THEIR performances are worth more than any kind of world record or feat done on drugs.
True, as a spectator, it’s easy to get sucked into the ‘who is and who isn’t’ game. It’s just as easy to point a finger as it is to hold out hope; I get that. I suppose my own point is that I DO know that not everyone is on something and for those athletes I cheer for them extra loud and their results, be it an off-day or an Olympic Medal, merit that much more respect in my eyes.
The trickle down of drugs, to us mortal runners, isn’t to the point where one busts out the drug testing kit at the finish of the local 5k. Maybe so, who knows where you live! But the article I think, addresses our all morbid curiosity relating to performance enhancing drugs, “What the he## is it like?!”
True to form, we have our answer and is it really all that surprising? It makes running feel a whole lot better, the times come easier, and you, duh, run faster.
But let’s flip that…it makes running easier. It strips away a portion of the gruelfest that defines our sport. Sure, the little part of your brain that is aways begging you to BACK OFF and cut it some slack may be tempted to peace out on some of the pain. But, isn’t the mental battle of running, when you come out the victor and push yourself harder than you thought possible worth a he## of a lot more? Just my thoughts.
You can’t control the actions of other, only your own. You can CHOOSE to run your @$$ off or you can shoot up instead. I’d like to think adrenaline and endorphins (manufactured the old fashioned, personally secreted glad way, thank you very much!) are the way to go.
1) Had you read the Christian Hesch article prior to this?
2) What are your thoughts on performance enhancing drugs? How many runners do you feel are using them?
3) What do you feel is the trickle down effect, if any, to mortal runners when it comes to these drugs?
4) What’s your drug of choice?
Running…errrr…maybe Pop-Tarts too. 😉