Endorphins 2.0: The special running high that only awesome workouts, epic races and PR’s can bring

Boom. Crackle. Snap. No, for once that’s not the sound of me walking into a room…I do predict I’ll be one of those old people racing around on a Rascal for all other hours of the day I’m NOT running. ;) Juuuust kidding…Happy Fourth of July to all those who are also residing in the good old USA.

kicking butt

Kicking your own butt can feel oh so good…when you come out the ‘winner.’ :)


I’m thankful to be an American and not just because I get a chance to unleash my inner pyro for the day. Rockets are fun, yes, but do you want to know another way to feel like you’re high enough to touch the moon? No, the perfectly legal way but you’re still getting a fix in a way.

Rocking a hard workout, kicking butt in a race or a brand spanking new PR. I’ve long professed my love for endorphins but I SWEAR the ones that come from a particularly hard workout, race or effort are like endorphins 2.0. It’s a super high…and I feel THOSE kinds of pimped-out endorphins are what keep us slogging through the ‘blah’ miles, crappy runs and the workouts that kick our butts in the worse possible way. We’re chasing the right endorphins.

Now I’m not an elitist, trust me, I know for a fact I am no better than others, but can I tell you a little secret? On days when my running goes particularly well, the times I’ve gotten a PR (even a PR in a workout) for the rest of the day I sort of feel like I can walk a little taller. Heck I even feel happier and smile bigger, if that is humanly possible for me. When I’m just out and about in ‘normal people’ world (not around fellow runners) in the back of my mind, when I’m going through the check-out at the grocery store I’m thinking, “My legs feel wobbly and like jelly, I wonder if she’s ever felt that post-workout early-onset soreness that only comes from a tough run?” It’s not that I think I’m any better than anyone else in that line (for all I know there could be a World Record holder behind me!) It’s just that I feel like a ‘specialer’ version of myself that day. Thanks to those pimped-out endorphins 2.0 I suppose.
shooting stars
Don’t worry, my ego quickly gets snapped back, as do the rest of ours if you know what I’m talking about and can relate, the next day when we realize that with running there is always another day that begs to question, “You going running?” Running is an ongoing cycle, the PR you just hit, the workout you just rocked…well guess what, you’re going to be facing the same thing again soon and you’re going to want to one-up the previous. So yes, be proud, feel entitled to walk a bit taller for that day, ALWAYS celebrate your PR’s and awesome efforts because failing to do so will leave you feeling like you jyped yourself later. BUT, remember that there is always another day, another goal to be chased…even if that isn’t another PR, truth be told there will be a day when you inevitably won’t be shooting for your best overall PR and will have to shift perspective.

But you know what never has to end? Those souped up, pimped-out endorphins 2.0 that can leave you feeling like you’re shooting on a rocket for the rest of the day. People sometimes don’t understand why a runner who doesn’t really even race would bother doing a hard workout or test themselves. Yea, those hard workouts are hardly always fun…so the obvious question is, “Why put yourself through that?” To be honest that question is probably something going through that non-racing runner’s mind plenty of times themselves. The answer is…the quest for those endorphins 2.0.

So light those sparklers, runnerchicks and runnerdudes, those racing towards PR’s or even if you’re not. Have fun oohing and aahing over the fireworks but remember that some even better trips to the stars are waiting for you, riding those pimped-out endorphins 2.0…get chasing them.

1) Do you relate to feeling especially enorphinized high after awesome workouts you nailed, races you hit your goals or surpassed them or hard-fought PR’s?

2) Do you also feel like a bit of a shinier version of yourself on those days you have those runs? I swear it’s not egotism running rampant on all us runner feeling like we’re better than anyone else. ;)

3) Where are you with your running, are you currently racing, shooting for a PR, just running for the joy of it, running and maybe not racing but still get that curiosity bug to test yourself with some hard workouts and see what you can do?

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11 Comments

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11 Responses to Endorphins 2.0: The special running high that only awesome workouts, epic races and PR’s can bring

  1. Endorphins are just about the best thing ever :) I do love how much they can kick in when I have a good work out or hit a personal goal – even if it’s small in the scheme of what other people do, it makes me feel great!

  2. You know, even if I don’t PR, if I have a rockstar workout or a good race (yesterday’s race WAS NOT a PR, but I think I did a negative split and I raced very effectively in the heat), I get that endorphin high. Heck I usually get it just from running and racing in general. But you are so right- we still have to keep pushing forward, that’s what running and life are all about.

    • SO true, u don’t need a PR to stamp the approval of an AWESOME run on a run/race. great job out there…dude, all about the effort!

  3. You described it very well. There are ‘levels’ of endorphin highs, and for me, if I nail some mile intervals, or a ten mile marathon pace or under run… well, in that case, ‘this one goes to 11′.

  4. Yes!! That’s what I love most about running. I will finish a killer workout, feel dead tired, but feel like a million bucks too. It is so rewarding! Great descriptions you wrote!

  5. Amy

    I reserve the right to enjoy every single endorphin my cells produce during a workout and I’m not afraid to say that yes, those PR days do make me feel a little shinier :)
    I love the unexpected triumph of a hard workout. The days that I get to the gym after work and decide that ‘I’m just going to see how I go’ and then end up rocking a speed work out, or blowing my distance goal out of the water. Even though last night wasn’t a particularly hard workout (4.5miles outside) I had that perfect runner high because I had felt the need for a run all day, and actually managed to make it happen.
    Happy 4th of July my American friend. Remember, we are all fireworks!!

    • dang, i LOVE that last line there. :) gosh help me tho, did Katy Perry’s song just flash into everyone’s mind? ;) hehe.
      keep on loving those super runs of your’s…and i have to say that the high after not so awesome runs, but runs you have been craving all day, are sooooo great too. :)

  6. Pingback: There Are No ‘Givens’ With Running |

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