Runners- Happy or Foolish?

Sunday 27th July, 2013.


What a fun run that was. Easy. With the evergreen Pervin and Santa.

One of my easiest long runs ever!

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Completely energized, I come home feeling like a star.


I felt in great shape, in full training with no race on my plate. Wondering what to do , I got a sudden flash!

A lot of talk of the upcoming Hyderabad Marathon was flying around. Some of our runners were going for the Full marathon and some more for the Half Marathon. It was a challenging run because of the elevation- via the flyovers and the Jubilee Hills area. That’s it! I’ve found it!

In my euphoric state of mind, I registered for the run and in minutes I booked my airplane tickets. I was on!

I was in seventh heaven. In peak training and a tough race coming up. This would mean more running, serious hill workouts and more tempo.

More, more, more!


As Sunday evening approached the enormity of my decision overwhelmed me.

Me – who hates hills, had just signed up for a killer race. What was I thinking?

Me – with my Peddar-road-o-phobia was going to go over 4 flyovers and numerous undulating hills. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking!

As I related my story to my non-runner friend- she says- it’s your endorphins!

ENDORPHINS:- “Morphine within”

Oh! I was riding the high! These brain induced opiates had made me euphoric and the perception of pain had been reduced. Scientifically, endorphins are produced during running and they attach themselves to the areas of the brain which are associated with emotions- the same areas which are activated when one experiences romantic love or while listening to music which gives you a chill- a shiver down your spine- like Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3. The greater the endorphins in the brain- the more the Euphoria! That is why runners are happy people!

After most runs- one feels relaxed and clear headed- but it is these 2 hours plus runs that generate an extreme experience like this.

So here I am – staring at my half marathon looming up in two weeks. I am tackling it head on- by stepping up my hill training. I hope that this race will help me to overcome my fear of hills. All I want is to run the entire distance of 21km non stop.

I was experiencing a “Runner’s High”, when my mind took over my body and the unconscious led my mind.

LESSON LEARNT: Don’t take ANY decision until  after 2 pm on Sunday.





2 thoughts on “Runners- Happy or Foolish?

  • Parul,

    Much of what you write is what passes through our minds as well. We all have our fears and phobias. However, the satisfaction that one gets after having tackled head-on these fears is immeasurable. It gives us strength to tackle the next challenge, to pat ourselves on our backs and to move on :). Good Luck for Hyderabad – cheers.

  • Go endorphins!
    Just some additional trivia since you brought them up. There’s evidence of other chemicals (called endocannabinoids) in our body being elevated due to running. One chemical of this pathway is called anandamide and gets it’s name from the Sanskrit word ‘anand’…which is what you’re experiencing 🙂
    People mentioned in that article are from my department!

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