For those of you that don't know, a "Runner's High" is when you are exercising for a long period of time and then you basically just feel awesome. What happens is after your body meets a certain point (based on your physical exertion), your body releases endorphins that appear like opiates and then somehow all of that makes you have an out-of-body sort of experience. (I don't know what all of that means...but that's what my thorough research said)
Scientists still debate whether or not the release of endorphins is actually the cause of one's heightened performance. According to ScienceDaily, a study was performed by scientists from fields of Nuclear Medicine, Neurology and Anaesthesia at the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the University of Bonn. They had ten athletes run for two hours and had scanned them with a positron emission tomography (PET) before and after. The article states that they used radioactive substance [18F]diprenorphine ([18F]FDPN), which binds to the opiate receptors in the brain and hence competes with endorphins. I have no idea what that means but the bottom line is, their performance was tested somehow.
Basically what they found out is that the Endorphin Hypothesis holds true- there is a connection between the release of endorphins and the emotional state of the athlete. For more details, see this blog post.
So now that we know (or we at least have a concrete example) that the Runner's High exists- and we know that in order to get one, you have to run for a long period of time- why the heck have I not gotten it in over a couple of years???? And only during the past year have I started to run a marathon regularly and only over the past 6 months have I started running ultras!!!
Which means that I got a runner's high from running 10-13 miles, not from my 26-65 miles. That does not make sense. If anything, I'd think I'd have a high every month from all of these races.
I'd like the scientists from all of those medical fields to do a study on me and see why I'm getting gypped.
It was so long ago that I can't remember my experiences that well- but I do know that runner's high are awesome but also scary. When you get the high, you feel like you're on top of the world. It's so great because your speed picks up and you seriously pass millions of people. However, the high's are very scary because you never know how long they're going to last. I remember getting the high one time at around 8 miles and I still had a couple miles to go. I wanted to take advantage of the high and go fast, but I didn't know if it'd stop after 30 seconds and I'd screw myself from wasting all of my energy. What a dilemma.
I know people say (and I've experience this) that during ultras people will get like 5 winds. They'll have low points and then high points and then back and forth. This is not what I'm referring to- that's different than the runner's high.
I'd like to hear from some of you (especially the ultra-runners) if you've had the high and if you did, what distance it was for.