Day 34- The Runner’s High: Not Just For Runners Anymore!

Cyclists wait their turn at the starting line for the start of the annual  Hotter N' Hell Hundred Saturday, August 28, 2004,  in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. (AP Photo/Wichita Falls Times Record News, Gary Lawson)

Cyclists wait their turn at the starting line for the start of the annual Hotter N’ Hell Hundred Saturday, August 28, 2004, in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. (AP Photo/Wichita Falls Times Record News, Gary Lawson)

283.0

I have a lifelong love of running.  I was always tall and thin as a kid and running was the one thing I could do better than almost anyone.  I wasn’t tremendously fast but I could go for miles without tiring out.  While the rest of the track team ran 5k’s after school, I ran 10k’s every single day, and longer on the weekends.  My runs always started the same way, for the first half of a mile or so, the farther I ran the more out of breath I felt until at about half a mile, my stride got longer, my pace got quicker and I could breathe normally again.  I didn’t realize until later that this was what was called the runner’s high.

As I stressed my body more and more by running, my hypothalmus began sending signals to the pituitary gland that sent out substances that tell the body to begin releasing endorphins, naturally produced morphine-like chemicals that acted like painkillers, entering opioid receptors in the brain’s limbic system causing feelings of euphoria and well-being, blocking the discomfort of high-level aerobic activity.

Now I am old and not-thin and I don’t run much anymore but when I am out on my bike, racking up mile upon mile on streets or trails I can still get that old familiar feeling by grabbing a couple of gears and taking off in a mile long sprint on flat ground or charging an especially robust uphill stretch.  I don’t leave it all out on the track anymore, I am pleased to just finish my ride and live to ride another day, but the occasional buzz from a well executed sprint is well worth the breathless minute or two it takes to work back into zone B, where I can pedal and hold down a conversation too.

My cycling goals are simple now, I live for that once a year monster century ride, focusing all of my ‘training’ on trimming my time down a bit more each year until finally I earn the coveted FOG jersey, worn by the select hundred or so that start the Hotter’n Hell 100 at the very front, the Fast Old Guys.  Because you gotta have a dream.

my food
Breakfast
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

Protein shake
whey isolate(130 cal.)P20F3.5C6
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
Total=374 cal. P 36.2 F 13.1 C 30.6

1st lunch
2 cans tuna(180 cal.)P40F2C0

2nd lunch
5 oz. spinach(35 cal.)P4F.5C5
1/2 cup lentils(240 cal.)P20F0C40
2 tbsp. italian dressing(60 cal.)P0F6C3
total-335 cal. P 24 F 6.5 C 48

dinner
8 oz. pork loin(264 cal.)P50.6F5.2C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
2 jalapeños(8)P.2F0C2
1 tbsp. coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14C0
total=446 cal. P 52.2 F 19.3 C 17.5
daily total= 1745 P 182.9 F 66.8 C 106.1

 

My work out:

back squats 5 x 5 @190# 1.2 MET hours

cycling 29.4 miles   2419 calories  16.3 MET hours

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