I mentioned recently receiving a sense of euphoria during one of my recent runs, though I don’t talk about that aspect of running much. It’s that feeling I get once in awhile on my runs. It’s a feeling of perfect intoxication, exhilarated sort of, but softly. It is more than happiness. It’s kind of an out of this world joy. Actually, it is simply pure joy, like I am at one with everything, that I understand and accept everything, that nothing is a problem -- everything is perfect -- the weather is perfect (whether it’s storming or sunny), my steps are perfect, the world is perfect. Oh wow, you would think this is the reason I run. But it’s not. I didn’t even know about this feeling until I had been running for a while. And even now I never know when this euphoria will hit on a run. I cannot go out there expecting it. And I certainly don’t run or chase after it. It’s just not something I can chase after and catch. It’s just an unexpected gift that happens occasionally. As a matter of fact, if I try and go after this feeling, or manufacture it by possibly running the same course, or doing the same thing that I was doing when it last happened, it will never hit me. It’s when I totally forget that this wonderful added gift of running even exists, that it gently hits me again.
Hardly ever does this feeling come to me two times in a short period. But it did recently. Tuesday, March 22, just the second run after my last euphoria, I set out on Tijeras Creek and ran down to Arroyo Trabuco for an out-and-back into O’Neil Park. From the onset, my step felt quicker than usual. But I still looked forward to a long 12 plus mile run that would surely tire me out. It never really did that to me -- yes, I felt fatigued here and there, but never wiped out.
The creeks were semi-full. The air was cool and breezy. Everything was green and the grass was tall. Though I wasn’t running quickly, the miles seem to pass quickly. I tend to break each way of this route into three portions, with the first portion measuring about 2.5 miles, which on the back is the last portion. It was during this last 2.5 mile portion, when I hit the shade after a quick downhill that the euphoria hit me. You can imagine my surprise and delight to have this happen so soon again. I just rode the wave.
12.12 miles run
I know I said that I can’t chase after euphoria, and I wasn’t doing that when two days later I set out again on the same trails for the same out-and-back. Thursday, March 24, I just had a lot of spare time and wanted to go on a mindless run. Arroyo Trabuco is the perfect place to go on said mindless run. It’s not too dangerous – no cliffs to fall from and such. I know there wasn’t a chance in hell that the euphoria was going to hit again so soon, and on the same trails at that. But I did have a delightful run, and I would have done it again the next day if I did not have Old Goat 50 to work the next couple of days. Though did not experience that intoxication that I call euphoria, I did feel in harmony with the land. I noticed flowers I hadn’t noticed before. I watched a roadrunner bird sprint about in the fields. And I crossed the creeks seamlessly without getting even a toe wet. One woman stood off to the side watching me move across the rocks, audibly nervous that I was going to fall clapped when I reached the shore. “Wow! Good job,” she exclaimed.
Miles run: 12.29
What a week! And I’m almost caught up.