Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Endorphins and Mean Babies

We were very rushed this morning, trying to get Pete to work by 8, and of course, he was late. After dropping Mindy off, we went straight to the gym. My training plan for today said:
long run again, easy pace
Short and sweet. I just decided to do an hour again. I don't know how far I went because I gave up trying to count laps after I lost track around 5 or 6. I'm sick of counting laps. I decided to just listen to my music and enjoy running for an hour. It was really fun, but I must remind those of you who still hate running, that you have to run longer than half an hour to 45 minutes before your endorphins are released. The feeling you get from your endorphins, I think, is one of the things that make running fun. If you only run for half an hour, you miss out on a great feeling! 

I just looked endorphins up on wikipedia and here are some interesting facts:
Endorphins work as "natural pain relievers"

(The word) consists of two parts: endo- and -orphin; these are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean "a morphine like substance originating from within the body." (Sweet!)

Runner's high
Another widely publicized effect of endorphin production is the so-called "runner's high", which is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production. Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts, when the level of intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. This also corresponds with the time that muscles use up their stored glycogen. Workouts that are most likely to produce endorphins include, boxing, running, swimming, cross-country skiing, long distance rowing, cycling, weight lifting, aerobics, or playing a sport such as soccer, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, hockey, tennis or American football.

However, some scientists question the mechanisms at work, their research possibly demonstrating the high comes from completing a challenge rather than as a result of exertion.
So, I don't know. Whatever it is, running for an hour+ is way better than running for half an hour. It might seem weird, but I've heard this from other people too.

After my run, I was feeling really tired, like I needed something to eat or drink other than water. I should have thought of that. Workouts that are longer than an hour really need some kind of nutrition, at least for me. I will bring some Hammer Gel next time.

I was in the locker room, trying to decide if I should do my swim workout, just swim a little bit or skip it all-together, when I heard "C. Lasko, please come to the daycare" over the loud-speaker. I quickly got dressed (I had already changed into my swimsuit), and rushed to the daycare, hoping there wasn't anything seriously wrong. I got there to find Elle looking like this:

One of the babies had apparently hit her with a dinosaur. Poor thing. She was being very brave, though. She wasn't even crying, just pointed out her "owie" to me. I had to sign a little form so the gym wouldn't get in trouble for this, and I said, "No big deal, this could have easily happened at home." In fact, Ethan did give her a bloody nose yesterday. I never found out what happened either... Anyway, we just came home after that. I couldn't get myself to just leave her after being assaulted by a 1-year old. I will try to get to the pool tonight. We'll see.


  1. Oh poor Elle! That looks like it hurt.

    When I'm running I'm always really mad at myself for the first mile but after that I start to feel really good. I think the mile point is just my mental barrier. So haha suckers who have to run a half hour! :)

  2. :) I can agree with you that getting past the first mile is the hardest. I think it takes about that long to get warmed up (literally if you're running in the cold), then I start to feel ok, but I don't think I feel really AWESOME until half an hour or so. That's awesome if you can get there after 1 mile!

  3. Do you run outside in the winter? I've seen people around here running in snow storms and I think they are absolutely crazy. I'm just not a cold weather kind of person though.

  4. In the past I have ran outside in the winter, but not in snow storms! That is crazy! Lately I've just been running on my gym's indoor track. It's smaller than a regular track so you have to go around 9 times for a mile. That's why I'm sick of counting. But it's fun to try to get the laps down to one minute.

    I need to get running outside, though. My training plan says to do my workouts outside whenever possible so I'll be more confident on race day. That makes sense, but it's also easier to run at the gym when I can drop the kids off at the daycare.