Running vs. Heroin, A Comparative Analysis
Yesterday, Running Buddy Selena and I ran 16 miles. I mapped the run using mapmyrun.com, and aptly named the run "Marilyn Monroe's Death Tour," as I had us run not only by the house where she was found dead, but also to the cemetery where she is today. Morbid? Maybe. Exciting and educational? Definitely.
Along the route, we spoke of many things, but mostly we contemplated this study, where scientists at Tufts University recently discovered "Excessive running shares similarities with drug-taking behavior." Running Buddy Selena's opinion was, "Well, duh!" We agreed that this is probably why when you miss a scheduled run, you feel so badly about it, both mentally and physically. Your body was essentially craving the run you missed.
According to the study, "Exercise, like drugs of abuse, leads to the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine, which are involved with a sense of reward." Like the sense of accomplishment you feel after running 16 miles? Hmmm...I think I might be an addict. I wonder if I can get my insurance to cover a month at Promises in Malibu once my marathon is over?!?
All joking aside, as I sat outside with friends last night examining my battle wounds (blisters on both feet, darkened toenails, swollen knees, aching hips) I thought to myself, why would I do this if there weren't a reward in there somewhere? And the study again crossed my mind.
I also thought about how excited I get when I think about drinking beer after a long run. I've only mentioned it here and here. Yesterday, I one-upped myself and drank a beer during the run at mile ten. Folks, this is the work of a true genius. To schedule a stop at The Boyfriend's house mid-run to drink a beer? At 9:30 in the morning? One addiction clearly leads to another.
But before you get all "here's the schedule at your local A.A. center, I really think you should check it out," let me inform you that it could be worse.
I could be doing heroin.