The Morphine Within

(Tuesday, January 17, 2017)


Hey hey HEYyyyy, whaddya sayyyy…

I’m back again which makes it another dayyyy… in the books for blogging!  Ha!

I’m currently running on a very intense endorphins euphoria.  Pardon my positivity.  Is it radiating out of my fingertips in the way I write so many more letters than necessary?  I tend to do that when I’m excited.

I just worked out.. for the 4TH DAY IN A ROW.  And not only that, I’ve extended all my workouts by at least 20-30 minutes making each workout almost a full hour.  Warmup, cardio, strength exercises, yoga and stretching.  Not to mention the 15 minute hot spa shower to soothe my aching muscles.  There’s nothing better than when that runner’s euphoria sets in.  When it’s a really good run, like it starts out really well (no sciatica funkiness slowing me down), it takes just about 5 minutes of non-stop running to hit my high.  And when it hits, well – it’s endorphin-induced euphoria.

“Endorphins are long chains of amino acids, or polypeptides,
that are able to bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain and are
capable of relieving pain in a manner similar to that of morphine.
There are three major types of endorphins: beta-endorphins are
found almost entirely in the pituitary gland, while enkephalins
and dynorphins are both distributed throughout the nervous system.
Scientists had suspected that analgesic opiates, such as morphine
and heroin, worked effectively against pain because the body
had receptors that were activated by such drugs. They reasoned
that these receptors probably existed because the body itself
had natural painkilling compounds that also bonded to those
receptors. When scientists in the 1970s isolated a biochemical

from a pituitary gland hormone that showed analgesic properties,
Choh Li, a chemist from Berkeley, California, named it endorphin,
meaning “the morphine within.”
Besides behaving as a pain reducer,
endorphins are also thought to be connected to euphoric feelings,
appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones. Prolonged,
continuous exercise contributes to an increased production of
endorphins and, in some people, the subsequent runner’s high’.”

That’s AMAZING.  I already knew this, except for the Morphine part.  Like, that’s kind of intense but puts the “Runner’s High” into such a perspective (especially for those who just don’t get it, and obviously hate running). When my 5 minutes hit tonight, a tingling sensation started at the base of my head and neck and just spread through my brain and into my shoulders and arms.  It was such a good feeling, I started to run faster just to keep the sensation going.  This time was also more intense than usual, since most of the time I don’t really push myself.  Using the treadmill at the gym has allowed me to push myself and not worry about the dangers of running on street pavement in a busy city.

By the way – everything I did in my workouts was pretty much free of extra weights or paying extra money for classes.  I’ve always known what I need to do to really lose weight, but it’s been hard to get motivated.  Now that Eddie is really in this with me, it’s easier to keep going and push myself.  We’ve been walking Buffy almost every day, right after work, which has been a huge step in getting back to running again.  So as of last weekend, I decided to do the walk, THEN go to the gym to get 15-20 minutes of running in.  Once I’m done there, I go home and spend time slowly stretching and doing strength exercises, and incorporating yoga here and there along the way.  And the hot spa?  It’s just a hot shower after the workout to soothe my muscles.  All of this combined, really fucking works. 

AND – I eat better, sleep better, think better and let’s face it – I behave better, too.  I’ve been down this road before, but this time it really needs to stick.  I know I’m lucky to understand the runner’s high and really crave it.  Now that I can move again, and my sciatica problem is almost gone, there’s no excuse.

Also – nothing like having a wedding dress fitting to really put your weight and health into perspective.  That happened last weekend, but I’m glad it did.  One year and three months until Eddie and I get hitched, and I want us to be our best selves – mentally and physically.  2017 – watch out!

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