Running can be a real bloody slog, particularly if you’re a beginner runner, but if you can plod on through the pain there are good bits too. Warning: once you’ve had a taste of the good times, addiction is almost certain. Don’t just take our word for it, here are ten running feelings you wish you could bottle.
1. The post-gel rush
All of a sudden, before the excess sticky carb gel has had time dry on your fingers, this gooey magic has transformed you from a plodding pedestrian into a striding super hero. For the next five minutes you convince yourself that you’ve got a ‘second wind’ and the nine miles you’ve got left in this marathon is going to fly by. Sadly you haven’t. And it doesn’t.
2. Finding out someone else is a fellow runner
“Oh so you’re a runner too are you?” Translation: Brilliant, now I get to spend hours telling you how many toe nails I lost in the past week and I know you’ll love it.
3. The post-run shower
Sex, chocolate, scoring goals in football and the first post-work drink on a Friday are all up there as some of the best things life has to offer and up there with them is the feeling of hot running water on your battered body after a long run.
4. Clocking a personal best
It doesn’t matter if it’s one second or five minutes, going faster is addictive. So much so that runners like will take any personal best they can find. Didn’t beat your marathon PB? Oh but hold on it’s still your fastest time on German soil. Or maybe the quickest you’ve gone in those new running shoes. They all count.*
5. Seeing friends and family mid-race
Despite the fact that you saw them this morning, just two hours ago, the moment you spot a face in the crowd that belongs to your husband/wife/mum/dad/brother/nextdoor neighbour/the bloke from the supermarket your brain goes mental like and you start screaming and thrashing about like Tom Hanks swimming after Wilson. For the next mile you run like you’ve sunk five carb gels in a oner. (See point 1)
6. The first meal after a marathon
Despite the fact that you probably carb loaded four days worth of pasta into your face the night before and you’ve just eaten approximately 18,000 calories worth of gels, somewhere in the 26.2 miles you just ran you became an insatiable eating machine. Anything that arrives on that first plate that’s put in front of you will taste immense. It’s like your taste buds translate everything into three Michelin star fodder.
7. Easing past another runner in the park
It’s Sunday and you’re out for your long run. You’re supposed to be chilling, cruising along at an easy pace when you realise you’re gaining on the Other Runner in front of you. Even at your easy run pace. Before you know it you’re slipping past effortlessly while they huff and puff. All of a sudden you’re Mo Farrah, the king of the road and they can eat your dirt.
8. Overtaking a bike
Overtaking another runner is one thing but overtaking a bike, that’s beyond brilliant. Despite the fact the rider of said bike is clearly just out for a relaxed freewheel, as you pass you can’t help but give them the look that says, “I’m killing you and your two wheels mate. With just my feet. That’s right, no wheels here.”
9. Running in the rain
Let’s be clear, this is only true once you’ve passed a certain point of wetness. You can’t just be damp, or just a bit drizzled, you have to be completely drenched and be the only madman still splashing their way down the road through torrential rain. At this point, with the streets to yourself, you regress to being 5 years old and every puddle is a fair game.
10. Having already done your run that day
Not much needs to be said about this one. There’s no better – and by better we really mean more smug – feeling than knowing today’s work is already done. Note: this is even better if a running friend you know hasn’t done theirs yet.
* They don’t.