Thursday, March 27, 2008
As we all know, a huge endurance effort can let loose a crush of emotions - happiness, euphoria, melancholy, sadness, and sometimes all of these at once, plus 10 others. Whether such responses actually constitute a "runner's high" is very much up to an individual runner's point of view. If you call it a runner's high then it's a runner's high. But, Gina Kolata in the New York Times today (story) tackles the issue in detail from both a visceral and empirical stance, interviewing runners and dissecting new scientific evidence on brain endorphin levels before and after running. From a scientific standpoint, it now seems pretty clear that boosts in brain endorphin activity is a main cause of the euphoria many runners feel after a hard test. Now, how about a study that tells us why we sometimes feel like weeping at the same time?