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What is a Runner’s High?

Monday, April 12th, 2010


Most trail runners have experienced it, some run just to attain it, while others have no idea what a “Runner’s High” is.  If you are a trail runner and have never experienced a Runner’s High then you need to run faster, push your body harder, and attain the point where you lose conscientiousness of what your body is feeling.

A Runner’s High can be described as an elevation of the senses while running, typically long distances and in a natural environment.  It is difficult for trail runners to describe the exact feeling (much like drug users) they get from a Runner’s High, but many equate it to the feeling of an orgasm.  Another good reason to go trail running.

Technically, a Runner’s High is associated with the release of endorphins in the brain.  Endorphins are any group of opiate proteins with pain-relieving properties that are found naturally in the brain.  The word endorphins comes from two parts: endo- and -orphin; which are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean “a morphine like substance originating from within the body.”  Knowing that human cells have receptors for this drug suggests that the body produces its own morphine like substances which it is believed can be released into the body by running long distances and gives trail runners the feeling of a Runner’s High.

While it is difficult to quantify exactly what feeling different trail runners get from this release of endorphins, it is agreed that there is a definite mood change.  The difference in Runners’ Highs can be a positive or negative one with differing levels of intensity.  Maybe that is why many trail runners become so Serious about Running, because they are the type of runners that get this intense positive feedback from running.

Whatever the science is and however your brain reacts to trail running, one thing is certain, there is a typical emotional feeling derived from trail running.  Everyone records their feelings differently but there is always a point during a trail run that your body changes.  So go out for a long trail run, and push to attain a close connection between your mind and body.  Let your mind take over while your feet are still moving, one in front of the other, and you are only aware of one thing…yourself.  Trail running is a free self-awareness seminar!

So say no to drugs and help keep the kids stay off the streets.  Get them running on the trails instead and let’s get hiiiiiiiigh together….on Trail Running.

You Might Have a Running Problem if…

Thursday, January 28th, 2010


Some runners are intense about their training and racing, some runners run more for recreation or health reasons, but all runners develop the habit which can become what many refer to as a “Running Problem.”  I’m not a doctor, but if you have experienced any of the symptoms below you may have a running problem, and the only cure is:  more running of course!  And being able to laugh at yourself…

You Might Have a Running Problem if…

…you try to guess runners’ ages as you pass them

…say the words “easy” and “10 miles” in the same sentence.

…have heard the phrase “Run Forest Run” at least 100 times.

…spit on yourself sometimes.

…choose your hairstyle based on aerodynamics.

…wash your shorts in the shower.

…correct people when they say a marathon is 26 miles with that it is in fact 26.2 miles.

…no longer laugh at the term “fartlek.”

…tape your nipples.

…constantly get high…off running!

Feel free to comment with any other symptoms you’ve experienced!  You could save some one’s life…

Running Community

Friday, September 25th, 2009

runners-talking-at-start-line is not just for serious runners, it’s for all runners. is a platform for runners to share information and reviews with each other to help them become better athletes and have fun running.  All runners go through the same amount of pain and the same amount enjoyment when they accomplish their goals, that’s why runners love to share about running.  I think I need a “I break for runners” bumper sticker on my car.  I even drive in the opposite lane if I can.  I look at every runner I see and think about how they are feeling.  I find that I think to myself, ‘You can do it.  Way to be out there pushing it.’  Giving the unknown runner motivation.  Trying to help them be the best runner they can.  It’s about the running community.

We runners have this community feeling because we share a lot of common characteristics.  The feeling of accomplishing goals, losing weight, or relieving stress is universal.  It’s the best feeling in the world.  Some may even say we are addicted to it.  So as a good addict, we should share our addiction to run with each other.  This sense of community lends us to sharing everything we have learned about running such as the best trail running trails, injury remedies, or favorite races, giving other runners the best possible experience.

That’s what is here for, sharing in the community of runners.  If you are going to give back to the community, why not give back to the running community?

Check out our New Trail Run Listing Search and Win a $25 Gift Certificate

Friday, August 28th, 2009


You have to keep working hard to improve yourself in running as well as in life.  That’s why we at are constantly working hard to try to improve.  We have recently added a all new, one of a kind, trail run locating resource, an  interactive Trail Running map!  Don’t be startled, that was just your standard of living increasing.  Now you can check out which of our over 900 trail runs is closest to you!  Just click on the map and zoom in to your location.  The clusters will split into specific trails in your area until you find the specific listing you are looking for.  Click on the desired trail run to get the full information.  Easy to access information, I love Technology.  I think that’s what I’m going to name my first born, Technology.  So powerful.

Check it out and see if your favorite trail run is listed.  If not, then add it to the listing.  This weekend is actually the last weekend for adding trails to be entered in our contest to win a free $25 gift certificate.  We are giving away two of them and picking the winner at random from those who have submitted trail running information.  Not easy enough?  How about then we make it a little easier for you to enter to win.  Now, you can be entered to win by helping locate exact trail head locations.  If you click on any of the white markers on our map and update the exact location you will be entered to win as well!  Just click on the icon and then the trail run listing and place the marker on the correct location.  Help your fellow trail runner find that gnarly trail you love to run.  I know, you don’t want anyone else running on your trails, but don’t be selfish.  Trail Running is something everyone should be able to enjoy.  So spread the love!  It’s not like you own Nature…I do.

Nature Boy Chris Barber, Woooooo!

“To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.” -Ric Flair to acquire even more Flexible to address Customers Needs!

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


According to, has reached an agreement to acquire  The big just keep on getting bigger.  If they were real runners they would be getting smaller.  You know, because running burns calories and all.  However, the problem is that corporations are really not people.  It’s just a group of individuals who run an entity that is owned by many different people, whom most do not work for the company.  The people that work for these companies have marginal ownership from stock holdings, with not enough to give them incentive to work harder; unlike which is a brother and brother business, with 100% incentive.  Do the math. is pretty much the ultimate business structure.  I’d let you see our business plan but it’s trademarked and copyrighted with a patent is pending, it’s that impressive.  Being such a small organization we are the decision makers, we are the ones that listen to what you want and are able to implement those things within minutes.  Even if Jeff Barber isn’t available because he is probably in the bathroom, out mountain biking, or painting his miniatures,  I will go ahead and make any change needed.  You know what that’s called?  Customer service.  Email or and see how long it takes for you to get a personalized response.  Email me and I promise I will answer within 24 hours, and if during “business hours” I’ll probably answer within 20 minutes.  Take that behemoth running shoe selling companies!  We are able to travel just as fast on this Information Superhighway! Someone just leveled the playing field.

But the playing field isn’t level, is far superior.  Why?  Because we answer our own questions, that’s why.  Also because the running shoe reviews on are by serious runners, people who know how running shoes are suppose to perform.  Other websites like and have reviews, but you don’t know where they came from.  They could have come from a person who used the shoes for walking, skipping, or swatting flies.  Please be kind to your running shoes, they have feelings too.  The running shoe reviews on are by runners for runners.  It’s a running community and as you can see, we love our running shoes.

Granted, our running shoe listings will take you to one of our affiliates’ websites, or, but that is because is the low price leader and is the outdoor product leader so we provide both to give you the best running shoes possible at the best price.  So why not go directly to those websites without passing through’s running shoe reviews?  Because that’s two websites to search on instead of just one of course, but also mostly because we are the customer service leader for running shoes.  We provide the information you need and want.  Go ahead, give those 5 star rated shoes a try.  Fall in love with them, then come back to write your review.  When you are done with your review buy 10 more pairs to last you through the rest of the year.  Running shoe companies often come out with new versions annually so you may not have a chance to get another pair soon.  Be prepared, that’s what I like to say.

So while the big keep getting bigger, the real runners stay small and agile.  Ready for the gun to blast, the race to start, and are ready to give the best performance which you derserve.  We’re all about performance.

Note:  None of the members of the’s staff take any type of performance enhancing drugs to help them provide all this great information on this awesome website.  I know what you were thinking, ‘They’ve got to be taking something…’  Incorrect.

Wall Street Journal’s Got Nothing on Me: Running Still Recession Proof

Friday, July 10th, 2009


I’ve heard enough.  I saw it referenced on a couple of blogs and then on Twitter, but last night at the beginning of a group run someone started discussing this article in the Wall Street Journal written by Reed Albergotti titled, “Fast Times for Jobless Runners.”  Reed must have read the blog on February 21st titled, “NYC Marathon Race Entry Fees Increase:  Running is Recession Proof” where I analyzed why Marathons are recession proof and why there have been more entries in this down economy when I stated:

“…a lot of people have more time to train now that they do not have jobs or are working less because the economy is slow.  What a perfect time to attain that goal you’ve always wanted to do.”

I’m so quotable that I quote myself.  Now I know blog is not mainstream media, but I run down main street baby, and know the pulse of America.  Honestly, no one runs down Wall Street, running on gold sidewalks is terrible for your joints. serves a cult of readers that are intelligent, inquisitive, interesting, and in-tertaining.  How’s that for a little alliteration Mr. Probably Majored in English at some Private University…Street Journal?  Well I majored in Economics with an emphasis in deductive reasoning.  That’s how I determined that more people were running marathons in this bad economy because of job losses.  I know, I didn’t interview three people and get one statistic that said marathon race times are increasing, so irresponsible of me.  I’m just a blog, I’m not required to name my expert sources such as “Ray Gobis” or “Zach Goldman.”  Honestly though Reed, you don’t think the fact that marathon entries have gone up is a sign that more people are running marathons?  You’re right, it’s probably too directly related.  Maybe a statistic like this one from Running USA, the leader in statistics about the business running which states, “Record number of U.S. marathons with 1,000 finishers or more; ING New York City again the largest ever; record 19 marathons worldwide with over 10,000 finishers” would work for you.  Whatever though, quantifying statements is so time consuming.

At any rate, since I started this idea and discussion about jobless marathon runners, I’m going to take it one step further and finish it:  People who run long distances such as marathons are typically more wealthy than the general population; therefore, when they lose their job they can take time to accomplish other goals before immediatley seeking new employment.  Since statistics are apparently the “in” thing right now and I don’t have three random people to interview like Reed did, I researched the demographics of users.  As you can see about 70% of visitors (also known as marathon runners) are over 35, have a college education or higher, and make over 60K a year.  Professionals that are old enough to have built enough wealth to not have to jump right into another job and also have enough education to be confident that they will find employment when they are ready to seek it.  That’s why there are more marathon runners in this poor economy.  Now, that’s what I call investigative journalism.  Actually I didn’t have to investigate too much, and’s demographics are almost identical which gives more validity to this statistic.  I feel so validated.

Honestly, all in all, decent article Reed.  I’m just jealous that even though we may have the same ideas and I plug away day after day researching and writing about all things running, you write one article and your ideas get talked about and discussed 100 times more because of the broader reach you have in the Wall Street Journal.  It’s ok though, I do it for the people.  I’m kind of like the Robin Hood of running.  Come run in my hood sometime Mr. Fancy Pants Reed Albergotti!

Congratulations to our Trail Running Review Winners!

Monday, June 8th, 2009


Congratulations to the winners of our Submit a Trail Run Win a $25 Gift Certificate to or Contest!  Maybe we should have used a shorter name.  Anyways, here are the winners in no particular order:




Shoe Guru:  Jason Cook

It was a hard fought race but these guys are true competitors and earned their prize.  Good job guys (sorry, no gals won).  Way to contribute to the community.  I know, you really did it just because you wanted to help your fellow runner and be a part of something bigger than yourself, like the cause to encourage people to run, but we’d like to send you our appreciation anyway.  We insist, seriously., the gift that keeps giving, all-year-long.

So how can you be a winner like these people?  Well, by contributing to  It makes you feel good to help your fellow runner doesn’t it?  We’re not doing a contest per se other than the always happening contest of who is the awesomeness.  Otherwise known as the path to becoming a Serious Runner.  Just like running, it’s a contest against yourself.  How serious can you become?  It takes contributing 150 points worth of shoe reviews, trail listings, or race reviews.  When you become a Serious Runner we will give you a free T-shirt that tells everyone how serious you are.  It’s pretty much a badge of honor to wear proudly.  I have 2189 points.  That’s like 15 T-shirts.  I wear them all at the same time.  I’m just that proud of them and you will be too.

So help your fellow runners by telling them that those new Adidas Response Trail Running shoes are gnarly or that you found a cool new trail to run near your crib.  Not only will they appreciate the help but they will think you are hip because you use words like gnarly and crib.  Radical!

Happy National Running Day!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009


Happy National Running Day!  I don’t believe I’m here working today.  That’s dedication.  You think Santa Claus works on Christmas or Dr. Ruth works on Valentine’s Day?  I didn’t think so.  But I’m here, working for you.  Well, you and Running.  I love her and try to treat her well.  Everyday is National Running Day in my house.

Yesterday I came across a cool Time magazine interview with Chris McDougall, ultramarathon runner and writer.  In it he discusses his new book, Born to Run, along with some misconceptions about running and the simple running techniques of the Tarahumara Indians.  Sorry, Chris, but you’re a little late to the Tarahumara Indian party bro.  I think there may still be some peace pipes lying on the floor somewhere though.

The quote in the interview with Chris McDougall that struck me the most was, “You won’t find a 4 year-old on this planet that doesn’t like to run.  Why?  Because they haven’t been told it’s a workout.”  It’s so true.  Once you are told something is work you don’t enjoy it.  Well let me tell you now, running is not work.  I run because I love it and I think you should too.  You already have a job, why create more work for yourself?

I encourage you on this day of celebration to get out there and run.  That’s all that National Running Day is about.  Well, that and an excuse for the running industry to push running and running related products to you.   Note: is included in the running industry; so check out our trail runs, races, running shoe reviews, mapping tool, and much more! That’s right, I just linked “much more.”  We all know that Hallmark rules the world anyway.  Stop trying to fight it.  I bet you spent over 10 dollars this morning getting all of your “Happy National Running Day” cards before work (not to be confused with running, which is not work).  I chose a card that said, “Let’s go running together!”  And on the inside it reads, “I know of some great Trails to run that will make you Happy!”  Love,  Chris Barber, HeadRunner,  Hold on to that signature.  It’ll appreciate.

The thing that I also like about Chris McDougall is that he is a social runner.  We are all runners.  No matter what our abilities are.  We just like to run and share that with each other.  He talks about an ultra marathon race in which racers stopped to help a competitor that was ill.  What other sport are you going to find that?  In baseball they recently chastised an opposing team dugout for bracing an opponent that was about to fall on his head catching a fly ball.  In football players talk about wanting to inflict pain on each other.  In basketball, players even jump in the stands to fight with fans, Mr. Ronnie Artest.  Running isn’t that way.  Every hard fought race I have ever run the competitors have given each other high fives afterward and talk about, “Man, I was dieing on that uphill.  Way to charge up it.”  Once I even told another runner I was racing against on a 10K trail race, “Dude, I went out way too fast.  I was dieing on mile 2 but when I heard you gagging like you were throwing up I knew I at least wasn’t as bad off as you.  So I tightened up my breath and passed you.”  Running is cool like that.  Maybe that’s the difference between runners and other athletes.  All of us are hurting.  All of us are pushing ourselves to the limit.  You have to respect that even if you are competitors.  No matter if you limit is a 25 minute 5K or a 30 minute 10K, you are still pushing yourself to the max.

That is what National Running Day is to me.  Pushing yourself to run to the Max.  Not to be confused with running to the burger restaurant on ‘Saved by the Bell.’  Although, when the teacher pops a test and you know you’re in a mess because the dog ate all your homework last night.  Write a note in your chair that says, ‘I’m going for a run’ and trust me, everything will be alright.  Running will make you feel better, even if you aren’t as fast as Zach Morris.  So get out there are celebrate National Running Day by just running, Screech Powers.

Why be a Serious Runner?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


Because you want to look like this guy.  There are many other reasons why people want to take running more seriously.  It may be that you want to lose weight.  Running is a great way to burn calories.  Or possibly you want to live an overall healthier lifestyle.  A friend of mine told me today how he likes running long runs on early Saturday mornings because it gives him more incentive to not partake in unhealthy activities on Friday nights; plus it starts his Saturday off right and gives him the rest of the day to get other things accomplished.  Making running a part of your daily routine gives you time to think about what you still need to accomplish, while also giving you some structure to your day.  Many other people point to an increase in energy as a reason to run.  Whatever your reason is, you are serious about your running.  And that’s what I dig about you the most.

So whether you are a basic, advanced, local champion, or semi-elite runner, we are here to provide the best information for all things running.  No matter where you are in your training, or what goals you have to accomplish, is here to help you become a serious runner.  As for me, Chris Barber, I’m also here to help you become as awesome as you can be.  You’re welcome.  According to the book “The Competitive Runner’s handbook” which was given to me by my sister-in-law, my race times fall into the local champion category.  It makes sense.  I can finish in the top 3 overall in local races and finish in the top 1% of runners in the larger races.  I think being a local champion is pretty cool.  I’ve always wanted to be the Mayor of a small town rather than a State Governor anyways.  Vote Barber (peace signs).

However, I wasn’t always a local champion.  I ran pretty well on my High School cross-country and track teams.  I was good enough to run for a cross-country team at a small college but opted for attending a large University instead.  After college I went in the Army, gained 30 pounds for Ranger School and kept the weight.  I continued to run but also ate whatever I wanted and didn’t focus too much on my running.  It was part of my job, why go to work when you don’t have to?  Now I am running for me and running the best times I ever run in my life.  Running because I love it; because I want to look hot;  because it makes me think clearly;  because it gets me outside for long periods of time; because of the sense of accomplishment I get;  because it allows me to be competitive; because I’m the HeadRunner at  Wait, running is work again!  That’s right; and I’m working hard.  All-the-time.

My point is, I’m not a serious runner or a local champion because of characteristics that are inherent to me, it’s because I work at it.  I know I’ll never be an semi-elite runner and honestly, you probably won’t either.  Sorry, but I hate break it to you, not every child can grow up to be President.  However, I am the President of the Chris Barber fan club.  Go ahead and become the president of your own fan club by taking running more seriously.  Make becoming a serious runner a goal.  You can attain it and I’m here to help.  But at it’s not just me providing you the help.  There are many other basic, advanced, local champions, and semi-elite competitive runners here who provide feedback as well as reviews and recommendations.  Use our resources like runinng shoe reviews, running questions, training plans and mapping tool to help you along the way.  Find races and cool trails to run to keep you motivated.

We’re here to help you become a serious runner.  Let us know what we can do to help.

People ask me all the time, “Dude, are you serious?!”  And I tell them, “You know it!”

Top Ten Running Blogs

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Number 1-10 top running blogs all appear on  Serious Running Blog:  Running Down A Dream.  Weird.


Well, the fact is, I’m awesome.  I realized just exactly how awesome I am the other day while I was going through all of my old blog posts.  I saw that there are some really great ones that you may have missed in the early days of  So I thought I’d give you an opportunity to read the top 10 running blog posts on

1.  Running Shoe Laces:  Does Longer Mean Better?

2.  Does Weather Affect Sore Joints from Running?

3.  What is a Runner’s High?

4.  Mental Race Tips for Competitive Running

5.  Effects of Alcohol on Running

6.  Nocturnal Leg Cramps from Running

7.  Running Outside your Comfort Zone

8.  Cheering and Yelling Encouragement to Racing Runners

9.  How I became a Serious Runner

10.  Let’s Do Lunch!  Healthy Socializing and Running!

Well there you have it.  Top 10 running blog posts ever.  I chose these blogs as my “best’ because they were inquisitive or pretty funny.  I also write about trail running, races, techniques, health issues, and so forth, but those posts are more informative than the thought provoking blog posts on this list.  I know there may be some discrepancies about what you think my best blogs are.  I really wanted to choose the top 100 but decided that would take too long.  Next time.

Seriously though, thank you to everyone who reads, makes comments, and learns from SeriousRunning Blog:  Running Down A Dream.  It’s all about learning and engaging.  Well, more engaging for me since I know everything.  I have a website.

Please feel free to contact me with any other topics you would like me to research or discuss. is for runner’s by runners.  Enjoy!