Sometimes I find that a jolt of adrenaline, even if it is negative adrenaline, gives me the energy to run faster and harder than I typically would on an easy, everyday run.
On one occasion last year, after having an irritating encounter in a cafe where I wanted to use the bathroom, I sprinted away from there in righteous indignation at an amazing speed!
Another time last spring, while stewing over a difficult client and his extremely obnoxious father, who between them were making my life hell, I found my tempo runs surprisingly easy.
This morning, as the PSI increases in the cookpot that is my life, I ratcheted up my running pace to match the turmoil in my head. No, there was not steam coming out my ears, but there was sweat pouring off my face! I felt like I was running close to a 10K pace, although I couldn't really gauge it because I had too many stops (bathroom, twice) and stoplights to actually measure my real running time. I did run eight miles, which is a couple more than a typical workday, although slightly shy of the distance I would have estimated for the route.
Did the run relieve the pressure? Yes, temporarily. I worked through some of the trial issues and geared myself up to get through another day.
I am not really the stress-crazed psycho that I may sound like. Between all the running and other working out that I do, I have enough seratonin flowing through my body to maintain a generally calm and cheerful demeanor. Most of the time I actually feel that way too! It's like Elle says in Legally Blonde:
So clearly it is important to keep running as much as possible during stressful times, even if I am forced to forgo Pilates class in order to get my extra work done!
(In full disclosure, I've found that Hot Tamales also produce some pretty sweet endorphins. It took the better part of a largish bag to get me through my brief writing last night. Chocolate covered Altoids aren't bad either, and are a good substitute for chocolate espresso beans if you want to avoid the caffeine. I may be moving on to my Red Fire chocolate bar next....)