Running a marathon sub 4:20 whilst high

Running a marathon whilst high (In 4:20)

My face turned pale, and a sudden wave of despair and regret overwhelmed me. It felt as though a heavy burden had settled upon my perspiring shoulders. Running a marathon whilst high had suddenly become a nightmare for me.

At the 21.1-kilometer mark, a harsh truth hit me like a ton of bricks. My trusty watch had been deceiving me all along. The dream of achieving a respectable finishing time in the Amsterdam marathon was slipping away, and I had to run the second half faster than I ever had, all while battling the fatigue of having already completed a half marathon.

In that challenging moment, I found myself in a situation akin to Popeye’s, the iconic cartoon character.

Instead of spinach, I reached for my trusty weed vape pen, took a generous puff of some Dutch cannabis, and made a bold decision to disregard the deceptive running watch and give it my all.

Discovering the combination of cannabis and running

Three months earlier, I committed to the Amsterdam marathon in October 2023. Despite juggling family, work, and long training runs, I was determined to balance it all. That’s when I discovered the Cannabis Science Podcast. It discussed combining cannabis and sports, how it could enhance performance and recovery.

Listening to The Cannabis Connoisseur and reading Runner’s High by Josiah Hesse opened my eyes to the wealth of research suggesting that cannabis could be a game-changer in the world of running. I wondered if I could merge my passion for cannabis and running to become the athlete I desired to be. Would running a marathon whilst high be possible, or even helpful?

Training took on a new dimension as cannabis helped me find a rhythm and focus that had eluded me. Each morning, lacing up my running shoes, I marveled at the transformation within myself. The path to the Amsterdam Marathon became a journey of self-discovery, guided by the gentle hand of medicinal cannabis.

Is it wise to run a marathon whilst high?

Is exercising while high ok?

The research generally on cannabis and its affect on health is conflicting, but there have been some studies suggest that using cannabis can increase heart rate, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack.

Combining this with strenuous exercise like running a marathon could compound that risk.

Race day – Running the Amsterdam marathon whilst high

Before the start I had to pee multiple times, got caught in a hail storm, and probably took too much weed in which made me feel pretty high and unfocused.

But the Amsterdam air enveloped me as I stood in a sea of eager runners. The excitement and anxiety pulsed through the crowd, and I was about to embark on a pretty personal and unconventional journey— running a marathon whilst high.

As I scanned the crowd, my mind wandered back to the events that had led me here. I wasn’t your typical marathon runner, nor was this an ordinary marathon. What set me apart was the bold decision I’d made during my training: I was going to run the Amsterdam Marathon while using medicinal cannabis.

4/20 marathon

Then it came – the starting gun’s echo reverberated through the streets, and the marathon was about to begin. I was prepared to embrace the challenges that lay ahead, with the green embrace of medicinal cannabis by my side.

Race day: The high and the run

Among thousands of runners at the starting line, I felt the energy in the air. The city’s historic streets and canals stretched before us like an open book, waiting to be written with our collective footsteps. My heart pounded with the usual marathon excitement, but also with the realization that this race was about to become a chapter in a story extending beyond myself.

Amsterdam sign

The first few miles were a mix of nerves and exhilaration. The cannabis did its job, softening the edges of my anxiety without dulling my senses. As I ran along Amsterdam’s picturesque canals and iconic landmarks, I marveled at the city’s beauty and the unity of runners from around the world.

The support from the enthusiastic crowd was electric. They lined the streets, waving flags and holding signs with words of encouragement in multiple languages. In their cheers, I found both motivation and a sense of belonging. I was no longer just a runner; I was part of a collective experience that transcended language, culture, and, yes, even the use of cannabis as medication.

My body was in motion, and my mind was focused. The marathon was a unique blend of endurance, pain, and euphoria. The cannabis helped manage the pain, allowing me to accept it and work with it.

Race day: Hitting halfway (or not)

But as I was lost in the haze of the day, I didn’t realize that my watch had estimated my running pace to be faster than it actually was. Chasing a 4:20-4:30 time, I was now on track for a 4:40 time, and I felt empty.

Taking out my trusty Flowermate, firing up the temperature, and enjoying some lovely flower from Cookies was the best decision I had made all day. A wave of energy and stress relief hit me, and the mental clarity I needed came through.

Like Luke Skywalker in the trench of the Death Star, I ignored my guidance computer and used the Force. I relied on how my body felt to gauge my pace and just went for it.

The last mile was a wild ride. I saw people who had slowed down to walking, and one who had collapsed at the side of the road, being helped by medics. As I got faster, I finally looked down at my watch – I was on track for a sub 4:20, but only if I could power home.

Entering the Amsterdam Olympic Stadion, I upped my gear and sprinted the last 100 meters. I had done it. Just seconds below 4:20, which is definitely the most appropriate time for a marathon in Amsterdam!

By the time I crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions—elation, relief, and gratitude. The marathon had been both a personal achievement and a declaration of possibility. The unconventional partnership between running and medicinal cannabis had proven not only to be feasible but, for some, a lifeline to pursue dreams and passions.

The aftermath

As the marathon’s euphoria settled and the cheering crowds faded into the background, I was left with a warm buzz of pride.

I had completed a marathon in the stunning city of Amsterdam, an achievement that had once seemed out of reach due to my chronic anxiety. The medicinal cannabis, my unassuming ally, had played a significant role in this triumph.

My medal from running a marathon whilst high

Recovery was a crucial part of the post-race ritual, giving me time to reflect on the impact of my choice to incorporate cannabis into my marathon journey. The partnership between running and medicinal cannabis had not only enabled me to run with a calmer mind and overcome a major hurdle in the middle.

Running while using medicinal cannabis had not only transformed me as a runner but had given me a platform to promote understanding and dialogue. It was a path less traveled but one paved with possibility and hope.

View from my seat on the plane home after running a marathon whilst high

As I looked to the future, I couldn’t help but feel excited about the possibilities that lay ahead, not just for myself but for the countless individuals who might seek comfort and healing through the unconventional partnership of running and medicinal cannabis.

Stay zen, folks.


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