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A Runner's Zen Garden - 5k on 50ug
by Psychonautika
Citation:   Psychonautika. "A Runner's Zen Garden - 5k on 50ug: An Experience with LSD (exp108882)". Jul 26, 2016.

0.33 hits oral LSD (blotter / tab)


Thereís something fascinating about doing normal things on psychedelics. From movie theaters to airplanes, I have incorporated low doses of LSD into daily life (though far from on a daily basis) for over a year now, however physical activity was something I had never tried while tripping, micro-dose or otherwise. The idea came to me one night - late - as I was cleaning my apartment on a +-50ug dose (all ďdosesĒ are estimated by dividing up 150ug tabs and as always should be considered merely as approximations). For several hours I cleaned and organized while my significant other slept slept peacefully in the bedroom of our converted warehouse loft.

I was in a fantastic mood - full of that magical, never-ending energy you only have on those really rare, perfect days - and I remember thinking to myself ďI feel as though I could run a marathon right nowĒ. From that moment on, running a 5K on LSD was on my mind and I would only have to wait 3 months for my opportunity. The following is what I wrote up the evening after the race.

I wake up feeling flawless. An enjoyable night spent in deep conversation with a good friend the evening before had ensured a restful night of sleep, despite the absence of my partner - out of town on business - something that usually throws both of our sleep patterns. I had prepared everything I needed the night before - a third of a (claimed) 150ug tab of LSD, a Xanax in case of sincerely needing to abort (though I feared little chance of that happening at this dosage), and finally a Dramamine to counter the initial nausea I sometimes experience taking Lucy.

I shower, dress and begin my drive to the zoo at which the 5K was to be held. As I pull into the parking lot and turn the engine off, I take a few moments to ask myself if this is still something I still want to do. Beyond the experience of taking LSD and running with 1,500 other people I had a burning desire to see what effect on my performance the drug might have if any
I had a burning desire to see what effect on my performance the drug might have if any
, but there was also still a minor yet lingering concern about the combination of the physical strain of running a race and the mental strain of a significant, albeit low dose of LSD. Experimentation with smoking a sativa strain of cannabis before running my daily jogs had led me to believe that it resulted in greater endurance (not speed), dulling any pains or stitches and allowing me to zone out, focusing only on the music in my ears and the motion of running itself. But Lucy - well, sheís an entirely different mistress. I wondered if she would be so kind.

With one and a half hours to race start - standing at the entrance to the zoo - I swallow the cut-out rectangle of blotter.

I had arrived significantly early on purpose to allow for it to kick in properly while racing. I didnít want to be peaking (as far as one peaks on a lower dose such as this) during the hardest slog between mile two and three but I also didnít want to finish the 5K before the acid had kicked in either. Half an hour later the first of my coworkers arrives - Iím wearing shades but itís June and sunny as hell. He was around in the early 70ís and would probably get great satisfaction out of knowing I rolled in with his old pal Lucy but he is, after all, my coworker - I hold my tongue. We people watch for a while, Iím still feeling baseline but in an excellent mood. Another friend/coworker arrives - sheís slightly younger than me but generally aware of my extra-curricular activities. Despite not knowing about todayís enhancements, I still feel better knowing thereís a fellow psychonaut around - just in case.

As we move further into the zoo, I begin to feel the creeping but not unpleasant feeling at the nape of my neck that I always get with psychedelics. I feel little pangs of excitement in my stomach and chest, and I know that my timing had been spot on. I would be running in less than an hour, during the exciting and often energetic come up of the first wave of the trip. Out of the ten of us that came, only myself and one other person were to run that day. We take our well wishes with a smile and a wave, and I motion for her to lead the way through the crowd, away from the pavilion we had been standing under and on towards the inflatable arch that marked the beginning of our trail.

Iím standing ten feet back from the starting line. Although no open-eyed visuals are occurring, I am more-than-usually pleased by the bright colors worn by the runners around me and beginning to feel the first little body shivers that Lucy sometimes gives me. I canít wait for the race to start. Already the voice on the loudspeaker seems muffled, an indistinct garble of directions and reminders. Wishing my companion luck, I put in my headphones and start up the playlist I had spent hours creating for this event. It began with a few of those tunes, those fucking tunes that just take you to a happy place, you know? Everyone has them and theyíre fucking magic. So there I am - basking in the June sun with my favorite records playing and not a goddamn care in the world, surrounded by the positive energy of a charity race with hundreds of smiling faces around me and Lucy is there now smiling with them - the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

I can barely contain myself.

Iím antsy, but not in a bad way. The effects of the psychedelic I had ingested just over an hour prior are now unmistakable. Despite a relatively-low dose at 50ug, I now note a distinct increase in textures, colors and patterns, and the music coming through my headphones periodically dips and dives ever-so-slightly like when a record playerís needle drags over a warp on the vinyl. I make out the call for five minutes to race start and a pang of excitement once again hits my stomach. Not having run 5km in over two years (my daily run for the past three months being only 3.5km, with no running at all for more than a year prior to that), I begin to talk myself through what lay ahead of me. What had seemed daunting the night before, now seemed easily within reach. I would never call myself a confident runner but as I stood there I felt powerful - determined to cross the finish line with a time I could be proud of on my own merit, not in relation to anyone elseís, better or worse.

Iím ready when the airhorn blows. A sea of people move forward, a mass of singular individuals each with their own hopes and dreams and loves and heartaches but now each of one mind and one purpose - onward. Life, the world, bills, a job I hated - all is left behind as we begin to run. A strong desire to sprint comes over me, enthralled and exhilarated as I am feeling, but I hasten to temper my boyish enthusiasm - how often in life have I charged ahead with good intentions only to lose steam or interest before reaching the finish line? I set myself a steady pace and begin to take in the myriad of sensations I am being bombarded with. Similar to MDMA, as I run I begin to feel the most delightful body tingles, exercise-induced shivers of pleasure running from my calves all the way to my scalp and continuing for a couple of minutes. There is an electricity to my mood, and I feel an extraordinary sense of camaraderie running alongside so many other people. As runners pass me I cheer for them inwardly and as I advance on others I wordlessly wish them luck - the level of empathy I feel is immense.
the level of empathy I feel is immense.

As I round out the first mile a large hill looms ahead. I had walked up this same hill many times as a zoo guest and had been slightly dreading it, whether running while flying or straight. I press onwards, determined to put my best efforts forth. I make it three quarters of the way up, but have to stop to catch my breath and for the first time I understand how strenuous activity may not be an ideal psychedelic pastime for some. Had I been on a higher dose I could easily see myself allowing my labored breathing to become a matter of concern, however at approximately 30-50ug (depending on how much you trust underground markets) I have enough presence of mind to check my pulse and find it to be well within an acceptable range for how arduous the climb had been. Encouraged by this thought and after only 30 seconds or so, I begin to run again.

I am well into the second mile. The zoo passes by me - a blur of watchful eyes from cages, strange and wonderful noises reaching me through the headphones over my ears. I feel guilty, flaunting my freedom around in front of them like some punk kid cruising by a dusty back-roads minimum-security prison in a convertible during yard time just to get a kick. I tuck the thought away for later, not having the energy to spare on such contemplation. Despite my body screaming for me to stop, the good version of myself - the one that lives inside and tells me to be kind and be strong and to fight for noble causes and keep promises - that version of me tells me to keep going, to not stop. ďYou are, in fact, strong enough.Ē LSD often brings that version of me out of his shell. Itís all about what version of yourself you present to the world you see - you and I, we have a choice. Today, I choose the good me... maybe I will again tomorrow. My feet continue to pound the pavement.

I think I may be at the three mile marker now, but without any signs posted I have no idea. Could it have been two miles already? Time has for the most part become meaningless. I am nothing more than a pair of legs, hitting the pavement. If I am any more than that, if I admit any more than that, then all of the breathlessness and the fatigue and the pain in my upper body will become unbearable. I sink into my music, focusing on moving one leg, then the next. I have reached the runner's Zen Garden.

My breathing feels almost circular - as if I am not quite getting enough breath but never quite breathless enough to justify stopping. Sometimes I can be harsh on myself, often not harsh enough. This is a time that calls for the latter, and I donít give myself an inch. I know Iím not setting any records with my time, but Iím going to cross that damn line as fast as I possibly can. I was obese only two years ago and couldnít run sustained for more than 2 minutes - this is fucking huge for me and Iím not going to allow the other me - the lazy, underachieving, Netflix binge-watching me to dictate shit now.

As I reach the last 3/4 of a mile or so, my vision starts to tunnel. I am barely aware of the other runners or the volunteers cheering at the sidelines. I donít see the overpriced ice-cream carts or the animal ďexhibitsĒ, tiny fists slamming against glass while parents stand idly by. Maybe the zoo isnít the best place for such an empathetic drug - another thought for later. Now, all I see are my bright blue shoes slapping the pavement, psychedelic tracers constantly providing ghostly reminders of the past as they appear, disappear and then reform. If I had not been exerting more effort than I thought physically possible I would have been delighted, tracers being one of my favorite visuals, but I think of nothing but keeping those legs moving. As I make a turn I realize that there are no further turns on this pathway - it leads directly back to the main entry and finish line - and I start to sprint as fast as I can, perhaps too late to make a significant difference on my time but early enough for every muscle in my body to groan and protest against me and yet somehow, almost magically, I donít stop or slow down.

Coming in at just over 25 minutes, my heart almost stops for delight at both my time and from the exertion of finishing a 5K race while under the influence of LSD. My coworker finds me, and brings me water - after checking to make sure Iím doing okay she congratulates me on finishing the race. It takes several minutes before I am able to drink, for the first time I am uncomfortably aware of the rest of my body. My breath comes in ragged gasps and the feeling of adrenaline mixed with the Lysergamide - now certainly in full effect - is nearly overwhelming.

It takes 15 minutes for me to come back from riding the edge of physical discomfort; overload. I sit, and as the adrenaline and uneasiness recede they are replaced by an overwhelming feeling of happiness. I had not only completed the race successfully, but I had done it in a time that a year ago would have been unimaginable. In the past three years I have not only lost 75lbs. (a third of my body weight) but I have also shaved 12 minutes off of my 5K time. Thank god I said good bye to cigarettes, frequent drinking and the desk job. My elation increases as my coworkers come over to congratulate me - the other running member of our party follows shortly, and as our group is complete I feel nothing but contentedness. Sitting there basking in the June sun with not a goddamn care in the world, surrounded by the positive energy of a charity race with hundreds of smiling faces around me and Lucy is there now smiling with them once again - the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

There is, of course more to the story for that day and some of the themes from the 5K would come back around, however that is for another time. Would I repeat the experience? I have to err on the side of yes. Running a 5K on LSD was certainly unique, but I couldnít quite call it unpleasant. It felt incredible to be moving at speed while tripping thatís for damn sure, and having headphones with a pre-selected playlist made all the difference.

Whether it gave me any performance enhancement, I could not say. Perhaps not physical, however I must be honest and say that the drug allowed me to access that special place of focus, concentration, and self-confidence that Iíve sorely lacked in recent years.
the drug allowed me to access that special place of focus, concentration, and self-confidence that Iíve sorely lacked in recent years.
I definitely felt strong, but in a holistic sense. I would of course caution any readers to mix psychedelics and strenuous physical activity very carefully. At approximately 30-50ug I was at a relatively low level. It is certainly something I may explore further in the micro-dose range for my personal runs, but if the occasion presents itself I may just step back into that place of focus - the runnerís zen garden - yet again.

Exp Year: 2016ExpID: 108882
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 28 
Published: Jul 26, 2016Views: 5,337
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LSD (2) : Public Space (Museum, Park, etc) (53), Performance Enhancement (50), Glowing Experiences (4), General (1)

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