And I don’t like it, but I feel almost entirely powerless to stop it.
Marathon training is rough this time around ladies and gentlemen. ROUGH. And I don’t mean the ridiculous number of miles I’m running, or the sweltering heat that seems to be plaguing the nation. It’s finding the time to get those runs in AND meet my RDA of vitamin shuteye.
I miss the good ole days. You know, back when I had two wee ones who napped daily and slept through the night regularly making that 4:30 or 5:30 am wakeup call no big thing. I might have been tired when that alarm went off, but I knew that come 2:00ish I’d be snuggled up in bed making up some of those precious Zzzzzz’s. **Insert wistful sigh here**
Those days are long gone. Now, with 3 sweet little girlies ages 9 months, 3 years, and 6 years, it’s highly likely I’m not sleeping through the night without somebody waking up because of a nightmare or a potty trip or a bottle. I stay up late, probably too late, coaching my magnificent mama runners and trying to salvage what remains of my desperately cluttered house. And with 100% certainty I can tell you that someone is waking up tomorrow AM at the butt crack of dawn.
If I don’t make the million trips back and forth to their rooms, and rather succumb to their pouty faces letting them sleep in my bed, then I’m really in for it. I’ll spend the rest of the night scrounging whatever sleep I can muster on the teeny tiniest little sliver of bed you can possibly imagine with a 3 or 6 year old sprawled out diagnolly across it and constantly having one stray limb or another come out of nowhere to land across my face. Not exactly restful.
Naps? Please. Perhaps if I’m lucky, the stars align, pigs take to flight, and a certain rather toasty location freezes over, two will go down for a nap at the same time, but even so my oldest will have a million things to tell me what with no one awake to share the stage with and all making the odds of my ever recouping up a little lost sleep mid afternoon slim to none.
On a good day, I’m operating on 6 hours of sleep. Usually it’s far less. And I don’t say all this to whine and complain that I’m not getting enough sleep, because yes, I fully realize that there are very noble people out there operating on far less doing amazing things. (Our troops overseas for one, every mother everywhere another). I only tell you all this to share a little of my training frustration at the moment, a little peek behind the curtain so to speak.
And it’s not that I can’t wake up early when my training schedule calls for it in spite of all this. In fact, I do wake up AND actually GET up every time. The problem is when I get up and start getting ready to go, I slide into this thought pattern, “Really? You are really going to go run these 18 miles on 3 hours of sleep. Do you realize what sort of grumpy ferocious monster you are going to be when mid-afternoon comes around?” Then I think of how those sweet little precious faces of those girls of mine are going to be so heartbreakingly sad when my patience meter is on empty later that afternoon and I snap at them unwarranted. They deserve better than that. So I go back to bed.
This means I’ve been running my long runs at 8PM or later on the treadmill in my basement. This is not only completely non-enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination and not exactly an ideal way to train (completely insane may also be applicable here), it’s also WAY easier to simply…stop. You just step off the treadmill and when you do, you are mere feet away from your couch, shower, or bed. As opposed to when you just stop out there on your favorite running route. You can stop running 8 miles out on your long run, but you’ve still got to get back. Might as well run.
And stop on a TM long run I have, at least twice, and called it a day making a bee line for my calendar to count out the weeks remaining for the Marquette Marathon to make sure I’ve still got time to make up whatever long run I bowed out of. So far, I’ve been safe because I always build a little “just in case” time into my training plans, but with 6 weeks left now. There’s no room for error. I either hit the rest of the runs on the training plan or Marquette is going to eat me alive. (No pressure or anything right?).
So, I need a little help my runner friends. Give me your best early morning motivational lines and maybe a few here’s how you can keep the kiddos occupied so you can rest tips would be helpful too. And in the meantime, I’m going to work on getting to bed BEFORE midnight in order to actually get enough sleep to make it through a day (so feel free to message me on Twitter, FB, or email and remind me to get to bed any random day between now and September 1st if you feel so inclined.) I’ll start tomorrow though. Tonight, I still have to go run :-P