Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sleep is winning

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

 'Til next time...

P.S. Have you gotten in on my giveaways yet? Clean bottle giveaway here. Free race entry here. AND one more REALLY fun giveaway later this week!


Jessica Dawn Ryall said...

Holey moley! That does make it rough!! I just have the one kid and I find it difficult many times to get enough sleep or get long runs in...I've been trying to brainstorm for you...but alas I haven't a clue! Lol does it help to know I have empathy for you?? The only thing that keeps my kid occupied in the am when I'm running on the mill is to pop in a movie and give him some snacks and a drink...but usually he comes in the living room anyway with "mommy I want, I need, can you...blah blah blah" haha but I can testify that without enough sleep I turn into momma bear and not the cuddly kind...try your best to make rest a priority! Easier said than done. For real.

runnanna said...

Give up....Go for the half! Much more do-able training, not so beat up physically, less likely to get an overuse injury (I know about the shin splints!)Love the half!Save the fulls for when the kiddos are older. Get some sleep!

Anonymous said...

I have 3 kids at the exact same age but my baby is a little younger. I am training for the Monumental Marathon and am only on my 3rd week of official training. I have done all my long runs Friday nights, after the kids go to bed and my hubby is home. My plan is night running all the way through! My last marathon, I trained early am's, but for the exact reasons your are posting, I'm trying quiet nights followed by bed time. Good luck!