Monday, August 11, 2008

Running on empty

I have a hard time sleeping on Friday nights. My group workouts on Saturday mornings tend to make me nervous, so it's often a struggle for me to fall asleep the night before. This past Friday was no exception. In fact, I didn't sleep at all. Not one wink, not one minute. Sleep never came.

At 10:30 p.m. that evening, I got under the covers and was not surprised that I didn't feel tired. I did my best to clear my head and relax my body. Sometimes just laying quietly is enough to bring on the snoozing. Forcing yourself to yawn sometimes helps, too. After a while, I checked the clock...after midnight. "If I fall asleep soon, I'll still get about 5 hours," I told myself. Every position was comfortable for only about 30 seconds. Stomach. Right side. Left side. Back. Stomach again. After enough tossing and turning to wake the dead, I was still wide awake, while Angie snored softly beside me. It was 2:30 a.m.

I asked Angie to spoon me, hoping a little human warmth would take me to Sleepytown, USA. It was working...my breathing was slowing and I could feel sleep washing over me. Then, Angie apparently had a nightmare, and I felt her arms tightening around my neck. I love it when my girlfriend tries to kill me in her sleep. Nothing says love like strangling your significant other during a REM cycle. Taking my near-death experience as a sign that I should just get up already, I shuffled into the living room and turned on the TV.

I hate staying up all night. Everything seems to have a strange nighttime haze over it. Time stands still, and loneliness looms. You're surrounded by people, yet you're all alone in the universe. After flipping through the channels, I settled into Lifetime's Intimate Portrait of Ava Gardner. What an interesting lady she was. My grandmother and I used to watch Showboat all the time while I was growing up. Every so often, I still find myself humming the tune of "Cant' Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine." It was 4:00 a.m.

By 5:00 a.m., I had my running clothes on and I was on my way to the meeting place. I couldn't tell if the fog I was seeing was real, or just a hallucinatory manifestation of the fog in my head.

Running 10 miles on zero sleep was...unpleasant. Each mile seemed to get progressively longer. If it hadn't been for the distracting conversation of the group, I probably would have given up. After the run was over, I headed home, showered, and ate a second breakfast. Then, I finally got some sleep.

5 comments:

mongolove said...

sorry 'bout that...

:)

Topher said...

Same thing happens to me the night before a race. I think it's half excitement and half thinking I'm going to oversleep. Good thing for nighttime TV, especially infomercials for crap no one really needs.
Good for you running the 10 anyway!

abby suzanne said...

10 miles on no sleep? You sound like wonderwoman!

kate said...

I hate that! I think it's an anxiety thing when you start counting the minutes of sleep you have left before having to get up . . .

Awesome that you ran despite everything. That is dedication!

elife said...

my doc says that in occasions like those, it's okay to take a benedryl to help you get to sleep. Says if I use it a couple times a month it's not big deal, and it's better to NOT have a sleepless night.

Very impressed with all your running!