Monday, March 17, 2014

Insomnia



Arg, insomnia struck again last night—fitful sleep then wide awake at 2.30am, exactly as has happened to me before a few races. I’ve read that it happens a lot to runners, fortunately I don’t suffer too much from it. A glass or two of wine (no longer an option, however) or a homeopathic sleeping pill usually do the trick; but there have been cases of race anticipation making sleep a short affair. But it has happened, usually with a 5am race call and I’m afraid of missing the alarm at 3am.

So what’s disturbing my sleep now? A few things but yes—a race is one of them. The only thing is, this particular race is almost 6 months away, and yet I am already in anticipation mode, that mix between excitement that it’s finally here (but it isn’t!) and the healthy fear of what is to come (but I’m not racing!).
Well, my last non-stop 100-miler (actually, my only one) was 14 years ago. Since then, I’ve gained experience, and therefore a healthy respect for what I am about to do. But I also want to enjoy myself and have a good race—which I did last time, but then (unmarried and no kids) I had a lot more time on my hands to train. Now, to compensate, it’s out at lunch time, running home to work, or up at 4am on weekends so I don’t miss too much of the breakfast with the family (at least that’s the routine once I finalize my recovery from a dislocated shoulder).

For the first time in 15 years, I have actually charted some semblance of a training plan, I am testing gear, and I have scheduled some trail runs as training races. Actually, since originally I was intending to sign up for the UTMB, the past five years have turned out to be training races. It’s just that since the birth of my second child end 2008, I had no idea if I could find the time to train adequately for something like this. I’d only been running for 18 months when I did the Desert Cup, but I also had loads of time on my hands.

Anyway, where was I?

Insomnia… A bit of lack of sleep before a race is manageable, if you have enough sleep on previous nights and because of the adrenaline and race excitement on the day. But five months before, every other night?... I suppose I really will have to get out the candles and practice meditation to empty my thoughts.

If I consider it training for an ultra trail, I might actually succeed.

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