Tag Archives: sleep

6 more weeks…

31 Aug

Only 6 more weeks of formal training (including this week) until my 2011 race season is over! I am so looking forward to doing more of what I’ve been doing this week:

1. Drinking alcohol. I have a pretty low tolerance to begin with, but add in training, and I get tipsy and a headache from even one glass of wine. This week, however, I’ve thrown caution to the wind. ūüôā I had 2 Mike’s on Sunday night, a glass of wine and a margarita on Monday, and then a glass of wine last night. And I’ve enjoyed it so much, I’ll probably continue that trend for the rest of the week.

2. Watching TV. I usually prefer reading because it at least makes me feel productive. But right now, I really love watching Drop Dead Diva, with occasional re-runs of What Not to Wear and Say Yes to the Dress thrown in. In a couple of months, it will be back to Bones and Desperate Housewives. And Travis has found 2 new shows he likes: Bar Rescue and Downsized.

3. Baking. I made zucchini bread Monday night and am planning to make blueberry banana bread next week. Mmmm…

4. Not exercising. It’s only been a few days since the race on Sunday but I still feel slightly guilty about no workouts. I’m thinking about a bike ride or a swim tonight. But we’ll see. I may have a glass (or two) of wine instead.

5. Staying up late and sleeping in. Not exercising means I can stay up to 10 or 10:30 and get up at 6 or 6:30! Glorious! It’s even more glorious when Charlie is in her kennel and doesn’t wake me up at 5 am.

Travis and I leave butt early on Friday morning for Charlotte, NC, to visit our friends, Mark and Sarah. (So excited!) We get back on Tuesday and then I’ll start back on this haus of a training plan:

The Crescent Moon Sprint Tri is the first race, the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Relay is the second. I’m sure my actual workouts will only slightly resemble this plan due to life getting in the way but it’s nice to have a plan anyway.

What do you look forward to when you’re not training? What TV shows are you enjoying right now?

Needed: A Swift Kick in the Pants

5 Aug

My alarm was set for 5 am this morning, because I was planning to go swimming. I took the night off last night – instead of doing the 25 mile bike ride and upper body weights I had on the schedule, I laid on the couch and watched 2 glorious episodes of my favorite summer show, Drop Dead Diva. Then I walked the pooches to Dairy Queen where I got a cone with crunch topping. This was a sanity call – I have not spent time a weeknight on the couch in something like 4 months – and my next free weekend isn’t until the 2nd weekend of September. I couldn’t wait that long to relax.

Since we’re going camping tonight with our care group from church, I really needed to go swimming this morning. Believe me, I laid in bed trying to figure out if there was any way I could do my workout some other time. During lunch? No. Too much traffic for biking. Too far away for swimming. Already ran enough this week. After work? No. Leaving early to get on the road up to Leadville. Dangit. I have to go now.

My dogs woke up at 4:50, wanting to go outside. Since Charlie is still potty training and will pee inside if not let out immediately, I rolled out of bed, depressed that my alarm was set for only 10 minutes later. (I actually turned it off when I got up so that it didn’t go off without me there, if for some reason I was detained longer than 10 minutes – doing what, I have no clue.) The well-rested me would have just stayed up, since I believe it’s harder to get out of bed than to stay out. But the sleep-deprived me went back to bed and set the alarm for 5:15 instead, remembering that 5:30 am is the prime time for swimming at our gym because all of the old geezers have finished their workouts but the young whipper-snappers haven’t gotten up yet.

5:15. Alarm going off. I can’t get up yet. Snooze.

5:18. Alarm going off again. (Yes, it’s only a 3-minute snooze. Pretty impressive¬†pathetic that I have snoozed my alarm for an hour sometimes, isn’t it?) Just one more. Snooze.

5:21. Ok, seriously this is the last one. Snooze.

5:24. I really do not want to go swimming. [Insert brainstorming ways to do workout later.] Remember what you keep saying about triathlon training – that it’s mostly discipline? So get out of bed and go. It doesn’t matter that you don’t want to. Suck it up cupcake.¬†Turn alarm off and get up.

I went to the gym and swam 1,750 yards. And I can honestly say that I am glad I went, but I am also sad that I couldn’t go back to bed afterward. Unemployment, I miss you!

I’m sure that there isn’t an athlete out there who hasn’t had some kind of inner monologue like this with themselves in the morning. Or before a workout. But especially in the morning.

I am happy to report that this catchy little saying works. So much so, that I would like to get a shirt like this one.

Now if only that would motivate myself to post about my Minnesota vacation too… but alas, it’ll have to happen on Sunday or next week. Guess it’s not a failsafe.

{Side note: This week, I have had a horrible case of adhesive-mattress-itis, which is making me seriously reconsider my idea to get up at 4-freaking-30 to get in the Word and train. I’m a thinking it isn’t going to happen… on to Plan F.}

How do you motivate yourself to train when you don’t want to?

Never underestimate the power of sleep

8 Mar

For a couple of years now, I have had this notion that I must have less energy than the average person. Everyone else seems to go, go, go while I consistently have the feeling of needing a nap. I figured I just needed more downtime, more time to recover from the demands of life.

Well, since not having a job has allowed me to get at least 9 glorious hours of sleep a night (but I still get up before Travis, ha!), I have discovered that it’s not that I have less energy than most people, it’s just that I need more sleep.

My body really needs a good 9 hours a night to feel actually rested. If I get even just 8.5 hours, I feel ready for a nap all day long. This past Sunday, after going to an early afternoon barbeque at the house of one of Travis’ co-workers, I had planned on grocery shopping and working out. But I had absolutely no motivation to do either when we got home because I felt…so…tired. Why? Because I had gotten a measly 8 hours of sleep on Saturday night. So I took an hour long nap and felt refreshed enough to do what I had planned.

All of this has taught me that I cannot underestimate the power of sleep. I am a person who needs plenty of sleep to function at the top of my game. And if my body really wants 9 hours, it’s no wonder than on 7 or 8 hours, I constantly feel tired.

I’m guessing that the majority of Americans feel this way – hence the explosion of energy drinks, caffeine-laced nutrition bars, and espresso concoctions. The smartest answer to the phenomenon of being tired would be to just get more sleep. But that seems to be the last thing anyone wants. Our society is constantly moving. I just read in a book that back in 1960s, “those who predicted the future advantages of technology and innovation felt the biggest challenge to the future would be boredom. They believed that time-saving technologies would increase productivity, and they informed a Senate committee that in 1985 people would work approximately twenty-two hours a week, twenty-seven weeks a year, and would retire at age thirty-eight.” I bet those people would have slept 10 hours a night too…

The thing about technology is that we have let it control us, instead of us controlling it. Take, for example, how hard it is to turn the TV off at night and go to bed. After the show you planned on watching ends, you grab the remote and are ready to turn the TV off until wait – that looks interesting. Pretty soon you find yourself sucked into watching a show that seems entertaining, but when you finally do shut it off 2 hours later, you realize that you just wasted 2 good hours of your life. And you could have spent those 2 hours sleeping.

Even though my days of freedom could be at an end (had another interview today), I am determined to not let my 9 hours of sleep per night fall by the wayside. I have discovered the secret to having energy and I’m not going to let Conan, Parks and Recreation, or the Chicago Code steal it from me!

Still recovering.

27 Oct

Last week was quite possibly the longest week of my life. From Sunday to Sunday, I worked 115 hours. Isn’t that ridiculous? I did nothing except eat, sleep and work. And as my last blog post described, I was really looking forward to a break this week.

No such luck.

We are announcing our 2011 race calendar on November 1st and I am supposed to have all of the race logos designed and ready for posting by then – in addition to answering all of the post-race emails from athletes and vendors, creating the 2011 marketing strategy, designing all of the t-shirts and medals, and contracting new timing clients. And that’s just work. I was also greeted by a kitchen piled high with dishes, a laundry basket overflowing with 5 loads of laundry, an empty fridge and a dog needing a trip to the vet.

After getting a good 12 hours of sleep Sunday night, I got up on Monday at 9:30. I spent some time trying to pray but just found myself getting frustrated at the full day I had ahead, instead of the relaxing day I had hoped for. Then I worked for a bit, took Katy to the vet, worked a bit more, and volunteered at the church. Travis called me and said he was coming home from hunting a day early so we ate dinner together and watched a movie.

Tuesday, I jumped out of bed with the ambition to get the house in order. I can only take messiness for so long (and it’s not even really that long). So I gathered all of the laundry and started a load, put away all the other stuff from my suitcase, did the dishes, ate breakfast, cleaned up my office, and answered some emails. Around 12:00 noon, I called it quits and went on my first run in 2 1/2 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I can indeed still run 5 miles. I’m hoping I can run quite a bit more, considering the half marathon in Malibu is just 2 1/2 weeks away. After my run, I showered and went to the church to volunteer. When I got home, I had a phone date with my friend Brittany, then Travis made dinner, we watched a couple episodes of The Office, and he went to a hockey game while I talked to my mom on the phone. Finally, it was time for bed.

This morning, I spent some time in the Word and then edited the New Members class content I have been working on for the church. I answered some more emails (they just keep coming!), then went to my last physical therapy appointment. In the car on the way there, after feeling frazzled, rushed and stressed ever since getting home, I realized that I just needed a break. I just need to catch up on all the housework and take a breather. Then I can dive in tomorrow.

So I did. I took the afternoon off. After my appointment, I went grocery shopping, finished the laundry, and then read a magazine and watched some Desperate Housewives. I would be taking a nap right now except I am not really physically tired – just emotionally tired. And I wanted to read the blogs I follow, as well as post on mine. In 10 minutes, I’m going to go on a nice little 3-mile run, then shower and go to Care Group for dinner and discussion. I can’t say that I feel quite recharged yet – that will probably take a few weeks. But this afternoon definitely helped.

Time for a break.

20 Oct

I am in serious need of a break. So far this week, I have worked over 45 hours – and it’s only Wednesday!

I knew that this week would be this way so at least I wasn’t surprised. I had planned that I would do nothing except work and sleep. No exercise. No reading. No fun. (Well, I at least had to squeeze in a blog post).

That’s the way my job is – race week is completely nuts. This one even more so, since I took Friday and Saturday off last weekend to go up to elk camp with Travis and his family, days I would normally be working in preparation for this week.

Instead of getting into how much these weeks make me question why I have the job I do, I’m going to talk about all the things I excited to do next week – when I have pretty much the whole week off.

First, I’m going to sleep in as long as I can, linger over the Word with a cup of coffee, read a book as long as it takes me to fall asleep into a nap, cuddle with Katy my dog, and watch movies.

Second, I’m going to get a massage, manicure, and pedicure to rescue my body, feet and hands from all of this crazy manual labor! I’m sure my back is just one big giant ball of tension. I know my right leg has been demanding I quit using it so much since the beginning of August (my IT band and hamstring are ridiculously tight).

Then, I’m going to update my resume, volunteer at the church, write and mail a letter to my Compassion child, roll over my 401(k), finish sewing a coat and swimsuit coverup (not making, just mending!), run at least 4 times (the half marathon is in less than a month!) including an 8-miler, and paint and decorate wooden letters for my office (haven’t decided what word they’ll spell yet). I’m sure there’s more – I’ve been making a list of all the things that pop into my head followed by, “I need to remember to do that.”

It’s amazing how busy I’ve been this summer. I don’t really realize it until I think about all the things I haven’t had time or energy to do. When I read about my friends’ weekend adventures online, I am reminded of how long it’s been since Travis and I just hung out for the heck of it. Heck, how long it’s been since Travis and I hung out period. And then I see the long list of things I need and want to do and I just know – it’s time for a break.

What I’m trying to figure out is how long of a break I need from this job. But that’s better left for another blog post.

Midnight thoughts

6 Mar

Ok, so it technically isn’t midnight. But I tried to go to bed with Travis and was just laying there, wide awake. I didn’t want to go to bed. But then, I didn’t want to read, watch TV, or be on the computer either. So I tried to go to bed, though I wasn’t that tired. Usually I just can lay¬†there¬†long enough to fall asleep. If my eyelids start feeling heavy when I try opening my eyes, I know that I’ll be falling asleep soon enough. But tonight, nada.

And then I started thinking about stuff I could blog about. So what better time to write said blog than right when I’m thinking about it?

The 3 things I was thinking about were:

1)¬†I’ve been toying with the idea of training for a sprint¬†triathalon. I haven’t quite found the energy to¬† commit to another running race of any substancial distance (or any race at all, for that matter) and one of my co-workers, D, is training for a triathalon. She’s planning on doing like 6 different ones this summer. Um, one sounds good to me.

I finally looked up training programs this week and realized that Holy Cow! If I’m really going to do a triathalon this summer, I need to start training like, 2 months ago. Because even though I’m a decent runner, I am not in biking shape (I can do a leisurely¬†7 miles…)¬†and I don’t know the first thing about swimming. The triathalon I want to do is July 18th (3 days after my 26th b-day!), so that leaves me just about 19 weeks from tomorrow to train. Gulp.

First order of business is getting the equipment. I need a swimsuit (as I don’t own a one-piece), I need to get my bike fixed and to buy a helmet, and in an ideal world, I would also¬†buy new sports bras (for the running part, though it’s just a 5K so I’m not too worried about¬†it).

Second order of business is mustering¬†up the courage to go¬†to the¬†swimming pool. For some reason, the pool intimidates me to no end. If there was some way I could get around having to go to a public pool (where there are probably rules I don’t know about and people who will gawk and point at this poor little girl who only knows how to doggie paddle–ok, so I do know some real strokes), I totally would do it. But I don’t think there is. At least, not an economical way.

Man, I can just see myself putting this off and putting this off. But once I buy a swimsuit (hopefully tomorrow), I will have no excuse!

In the meantime, I will be trading the elliptical for the bike at the gym in hopes of getting ready for a 10.5-mile bike ride. I will also be raising money for Life Choices Pregnancy Center, since the triathalon I want to do is the Tri For Your Cause. So if you all want to support me, I totally encourage it! (But I would wait until I have a better idea if this whole doing-a-triathalon-this-summer idea is realistic).

2) As I mentioned in my earlier post, I went out for Chinese food tonight with Travis and Debb (my boss) and her husband, Rick. It was lot of fun. Driving home, I realized what a blessing it is to have older Christians in our lives who we can learn from and bond with. I have never been friends with people so much older than me before but I like it!

Anyway, I ordered the Sweet¬†N Sour Chicken. I had debated about ordering tofu and veggies but settled on the chicken. It was a disappointing meal. The chicken was really tough and it just wasn’t that fantastic. (Chinese food is one of those take-it-or-leave-it foods for me. I’m not that huge of a fan…although I do love tofu.) A disappointing meal turned into a regrettful meal once I discovered (no surprise) that the fried chicken gave me acid reflux.

A condition I didn’t realize I had until it landed me in the ER one day with horrible chest pains, acid reflux (for me) is just a nuisance. Instead of being painful, it usually¬†just makes me feel incredibly nauseated. When I overate on fried food at a friend’s birthday party, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I had just ridden on a merry-go-round for 24 hours straight. I couldn’t throw up so I went back to bed in writhing pain, only to realize that I had acid reflux, not an upset stomach (at least not the kind that makes you puke). So I took some meds, propped myself up on 4 giant pillows, and fell back asleep. The next morning, though, I seriously felt like I had been throwing back tequila shooters all night. A literal food hangover. Yuck.

But tonight, I just feel a little nauseated. Which isn’t fun when I have a cold and sore throat to begin with. Ah, but such is life.

Which brings me to my conclusion:

KATHY’S STOMACH: “Kathy, you don’t like fried food. You don’t like greasy food.”

KATHY’S TASTE BUDS: “I know, I know. It just all sounds so good on the menu. But then I order it and it really doesn’t live up to the hype. I usually end up wishing I had ordering some¬†grilled chicken¬†on a salad. Or a sandwich.¬†Like¬†the Panera breakfast sandwich that I’m going¬†to eat tomorrow morning. Or a Tasty Turkey sandwich from Einstein Bros. Bagels. Mmmm…turkey.”

STOMACH: “So why do you still eat fried and greasy foods when you don’t like them and you know they give you acid reflux?”

TASTE BUDS: “Um, I don’t know.”

STOMACH: “Well, will you cut it out already? I’m dying¬†down here.”

That’s what you get from me at 11:48 PM. (Hey, it’s late for me!)

3) I have a wonderful little day planned out tomorrow. Travis is getting up at 6 AM to go ice fishing so that means I have the morning and early afternoon all to my lonesome.

If I can get to sleep sometime this week, I’ll be getting up early-ish (who knows what time since my sleep schedule is all out of whack now–usually I get up around 7:00) and going to the Rec for some much-needed exercise. (Note: I will be doing the bike in prep for the tri…and probably some elliptical too, we’ll see how I feel). Then I will shower and head to Panera for a delicious breakfast sandwich (every morning I hear their commercial, my mouth starts to water…their sandwiches¬†that good). While at Panera, I will get in the Word and probably do a crossword. Then I might go to the library. The book I had wanted to check out (Good Calories,¬†Bad Calories) sounds a lot more scientific and intense than I can handle…but maybe I’ll find another book I want to check out.

I also need to clean the house and chip away some more of my article to translate, AND I need to buy a swimsuit for the tri, but other than that, my day is wide open.

So there you have it, 3 midnight thoughts to snack on. Toodles.

I suck.

19 Sep

This is my 101st post! But that isn’t why I suck.

I suck because I made it one day (and that by cheating) without sweets. But it’s only partly my fault. You see, the day after my last post (where I had “committed” to not eating sweets until at least the end of Sept, with the exception of Sundays) I decided to bake peanut butter cookies for Travis and the guys in his Bible study. And my Bible study was the next night at our house so I figured I’d have treats for the ladies too.

I did really good while baking them–I didn’t eat any of the dough, even when it was sticking to my fingers from making the little balls. Instead of licking it off my fingers, I just washed it off, down the drain. Good, delicious dough, wasted. But I had made a commitment.

Then Travis came home and ate one of the cookies. After his first bite, he said, “Mmmmm…” which made me curious if they were good. So I asked for a small bite. He gave it to me, to my surprise (I was expecting him to say “But Bub, you weren’t having sweets until Sunday, remember?”) I felt a little cheater-ish but I didn’t have a whole cookie!

But then the next day at work, one of my co-workers had baked bars to thank me and Travis for helping them move some donated office furniture. I put them in my locker immediately with the plan of bringing them straight home for Trav. After lunch, though, I heard one of my co-workers, Mandy, say that she wanted something sweet to eat so I offered her one of the bars. (At least I can share my sweets, even if I can’t stop eating them!) I gave one to Carol Ann and Jen too and then…I ate one myself.

And I ate another one for lunch today.

And I had a cookie last night at our women’s group.

And like 4 slices of tomato basil bread from Panera today.


I suck.

Add to that, when I got home after work today, I read Newsweek for a while and then took a nap. I just did not have energy or motivation to do anything else. Yesterday, though, I did go grocery shopping after work and then on a run before making dinner. So I’m not a complete bum. Just a little one.

I hope that this funk I’m in ends soon. Or else I’ll run out of excuses.