Posts Tagged ‘I miss sleep’

Not a Morning Person

October 23, 2013 3 comments

ride alarm

I don’t think I’m sharing anything new here… I’m not a morning person.  At all.

I think it’s my single biggest challenge as an Age Group Triathlete.  I hate getting out of bed.  It’s cold, it’s dark, and my bed is warm and comfortable.  Why would anyone want to get out of bed – especially early!  If I could sleep in every day I would…

Sadly, as a 9-5 working adult – let alone a triathlete – that’s not an option (I have no idea how I’m going to cope some day if/when I ever have kids!!)

The age group training community tends towards early morning training.  I used to fight against this – “Why do I need to get up early?” I would always ask myself… I could train at lunch!  I could train after work!  I could train in the evening!  I have so many options available to me that don’t require me to get out of bed early.

They don’t work.

The community, like most communities, has figured out the best way to do it.  Get up and train.  It’s amazing how many planned daytime/evening training sessions just don’t happen – for one reason or another, something gets in the way.  Even with the best of intentions, every time I tell myself “I’ll do it tonight instead”, it doesn’t happen.

No more fighting.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

This week I’ve started setting my alarm at 5:45am.  I suspect in time that may get shifted earlier still, but that’s enough of a change to the system for now.  That leaves me about 45-60 minutes of time at the gym in the morning before catching the bus to work.  For now, that’s a reasonable compromise.  It’s a stark change from the 7:30am alarm I had become accustomed to over the summer.

How has it been waking up at 5:45?

worn out

I’m making it work…  Surprisingly (or perhaps not), it’s having very little impact on my ability to stay awake at work during the day.  In fact, the morning training is giving me lots of energy, especially in the morning.  Where I notice it the most is at night.  Bed time comes EARLY now.  This old man is starting to fade by 9:00pm most nights.  And to reduce wasted time in the mornings (no need to set the alarm any earlier than necessary) I’m focusing on packing my gym bag, work bag, and lunch at night – which eats into an already shortened evening.  The result is a lot more to do in a lot less time in the evenings.

But, from a training perspective, it’s great!  It’s paying huge dividends, even just a half-week into the new routine.  I’m hitting my training sessions reliably and with a dedicated block of time, not squeezing them in when I can.  I feel more focused – like I can plan my work better instead of being happy with whatever work I can do.  It feels more like training (a rewarding activity) instead of working out (a burdensome activity), if that makes sense.

I’m not going to claim that I like waking up early – I don’t think I ever will.  But I’ve seen the light of early morning training.  An off season of a better training routine can only help me next year… so long as I keep getting out of bed!


Destination: Toronto (For Keeps)

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment


Sometimes life takes us down strange and unexpected paths.  Sometimes those paths cause a great deal of anxiety and stress at first, but they usually work out well in the end.  I’m going to trust this is one of those “work out in the end times”…

My wife and I are moving to Toronto.  We found out about 2 weeks ago of a change in her summer placement and have been scrambling to find a place to live (and deal with our current home).  With less than 4 weeks’ notice until her placement starts, it’s been a whirlwind – thinking through the unexpected task of packing (and downsizing), arranging for all of our service providers, and changing all of our summer plans.  We need to be moved and settled by the end of April.

At times it’s been a schedule strain.  We’ve made 4 separate trips into Toronto to view apartments.  This has led to a lot of canceled training sessions, a few canceled date nights, and even a few rescheduled work meetings.

At times it’s been an emotional strain.  Facing moving to a new city that we neither expected nor asked for – rationalizing the implications of an unexpected change on our finances, our social life, and our home.  There has been tears, and there has been ice cream (more of the latter than the former, thankfully).

My wife has been a trouper – her life has been turned upside down.  In addition to our home relocation, she’s had to adjust to a new job: new clinic, new city, new preceptor.  I’ve tried to be helpful and supportive – not always sure I’ve done a great job, but I keep trying.  I’ve noticed the impact to my training.  I’ve missed quite a few training sessions because of last minute apartment hunting trips (or having to work at odd hours due to apartment hunting).  My sleep has been off, and my mood has been turning sour as the stress and reduced exercise take their toll.

Sometimes I just want to sleep... anywhere

Sometimes I just want to sleep… anywhere

I’m not concerned about missed training from a race perspective – sometimes life > training.  But I notice the impact it has on me.  An experience like this reminds me how much I enjoy training, as a hobby as much as for race preparation.  It reminds me how much I use training as my own thinking time (or non-thinking time, as is sometimes more needed).  Sometimes I need my training time not only to keep moving faster, but just to keep moving.

Today we got confirmation of our new apartment in Toronto.  After several search sessions (and anxiety all weekend waiting to hear we were approved – we knew we would be, but the waiting game is still tough) I feel like I can turn a corner.  I can start making plans, knowing we have a new home waiting for us.  I can start getting excited about Toronto.

I can start to look for jogging trails in my new neighborhood.

I can start to look for community centers with pools in my new neighborhood.

I can start to figure out where the hell I’m going to store a bike in 700 square feet of space (I’m going to miss having a house with a basement)!!

I can start looking for a pub for post-training carbs 😉

There are lots of positives to take from this unexpected experience.  My daily drive to work will suddenly disappear – our new home is walking distance to our Toronto office.  Though we had a few great friends in Hamilton, we have more family and friends in Toronto who we will get to catch up with.  And I’m looking forward to a summer in the Big City, with all the pubs and cafes and activities and culture the city has to offer.  I think this will be a good thing for us (if not an expected thing).

We now have 2 1/2 weeks to pack, and purge, and plan, and get the hell out of Hamilton.  It’s going to be busy and anxious and stressful (and will probably continue to wreck my training plans), but once we get there it’s going to work out in the end.


Odds and Ends

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment
My new Mizunos

My new Mizunos

Finally got around to investing in a new pair of running shoes… actually, a few days ago.  It’s been a grind of a week.  I’m sticking to my New And Improved training schedule for the new year, but I’m finding myself really tired and out of energy as a result.  Really hoping this is just a plateau I need to push through – once I get used to the new routine hopefully I’ll have some energy (and a social life) again.

But until then, here’s a mailed in post of odds and ends I’ve thought about writing about this week, but haven’t had the energy or time to sit down and make a full post out of.  Enjoy!

– – – – –

My wife has started making smoothies for breakfast before our 6:30am weekday training session (yep – 6:30!  Have I ever mentioned I’m not a morning person).  She’s been kind enough to make a big enough batch for me to partake, since lord knows I don’t have my wits about me enough at that hour to eat anything nourishing.  She puts bananas, Greek yogurt, mangoes or peaches, spinach, milk, flax seed, and some kind of pixie dust into them I think – there must be pixie dust in there because somehow I drink a glass and I stay full through my training session, but I don’t think there’s any bagels or pancakes or fried eggs or buttered toast or bacon in there, so I don’t really know how I stay full… must be the pixie dust…

– – – – –

I was tidying the house the other day and came across a scrap piece of paper with a quote on it that I’d written down while watching an interview this summer with Simon Whitfield, Canadian Triathlon Olympic Gold Medalist (Sydney 2000) who had an unfortunate DNF in this past summer’s games.  I think I need to have this quote properly mounted or framed, because he hits the nail right on the head (possibly slightly paraphrased – there was a moment between when I was watching his interview on TV and I heard the quote and knew I had to write it down until I was able to find pen and paper…)

The fight is won, not under the lights, but in the gym, in the dark, in the rain

– Simon Whitfield

I’m not generally one for celebrities, but he’s one of the few athletes who I would love to meet and share a beer with someday.  I would love to talk Tri with him!

– – – – –

My wife emailed me yesterday while I was at work and asked if I wanted to run in the Grimsby Half Marathon in 6 weeks.  Of course, I’m a crazy glutton for punishment, so I said yes.  After my initial moment of panic though, I thought about it a bit more: I’m currently 10 weeks out from my 30k race – running a 21.1k Half Marathon 4 weeks before then is not a bad idea (I’m in trouble if I can’t run 21.1k by that time).  My long run is already stretched out to 16k, with an 18k run planned for this weekend.  I’ll treat this as a C race – have a bit of fun and use it to get some feedback about how ready (or not) I am for Around The Bay.

Still… my first Half Marathon… yikes… (I should be anxious, shouldn’t I?)


Christmas Vacation

December 16, 2012 3 comments
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Best.  Christmas.  Movie.  Period.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Best. Christmas. Movie. Ever.

Holy shit, it feels really good to be on vacation!  Not gonna lie, I’ve done little more than sleep and sit on the couch since my vacation started Friday morning (and eat cookies – cheers to my cousin for leaving a bag of cookies here Thursday night.  Hooray for other people’s cookie exchange parties!)

Okay, I did go for an 8km run yesterday.  That felt good.  And I’m planning a 14km run today if the rain lets up.  So that’s something more than sleeping and sitting.

Tomorrow we fly out to visit my wife’s family in Northern Alberta.  My mother-in-law sent us a lovely email this morning, with a link to get us excited for our trip…

Geez... doesn't that make you want to rush right out there! ;-)

Geez… doesn’t that make you want to rush right out there! 😉

Almost makes our current slighly-above-freezing-and-rainy weather seem tropical… almost…

I’m really looking forward to the trip.  I’ve never been to Edmonton before (my parents-in-law just moved there about a month ago), and I always love visiting family.  I can’t wait for the next 10 days of great laughter, great food, and great fun (and maybe a few great beers too)…

And for 10 days of running in the freezing cold.  But I think it’s better than running here, in the rain.  I hate running in cold winter rain.  At least snow is nice and fluffy, and doesn’t leave you soaked (not in the same way that rain leaves you soaked).  Even if it is going to be 20°C colder there than it is here…

What would you rather run in?  2°C and rainy, or -12°C and sunny (or snowing)?

Tuckered out

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

This kid's got the right idea!

I haven’t posted in a few days.   For once, because I’ve been training.  Wednesday I did the escarpment stairs again (and yet again, nearly left my lunch at the top).  Thursday my running buddy and I ran 5k – started off a bit too fast, had a great first half but slowed down considerably down the home stretch.  Then, 2 hours later, I swam a solid 800m.  I was running on fumes and really felt a good solid cardio workout.  I was hoping to do 1km, but I got a late start and the lifeguards kicked me out at closing time.

Yesterday I did my lift session.  The legs were tired from the stairs, and the shoulders were tired from the swim, and I generally ached, but I got through it.  Short.  Sweet.  Really happy with it.

Today I went out for a short 3k run – but I ran it hard, at a much faster than average speed and almost without walking.  A very good quick 3k run.

5 training sessions over 4 consecutive days.  That alone, is a great accomplishment, and I’m really happy with it.  Really happy.  I think the biggest win though was today’s run – at the culmination of all this – that I still ran strong, fast, and with more endurance then I usually have.  It was really good.

But now I’m pooped!  My legs have no energy and I’m kinda ready to go to bed (Note: It’s way too early to go to bed – I’m not that old).  It’s Saint Patty’s day, so I’m having the requisite beer at home on my couch before passing out.

May the walls around us never fall in, and we friends gathered below never fall out!

– My favourite Irish proverb

– DO’G

Daylight sleepy time

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

That's about how waking up feels

I haven’t posted much in a few days because I don’t have much to say.  I seem to have fallen off the training wagon.  Daylight savings time is kicking my sleepy ass!

The mornings come earlier, and more abruptly.  The days are a struggle.  And the evenings I’m just a zombie.  I have the best of intentions to go out for a run or a swim, but I can barely find the energy to cook (and I can’t find the energy to clean up afterward).

I think the biggest shift though is the internal eating schedule.  We have always eaten dinner at 7:00.  Now, with the time change, the body isn’t ready for dinner until 8:00.  But the pool schedule doesn’t change – lane swim is at 8:30.  The last thing I want to do is go straight to the pool on a full stomach (previous posts have shown what a mistake it is to go even after eating an hour earlier).  Really, it becomes an excuse.  Everyone in my timezone is going through the same thing – it takes a while for the body to adjust to an hour shift like this.  But every day I don’t train because of it is a day I fall further behind (Note: behind what?  It’s not like I’m making any progress to speak of anyway).

I wish I was training.  I regret that I’m not training.  But really I just want to go back to bed…

– DO’G



March 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Why are all the "insomnia" images of women?...


I’m fucking useless today!  Every now and then I get a bout of mild insomnia, and it’s hit me hard the past two nights.  I’m guessing last night I got about 3 hours of sleep (in spite of being in bed for almost 8).

This plays hell with my training schedule.  This plays hell with my work.  This plays hell with my life.  And worst of all, this is likely to snowball and play hell with the rest of my week too!

And I can’t even complain – every one of my co-workers has young children and for them lack of sleep is probably a normal part of life.  I just want to take this afternoon off and go home and nap.

– DO’G

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