Sunday, July 15, 2007

Desperately Seeking Sleep

This morning I overslept, yet again, and failed to meet my long-run training group at 7 a.m. here. I feel terrible about it, especially since I told Coach that I would be there, as well as two of my friends.

I tried to get to bed early. I really did. But I had to pick up E., traveling from a conference in NYC, at 11:30 p.m. from the bus station. So I tried to catnap and set my alarm. That didn't work, as I was afraid I'd sleep through the alarm. So I stayed awake, albeit blearily.

He called me at 11 p.m. and said he got off the bus a few stops early so he could catch the Metro, and would walk the 2/3 mile to our house from the station. Which made me worried. It was late, after all. I told him I'd pick him up, but he wouldn't hear of it. So I stayed awake in case I had to send out a search party for him.

He arrived at 12:45 a.m. Worrying made me really hungry (although I am always hungry). We shared a late dinner of Thai noodles. Then I finally went to bed around 1:30 a.m. But I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned. Finally fell asleep around 2:30 a.m.

Then my cell phone rang at 3:21 a.m. I woke up cursing. I looked at my phone: "Unknown caller." I cursed some more and turned it off.

Is it any wonder that I slept through my alarm at 5:30 a.m.?!

By 9 am, when I was finally awake enough to read the Sunday paper, it was too hot to run. I resolved to run at dusk. But with 14 miles to log, I knew that I had start sooner. All day a cloud of guilt hung over me.

But I DID run: At 4:45 p.m., I couldn't take the guilt anymore. But it was still 90 degrees and humid, and the sun blazed down with impunity. So I said "Uncle," and drove to the gym. And logged 13 miles on a treadmill in air-conditioned bliss.

It took me exactly 2 hours to run 13 miles (avg 9:13/mile pace), and I was all set to complete 14. But the gym employees kicked me out. It was closing time, and
looking up from my near -Zen state (Look, Ma, no humidity and no bugs!), I saw that I was the very last person there. They were nice enough, though, not say anything about my Bogarting a treadmill.

I brought my MP3 player, but I didn't use it. Nor did I watch TV. There was plenty of entertainment to be had just by watching the people around me exercise. The women who trot on the treadmill for 20 minutes, do a few half-hearted sit-ups, then call it a day. The men who run all-out for 3 minutes, then shuffle the other 17, utterly spent.

But was it as good as running outside?: I ran at 9:20/mile pace for 10-11 miles, then cranked it to 8:34/mile for the last 2-3 miles. While the long run felt good, it didn't feel as hard as running outside, even though I raised the incline to 1.0 and 1.5. Must be the air-conditioning.


  1. i loved running on the towpath. i'm looking forward to running it when i visit in aug.

  2. You must really love that air conditioning because 13 miles on a dreadmill sounds... dreadful.

    Good job getting it done, though!

  3. no, it's no wonder you slept thru your alarm! no distraction for 13 miles would be the death of me. good work!

  4. 13 miles on a treadmill ... you are a better runner than I. That's dedication.

  5. Wow, that is a long time to be on the treadmill. Good for you!

    I always laugh at the people who are clearly only at the gym to either (a) preen, prance around and be seen or (b) check it off their list. I've always figured that once you're there, you might as well get a good, sweaty workout out of it, but maybe I'm just weird that way.

  6. Oh, and I do remember hearing somewhere that treadmills are easier because they can't quite replicate the natural incline of the roads. The only way to make the workout really comparable is to bump the incline up a couple of notches.

    But what do I know, considering that I haven't belonged to a gym in 3 years :-)

  7. Sunday morning when, unlike the energizer bunny, I ground down on my long run and came to a complete stop, the temperture read 92 degrees and it was humid. I was still 2 miles from my car. So that's the secret, inside, on the dreadmill with no sideways cants or potholes to watch for, in air conditioning. What marathon are you getting ready for that is run indoors? :]

  8. "Bogarting a treadmill"

    Ha! very funny!

  9. 13 miles on the treadmill sucks! I've done it myself once. You are dedicated. You shouldn't feel guilty