Monday, January 24, 2011

Sleepless and going strong. Maybe too strong.

Sometimes do you just shake your head at yourself and wonder what in the world is going on in your head? I do. My head, I mean - not yours. I surprise myself by doing uncharacteristic things and I wonder how well do I really know me, anyway?
For example, if you (me) were tossing and turning and just not sleeping, you might get up, have a glass of milk, read a book under a dim light and warm blanket, and try to get back to dreamland. But last night I guess I wasn't really me (or maybe this is the real me?) and at 1:30 a.m., I decided I'd had enough of staying in bed, wide-eyed and antsy. So I walked downstairs to the basement, changed into my swimming suit, donned my swim cap, adjusted my goggles and earplugs, set my swiMP3 to scriptures, opened the pool, and swam for the next 36 minutes.
Okay, well, a nice easy swim would be relaxing, wouldn't it? Yes, it would. But that's not what I did. I cranked the speed and kicked out 2000 yards (approximate), the equivalent of the Half-Ironman 1.2 mile swim distance. I have been swimming at 1:50 (that's one minute, 50 seconds) for every 100 yards, but that didn't jive with my middle-of-the-night workout, so I set it to an unprecedented (for me, anyway) 1:36/100yds. Arms flailing, legs kicking, heart racing, and gasping for air. Oh, yeah. That's how this lady attacks a sleepless night.
Listening to my scriptures didn't slow me down at all, as one might expect. They actually kept me focused and alert - mostly because I somehow changed the setting to shuffle. Ever try listening to books on you ipod with the chapters on shuffle? It jumps around, leaving you guessing at where you are, what's going to happen next, and wondering how to get the darn thing off shuffle.
So with the swim done, and my daily scripture study checked off (it counts!), and a warm shower followed by hair-drying, I faced my bed again. It was now 2:30 a.m. You'd think I'd be ready to relax. Well, my mind kept saying "relax - rest - SLEEP" but my body wouldn't settle. Nope. Not a bit. I spent the next few hours wandering around my mind, thinking of things to do, things that have happened, things that might happen. It's a lot of ground to cover in a few hours, but I think I pretty much thought through my whole life, start to finish. Twice.
FINALLY it was 5 a.m. - a decent hour to let my body rise from the bed-prison. Really, it felt like a torture sentence to just hang out on my bed, knowing I really really needed to sleep, but not being able to do a thing about it. I didn't dare take any sleep aids, because (knowing me) they'd kick in right about the time I had to get up to get kids to school, and I'd be groggy the rest of the day. Not worth it. I welcomed the morning (I know, it's still the middle of the night for most people, but close enough to morning that I felt justified in getting up).
I had a running appointment with my friend at 5:45. I do not need 45 minutes to get ready to run (especially since I'd set out my clothes the night before), but I did need to get moving. So up and at 'em, and I pulled on my layers for an outside run. The weather had been predicted to drop only to 19F, but I'm always cold so I dressed as if it was going to be 0F. That's ZERO degrees. Well, whaddayaknow? It wasn't 19F. It was zero. But I was dressed for it, so I decided to see how it went.
Thankfully, my running partner has a smart head on her shoulders (I wonder if she would've tackled the pool at 1:30 a.m.?), and texted me that it was too cold. Oh, right. I get painful blisters on my feet if I get too cold. How could I forget? So plans changed, I changed, and at 5:45 I was headed to the new indoor track at BYU-Idaho. Shorts and t-shirt instead of long underwear, tights, windpants, three head coverings, two jackets, and two sets of gloves. I felt lighter somehow.
We ran on the track for the first time. And I mean RAN. Like my pool workout a few hours before, it wasn't any of this nice, slow, relaxing exercise. Nosirree. If I'm staying awake all night because I have too much energy, then by golly I'm running that energy into the ground! After about 6 1/2 miles of hard running, I figured I was ready to go home. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I'd worn down a little.
Yeah, right. I felt as fresh as ever. So I made the boys' school lunches, cooked everybody French toast, sliced oranges, got the kids up, the girls dressed, everyone ready, drove three kids to school/preschool, shooed the other one off to the bus stop, and ran upstairs to put on my winter layers. Again. It had warmed up to 8F by then (nearly 9 a.m.), but because the sun was shining it seemed almost like a summer day. I grabbed my skate skis, new poles, boots, and keys and drove off to the groomed trail at the golf course outside of town.
Wow, what a beautiful morning. The trees were frosted and glowing in the morning sun, the trail was perfectly groomed with no other tracks on it (except once in a while I'd see the pattern of a skier who'd gone before me and had stepped out of the parallel trail to mark some Vs in the skating trail). There were two other people out, but they were so far away I felt like it was just me. It was all mine.
Armed with warm gear, too much energy (STILL!), and the surge of life from seeing sunshine, I shot out onto the trail to do my fastest 3.5 miles yet on that course. It was invigorating, refreshing, and actually, finally, thankfully exhausting! By the end, I was ready to sit and rest.
I sat and rested for the entire time it took me to drive home. That's it. Fifteen minutes of down time, then it was back to normal life - shower (my second of the day), pick up Charlotte, drive the kindergarten carpool, cook dinner, make phone calls (our fridge is on the blink, the insurance company is being a stinker, we lost the key to our file cabinet, Sam needs an orthodontist appointment, etc). I also vacuumed the carpets, played with the girls, got the boys to do their piano, did laundry, and went mini-golfing with my husband and kids for our Family night activity. We did our family scripture reading, then I read to the girls while Jeff read to the boys.
And now I'm blogging because I had to remember this crazy day - and night - when I was once again, the Energizer Bunny. It happens when I've been taking my training supplements (Hammer Nutrition Race Caps Supreme) regularly for a week or so. I really need to find the perfect dose so I can train normally and rest normally. Still, it's fun to have the energy. (For the record, they (Hammer) say it's the most potent legal energy enhancer on the market.) I didn't take any today. My mind is screaming at me that it just knows my body needs sleep, even if my body doesn't agree.
Now, at 9:30 p.m., I am beginning to feel sleepy. Or maybe it's just my contacts are making my dry eyes feel tired. Sheesh, I don't even know if I'm tired or not!
Time for a cookie. Cookies are the answer to the mysteries of my life. Maybe after one or two cookies, I can sort out what the deal was today with this person I call me.


  1. I need to lay down and take a nap. Congratulations on a productive night/day. What are you training for with these supplements? I am so glad to see your blog. Your writing is amazing. I am still waiting for you to publish your first book. Love to you in Idaho.


  2. Hi, Lorie! Guess what - I slept last night. AND I slept in. Benadryl to the rescue! :) I take the supplements when I'm training for a specific event or when I start to get super low on energy. Right now I'm just exercising for fitness and fun. I do have a marathon scheduled in June and a triathlon in August, but so far that's it (I had too many marathons last year, so I'm kind of still burned out).
    It's soooo nice to hear from you. I always think of you every time I get another set of stitches (which happens a little too often). Thank you again and again for rescuing me.
    Someday I want to write a book. I get started but never finish. I keep waiting for the right story to come to me. Any ideas?
    Love to you in Rochester!

  3. Steph, you are super human! I like the idea of exercise instead of drugs . . . makes for nicer legs! Glad to hear you're sleeping now!

  4. I have got to talk to Josh about letting me have some Hammer supplements. I can't get up the gumption to exersice at all lately - use the kids as an excuse, well, that and sleep - and then I feel flabby and not are an inspiration as always. I am trying to plant ideas in both or our husbands heads sozits I can move closer.