On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I am probably sleepy right now

One thing I always forget about running regularly is how much sleep I then require.

Before I started running in college, I was used to 4 hour nights of sleep.  Honestly, I don't know how I did it back then. I've always been overly sensitive to caffeine, and I don't like coffee, anyway, so it wasn't through stimulants.

The summer I started running, that changed. I went from getting 4-6 hours of sleep to needing 8-9 without fail. About 10pm, I would fall asleep on the couch no matter how hard I tried to stay awake.  I was the designated driver for all of my friends - on the rare nights I could stay up to go out, that is.

It's happening again. My typical schedule during the semester has been to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep the nights each week before I teach and then make it up slowly over the rest of the week (in actuality I never quite catch up). Not super healthy, but prepping classes is time consuming.  That schedule is not working anymore, though. My running body says, loudly, "Its bed time!" If I push through and stay up anyway, I regret it. I drag so hard in the morning that getting up for my alarm is impossible.

The last few weeks have been particularly bad in that regard, as I've been trying to finish up a few projects and the semester has just ended. On 5 hours of sleep I can barely function, let alone run.

I'm so glad this semester is over.  I gave my last final yesterday.  Now I have to grade all of the finals.  Through the magic of scheduled posting, I'm right now either on a plane or about to leave for Chicago in order to beat my dad in the Soldier Field 10m race and rush through all of my grading.  And then, finally...  summer vacation.  When I try to do all of the research I should have done but was too busy teaching to actually do this year.

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