Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Insomniac Thoughts: First marathon, Sleep, and Other Random Ramblings.

I have no real purpose behind this entry.... Other than it's 5:30 in the morning and I've been up for two hours and I can't think of anything else to do right now!  Might as well post an update.   Don't mind my rambling as I only got about three hours of sleep last night (this morning? I don't think I fell asleep til after midnight anyway...) :)

First thing to mention is my running, as it is what is most upsetting to me at the moment.

First, before I go into injury detail, if all else fails, this next marathon will not be my first, and I started training early, so I have no doubts I can finish it.  And it's for charity, so dang it, I'm going to finish it!   Plus, what circumstances can be worse than my last marathon?  I mean, I was deployed in Afghanistan, was injured to the point of no running for two weeks prior to the race (I was hurting worse at the start of that race than I am now and the marathon isn't until November), it started at three a.m. and I had woken up at nine p.m. after trying to sleep at five p.m., so I was going on just four hours of sleep... My pre-race meal was SPICY RAMEN NOODLES for breakfast at like midnight (mmm, Shin cups that I ordered on Amazon.com!)  And then I had to stretch every half a mile for the last six miles because my IT Band was hurting.  Oh, and let's not forget that I was carrying my ballistic eye protection with me just in case we had any type of indirect fire during the race (it started in the dark, so I didn't want to wear my sunglasses until the sun came up).  There was also a plan to in place where the clock would stop until we got the all clear if we did get indirect fire... Some people think doing a marathon while deployed is pretty stupid. Yeah, maybe it was, but I think it was actually pretty hardcore - especially for a first marathon!

Now to get into the fun details (you can skip this if you don't feel like reading about my ever-present injuries).  I am currently taking a short hiatus.  By short I mean around a week... Maybe less, depending on how things are feeling. Maybe more if things aren't improving much. My last run was Thursday, and my last bike ride was on Friday.  I can deal with one injury, even two, but when three areas are feeling weird, I think it's time to give myself a recovery period.  I have my left knee, my right foot and now my left hip (though I think the hip/knee are related as the knee pain is all IT band related, and the hip pain seems to be in a similar area).  I figure I should be okay and not lose much fitness that I can't regain quickly if I give myself a break now instead of waiting until it gets REALLY bad.  Last year and the beginning of this year I had a couple of forced breaks and they didn't hurt my fitness at all.  Wisdom teeth removed last year, and then after two weeks off I was able to go do 14 miles the first weekend back and then a very hilly half marathon a week later without any issues.  I also had a crown lengthening surgery earlier this year (or was it late last year - dang my time is all messed up!) and I was up and running again quickly.  Actually, I felt better after both breaks, so I am trying very hard to be optimistic.  I also realized that I was able to maintain a relatively uninjured state during these periods where I had forced breaks... Maybe it's not such a bad idea to take a week or so just completely OFF in the midst of training?  You really don't lose fitness in a week.  The problem is when you have to decrease miles for a long period of time due to injury and THEN end up taking a bunch of time off because you get fed up (this seemed to be where I was heading after last week of very little running and very little improvement, hence why I'm resting now).  Of course it's tricky because sometimes too much rest tends to make things worse... *sigh*  Maybe this is why I am not sleeping well.  Not enough exercise!  Actually, this isn't true, as I wasn't sleeping well before either.

So this brings me to my next topic of sleep.  Ah, sleep.  Ever so elusive, unless it's the middle of the day.  This is quite frustrating for me because prior to everything that has happened in the past few months, I was a morning person (pending coffee, of course).  I PREFER to spend my waking hours in the day light, where I am being productive, and running, and riding my bike, and of course drinking coffee (though I've cut way back on that).  Unfortunately, my body has said "no!"  I can't figure it out.  I am only thinking it may be my medications... What I really want to do is just flush all of them down the toilet and feel normal again.  One causes bad moods/depression, so I get pills for that, and another causes insomnia, so I get another for sleep, which causes dry mouth and headaches, so I get another for headaches... It's like an endless cycle.  I'll admit, I'm not taking all of them all the time... It's too much.  I'm taking the ones I NEED (the ones that will stop my seizures), but not so much the ones I don't need.  I haven't much wanted to take the one I got for sleep as it doesn't seem to be working that great anyways until after midnight, and then I just want to sleep all day the next day.  And the vicious cycle continues!  I know this is very normal for some people, but anyone who knows me well knows that I am not the type to sleep all day!  I am usually in bed by ten, haha.  I'm the type who will be awake by seven on weekends... Yeah, no longer.  Last night I decided to forego the sleep meds because I didn't want to sleep all day today, and I felt sleepy... could not fall asleep and woke up several times.  I finally looked at my phone at four a.m. (I had been awake awhile at this point), said I would give myself til five to try to fall back asleep for another hour or so, and that failed.  So here I am!

 I really need to get on a regular schedule again and have a job position.  I think that will help.  I can't wait to start my Master's program... I need a sense of purpose.  I've actually been reading the Feminine Mystique (yay for feminist books!)  I'll save my deep insights on that for another post because I could go on forever, but to say the least I've gotten from it that without a real sense of purpose, life just kind of sucks (in laymen's terminology).  I also have an interview with the DCA (I don't know what that stands for, but I'm guessing something like Director of Clinical Administration???) today to start interning at the clinic on post, seeing as my Masters will be in Health Administration.  This is assuming I get A's in my first two courses.  Yeah, I discovered that despite my acceptance into the program, it was conditional, I have to get A's on my first two classes.  I guess it makes sense as the minimum GPA was a 3.0 and I didn't have a 3.0... I was closer to a 2.9.  And I really have no health care experience (another thing they were looking at) besides some time as the assistant S-1 as cadre for cadet basic training, and some administrative experience in the military... I am a little nervous.    Though I don't really doubt I can get A's.  Before West Point, A's were pretty easy for me in the other college classes I was taking.  Heck, even AT West Point when I wasn't taking 20 something credit hours, I did decent (Dean's list last two semesters, woohoo!)  I am only concerned with my ever-worsening memory.  Fortunately the program is more centered on projects and papers.  I am good at those.  Mostly because they don't require me to memorize terms.  And at the moment, what else do I have to focus on?  It will give me something to do besides research everything on the internet and write long blog posts that were supposed to be short...

Alas, it's now 6:25 a.m., and I am sitting here in my ACU pants and boots (Army Combat Uniform, for those of you unfamiliar with Army terminology), my shirt, and a Mickey Mouse bathrobe with coffee.  It's cold in here... I guess it's time for breakfast.  Hope everyone has a wonderful day.


1 comment:

  1. "...some people thing doing a marathon while deployed is pretty stupid."

    -- I don't think that's stupid at all. I was in Iraq for 6 months in '06 and we did a marathon at VBC. (umm..ok..I only participated in a 4-person marathon relay team...haha) Obviously, it all depends on where you're at. If you are lucky to be in a comparatively safe place; it's a shame to let it go to waste.

    Don't worry about getting A's. Going to school at West Point is different than going to school elsewhere. Too many distractions there and - much like at one other similar school located in a seaside setting - academics definitely are not the top priority. When you're going to school elsewhere and you're only focusing on academic performance, the A's are easy.