Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday is a rest day—OR ELSE!

Tomorrow (Friday) is the day before the half marathon, and it is a rest day on my schedule. That means no Friday morning semi-long run (obviously), no lengthy stint on the elliptical at the Y (like I did today), no super-long walk around Everett or on the beach (long walks are my sometimes substitute for running). I may (probably) walk to Starbucks to get an iced latte. I might (most likely) increase the distance of the round trip walk from one mile to, maybe two (or at the most three), just to wake up my legs a little. But that's it! I promise.

What I had really hoped to do as an exercise substitute was go get a massage. Unfortunately the massage therapist I see has switched from working out of a downtown hair salon to working out of her home about 15 miles from here (for what reason, I do not know), and that's really too complicated to deal with on a work day.

What I will do, and I think that this has as much benefit as exercise, and is much less likely to tire my legs, (and in fact is almost guaranteed to rest them), is sleep in a little bit. Turn off the alarm and wake up naturally. Let myself fall back to sleep when I wake up at 5 or 6 a.m.

I am sleep deprived in general (although I have been improving my sleep habits a lot), because I stay up (or awake) too late for someone whose alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. on most mornings. But the quality (and quantity) of my sleep has been deteriorating rapidly as the heat has increased, and as the house has lost its ability to cool off during the nights.

Last night was probably a nadir in my sleeping experience. In order to be comfortable at all, I took a spray bottle that I use to dampen clothes for ironing (it doesn't get used much), and spritzed myself while lying on the bed. That was cooling (and the fan helped) and I would fall asleep for a bit. But I would also wake up about every hour, partly because the dampness had evaporated and I was warm again, and partly because I had to pee, thanks to the great quantities of iced tea I had been drinking all evening. So I would go to the bathroom, spray myself with water again, then fall asleep for another hour or so.

Yesterday was the extreme, but the warm nights have been building and compromising my rest for several days now. It isn't until about 5 in the morning that my bedroom has cooled enough to be quite comfortable. By that point, I am only minutes from the alarm going off. A couple of bangs on the snooze button is a poor substitute for an hour or two of restful dozing!

So tomorrow, for therapeutic reasons, I will not force myself to wake at the crack of dawn. And if I do anyway, I'll make myself lounge in bed for a while. (What a sacrifice!)

Then eventually I'll get up, go for a little walk, go to Starbucks, have breakfast, get together stuff for the race on Saturday, and, oh yeah, eventually get dressed and go to work.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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