105 days to go: Did not get good sleep but ran a 5K nonetheless

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The hotel bed of Widus at Clark, Pampanga, where I stayed to attend an IT conference

Looks like a comfortable bed, right? Well, yes it is comfortable, yet because it isn’t my bed, I ended up tossing and turning for most of the night. That’s how I am – I have difficulty sleeping in a bed that isn’t my own. It’s my bane when I travel.

To be fair to Widus Hotel and Casino, which is a hotel in Clark, Pampanga where I stayed to attend an IT conference,  the room was cozy, spacious, and delightful. It felt more like a small apartment than a hotel. It had a standard-sized refrigerator – not one of those tiny models – and a microwave oven. The nice thing about Clark is that there really isn’t much to do so you could go to bed early. It’s just that is wasn’t my bed so I had trouble sleeping.

I knew this would happen, so that’s why I did the scheduled 5-kilometer run in the evening when I got back home rather than in the morning. I was able to squeeze a long nap so I could feel somewhat refreshed before the run. When I hit the road, I felt like I was shaking off the cobwebs in my head. I had For some strange reason my sense of direction got disoriented and I took a wrong turn somewhere but I was able to get my bearings. I ran the 5-kilometer at an easy, comfortable pace and ended up covering the distance in a little over 40 minutes while keeping my heart rate within zone 2 for a majority of the distance. Not bad, I told myself.

Run stats: 5 kilometers, 40:07, average heart rate 142.

 

 

Day 117: Tired, sleepy, but still ran

No that isn't me, but I was already contemplating sleeping inside my car!

Yesterday marked the start of my 16-week training plan to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon. It was like the first day at work or even your first day in school – the day which would dictate and define your journey ahead. Kinda like “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” I knew that I would run later in the day and I swore to myself that I would get off work early, avoid any side trips or late night escapades, so I could get home and run and get to bed at a decent hour.

But for some reason I felt lethargic. Maybe it was because I woke up at 5 in the morning. Maybe because it was a slow and uneventful day at work. Maybe because I only had one cup of coffee the whole day. For whatever reason I was sleepy. On the way home I was yawning and my eyelids felt heavy. The thought of a 15-minute nap was extremely tempting but I knew that if I succumbed to that temptation I wouldn't be able to run. My head hurt and I was woozy. I felt clumsy and was becoming cranky. I was already playing around with the idea of postponing my run for Tuesday morning.

Still I ran. I didn't want any excuses for my first day of training. I also didn't want to get some nasty comments from my coach (I doubt it though – he doesn't seem the type but who knows?) So I forced myself to run. My training plan called for an easy 30-minute run followed by 10-minute strides so I told myself that all I had to do was run for half an hour. I was telling myself that if I was going to quit just because I was drowsy or lethargic then what more if when my legs are cramping after 30 kms? I was already compromising with myself and telling myself that I could postpone the 10-minute strides for another day. I struggled into my running clothes, strapped on my HR monitor, laced up my shoes, and stepped outside. Based on Sunday's 10k run, I figured I could take it easy with a 9 minute pace. After a few minutes things got easier and I was getting into the groove. I found that my HR was lower than usual, probably because of the cool evening weather, even if I was running at a relatively faster pace, roughly around 8:45 a kilometer. The sleepiness faded away and it became a normal run. I finished with plenty of energy and was able to do the 10-minute strides routine, which was fun.

In the end, whatever drowsiness or lethargy I felt was gone. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated. I was able to have a good dinner, able to read through some office emails, even finished watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead!

So, the lesson of the day is to do an easy run even if you feel lethargic. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it can be an energy-boost!

Run stats: covered 3.5 kilometers in 30 minutes, average HR was 128.

 

Slept late for two days and now I have a cold

I haven’t run for two days now.

I slept late, woke up late, leaving me with no time to run. Not even for 30 minutes.

And now that I have had something like 5 hours of sleep for two consecutive nights, I have a cold. That has often been the pattern. Lack of sleep leads to breakdown of resistance and then I get the sniffles.

I really should be more disciplined. I shouldn’t allow myself to get distracted and unnecessarily sleep late. If I can avoid going home late, I should avoid going home late. It’s not so much that I miss out on a training day. It’s that I end up getting a cold, which is irritating. A cold makes me lazy to run. I end up making excuses not to run. I could end up telling myself “I’ll run when I feel better.”

Let’s see how I fare tomorrow. It’s just a cold and running experts say that you can still run if you just have the sniffles.

131 days to go: No run today

I use an iOS8 app called Motion X 24/7 as an alarm. One feature I like is that it prompts you to measure your heart rate as soon as you wake up.This supposedly can tell you if you are overtraining or if you need extra time to recover.

Well, today my resting heart rate was 90!

Just to compare, my heart rate for the month of October has been fluctuating between 65 and 72. I guess I still haven't shaken off my Sunday run, where I ran a 10k and increased my pace every 2k from 8:30 to a maximum of 7:00. The workout had left me breathless, woozy, and I had thought I was going to pass out. Plus I wasn't able to get much sleep for 2 days. I was going to bed at 12:30 am and getting up at 5:30 am.

Because my heart rate was exceptionally high today, I decided to take a day off from running and get an extra few minutes of sleep. Maybe tomorrow I will be rested.

I also checked my log and found that my April average resting heart rate was 60, which tells me that my fitness levels has decreased, probably because I hadn't been putting in some serious mileage since August.