Friday, February 24, 2006

The one Thing missing from my training

is adequate sleep. I’d sure like to get some more, but it’s not really forthcoming for the time being. I went to bed at 10.30, which would have given me 7.5 hours of sleep. My next mistake was to open a book to “read for 5 minutes”. Of course, 5 minutes turned into 10, then 15 and by the time I finally put it down, it was 11pm. That still would have been a decent amount of sleep, but at 3am I woke up to find myself sandwiched by Cian on my left and Shea on my right. Well, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of sharing your bed with one or two little boys, you know that they don’t just sleep. They twitch, and turn, and cough and kick, non-stop. Every time I was on the verge of falling asleep, I got another kick/prod/elbow. This went on until about 4am, when Shea woke up and demanded some breakfast. Now, we have been through this dozens of time. He says he’s hungry and I tell him he can’t have any food because it’s still the middle of the night. 30 seconds later the cycle starts again, until eventually I give up, get out of bed and fix him some breakfast. He’s more insistent than I am. I have yet to win such an argument.

I made him promise to get back into his own bed once he’s finished the cereal, which he did to be fair, and I was therefore able to get another, well, 1.5 hours of sleep until the alarm clock went off. All in all that’s probably between 5.5 and 6 hours of sleep, and I can’t remember the last night when I've had significantly more than that.

Yes, I know. I have written very similar entries before. It’s just that these events are re-occurring far too regularly, and Niamh has the ability to sleep through those things and I don’t. Plus, Niamh is not a morning person while I am, and the kids know that.

I still ran 11 miles. The weather forecast had been wrong, and it was much warmer than expected. I had originally chosen long pants, but changed into shorts before I left the house. I still wore a singlet under a long sleeve shirt, and was uncomfortably hot for the first half of the run. There was a big black cloud in the sky, which I expected to drop its load onto me for most of the run, but apart from a few isolated raindrops, that never happened. At the return leg the wind picked up significantly, but I made it home before the weather took a bad turn. During the day the announced bad weather came indeed (well, sleet rather than snow), and I was glad that I had just about managed to avoid it during my run.

I’m planning to do another 10 mile tempo run on Sunday to round up the week.

24 Feb: 11 miles, 1:31, 8:16 pace

10 comments:

  1. Sleep is non-existent...never enough. My eyes are burning and I can't focus on my pipetter at work:)

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  2. Sleep, what a wonderful word. In my opinion sleep and recovery run are the most beautiful dreams for the runners. Are you ready for Ireland-Wales?

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  3. Your time is awesome for not getting much sleep! I totally understand . . . Kenza didn't sleep more than 2 hours a night until she was 3 years old . . . I walked around in a daydream for about that length on time . . . I can't even imagine what it would be like if I were actually running back then.

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  4. Our oldest son was one of those children who preferred his own bed, slept through the night easily at an early age. Our youngest son was up and down all night, in and out of our bed, didn't sleep through till he was five. Which, coincidentally, is when I started running! At 17, he is still a restless sleeper.

    What if every night before bed you fixed Shea a dry-cereal snack, put it in a baggie or covered bowl, and put it beside his bed? Tell him it's for when he wakes up in the middle of the night and needs breakfast. Would he go for something like that?

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  5. You are such a good father. I bet your children could understand if you explain them that you need to sleep and that everyone has its own bed... try what backofpack is saying, well try everthing but sleep... it is too much for you!

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  6. Maybe some kind of shock therapy everytime they arise from their bed before 5:30 a.m. would help. Alright that might be a little harsh. My son likes to kick me and head butt me throughout the night as well, but I don't usually wake up and run in the morning.

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  7. You know about intermittent reinforcement right?? That experiment they did with the monkeys where every time they pushed a lever they got a treat? But then the scientists wanted to see what would happen if when the monkeys pushed the lever they got a treat only randomly. (Oh, this is the long way round to my point.) The point: the intermittent (or random) schedule was the one the monkeys would NOT give up. So if you are saying no first, and then saying yes, well, your kids are on the intermittent reinforcement schedule. The only cure is to say no constantly and put up with a lot of crying for a while. It hurts you more than it hurts them trust me.
    signed,
    penelope leach
    (Hope you don't take this as a criticism of your parenting. I think you're a fantastic dad! I've just been there, and I really want you to get more sleep!)

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  8. What jeanne said is exactly what I have to continually remind myself (and Johnny) of every day - consistency is key! Of course, that means long mornings of putting Ash back into his bed (which is situated a mere 2 ft away from our bed - one bedroom apartment and all) over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again while he screams his head off. Yes, I'm afraid he'll wake the neighbors some times! But mostly, he stays in his bed, and we all get better sleep. But he shared our bed for his first two years - complete with the elbowing and kicking and prodding!!! :)

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  9. I like that you detailed your children's night-time adventures and immediately followed with: "I still ran 11 miles." Yes, you are my hero.

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  10. wait. so what you're telling me is, kids often don't sleep 8 hours straight through each and every night??!!! Wait, but babies are solid sleepers, right??..... ;)

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