Sleep is Definitely Not Overrated

Who ever said “sleep is overrated” most definitely was not an endurance athlete. Last night I was sound asleep by 9:30, Molly the kitty was on the other side of my closed bedroom door, and I slept sound until 4:30 this morning. It was seven hours of bliss. I actually snoozed a few times and didn’t get out of bed until close to 5:00. I know – slug… But it felt fabulous. The rest gave me energy and I met up with three other friends to swim this morning. I covered 3,000 meters total. We are incorporating more longer sets for endurance. This workout had 4 repeats in total of 400 meters, 200 meters, and 100 meters. To make the send off time of 8:00 for the 400 I had to use the pull buoy. Getting my pace up without pulling is going to be difficult, but I am determined to do it. I finished feeling good – I am a bit sore from the weight workout yesterday, but I was alert and well rested.

This evening I ran a mostly easy run for endurance – five miles staying in zone 2 followed by 8 fast sprints for 50 seconds with a minute recovery in between. I am getting used to covering the treadmill display with a towel and just running. I only need to monitor my Garmin to see my heart rate and distance. I have a foot pod that is fairly accurate at calculating my distance. I ignore my pace and make sure I am within my zone two heart range. This was a much better run than on Sunday – I think the need for rest was starting that morning. I maintained a pace in Zone 2 and never had to walk. It felt great to keep running. For the five miles my heart rate averaged 133 – right where I wanted it. The sprints at the end were fun. My heart rate only maxed at 153 – I will ask my running coach if I should be running harder to get closer to my anaerobic threshold of 162. By the time I finished I still felt strong, still sore from lifting, but I made it through the day.

After I ran I stopped in the pool area to talk briefly with my triathlon coach. I told him about my run on Saturday feeling fatigued and how tired I was yesterday. Which is when he reminded me that he has scheduled Mondays as my rest day. Of course my reaction was to ask “that is optional, right?”. Wrong. He is adamant that I take a rest day with the intensity of my training. His argument is that if I keep pushing I will plateau and not reach my full potential. I am still mulling this over. Of course I hired him to coach me and help me improve. I probably should listen to him – after I check to see if I can at least lift on Mondays…

One thing I have noticed – during these winter days when sun light hours are limited and in Northeast Ohio the light hours are frequently drab and cloud covered, I rarely get to see daylight beyond my office window. I am out the door before sunrise for a workout and back at the gym as the sun is setting. My drive home is as dark as my drive out in the morning. Living this cycle day in and day out sometimes blinds me from that which I write about and sub-titled this blog – seizing the day. In order to do so, I need to be alert, well rested, and aware. Aware of the beauty of each day, not just the scheduling of each hour. For each minute is a blessing – and more than just counting my days, I want to make my days count.

12 thoughts on “Sleep is Definitely Not Overrated

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  1. I would tell you not to sweat the rest day and that its well deserved (not to mention needed), but then that would be very hypocritical coming from me. I missed 5 days this past week and thought I was going to have to start all over. Luckily I found that I didn’t loose anything and it might have just helped a little – although I won’t be testing that theory anytime soon.

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