Last night when I got into bed at 8:02pm, I felt like I melted into my sheets. My limbs felt so heavy that once I was laying down, I don’t think that I could have gotten up for anything short of a fire. You see, my day started at 5:30am when I went down to the track to run intervals and I was going at full speed until about 7:30pm. My exhaustion was bone deep and you know what? I loved it!
For me, the feeling of exhaustion signals that I’ve squeezed every ounce of productivity out of my day. Nothing is more annoying to me than laying down only to realize that I’m not ready to fall asleep. Not surprisingly, I haven’t had any difficulty falling asleep since I’ve moved my regular wake-up time up to 5:30am. In fact, I feel more grounded and centered than ever.
I’ve also been sleeping more solidly (well, for as long as Parker lets me) and I wake up feeling energized and ready to go. I think part of my motivation for a schedule change has to due with the fact that fall is here. For the last 23 years, my life has revolved around the school year with September signaling the start of a new semester. In a students life, the start of the fall semester is like New Years Day. You get the chance to start fresh and set new goals. Since I plan on being in academia for the duration of my career, I’m not too worried about changing this mentality…it’s worked for me so far.
It’s a good thing that I like feeling exhausted because the heaviest part of my training is ahead of me. With my “light” days now consisting for 6-7 miles and my long runs increasing from 11-20 miles, my body is hoarding all of the sleep that it can. Add in my 3 cycling and 3 swimming workouts a week and I have a fully loaded schedule for the rest of 2008.
I’m also more mentally exhausted as well. I’m teaching at the prison for 3 days a week and each session is 3 hours long. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to speak for 3 hours straight, but it is damn tiring. I’m glad that I have a 30 minute commute coming back into town because it gives me a chance to collect my thoughts and to get re-energized before I get Parker from school and let me tell you, I need every shred of energy that I can muster to keep up with him.
Yup, my schedule is bursting at the seams and I couldn’t be happier about it. Add in all of the planning and executing of our holiday plans and three out of town trips and I am going to bulldoze my way to the end of the year. Life is definitely good.