Monday, December 28, 2009

Steps and stumbles and cross-channel somnambulism

What's that line about the longest journey starting with a single step? In my case, it's a bit of a stretch, that's what it is. Replace "step" with "series of stumbles" and you're getting closer. I just don't have a talent for bolting strong out of the gate. Good thing I'm in it for the long run.
This week officially began the training program for my Martian Marathon, April 10. It was hardly my first week of running, but there's something significant about the first week of the plan.

Significantly disappointing. I was swamped with early holiday deadlines and barely made the first run -- an easy 4-miler -- before I went fully under and missed the second run, another 4-miler. Then I was good until Sunday, when a deep cough and an unprecedented spasm of perspective had me calling off a 12-miler with good friends on a lovely day. Oy. We'll see how Week 2 goes. Today's task is another easy 4-miler, supposedly to recover from the run I didn't do yesterday, but just as useful for seeing if taking the day off nipped the cough in the bronchial bud.
So let's catch up on returning a few comments.

I got a lot of support for my eagerness to set goals, which tells me I'm writing to the right crowd. It's also interesting to see that no one really cares too much what my goals are -- a 7:30 500 freestyle and a 3:30 marathon fall, after all, within an enormous field. And that field is the one between two fields that are impossibly small (elite) and impossibly vast (people who would rather make excuses than efforts). This week I'm closer to the latter group than ever, but it's rare to butt heads with a deep cough and come out on top.

Matt suggests I find a documentary called "Gizmo" (this one?) to put my goals into perspective. I shall. La Professora suggests even shorter films from the "Simon's Cat" series for when I'm busy ignoring my goals. I am familiar with Simon's Cat, and hereby forward the recommendation on to everyone -- it is truly extraordinary animation.

And I got some truly brilliant feedback on my lack of sleep and lack of desire TO sleep. Brilliant, in this case, defined at least in part as "agreeing with jef." First, La Professora cites an article that supports my theory that not all sleep is created equal -- that if you can sleep more intensely, maybe you don't need to spend as much time in bed. And then Elaine mentions that SHE doesn't get enough sleep, either. This is significant because Elaine is hampered by her sleep issues so much that she SWAM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL this summer. After warming up by doing the Catalina Channel swim AND the around-Manhattan swim. This is one piece of unscientific, anecdotal evidence I'm clinging to with all my sleepy might. (And Elaine's own blog is worth skipping a little sleep over yourself, if I may recommend so.)

And, oh, just in case anyone is looking for gaps in my logic (Patty), I'll reiterate that I opted not to run yesterday. And that I slept 9 hours Saturday night and 8:30 last night. "I'll sleep when I'm dead," say the neurotic. "I'll sleep when I need it," says Jef.