Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New priority: sleeping

I met Leslie for our regular Wednesday morning run after just three hours of sleep.

This was not my best move ever. I sometimes forget the importance of sleep and get real excited about doing a lot of things. In this case, it was a 12-hour workday that I needed to wind down from, so I watched episodes of "Dexter" until after 2 a.m. Just a heads up, watching a TV show about a serial killer, even a well-meaning one, does not calm you.

The combo of Dexter and crime reporting just wrecked me. My three restless hours of sleep were spent dreaming about murders and drug use (not my own, I promise). I wonder if I'd even be able to function today were it not for the 45-minute jaunt through Capitola the four of us (and Callie too!) did this morning?

This brings up two important points for me. One, running before work really gets me going, even more so than downing a French press of Guatemalan coffee. Two, when I'm training at any moderate level, I need at least eight hours of sleep at night. It simply doesn't work for me to expend that energy without the recovery time in dreamland.

Exercising is great, but it takes a lot of other elements to make it beneficial. Sleep is a big one, as is diet, staying hydrated, the gear you use, how much you drink or lots of other little things you (or at least I) rarely consider when suiting up to go play outside.

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