I struggle with insomnia. Sometimes I can kick it with a few natural sleep aids. When I feel it early enough I will take something a little stronger like Advil PM. I haven’t gone to my doctor about it, I know I probably should… but I haven’t.
Anyways, Friday night was one of those nights. I went to bed at 10:30 and set my alarm to 4:45am. The hours ticked by and I didn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t take anything too strong, because I didn’t want to still have it weighing me down for my long run at 7am. Finally at 4am I gave up and got out of bed to make myself a cup of coffee. I then drank that coffee while standing in the shower trying to figure out what to do. It was a pretty funny sight looking back on it.
I mustered my energy, finished my coffee, made french toast, and headed out for my run. I posted about my sleep-less night looking for encouragement to carry me through my run where I found out someone else from the team was also rocking Team No Sleep. I was glad to have connected with him. We don’t run in the same pace group, but we still saw each other a few times and yelled “Team No Sleep!” in encouragement.
The dedication found in the runners community is always so inspiring to me. it could be rain or shine, 60 degrees or 6 degrees people will still find a way to get their run in. My “normal” friends were all amazed that I still went to the run and told me they definitely would have skipped. Meanwhile when I got to the team run one of my running partners Tara reminded me that on Thursday we shook hands and agreed to do 12 miles instead of just 10. I even went in that morning thinking I was probably just going to do 10 and wondering if there was a plan doing 8. I told Tara that I was going to do 12, so that is what I put in my head as we started out.
I didn’t train for my first half marathon, not REALLY. It isn’t like I was only sitting on my couch. I was consistent in the gym, but running not so much. The longest run I did before my first half was 7-8 miles. By the time I completed my third half marathon I ran with the pace group until mile 9. So that was my longest run, ever. I walk-ran the rest of the race. So the idea of doing 12 at all was intimidating. Doing 12 on no sleep was terrifying. However- I am on Team Fearless. I dug deep and found my strength thanks to my two wonderful running partners and the rest of the team.
It wasn’t easy. It really sucked for awhile there, but I had great company and I didn’t want to get left behind so I pushed on every mile. I knew that if I fell back and let them go ahead I would lose my stride and it would be just like my half marathons where I am struggling to run again after taking time to walk. We did stop at all four water stops for about 2-4 minutes which really helped me get my breath back and recenter my energy before the next 2-4mile stretch. We also stopped for team milestone pictures at the boat ramp and at the dolphin. I unfortunately learned that Strawberry Banana GU might not be the best for my stomach.
I dedicated this run to the Women’s March in Washington. I had originally planned to go before I lost my job. I didn’t want to use the funds when I have disney around the corner. But I still pushed myself and found my inner lady strength. I still spent several miles thinking about how far women have come in the last 70 years and how far we will continue to go when we stick together. I thought of the inspiring storied I heave read about women changing the world. I listened to Hamilton
“look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”