I was scared of a lot of things when I was a kid. When I was about 8 years old I saw a book about old horror movies in the library at Sherwood Elementary School. One particularly vivid image was a scene from a movie where this man “thought” he was a vampire and was chewing on some poor woman’s neck. Yep, that’s exactly what a overly imaginative 8 year old boy needs to see. Starting that night, I had a great time falling asleep at night.
From my previous posts, you may recall that I am not great at sleeping. I require dark, quiet, cool, and I must be on my stomach. I was the same way back then. Do you know that if you lay on your stomach, you can only look one way at a time? And guess who is standing behind you? The non-vampire from the book. Yep, he was behind me. So I would quickly change sides, but because it had vampire like speed it would jump to the other side. And then I would switch back. And switch. And switch. Eventually, I would lay flat on my back looking directly at the ceiling so I could use my peripheral vision to see both ways. And I lay there until I would pass out from exhaustion.
After several weeks or months of doing this, I really started thinking about it. I needed to come up with a rational solution so I could get a good night’s sleep. Of course vampire’s don’t exist. Of course there is no way they could get in my house. Of course, they would go after my sisters first. Of course there was no way they were fast enough for me not to see them. And so I rolled on to my stomach and drifted peacefully off to sleep.
Does that sound like the thought process of an 8 year old boy????? Hell no, I used 8 year old boy logic. Okay vampires, here’s the deal. If I go to sleep at night with the sheets pulled up over my neck, then you are not allowed to bite me. Deal? Okay, now I am going to sleep.
Thirty six years later and I still go to sleep at night with the sheets pulled up over my neck.
You may be wondering if there is a point to this story. There is. Fear will make you rationalize all kinds of things that may just be ignorant. I am not afraid to admit that I am scared about this 100 mile race. I know how I felt after my 50 mile run in 2009. I have read hundreds of race reports about people who have finished or failed during 100 mile runs. Very few of them involve laughing and skipping across the finish line while singing “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” This fear is not a fictitious horror movie scene that I found in an elementary school library. This has the potential to be a real life horror movie.
So being an engineer, I did what engineers do. I applied a massive safety factor to my training. I figured out a training plan that would have me in such great shape on race day that I know I would have no problem finishing the race. Except there was one problem……the training would have me in the hospital or physcial therapy long before race day. In my zeal to alleviate the race day fears, I created a nightmare of training.
This became blatantly obvious during my long run last Saturday. When I was tired during the first mile of the run, I knew things were not right. And when Susan “I train for 17 hours a day” Hayden jumped my ass about my training plan, then I really started thinking about it. I mentioned it to Christine that I think my plan was a little aggressive and she laughed at me. Evidently she knew it before I did as well.
The plan was not that bad. It actually would be a good plan if it were not 95 degrees with a humidity of 99% every day and all day. But for some reason I failed to acknowedge the meteorolgical impact on my training. But I have it now. And I am adjusting my plan accordingly.
This summer will be all about keeping a good base of miles without trying to ramp things up until it is cooler. I will cross train some more to build overall fitness without subjecting myself to additional heat stress. There will be a lot more night runs. And I will do my best to go into the fall mentally and physically prepared for the really tough training.
Until then, I will sleep well with my sheets over my neck.