Rob's Blog Archive

June 24, 2012

Getting My Ass Out of Bed










It’s a bad combination----I hate getting out of bed early and I can do accurate calculations while less than half awake.  The result is I can come up with effective alternative plans which allow me to go back to sleep rather than join the living.  I suppose that if my somnambulistic calculations failed regularly, I’d get up rather than plot, but during the forty years that I have been responsible for the hour at which I get my ass out of bed, my revised plans have worked adequately an overwhelming majority of the time.  

All of my current recalculations are related to the following:  It’s summer.  If I’m going to run my dogs, I have to get my butt out of bed between 5:00 and 5:30.  With essentially no exceptions, lights out has been after midnight leaving me with four or five hours sleep.  Not that getting up after a single abbreviated night is extraordinarily difficult.  It just hurts a little.  That said, the problem remains that I find solutions that hurt less, at least over the short haul.

This is the first year I’ve trained dogs in May and June.  Most years, my last sled runs are in March and first ATV training run is around August 20.  With that gap, I’m itching to start running dogs again.  Along with this the fact that, by August, I really do have to start training in earnest, means that my replanning brain-cells stand down. 

My goal for the runs I’m doing now is to maintain some of the conditioning we had late March when we did our last sled runs.  This is particularly important this year as the average age of the fourteen dogs most likely to be on my Serum Run team next year will be eight and a half when we start.  Like getting out of bed at five after only four hours sleep, running my alte kaker Siberians is a minor challenge, but entirely workable.  Arising after a single shortened night with no prior sleep deficit really is pretty easy.  Similarly, some running now and disciplined training starting in August should make for a pretty good team come February, certainly good enough for the non-racing pace of the Serum Run. 

Unfortunately, the brain cells that never failed to accurately calculate the time at which the snooze alarm will next ring also know that missing one of these runs is meaningless.  And so this past week, I found myself awake and rescheduling runs at 05:30 several mornings. 

Finally, on Saturday, sleep seeking procrastinating brain cells hit the wall.  I can excuse missing one of the twelve runs I planned for spring and summer knowing this will mean nothing come August.  However, I can’t argue that missing two of these will have zero effect.  I’m sure it won’t be a large effect, but it won’t be zero either.  And, if I was going to follow a reasonable run-day rest-day schedule, I had to run.

But here’s the funny thing, an example of the adaptive human mind at work.  After three mornings of calculating valid alternatives, my mind came through with a motivation rather than another rationalization.  Guess what, Rob, it’s going to be fun running the dogs.  Two three mile runs has a large overhead to run time ratio.  However, the former is so low for these runs and the dogs’ enjoyment and consequently mine are so large that the runs really are a blast.

So Saturday morning, I popped out of bed with a smile.  I got two good runs in, and it wasn’t until I ran into recalcitrant new software for my GPS that my mood changed.  Come Monday, I expect my work ethic brain cells will again dominate.   And, no thanks to Garmin, I fixed the software too.  Monday should be a good day. 

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