Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Swimming, Work and Feeling Tired

The air-conditioned reading room on the end of the Golden Lion Lake featured at the top of my blog. This is a great place to spend some time at just to have a change from working at home. It also has a few Chinese newspapers so I can catch up on the local news.

I guess there is only so much we can do in any given day. When reading some blogs, it seems that some people are super-achievers, working at a job 50 hours a week, commuting over one hour each way to work, maintaining the training regimen of an elite Ironman athlete - you name it, they are doing it.

As for me, a little under two hours in the pool most mornings requires me to catch up on the sleep I missed the previous night at some point (or several points) during the daytime. Even when I was young, I remember sleeping a lot after long exercise. I rode my first hundred miles with a couple of friends in one day on a bike at the age of 12 (just a three-speed bike that was my mum's). After I got home at about 7 pm, I could barely keep awake for 15 minutes while I ate something before falling into a deep sleep. In my mid-20s, I tried leaving on one of my 180-mile bike trips at midnight instead of going to bed. At about 3:30 am I fell asleep at the wheel and woke up suddenly when the front wheel hit the kerb. Luckily, I did not fall off, and I immediately and desperately looked for cover as it was drizzling. After sleeping on a pile of hay in a barn for about 90 minutes until daybreak in the middle of nowhere, I set off again and reached home (my destination) somewhere around 5:00 pm (the last three hours on the bike I was only able to keep awake by taking large quantities of Dextrosol (glucose tablets)). After getting my bike into my rented room, getting changed and eating a bowl of cornflakes, I went to bed and woke up 14 hours later.

I have rarely felt as tired as on those occasions, but I am often finding myself daydreaming and half dozing off when I am trying to do my work. My work requires a lot of concentration and has little excitement, and so, if I am tired, doing my work is probably only going to make me more tired. Still, I am glad I am not doing a job that requires me to rush around here and there. Hopefully, I can channel more energy into my swimming and other sports, and I will need to if I am to get any better.

After returning from Taipei on Monday evening, I got slightly less sleep than needed and swam 4,250 meters on Tuesday. At the end of the workout, my friend and I raced only over 50 meters as he claimed to be tired. I went about 39.5 seconds which pleased me. On Wednesday morning (today), I swam a total of 4,400 meters. At the end of it, we raced over 100 meters, and while I thought I swam well, it took me 1m 30s. Maybe I was a little too comfortable, I don't know. Perhaps I should have done 200 meters instead. Certainly I need to do more speed work.

There are still some things we need to buy and have done for our new house, so there will still be some running around to do on top of training, work and daily activities like food preparation and eating. On the subject of running, I want to get back into it, and will probably try to run for one hour early next week and see how it goes. At least if all goes well, I will feel better prepared to face the challenge of a Peaman should I have to go to Hawai'i by the year-end.

May I wish the English Channel swimmer friends, Mark, Enda and Maggie, the best of British (and Irish) luck, and also thank them for expanding my horizons regarding the realm of possibilities.


Dolphin Boy said...

Oh how important is our sleep?? I love sleeping but can never "sleep in". I just feel I waste the cool Hawaiian mornings if I sleep past 7am.
Swim speed workout is great! I love adding this to my pool workouts. It really helps!

Good luck with the running, take it easy at first, then stop and stretch out muscles for a minute then move on!

ShirleyPerly said...

My husband calls me sleepy head quite often these days because I sleep a lot sometimes, esp. after long hard workouts in the heat. Great to hear you're going to be getting back to running. Maybe you've had it for a while but I just noticed the countdown clock for the Hapuna swim -- very cool!