For the last couple of weeks I've been struggling a bit with rest and recovery. I've cleverly managed to pinpoint two main causes of my recent sleeplessness; one is two years old, beautiful but demanding, and seemingly in constant need of attention. The other is four years old, also beautiful, generally well-behaved but with a tendency to wake up too early.
So Emma has been having a few issues with bedtime. Last week she was horrendous, refusing to go to bed, crying and tantruming so Robbie couldn't sleep, and then coming to our bed in the middle of the night and refusing to go back to hers. Luckily we have seen Supernanny, so Pete and I confidently and calmly returned her to her bed without ever getting angry or frustrated. How we laughed as she got up again and again! It really was amusing.
Then imagine the warm smiles all round as I drifted back off to sleep to be woken after 5 minutes by Robbie going to the loo and asking in a booming stage whisper if it was time to get up yet.
Anyway, after a few days of whole-house hysteria, we decided to stop Emma's daytime nap. This seems to have slightly improved matters as now she is too exhausted to protest, and falls asleep in about 30 seconds. She's still getting up in the night, but (fingers crossed) she tends to go back to bed without screaming. Much.
Added to that is my stupid inability to sleep properly, so even on the quiet nights I keep waking up and not going back to sleep. I think this definitely has an effect on my running. The crappy 15-miler I did 2 weeks ago I put down to lack of sleep, and I find that even my little 3-mile morning jogs can be quite uncomfortable if I haven't slept well.
There's not much I can do about this, other than try to get some early nights and cadge a lie-in whenever possible (never). Yawn.
Anyway, despite all this trauma, I managed to do my 18 miles on Sunday. Yay me! I did the whole thing alone with my faithful ipod, mainly listening to podcasts. It was an ok run until about 12 miles, when I started to slow down quite a bit. The weather was fabulous, but because it was so much warmer, I ran out of lucozade before the end - yikes! At about 14 miles the route started going uphill, and I was reduced to a walking pace (although technically still running). Then as I got to 16 miles, I switched to music on my ipod, and suddenly my Garmin went from 11.5 min/miles to 8.5 min/miles! Whoops! Amazing - the boosting effect of music.
I soon managed to slow back down though, and eventually staggered through the front door. This one really took it out of me, and my legs were really sore for the rest of the day. But what did I expect after running non-stop for OVER 3 HOURS!! Madness.