Hill training, sleepless nights and restless legs

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Training for Rome Marathon (for real this time)

Week 3 of 10: Day 16

52 days to go

Another sleepless night on the couch. Oh my. I really need to get this sleep thing sorted out. Last night’s 9 km run had caused my legs to be restless. I just couldn’t get comfortable. I felt I needed to put them up against the wall or massage them. The duvet and I did an inelegant dance, and just couldn’t get into step, while I turned the pillow over and over as the cool side quickly warmed as soon as I put my head down. I put my feet up in the air, straightened my legs and pulled my toes down towards me to stretch my calves. It didn’t help. I massaged my calves and thighs. But that didn’t help.

And then husband started snoring.

And that didn’t help.

And so off to the couch I went, where I could put the cushions under my knees and elevate my legs. It seemed to help a bit but only for a while. Getting comfortable was impossible. And, just when it couldn’t get any worse, the dogs joined me. Sam came to lie on my head. Literally on my head. Max went to lie between my feet. Now I couldn’t move at all. Oh what a miserable night. Just as a finally fell asleep it was time for Ashleigh to get up and make her way to hill training. I’ll be going this evening, which probably means I’ll have restless legs all over again.

A Runner’s World article suggests doing yoga to help restless legs syndrome, and has a video with six different stretches that might help. WebMD lists eight changes you could try making to avoid restless legs at night. I think I transgressed on a few issues. Avoid alcohol is one of the suggestions, and I had some delicious glasses of Lazanou before bed. I started cooking quite late, so supper and wine were taken quite close to bed time. And magnesium supplements are suggested. I recall that being a remedy for sleeplessness in general. I don’t take supplements anymore but it might be a good time to start up again.

Camps Bay beach showing off. To run or to sit on the beach and take in the view instead?

Camps Bay beach showing off. To run or to sit on the beach and take in the view instead?

Felt pretty shattered by this afternoon and snuck off to my room for a little horizontal time. Ended up sneaking in a snooze as well. Then I had to talk myself into getting upright and finding clothes to wear. Skipping training because you don’t have a thing to wear doesn’t sound like a reasonable excuse.

And another evening in Paradise it was by the time I got to Camps Bay. The beach looked glorious – the soft white sand turning golden in the sunlight, lucky people lazing about on towels or swimming in the waves. Ah. It’s just so much easier to open an ice cold bottle of grassy sauvignon blanc on an evening such as this than it is to line up on the pavement, get instructions from the coach and set off, not only for a run, but a run uphill.

But not for us the easy road.

Up past the high school, he said, and up Kloof Road to the Nek. It should take me about 28 minutes to do, he said, but not to worry if I don’t make it, as it’s pretty hot this evening. Twenty eight minutes? Sure, I said. Full of confidence. Or so I hoped to seem.

And he was right. Twenty eight minutes it was. From Vida Café on Camps Bay Beach Road to the top of Kloof Road. Almost exactly 28 minutes. I had to talk myself up, though. There were a few times when I really wanted to walk, or even just stop. It was hot, my legs were tired from last night and the night before and Sunday … but that’s what it’s going to be like for the next few weeks, so best I suck up and get on with it.

I took about a minute’s break at the top and made my way down the hill. Man, I love running down that hill. I just worry about those dried pine needles lining the sides of the road. They’re quite slippery, so it’s a case of either slipping on the pine needles or being taken out by a car speeding up from behind.

We did one hill repeat, just for good measure, and headed back to the cars. We did about 50 minutes in total, which felt like cheating. I should have run a bit more, to complete a full hour. I’ll have to start being a bit tougher with myself over the next weeks.

But I have another 7 km under the belt. Another block can be filled in on the training schedule on the fridge. Another week is drawing to a close.


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