Monday, January 14, 2013

Iron Anxiety

Ahhh Monday morning.

Fresh start to the week.

I did not get up and go to the pool this morning because I had a terrible night sleep last night. I can sometimes be an insomniac. So, it happens.

I experience two types of sleepless nights. The first is when I'm just awake reading and just never really fall asleep until early morning. While those nights are irritating I've learned not to worry about those - just ride them out. I used to get very nervous when I wasn't falling asleep but I've learned that doesn't help. The next day will drag but it's not impossible.

The other is the anxiety insomnia night. I'll repeatedly fall asleep and then shortly after falling asleep wake up quickly. To be honest my life is pretty stress-free since I don't have a traditional job and at the moment all four kiddos are non-stress inducing so I don't have this kind of sleeplessness all that often.

But last night I was super tired from a long training day. I packed my swim bag and fell asleep quickly. But I was up again an hour later. And then every half hour or so it felt like. I knew the cause because I had thoughts of Ironman France running through my brain all night. My big fears are not completing the swim. Not making the bike cutoff and then feeling like crap and not being able to run the marathon.

Yup, basically the whole thing.

Around midnight I turned off the 5:30 am alarm and took a Tylenol PM. Somewhere after that I did conk out. I know that this kind of insomnia isn't all that uncommon. In fact a lot of women I know use a sleep aid like Lunesta or Ambien at night.

I used to get it more often when I worked in an office job and I felt overwhelmed by what I needed to accomplish. I developed a technique that I would write out my biggest to do items in the night if I couldn't sleep and usually that would calm my nerves enough to conk out.

I've never had a race goal that gave me this kind of anxiety this far out from the race. It's interesting. At one point in the night I was thinking to myself - why am I doing this? I never asked that in marathon training or 70.3 training either.

My instinct is that it's the uncertainty of the whole event that's causing the anxiety. On yesterday's ride we had a lot of flat tires. None of them mine. It was a long time out on the bike but not huge mileage (only 40 miles). A lot of talking in the breaks about who was doing what. Those who completed Cozumel still haven't picked a new race. Those training for 2013 Florida have a long way to go and then it's me with under 6 months till Ironman France. Eeek. They were calling yesterday's ride, "Amy's Ironman training." It's cute but it might have stressed me during the sleeping time a little bit.

Then I spent the afternoon with my in-laws. My mother-in-law asked at one point, " you must be nervous about the race?" Not too helpful actually. She means well but she doesn't understand why I do this. She then said,"well even if the race doesn't work out you'll still have a fantastic family vacation." which is true, but that's not my ideal plan. I'd like to finish the race smiling and then have a terrific family vacation. Yes have the cake and eat it too.

My coach usually gives me one week of training at a time. Usually that's fine but I am going to ask him to go over the general framework of the timeline of training for the race with me so that I know what's coming. I have a feeling that understanding the plan will help me work through this in my mind. Since it will probably take him more than 5 minutes to get back to me I'm going to go ahead and frantically research online training programs ... just kidding. I'll only do that if I don't hear from him by tomorrow :-)

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