Nothing Special, Really

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Day That Never Ends

I'm still not sure what to make of this past weekend, so I'll have to write about it in parts. Suffice to say Sunday was a day I'll never forget.


This story starts Friday night. Ideally, we should been on a plane to Phoenix, but we had a party to attend. A joint celebration; one friend was turning 25, the other was moving to Vegas. We partied as much as we could, sans alcohol, but 10:30pm was as far as we could go. We had to be up in less than 8 hours for our scheduled flight to Sky Harbor.

After a quick stop at Dick's for an unnecessary burger, we finally settled into bed around 11:30pm. I mentioned in my last post that one of my main concerns was how much of a factor my sleep schedule during the week would be. I don't know if my concern was a precursor to what would happen or the actual cause of what did, but either way, I was awake again barely an hour after I laid to rest. And for that hour, I was more just really tired than I was actually asleep.

I laid in bed for almost three hours. Anytime I felt close to falling asleep, my body found some way to keep me awake. I finally threw in the towel and just went with what my body was telling me. I put in a movie (side note: I totally forgot how gratuitously vulgar Die Hard was) and waited for Wac to wake up.

We waited to catch the first bus, which was arriving at 6am, to take us downtown to catch the second bus for the airport. When I looked at the schedule, I thought we had about 5 minutes to transfer. Somehow, I was wrong. When we got to the second bus stop, we realized we were somehow 5 minutes too late. Waiting in 30 degree weather for 25 minutes in the darkness of downtown Seattle at 6:30am is just as unpleasant as it sounds. Maybe more. Probably more.

We got to the airport with about 50 minutes before our flight left. I've never flown at the break of dawn on a Saturday, but I didn't expect the TSA lines to be as long as they were. We were already stressed from the commute thus far, and it didn't help that I thought we were in a terminal that we would have to take a shuttle too. Missing our flight was a serious concern. Luckily, I was wrong about the terminal; we were actually only steps from the security checkpoint, giving us time to hit up Starbucks before we boarded the plane. Finally, I'd be able to relax and get some much needed sleep on the plane.

Yeah, right. I couldn't sleep on a plane from Amsterdam despite being up for almost 24 hours after trying unsuccessfully to sleep on a metal table in customs in a snowed in airport. How could I expect to get sleep now? Somehow, I zoned out for an hour before waking up again, but much like the hour of sleep I got at home, calling it sleep makes it seem like a lot more than it really was. Something along the lines of daydreaming is more like it.

Despite the lack of decent sleep, I landed in Arizona wide awake. This was probably the best thing for me. The most I could hope for at this point was to stay awake all day and get enough sleep for the run Sunday morning. Falling asleep anytime before then increased the chances that A) I wouldn't get enough sleep and B) that I'd be wide awake all night right before the run. Our hosts for the weekend, my good friends Mark & Becky, picked us up and we all headed to YC's for some Mongolian BBQ.

After lunch, we headed to the Expo to pick up our race numbers and weave our way through the hordes of people and various merch booths. When we finally got back to the house, I was exhausted. I could have fallen asleep then, but I knew I shouldn't. We had less than two hours before meeting my family for dinner. Wac wanted to kill the time by meeting up some friends from Seattle at a nearby Starbucks. I was grumpy and couldn't understand why we were trying so hard to catch up with friends who live not even a mile away from us, but it ended up being the best idea since I probably would have fallen asleep if we stayed.

We got to Starbucks, and that's when the delirium started setting in. I wasn't hallucinating like I've done before when deprived of sleep, but I had a hard time focusing on what was going on. I had a sense of melancholy and I felt like I was speaking a language of nonsense, but somehow I actually managed to hold a conversation.

Our visit with our Seattle friends was brief since we had to drive out for dinner with my family. This was basically our Christmas gathering since I couldn't make it during the actual holiday. I was still a bit out of sorts from the lack of sleep, but the combination of eating, throwing peanut shells on the floor, and having everyone around woke me up again. When we left the restaurant, I was seriously concerned about falling asleep again, even though I was essentially awake for 36 consecutive hours.

We finally made it back to Mark and Becky's place by 10pm. I laid in bed, trying to fall asleep. I almost made it a couple times, only to somehow wake up again. I knew I needed to sleep, but I was having a hard time getting my body to fully relax.

If I didn't fall asleep, there was no way I was going to be able to run 13.1 miles in the morning.

To be continued...


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