Monday, January 10, 2011

hello, controlled substances

Wow. Crazy weekend. Wow. The really crazy thing? I did nothing but my workouts this weekend (and clean out my closet). I do not know where the time went.

I do know that I slept like shit last week (I was on nights). Friday, I went to my doctor to talk to him about it, and he prescribed Ambien for me. This is something that I had discussed with Mary because my lack of sleeping is interfering with my ability to go to work, my personal life, my training, and my general happiness and well-being. We're not just talking "a little tired." We're talking "not sleeping more than 2 hours a night (or rather.. day) for 5 days in a row." I was a zombie all week. I don't like the idea of relying on a drug.. but in reality, I am already taking Tylenol PM several nights a week to help with sleeping, which isn't much better. The doctor also asked me if there were any other reasons that I couldn't sleep (besides the shift work). I just cannot shut my brain off. Certain people, certain situations - just run through my brain and I can't stop it - I am attempting to remedy that. In the meantime, hello controlled substances, my name is Alexa.

Usually I sleep like a log Friday night so I did not try out the Ambien - big mistake - couldn't sleep. I then went to yoga on Saturday morning, cleaned out my closet (which resulted in 3 bags of clothes/shoes going to Goodwill and ~10 pairs of old running sneakers being donated to Fleet Feet), ran an hour, and biked 2 hours. I had the best bike ride that I've had in MONTHS. Nailed my heart rate zones, sweated my ass off - it was great.

Is it sad that the best Saturday night I've had in 2 months was one that consisted of a 2 hour bike ride and then taking an Ambien?


The Ambien didn't help me much on Saturday night. I fell asleep pretty easily but I still woke up multiple times throughout the night which is typical for me. However, I think Ambien is supposed to only make you fall asleep.. not help you stay asleep. I'm hoping that moving to a quieter neighborhood helps me with this - less street noise. I may invest in some kind of sound machine or something. Jesus, I am probably the most high maintenance person ever to exist.

Sunday.. was worse. I just couldn't pull it together. I cut all 3 of my workouts short. By 2 pm I was so lightheaded that I thought I was going to die so I ordered takeout from IHOP. Yes, this is my life. 12 hours later, here I am. At work. My quads are SO sore - they have that post-marathon feel to them.. the feeling that if you take a step down some stairs, your leg may not be able to catch you. I'm a wreck.

I am hoping to wipe the slate clean in the morning when I go home. That is my new thing. Every time I lie down, it's a new day. It's a chance to put anything negative that has happened the previous day to bed as well. There is no need to carry around all of that negative energy because that is no help at all. And that is not helping with my sleeping AT ALL. I dwell on things which keeps me awake. Last summer, before Ironman, I was incredibly content and I never had problems like this.

Tomorrow (ummm - today) is a new day. It is also a rest day - thank god, because my entire body hurts AND I have to get my apartment presentable. Not just "looks ok from a distance" presentable or "suitable to have a boy over" presentable. Like, "my landlord is coming with possible future tenants" presentable. Meaning - bikes gone, ALL clothes put away, kitchen organized, nothing lying around. Yeesh. That's going to be a workout in itself!

Also, I need to return this winter coat that I bought for myself (that still is sitting in the bag with the tags on it after 2 weeks) so that I can buy this bookcase/room divider/storage solution for my new apartment. I am lusting after that bookcase like you would not believe. So much storage space for zillions of books and DVDs, so many possible ways to make my small apartment look more "adult." If it was acceptable to date a piece of furniture, well.. there you go - I would be dating an affordable, Swedish bookcase.

Happy Monday to everyone.. and happy rest day to MEEE!


  1. I had the same problem when I worked nights. You have to have a routine. You have to learn to shut the mind off – I know, easier said than done. It is like meditation – letting your mind drift to another level – but, oh how I remember the lawn movers and stuff during summer and getting so mad. No sleep after that.

    Get a sleep mask and a bedside fan for the white noise. That helps to isolate the outside world. Then work on quieting your inside world.

    The body was not meant to stay up all night. I used to joke that working nights let me do anything during the day. Unfortunately I felt like sh$t and did nothing.

  2. I have to opposite problem, I sleep all the time, maybe because of my new schedule and freaking bad weather

  3. insomnia sucks! i second james' suggestion about white noise -- love my sound machine.

    i know a behavioral sleep specialist...would be happy to ask for tips on shift work insomnia if you'd like.


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