Thursday, July 25, 2013

Less crap, more important stuff

GREAT NEWS. For me. Our street installed a speed camera, so now I can imitate Michael Scott and do this.

My personal best so far is 12.

I did an easy, untimed, 3-ish miles today. I went out without my Garmin with no set distance in mind. I wasn't really feeling it. I had a side stitch, I was starving, and I was pretty excited to get started baking a new dessert for a party tomorrow. So I decided to just hold out until it's time to run for 6 hours on Saturday and turned around somewhere around where I turned around yesterday.

Today is a glorious day. Yesterday, when my grad class ended at 8:30 pm, it marked the end of the summer semester, making today my first official day of summer freedom. I've only had an 8 day break since January, so this comes not a moment too soon. Yes, we all know that working on a masters in education isn't as hard as nursing school, or law school, or getting an engineering degree, or, ok, any type of higher education really, but it is time consuming.

I really don't have time to write a bunch of crap in APA format. I have things to do. I get funny memes, gifs, youtube videos, Buzzfeed articles, and the like in my inbox from friends on a daily basis. And if you think all that is going to watch and/or read itself, well, you're mistaken. Plus, can we all agree that APA format (or whatever academic format you are forced to write in) is the worst? I mean, I'm just saying, this blog gets a nice sized handful of hits from people who aren't even directly related to me, and I haven't had to go to Purdue Owl even once while writing a post.

I get the irony of a teacher complaining about learning, but I teach my kids useful information, mainly basic math and reading skills. Enough said.

With my time freed up from useless crap, I was finally able to turn my attention to the important things in life. Sleeping, and coffee, and how to maximize my enjoyment of each. (I'm not ignoring chocolate, I just feel I'm pretty solid on that one, and it's not an area of my life that needs improvement).

In an unfortunate catch 22, while I love sleep more than anything, I am also terrible at it. I can't sleep without an eye mask, ear plugs, the perfect temperature, my pillows arranged just so, I have to read at least a page of my book, etc, etc. Then I still wake up a million times a night and when the alarm goes off, I basically act like I'm heading toward the guillotine. Or to Ilyn Payne.

It doesn't matter what time I got to bed, every morning is pure groggy hell.


 To fully illustrate, Eric was kind enough to reenact the daily scene.

He's a lucky man. PS the body pillow was an anniversary gift. I tried one out in Kari's guest bedroom and it changed my life.

So I downloaded an app that is supposed to help with sleep. You start it before you go to bed and it uses the iPhone's accelerometer, whatever that is, to monitor your sleep.

Anything with data and graphs is science.

Then instead of a fixed alarm time, it uses a 30 minute window to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase so you don't wake up feeling like you want bitch slap morning with a 2x4. Kind of sounds like BS when I type it all out like that but the fact is I'm highly susceptible to the placebo effect and I woke up this morning and didn't hate the world.

Oh Grumpy Cat how I love thee- and sleep... I love sleep, but I also love coffee... I bet most people can't look at this without singing the song in their head {evil grin}  #grumpycat #animals #meme

Since apparently my lightest sleep cycle was 20 minutes before I actually needed to be up, I took advantage of the extra time and cool weather and finally busted out the french press Eric gave me for my birthday to make my fancy new coffee. French press is the holy grail of coffee, and the best way to enjoy a cup. However, it requires a long, complicated process that includes steps like weighing the coffee in grams, so it's kind of a special occasion only thing.

So that's the story of what I'm doing with my spare time, and my "preparations" for ultra marathon #2 in approximately 36 hours. 

Please describe your going to bed/waking up routine. Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. I'm usually a pretty good sleeper. Last night I was up at 3am though and was too hot to fall back to sleep so I got up for an hour and did nothing. Then I was cold and my side of the bed was cold so I fell asleep quickly. I'm usually so f'n tired that I fall asleep quickly though. I also wake up pretty happy because I get to have coffee. It's one of my favorite times of the day. Silence and coffee. We've talked about that though...

  2. Ok, I have like a million things to say. First of all, APA was THE WORST! I had to learn AP style in journalism school so then APA was a whole new ball game...and you're right, who cares? I used that stupid Purdue Owl for my entire thesis and I STILL don't think I remember how to cite an online source correctly!

    And also, I totally used that app! I think my subconscious knew I was doing it though because I swear, every time I used it, I would sleep terribly that night. Then, I would skip it and sleep fine. I finally uninstalled the damn thing because it was stressing me out :)

  3. I got my (now ex) boyfriend a pregnancy pillow because he liked to put a body pillow between his legs, and he LOVED it.

  4. I need to get the baby that app so she knows when to wake me. She's so rude normally.

  5. Omg that app looks amazing! I bet my efficiency would be like 98% since I NEVER wake up in the night. At least not now that Harrison sleeps through the night.........

  6. I'm usually a horrible sleeper. I actually am pretty good at falling asleep, but I wake up so much during the night and I despise mornings more than anything, ha. I love sleep. Maybe I will try this iphone thing? I also read that you can do a test where you figure out what your ideal sleep time is - you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up 8 hours later for one week, then you go to bed at the same time and let yourself wake up when your body does and that's supposed to be your "natural" sleep time.

    1. I have heard this too and wanted to try it! However, I have a sneaking suspicion that when my body wakes up will not be the same as when it needs to wake up to get me to work on time and not be fired.

  7. I've heard good things about that app! I want to try it...I get SO cranky when I wake up mid-REM cycle.

    I am a solid sleeper. My bed routine is wash face, brush teeth, floss (if feeling virtuous), bed. Sometimes I play around on my phone for a while and then I pass out and pretty much don't wake up until forced to do so. I love sleep.

  8. Major props for the Purdue Owl reference! :)

  9. Ok, you'll be getting there half an hour early in the morning because of your new whizmogimzododad, so you can run an extra lap warmup.

  10. Ok, I have to ask. How do you get out of bed in the morning to do your runs? Sometimes it feels like I'm a different person in the morning, a zombie-like being whose only drive is to find out how to squeeze more minutes to sleep. Unfortunately, this very often means skipping/cancelling nonessential items on my schedule, ie, items that don't require my presence in exchange for a paycheck. Like running.

  11. You might also want to try a "white noise generator" app. I use mine, and I think it has helped a lot.

  12. As a Purdue grad, I loved the Owl reference!

  13. My husband got me a zeo alarm clock a few years ago. They've since changed their format to the iphone thing, but it was amazing. The alarm was so peaceful and would wake me at the right time and I was so pleasant to be around.
    We do french press here too, but also use a chemex which is pretty scientific but it makes a badass cup o coffee. But the real secret is in freshly roasted, then ground beans. The things I look forward to in my life (like peaceful alarm awakenings and fresh coffee) are not how I saw my life 10 years ago.

  14. I think it's pretty hilarious that as much as you love sleep (and as much as you talk about loving sleep) that you are such a sleep diva. Maybe it's just because when I am really tired I will just sleep wherever and whenever. I frequently go to bed with my clothes still on. In college I often slept with jeans on. Weird right? But they kept me really warm. I am still groggy as hell when I wake up in the morning and press snooze no less than three times. I have like 5 alarms.

  15. I was going to ask if the body pillow is new, but then you answered!

    My wake up routine varies, but usually it involves me laying in bed while Mike showers and then he makes Bungee jump on my face and wake me up in terror.

  16. My wake up involves me hitting snooze too many times, then freaking out and rushing around trying to get out of the house not "too late." I no longer even aim for "on time." What's the point anyway? Can you please come make me some coffee, since you're up early anyway?

  17. I have the same sleep app and maybe it is the placebo effect but I used it when I was at home working on the farm and waking up at the crack of dawn and I felt better when I woke up. With that said there's no app or alarm out there that could wake Allan up on the first try.


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