Tomorrow (Saturday, June 7th) I return southern Wisconsin to do the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Endurance Run and defend my title from last year. I am not feeling optimally rested.
The COST to an ultrarunning ER doc of getting to run 3 ultras (Miwok, Quicksilver, Ohlone) on 3 successive weekends in 1 month (May), during which one of the hospitals where I work transitioned to a new computerized inpatient tracking and charting system and thus my colleagues and I had to work lots of extra hours, was the following annotated work schedule. Note that more often than not, I get out later than the scheduled ending time:
(you may scroll down to see photos of my kids if you don't really want to read this...)
W 21st: 7am to midnight, call center work from home. sounds cush, but 17 hours of phone advice is a different kind of torture
Th 22nd: 2pm to midnight
F 23rd: 11pm to 6:30am the next morning
Sa 24th: 7pm to 7am the next morning-- note: starting a shift this early prevents me from getting the 2nd of the 2 naps I normally take on night shifts, guaranteeing inadequate sleep
Su 25th: 8pm to 6am the next morning-- note: 8pm ain't any better.
M 26th: 8pm to 6am the next morning-- note: Normally I only do 3 overnights in a row, not 4, and then get the next day completely off. I think the majority of the doctors with whom I work won't even do 3.
Tu 27th: "off" but not really because I just worked until 6am-- note: now I have to reverse my Circadian, but without any downtime
W 28th: meetings from 9am to 5pm, then another nonwork related meeting from 6:15pm to 8:30pm note: as an aside, I rode my bike to the morning meeting, but popped a flat trying to make the 6:15 and my wife had to pack both kids and pick me up, and I walked almost 2 miles half carrying the bike (the tire came off the wheel) so she wouldn't have to drive as far.
Th 29th: 8am to 8pm
F 30th: 7am to 3pm, call center work, from home. It's sad that an 8 hour work day felt like a day off.
Sa 31st: noon to midnight-- note: to go to a birthday party with my family ending at 1:30pm, I switched to the 3pm to 2am shift, which made for a quick transition to the next shift, since it's not like I get to bed at 2:15--
Su 1st: noon to midnight
M 2nd: on call. My boss felt I needed to work in the clinic when I woke up at 8:30pm, less than 6 hours after going to bed. I came in at 10am and when it seemed I really didn't have to be there, I left at 3:30pm
In summary, 13 straight days of work totalling more than 110 hours.
Barely any time to run. Maybe 2 hours on trails. Some short runs to and from BART. I probably overtapered. Not by choice.
We flew out to Chicago early, but due to various events beyond my control, including someone working on the gutters with power tools the day after we arrived, preventing me or my baby from effectively napping, rambunctious kids staying up late, my older son's inability to sleep if we go to bed in the same bed at the same time, and my younger son's being upset by some of the above, I have been unable to fully recover my sleep deficit, much less reset my late night Pacific Time zone clock to early morning Central Time Zone. Race morning I will be getting up at an hour later than at which I went to bed less than a week earlier. If you think this isn't a big deal, try it.
To be optimistic, this will make things interesting. Especially with the interesting development of the USATF 2003 Male Ultrarunner of the Year Joe Kulak registering for the race last week, which I thought he would (he commented that he might). I was getting all these comments and emails telling me I had no serious competition, but I knew better. I still think I'm the underdog, but I guess since I won last year, it's a hard sell.
It sucks barely seeing my family during these bad stretches. The party at one of those places fill with bouncy things last Saturday was a blast though, worth the 2am to noon turnaround.
Someday we will enjoy scrambling or climbing up rocks together...
First time trying air hockey, my older son trounced this kid a year older.
in action with enrapt audience
my younger at the playground on an earlier rare afternooon I wasn't working. Since his first unpleasant introduction to swings in April, he has come to love them...
First published Friday, June 6, 2008 at 10am Central Time.