Friday, October 12, 2007

The Tell-Tale StopWatch

A few weeks ago, I started making a habit of taking my resting heart rate every morning immediately upon awaking. I'd read it's a good way to gauge how tired your body is and can help in determining how likely a vigorous workout can be completed successfully or whether one should just be canceled due to fatigue. Since taking my heart rate wasn't something I was used to doing, I had to find a way to fall into the habit somehow and found it worked best if I kept a little hand-held stopwatch on my nightstand next to my bed. When I'd swing my feet onto the floor each morning, I'd see the watch and remember to count my pulse for one minute. Simple routine, really, and I've been doing it for weeks without incident.


Until last night.

I was having a hard time sleeping anyway... just one of those nights when I knew I was dead tired, but my body felt jumpy and my mind wouldn't stop churning. Finally, sometime after midnight, I surrendered and fell blissfully asleep. I'm sure I'd already started dreaming about riding flying unicorns and floating on pink cotton candy clouds when I was suddenly snapped back into consciousness by a high, constant beep, beep! beep, beep! beep, beep! At first, I panicked my house was on fire and now I had to decide which pair of running shoes and which race medal I was going to rescue. But as I floundered around in the dark trying to find the source of the constant beeping, I realized it wasn't the smoke alarm, but my stopwatch on the nightstand. Blasted thing!... I must've accidentally set the alarm or something. Since I didn't really know how to disable it, I just started punching buttons until I got it to stop. Calming down, I curled back up under my blankets and tried to pick up where I left off in my dream... something about running ten miles an hour through a field of red poppies with a chocolate milkshake in my hand.

3:24 a.m. the beeping starts again. This time, I was wakened from a much deeper sleep and was, therefore, much more annoyed. I grabbed the watch and repeated the routine of furiously pushing buttons until it stopped. I was so tired I think I actually fell asleep again for a few minutes holding the thing until realizing it was still in my hand. In my half-conscious state I tried to decide what to do with it and the first thing that came to mind was to stuff it under my mattress. Then it could ring all it wanted, but I wouldn't hear it! So I found the crease between the mattress and box springs, slipped the watch underneath and dared it to make a fool of me again.

Which it promptly did ten minutes later.

I suppose at this point it would make for a more entertaining story if I smothered the watch with the mattress, dismembered it into small pieces and buried it in the floorboards only to unearth it later in front of witnesses when I couldn't stand the incessant beeping of the hideous thing any longer. But no, I finally just got up and carried the watch to the furthest corner of the opposite end of the house, went back to bed and didn't hear it again.

Just for your information, my resting heart rate was 69 this morning... a good eight or nine beats faster that normal.

Madness will do that to you.

Copyright by www.airworksart.com

12 comments:

See Zanne Run said...

you crack me up ... loved the bit about wondering which shoes & medal to save from the fire. you KNOW i don't have any advice for you on watches, buttons or anything else of that ilk. i am watch button challenged.

--although i always mean to do the same - take my hr immediately upon waking. but i'm too busy yelling f*&k! when my alarm goes off to remember to do that.

Laurel said...

Ahahah, that is hilarious.My husband's watch goes off all hours of the night too. Drives me crazy!

At least now I know stuffing it under the mattress wont work!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

You are stronger than me. I would have been at the store buying a new watch the next day after smashing the beeping one into 10,000 pieces. What can I say...I like my sleep.

Allen Leigh said...

I really laughed when I read your post, because the same thing has happened to me a few times...

Mother Smuckers said...

I love Poe!

A+ for you!


...

Alisa said...

I just ran across your blog. I too am an Amazonian (or at least my friends say so...I'm 5'11''). My husband tells me that I look like a deer when I run, I can't figure out if that is a good thing or not (I'm guessing not). Anyway, I thought your blog about the watch beep was great...I have one that does the same thing...in fact, it's currently in a drawer in the kitchen, farthest place from the bedroom as possible. Also, I enjoyed reading about Map My Run. I've done quite a few 5k runs and one half marathon, I'm thinking about shooting for a full. I'm looking for tips on improving my speed (I'm slow) and endurance.

robison52 said...

I hated counting heart beats with a swift hand, therefore when I first bought my Polar Heart Rate Monitor several years ago, the first night I wore the thing to bed all night long as to measure my average heart rate when sleeping and throughout the night turned on the nightstand light as to see what the current reading was...drove my wife CRAZY and she probably wished to put me UNDER the mattress! (my average heart rate that night was 46 bpm.)

Tall Girl Running said...

Alisa,

Thanks for stopping by! Yeah... being this tall doesn't make for the most graceful running form, but it is what it is and I certainly won't be stopped now.

Congratulations on your running success already! I hang out quite a bit on the about.com running forum (there's a link to it on my sidebar). It is filled with experienced and helpful runners who can personally answer your questions and give you some tips on how to become a stronger, faster runner.

Hope to see you here again!

runningDeb said...

I did this a few years ago but with a smoke alarm. Darn thing went off because the wood stove was puffing smoke. I was sound asleep and tossed it in the freezer and went back to bed. My family still laughs at me over that one.

overitall said...

I am an Arkazonian (6' from Arkansas) I am also the oldest of 5. I haven't got a clue about how goofy I look when I am running, I am just really enjoying doing it. I am running my 1st 5K this month, and I am training for a half in March. Reading your blog is making me really want to do the whole 26.2, you are quite motivating!

P.O.M. said...

ha ha. I can totally relate. I recieved an really awesome running watch from my mom for Christmas, but I could not (and still can't) figure it out. So I offered it to any friend that can figure out how to work it. It's still sitting on my dresser. Randomly beeping.

The Last Spartan said...

Hahahaha...

Your stopwatch has a SNOOZE button?!