No rest for the wicked

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When I was in my early 20s, I scoffed at sleep. "I'll sleep when I'm dead," I would say, as I ran in heels from intern parties to my actual internship with nary a wink of sleep. As I grew older and life (plus the possibility of wrinkles) got real, I realized the folly of my youth and began to give sleep the reverence it's due.

That was until last weekend when, in the span of 12 hours, these two things happened:
What didn't happen? Sleep.

As luck would have it, one of my very best friends' 30th birthday bash was slated to take place the night before the New York City Half Marathon, which of course I also miraculously got into this year. I didn't want to miss a minute of either so I decided sleep would have to be ... postponed until I'd done both. Now, I'm not a complete whack job; I never sleep well before a race so I thought, might as well spend that time having fun rather than tossing and turning in bed. It was a gamble but it paid off. I tore up the dance floor all night, went home to trade my dancing shoes for my running shoes, then ran 13.1 miles through the city, finishing with a personal best of 2:09:45* to boot.

*Cut me some slack, gazelle-like runners. It doesn't sound like much but it's a major achievement for a slow-poke like me!

My takeaway from this whole experience is on the shallow side, but I hope you'll indulge me. Let me start by pointing out that I am turning 32 in a few months—an age so significantly "old" that Filipinos have a special saying just for it: Wala na sa kalendaryo (Translation: Off the calendar—as in, the calendar only goes up to 31 days. OUCH!). With that in mind, here's what I find most thrilling about last weekend's events: I am psyched that at this age, I can still pull off burning the candle at both ends—and in a way my 23-year-old self couldn't. At no point in my 20s would I have been capable of pulling off an all-night dance party followed by a half marathon. Somehow, at (almost) 32, I've whipped myself into good enough shape to out-party and out-perform my younger self. It gives me hope that the relentless going by of years doesn't have to mean it's all going to go downhill from here—and damn, isn't that grand thought?

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  1. Congratulations, Cel! :) At 27, I am a slave to sleep already!

    1. Thanks Tara! Oh, I am absolutely a slave to sleep post-race. That was a one-off, for sure!

      BTW I still owe you an email! Soooo sorry for the extreme delay. Life's been way too crazy (as this post may show). I'll try to carve some time out to answer your Qs!

  2. I've been a night owl for as long as I can remember, it finally caught up to me last year and I'm only 25! Sleep is not for the weak...sleep is for the strong. Also I love NYC and I wish I could live there one day!

    1. Oh I agree. Believe me, sleep is back to its rightful place among my priorities now that that's over. And yes, NYC is amazing. Living here at least once is something to wish for!