In 2013, The LA Marathon was run on St. Patrick’s Day, meaning I could go out and party after the race… in theory, anyway.
But as opposed to dancing around a tavern and waving my LA Marathon finisher’s medal screaming “Kiss me, I’m Irish [which I am] and I just ran a friggin’ marathon [which I did],” my St. Patrick’s Day afternoon and evening consisted of me icing my aching feet while sitting on the sofa cradling a McDonald’s “shamrock shake” (I do love those things) and sucking zzzzzs before 9pm.
Erin Go Bragh, indeed.
Also, my birthday falls on March 14th. So, last year my party was smack dab in the middle of taper time. Needless to say it was not an all-night bash involving strippers, clowns, stripper clowns, exploding chickens and various misdemeanors.
Well, this year the LA Marathon has shifted a week early, meaning I’m free to whoop it up on both my birthday and also on the day we all wear green while doing our best Lucky Charm’s leprechaun spokesperson impersonations.
But with the good, also comes the not so good.
It seems that the LA Marathon does fall on another “special day” of sorts this year. No presents on this faux holiday. No trees to trim or decorations to hang.
The only ritual this bi-annual celebration follows involves the “changing of the clocks.”
Yup, Sunday is “Daylight Savings Time,” and not the good one, where you get an extra hour of sleep. That comes in November.
This is the one where an entire hour of your precious weekend is instantly stripped away and you spend all day Sunday fiddling with clocks saying “Damn, it feels like it should be earlier, doesn’t it?”
Yes, Saturday night (or Sunday morning if you prefer) when the clock reads 1:59am, get ready to be screwed because just one minute later… Poof, it’s 3:00am.
Now, this is normally not a big deal because we’re all sound asleep (or at least we should be asleep you hard partiers) and don’t really miss it.
But for those of us who are running a marathon the next day at the crack of dawn (which also changes, by the way) it’s a pretty big deal. Because many runners don’t sleep well (or at all) the night before a race and on “M-Day Eve” rest is a short-supply commodity that is worth its weight in gold-flavored Gatorade.
On top of that, many runners are so freaked out they’ll oversleep that they set two, three, four, even five alarm clocks… just to be sure. I usually rely on three alarms, my personal “trifecta” of paranoia. Now toss into the mix that some alarm clocks automatically update with daylight savings time and others don’t (not to mention that iPhones sometimes screw this up), you’re looking at potentially thousands of runners on the verge of nervous breakdowns.
In short, on Saturday night/Sunday morning there is going to be a huge bunch of wired and sleep-deprived athletes who have no friggin’ idea what the hell time it is.
And how little sleep do I plan to get that night?
Let’s do some math, shall we?
The marathon starts at 7:25am at Dodger Stadium.
I need to take the shuttle from Santa Monica to Dodger Stadium (one of the drawbacks of an otherwise awesome point-to-point race). My shuttle time is set for 4:00am (and that’s not the earliest pick-up time).
Now, I have to factor in drive time from Sherman Oaks to Santa Monica (about 25 minutes at that un-godly hour) along with parking time, walking to the shuttle and the new pre-shuttle boarding full-body cavity searches being instituted this year.
Which probably means I should leave my apartment around 3:00am, just to be safe.
So, I should wake up around 2:15am, which gives me enough time to rise, curse the even un-godlier hour, get my affairs in order (aka bathroom shenanigans), dress, eat and get my caffeinated yet tired butt out the door.
Okay, that’s when I’ll set my alarm… 2:15am.
Now wait just a damn minute… don’t forget to subtract that extra hour as we “Spring ahead.”
So, we’re now looking at a wake-up time of 1:15am or about 45 minutes before the hard partiers are told that they “Don’t have to go home but they can’t stay there [wherever they may be].”
Yup, a 1:15am wake-up time. So in order to get a decent night’s sleep the night before the marathon I’ll need to go to sleep… umm, now.
At least I know that I won’t have any trouble whatsoever going to sleep Sunday night… after watching “The Walking Dead” of course. And I’m referring to the show, not the TV re-broadcast of the race.
(3 Days to the LA Marathon)