Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jeepers Creepers

It's still been warm and there's still mozzies around at night so each night I'm going to bed cocooned in a mozzie net. It's nice to know I can have a hot flush in the middle of the night and not be attacked by a swarm of those noisy blood-suckers.

But the other night the mozzie net did the opposite to what it's supposed to. Instead of keeping the baddies out, it locked them in with me. Kind of like a white-collar criminal in with an axe murderer.

It must have been around 4:00am when I roused briefly to have a debate in my head over whether I should bite the bullet and go to the loo or whether I should trust my ageing urinary sphincter for another couple of hours. Common sense prevailed over optimism. It was when I'd returned to bed and settled down to (hopefully) a couple of extra hours of sleep cause I didn't have to get up early to run, that I felt it. Something ran over my hand.

Shudder. Goose bumps. And a creeping feeling of dread.

It was dark so I couldn't see what the culprit was. And there was no point in turning on the light because I'd flicked that sucker so hard that it was hiding somewhere peaceful to lick its wounds. Then I realised in my still sleep-dazed but increasingly adrenalin-fuelled state that whatever it was was still trapped within the confines of the mozzie net.

A moth would have been the best option. Followed by a cockroach. I could cope fine with a cockroach crawling on my hand as long as I didn't have to see it. I'd be less fine with one of those rhinoceros beetles that we get - not since one latched on to me and drew blood. And even lesser fine if it was a spider. I'm not the sort of person who runs out of a room when I see a spider but neither do I enjoy them creeping over any part of my anatomy in the dark.

I tucked every exposed bit of my body under the sheet so only the smallest bit of my face was exposed but any more sleep was just not going to happen. Of course, once it was light enough to see there was no trace of the creepy critter who'd stolen my sleep-in.

So the next night I was extra-careful to block off all entry opportunities to my sleeping quarters. That net was firmly tucked in and I was sure there was nothing trapped within its confines. I had another morning with no running ahead so that meant no alarm and the rare opportunity to sleep till I woke up naturally. Bliss!

And again at 4:00am I was in that semi-awake state having the same old debate that ended up in the same result. And once again I tried to settle back down to a couple of hours more sleep when I felt it. The ticklish scurry of something over my hand.

But this time, when I did that whole jerky, hysterical flicking of my hand I managed to work out what the culprit was.

Not a spider - thank goodness. Or a beetle, cockroach or moth.

It was the tissue that I keep tucked half under my pillow. Fluttering in the breeze from the fan.

Yeah, I felt pretty stupid.

And for those of you wondering how I managed to have two mornings off running while I'm smack-bang in the middle of training for a marathon. I gave myself those morning off. With Coach Chris's blessing of course. I'd just started to get a few warning signs that I wasn't recovering from my sessions. The elevated heart rate, leg fatigue, headaches. I've been here before and ignored the signs and it hasn't ended well.

So this time I decided to nip it in the bud. Just take a couple of extra days to get my body back on track before knuckling back down. It was just what I needed and I could tell how much fresher I felt when I ran 25k on Saturday. What I found especially interesting was the data from my watch. Both runs were done at the same pace and on pretty much the same course. The weather was fairly similar but my average heart rate was 10 beats slower in the second run.

Objective achieved.


  1. Great you recognise when you need more recovery time.

    I haven't seen a mozzie net for years. My childhood home was tightly screened and if I fly got in there was hell to pay from my dad. A couple of the places I've owned as an adult haven't been completely screened (though mostly) so I do occasionally get a pesky mosquito. I thought it would be worse opposite the ocean but it's actually not too bad. Most of the time (too windy!).

  2. I don't know what a mozzie is - a mosquito?
    Too funny about the kleenex being the culprit!!!
    I hope that your extra days off put a quick end to the leg fatigue, headaches and elevated heart rate!!! Sounds like it payed off in your 25K run.

  3. That's really good that you know when you need to recover - I'm sure it will allow you to avoid those long slumps we sometimes run into.
    I have considered mosquito netting, but we usually just suffer through. My friend has nets up over her bed, but when she awoke one morning two giant flying cockroaches were caught in the net by the hairs on their back legs. One of them was INSIDE the net.

  4. If there was only one mozzie in Cape Town it would find me... I use one of those plug in things...

  5. It's still hot here so we have the air con turned down to Arctic temperatures. I've felt things crawl over me in the night and it's funny how brave you get when you're half asleep. At the moment I'm sitting in bed being bitten by tiny sugar ants. I don't know how they get in my bed. It's not like I eat in bed or anything ;)

  6. Gotta be careful when you're sleeping - all kinds of stuff can get ya. Glad you took a couple of days off, I find myself doing that more and more as I age, and hopefully mature.

  7. I totally get scaring yourself with a tissue. I didn't know you had to sleep with a net. Must be something you get used to but it sounds awful. Does Ivan have his own net? I would have had to turn on the light and look that first night as I would be imagining horrible things.

  8. Tissues can be frightening, no question! I will say, though, that in Australia, there's plenty of legit things to worry about compared to here!

  9. Oh goodness. This is hilarious. Glad it wasn't something alive though. I've done the full sheet coverage thing when there's a mosquito in the room. Hate em.

  10. I love the animals but I cannot stand the mozzies. Their noise keeps me awake and their bits are a problem because my skin is too delicate.
    2 days off can be the solution to run better on the

  11. Don't know what a mozzie is - but my imagination has me scratching and feeling itchy all over! I'm relieved for you that it was only a tissue! It's amazing how insects - not even 1/10 our size - have the ability to reduce us to a state of panic and fear!

  12. I swear, mosquito nets have never helped me - most of the time they manage to keep the mozzies IN instead of OUT. Also, I have a small forest of tissues by my bed. Sometimes they fall down behind the pillow where I forget about them and just grab another one from the tissue box and find them a week later when it's time to clean...

  13. This totally reminds me of me. I'm glad it was just a scary tissue :)

  14. You know when you need two days off. That's a good idea.


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