It's never easy to cross time zones.
Those who run destination races with any amount of regularity will readily warn you of the dangers of jet lag. As your body adjusts to the hours that you've skipped (or are repeating), every system gets out of whack. The experts will tell you to give yourself plenty of time to regulate before you head to the start line, especially when you've got a long way to go.
Now, I only crossed over one time zone, and barely at that, so for me, it was really more of a jet snag, and it didn't affect my race at all. What was really odd about the whole thing was how close we were to the crossover point. For one thing, my satellite watch kept picking up signals from Central Time, so it was off by an hour from South Bend time all the while that I was there. For another, the sun was behaving very oddly. Even though it was an hour later, the sun positioning was essentially the same (as far as my body was concerned) as it had been in Texas and Chicago. Thus, it didn't really get dark until around 9:30 at night, after I'd gone to bed the night before the race.
Not only that, but the sunrise was surprisingly early as well (because we were much farther north), so during the race, it was high in the sky by 7:00. This was all well and good until I went back to Chicago and the sun was up and shining at 6:00, right into the living room where I was crashing, which meant that I was up with no problems that morning bright and early.
But now I'm back home, and the sunrise is where it should be, somewhere in the vicinity of 7:30, which for some reason is completely throwing me off. It's just one more thing to which I must readjust myself after travel.
The really good news, though, is that my legs are back to form. I still have a little wobble going down stairs, but throughout a five miler this morning, I had no issues, and was back up to speed, running my fastest 5-mile course time since April 16th. I'm already on the path to my next race, which is currently scheduled to be the Chicago Marathon, but may be bumped up if I can find a decent race in late August or early September. I would very much like to run Boston next year, and Chicago won't be early enough to get it done.
To that end, I'm going to be changing a few things about my lifestyle in the coming weeks. I've already begun to commit myself to eating more regular meals, and with this will come a substantial increase in my water intake. I'm once again going to refocus my efforts on waking up nice and early in the morning, as it's getting too hot to run after sunrise already. My goal is to develop a strong routine that drives me to succeed. I need to increase my own personal discipline to make sure that I will have the mental toughness to push myself at mile 21. My racing career has just started, and it's time I got serious.
Now if I can only convince my sleep cycle to do the same.
85 degrees, sunny, humid