Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Have a Dream

A few weeks before it inevitably and invariably begins -- the hot mess race dream.

About 10 years ago I ran my first race. A flat 10k about three miles from my front door. As soon as I registered, about a month before, the dream began. And, ever since, the nights leading up to a race I care about are often filled with dreams of missed starts, mistakes, injuries.

I wake up late. My car won't go. I have to run to the start and am exhausted by the time I get there. I don't have my bib. I don't have my chip.

The most nervous and excited I've ever been before a race was for the Columbus Marathon. I really, really wanted to qualify for Boston. I put in the miles, put in the time, and actually told a few people that I'd set a BQ as my goal (I usually keep my goals to myself, especially before a race).

Night after night (as in 10 or 15 times) I'd dream that I missed my flight to Columbus or that I left my racing shoes behind. My friends I was staying with kicked me out because they wanted to have a party. I got lost on my way to the start line.

And then the race would begin. Except I'd lose the course and would find myself running aimlessly in circles, through malls, through air craft carries (my dad was a sailor on a few when I was a kid so this isn't as random as it would seem). I'd finally cross the finish line in 12 hours or worse.

I am in bed. Not in a coffin.

I patiently waited for the Rev3 dreams to begin. Finally, late last week, it showed up. A variation on a theme this time. We are in canoes on a quiet river when suddenly we tip.

My three teammates are swept downriver, laughing as they go. I am sucked backward into the tower of a castle where I get stuck for hours and hours, the rest of my team now below me, laughing and pointing at my misfortune.

Thanks, guys.

I’ve had this exact dream two more times. I never get out of the castle.

Um, what’s this all about? Is my team running some sort of covert operation to strand me like Rapunzel or what? I am dreading the paddle of this race (28 miles with a single-blade canoe paddle … should take forever) so I get where the canoe part is coming from. But castles and mean teammates?

Does anyone else have weird, trippy, anxiety-ridden pre-race dreams, or am I just a wackadoo?


Elizabeth said...

Mine is actually not in my dreams, more when I am well relaxed and in the zone, my minds wonders and all this race disasters play themself out.

Mallory said...

I think you're just nuts. JUST KIDDING! Mine is always that I don't wake up in time.

Running Ricig said...

I don't know that I've ever had race dreams...Maybe they'll start now that I'm racing regularly. I hope not though!

p.s. a monocle, while stylish, wouldn't help with my two eye blindness :)

Bill said...

Thanks, Laur. I had my first "You-are-at-the-Start-line-without-all-the-gear" Dream last night. I can now add this to the "Today-is-the-final-in-the-class-you-have-not-attended-all-semester" dream. Of course, I actually made it to a start line of a 24-hour race with most of my gear on the lost airline luggage truck.

Anonymous said...

A castle...hmmm...are you the only girl on the team? When I think about a castle I think about princesses wearing jewels and combing their hair (as opposed to playing in the mud). Or you're a wackadoo...or just creative. Let's go with creative.