Running Down a Dream

dreams and wishes. 62/365

Image by ♥ via Flickr

While I was training for my first marathon, I had several dreams about what the race would be like.  In one of them, the race was set in a really weird historical era: the height of the Aztec civilization.  How my brain came up with that one, I’ll never know.  The marathon consisted of running back and forth, from one point to another, and I the entire time I was doing it, I was thinking about how I was actually doing it–even in the dream I was totally excited to be running a marathon, in spite of how strange it was!  During the last couple miles, my younger sister appeared so that she could run the last part with me and be there when I crossed the finish line.

Needless to say, it was a pretty memorable dream, and it will probably stick with me for years and years to come.

Last night, I had a dream about running, but unlike the one I described above, this one was pretty stressful.  I would definitely put it in the ‘anxiety dream’ category!  In the dream, I was with people from my LUNAChix group, and we were getting ready to go out for a run, but things kept happening that prevented us from going–someone was running late, there was a freak snowstorm, we couldn’t find some of the people who had been ready to go running a few minutes earlier.  None of the events that led to our having to postpone made any sense, and they didn’t seem connected to each other in any way.  They were just bizarre occurrences that resulted in a lot of confusion, and, ultimately, a lack of running.

This week I’ve done very little running and a whole lot of worrying.  Unsurprisingly, much of the worrying I’ve been doing has been directly related to the lack of running (and in other ways, it’s been indirectly related–since running is a key stress management tool for me, less running means a higher overall stress level).  Every year I hit a point in my training cycle where I start thinking, “I can’t do this.  What was I thinking when I signed up for a marathon?  I’ll never be able to finish, my training has been disastrous so far, and I’m just setting myself up to fail…”  It goes on and on.  It happens on a smaller scale with smaller races, too.  And although I can recognize the worry as being part of my process, I always end up indulging the worries more than I’d like.

I hope that some day I’ll get to a point where I no longer experience this level of anxiety about being able to complete the distance I’m running.  I would like nothing more than to focus more on how I can improve my performance than on all the little ways in which I might screw things up.  And I think one day I’ll get there, it will just take some time.  The neat thing is, though, that as soon as I do get to that point, I’ll be able to say I’ve fulfilled a different kind of dream about running.

Do you ever have dreams about running or other athletic events you do?  Are they good dreams, or full of anxiety?

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  1. I have a recurring running dream.. err, nightmare. I’ve had it a few times, really I dream that I get to the race and have forgotten how to run. Like the gun goes off and I don’t know what to do. I’ve also had dreams of missing the start time and things like that.

    None of this has happened yet, fortunately! I think it’s just that running is so much on our minds that we dream about it.

  2. I never had a running dream, but I wonder what it will be like if I ever do.

    I totally understand the worrying and lack of running relation (it’s complicated, yet very simple). My last half-marathon was a disappointing race (time and overall experience), so I decided to make things different for the next time. Instead of focusing on performance or time, I just plan on enjoying myself running the course. I know I can run 13.1: I did it before (so did you). The rest is just literature. Now that I passed the halfway point of my training, I know this was a good decision. There is less pressure on race day, so there is a lot less pressure on training. Surprisingly, the result is a good training. Maybe it will lead to a good race, who knows?

  3. My running dreams always involve my mind going through anxieties about the race. My last one was around the time of my last 10k race where I dreamed it took me 6 hours and I was disqualfied because it took so long!

  4. Oh goodness, I dream about running all the time! Sometimes they are great dreams, like a week ago I PR’d at this year’s NYC Marathon. Sometimes they are more anxiety filled and I’m late for races (which is a huge fear of mine for some reason).

  5. Yep, I’ve had running dreams a lot! My weirdest one had all kinds of obstacles in a marathon. While it was monumentally strange, it was also kind of fun too.

    But I do have anxiety causing ones too… things about sleeping through alarm clock for races, getting hurt or lately… never being able to get back into it.

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