Friday, March 6, 2009

Let's hope it's not foreshadowing

Maybe I haven't been running enough or perhaps I'm just too tired lately, but I've had a few really odd dreams the past couple of nights. In one, Callie bit someone in the face and we had to run away so she wouldn't have to be put down ... but that's not running-related.

The running nightmare was Big Sur. Yup, the marathon. The race that I consider MY marathon, that I'm set to run in oh, eight weeks.

There were lots of discrepancies in the dream, which give me hope that it wasn't some strange foreshadowing and actually just stress-induced. For example, I took long bathroom breaks in areas that looked a whole lot like Nisene Marks (a state park around here), not Big Sur. My sister was running the marathon with me, but in reality she's registered for the 10.6 mile race.

However, the end picture was still hard to shake off: me, sobbing. I was devastated because I'd run my slowest marathon time ever. It was something like 4:26, which isn't a time to sneer at, especially over the challenging hills of Big Sur. However, it's not the time I want to see when I trip across the finish line and awkwardly hug one of the greeters. Low-balling it, 4 hours would be cool.

(Sonja and I after last year's Big Sur Marathon)

I'm pretty sure I can chalk the dream (nightmare) up to fretting about not running enough in the past few days. I took three rest days this week and the blank spots in my running log (laying open on my nightstand) are looming large as a result. But the reality was life - namely work - got busy and I was tired. I ran this morning, will bike and run tomorrow, then swim and get in my first really long run Sunday. (Let's hope the iPod holds out for 2 1/2 hours!)

As a 7th grader, my favorite shirt was a purple T emblazoned with "Life is Running" and a big blue and white running shoe. Maybe that was true then, when the biggest drains on my time were English homework and staying up all night to watch MTV at a slumber party. Now I'm an adult (yipes!) with a 9-5 ... errr ... 8:30-7 job, a house to maintain, dog to take care of, among other things. I wish my life could be all training, but workouts have to fit around my grown-up responsibilities.

I think the eight weeks between now and the marathon are an eternity for training. I have a strong base, am biking and swimming also and will start logging those big miles this weekend. Although I haven't had a bad marathon in my four outings thus far, I'm crossing my fingers - and lacing up my shoes - so hopefully this won't be my time to tank. Maybe dreams don't come true?

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"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."